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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Prudence Wade

5 new books to read this week

‘Manifesting queen’ Roxie Nafousi has written her first children’s book…


1. Land Of Milk And Honey by C Pam Zhang is published in hardback by Hutchinson Heinemann on September 28, priced £16.99 (ebook £8.99). 

In a follow-up to the Booker Prize-longlisted How Much Of These Hills Is Gold, C Pam Zhang turns her attention away from the gold rush to a more dystopian view of today. A great smog has spread over the world, causing widespread famine and despair. The narrator is a struggling chef with her livelihood taken away – until she’s given the unique opportunity to work at an exclusive country run by a wealthy man and his daughter, set in the mountaintops above the smog. There she discovers more food than she could ever imagine – and finds out what her employers are really up to. It’s a captivating story that is alien without being too far-fetched. Zhang’s writing is laden with metaphors – particularly around food and sex – and while this could risk being overwritten, it fits the story perfectly. It’s a genius balance of page-turning storytelling and lyrical prose.9/10(Review by Prudence Wade)

2. Absolutely And Forever by Rose Tremain is published in hardback by Chatto & Windus, priced £16.99 (ebook £8.99). Available now.

Marianne knows she loves Simon, whatever the rest of the world might think – and she knows, without doubt, that Simon loves her too. This conviction carries Marianne through her tumultuous adolescent years and her early adult life in 1960s London, underpinning her every action and decision – her marriage, her tragedies, her small triumphs and in the end, the discoveries she makes about herself and others. Frustrating, intriguing and endlessly entertaining, Marianne is a character that invites exasperation and empathy alike. As an endless dreamer, Marianne never stops chasing the love she once knew, even as she lives through heartache and disillusion. Written with piercing clarity and gentle humour, Absolutely And Forever is a study of the messiness of human relationships, the significance of secrets unspoken and the impact of the choices we make. In all of its innocent, raw emotion, Marianne’s journey demonstrates how early love shapes the paths that lie ahead of us and reawakens our own hope for a fairytale ending.9/10(Review by Hannah Colby)

3. The Figurine by Victoria Hislop is published in hardback by Headline Review on Septembger 28, priced £25 (ebook £10.99). 

Helena, the heroine of the latest passionate ode to Greek culture and history from Victoria Hislop, is a child caught between two worlds. Visiting Athens, which her mother fled due to the cruelty of her grandfather, a grandee in the military junta that ruled Greece during the 1970s, she falls in love with the country while also enduring the political violence of the era first-hand. In adulthood, she is repeatedly drawn back there, inheriting her late grandparents’ flat while swept up in a university romance that promises summers of archaeological intrigue but inevitably turns sour. Symbolising her internal struggle is the figurine of the title, a smuggled Cycladic artefact that Helena is determined to return to its rightful place. While some key relationships unfurl predictably, Hislop’s love for Greece shines and transports readers through space and time to a brilliantly drawn world.7/10(Review by James Cann)


4. Walk Yourself Happy by Julia Bradbury is published in hardback by Piatkus, priced £20 (ebook £11.99). Available now.

Former Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury is well-known for her passion for the great outdoors – even presenting shows like Britain’s Best Walks – and now she’s turned that love into a book. It’s a comprehensive guide, spanning everything you need to know about exercising outside – from how it can positively impact your mental health, to practical tips like what shoes to wear. Bradbury is just as engaging on the page as she is on the TV, and weaves personal experiences – such as her struggles to get pregnant and her cancer diagnosis – with historical information, scientific facts, personal stories from other people and commentary from a psychotherapist, green exercise expert and more. While it might not contain the most groundbreaking information – after all, most of us are well aware that going for an outdoor walk is a good thing – it’s well-researched and readable. Perhaps it’s the reminder we all need to stop looking at our screens and start getting outside.7/10(Review by Prudence Wade)

Children’s book of the week

5. Manifest For Kids! Four Steps To Being The Best You by Roxie Nafousi is published in hardback by Puffin on September 28, priced £16.99 (ebook £8.99). 

Self-development coach Roxie Nafousi goes top of the class with her excellent, concise and inspirational guide to helping children manifest their best lives. Starting on a day-to-day basis – with a section devoted to ‘understanding emotions’, before daring to bring their dreams into reality – Nafousi gets straight to the point with four clear steps. The book includes many tools that can be picked up at an early age and used into adulthood with neat tips along the way and interactive segments to fill in, plus journal space at the back and great advice for parents to support their superstar. The best thing about the book is its encouraging language and the feeling of acceptance for the reader, whatever stage of development. With so many pressures on our children in modern society, this book could help with their struggles and result in a happier life.10/10(Review by Karen Shield)


HARDBACK (FICTION)1. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman2. Upon A Frosted Star by M.A. Kuzniar3. A Study In Drowning by Ava Reid4. So Late In The Day by Claire Keegan5. The Secret Hours by Mick Herron6. In Memoriam by Alice Winn7. Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros8. Holly by Stephen King9. The Fraud by Zadie Smith10. Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang(Compiled by Waterstones)

HARDBACK (NON-FICTION)1. Politics On The Edge by Rory Stewart2. The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett3. 5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver4. Guinness World Records 20245. The Savage Storm by James Holland6. The Abuse Of Power by Theresa May7. Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson8. Abroad In Japan by Chris Broad9. Oh Miriam! by Miriam Margolyes10. Let The Light Pour In by Lemn Sissay(Compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIOBOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION)1. The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman2. Politics On The Edge by Rory Stewart3. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith4. The Diary Of A CEO by Steven Bartlett5. Oh Miriam! by Miriam Margolyes6. Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken7. None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell8. Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson9. The River’s Edge by Joy Ellis10. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman(Compiled by Audible)

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