Born OTD in 1923, Italo Calvino, Italian journalist & writer. You go into a bookshop & buy If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino. You like it. But alas there is a printer’s error in your copy. You take it back to the shop and get a replacement. But the replacement seems to be a totally different story. You try to track down the original book you were reading but end up with a different narrative again.

This remarkable novel leads you through many different books including a detective adventure, a romance, a satire, an erotic story, … More

Here is a story told inside out and back to front. Five Dunbar brothers are living – fighting, loving, grieving – in the perfect chaos of a house without grown-ups. Today, the father who left them has just walked right back in. He has a surprising request: Who will build a bridge with him? It is Clay, a boy tormented by a long-buried secret, who accepts. But why is Clay so broken?

And why must he fulfil this extraordinary challenge? Bridge of Clay is about a boy caught in a current, a … More

One particular evening before Halloween, a carnival arrives in the dead of night with a cast of sinister characters headed by the Illustrated Man, Mr Dark. As well as disturbing entertainment, they offer the town’s folk their deepest desires for the foulest price. The two boys discover this malicious intent and from there on a game of cat and mouse plays out as the carnival sets off to lure the boys to their doom.

A great story, full of suspense, twists and a seriously creepy atmosphere. Available in store and online.

In a Parisian restaurant, Aleister Crowley, the notorious occultist, chances on Major-General Sir Hector Macdonald: once one of the greatest heroes of the British Empire, now facing ruin in a shocking scandal – and vulnerable to Crowley’s curious offer of help. An extraordinary night of transgression and revelation ensues . .

Probing beneath the surface of Victorian conformity, this is an enthralling tale of imperialism, sexuality and the nature of belief, … More

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend & to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, & rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed & to be noticed is dangerous…

‘The language of Anna Burns’ Milkman is simply marvellous; beginning with the distinctive and consistently realised voice of the funny, resilient, astute, plain-spoken, … More

New release in store tomorrow. “Teenage Silvie & her parents are living in a hut in Northumberland as an exercise in experimental archaeology. Her father is a difficult man, obsessed with imagining and enacting the harshness of Iron Age life. Haunting Silvie’s narrative is the story of a bog girl, a young woman sacrificed by those closest to her, and the landscape both keeps & reveals the secrets of past violence and ritual as the summer builds to its harrowing climax.”

‘This book ratcheted the breath out of me so skilfully, that as soon as I’d finished, the only thing I … More

Born OTD in 1977, Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “At the gates, Biafran soldiers were waving cars through. They looked distinguished in their khaki uniforms, boots shining, half of a yellow sun sewn on their sleeves.” This story tracks a family as they transition from a position of influence and privilege with large, comfortable homes in Nigeria, to become citizens of the newly formed republic of Biafra.

In 1960s Nigeria, Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, goes to work for Odenigbo, a radical university professor. Soon … More

Born OTD in 1942, Bernard MacLaverty. Set in Northern Ireland, it tells the story of Cal, a young, unemployed Catholic man living on a Protestant housing estate at the height of The Troubles. Each night he waits to be fire-bombed out of the home he shares with his father and each morning he gets up to find everything is okay.

But there’s a dark, pervasive atmosphere, one that seem only conducive to fear and violence, and for much of this … More

No London neighbourhood more resembles the restless downstream tide of the Thames than the ragged square mile of Soho. Ask the people who live there, like Christine Yardley, drag queen by night & grey-suited accountant by day; or Len Gates, self-appointed Soho historian & bore; or Jenny Wise, former starlet & now resident lush in the New Kismet club…

  Down into this human rabbit warren one evening slips Alex Singer, a student from Leeds in pursuit of his … More