5 new books to read this week

This week’s bookcase includes reviews of Animal by Lisa Taddeo and Sunset by Jessie Cave.

Prudence Wade
Wednesday 30 June 2021 10:00 BST

If bad weather has washed away your social plans, why not curl up with a new book…


1. Sunset by Jessie Cave is published in hardback by Welbeck, priced £12.99 (ebook £13.33). Available now

Every summer, Hannah and Ruth go on a budget holiday together and, like many sisters, the pair are complete opposites. Then a freak accident changes everything between them. Heavily influenced by the death of Jessie Cave’s brother and her relationship with her sister, Sunset is a powerful insight into the deep and complex bonds between siblings. The conversational and casual style of writing is a striking contrast with the gut-wrenching emotions being played out. Heart-achingly beautiful, both warm and littered with observational humour, it is a stunning debut about the raw and destructive power of grief.9/10(Review by Megan Baynes)

2. Animal by Lisa Taddeo is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Circus, priced £16.99 (ebook £11.89). Available now

Animal is far from an easy read. Lisa Taddeo’s fictional debut – an incredibly dark tale of sexual abuse, grief, and survival – is full of descriptions and observations that can, all of a sudden, feel almost painfully vivid, and are not for the faint-hearted. The writer – who many will know for her non-fiction hit Three Women – captures emotions and sensations in a way that makes you feel like she’s stepped inside your head. The disturbing protagonist Joan, plus the complex tone of this book, are bound to divide readers, but there’s no denying Taddeo knows how to deliver an impactful book – and it’s one many will not be able to get enough of.9/10(Review by Georgia Humphreys)

3. The Great Mistake by Jonathan Lee is published in hardback by Granta priced £14.99 (ebook £14.99). Available now

On November 13, 1903, Andrew Haswell Green – dubbed the ‘Father of Greater New York’ as the creator of Central Park, the New York Central Library, the Bronx Zoo, and much more – was shot and killed outside his mansion on Park Avenue From this moment in history and the ensuing investigation, Jonathan Lee delivers a novelisation of Green’s life, told as Inspector McClusky chases his killer in the underbelly of a city coming of age. As McClusky searches through brothels and backstreets to discover Green’s demons, Lee dives back in time to tell us how he rose from a childhood in poverty to become the man who would shape one of the world’s great cities. Lee shows great ambitions of his own, his literary flourishes teetering on the edge of overdoing it at times, but he brings to life a long-forgotten New York in a hugely entertaining read.7/10(Review by Ian Parker)


4. Seven Ways To Change The World by Gordon Brown is published in hardback by Simon & Schuster, priced £25 (ebook £9.99). Available now

If Gordon Brown remains haunted by the global economic meltdown which punched through his brief reign as UK prime minister, it has not quelled his desire to change the world. Since his premiership ended, Brown – now 70 – has continued his mission to tackle the pressing problems the world faces, particularly in his position as a United Nations Special Envoy. Seven Ways To Change The World is a manifesto; Brown rails against the resurgence of nationalism and isolationism, poor pandemic planning, inequality across society and the proliferation of nuclear arms. The key to each of his compelling arguments is the importance of international cooperation – but perhaps he is too quick to overlook the human foibles of tribalism and self-interest, which have prevented these otherwise credible utopian visions from properly manifesting for centuries.8/10(Review by James Cann)

Children’s book of the week

5. The Woolly Bear Caterpillar by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Yuval Zommer, is published in hardback by Macmillan Children’s Books, priced £12.99 (ebook available March 17 2022). Available now

Julia Donaldson is loved for The Gruffalo, and here she has joined forces with illustrator Yuval Zommer (of the Big Book Of… series) to create a spin on the Ugly Duckling tale. The woolly bear caterpillar is brown, hairy and perfectly content eating dandelion leaves, until a gardener pulls up all the weeds and she has to look for more. She meets a trio of gorgeously colourful caterpillars, and they all expect her to become a dowdy moth – but they are in for a surprise when her cocoon hatches. Gentle lessons in habitat destruction, self-acceptance and snobbery linger under the beautiful, fairy-like illustrations that will enchant three to five year olds. It even comes with a mini non-fiction book full of facts about caterpillars and moths in the real world, to encourage further learning.9/10(Review by Natalie Bowen)


HARDBACK (FICTION)1. Sunset by Jessie Cave2. Animal by Lisa Taddeo3. Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro4. Sorrow And Bliss by Meg Mason5. Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce6. The Missing Sister by Lucinda Riley7. Falling by T. J. Newman8. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint9. The Passenger by Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz10. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid(Compiled by Waterstones)

HARDBACK (NON-FICTION)1. Joe’s Family Food by Joe Wicks2. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy3. The Power Of Geography by Tim Marshall4. Operation Pedestal by Max Hastings5. Why We Kneel How We Rise by Michael Holding6. The Anglo-Saxons by Marc Morris7. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Give8. Ancestors by Alice Roberts9. Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen by Linda, Paul, Mary & Stella McCartney10. Tornado by John Nichol(Compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIOBOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION)1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig2. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman3. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman4. Company Of Liars by Karen Maitland5. The Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett6. Atomic Habits by James Clear7. Hitler by Ian Kershaw8. Hypnotic Gastric Band by Paul McKenna9. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey10. 1984 by George Orwell(Compiled by Audible)

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in