New books for February 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.


Neal’s Yard Beauty Book

“At last, a book about cosmetics and skincare which uses natural products, for a natural look, with easy to achieve routines, and leaves expensive commercial products behind.
Neal’s Yard has a long standing reputation for excellence, and gives tried and tested techniques and advice to improve health and well-being for the whole person, with some great ideas and help for this time of year.”

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

Where the Wild Mums Are by Katie Blackburn

“Quite simply a laugh-out-loud tribute to the children’s classic ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. Illustrated by Sholto Walker, this modern and adult take on the original will appeal to mums everywhere, whether they are feeling the urge to dance the conga or go on strike. Brilliantly told and charmingly hilarious, this will make the perfect gift.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich, bookseller at Atkinson Pryce Books

The Chimes by Anna Smaill

“An amazingly imagined first novel set in a London where the memory of its people has been lost, which sees a young man sets out to seek his past and discovers that he may be able to change everything. An original story that will provoke thought and interest.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

Favourite Love Poems by Dannie Abse

“I was lucky enough to host an event with Dannie Abse in 2013 and he was truly amazing. His poetry and lyrics just sang off the pages and the warmth he had as a person came through in everything that he wrote.  In this collection he has gathered his favourite love poems together.”

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

Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook by Rachel Khoo

I love this cookery book because it’s not just full of delicious recipes, but also offers an insight into the real Paris. After looking at all the gorgeous photographs and sketches I’m nearly talking with a French accent!”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins, bookseller at Urmston Bookshop


The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

“The really enjoyable second novel featuring Rosie and Don, who have moved to New York and are surviving the trials and tribulations of marriage. But though Rosie has taught him the joys of unscheduled sex and spontaneous meal planning, life is still not plain sailing for Don. Not least with the sudden arrival of his best friend Gene, serial philanderer, who takes up residence on their sofa.”

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

Reckless by William Nicholson

“William Nicholson’s stories are always books to savour and enjoy, and this does not disappoint. Set in 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, the central characters have military backgrounds from WW2, when they worked for Mountbatten, or had tea with Princess Elizabeth. But the world has changed, and the terrifying prospect of nuclear war is now a stark reality… A hugely enjoyable novel which I couldn’t put down.”

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

Neverhome by Laird Hunt

“Whilst this American author has had other titles published, this is his first novel to appear in the UK. A well written, taught tale set against the background of the American Civil War, the story follows a legendary hero who is secretly a woman, and this intriguing account illuminates dark corners of the American Civil War. A quirky book that will almost certainly find a following.”

Chosen by: Richard Knowles, bookseller at Rickaro Books

Scone with the Wind: Cakes and Bakes with a Literary Twist

“The most novel way to get to grips with the classics, Scone with the Wind features 75 literary inspired recipes.  With witty introductions and amusing illustrations, this is the ultimate treat for book (and cake) lovers.”

Chosen by: Frances Hopkins, bookseller at Urmston Bookshop

The Farm by Tom Rob Smith

“This was one of my favourite thrillers of 2014. With a truly atmospheric setting and a chilling plot, this is a contemporary thriller and written in a brilliant style that makes you think not a lot is happening but you are still feeling scared. And this feeling increases as the story builds.”

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


Oi Frog by Kes Gray and Jim Field

“This is a winning formula of hilarious rhyming text about a frog that discovers that all animals have their special places to sit, backed with wonderful and eye-catching illustrations from Jim Field. This will sit perfectly on the book shelves of anyone under 5.”

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

Farm Beneath the Water by Helen Peters

“Can Shakespeare help Hannah save her farm? It will be sunk beneath a reservoir if Hannah and her friends do not do something. A great story and a great feisty main character.”

Chosen by: Sarah Donaldson, bookseller at Red Lion Books

There’s a Panda in My Picnic by Jo Lodge

“This slide-and seek-board book proved a winner with my one-year-old niece. Incredibly solid book, able to withstand pulling and chewing and with bold and colourful artwork this is a fun book to have.”

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

My New Home by Marta Altes

“Marta knows how hard it can be moving home and has created an endearing picture book to help children feel better about moving. This book acknowledges that change can be scary but then highlights that it can be exciting as well. Finding wonderful friends will make any place feel like home.”

Chosen by: Sue Kekewich, bookseller at Atkinson Pryce Books

Sophie’s Snail by Dick King-Smith

“Delighted to see these stories available again, with new illustrator Hannah Shaw. Sophie is a five-year-old girl who loves animals, and would like to be a farmer. Dick King-Smith had a real gift for imagining the minds of young children, and written with wit and warmth, we look forward to the rest of the series of Sophie’s adventures. The format will be perfect for emergent readers, with short chapters to help build confidence.”

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


You can purchase any of these books from Hive by clicking their titles and collecting from your local independent bookshop, or having delivery to your home with free standard UK delivery – whilst still supporting your local bookshop.

To see more about us and how your purchases on Hive benefit local independent bookshops, please click here.

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