Browns Best New Books for August 20231st August 2023
Every month we carefully select our favourites from the fabulous new titles on offer. August means holidays and feet-up for very many of us. You may be discouraged by train strikes, airport chaos or rainy weather but one thing is certain – a book is a perfect companion for any journey or any weather – whether it’s on a beach, waiting on a platform or cosy on your sofa. So whatever and wherever your holiday is, there will be an occasion for a book, and we’ve picked our favourites of the new August publications!
Check back next month for our picks of the new books September has to offer.
Agatha Christie : a very elusive woman
Being an Agatha Christie fan, like so many of us, I was intrigued to read about her life. I didn’t want a hefty tome of a book (as I’m not really a Biography fan) and for that Lucy Worsley’s book is perfect. We all know Lucy Worsley from her TV appearances and that same exuberant no-nonsense, let’s-not-gloss-over-the-bad-bits approach is also brought to this book. Agatha Christie shaped the crime genre, and pioneered devices like the unreliable narrator which has now become oh-so very common. She was a trailblazer for women in literature but also like her books a bit of an enigma, but this excellent biography has helped me understand her a little better. This highly recommended book is new in paperback, and there is an accompanying BBC2 series to catch up on too. Just be warned: there are a numerous book plot spoilers throughout the pages, so read her novels first!More Details
The skeleton key
For those of us that missed this sensation of a book last year the paperback publication is time to catch up!
Fifty years ago, Nell’s father wrote The Golden Bones; a fairy story about Elinore, a murdered woman whose skeleton was scattered all over England. Clues and puzzles in the pages of The Golden Bones led readers to seven sites where jewels were buried: one by one they were dug up by a community of frenzied treasure hunters until only one remained hidden. The book was a huge success but created an obsessive, murderous frenzy that nearly cost Nell her life and turned her into a recluse. Now there is a reunion and the location of the final treasure is to be revealed……
This rollercoaster novel that switches between timelines is a joy of discovery and duplicity - but we’ll let some of the reviews convince you:
'Sparks the most intense of emotions' The Times *Thriller of the Month*
'Original, suspenseful, and with complex characters that spring irresistibly to life on the page' Louise Candlish
'By turns a dysfunctional family drama and a deliciously sinister thriller' iOnline
We are all astronauts!
On the 20th July we marked the 54th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which saw millions of people around the world in front of their small black and white TVs watching what was called an ‘impossible’ mission. For seven-and-a-bit year old Luna Scope blasting into space with her cardboard rocket feels like an impossibility too, luckily her granny is on hand. Granny teaches Luna all about Astronomy, what Astronauts wear, about space walks and so much more. Granny also recalls pioneering women in space and we learn that she wanted to be an astronaut in a time when women were not allowed to do so.
Wonderful illustrations and fact pact pages on space exploration and Women in STEM are brought to us by Kate Pankhurst - the award-winning creator of the Fantastically Great Women series. We Are All Astronauts will inspire children in Key Stage 1 and beyond – not only will they learn a space rocket full of facts, but also be inspired to dream big!
Ten-word tiny tales
Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho says he discovered the first ten-word tiny tale on a bus, on a scrap of yellowing paper: ‘He’s in every photo of me, in the shadows smiling’. Then he found more and more, and now he needs the reader to give these tiny tales a home by conjuring beginnings, endings and middles.
Twenty distinguished illustrators bring Coelho’s cryptic 10-word stories vividly to life (the illustrations are simply magnificent!), inviting the reader to pore over them and tell the full story themselves. The stories can be interpreted as macabre and slightly creepy – or not. Interpret ‘I hear the patter of tiny feet under my bed’ as a little family of insects, or something entirely sinister! Perfect for reluctant readers and writers, and great as a classroom resource to inspire creativity. There are also two pages of prompts and writing challenges at the back to encourage children to illustrate a new tiny tale, or to expand on the stories. Highly recommended for classroom use!More Details