New books you can borrow this month

We are never meeting in real life. By Samantha IrbyBook cover of We are never meeting in real life by Samantha Irby is a bright yellow cover with a fluffy wet fur tabby kitten with its mouth open showing a moving tongue. Along the top of the book in black writing it says New York Times Bestseller. The title is below this in black all lower case. Essays is also written below the title. It also has a quote on the front saying 'Cracked my heart all the way open...As close to perfect as an essay collection can get,' Roxanne Gay New York Times bestselling author of Difficult Women and Bad Feminist.


In this painfully funny collection, Samantha Irby captures powerful emotional truths while chronicling the rubbish bin she calls her life. From an ill-fated pilgrimage to Nashville to scatter her estranged fathers ashes, to awkward sexual encounters, to the world’s first completely honest job application, and more, sometimes you just have to laugh, even when your life is permanently pear-shaped.


The Water Thief by Claire Hajajbook cover of The Water Thief by Claire Hajai with a figure walking carrying a bucket into a barren land


From the award-winning author of Ishmael’s Oranges comes a searing novel with a profound moral conflict at its heart. When a heart attack kills his father, young architect Nick abandons his comfortable London life to volunteer abroad for a year – a last chance to prove himself, and atone for old sins. But in a remote village on the edge of the Sahara, dangerous currents soon engulf him: a simmering family conflict, hidden violence and fanaticism, his host’s lonely wife hiding secrets of her own. Their attraction threatens both their worlds, blurring the line between right and wrong. And when a deadly drought descends it brings an irrevocable choice. With all their hopes at stake, should he take matters into his own hands? Or let fate run its course? His decision has a life-changing consequences for them all.


Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere by Jeanette Wintersonbook cover of Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere by Jeanette Winterson in purple and green, with a purple cross filling the background of the cover


This is a timely and inspiring call to arms by one of Britain’s most acclaimed and important writers. Whilst recognising how far women have come in the hundred years since getting the vote, Jeanette Winterson also insists that we must all do much more if we are to achieve true equality. Examining recent women’s rights movements, the worlds of politics, technology and social media, and changes in the law, Winterson calls out all the ways in which women still face discrimination and disadvantage. Like the women who have won the right to vote, we need to shout loud, reach out, be courageous and finish the job.


Feminism by Deborah CameronBook cover of Feminism by Deborah Cameron in bright purple with inverted white triangle with the word feminism in black lengthwise down the centre of the triangle. It points to the authors name centred in black and the words 'ideas in profile' in white and 'small introductions to big topics' in small black type


‘Feminism’ wrote Marie Shear in 1986, ‘is the radical notion that women are people’. In other words, women should have power, agency, freedom, control over their bodies, equality. But today – as they have for centuries – women are still marching, protesting, writing and speaking out to claim these rights. To understand why, we must understand where the feminist movement came from and what it aims to achieve. In this decisive, clear introduction, Deborah Cameron explores the diversity of feminist views and concerns – both past and present – and offers an overview of its history and major thinkers, from Mary Wollstonecraft to bell hooks.


Cover of the Normal People by Sally Rooney in bright yellow, white writing and a drawing of an opened tin of sardines.

Normal People by Sally Rooney


People know that Marianne lives in the white mansion with the driveway and that Connell’s mother is a cleaner, but no one knows of the special relationship between these facts. Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner who has learnt from painful experience to stay away from her classmates. When the two strike up a conversation in Marianne’s kitchen – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins. Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people – funny, magnetic, complex – who try to stay apart but find they can’t. It shows us how difficult it is to change who we are. And with heart-breaking tenderness, it reveals how we learn about sex and power, the desire to hurt and be hurt, the desire to love and be loved.


Menopause the One-Stop Guide by Kathy AbernethyBook cover of Menopause, the one stop guide by Kathy Abernethy. The book is two tone purple with white writing, in small black writing between the title and the author is the words 'A practical guide to understanding and dealing with the menopause. It also has a bight blue circle in the bottom right corner with the words 'by an award-winning specialist nurse'


Sensible and practical advice from an experienced specialist nurse. For many women, the menopause represents a time of hormonal upheaval and uncomfortable symptoms. Menopause: The One-Stop Guide explains the changes which are occurring and advises on steps to make it easier. With clear information about recognising symptoms, getting help, treatment and staying positive, this guide will help those going through the menopause, and family members and friends who wish to better understand and offer their support.


The little snake by A.L. KennedyBook cover of The Little Snake by A.L. Kennedy, Winner of the Costa Book of the Year. All in gold writing except the Authors name in with capitals with gold and black scales around the edges of a crinkled edge oval with the writing inside.


This is a story of Mary, a young girl born in a beautiful city full of rose gardens and fluttering kites. When she is still very small, Mary meets Lanmo, a shining golden snake, who becomes her very best friend. The snake visits Mary many times: he sees her change, become sadder as bombs drop and war creeps in. He sees Mary and her family leave their home, he sees her grow up, and he sees her fall in love. But Lanmo knows that the day will come when he can no longer visit Mary, when his destiny will break them apart, and he wonders whether having a friend can possibly be worth the pain of knowing you will lose them.


Shatila Stories book cover of Shatila Stories, written in large white text with a small word Peirene in white italics on a gold background, in the centre of the cover is a square window with only one pane and with a woman in a light coloured headscarf, her face bent down barely visible. the outside walls of the building are green with peeling paint and posted letters.

Short Fiction

Adam and his family flee Syria and arrive at the Palestinian Shatila refugee camp in Beirut. The overcrowded conditions are tough, and violence defines many of the relationships: a father fights to save his daughter, a gang leader plots to expand his influence, and drugs drive a family apart. Adam struggles to make sense of his refugee experience, but then he meets Shatha and starts to view the camp through her eyes.

Most novels are written by professional writers using second-hand material. Not this one. Peirene commissioned nine refugees to tell their ‘Shatila Stories’. The result is a piece of collaborative fiction unlike any other. If you want to understand the chaos of the Middle East – or you just want to follow the course of a beautiful love story – start here.


Wild Geese by Nan Shepherdbook cover of Wild Geese by Nan Shepherd with white feathers on a background of blue, the title is in red across the centre of the book, with 'a collection of Nan Shepherds writing' written in a small black font above the title. The authors name is written in black capitals at the bottom of the cover.

Short fiction

Nan Shepherd (1893-1981) published three novels between 1928 and 1933: The Quarry Wood, The Weatherhouse and A Pass in the Grampians –as well as a collection of poems: In the Cairngorms. Her reputation grew exponentially with the 1977 publication of The Living Mountain, now regarded as a classic piece of landscape writing. However much of her work (including a short story, Descent from the cross) was never published outside local magazines and journals, and is reprinted here in Wild Geese for the first time in book form. Some of the poems in this volume appear here for the first time in any publication; they were found by Charlotte Peacock while researching her Nan Shepherd biography, Into the Mountain. There are also some beautifully crafted examples of Nan’s nature writing in Wild Geese. Wild Geese shows Nan Shepherd, the writer of fiction, the poet, and the critic at her finest and will form, for the future, an essential part of the Shepherd oeuvre.



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