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Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

This is it. The place for the greatest writing: stories that transcend all other ‘genres’ and hit at the heart of the human condition.

Books of the Month

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow
Amor Towles
February 2017 MEGA Book of the Month. Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, the gentleman of the title, is not executed with his fellow aristocrats for he had already left Russia at the start of the Revolution and...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/02/2017
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
Jonathan Unleashed
Meg Rosoff
A crazy New York romance, not that the city matters for this is about getting out of a rut and embracing the new, however terrifying. It is very charming, it is also Meg Rosoff’s first adult novel and very suitable...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume
A Line Made by Walking
Sara Baume
Frankie studies art and then works in a gallery in Dublin. The owner only issues part-time contracts for graduating students so after a year she is out of work. Depression and the cusp of mental breakdown follow. She’s twenty-five. She...
Format: Hardback - Released: 23/02/2017
Mirror Shoulder Signal by Dorthe Nors
Mirror Shoulder Signal
Dorthe Nors
A novel of loneliness and insecurity. We can see what the poor woman, Sonja, must do. She cannot. It takes an act of kindness for Sonja to grab her life. Getting to that stage we have a stream of consciousness,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/02/2017

Other Featured Books this Month

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan
Hold Back the Stars
Katie Khan
February 2017 MEGA Debut of the Month. Beautifully written, this stunning, unusual debut weaves its way through an intense, all-encompassing first love. A love forbidden by the times in which they live and yet one that...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/01/2017
Shtum by Jem Lester
Shtum
Jem Lester
February 2017 Debut of the Month. A rather special read indeed… there are times when you wonder how you've missed sight of, or hearing about a book, and for me this is one of them. This...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Mischling by Affinity Konar
Mischling
Affinity Konar
February 2017 Debut of the Month. A very special, rather beautiful, and truly unforgettable novel, this is a story that has become a part of me, and is now lodged in my soul. 13 year old...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/02/2017
The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola
The Unseeing
Anna Mazzola
February 2017 Debut of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2016. A detailed, intriguing and highly enjoyable debut historical thriller. James Greenacre is accused of murdering his bride and his mistress, Sarah Gale,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
Moonglow
Michael Chabon
February 2017 eBook of the Month. Absolutely fascinating, a beautiful yet quirky read, this is a tale to make you wonder, to make you feel… A grandfather, on his deathbed, tells his grandson about his life,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/01/2017
Sealskin by Su Bristow
Sealskin
Su Bristow
This haunting re-telling of the Selkie legend begins on a night when “moonlight silvered everything, casting doubt and shadow”, and a young fisherman, Donald, sees a pod of seals transform into “young women, lithe and graceful”. When they notice him,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 15/02/2017
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley
Our Own Private Universe
Robin Talley
In a Nutshell: Personal awakenings on a transformational summer trip | An insightful coming-of-age story about a bisexual teenager’s first experience of love in all its dizzying bliss and complexity. Fifteen-year-old Aki is determined to stop putting things off, and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee
The Expatriates
Janice Y. K. Lee
One of our Books of the Year 2016. A remarkably touching and quite, quite beautiful read. Set in Hong Kong, the prologue is teeming with people making their way to this remarkable city. Margaret, Mercy and Hilary are three expatriate...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
The Keeper of Lost Things
Ruth Hogan
Oh my, this is totally and completely gorgeous, in fact, an absolute treasure! An author leaves all his worldly possessions, and a hoard of lost lonely items, to his assistant Laura, can Laura reunite the lost things with their owners?...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/01/2017
Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen by Alison Weir
Katherine of Aragon, the True Queen
Alison Weir
One of our Books of the Year 2016. When you settle into an Alison Weir you settle into history itself. She is thorough, detailed and hugely knowledgeable. Here she delivers the first of a projected series to cover each of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Days Without End
Sebastian Barry
Winner of 2016 Costa Book of the Year and Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2016. Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant...
Format: Hardback - Released: 20/10/2016
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
Denis Theriault
Deceptively clever and utterly compelling, this beautifully written little book will continue to haunt your thoughts long after you've finished it. Set in Montreal, the world of Bilodo the postman is a simple one, but he regularly sneaks...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/02/2017
The Last of Us by Rob Ewing
The Last of Us
Rob Ewing
A remote Scottish island has been devastated by a plague-like virus which has killed everyone except for a group of children. We know not why. It seems the children have been on their own for at least a couple of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
River of Ink by Paul M. M. Cooper
River of Ink
Paul M. M. Cooper
All Asanka knows is poetry. From his humble village beginnings in the great island kingdom of Lanka, he has risen to the prestigious position of court poet and now delights in his life of ease: composing romantic verses for love-struck...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
Gold Fame Citrus
Claire Vaye Watkins
Gold mines, the fame of Hollywood, the orange groves, three great symbols of California, three reasons to go there. Now none of them remains. There is no more water and without it nothing can live, but people are stubborn and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
The Portable Veblen
Elizabeth McKenzie
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Whimsical yet sharp and perceptive, ‘The Portable Veblen’ is an absolute treat of a read. Veblen is eccentrically wonderful, she lives in California, is followed by a squirrel and has a fiancé...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Letters to Strabo by David Smith
Letters to Strabo
David Smith
A fictional travelogue of Finn, a free-spirited American and budding travel writer, journeying around Europe and the Middle East in the 1970’s. Letters to Strabo is an evocative, candid and life-affirming coming of age story with a strong sense of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/01/2017
The Polygamist by William Irvine
The Polygamist
William Irvine
The Polygamist by William Irvine is an interesting and thought-provoking, if one-sided, philosophical exploration of a polygamist’s life and male sexuality and desire style set in 1970’s Goa. When life as a playboy leaves the rich Saudi-born but Western-educated Omar...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/10/2016
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
The Gustav Sonata
Rose Tremain
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016. Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender, Rose Tremain's beautifully orchestrated novel asks the question, what does it do to a person, or to a country, to pursue an eternal quest for neutrality, and self-mastery, while...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
The North Water by Ian McGuire
The North Water
Ian McGuire
A 19th-century whaling ship sets sail for the Arctic with a killer aboard in this dark, sharp and highly original tale that grips like a thriller, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016. Chair of the 2016 judges Amanda Foreman...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman
You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine
Alexandra Kleeman
A lives with B. B seems to be becoming more and more like A. If A's boyfriend, C, likes A because A is A, but now B is the same as A, where does that leave A? And what has...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
The Transition by Luke Kennard
The Transition
Luke Kennard
What's standing between you and success? What do you do with a generation who've had everything, but still can't grow up? Welcome to The Transition. While taking part in The Transition you and your partner will spend six months living...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/01/2017
Different Class by Joanne Harris
Different Class
Joanne Harris
After thirty years at St Oswald's Grammar in North Yorkshire, Latin master Roy Straitley has seen all kinds of boys come and go - the clowns, the rebels, the underdogs, and those he calls his Brodie boys. But every so...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
The Best of Adam Sharp
Graeme Simsion
The heart warming new novel from Graeme Simsion, the international bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect. The Best of Adam Sharp is about growing old and feeling young, about happy times and sad memories,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/02/2017
American Housewife by Helen Ellis
American Housewife
Helen Ellis
Vicious, fresh and darkly hilarious, American Housewife is a collection of stories for anyone who has ever wondered what really goes on behind the facades of the housewives of America...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
The Burning Ground by Adam O'Riordan
The Burning Ground
Adam O'Riordan
Written with an outsider's keen eye, this collection of stories paints an intimate portrait of diverse lives, in a work of remarkable beauty and poignancy. In these eight stories, an English writer focuses his gaze on America's West Coast, moving...
Format: Hardback - Released: 12/01/2017
Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick
Mister Memory
Marcus Sedgwick
In Paris, at the end of the nineteenth century, a man with a perfect memory murders his wife. But that is only the start of the story... A dazzling literary mystery from prizewinning author Marcus Sedgwick. For fans of Scarlett...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Swimming Lessons
Claire Fuller
Gil's wife, Ingrid has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years. A possible sighting brings their children, Nan and Flora, home. Together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother. Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave? And do...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/01/2017

Last Month's Featured Books

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Hausfrau
Jill Alexander Essbaum
A much talked about novel of female alienation, US poet Essbaum's is a curious blend of Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina brought into the modern post-feminist age. Married...

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Reader Reviewed The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016. A gorgeously eloquent and powerfully expressive novel, ‘The Essex Serpent’ explores an unusual relationship in...

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

Reader Reviewed The Last One
Alexandra Oliva
One of our Books of the Year 2016. The Post-Apocalyptic setting is so popular today that it is becoming annoying, so it is great to get a book like this...

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

The Last Days of Night
Graham Moore
New York, 1888, a gilded age when science has become the new deity and the scene for an outstanding gem of an historical thriller by the author of THE...

Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson

Reader Reviewed Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars
Miranda Emmerson
January 2017 Debut of the Month. An enjoyable yet penetrating read, one that can lull you into a false sense of security before it jabs and...

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

Lyrebird
Cecelia Ahern
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Just so, so gorgeous! Laura lives on her own in the woodland wilds of South West Ireland, a film crew discover she...

The French Lesson by Hallie Rubenhold

Reader Reviewed The French Lesson
Hallie Rubenhold
This wonderful, bawdy, fictional memoir began with Mistress of My Fate which eventually saw Henrietta Lightfoot fall for the daring Lord Allenham. Here they are off to Belgium when...

Foxlowe by Eleanor Wasserberg

Reader Reviewed Foxlowe
Eleanor Wasserberg
January 2017 Debut of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2016. Green, her little sister Blue and October - known as Toby -...

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Reader Reviewed The One Memory of Flora Banks
Emily Barr
January 2017 NewGen MEGA Debut of the Month. In a nutshell: the unforgettable...

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Reader Reviewed The Trouble with Goats and Sheep
Joanna Cannon
January 2017 Debut of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2016. The title refers to a Bible quote and two 10-year old girls...

Dodgers by Bill Beverly

Reader Reviewed Dodgers
Bill Beverly
January 2017 Book of the Month. One of our Books of the Year 2016. Winner of the John Creasey (New Blood) and Goldsboro Gold Dagger Awards...

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford

Golden Hill
Francis Spufford
Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2016. Rich in language and historical perception, yet compulsively readable, Golden Hill has a plot that twists in every chapter, and a puzzle...

Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh

Homesick for Another World
Ottessa Moshfegh
The debut short story collection by the author of Eileen, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016. There's something eerily unsettling about Ottessa Moshfegh's stories, something almost dangerous while...

Montpelier Parade by Karl Geary

Montpelier Parade
Karl Geary
Unfolding in the sea-bright, rain-soaked Dublin of early spring, Montpelier Parade is a beautiful, cinematic novel about desire, longing, grief, hope and the things that remain unspoken. It is about...

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

The Noise of Time
Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes' new novel is a story about the collision of Art and Power, about human compromise, cowardice and courage, it is the work of a true master.

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

The Course of Love
Alain de Botton
This is a love story with a difference. From dating to marriage, from having kids to having affairs, it follows the progress of a single ordinary relationship: tender, messy, hilarious,...

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing
Yaa Gyasi
Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and...

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Reader Reviewed The One-in-a-Million Boy
Monica Wood
Absolutely enchanting, and not in a sugary syrupy sweet way, oh no, instead this is earthy and vibrant and real. Miss Ona Vitkus is 104 years old, she lives on...

What a Way to Go by Julia Forster

Reader Reviewed What a Way to Go
Julia Forster
Sharp, poignant and amusing, this is a beautifully observed novel about growing up during the 80’s as a child of divorced parents. The prologue is short, quirky and full of...

English Animals by Laura Kaye

English Animals
Laura Kaye
English Animals is a funny, subversive, poignant and beautifully written novel about a doomed love affair, a certain kind of Englishness and prejudice. A brilliantly assured debut that fans of...

A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart

Reader Reviewed A Boy Made of Blocks
Keith Stuart
One of our Books of the Year 2016. A brilliant debut from a fresh and unique voice, ‘A Boy Made of Blocks' is a book that will make you laugh,...

Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker

Anatomy of a Soldier
Harry Parker
One of our Books of the Year 2016. A stunning concept where 41 inanimate objects relate the story of a soldier, Captain Tom Barnes. From training, through Afghanistan and a...

The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Muse
Jessie Burton
The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception - a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.

My Own Dear Brother by Holly Muller

My Own Dear Brother
Holly Muller
My Own Dear Brother is a remarkable coming-of-age story and an unflinching study of both cruelty and courage. Rich in folklore, it introduces a daring young heroine and a powerful...

Rockadoon Shore by Rory Gleeson

Rockadoon Shore
Rory Gleeson
Honest, moving and human, Rockadoon Shore is a novel about friendship and youth, about missed opportunities and lost love, and about the realities of growing up and growing old in...

The Willow King by Meelis Friedenthal

The Willow King
Meelis Friedenthal
In this astonishingly atmospheric novel, Friedenthal enters the bowels of Shakespeare's century to tell the story of anguished modernity, and of the advent of the Age of Enlightenment - while...

The Month Before's Featured Books

The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Blue Flower
Penelope Fitzgerald
One of the most admired of all Penelope Fitzgerald's books, The Blue Flower was chosen as Book of the Year more than any other in 1995. Her final book, it confirmed her...

Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney

Reader Reviewed Under a Pole Star
Stef Penney
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Flora Mackie leads a remarkable life. Daughter of a whaling captain, with her mother dead, she spent many of her teenage years...

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wonder
R. J. Palacio
Winner of the 'Best of the Best' children's category at the Independent Bookshop Week Awards 2016. Frank, powerful, warm and often heart-breaking, Wonder is a book you'll read in one...

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume

Reader Reviewed Spill Simmer Falter Wither
Sara Baume
Winner of the 2016 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. Slow starting first-person...

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman

The Light Between Oceans
M. L. Stedman
Isolated at the tip of Australia as a lighthouse keeper, emotionally traumatised World War I veteran Tom fears for his wife's sanity after her third miscarriage. Then a boat turns...

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney

The Glorious Heresies
Lisa McInerney
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Breakthrough Author Award 2016. Winner of the 2016 Desmond Elliott Prize.

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Sellout
Paul Beatty
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016. Amanda Foreman, 2016 Chair of judges, comments: ‘The Sellout is a novel for our times. A tirelessly inventive modern satire, its humour...

The Bertie Project A 44 Scotland Street Novel by Alexander McCall Smith

The Bertie Project A 44 Scotland Street Novel
Alexander McCall Smith
If you have been with this series from the beginning, and this is the 11th, you will be familiar with the characters who live around Scotland Street in Edinburgh. Mr...

Dragon Games by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Reader Reviewed Dragon Games
Jan-Philipp Sendker
A darkly captivating, tense, and beautifully written tale, that explores fear and the innermost thoughts and feelings of hearts and minds. This is the second in the ‘China’ series, and...

Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald

Offshore
Penelope Fitzgerald
Winner of the Booker Prize 1979. Penelope Fitzgerald's Booker Prize-winning novel of loneliness and connecting is set among the houseboat community of the Thames and has a new Introduction from Alan...

Himself by Jess Kidd

Himself
Jess Kidd
One of our Books of the Year 2016. December 2016 Debut of the Month. Dublin-wise, orphaned young man goes in search of his birth mother. He...

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things
Jodi Picoult
One of our Books of the Year 2016. December 2016 Book of the Month. Just incredible… this punchy, beautiful, readable story vibrates with a powerful energy....

The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

Reader Reviewed The Butcher's Hook
Janet Ellis
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. Our first-person narrator, Anne Jaccobs, is an extraordinary young woman for...

Today Will be Different by Maria Semple

Reader Reviewed Today Will be Different
Maria Semple
A smart and sassy take on a 21st century mum making her way in the world, trying not to cause too much damage but also hoping that maybe, just maybe...

Autumn by Ali Smith

Autumn
Ali Smith
From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories, and a story about ageing and time and love and stories...

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Bookshop
Penelope Fitzgerald
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on...

Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler

Perfume River
Robert Olen Butler
An understated yet profound and incredibly hard hitting and evocative novel that just simmers with tension. 70 year old Vietnam veteran Robert Quinlan and his younger brother Jimmy have been...

The Museum of Cathy by Anna Stothard

Reader Reviewed The Museum of Cathy
Anna Stothard
This latest novel from the acclaimed author of the Orange-longlisted The Pink Hotel is an exploration of memories, consequence and the difficulties of living with the past. Cathy is...

A Snow Garden and Other Stories by Rachel Joyce

A Snow Garden and Other Stories
Rachel Joyce
As read on Radio 4, seven linked stories set in the Christmas holidays - all as funny, joyous, poignant and memorable as Christmas should be.

The Brontesaurus An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell) by John Sutherland, John Crace

The Brontesaurus An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte (and Branwell)
John Sutherland, John Crace
Distinguished literary critic John Sutherland takes an idiosyncratic look at the world of the Brontes, from the bumps on Charlotte's head to the nefarious origins of Mr Rochester's fortune, by...

Christmas Days 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson

Christmas Days 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days
Jeanette Winterson
Everybody loves a Christmas story. The tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas is a tradition of celebration, sharing and giving. And what better way to do that than with...

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Reader Reviewed Britt-Marie Was Here
Fredrik Backman
One of our Books of the Year 2016. The publisher’s blurb for this quirky novel certainly drew me to it especially since I am an enormous fan of his first,...

The Spy by Paulo Coelho

Reader Reviewed The Spy
Paulo Coelho
One of our Books of the Year 2016. December 2016 MEGA Book of the Month. A short, emotional and entirely captivating novel based on the real...

The Last Days of Leda Grey by Essie Fox

The Last Days of Leda Grey
Essie Fox
Ed Peters, a young Fleet Street journalist, lives a hedonistic 1970’s lifestyle of which he’s grown weary. Whilst the country is in the grip of a stifling heatwave, Ed returns...

The Return of the Young Prince by A. G. Roemmers

The Return of the Young Prince
A. G. Roemmers
A charming fable for all ages, this wonderful sequel to the beloved classic overflows with love and wisdom, a true celebration of life as it should be lived in all...

The Story Cure An A-Z of Books to Keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise by Ella Berthoud, Susan Elderkin

The Story Cure An A-Z of Books to Keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise
Ella Berthoud, Susan Elderkin
I’ve listed The Novel Cure by the same authors in Like for Like reading, as it’s a most enjoyable reference book for any lover of reading. Now they’ve turned...

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack

Solar Bones
Mike McCormack
Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2016.Professor Blake Morrison, chair of judges, said: "Set over a few hours in a single day, and told in the first-person voice of...

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