Five new books to read this week

This week’s bookcase includes reviews of Saltblood by Francesca De Tores and Another England by Caroline Lucas.

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

Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has released a look at the divided UK…


1. Saltblood by Francesca De Tores is published in hardback by Bloomsbury Publishing, priced £16.99 (ebook £11.89). Available now

Born in a damp cottage in the English countryside, Mary Read is forced to take the name and place of her brother, Mark, who has died in infancy. Raised as a boy and shaped into a man, Mary is sent to work as a server in an estate house, where she keeps her secret closely guarded throughout her subsequent time in the navy and army. After revealing her true identity, Mary shifts between the matters of male and female, adopting a space in between, while also chasing her strong desire for the sea. She undertakes the life of a pirate in the Bahamas alongside Anne Bonny, with the pair thought to be the only documented female pirates of the time. Saltblood, Francesca De Tores’ first historical novel, traces the life of the infamous 18th-century pirate, Mary Read, and asks searching questions about self-identity. A truly intriguing and page-turning read.


(Review by Hannah Cottrell)

2. The Lifeline by Libby Page is published in hardback by Orion, priced £18.99 (ebook £5.99). Available now

Libby Page’s new novel sees the return of Kate – the main character in Page’s hit debut The Lido. Having moved from London to Somerset with her husband and baby daughter, Kate finds herself struggling with her new role as a mother. Her story sits alongside that of Phoebe – a mental health nurse who is finding her work rewarding but overwhelming. Many readers will identify with Kate’s struggle to reconcile her old self and her old life with that of her new role as a mother, as well as Phoebe’s fight to find balance between her private and professional life. The key characters are well drawn and the plot bobs along like a duck on the river – which plays such a central part in the book. This is a novel about life changes and how we react to them, as well as the power of female friendships. A gentle read which is perfect for summer.


(Review by Alison Kershaw)

3. The Hypocrite by Jo Hamya is published in hardback by W&N, priced £18.99 (ebook £11.49). Available now

Sophia is a young, precocious playwright, the offspring of separated parents, the daughter of an infamous literary talent who is struggling to adapt to a changing world and increasingly finding himself out of his depth. When his daughter writes a play about their holiday in the Aeolian Islands, Sophia, her father and her mother are forced to examine their relationships with each other and the failures that Sophia’s play lays bare for the world to see. Set in a pandemic environment where faces are hidden behind masks, The Hypocrite analyses the power balance between parent and child and how the decisions we make as adults impact those who we should care about most. It is a book which will appeal to those who enjoy sharp, observational literature with a critical take on modern life.


(Review by Hannah Colby)


4. Another England: How To Reclaim Our National Story by Caroline Lucas is published in hardback by Hutchinson Heinemann, priced £22 (ebook £11.99). Available now

Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has written a thought-provoking book that explores the political paradigm in the UK since the Brexit referendum, and what can be done to try and repair the rifts. The policies and proposals made in the book read like they would provide a substantive alternative to the current status quo and parties on offer. This has the side effect of the reader possibly wondering why the political system in the UK is so biased and why the existing parties aren’t offering some of these. Another England provides a positive outlook on UK life should a political party choose to adopt any of these and puts a positive spin on the outcomes – whether this will ever be tested has yet to be seen.


(Review by Frances Taylor-Cook)

Children’s book of the week

5. Skandar And The Chaos Trials by AF Steadman is published in hardback by Simon & Schuster Children’s UK, priced £14.99 (ebook £6.99). Available now

This is the third title in the five-book series about trainee unicorn rider Skandar Smith and his quartet of friends. At the end of the last novel, Skandar’s sister Kenna had arrived on the secret island hidden in the sea between Wales and Ireland. Skandar’s unicorn Scoundrel has entered his terrible twos and is testing his boundaries, just as the pair of them enter the Chaos Trials. The tension ramps up during the dangerous battles to win the elemental stones that guarantee progression into the fourth year in the Eyrie. It’s never plain sailing, and Skandar has family issues as Kenna goes through magical mutations and feels more alone than ever. AF Steadman has cultivated a visual battlefield filled with terror, action and quick thinking from the young heroes of tomorrow, while the grown-ups around them are losing their way.


(Review by Rachel Howdle)



1. You Are Here by David Nicholls

2. Funny Story by Emily Henry

3. Dragon Rider by Taran Matharu

4. Saltblood by Francesca De Tores

5. Song Of The Six Realms by Judy I. Lin

6. The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo

7. Caledonian Road by Andrew O’Hagan

8. A Calamity Of Souls by David Baldacci

9. My Favourite Mistake by Marian Keyes

10. Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros

(Compiled by Waterstones)


1. An African History Of Africa by Zeinab Badawi

2. Knife by Salman Rushdie

3. A Better Second Half by Liz Earle

4. No Way Out: Brexit by Tim Shipman

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

6. Ten Years To Save The West by Liz Truss

7. Embrace The Chaos by Jason Fox

8. Another England by Caroline Lucas

9. The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt

10. Nuclear War by Annie Jacobsen

(Compiled by Waterstones)


1. My Favourite Mistake by Marian Keyes

2. Atomic Habits by James Clear

3. Close To Death by Anthony Horowitz

4. 21 Lessons For The 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

5. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

6. Prima Facie by Suzie Miller

7. Unruly by David Mitchell

8. None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

9. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith

10. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu & Ken Liu

(Compiled by Audible)