Summer (or) Reading: June Pre-Orders

Will there be sunshine??? Hedge your bets with a book that's as good to read indoors over tea as in the park with an ice-cream. We've got some great signed titles and some cracking new fiction & non-fiction for all weathers…

Signed books

England's Dreaming, Jon Savage

A classic in a new edition, with a new introduction by Jeremy Deller and Scott King, just in time for another summer of insurrection.

Filthy Animals, Brandon Taylor (bookplates)

If you haven't read Brandon Taylor yet, what are you waiting for? Dazzling short stories that explore the Whartonesque relation between surface calm and inner intensity *chef's kiss*.

Heaven, Mieko Kawakami, translated by David Boyd and Sam Bett

Mieko Kawakami follows up Breast and Eggs with a completely different novel, yet one that shares her bestseller's interiority and exploration of the shameful mundane – here focused on bullied school kids who find a strange friendship.

The Middle Ages: A Graphic History, Eleanor Janega, illustrated by Neil Max Emmanuel

Looking massively forward to this women-with-swords-led look back at an era of change, turmoil and invention. 

Sankofa, Chibundu Onuzo

We were big fans of Chibundu Onuzo's debut Welcome to Lagos, so pretty psyched for this transcontinental, transgenerational journey taking one woman from radical London in the 1970s to the halls of power in West Africa. 


The Startup Wife, Tahmima Anam

A brilliant novel about whether we're living appily ever after. Tahmima Anam imagines what it's like at the centre of the social media whirlwind, as Asha's algorithm creates a killer app, promoted by her charismatic husband Cyrus. 

Sterling Karat Gold, Isabel Waidner

Peninsula Press bring their signature style to fiction, with Isabel Waidner's brilliant, chilling, incisive third novel in which Sterling, a writer living in East London, is arrested for no reason. This is their thrilling fight back.


Summerwater, Sarah Moss (paperback, bookplates)

Summer, in the most Scottish of senses: rain, grey skies, mountains, heavier rain, dangerous driving, a holiday camp, a new arrival, a haunted sense of what might occur…


Tokyo Redux, David Peace (bookplates)

American-Japanese relations from the Occupation to the end of the Cold War: David Peace's new novel is a detective story with a historical difference, a crime committed in the shadow of greater crimes.


Variations, Juliet Jacques

Eleven stories set over one and a half centuries, Juliet Jacques' fiction debut Variations is a love letter to trans Britain in all its best dresses and bow ties, written in brilliantly imagined non-fiction forms from court reports to blogs.



Animal, Lisa Taddeo

You loved Three Women, you're going to love this powerful, unfiltered, dangerous novel from Lisa Taddeo. And you're going to want to buy 5 copies to read it with all your friends.


Assembly, Natasha Brown

The fault lines of race, class and gender break against each other in Natasha Brown's brilliantly-observed novel of manners (and who makes them) Assembly, as the Black British narrator attends her boyfriend's family's country house party. 


Black Water Sister, Zen Cho 

A dead, goddess-worshipping Malaysian grandmother wants revenge on a local magnate, and she's not above using the body of her American granddaughter, visiting Malaysia for the first time since she was a baby, to get it. So much fun.


Cwen, Alice Albinia

What if women took over the civic and business functions of a small archipelago off the coast of Northumbria (and men wanted the power back)? What if that takeover harked back to earlier pre-industrial times and strange magic? 


The Day I Fell Off My Island, Yvonne Bailey-Smith

Teenage Erna is sent from Jamaica and the care of her elderly grandfather to England, to live with the mother she hardly knows, starting a difficult, rich and emotional conversation that lasts a decade. 


An Experiment in Leisure, Anna Glendenning

Maxine Peake adores this book, what more do you need to know? It's about being young, adrift from your past, wondering whether uni was worth it, serving coffee, doing therapy, hiding from yourself while trying to reconnect to your family. 


Ghosted: A Love Story, Jenn Ashworth

Gone Girl but make it real? A twisty, unsettling look at grief, memory and desire, as Jenn Ashworth looks into what really happened when Laurie's husband Mark disappeared, and why Laurie herself can't quite remember.


The Penguin Book of Spanish Short Stories, edited by Margaret Jull Costa

Two centuries of Spanish fiction, both realist and fantastical, often blurring the edges between. Familiar names like Manuel Rivas and Javier Marías mingle with Spanish greats less well known in the UK: dig in!

The Promise, Damon Galgut

A major new novel about the betrayals wrought by white South Africa, situated in one white family who break their promise to their Black servant, but resonating with and across the entire nation as it strives to address the past.


Queer Square Mile: Queer Short Stories from Wales, edited by Kirsti Bohata, Mihangel Morgan, and Huw Osborne

Fantastical tales from Wales, writing queerness and its desires into local history, familiar places, folk tales and fictional forms.


A Shock, Keith Ridgway

A fragmentary, allusive and mysterious book about a group of loosely-connected characters on the fringes of London life, as they disappear and reappear, sometimes within their own sanity.


This is Yesterday, Rose Ruane

Peach goes back to her family – and back to her 1990s suburban adolescence, when, longing inchoate and incarnate, she was searching for something in all the wrong places & tearing things apart. Can she repair them now?

The Woman in the Purple SkirtNatsuko Imamura, translated by Lucy North

This is one of those atmospheric books where any preview or review says too much. Just to say then: it's about being surveilled (or is it), about moving through the world feeling haunted, and it will haunt you.

Non fiction

(M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman, Pragya Agarwal

Pragya Agarwal looks at the social and political constructions of motherhood, including how reproductive justice continues to be shaped by race and class as well as gender. A powerful, personal & political history, meticulously researched.

Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs, Jeffrey Boakye, illustrated by Ngadi Smart

Genius level take on Black British history, offering ways in through significant songs from Lord Kitchener to Stormzy via Neneh Cherry, considering their emotional impact and the changes they both reflected and wrought.

Rememberings, Sinead O'Connor

Global icon Sinead O'Connor has lived much of her adult life under public scrutiny, as a musician and an outspoken feminist political figure. Now she tells her side of the story in her inimitable voice.

The Sea Is Not Made of Water: Life Between the Tides, Adam Nicolson

If you like Rachel Carson's Under the Sea Wind (republished this month), you'll want Adam Nicolson's tideline trawl as a companion piece, a tender invitation to comb the very edge of the beach with your eyes and heart.

Tapestries of Life: Uncovering the Lifesaving Secrets of the Natural World, Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

A book about ecology in its truest sense, looking at how plants, animals and elements intermingle, collaborate and assist each other in a truly astonishing network that we, too, are part of and need. 

Unwell Women: A Journey Through Medicine and Myth in a Man-Made World, Elinor Cleghorn

In her tour-de-force history of medicine, Elinor Cleghorn champions the often-unheard women – scientists and patients – who have fought to be heard in a system that condemns them as unwell. Scintillating with righteous, timely fury.

Vivienne Westwood Catwalk, Alexander Fury

A lavish treat celebrating forty years of an endlessly provocative and thought-provoking British designer, from punk to her present-day commitment to sustainability.


Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts, Rebecca Hall, illustrated by Hugo Martinez

Rebecca Hall turns not only her research into the untold history of Black women's revolts into a graphic novel, but the process of that research, from threatening archivists at Lloyds to connecting to her grandmother through prayer. Powerful. 

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