Books for April 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.


Favourite Poems Of England by Jane M. Hunter

“The illustrations in this very well-chosen anthology really make this book stand out. Many come from the classic railway posters of England. Also the book is a well-produced hardback with very high quality paper.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson – Red Lion Books

The Bookshop That Floated Away by Sarah Henshaw

“Most people want to work in a bookshop and some people want to own one, but I’m not sure how many want to own a bookshop that floats! However reading Sarah’s tale of why and how she came to start a bookshop on a boat will inspire everyone. There are tales of being banned from docks and travelling out to sea, and all through the tale is her determination to survive.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly – Dulwich Books

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

“I was intrigued by this reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic gothic novel, Northanger Abbey. How could it be updated effectively, and what could the queen of grisly noir detective fiction really bring to the original women’s lit writer? Turns out Val McDermid brings her own flavour to the tale, setting it primarily in Edinburgh during festival season. Without lessening the effect of Austen’s prose, she gives it a totally modern air, yet this is totally classic ‘chick-lit’. Surprisingly good!”

Chosen by: Jill Pattle – Far From The Madding Crowd

Grow Your Own Eat Your Own by Bob Flowerdew

“A comprehensive manual on how to preserve and cook the produce you have grown. It covers everything from chutneys, vinegars, jams and freezing to even love potions; subjects not often covered by more conventional vegetable gardening books. Written by Gardener’s Question Time expert.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson – Red Lion Books

The House Of Dolls by David Hewson

“Move over Nic Costa, there’s a new detective in town! Atmospheric Amsterdam and a detective with his own secrets make this a potent combination.”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins – Urmston Bookshop


The Land Where The Lemons Grow by Helena Attlee

“Perhaps not an obvious choice of subject for a bestseller, this book most certainly deserves to be read. It mixes travel, history and gardening with the delights of Italy and the lemon fruit. It takes you on a journey through Italy and its many different landscapes. A volume to be savoured and enjoyed, sipped like fresh lemonade.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles – Rickaro Books

Sarah Beeny’s 100 DIY Jobs by Sarah Beeny

“Clear instructions, simple illustrations, a list of exactly what tools and equipment needed, and the final section for every task: ‘How to Nail It’. This book is a really helpful manual, written with Sarah’s forthright matter-of-fact style, and I especially like the final Good Luck message.”

Chosen by: Jill Pattle – Far From The Madding Crowd

Arms Wide Open by Tom Winter

“A wonderful tale of amusement and sadness, this is one family’s story of the monumental impact dementia has on life and how it inspires them to seek the truth. Written with a refreshing and sharp attitude, this book is not to be missed.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich – Atkinson Pryce Books

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

“This was one of our hardback books of last year. Brilliantly well written, incredibly imaginative and amazingly convincing. Do you think we like it!?”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins – Urmston Bookshop

Parliament The Biography Volume 1 by Chris Bryant

“There may not be much interest in politicians, but Parliament as an institution remains at the heart of our society. This is a highly readable account of the birth and development of our parliamentary system and this first volume takes us on a journey through the turbulent early years through to the dawn of the nineteenth century.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles – Rickaro BooksApril-IBAP-banner-3
Old MacDonald Had A Zoo by Curtis Jobling

“A new take on the traditional song. When Old Macdonald tries his hand at zoo-keeping there’s predictable chaos for him and all his farm animals. The snakes hiss, the crocodiles snap, and the elephants stomp. Maybe life is better back at the farm. Great fun.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson – Red Lion Books

Love Monster & The Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright

“Using chocolates, Rachel Bright has penned a funny tale dealing with sharing and thinking of others. With colourful illustrations, this will be a book parents and guardians will have on their shelf to use when needed.”

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly – Dulwich Books

Hubble Bubble: The Pesky Pirate Prank by Tracey Corderoy

“Another adventure featuring Pandora and her granny who is, (whisper it), a witch! The problem is that granny can get a bit carried away trying to help with her magic and it’s Pandora’s job to try and sort it all out. This series is really building up a following helped by the sparkly covers!”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins – Urmston Bookshop

The Private Blog of Joe Cowley by Ben Davis

“The amusing secret blog of a 14-year-old boy called Joe Cowley. Children of this age group should find some real fun in the book and recognise many of the incidents that Joe becomes involved with. Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this title is ready for a series and should find ardent followers.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles – Rickaro Books

The Jolley Rogers & The Ghostly Galleon by Jonny Duddle

“This is a cheerful story with Matilda and Jim Lad trying to find the Key of Souls with the help of the delightful Miss Pinky. Quirky illustrations, some rhyming text and lively fast-paced story lines make this pirate adventure a real winner.”

Chosen by: Jill Pattle – Far From The Madding Crowd

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