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10 Books for a Literary Escape

14th April, 2020

Thrilling adventure, tropical climes and entirely new worlds and galaxies await in our top ten books to help you escape reality…


1. Silver Sparrow

by Tayari Jones


A breathtaking tale of family secrets, from the international bestselling author of An American Marriage, winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019.

 ‘My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist.’

 ‘This book is as moving, intimate and wise as An American Marriage on the topics of marriage, family and womanhood, and deserves similar acclaim.’ – Guardian

Find out more about Silver Sparrow here


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2. Monstrous Devices

by Damien Love 


When twelve-year-old Alex receives an old tin robot in the post, the note from his grandfather simply reads: ‘This one is special’. 

 From Paris to Prague, he and his grandfather end up fleeing across snowy Europe in a quest to unravel the riddle of the little robot, and outwit relentless assassins of the human and mechanical kind. 

‘An effortless, atmospheric evocation of place and history combine in an unforgettable, immersive reading experience.’ Guardian

‘Hugely original, exciting debut… Get hold of a copy, wind it up and let yourself go.’ The Times, Children’s Book of the Week 


Find out more about Monstrous Devices here



3. Once & Future

by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta

 Coming to terms with your identity is always difficult. But for Ari, the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, it just got a whole lot more complicated. Gender-bending royalty, caustic wit and a galaxy-wide fight for peace and equality all collide in this epic adventure.

‘A marvelous mythology remix for teens who enjoy action-packed speculative fiction and genderqueer romance.’ Publishers Weekly


Find out more about Once & Future here



4. The Chemical Detective

by Fiona Erskine


She blows things up to keep people safe. 

Dr Jaq Silver. Skier, scientist, international jet-setter, explosives expert.

But can she uncover the truth before her time runs out?

‘Action, intrigue and a stonkingly modern heroine. It’s a blast.’ Sunday Times Crime Club


Find out more about The Chemical Detective here



5. The Way Home

by Mark Boyle


“It was 11pm when I checked my email for the last time and turned off my phone for what I hoped would be forever.”

In this honest and lyrical account of a remarkable life without modern technology, Mark Boyle explores the hard won joys of building a home with his bare hands, learning to make fire, collecting water from the spring, foraging and fishing.

‘A warts-and-all look at an extreme way of life, but one that, by the end of this engrossing book, makes the world around it seem dysfunctional.’ Irish Independent – Book of The Year 2019


Find out more about The Way Home here



6. Patsy

by Nicole Dennis-Benn


From award-winning novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn comes this beautifully layered portrait of motherhood, immigration and sacrifice.

Daring, tender and profound, this is the story of one woman’s fight to discover her sense of self in a world that tries to define her, and of the lasting threads of love stretching across years and oceans.

‘Stunning… Dennis-Benn maps the internal terrain of black women yearning to be free — without romanticizing or ignoring their flaws… Patsy fills a literary void with compassion, complexity and tenderness.’ Time Magazine ‘Must Read Book of 2019’

Find out more about Patsy here



7.  Beyond the Sea

by Paul Lynch


A powerful novel from the author of Grace, winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year

 Part gripping story of resilience, part fearless existential parable, Beyond the Sea is a meditation on what it means to be human, in a world that pushes us to the brink. 

 ‘Lynch demonstrates a control over his ideas that comes from a pure lyrical telling, a speech act that, if you let it, will take you anywhere. Beyond the Sea is frightening but beautiful.’ – Guardian


Find out more about Beyond the Sea here





8. Little Eyes

by Samanta Schweblin



 Trusting strangers can lead to unexpected love, playful encounters and marvellous adventures, but what if it can also pave the way for unimaginable terror? Schweblin has created a dark and complex world that is both familiar but also strangely unsettling, because it’s our present and we’re living it – we just don’t know it yet.   

Little Eyes is an often horrific vision of how the urge to connect onine will play out… There is plenty to admire here in the way that her writing, assuredly translated by Megan McDowell, pics away at the parts of human experience that we would rather not recognise..’ i paper


Find out more about Little Eyes here




9. A Brief History of Seven Killings

by Marlon James


Jamaica, 1976. Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught.

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a dazzling display of masterful storytelling exploring this near-mythic event. 


Find out more about A Brief History of Seven Killings here




10. Tuva Moodyson series – Black River

by Will Dean


Black River is an electrifying return for relentless reporter Tuva Moodyson, from the author of Dark Pines and Red Snow.

Tuva’s been living clean in southern Sweden for four months when she receives horrifying news. Her best friend Tammy Yamnim is missing. Racing back to Gavrik at the height of Midsommar, Tuva fears for Tammy’s life. Who has taken her, and why? And who is sabotaging the small-town search efforts?

 ‘Dean’s series about deaf Swedish reporter Tuva Moodyson is a must read – and this book is his best yet… Black River is eerie, unnerving and buckets of fun.’ Observer – Thriller of the Month

Find out more about Black River here




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