January 2019 Book Highlights


Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for January.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more.

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores whether online or in person and a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep so any and all support very much appreciated! Hyperlinks lead on to Waterstone’s, Forbidden Planet in the case of Graphic Novels.

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in January.

Enjoy!

Tim Bayley

 

Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction

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DOCTOR WHO: SCRATCHMAN * Tom Baker * 9781785943904 * HB * £16.99 * BBC Books

*** TOM BAKER WRITES HIMSELF AS DR WHO! ***

In his first-ever Doctor Who novel, Tom Baker’s incredible imagination is given free rein. A story so epic it was originally intended for the big screen, Scratchman is a gripping, white-knuckle thriller almost forty years in the making. The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population… MORE / BUY

 

WINTER OF THE WITCH * Katherine Arden * 9781785039713 * HB * £12.99 * Del Rey * Winternight Trilogy * 3

A magical and captivating coming of age novel set in medieval Russia – perfect for fans of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

One girl can make a difference… Moscow is in flames, leaving its people searching for answers – and someone to blame. Vasilisa, a girl with extraordinary gifts, must flee for her life, pursued by those who blame their misfortune on her magic. Then a vengeful demon returns… MORE / BUY

 

OUR CHILD OF THE STARS * Stephen Cox * 9781786489951 * HB * £14.99 * Jo Fletcher Books

*** FEATURE DEBUT HIGHLIGHT ***

In this magical, bewitching debut, Molly and Gene Myers’ marriage is on the brink of collapse. Then a child arrives, with a remarkable appearance. Will he bring them together, or tear their whole world apart? Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are starting to rebuild their fragile bond.

This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation.

Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town – and changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.

And soon the whole world will be looking for him.

Cory’s arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe.

A remarkable story of warmth, tenacity and generosity of spirit, set against the backdrop of a fast-changing, terrifying decade.

MORE / BUY

 

BEFORE MARS * Emma Newman * 9781473223905 * PB * £8.99 * Gollancz * Planetfall

After months of travel, Anna Kubrin finally arrives on Mars for her new job as a geologist and de facto artist-in-residence. Already she feels like she is losing the connection with her husband and baby at home on Earth–and she’ll be on Mars for over a year. Throwing herself into her work, she tries her best to fit in with the team. But in her new room on the base, Anna finds a mysterious note written in her own handwriting, warning her not to trust the colony psychologist. Anna has find the truth before her own mind destroys her… MORE / BUY

 

THE GUTTER PRAYER * Gareth Hanrahan * 9780356511528 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit Books * The Black Iron Legacy * 1

*** DEBUT GARNERING MUCH LOVE FROM AUTHORS AND MORE ***

The city of Guerdon stands eternal. A refuge from the war that rages beyond its borders. But in the ancient tunnels deep beneath its streets, a malevolent power has begun to stir.
The fate of the city rests in the hands of three thieves. They alone stand against the coming darkness. As conspiracies unfold and secrets are revealed, their friendship will be tested to the limit. If they fail, all will be lost and the streets of Guerdon will run with blood… MORE / BUY

 

   

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THE HOD KING * Josiah Bancroft * 9780356510842 * PB * £9.99 * Orbit Books * The Books of Babel * 3

*** ONE OF OUR TOP SERIES OF RECENT YEARS – LITERARY STEAMPUNK GREATNESS ***

Thomas Senlin and his crew have been separated following the orders of the mysterious Sphinx. Meanwhile, the enslaved hods climb the Black Trail and whisper secrets in the dark. As Senlin and his crew are dragged ever further into the Tower’s conspiracies, everything falls to one question: who is the Hod King? BUY / MORE

 

BLACKFISH CITY * Sam J. Miller * 9780356510040 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit Books

*** BEST OF 2018 ACCORDING TO PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, KIRKUS AND THE WASHINGTON POST ***

After the climate wars, a floating city was constructed in the Arctic Circle. Once a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering it is now rife with corruption and the population simmers with unrest. Into this turmoil comes a strange new visitor – a woman accompanied by an orca and a chained polar bear. She disappears into the crowds looking for someone she lost thirty years ago. Her arrival draws together four people and sparks a chain of events that will change Blackfish City forever. MORE / BUY

 

BATTLE SPIRE * Michael R. Miller * 9781999666026 * PB * £10.99 * Portal Books

*** INDIE HIGHLIGHT: WIDELY FIVE-STARRED BY READERS ***

Jack Kross only wanted to play the game. Now he’s fighting for his life. When a mysterious hacker takes control of Hundred Kingdoms, Jack is trapped inside the fantasy VR world along with millions of other players. But Jack is in a worse predicament. He’s cornered in the very tower the terrorists have taken as their base; the only free player left within its walls. Even worse, in the real world, his body lies in a sweltering room with no hope of relief… MORE / BUY

 

Non-Fiction

   

 

LOST CONNECTIONS: WHY YOU’RE DEPRESSED AND HOW TO FIND HOPE * Johann Hari * 9781408878729 * Bloomsbury * PB * £8.99

‘One of the most important texts of recent years’ BRITISH JOURNAL OF GENERAL PRACTICE – ‘Brilliant, stimulating, radical’ MATT HAIG – ‘The more people read this book, the better off the world will be’ NAOMI KLEIN. Depression and anxiety are now at epidemic levels. Why? Across the world, scientists have uncovered evidence for nine different causes. Some are in our biology, but most are in the way we are living today. Lost Connections offers a radical new way of thinking about this crisis. It shows that once we understand the real causes, we can begin to turn to pioneering new solutions – ones that offer real hope. MORE / BUY

HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE: THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER: WHAT HISTORY REVEALS ABOUT OUR FUTURE * Steven Levitsky * 9780241381359 * Viking Books * PB * £9.99

How does a democracy die? What can we do to save our own? What lessons does history teach us? In the twenty-first century democracy is threatened like never before. Drawing insightful lessons from across history – from Pinochet’s murderous Chilean regime to Erdogan’s quiet dismantling in Turkey – Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt explain why democracies fail, how leaders like Trump subvert them today and what each of us can do to protect our democratic rights. MORE / BUY

 

WE ARE DISPLACED: MY JOURNEY AND STORIES FROM REFUGEE GIRLS AROUND THE WORLD * Malala Yousafzai * 9781474610032 * W&N * HB * £16.99

Nobel Peace Prize winner and bestselling author Malala Yousafzai introduces some of the faces behind the statistics and news stories we read or hear every day about the millions of people displaced worldwide. Malala’s experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement – first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world, except to the home she loved… MORE / BUY

 

Children’s and Young Adult

     

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KING OF SCARS * Leigh Bardugo * 9781510104457 * HB * £14.99 * Orion Children’s * The Grishaverse – New Duology * 1

*** THE GRISHAVERSE COMING SOON TO NETFLIX WITH SHADOW AND BONE FROM THE ORIGINAL SERIES! ***

The much-anticipated first book in a brand-new duology by New York Times bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo. Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war – and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army… MORE / BUY

THE KING * David Hair * 9780857053633 * PB * £9.99 * Jo Fletcher Books * The Return of Ravena * 4 (Reissue)

For four young men and women trapped in its story-cycle, the Ramayana is not just a legend: it is their fate! In every life they have ever lived, Vikram, Amanjit, Rasita and Deepika have been persecuted and killed by Ravindra on his quest to reincarnate as Ravana, the Demon-King. Now Ravindra has captured Rasita, and demonic beings are rallying to his cause. Vikram and Amanjit must rescue Rasita – but in every past life, Vikram has died at Ravindra’s hands. MORE / BUY

 

Graphic Novels

 

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TONY STARK: IRON MAN VOL 1 * Dan Slott (Author), Valerio Schiti * 9781302912727 * PB * £13.50 * Marvel

*** THE SUPERB DAN SLOTT TAKES ON IRON MAN! ***

Iron Man is an idea. Always changing. Always evolving. Now Dan Slott and Valerio Schiti propel the ultimate self-made hero to new heights of inventiveness! But Tony has been holding back an enormous secret since his return, and there’s only one person on Earth he’d trust with it: James Rhodes?! This will change everything. Plus: Jocasta! Machine Man! The Gauntlet! The Wasp! The arrival of Tony Stark’s new rival…Sunset Bain! And the Manticore, the most powerful assault vehicle in the Marvel Universe! COLLECTING: TONY STARK: IRON MAN 1-6 MORE / BUY

 

REEL LOVE * Owen Michael Johnson * 9781783527335 * PB * £14.99 * Unbound

*** BIG INDEPENDENT CREATOR HIGHLIGHT ***

“Energetic artwork and heartfelt storytelling… I loved Reel Love.” Jeff Lemire

In a quiet corner of England, a young boy visits the cinema for the first time. Overwhelmed by the experience, he returns to see a movie which will ignite his imagination, fill his head with fantasy and change the course of his life. That enthusiasm carries him though to his adolescence, when he gets a part-time job as an usher at his local cinema. Falling in with the motley crew of cinephile staff, he falls in love, finds his tribe, and fantasises about his film-filled future. The final act sees that same boy as a grown man, back in his hometown after life panned out in a slightly unexpected way. When an opportunity to break into the film world presents itself, he finds that his life has come full circle as he sets out again to make his magnum opus… MORE / BUY

 

TANK GIRL ALL STARS * Alan Martin, Brett Parson * 9781785864803 * HB * £26.99 * Titan

An anthology of stories from creators old and new, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Tank Girl! At last it can be told! In this 30th Anniversary anthology, we finally reveal the biggest secret in comic history – HOW TANK GIRL GOT HER TANK – the origin story to end all origin stories! This, and a whole bunch of other tales, will be written by series co-creator Alan Martin, with artwork by a host of Tank Girl stalwarts, newbies, and super-star guests, including co-creator Jamie Hewlett (Gorillaz), current artist Brett Parson, and friends from throughout Tank Girl’s chequered 30 year lifetime. MORE / BUY

 

UNKNOWN ANTI-WAR COMICS * Craig Yoe * 9781684051786 * HB * £26.99 * IDW Publishing

An action-oriented medium, comics have long used wars-real and fictional-as narrative fodder. Now, discover the secret, surprising history of anti-war comics with this marvelously curated collection. A few comics portrayed the horrors of war, but no blatantly anti-war stories were known to exist-until now! Buried in rare comics published during the Cold War were powerful war, fantasy, and sci-fi stories that strongly condemned war and the bomb, boldly calling for peace. There’s even a tale condemning the building of a wall to keep out aliens-from outer space! MORE / BUY

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@TimBayley1
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