Happy world book day! Ten new releases to get you started

World-Book-DayWorld Book Day is a celebration – a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading. 

Each year children across the world are brought together to celebrate reading. Schools partake in literary activities, and students and teachers dress up as their favourite book characters. Last year my nephews were Charlie and Grandpa from Charlie and the Chocolate factory, needless to say it was adorable!

The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading, and in the UK and Ireland this is done by providing each child with a book of their own. Schools hand out £1 book vouchers which can be used to buy a book from a huge selection of titles.

So, if you’re lucky enough to be in the UK or Ireland head on over to World Book Day to check out this years selection of books for £1.

Of course, world book day celebrations shouldn’t be limited to just children, that would hardly be fair on the rest of us now would it? So whatever you are doing to celebrate world book day, if you’ve been roped into dressing up along with the kids, or if it’s just another day in the office, here’s a list of ten new releases for you to enjoy, just in time!

The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro

030727103X

Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Knopf

The Romans have long since departed and Britain is steadily declining into ruin. But, at least, the wars that once ravaged the country have ceased. Axl and Beatrice, a couple of elderly Britons, decide that now is the time, finally, for them to set off across this troubled land of mist and rain to find the son they have not seen for years, the son they can scarcely remember. They know they will face many hazards—some strange and otherworldly—but they cannot foresee how their journey will reveal to them the dark and forgotten corners of their love for each other. Nor can they foresee that they will be joined on their journey by a Saxon warrior, his orphan charge, and a knight—each of them, like Axl and Beatrice, lost in some way to his own past, but drawn inexorably toward the comfort, and the burden, of the fullness of a life’s memories.

Sometimes savage, sometimes mysterious, always intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade tells a luminous story about the act of forgetting and the power of memory, a resonant tale of love, vengeance, and war.

The Bookseller – Cynthia Swanson

0062333003

Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Fiction
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper

A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

Nothing is as permanent as it appears…

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

Dark Rooms – Lili Anolik

0062345869

Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Mystery
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow

A stunning debut coming-of-age novel set in the ambiguous and claustrophobic world of an exclusive New England prep school.

The first time I saw my sister after she died was at the Fourth of July party. I felt someone behind me and my flesh started prickling. My skin recognized her before I did, rippling once then tightening on my bones.

My sister, Nica.

Grace spent her teenage years playing catch-up with her younger but cooler sister, Nica. Chasing and yet never quite catching up. So when Nica is murdered, Grace is cast adrift until it becomes clear to

her that she must track down her sister’s killer – and in doing so, uncover the secrets she never knew her sister kept.

Know Your Beholder – Adam Rapp

0316368911

Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Humour
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

As winter deepens in snowbound Pollard, Illinois, thirty-something Francis Falbo is holed up in his attic apartment, recovering from a series of traumas: his mother’s death, his beloved wife’s desertion, and his once-ascendant rock band’s irreconcilable break-up. Francis hasn’t shaved in months, hasn’t so much as changed out of his bathrobe-“the uniform of a Life in Default”-for nine days.

Other than the agoraphobia that continues to hold him hostage, all he has left is his childhood home, whose remaining rooms he rents to a cast of eccentric tenants, including a pair of former circus performers whose daughter has gone missing. The tight-knit community has already survived a blizzard, but there is more danger in store for the citizens of Pollard before summer arrives. Francis is himself caught up in these troubles as he becomes increasingly entangled in the affairs of others, with results that are by turns disastrous, hysterical, and ultimately healing.

Fusing consummate wit with the seriousness attending an adulthood gone awry, Rapp has written an uproarious and affecting novel about what we do and where we go when our lives have crumbled around us. Sharp-edged but tenderhearted, Know Your Beholder introduces us to one of the most lovably flawed characters in recent fiction, a man at last able to collect the jagged pieces of his dreams and begin anew, in both life and love. Seldom have our foibles and our efforts to persevere in spite of them been laid bare with such heart and hope.

Girl in the Dark: A Memoir – Anna Lyndsey

0385539606

Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Health, Memoir, Nonfiction
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Doubleday

Anna Lyndsey was living a normal life. She enjoyed her job; she was ambitious; she was falling in love. Then the unthinkable happened.

It began with a burning sensation on her face when she was exposed to computer screens and fluorescent lighting. Then the burning spread and the problematic light sources proliferated. Now her extreme sensitivity to light in all forms means she must spend much of her life in total darkness.

During the best times, she can venture cautiously outside at dusk and dawn, avoiding high-strength streetlamps. During the worst, she must spend months in a darkened room, listening to audiobooks, inventing word-games and fighting to keep despair at bay.

Told with great beauty, humour and honesty, Girl in the Dark is the astonishing and uplifting account of Anna’s descent into the depths of her extraordinary illness. It is the story of how, through her determination to make her impossible life possible and with the love of those around her, she has managed to find light in even the darkest of places.

Where All Light Tends to Go – David Joy

0399172777Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult

The area surrounding Cashiers, North Carolina, is home to people of all kinds, but the world that Jacob McNeely lives in is crueler than most. His father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for this father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually.  The only joy he finds comes from reuniting with Maggie, his first love, and a girl clearly bound for bigger and better things than their hardscrabble town.

Jacob has always been resigned to play the cards that were dealt him, but when a fatal mistake changes everything, he’s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. In a place where blood is thicker than water and hope takes a back seat to fate, Jacob wonders if he can muster the strength to rise above the only life he’s ever known.

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule – Jennifer Chiaverini

0525954295Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult

In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom’s abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony.

Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress’s closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia’s eyes to the world.

And what a world it was, marked by gathering clouds of war. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks—becoming general in chief of the Union Army—so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband’s side.

Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women—Union and Confederate—she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women’s paths continued to cross throughout the Grants’ White House years in Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant’s Tomb.

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle this singular relationship, bound by sight and shadow.

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy – Rachel Joyce

0812996674Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Fiction
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Random House

When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note had explained she was dying. How can she wait?

A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; only this time she must tell Harold everything. In confessing to secrets she has hidden for twenty years, she will find atonement for the past. As the volunteer points out, ‘Even though you’ve done your travelling, you’re starting a new journey too.’

Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was the beginning.

Told in simple, emotionally-honest prose, with a mischievous bite, this is a novel about the journey we all must take to learn who we are; it is about loving and letting go. And most of all it is about finding joy in unexpected places and at times we least expect.

The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination – Barry Strauss

1451668791Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: History, Nonfiction
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The exciting, dramatic story of one of history’s most famous events—the death of Julius Caesar—now placed in full context of Rome’s civil wars by eminent historian Barry Strauss.

Thanks to William Shakespeare, the death of Julius Caesar is the most famous assassination in history. But what actually happened on March 15, 44 BC is even more gripping than Shakespeare’s play. In this thrilling new book, Barry Strauss tells the real story.

Shakespeare shows Caesar’s assassination to be an amateur and idealistic affair. The real killing, however, was a carefully planned paramilitary operation, a generals’ plot, put together by Caesar’s disaffected officers and designed with precision. There were even gladiators on hand to protect the assassins from vengeance by Caesar’s friends. Brutus and Cassius were indeed key players, as Shakespeare has it, but they had the help of a third man—Decimus. He was the mole in Caesar’s entourage, one of Caesar’s leading generals, and a lifelong friend. It was he, not Brutus, who truly betrayed Caesar.

Caesar’s assassins saw him as a military dictator who wanted to be king. He threatened a permanent change in the Roman way of life and in the power of senators. The assassins rallied support among the common people, but they underestimated Caesar’s soldiers, who flooded Rome. The assassins were vanquished; their beloved Republic became the Roman Empire.

An original, fresh perspective on an event that seems well known, Barry Strauss’s book sheds new light on this fascinating, pivotal moment in world history.

In Wilderness – Diane Thomas

0804176957Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Thriller
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Bantam

In the winter of 1966, Katherine Reid moves to an isolated cabin deep in Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains. There, with little more than a sleeping bag, a tin plate, and a loaded gun, she plans to spend her time in peaceful solitude. But one day, Katherine realizes the woods are not empty, and she is not alone. Someone else is near, observing  her every move.

Twenty-year-old Vietnam veteran Danny lives not far from Katherine’s cabin, in a once-grand mansion he has dubbed “Gatsby’s house.” Haunted by war and enclosed by walls of moldering books, he becomes fixated on Katherine. What starts as cautious observation grows to obsession. When these two souls collide, the passion that ignites between them is all-consuming—and increasingly dangerous. Suffused with a stunning sense of character and atmosphere, Diane Thomas’s intimate voice creates an unforgettable depiction of the transformative power of love, how we grieve and hope, and the perilous ways in which we heed and test our hearts.

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