Well, this September has been packed with glorious new books, and we saw a Super Thursday like no other, with over 600 books published on the same day following lockdown publication delays across the industry. Just like that, it seems as though we’re on the run up to Christmas. Well, as a bookseller Super Thursday has always meant the start of Christmas for me!
I don’t know about you, but my ‘to be read’ pile is growing ever larger, and there are more I want to add. But what a great time of year to snuggle up with a long-awaited new book? the nights are drawing in and getting chilly, so put the kettle on, grab your favourite blanket and get comfortable.
Here’s what we’ve been reading recently at Willoughby HQ:
I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder
Covering issues such as self-harm, abuse, eating disorders suicide and sex this is Rhik’s attempt to come to terms with his past and discover what it means to be alive.
Don’t be put off by the heavy subject matter, this is laugh-out-loud funny, eccentric, and ultimately a warm, uplifting read.
Sex, Power, Money- Sarah Pascoe
One by One – Ruth Ware
A corporate event in the ski resort of Saint Antoine goes horribly wrong when an avalanche falls and causes the guests to become isolated to their luxury chalet. As the name suggests it, one by one the guests start to disappear under mysterious circumstances. Without electricity and phone signal, they start to realise there might be a murderer amongst them and the race to stay alive begins.
With tones of Agatha Christie, this is a whodunnit that will keep you guessing until the end in a wonderfully atmospheric setting.
The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor
Set in China in 1941, and based on true events, it tells the story of Nancy, a 10 year old British girl at a Chinese Missionary School and her teacher Elspeth. As Japan declares war, soldiers take control of the school and eventually move the children and teachers to an internment camp. Told through alternating chapters of child & adult perspectives we learn of the difficulties, hunger and dangers they go through. Having a 10 year old of my own, it’s just so hard to imagine the absolute fear and struggles they went through. It’s both terrifying and heartbreaking.
It took me a few chapters to get into it but it’s one of those books that even when you’re not reading it, you’re still thinking about it.
The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Set in modern day Japan, this is about a woman who becomes a housekeeper for a maths professor who can only retain 80 minutes of short term memory. Along with her son, the housekeeper becomes a part of his life and the professor, an unforgettable part of theirs.
This was a very bittersweet story and pulled at my heartstrings at times. It’s not a very big book and I wish it was longer, so I could spend some more time with these characters!
The professor communicates through maths and there are many maths equations in the book (I had to ask about them!), this is the way he understands and finds comfort in the world. The housekeeper and her son also learn to look at the world like this, which helps to bring them closer.
This is such a lovely story about unlikely friendship and the way it can affect your life for the better!