When honest young Caleb Williams comes to work as a secretary for Squire Falkland, he soon begins to suspect that his new master is hiding a terrible secret. But as he digs deeper into Falkland’s past and finally unearths the guilty truth, the results of his curiosity prove calamitous when – even though Caleb has loyally sworn never to disclose what he has discovered – the Squire enacts a cruel revenge. A tale of gripping suspense and psychological power, William Godwin’s novel creates a searing depiction of the intolerable persecution meted out to a good man in pursuit of justice and equality.

Written to expose the political oppression and corrupt hierarchies its author saw in the world around him, Caleb Williams (1794) … More

Born OTD in 1919, British-Zimbabwean (Rhodesian) novelist, Doris Lessing. The striking reissue of this classic Lessing novel. Widely regarded as one of the most influential books of the 20th century. Anna Wulf is a young novelist with writer’s block. Divorced, with a young child, and disillusioned by unsatisfactory relationships, she feels her life is falling apart. Fearing the onset of madness, she records her experiences in four coloured notebooks. The black notebook addresses her problems as a writer; the red her political life; the yellow her relationships and emotions; and the blue becomes a diary of everyday events. But it is the fifth notebook — the Golden Notebook — which is the key to her recovery and renaissance.

Bold and illuminating, fusing sex, politics, madness and motherhood, ‘The Golden Notebook’ is at once a wry and perceptive portrait … More

First published OTD in 1851, Moby Dick, originally called ‘The Whale’. Moby Dick is the story of Captain Ahab’s quest to avenge the whale that ‘reaped’ his leg. The quest is an obsession & the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahab’s appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands, each individual responsible for the security of each. Among the crew is Ishmael, the novel’s narrator, ordinary sailor, and extraordinary reader.

Digressive, allusive, vulgar, transcendent, the story Ishmael tells is above all an education:in the practice of whaling, in the art … More

Kafka meets The Thick Of It in a bitingly funny new political satire from Ian McEwan. That morning, Jim Sams, clever but by no means profound, woke from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed into a gigantic creature. Jim Sams has undergone a metamorphosis. In his previous life he was ignored or loathed, but in his new incarnation he is the most powerful man in Britain – and it is his mission to carry out the will of the people. Nothing must get in his way: not the opposition, nor the dissenters within his own party. Not even the rules of parliamentary democracy. With trademark intelligence, insight and scabrous humour, Ian McEwan pays tribute to Franz Kafka’s most famous work to engage with a world turned on its head.

New release available in store and online.

When a thirty-something portrait painter is abandoned by his wife, he holes up in the mountain home of a famous artist. The days drift by, spent painting, listening to music and drinking whiskey in the evenings. But then he discovers a strange painting in the attic and unintentionally begins a strange journey of self-discovery that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt and a haunted underworld. A stunning work of imagination, Killing Commendatore is a surreal tale of love and loneliness, war and art.

New release available in store and online.

In the summer of 1959, an Antiguan immigrant in north west London lives the last day of his life, unknowingly caught in someone else’s story of hate and division, resistance and revolt. A mother looks back on her early forays into matters of the human heart – and other parts of the human body – considering the ways in which desire is always an act of negotiation, destruction, and self-invention. A disgraced cop stands amid the broken shards of his life, unable to move forward into a future that holds no place for him. Moral panic spreads like contagion through the upper echelons of New York City – and the cancelled people look disconcertingly like the rest of us. A teenage scion of the technocratic elite chases spectres through a premium virtual reality, trailed by a little girl with a runny nose and no surviving family.

We all take a much-needed break from this mess, on a package holiday where the pool’s electric blue is ceaselessly … More

What happens when we leave the places we’re from? What do we lose, and who do we become, and what parts of our pasts are unshakeable? Linda Mannheim’s second short story collection focuses on people who have relocated – both voluntarily and involuntarily. Opening with Miami-set political thriller, ‘Noir’, this exquisitely rendered set of stories will leave you reeling. THIS WAY TO DEPARTURES is a deeply affecting portrait of American society and the constant search for a place to call ‘home’.

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Born OTD in 1916, British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot, Roald Dahl. From Roald Dahl, the master of the sting in the tail, a newly collected book of his darkest stories. ‘There is a pleasure sure in being mad, which none but madmen know’ Our greatest fear is of losing control – of our lives, but, most of all, of ourselves. In these ten unsettling tales of unexpected madness master storyteller Roald Dahl explores what happens when we let go our sanity.

Among other stories, you’ll meet the husband with a jealous fixation on the family cat, the landlady who wants her … More

‘Butterfly’s Tongue’ tells of the friendship between a schoolboy and an anarchist schoolmaster, born of a shared interest in animal and insect life, which is destroyed by the eruption of the Spanish Civil War in the summer of 1936. Other stories are woven around characters who appear in this central story. In ‘A Saxophone in the Mist’, a young musician discovers the meaning of music and of love in the face of a girl he meets one foggy night at a fair.

In ‘Carmina’ a boy listen as a man relates how a dog frustrated him in his attempts to woo his … More

In 1988 Saul Adler (a narcissistic, young historian) is hit by a car on the Abbey Road. He is apparently fine; he gets up and goes to see his art student girlfriend, Jennifer Moreau. They have sex then break up, but not before she has photographed Saul crossing the same Abbey Road. Saul leaves to study in communist East Berlin, two months before the Wall comes down. There he will encounter – significantly – both his assigned translator and his translator’s sister, who swears she has seen a jaguar prowling the city.

He will fall in love and brood upon his difficult, authoritarian father. And he will befriend a hippy, Rainer, who … More