Chosen by booksellers, these are the books to read each month! Every month we will add a children’s and adult fiction title, so make sure to keep checking back.

February 2021

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson


Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence. At once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity, Open Water asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body, to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength, to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, Caleb Azumah Nelson has written the most essential British debut of recent years.

‘A love song to Black art and thought’ Yaa Gyasi, bestselling author of HOMEGOING ‘An amazing debut novel. You should read this book. Let’s hear it for Caleb Azumah Nelson, also known as the future’ Benjamin Zephaniah’A very touching and heartfelt book’ Diana Evans, award-winning author of ORDINARY PEOPLE ‘Caleb is a star in the making’ Nikesh Shukla, editor of THE GOOD IMMIGRANT and BROWN BABY’A stunning piece of art’ Bolu Babalola, bestselling author of LOVE IN COLOUR’For those that are missing the tentative depiction of love in Normal People, Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water is set to become one of 2021’s unmissable books.

Utterly transporting, it’ll leave you weeping and in awe.’ Stylist ‘An exhilarating new voice in British fiction’ Vogue ‘An intense, elegant debut’ Guardian


Vi Spy: Licence to Chill by Maz Evans


A hilarious new adventure from the author of the bestselling Who Let the Gods Out? series! Divorce is tough for any kid. But when – like Vi’s parents – your mum is ex-secret service and your dad is a retired bad guy, ’till death do us part’ takes on a whole new meaning. And with her parents’ focus on each other, the real super-villains are having a field day.

To save her family – and the world – from evil domination, Vi must turn spy … Praise for the WHO LET THE GODS OUT? series: ‘I totally fell in love with Elliot and the gods, and I think you’re all going to love them too.’ ROBIN STEVENS ‘One of the funniest new voices in children’s literature. The laughs come thick and fast’ DAVID SOLOMONS ‘[A] relentlessly witty, fast-paced middle grade adventure’ M.G.LEONARD.


January 2021

The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

The first in a stunning new series introducing the Marlow Murder Club!
Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper. One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar. Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club. When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…


The Boy Who Met A Whale by Nizrana Farook


From the author of The Girl Who Stole an Elephant comes another brilliant escapade. A thrilling adventure set in fictional Sri Lanka, jam-packed with peril and kidnap and a huge blue whale! Razi, a local fisherboy, is watching turtle eggs hatch when he sees a boat bobbing into view. With a chill, he notices a small, still hand hanging over the side…

Inside is Zheng, who’s escaped a shipwreck and is full of tales of sea monsters and missing treasure. But the villains who are after Zheng are soon after Razi and his sister, Shifa, too. And so begins an exhilarating adventure in the shadow of the biggest sea monster of them all…