With milder temperatures meaning that lazy days by the pool are back on, it's the ideal time to get lost in a good read, whether it's pulp or Pulitzer-prize worthy. Here's our guide to the expected big sellers.
The new blockbuster books
With milder temperatures meaning that lazy days by the pool are back on, it's the ideal time to get lost in a good read, whether it's pulp or Pulitzer-prize worthy. Here's our guide to the expected big sellers. This month, bookshops are bulging with new titles from some of the biggest names in publishing, including Dan Brown's follow-up to The Da Vinci Code and the new book by The Time Traveller's Wife author Audrey Niffenegger. With the milder temperatures meaning that lazy days by the pool are back on, it's the ideal time to get lost in a good read, whether it's pulp or Pulitzer-prize worthy. Here's our guide to the expected big sellers. All are available to buy or order at Magrudy's bookshops.
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown Clumsy, historically questionable claptrap, or deft, thrilling page-turners? Wherever you stand on Brown's books, his latest is one of the year's biggest publishing events. This time, Harvard professor and "symbologist" Robert Langdon is on the trail of a legendary masonic treasure while trying to fend off the CIA, save the life of his mentor and preserve American national security, no less. Codes, conspiracies and cliffhangers loom large, although reviews suggest that a satisfying, climactic ending does not.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger The latest novel by the author of The Time Traveller's Wife is a contemporary ghost story set in and around London's Highgate Cemetery. It centres on twin sisters who are bequeathed a flat by an estranged English aunt on the condition that they leave their home in America to live in it. Exploring similar themes of love and identity as its predecessor, it has been described as "unnerving, unforgettable and enchanting", and praised by The New Yorker as a "taut mystery".
Janet, Naked by Nick Hornby Revisiting the music obsessiveness of High Fidelity, Hornby's sixth novel is a moving, humorous examination of tired love, loneliness and self-obsession. Duncan and Annie are a couple in their mid-30s whose relationship is strained by Duncan's obsession with an ageing American rock star, Tucker Crowe. When Annie's dislike of Tucker's latest album prompts a split with Duncan, she begins corresponding with Tucker and a new relationship evolves.
True Compass: A Memoir by Edward Kennedy Published just weeks after his death in August and five years in the making, this candid autobiography by the US senator documents his role in 50 years in American politics, covering the lives and deaths of his brothers, John and Robert, and major political events ranging from the civil rights movement and Vietnam to the election of Barack Obama. The book also movingly documents Kennedy's last major - and very personal - campaign: reforming the American healthcare system.
A Week In December by Sebastian Faulks Set over seven days in London in December 2007, the latest novel by this much-loved British author (Birdsong, Charlotte Gray) follows the lives of seven characters, including a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career, a student preoccupied by Islamist theory and a schoolboy hooked on drugs and reality TV. An examination of greed and social fragmentation, this is a savage satire of life in modern Britain.
The Wild Things, by Dave Eggers Based on Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's classic, Where The Wild Things Are, this all-ages fantasy adventure tells the story of Max, a noisy, chaotic seven-year-old boy whose fondness for howling like a wolf means he is considered deranged. Escaping his troubled home life, Max jumps in a boat and sails to a strange island where giant beasts reign. A film adaptation is scheduled for release later this year.
The Year Of The Flood, by Margaret Atwood In this sequel to 2003's Oryx And Crake, Atwood returns to the post-apocalyptic world where a nameless epidemic has now wiped out most of humanity. The small community of survivors includes the leader of a religion devoted to the preservation of all species, and two women, Toby and Ren, whose narratives recall the dysfunctional, violent society before the flood. "A remarkable feat of the imagination" says Britain's Daily Telegraph.
Lustrum, by Robert Harris From the author of the bestselling Fatherland comes the second part in a trilogy about Roman politics in the time of Cicero. The first, Imperium, was said to have drawn parallels between the cut-throat world of Roman politics and those of New Labour, although Harris, a former political journalist, denies this. It's interesting, however, that this new book - full of vicious power struggles and betrayals - is dedicated to Harris's friend, the controversial Labour minister Peter Mandelson.