October 2017 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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

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!

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

Enjoy!

Tim Bayley

Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction

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THE HIDDEN PEOPLE * Alison Littlewood * 9781786480774 * PB * £8.99 * Jo Fletcher * This was a Bookseller Magazine Editor’s Choice for October (2016 in HB) so we took note – and it turns out that the author found favour with Richard & Judy’s book club with The Cold Season: one of those genre pieces that steps out and brings in a wider audience in other words, and the Hidden People, also a folkloric chiller, we have no doubt will have very much the same appeal. Set in the 19th century (the period no doubt contributing to the haunting atmosphere also), Londoner Albie Willis sets out to secluded Halfoak to investigate the death of Lizzie Higgs, a cousin he hardly knew but doubts was a changeling as her husband insists…

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DEATH’S MISTRESS * Terry Goodkind * 9781786691651 * PB * £8.99 * Head of Zeus * Upstart indie Head of Zeus got a serious coup when they acquired Goodkind’s prequel and sequel to the Sword of Truth series, we gather because he just really liked what they’re doing. (He’s not the only one!) Here’s his first original work for them – now in paperback – featuring, as we understand, a hard as nails female antihero…

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THE WANDERING EARTH * Cixin Liu * 9781784978518 * PB * £8.99 * Head of Zeus * Head of Zeus also got a real coup in signing the translation of The Three-Body Problem which went on to win the Hugo. Now they unleash China’s bestselling SF author Cixin Liu’s collection of shorts in PB, many award-winners themselves…

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UNDER THE PENDULUM SUN * Jeanette Ng * 9780857667267 * PB * £8.99 * Angry Robot * There’s plenty of Faerie based fantasy out there but this rather caught our eye in the Bookseller Buyer’s Guide. A woman awaits the return of her brother in a sinister house in the fae realm of Arcadia – we don’t suppose the Faerie Queen might have some kind of issue with that do we?

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A POCKETFUL OF CROWS * Joanne M Harris * 9781473222182 * HB * £12.99 * Gollancz * Folkloric fiction based on a Child Ballad by one of our modern greats. From the publisher / author:

“Originally written in short form as part of a live Twitter #Storytime, it’s a dark and magical story in which a nameless Faërie girl defies her people and follows her heart after falling in love with a human…

I see A Pocketful of Crows as a psychological coming-of-age story disguised as a fairy tale. There are elements of Grimm’s fairy tales here, and elements of the Gothic novel. Most of all, there is the idea that fairy tales can be reflections of the human psyche, expressing things through story that cannot be easily articulated elsewhere’ – Joanne Harris”

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THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE * Katherine Arden * 9781785031052 * PB * £7.99 * Del Rey * And on the subject of folkloric fiction Katherine Arden serves up an atmospheric Russia-set fable of a young woman who can see supernatural forces waxing…

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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S THE FORCE DOTH AWAKEN: STAR WARS PART THE SEVENTH * Ian Doescher * 9781594749858 * HB * £11.99 * Quirk Books * Tragedy might await in The Force Awakens but there’s nothing but galactic laugh your ass off comedy to be found in reading Ian Doescher’s latest William Shakespeare’s Star Wars. Only question is whether to read alone or put on an impromptu performance with friends…

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THE INHERITANCE * Robin Hobb / Megan Linholm * 9780008244996 * PB * £8.99 * Harper Voyager * A collection of Robin Hobb in both Margaret Ogden’s aliases, including tales set in her top-quality fantasy world of The Farseer novels. Hear that noise? It’s the sound of her many fans taking out their wallets…

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DJINN CITY * Saad Z Hossain * 9781944700065 * PB * £10.99 * The Unnamed Press / Phoneme * Just chanced upon this and couldn’t resist including and flagging as an Indie pick. Apparently the author sold rather a few copies of his 2015 debut Escape from Baghdad. Now he’s back with this ‘darkly comic’ tale of a boy hunted by Djinn because of his mother dying in childbirth(?!!!). We particularly liked this quote of his work: “Saad Z. Hosscin updates the supernatural creatures Of Arabian mythology-a superior but by no means perfect species pushed to the brink by the staggering ineptitude of the human race.” Sounds about right 😉

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ANNO DRACULA – ONE THOUSAND MONSTERS * Kim Newman * 9781781165638 * PB * £7.99 * Titan Books * The fifth of Kim Newman’s vampire alt history series of which there is one serious fanbase. As to this Japan-set installment, well we just have to say click the link if even vaguely of interest: It just sounds utterly bonkers, but doubtless the great Newman makes it work and then some…

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Children’s & YA Choice

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LA BELLE SAUVAGE * Philip Pullman * 9780385604413 * HB * £20.00 * Random House Children’s * Is any introduction necessary? If you’re not returning to the world of Lyra and His dark Materials then get reading Northern Lights now, devour The Subtle Knife, then blast through The Amber Spyglass ready for reading La Belle Sauvage! For this rest of us, the wait is finally over… NB. As Pullman has put it these new books are ‘equals’ – both prequels and sequels and, we imagine, simultaneous to the original jaw-dropping trilogy…

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GRAVE MATTER * Juno Dawson with Alex T Smith * 9781781126042 * PB * £7.99 * Barrington Stoke * Special shout out for Juno Dawson who brings you a creepy YA tale of a dark pact in a supernatural realm after a young woman dies in a crash… For those who find reading challenging and those who want a quality but easy read (as per the rest of BS’s range) at the spooky time of year…

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FROGKISSER * Garth Nix * 9781848126374 * PB * £6.99 * Piccadilly Press * The great Garth Nix returns in paperback with a wry twist on the classic fairytale where a princess goes Questing for magical lip balm that reverses Prince-to-Frogs transformation spells…

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Special Note: Mr Men Dr Who!

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THE DOCTORS: TIME AND SPACE COLLECTION * Adam Hargreaves * 9781524785840 * PB * ? * Random House Children’s * We loved the two batches of Adam Hargreaves Dr Who Mr Men (Dr. First, Dr. Second, Dr. Fourth, Dr. Seventh, Dr. Eighth, Dr. Ninth, Dr. Eleventh, and Dr. Twelfth) – what a fabulous idea! Here you can grab all the stories so far together in one place…

More info / Buy option: Link to come…

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DOCTOR TENTH: CHRISTMAS SURPRISE * Adam Hargreaves * 9781405934145 * HB * £6.99 * Random House Children’s * And this same month Adam and RH cannily serve up an adventure of the 10th Doctor Mr Men style of a Christmassy nature… 😉

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Non-Fiction Highlights

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WHAT DOES THIS BUTTON DO? * Bruce Dickinson * 9780008172435 * HB * £20 * Harpercollins * An expert fencer, brewer and pilot… And Heavy Metal Frontman – Surely one of the biggest biographies of the decade? Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson shares his life with you on the printed page!

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THIS DAY IN RAP AND HIP HOP HISTORY * Chuck D * 9781844039586 * HB * £30 * Cassell * Meanwhile for fans of Hip Hop – and frankly music generally – Public Enemy’s Chuck D serves up his own history of the genre and movement in which he was instrumental in its formative period… Includes a host of imagery and protraits provided by Hip Hop artist collective mADurgency…

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UNTYPICAL GIRLS * Sam Knee * 9781908714459 * HB * £19.99 * Cicada Books * Sam Knee returns to the subject of Indie and publisher Cicada zooming in to the ladies of the style / genre. Comes with a host of previously unpublished photos – looking forward to seeing this…

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MAGIC IN MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS * Sophie Page * 9780712352055 * HB * £12.99 * British Library * The British Library’s publishing over the last year has been gobsmackingly smashing in own (humble?) opinion. A really interesting pair of texts coming this month curated and expanded on by BL’s Sophie Page. Given we have a real love of fantasy and that the Middle Ages are a foundation for some of the most loved in the genre, and that the arcane (super)naturally also plays a key part, what could be more intriguing than books on Magic in Medieval Manuscripts…

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ASTROLOGY IN MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS * Sophie Page * 9780712352109 * HB * £12.99 * British Library * …and Alchemy in the same?

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BASQUIAT: BOOM FOR REAL * Dieter Buchhart (Ed) * 9783791356365 * HB * £39.99 * Prestel * Prestel offer up a monograph on street artist and social commentator / provocateur Basquiat in October which accompanies a major exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery…

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GLOBAL DISCONTENTS * Noam Chomsky * 9780241317587 * TPB * £12.99 * Hamish Hamilton * We’ll let the publisher try to do justice to Mr Chomsky’s latest:

“An essential guide to geopolitics in 2017 – and how we should be fighting back – from the world’s leading public intellectual.

What kind of world are we leaving to our grandchildren? How are the discontents kindled today likely to blaze and explode tomorrow?

From escalating climate change to the devastation in Syria, pandemic state surveillance to looming nuclear war, Noam Chomsky takes stock of the world today. Over the course of ten conversations with long-time collaborator David Barsamian, spanning 2013-2016, Chomsky argues in favour of radical changes to a system that cannot possibly cope with what awaits tomorrow.

Interwoven with personal reflections spanning from childhood to his eighth decade of life, Global Discontents also marks out Chomsky’s own intellectual journey, mapping his progress to revolutionary ideas and global prominence.”

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A WORLD OF THREE ZEROES: THE NEW ECONOMICS OF ZERO POVERTY, ZERO UNEMPLOYMENT, AND ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS * Muhammad Yunus * 9781911344568 * TPB * £14.99 * Scribe * A Nobel Peace prize winner sets out an agenda and challenge for a sea-change in our social consciousness – do click the link and read more. This could be one of the most important books of the decade…

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OUT OF THE WRECKAGE * George Monbiot * 9781786632883 * HB * £14.99 * Verso * If Muhammed Yumus is offering a new frame George Monbiot is offering a new sense of hope, looking at how there is perhaps more decency in the human condition than so far has been understood…

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OF WOMEN * Shami Chakrabarti * 9780241296349 * HB * £20 * Allen Lane * Meanwhile one of our leading Human Rights campaigners Shami Chakrabarti (On Liberty, 2015) focuses in on global gender inequality and proposes radical change as to how we can begin to address it…

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SODA POLITICS: TAKING ON BIG SODA (AND WINNING) * Marion Nestle * 9780190693145 * PB * £14.99 * Oxford University Press * Marion Nestle takes on the super-high margin drinks trade and all the tactics they employ to maintain dominance while peddling an unhealthy product – and she offers the reader the tools to help keep on the pressure to restrict their power and influence…

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THE MORAL ECONOMY: WHY GOOD INCENTIVES ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD CITIZENS * Samuel Bowles * 9780300230512 * PB * £19.99 * Yale University Press * From the publisher (abridged): “Why do policies and business practices that ignore the moral and generous side of human nature often fail? Samuel Bowles shows they may “crowd out” ethical and generous motives and thus backfire. Using historical and recent case studies as well as behavioral experiments, Bowles shows how well-designed incentives can crowd in the civic motives on which good governance depends…”

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Graphic Novels

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GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY * MR James, Leah Moore, John Reppion * 9781910593394 * PB * £9.99 * Self Made Hero * We included vol 1 in our highlights last year ready for Halloween so figured we’d best make sure you were aware of Vol 2 as well… Includes graphic adaptations of: Number 13, Count Magnus, Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad and The Treasure of Abbot Thomas…

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CHE: A GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY * Spain Rodriguez * 9781786633286 * TPB * £9.99 * Verso * Graphic Biographies have been on the up and up over recent years. Popularity and sales depend on the subject of course, perhaps more than the creative team or individual in th first instance… Che Guevara anyone? We thought so! And if we had any doubt Spain Rodriguez had delivered up something A Grade be assured that Verso don’t mess around with what and who they publish!

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@TimBayley1

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