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The best of popular paperbacks
With thousands of books published each year it is sometimes hard to keep up (even for us!) and easy for a brilliant book to pass you by. To help counter this, we have a year-round Buy One Get One Half Price Offer instore and online, across an ever-changing selection of recent chart-toppers, perennial favourites and our personal picks. Our aim is both to give you a chance to catch up with bestsellers and find a hidden gem (or two)!
I’ve shared some team picks below that we’ve recently read and enjoyed. There’s a mix of fiction and non-fiction in here, reflecting the range on offer, which also includes some children’s books throughout the year.
Treat yourself and pick up a couple of new paperbacks this fortnight!
We Begin at the End
One of 2020’s thrillers of the year in just about every national newspaper, our resident crime fiction expert loves this powerful novel, perfect for fans of Jane Harper’s The Dry. About ‘murder, revenge and retribution’ and trying to run from the past, the story centres on a killer, Vincent King, released from a long-term jail sentence, his ex-girlfriend Star, and her teenage daughter, Duchess. Set in Cape Haven in California, Vincent’s hometown, where Duchess tries to protect her mother from fresh trauma but inadvertently sets in motion a chain of violent events that shake her family and the whole town.
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, I loved this pithy, deadpan and yet hugely moving novel about living in all the turbulence of our modern world. It is narrated by Lizzie, a fiercely observant librarian who analyses everyone and everything and ends up working for her old mentor, a podcast presenter, answering her mail. The questions she receives, and her answers, range from the random to the prescient, encompassing many fears about how we live now – until we begin to fear for Lizzie’s own perspective on things. The style at first feels fragmentary, written in short, sharp paragraphs but each is full of humour or wisdom, or both, and makes you laugh, despair and ponder as you race through it.
The Darkest Evening
We’ve been lucky enough to host Ann Cleeves twice at Jarrold Book events and she’s a firm favourite in our team. There are few series detectives better known that DCI Vera Stanhope, who returns for the 9th novel in the ever-popular Vera series here. The opening befits the weather we’ve had recently in Norfolk as, driving home in a blizzard, Vera come a across an abandoned car with a young child left in the back. She drives on with the child to an old country house where a party is in full swing, but a woman lies dead in the snow outside. The perfect set-up for a gripping plot that has all the trappings of a classic country house mystery, with some very contemporary twists.
The first 10 copies of this paperback sold, will come with an exclusive short story by Ann Cleeves. We can’t guarantee these but will supply on a first come, first served basis.
Six Tudor Queens: Kathryn Howard, The Tainted Queen
Historical fiction fans on the team were eagerly awaiting this next instalment of Alison Weir’s highly successful Tudor series, based on Henry VIII’s six wives. With the sixth and final book due in hardback this May, the paperback of number five is just out and by all accounts, doesn’t disappoint. At just nineteen, Katheryn Howard was quick to trust and fall in love – naïve some might call it. Drawing on extensive research, Alison Weir brings her story to life as she arrives at Henry VIII’s court, captures the heart of the king but is soon dragged down by the secrets of her past.
The Louder I Will Sing: A Story of racism, riots and redemption
Fresh from its win in January as Costa Biography of the Year, Lawrence’s memoir is like a snapshot of Britain’s relationship with race and racism in recent history. His life has been spent fighting for justice for his mother, Cherry Groce, who was paralysed as a result of police shooting her in her home in front of her children - the catalyst to the 1985 Brixton riots. He reflects on politics, power, justice and hope after becoming his mother’s carer aged just eleven. This powerful account is a timely reminder of the importance of continuing to support, educate and act on the lessons of the Black Lives Matter movement, which dominated so much of the news in 2020.
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)
Renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry is back on our screens at the moment in the second series of her husband Grayson’s Art Club (Channel 4). The paperback of her latest book has also just landed, right in time for a period when many parents find themselves in a difficult new routine, home-schooling during lockdown. Though this book is not exclusively for parents – it is really for anyone interested in better relationships – it advocates for non-judgemental, ‘bigger picture’ parenting and manages to be witty, down-to-earth and full of practical advice all at once.
Prices and availability checked Wednesday 17 February 2021