Books for October as 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.

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Here Comes A Chopper To Chop Off Your Head: The Dark Side Of Childhood Rhymes & Stories by Liz Evers

“This book delves into the origins of some of our best-known rhymes and tales, and discovers their very dark backgrounds. You’ll discover what befell the first Sleeping Beauty when she actually woke up, and just who was the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood? Makes for fascinating if slightly creepy reading.”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins, bookseller at Urmston Bookshop

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

“A mesmerising and stunningly beautiful read. The latest book from Michel Faber is momentous in its power and effect. Following a Christian man on a journey of faith and love, this book is devastatingly sad and compelling. It challenges the meaning of life in the face of death and is a haunting story of humanity and belief in the quest for understanding. Utterly memorable.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich, bookseller at Atkinson Pryce Books

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

“And now for something completely different… Double-Booker winner Mantel returns to the short story and brings her gifts of characterization, observation and intelligence to this new collection of ten stories with settings as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Greece and London.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich, bookseller at Atkinson Pryce Books

Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Matthew Dennison

“The first biography for many years, this is an insightful look at the life of an amazing woman. Dennison reveals a renegade, brave and charismatic woman who went onto create one of the most famous gardens in England.

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

The Wisdom of Trees: A Miscellany by Max Adams

“A medieval historian writes about the importance of trees, individual species of trees and their historical role in creating Britain. Illustrated by historical woodcuts, just the thing for the tree-huggers of the family and nicely timed for Christmas.

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson, bookseller at Red Lion Books

IBAP-October-panel-2Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker

“A year in the natural life of Mark Cocker’s Norfolk village and a reflection on the countryside throughout the year. His descriptions of the birds are particularly vivid with beautiful illustrations. The nature section of the shop is one of our most important areas and this will be an essential addition to these shelves. Written by the award-winning author of Birds Britannica.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson, bookseller at Red Lion Books

Medieval People: Vivid Lives in a Distant Landscape by Michael Prestwich

“A beautifully illustrated volume that takes a look at individuals who lived in the Middle Ages. It takes some well-known figures such as John of Gaunt and Geoffrey Chaucer, however includes many lesser known figures. With images from their times this all adds up to a fascinating collection. A splendid insight into the lives of our medieval forebears and provides a snapshot into this distant past.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

“I couldn’t put this down – it gripped my attention immediately and although the author describes it as a ‘companion’ to her earlier Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, there is no need to have read that excellent title first. As Queenie is writing from a hospice, tracing her long relationship with Harold and his son, there are no surprises as to the outcome but my goodness what an ending – I was astounded and in tears – I urge you to read it!”

Chosen by: Jill Pattle, bookseller at Far From the Madding Crowd

Please, Mr Postman by Alan Johnson

“This sequel to Alan Johnson’s bestselling memoir, This Boy, describes the next period in Alan’s life with the same honesty and humour. He paints a very vivid picture of life in Britain during the 1970s and it’s incredible to realise how much life in Britain has changed since then. A bit disturbing for those of us who remember those days as if they were yesterday!”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins, bookseller at Urmston Bookshop

The Jane Austen Rules: A Classic Guide to Modern Love by Sinead Murphy

“This slim volume takes a sharp and insightful guide to modern love and relationships, using as a background the writings of Jane Austen. Just what Jane would have made of it is difficult to tell, but for modern readers it makes for a readable volume that is fun to dip in and out of.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

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Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

“This is a sequel to E Nesbit’s Five Children and It. Taking us to the eve of the First World War, we discover what has happened to the children of the original story as we and the Sand Fairy accompany them as they visit the action of the war and its impact upon the family. A story to make you laugh and cry, but will also make you realise the effects of war. If you have not yet read the original now is the time to put right that omission!

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

The Parent Agency by David Baddiel

“This is a brilliant and very funny novel from a well-established author. Ideal for 8+ in which we follow Barry who wishes he had better parents.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this tale and hope it is the start of a series.

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

Do You Speak English, Moon? by Francesca Simon

“This is a gorgeous book, beautifully illustrated with a wonderful story and including an audio reading by Lenny Henry – a chocolate-voiced Pied Piper, I could listen for hours! A young boy looks at the moon as he’s getting ready for bed and wonders whether the moon speaks English. Another classic from Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon is born.

Chosen by: Jill Pattle, bookseller at Far From the Madding Crowd

How to Hide a Lion from Grandma by Helen Stephens

“This is a warm and very funny follow-up tale to How to Hide a Lion that was an instance hit with my two-year-old niece. A story which endures being read and re-read many times.

Chosen by: Sheila O’Reilly, bookseller at Dulwich Books

Snow by Sam Usher

“Another Christmas book and this one is destined to be a classic. Snow has fallen overnight and a wee boy is desperate to get outside before anyone else to play, but his granddad needs some more time to get ready. A great story for ages 3+ with modern illustrations reminiscent of Quentin Blake – at last an excellent winter tale that’s not just bound by Christmas!

Chosen by: Jill Pattle, bookseller at Far From the Madding Crowd

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