James by Percival Everett

“The book of the year. The decade. The century.

To take arguably the greatest of the Great American Novels – the book that has haunted all the American writers who have followed – and to, in the process of revolutionising it, write the Great American Novel of the 21st century, could only be done by the most extraordinary of authors.

Percival Everett reaches back in time to grab Twain’s classic adventure story, and hauls it through the century and into the present day. While always retaining the spirit of the original, he not only gives Jim primacy in the story, but invigorates the narrative, telling us not only about the past, but our own time as well.

Compelling, harrowing, playful, fiercely intelligent, funny, incredibly moving and hopeful: this is a truly special book, the kind of which doesn’t come along very often. It is sure to scoop numerous awards, and capture the hearts of many readers.” – Tom M

Shearwater by Roger Morgan-Grenville

“Remembering a formative childhood encounter with a shearwater off the coast of the Isle of Mull, Roger Morgan-Grenville abandons a less uplifting writing project and dedicates a year to following and appreciating these marathon flyers, as best he can. But this is a bird that commutes 20,000 miles annually,  that avoids land altogether for 4 years after it first takes to the skies and that’s too inept on land to spend any time there at all during daylight hours. Which means Roger’s in for a rollercoaster year of close and not-so-close encounters ranging from being struck in the face by one of 300,000 incoming nesting shearwaters during nightshifts with researchers on Skomer to repeatedly failing to catch sight of them scything over the Argentinian Atlantic’s surface. 

Shearwater is the perfect blend of warm personal narrative and fascinating insight into the lives and behaviours of these remarkable birds. Dotted with reminiscences of his Scottish island stays with the no-nonsense grandmother who gave him his love of nature, Morgan-Grenville recounts the whole year with a Brysonesque self-deprecatory charm and an infectious passion.” – Nic

Lobster by Hollie McNish

“Hollie is the poet who has brought me to poetry, albeit late in life. Her poems are so fresh and funny and real and timeless all in one that they catch my breath. This latest collection is borne out of her desire to reconfigure her thoughts, to learn to love those things society and norms have taught her to hate or to be disgusted by – it is a celebration of loving more and hating less. Part poetry, part prose, this is a glorious blend of honesty, hilarity and staggering wordsmithery.” – Juliette