January Pre-Orders: Under the Covers
A chance to shut the world out & get deeper into it at the same time, stay under the covers with these absolute stunners this January. 10% off these titles all month.
To Paradise, Hanya Yanagihara
Everyone's fave delivers massive genius just when we need it most. Speculative fiction at its most heartfelt and brilliant, "executed with enough deftness and lush detail that you just about fall through it, like a knife through layer cake." (Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic).
Olga Dies Dreaming, Xochitl Gonzalez
A hot property already on its way to Hulu in an adaptation by the author, and starring Jesse Williams and Aubrey Plaza, this is a "warm hearted and tough minded" (Kirkus) family drama set in Brooklyn in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Finalist for the National Book Awards and Kirkus, Oprah's Book Club Choice, this hotly-anticipated debut by poet Jeffers finally makes it to the UK! Epic, inventive, deeply-felt and absorbing, this multi-generational tale of a Black Southern family is the perfect January read
Wahala, Nikki Smith
Here comes wahala – in the shape of the dazzling, slippery Isobel, who will turn the lives of friends Ronke, Simi and Boo deliciously upside-down… Read it avidly now, get a copy for all your besties, and get ready for the BBC adaptation by Rocks' screenwriter Theresa Ikoko.
How High We Go in the Dark, Sequoia Nagamatsu
Ambitious novel-in-stories about a near-future of devastating climate crisis and an ancient alien plague melted from the permafrost. Brilliant if bleak comfort, a compelling and eye-opening read, a fractured form for a fractured world.
White on White, Aysegül Savas
Olivia Sudjic calls Savas's debut "Deeply humane, quietly devastating, mesmerisingly beautiful." White on White is a meditation on art, the human figure and the narratives behind the canvas, told in glimpses and gasps.
The Sentence, Louise Erdrich
Tookie – accidental murder accomplice-turned-avid reader and bookseller – is one of the most memorable characters in contemporary literature. As is Flora, the ghost that haunts her and Birchbark Books, (a version of) Erdrich's own Minneapolis bookstore, as the seasons turn through COVID and the US's reckoning after the murder of George Floyd. The perfect bookish book.
Tell Me How to Be, Neel Patel
This "resplendent debut" (Publisher's Weekly) will hit home after the holiday season, as gay songwriter Akash finds himself steeped in secrets, lies and the possibility of truth, when he returns to help his mother pack up his childhood home.
Fuccboi, Sean Thor Conroe
We can't argue with Chris Power, who describes Fuccboi as "a book to argue and laugh with; be appalled and impressed by." What happens when a fuccboi writer gets sick and self-reflective, thinking equally through hip-hop and Wittgenstein? Exhilarating.
Send Nudes, Saba Sams
Shortlisted for The White Review short story prize, Saba Sams delivers a first collection that will smash through your hangover/dry January with ten after-the-party stories that will get your blood pumping & your eyes misting.
Fiona and Jane, Jean Chen Ho
Friendship deep dive! A perfect read-along to send your closest pal, the one who knows you better than you know yourself, as Fiona knows Jane (and vice versa). Told in alternating-voice short stories, this is a perfect picture of being young & being loved and seen.
Eleven-Inch, Michal Witkowski, trans. W. Martin
Meet Dianka and Michal. The Berlin Wall has just fallen and they're on their way from East to West, one john at a time. A wicked satire on neoliberal capitalism, Eleven-Inch is also a Fassbinder-esque love song to the queer hustle in a disillusioned world.
Scary Monsters, Michelle de Kretser
Two novellas, one book: which one will you start with? With Lili, an Australian student/teacher in France in 1980 reading L'Étranger? Or Lyle, a young bureaucrat in near-future Melbourne where Islam is outlawed? Join the dots in this ambitious, unnerving diptych.
Bibliolepsy, Gina Apostol
Gina Apostol's wildly witty debut arrives third of her books in the UK (fittingly, given her love for non-linear narration). It's "a book for those who can be swept away by the graceful and meaningful turn of a phrase, those who love a smart joke" (Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak, Philippine Inquirer).
Pilgrim Bell: Poems, Kaveh Akbar
Yes, Calling a Wolf a Wolf lovers, here's more Kaveh Akbar! Writing the (im)possibility of an ethical spiritual journey under American capitalism, Akbar offers anthemic & intimate verse for the moment.
Wild Imperfections: A Womanist Anthology of Poems, edited by Natalia Molebatsi
As Bernardine Evaristo says, Wild Imperfections "puts Black women where we know we belong, not at the margins of other people’s art … but at the helm of our own creative practice." Featuring poets from Botswana to Brazil, including well-known voices such as Nikki Giovanni and Staceyann Chin.
Homo Irrealis: Essays, André Aciman
In this essay collection, André Aciman calls his central preoccupation by its name: the irrealis mode, an evanescent temporality of possibility in which "every page quivers with a yearning for moments that have long ceased to be. Or perhaps not" (Sukhada Take, The Rumpus).
Abolition. Feminism. Now., Angela Y. Davis, Gina Dent, Erica Meiners, Beth Ritchie
"Attentive to histories of organising that are too quickly erased, and alive to new possibilities for working collectively in the present time, this book is as capacious and demanding as the abolitionist feminism it calls for." Sara Ahmed. The book we need for the organising we're doing.
The Creative Gene, Hideo Kojima
He created Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding, and now he's sharing the secrets to his creative drive and practice – you want in, right? An impassioned look at some of the films, books and games that inspired a great.
Worn: A People's History of Clothing, Sofi Thanhauser
Through five fabrics – Linen, Cotton, Silk, Synthetics, Wool – Worn spins its history of workers' rights, climate justice, feminist campaigning, and the long affective story of our relationship with our bodies and their coverings. Engrossing.
Thomas Harding learned that his mother's family made money from sugar plantations in Guyana: in White Debt he unfolds the history of the uprising that became a key trigger to abolition, and looks hard at the hidden profits of slavery.
Veganuary but make it burgers. Cut your intake of both meat and delivery with this mouthwatering homemade how-to on creating your own healthy, flavourful, ethical fast food, not just for January but for life!
The Whole Vegetable, Sophie Gordon
Eat shoots and leaves with Sophie Gordon's (South East London Supper Club) thrifty, sustainable guide to the bits of vegetables that don't make it into many other cookbooks. Highly recommend the Apple and Walnut Danish Buns: look good, feel good food.