Books for January chosen by our independent booksellers.

Hello and welcome to the books chosen by independent booksellers as recommended new reads. Every month we will be highlighting fifteen books hand-picked for you, and why these booksellers think you should be reading them.

Just click on any of the titles to read more and purchase from Hive, where every sale benefits your local independent bookshop


The Telling Room: A Tale Of Love, Betrayal, And The World’s Greatest Piece Of Cheese by Michael Paterniti

“The stories told in The Telling Room of the caves in a Spanish village encompass cheese, food, the dark history of Spain, and the dark doings of the village. Storytelling at its best, mixing memoir, journalism and the joy of cheese.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson – Red Lion Books

The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne

“Who was The Real Jane Austen? Paula Byrne’s landmark biography reveals the real woman behind the books. Using objects that conjure up a key moment in Austen’s life and work. Byrne’s lively book explores the many forces that shaped Austen’s life, her long struggle to become a published author, and brings Miss Austen dazzlingly into the twenty-first century.”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins – Urmston Bookshop

Martin Harbottle’s Appreciation of Time by Dominic Utton

“This is the absolute must read for any commuter who has experienced issues with their train, and let’s face it everyone has at some time wanted to complain to the train operators. This is a funny, heartfelt and engrossing story of one man’s attempt to get even with the head of the train company who consistently made him late for everything.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly – Dulwich Books

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

“Golden Boy is a coming of age story unlike any other – Max Walker is the golden boy. He’s attractive, intelligent, athletic. He’s even nice to his little brother. Max is going to pass his exams with flying colours; he’s going to make his parents proud. But Max Walker has a terrible secret that could blow his perfect life apart. A highly original and unputdownable novel from a very talented young author.”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins – Urmston Bookshop

The Great Indoors by Ben Highmore

“A field guide to the private life of the family home. What has changed over the past century? Why is the fridge used as a communication point? What has furniture got to show about the inhabitants of the house? A guide, a cultural history, a study of individualism.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson – Red Lion Books


Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes

“This is a wonderfully scary and creepy thriller for all those fans of Before I Go To Sleep or Gone Girl. This is the first of a loosely linked series of psychological crime novels featuring a police woman, her family and her relationship with her partner. A must read for any lover of gripping crime.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly – Dulwich Books

No Man’s Land: Writings From a World at War by Pete Ayrton

“An unforgettable anthology of fiction from the First World War, featuring the work of some 47 writers. A number are of course, the great classic authors but a number you will not have come across before and they are just waiting to be discovered. A book that takes you to the heart of the war to end all wars.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles – Rickaro Books

The Hunger and the Howling of Killian Lone by Will Storr

“Sounds like a foodies dream, but beware, you might never want to eat in a fabulous restaurant again. There is a genuine sinister feel to this story, which made me feel intrigued, but horrified, at the description of the ‘special’ garden, full of herbs, and the desperate consequences of enjoying the food prepared by the central character.”

Chosen by: Jill Pattle – Far From The Madding Crowd

French Women Don’t Get Facelifts by Mireille Guiliano

“A natural sequel to French women don’t get fat. It sets out to show how the maturing lady can face the future with the right attitude and that unforgettable style. There are first-hand experiences related skincare and those inevitable fashion tips. If you wish to follow the French then do it in style with this volume.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles – Rickaro Books

Wake by Anna Hope

“This is set following the First World War in the roaring 1920s but harks back to wartime as a real mystery unravels, with loss and memories all around them Hettie, Di and Evelyn dance nights away, but the daytime is more difficult.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles – Rickaro Books


Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill

“Beautiful Hockneyesque coloured pencil drawing fill this incredibly detailed account of Shackleton’s epic adventure, even each pony and dog is individually drawn. William Grill is destined to become known as one of the great illustrators. Children and adults will both love this, hopefully reading it together.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich – Atkinson Pryce Books

Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton

“I read this book a while ago and have been talking about it ever since! When Ben Fletcher discovers he has a flair for knitting he tries to keep it a secret from his family and friends and that’s when the problems start. By turns, ridiculous, hilarious and finally rather touching-it will have you in stitches!”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins – Urmston Bookshop

Baby Aliens Got My Teacher! by Pamela Butchart

“A really funny book that captures the time when aliens take over your teacher. How can you be sure about your teacher? Sure to be a hit in classrooms across the land, well at least with the kids.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles – Rickaro Books

Dinosaur Rescue! by Penny Dale

“One for all small dinosaur enthusiast. Involves an imminent train crash, dinosaur fire engines, rescue helicopters, ambulances, police. Can all these dinosaurs stop the train in time? Great pictures and all the dinosaurs are real species. Dinosaur Dig and Dinosaur Zoom are great favourites with us.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson – Red Lion Books

A Pig Called Heather by Harry Oulton

“From the wilds of a Scottish Borders farm, to urban life in London, Isla and her special friend, Heather, manage to find each other again, after a traumatic separation. This is such a good book, I had to finish it in one sitting. Although Isla’s mother has died, and she and her father eventually lose the farm, there is a thread of humour, and a light sympathetic touch which will make this book a winner. The quirky asides, and attention to true farming detail, the descriptions of Heather’s favourite apples, and Isla’s resilient character, all help to weave a really lively story, which will become a firm favourite in classrooms all over Britain. Move over Babe, you have a rival!”

Chosen by:: Jill Pattle – Far From The Madding Crowd

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