Out this month for mamas and papas.
***Pick of the month***
The Kicking The Bucket List
Cathy Hopkins (Harper)
A surprisingly warm, funny and original take on what is essentially quite a morbid topic – the death of one’s mother. ‘Flower’ daughters Fleur, Rose and Daisy all enjoyed a relaxed and comfortable upbringing in a rambling Hampstead house, but following one too many childhood squabbles, they drift apart as adults. When their vivacious mum Iris dies, they are brought together via the wishes of her unusual will. In order to inherit her not inconsiderable savings, they must spend a series of weekends together and carry out their mother’s ‘bucket list’. All are reluctant and all have their own personal issues and problems – so is it a case of mother always knowing best, or has Iris overstepped the mark this time? An interesting and entertaining read.
The Golden House
Salman Rushdie (Vintage)
Real-estate tycoon Nero Golden and his three children assume new identities when they emigrate to the US under mysterious circumstances. They arrive shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama and quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society. The story of the powerful Golden family is told by Manhattanite neighbour and confidante, Rene. Covering the high life of money, art and fashion, plus betrayal, rivalry and murder, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years.
Robin Sloan (Atlantic Books)
An unusual story about a female software engineer who works for a robotics company in San Francisco. Lois Clary codes all day, every day, and her only human contact is the two brothers who run the local takeaway. But following visa issues, the brothers have to close up shop, and their last delivery to Lois is the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. No chef, Lois learns to feed it and bake with it and is soon selling the bread to colleagues. With ambitions to gear up to the local farmers’ market, she comes up against a close-knit club with no appetite for new members…
A Column of Fire
Ken Follett (Pan MacMillan)
The continuation of Follett’s sweeping historical trilogy which began with The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. It’s Christmas 1558 and Ned Willard returns home to Kingsbridge to find his world has changed. The city is torn apart by religious hatred and Willard finds himself on the opposite side from the girl he wants to marry, Margery Fitzgerald. With Elizabeth I clinging precariously to the throne, it becomes clear that, like today, the real enemies are not rival religions, but the tyrants who impose their ideas on everyone, no matter the cost.
Marian Keyes (Penguin)
Amy’s husband Hugh isn’t leaving her, he’s just ‘taking a break’ – from their marriage, from their children and from their life together. He still loves her, but he’s off to lose himself in south-east Asia for six months and Amy can do nothing about it. But if he’s on a break, by default isn’t she too? Gossips and troublemakeres from the extended family predict he won’t be the same man when he returns, but then she might have changed too… A story about staying in love, rather than falling in love.
New for littlies
Michael Rosen (Penguin)
Who can resist a yummy chocolate cake? This is a funny love letter, with lots of silly noises, to everyone’s favourite treat, a chocolate cake. With delicious illustrations by Kevin Waldron.
I Really Want The Cake
Simon Philip (Templar)
Sticking with the food theme, how do you resist the most amazing cake ever? And to add insult to injury, your mum’s left a note saying you must NOT eat it! A rhyming story from the author of You Must Bring A Hat and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti..
Leonie Lord (Scholastic)
Love your couch? So does Sofa Dog, and while he’s stretched out there is NO ROOM FOR ANYONE ELSE! Many characters try their luck – from aunties and rabbits to orangutans and even a horse. Join the chaos and see how much can be squeezed on.
Thank You, Mr Panda
Steve Antony (Hodder)
A great book if you’re trying to teach little ones to mind their Ps and Qs. Mr Panda is happy to help his friend, but only if they remember to say thank you. This is the third in author Steve Antony’s fun series focusing on good manners.
Out Now for teens
The Rasputin Dagger by Theresa Breslin (Random House) is set in Russia in 1916 and follows the story of Nina Ivanovna, a young girl who is hoping to escape her past by travelling to St Petersburg. In the chaos of a city mid-Russian revolution, she meets idealistic medical student Stefan Kolodin. But Ivanovna is drawn into the lavish lives of the Russian royal family – will a ruby-studded dagger save her and Stefan from a cursed life, or condemn them to it?
Back to modern day, there’s no escaping social media, particularly in Editing Emma by Chloe Seager (HarperCollins). Emma Nash has fallen for love of her life, Leon Naylor. But then she suddenly sees he has marked himself ‘in a relationship’ on Facebook and this spurs her into action. Instead of stalking Naylor, she vows to use the internet for good, chronicling her adventures on her Editing Emma blog. But incidents such as stumbling across her mum’s Tinder profile and accidentally telling the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s virginity mean things don’t go quite to plan.
In Thornhill (written by Pam Smy for David Fickling Books), our heroine Ella has recently moved into a new home. But she can’t help noticing a big old derelict house out of her bedroom window. Not very inviting, it’s surrounded by barbed wire, overgrown plants and ‘Keep Out!’ placards. One night, a light is switched on in one of the windows and the following day Ella sees a girl in the grounds. She’s sure this house has a story to tell. The house is known as Thornhill, Institute for Children – but once inside, will you ever escape?