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Eight cosy reads to bookmark for autumn

Looking for a new read? We've found you the season's perfect curl-up-by-the-fire page turners, including the latest book from the writer of Normal People.

Oh what a haul we’ve got for you thanks to our friends at Dogberry & Finch in Okehampton – winners of our Muddy Awards 2021 Best Bookshop award… whoop whoop! Book worms… time to get stuck in.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See comes a deeply-moving story about resilience, hope and the threads that bind humanity together throughout the ages. Cloud Cuckoo Land tells the stories of five unforgettable characters – dreamers and outsiders – through three distinct time periods, all connected by one mysterious ancient text. At 640 pages, this is a gorgeously-written epic to settle into as the nights draw in. 

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke 

Winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for fiction, Piranesi is an otherworldly mystery that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page. Piranesi lives in a labyrinthine House within which an ocean is imprisoned. There is one other person in the house — called The Other – who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of someone new in the House, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known. A brilliant, haunting book.

Silverview by John le Carré

Julian Lawndsley is retired City trader running an independent bookshop by the English seaside. Not long into his new career, Julian’s evening is disrupted by a visitor. Edward, a Polish emigre living in Silverview, the big house on the edge of town, seems to know a lot about Julian’s family and is rather too interested in the inner workings of his modest new enterprise. When a letter turns up at the door of a London spy chief warning him of a dangerous leak, investigations lead him to this quiet town by the sea…

In this last complete masterwork from the greatest chronicler of our age, John le Carre asks what you owe to your country when you no longer recognise it.

Beautiful World, Where are You by Sally Rooney

One of contemporary literature’s brightest talents follows up her best-selling Conversation with Friends and Normal People with a funny, smart study of the lives and loves of four young friends in Dublin and the west of Ireland.

Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young – but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Riccardino by Andrea Camilleri

Montalbano’s final outing, the twenty-eighth and final novel featuring the much-loved Sicilian police inspector Salvo Montalbano was first written in 2005 and held by Camilleri’s publisher under instructions to release it only after the author’s death. Montalbano fans get an extra metafictional bonus in Riccardino – not only do they get another murder for the tetchy inspector to solve, Camilleri himself also makes an appearance in the book.

Harlem Shuffle by ​Colson Whitehead

‘Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked…’ After winning Pulitzer Prizes for his two previous books, The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead’s new novel is a fabulously entertaining heist caper. Harlem Shuffle’s ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem. Most of all, it’s a joy to read. 

The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft

 From the Nobel Prize-winning author of Indie cult favourite, Drive Your Plow over The Bones of the Dead, comes the long-awaited appearance in English of her magnum opus, The Books of Jacob. Originally published as Księgi Jakubowe in 2014, it became an instant best-seller and won Poland’s most prestigious literary award, the Nike. It tells the story of Jacob Frank, a controversial Polish-Jewish religious leader and mystic who founded the Frankist sect in the 18th century. Tokarczuk writes about this divisive and charismatic character through the perspectives of his contemporaries, capturing Enlightenment Europe on the cusp of precipitous change, searching for certainty and longing for transcendence.

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

Amara is a slave owned by the brothel keeper in Pompeii. Sharp, resourceful and surrounded by women whose humour and dreams she shares, Amara comes to realize that everything in this city has a price. But how much is her freedom going to cost her? 

Harper’s story is well-written, thoroughly researched and rich in historical detail – the first in a trilogy of novels reimagining the lives of women in Pompeii’s lupanar. 

Buy or pre-order any of these cosy autumn reads or pre-order from your local bookshop, or order online through uk.bookshop.org and support UK Independent Bookshops in the process.

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