August 2019 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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

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.

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


Tim Bayley


Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction



To Be Taught, If Fortunate: A Novella * Becky Chambers * 9781473697164 * HB * £12.99 * Hodder

In the future, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the galaxy transform themselves. Ariadne is one such explorer. On a mission to survey four habitable worlds, she and her fellow crewmates sleep while in transit, and wake each time with different features. But life back on Earth has also changed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the wonders and dangers of her journey, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening. MORE / BUY

A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World * C. A. Fletcher * 9780356510934 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit

My name’s Griz. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs. Then the thief came. He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him – until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world. I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family’s real story is. More about what really matters. MORE / BUY

The Song of the Sycamore * Edward Cox * 9781473226821 * TPB * £18.99 * Gollancz

Wendal Finn died, one more casualty in the endless war between the city-dwellers and the clansfolk. But now he’s returned to his home city of Old Castle, possessed by an ancient entity out to avenge all victims of murder. Wendal can do nothing but watch as it turns him into a serial killer… Then the magicians take an interest, trapping Sycamore inside his body, giving them the perfect assassin. Wendal wants to know why his wife died and picks at the scabs that cover the dark secrets of the magicians and reveals a threat to every city on Urdezha. The clans are massing. A supernatural storm is raging across the wasteland and is now heading for Old Castle. And the only one who might prevent oblivion is the murderous entity who the spirits are calling Sycamore. MORE / BUY

The Last * Hanna Jameson * 9780241983997 * PB * £8.99 * Penguin

ONE HOTEL. TWENTY SURVIVORS OF NUCLEAR WAR. ONE OF YOU IS A KILLER. You and nineteen other survivors hole up in an isolated Swiss hotel. You wait, you survive. Then you find the body. The race is on to find the killer…BEFORE THE KILLER FINDS YOU. ‘Extraordinary’ Emily St John Mandel * ‘Stephen King meets Agatha Christie’ Luca Veste * ‘One of those books you can’t stop reading, but don’t want to end’ TM Logan. MORE / BUY

The Cruel Stars * John Birmingham * 9781789545913 * HB * £18.99 * Head of Zeus * The Cruel Stars Trilogy * 1

They thought the Sturm were dead. Centuries after their defeat, the enemy has returned and humankind’s only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial onslaught: Commander Lucinda Hardy, thrust into uncertain command; Booker3, a soldier sentenced to die for treason; Alessia, a young royal forced to flee when her home planet is overrun; Sephina L’trel, the leader of an outlaw band. And retired Admiral Frazer McLennan, hero of the first war with the Sturm. These flawed, reluctant heroes must prevail against near-impossible odds. If they fail, the future itself is doomed. MORE / BUY




Master of Sorrows * Justin Call * 9781473222885 * PB * £8.99 * Gollancz * The Silent Gods * 1

You have heard the story before – of a young boy, orphaned, raised by a wise old man, who comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil that threatens his world. But what if the boy hero and the malevolent, threatening taint were one and the same, if the boy slowly came to realize he was the reincarnation of an evil god? Would he save the world . . . or destroy it? MORE / BUY

By the Pricking of Her Thumb * Adam Roberts * 9781473221512 * PB * £8.99 * Gollancz * Real-Town Murders * 2

One of the world’s four richest people may be dead – but nobody is sure which one. Hired to discover the truth behind the increasingly bizarre behaviour of the ultra-rich, Private Investigator Alma must juggle treating her terminally ill lover with a case which may not have a victim. Inspired by the films of Kubrick, this stand-alone novel returns to the near-future of THE REAL-TOWN MURDERS, and puts Alma on a path to a world she can barely understand. Witty, moving and with a mystery deep at its heart, this novel again shows Adam Roberts’ mastery of the form. MORE / BUY



Plunder of the Commons: A Manifesto for Sharing Public Wealth (Pelican Books) * Guy Standing * 9780141990620 * PB * £9.99 * Pelican

‘One of the most important books I’ve read in years.’ Brian Eno. Austerity and neoliberal policies have depleted our shared wealth; our national utilities have been sold off to foreign conglomerates, social housing is almost non-existent. This plunder deprives us of our common rights, recognized as far back as the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest of 1217. Guy Standing provides a brilliant new synthesis that crystallises quite how much public wealth has been redirected to the 1%, proposing a charter for a new form of commoning, of remembering, guarding and sharing that which belongs to us all. MORE / BUY

The Government of No One: The Theory and Practice of Anarchism (Pelican Books) * Ruth Kinna * 9780241396551 * HB * £20.00 * Pelican

Anarchism routinely gets a bad press – and yet, from Occupy Wall Street to Pussy Riot, Noam Chomsky to David Graeber, this philosophical and political movement is as relevant as ever. Contrary to popular perception, different strands of anarchism do follow certain structures and a shared sense of purpose: a belief in freedom and working towards collective good without the interference of the state. In this masterful account Ruth Kinna traces the tumultuous history of anarchism, revealing what makes a supposedly chaotic movement particularly adaptable and effective over centuries – and what we can learn from it. MORE / BUY

How to Make a Difference * Kate Robertson, Ella Robertson * 9781788401463 * HB * £16.99 * Cassell

How to Make a Difference is a practical roadmap to modern day activism created by the powerful and imaginative minds behind the world’s biggest campaigns including Colin Kaepernick, Emma Watson, Sir Bob Geldof, Fatima Bhutto, Black Lives Matter, Cher, Matt Damon, Rakesh Kapoor and Gina Miller. From How to Change the Law, How to Protest, How to Use Social Media Effectively, How to End a Problem Forever and How to Change a Big Organization, this book educates as much as it encourages and informs us all to see the world as something that can and must be changed, and showcases how everyone has the ability to be the change they want to see in the world. If not now, when? If not you, why? MORE / BUY

Do Something: Activism for Everyone * Kajal Odedra * 9781529355437 * HB * £14.99 * Hodder

Do you find yourself all too often asking, ‘why hasn’t somebody done something about that?’. Whether you simply want to challenge your local shop to reduce their plastic or go big and demand a new law to be passed, this book is the place to start. DO SOMETHING contains practical steps and a blueprint anyone can follow – from helping you to pinpoint the fundamentals of what you want to achieve to mobilising supporters and harnessing traditional and social media. Having worked as a campaigner for over a decade Kajal Odedra believes that everyone should know how to speak up and be heard. So, stop banging your head against the wall, pick up this book, and start planning your resistance. MORE / BUY

Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us: (about life, philosophy and everything) * Jordan Erica Webber (Author), Daniel Griliopoulos (Author) * 9781472143594 * PB * £9.99 * Robinson

Each chapter of this book introduces a philosophical topic through discussion of relevant video games, with interviews with game creators and expert philosophers, such as: Why do video games make for good thought experiments? (From the ethical dilemmas of the Mass Effect series to ‘philosophy games’.) What can you lose before you’re no longer yourself? (Identity crises in the likes of The Swapper and BioShock Infinite.) What does it mean to be a good or dutiful person? (Virtue ethics in the Ultima series and duty ethics in Planescape: Torment.) How should we be governed, for whom and by who? (Government and rights in Eve Online, Crusader Kings, Democracy 3 and Fable 3.) MORE / BUY


Children’s and Young Adult



The Magic Place * Chris Wormell * 9781788450157 * HB * £11.99 * David Fickling

‘Even though she only saw it in her dreams, she felt sure it was real.’ From her cellar bedroom, Clementine dreams of a magic place. And she’s determined to find it one day. But first she must escape from her wicked aunt and uncle and from the Great Black City. With the help of her best friend, Gilbert, a very clever cat, she sets off on an epic journey that just might make her dreams come true. A thrilling, moving and funny adventure about looking for the most magical place of all. HOME. MORE / BUY

Crossfire – A Noughts and Crosses Novel * Malorie Blackman * 9780241388440 * PB * £8.99 * Penguin * Noughts and Crosses

Crossfire is the long-awaited new novel in legendary author Malorie Blackman’s ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses series. Thirty-four years have passed since Sephy Hadley – a Cross – first met Callum McGregor – a nought. Their love was forbidden, powerful – and deadly. Life is seemingly very different now for noughts and Crosses – including for Sephy and Callum’s families. But old wounds from the past are hard to heal, and when you’re playing a game as dangerous as they are, it won’t be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire. (NB. Also available in signed Hardback via Waterstones) MORE / BUY

The Demon World * Sally Green * 9780141375410 * PB * £7.99 * Penguin * The Smoke Thieves * 2

After the fall of Rossarb Princess Catherine leads a rag-tag group of survivors into the northern wasteland, the Brigantine army snapping at their heels. Demon hunter Tash leads them to an unlikely refuge – the hidden tunnels of the demon world. While Tash travels deeper, to learn more about their mysterious inhabitants, Catherine and Ambrose return to the surface. But King Aloysius’s army is poised to overrun the whole country. To have any hope of challenging her father’s tyranny, Catherine needs her own army, but how can she tell an ally from an enemy? What Tash discovers in the demon tunnels could change everything, but if the message doesn’t reach Catherine in time, the war might already be lost… MORE / BUY


Graphic Novels


Prodigy Volume 1: The Evil Earth * Mark Millar, Rafael Albuquerque * 9781534312364 * PB * £17.99 * Image

Edison Crane’s not content being the world’s smartest man and most successful businessman – his brilliant mind needs constantly challenged. He’s a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, genius composer, Olympic athlete and an expert in the occult, and now international governments are calling on him to fix problems they just can’t handle. Collects Prodigy 1-6. MORE / BUY

These Savage Shores TPB Vol. 1 * Ram V (Author), Sumit Kumar (Artist) * 9781939424402 * PB * £17.99 * Vault Comics

Two centuries after the first European ship sailed to the Malabar Coast and made landfall at Calicut, the East India Company seeks to secure its future along the lucrative Silk Route, in the year 1766. An old evil now sails aboard a company ship, hoping to make a home in this new found land. But he will soon find that the ground along the Indus is an ancient one with daemons and legends far older than himself. Along These Savage Shores, where the days are scorched and the nights are full of teeth. MORE / BUY

Snow, Glass, Apples * Neil Gaiman, Colleen Doran * 9781472262912 * HB * £14.99 * Headline

A chilling fantasy retelling of the Snow White fairy tale by bestselling creators Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran. A not-so-evil queen is terrified of her monstrous stepdaughter and determined to repel this creature and save her kingdom from a world where happy endings aren’t so happily ever after… MORE / BUY



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