5 new books to read this week

This week’s bookcase includes reviews of Going Home by Tom Lamont and Sandwich by Catherine Newman.

New books to read this week
Composite New books to read this week

Former Boris Johnson aide, Cleo Watson, is back with her latest political bonkbuster…


1. Going Home by Tom Lamont is published in hardback by Sceptre, priced £16.99 (ebook £9.99). Available June 6

Named as one of the Observer’s Debut Novels of 2024, Tom Lamont’s touching story is about three men who find themselves looking after a toddler after the sudden death of his mother, Lia. Téo has loved Lia since school. Vic, Téo’s father, is trudging towards the end of his life. Ben, Téo’s best friend, relies on family wealth to cruise through. None of them is ideal parent material. The arrival of two-year-old Joel challenges them and changes them all in this subtle and moving story set in a Jewish community in Enfield, London, that’s trying to decide if it wants to be traditional or progressive. Individual chapters switch between the viewpoint of the men and rabbi Sibyl Challis over the course of a year as decisions about Joel’s future are played out. Well-drawn characters, believable dialogue and nuanced emotions cast new light on love in this bittersweet book.


(Review by Bridie Pritchard)

2. Sandwich by Catherine Newman is published in hardback by Doubleday, priced £16.99 (ebook £8.99). Available June 6

A week in Cape Cod with the family is an annual event for Rocky. This particular week – told in Catherine Newman’s novel Sandwich – is the same as all the others, except that Rocky is dealing with the menopause, her children are fully-grown, her parents are ageing and she can’t decide if she wants to hug her husband or divorce him. The familiar holiday setting stirs up memories at the same time as emphasising changes and bringing to the fore long-hidden secrets. Sandwich is a book about family, navigating the world as a woman, gratitude, loss and love. Newman, whose debut novel We All Want Impossible Things was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, transitions with ease from moments of melancholy to observations which make you laugh out loud. A moving read which finds the joy in everyday life.


(Review by Eleanor Barlow)

3. Cleavage by Cleo Watson is published in hardback by Corsair, priced £20 (ebook £7.99). Available June 6

A raunchy political novel by a former aide to Boris Johnson, filled with conspiracies, secret romances, data geeks and quite a lot of sex, looks set to top booksellers polls in this general election year. Cleo Watson has followed up her debut novel Whips with another Westminster-based story on how dangerous, challenging, uplifting – and brutal – politics can be. Cleavage keeps abreast of the times by mirroring events in the UK as prime minister Eric Courtenay battles to beat off a resurgent Labour opposition. He hires a strategist with a bizarre idea to close the huge gap in the polls, and as the December election day approaches, tempers flare, and a dating site takes centre stage for candidates in different parties. Anyone interested in politics – and scandals – will love reading how the urge for power changes people for the worst. Cleo Watson is in demand to talk about the general election given her time as a political adviser – experience she is using to the full in her new career.


(Review by Alan Jones)


4. The Garden Against Time by Olivia Laing is published in hardback by Picador, priced £20 (ebook £9.99). Available now

Olivia Laing has established herself as one of Britain’s foremost non-fiction writers through her poetic explorations of creative excess, from the hard-drinking of Hemingway to the lonely life of Andy Warhol. In her latest book, Laing shifts her focus to a different form of escapism, plunging into a history of garden-making framed by a personal account of resurrecting an old walled garden in Suffolk. It might seem a world away from yachts on the Florida Keys and silk-screened Marilyns, but Laing makes a persuasive case for the garden as a space every bit as fantastical and controversial as the world of high art and literature. She delves into the history of gardens real and imagined, shattering the notion that they were symbols of privilege and exclusion, often built on the proceeds of slavery. Central to her narrative is the 19th-century nature poet John Clare, better known for tramping the countryside and resisting the threat of enclosure legislation. Through other case studies, Laing proposes the garden as a place of sanctuary and replenishment. Scattered with delightful turns of phrase, The Garden Against Time paints a picture as rich and provocative as any of the words or artworks contrived by those writers and artists upon whom Laing has previously turned her gaze.


(Review by Mark Staniforth)

Children’s book of the week

5. Marley’s Pride by Joëlle Retener, illustrated by DeAnn Wiley, is published in paperback by Barefoot Books, priced £7.99 (no ebook). Available now

This is a very colourful book that will benefit all children opening their minds to diversity and inclusion. It takes us through Marley’s journey – they’re anxious about joining the Pride parade, something their Grandparent Zaza truly loves and thoroughly enjoys each year. Zaza totally understands Marley’s anxieties and does not force the issue but encourages them to join. The book clearly shows that while it is normal to be anxious and unsure of some situations, these can always be overcome and sometimes with surprising and happy outcomes. It’s a heartwarming story, just in time for Pride Month, and has a back page full of informative additional details.


(Review by Joanne Brennan)



1. Long Island by Colm Tóibín

2. You Like It Darker by Stephen King

3. Think Twice by Harlan Coben

4. Evocation by S.T. Gibson

5. The Ministry Of Time by Kaliane Bradley

6. You Are Here by David Nicholls

7. Blue Sisters by Coco Mellors

8. Hera by Jennifer Saint

9. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

10. Table For Two by Amor Towles

(Compiled by Waterstones)


1. Operation Biting by Max Hastings

2. The Invisible Doctrine by George Monbiot & Peter Hutchison

3. How To Eat 30 Plants A Week by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

4. Endgame 1944 by Jonanthan Dimbleby

5. So Good by Emily English

6. Guitar by Earl Slick & Jeff Slate

7. Lucky by Louise Thompson

8. Bored Of Lunch Healthy Air Fryer: 30 Minute Meals by Nathan Anthony

9. Permacrisis by Gordon Brown & Mohamed El-Erian & Michael Spence

10. The Women Who Wouldn’t Wheesht by Susan Dalgety & Lucy Hunter Blackburn

(Compiled by Waterstones)


1. Lucky by Louise Thompson

2. The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe by Douglas Adams

3. The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods & Nick Biadon

4. My Favourite Mistake by Marian Keyes

5. Atomic Habits by James Clear

6. You Like It Darker by Stephen King

7. Unruly by David Mitchell

8. Long Island by Colm Tóibín

9. How They Broke Britain by James O’Brien

10. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

(Compiled by Audible)