Claire's Picks

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Animal: A Novel By Lisa Taddeo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982122126
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - June 8th, 2021

This is the book that I've been waiting for forever. Lisa Taddeo delivers, with flare, a female protagonist who is deeply honest and profoundly disturbing. I listened to this on and was on the edge of my seat as the narrator unravelled her story and pulled me deeper and deeper into her world. A masterclass in writing and storytelling. 

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Burntcoat: A Novel By Sarah Hall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062657107
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Custom House - November 2nd, 2021

Wow. Sarah Hall's writing is, as ever, a dream that I never want to wake up from. This book is magnificent and heart-breaking. It follows the story of a young artist as she falls in love during a global pandemic and explores themes of art, grief, identity, family and home. I absolutely love all of Hall's work and already want to read this one again. 

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Five Tuesdays in Winter By Lily King Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802158765
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - November 9th, 2021

A beautiful collection of ten short stories that explore love and the desire for connection in its many forms: a mother on holiday with her sullen teenager, a bookstore owner in love with his employee, a grandfather sitting by the bedside of his comatosed granddaughter. This book made me feel as though I was peeking into the lives of friends in their most intimate moments. For those who loved her previous book, Writers & Lovers, this endearing collection won't disappoint. 

Also, a brilliant ending.

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Tales from the Cafe By Toshikazu Kawaguchi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335630988
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - October 12th, 2021

Following on from his first book, 'Before the coffee gets cold', Kawaguchi transports us back to the magcal cafe- Funiculi Funicula -  that allows people to travel in time to talk to their loved ones. A super sweet, heartwarming book this was a perfect one to listen to whlst driving. (In fact, sometimes I kept driving just to keep listening.) A collection of four short stories, each one an emotional trip into the lives of the characters, the narrator really brings them to life and I was reduced to tears at the intersection on more than one occasion. Perfect for anyone who's ever imagined what it would be like to talk to a lost loved one, or who wishes for a little magic in their lives. 

(Recommended to read with a nice hot coffee.)

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Certain Dark Things: A Novel By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250785589
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Nightfire - September 7th, 2021

Once an out-of-print cult novel, Certain Dark Things has risen from the dead! If you like vampires and fancy a gothic romp around Mexico City then this is the book for you. I must admit that the only other vampire book I've read is Dracula (also great read, fyi) and while it certainly plays on those tropes - the book is dedicated to Germán Robles - it creates something exciting and different. Perfect for listening to on these dark fall evenings. 

Transcendent Kingdom: A novel By Yaa Gyasi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984899767
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - July 6th, 2021

Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translated by) Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780593320426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - November 23rd, 2021

I am huge, huge fan of Haruki Murakami and would, frankly, read his grocery list. In this book he talks about the t-shirts he has collected over the years and shares his opinion about a few important topics, such as iguanas, swimming, beer, and Smokey The Bear. It's unexpectedly charming and funny and gives some glorious insight into the man behind the literary phenomenon. 

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals By Oliver Burkeman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374159122
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 10th, 2021

Four thousand weeks is the number of weeks you get to spend on planet earth; that is, the average amount of time you will live. Does that sound terrifying? depressing? Well, it isn't, it's wonderful! Burkeman reminds us what 'time' really is and how having the proper perspective on life can help you to feel empowered in your journey rather than spending your life numbed by the quest for escapism. 

The Woman in the Purple Skirt: A Novel By Natsuko Imamura, Lucy North (Translated by) Cover Image
By Natsuko Imamura, Lucy North (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780143136026
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 8th, 2021

Somebody is watching the woman in the purple skirt: watching her as she sits on the same park bench every day and enjoys her cream bun, watching her as she starts a new job, watching her as her life slowly unravels. It's creepy and I loved it! A thriller of obsession and voyeurism that kept me guessing until the end and made me think about the people on the edges of society; the people who are really watching. 

The Five Wounds: A Novel By Kirstin Valdez Quade Cover Image
ISBN: 9781324020219
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 25th, 2022

No one is more surprised than me that I loved-loved-loved this book. I'm not usually a fan of 'family sagas' but this one had me hooked from the very beginning and I think I will be dreaming about the Padilla family for the rest of my life! A dropout dad, a teenage mum and a dying grandma all struggling with love, life and redemption in a small town in New Mexico. It's beautifully written, carefully observed and absolutely one of the best books I've ever read.