The Last Day by Owain Owain, translated by Emyr Wallace Humphreys 

Translated to English for the first time, this Welsh sci-fi cult classic documents a future where machines have won, and the ‘lost’ 20th Century exists only as a handful of diary entries written by a man called Marc.

Marc recounts the years between the 40s and1999, where he spends his final months at Sunset House before the ‘day of honour’ – the day when the Rest finally assimilate their bodies and minds to become resource for the state. But Marc has a secret, a defence that protects him from assimilation, a secret language that the machine dictator, the Computer General, cannot translate.

This is a book about the power of minority languages, and those that colonise and manipulate those minorities to their own ends. It’s a book about the terrors of technology in the wrong hands that could so easily have been written in 2024. It’s also a book about love, and the sacrifices people can make for and on behalf of other people.

For fans of Orwell, Huxley, Atwood, Vonnegut and more recently Olga Ravn, while also being completely singular. This is a book you’re going to want to read twice (and I already have). – Soffi

Talking at Night by Claire Daverley

Will and Rosie meet as teenagers. She’s an ardent rule follower. He’s wild and unpredictable. She’s university-bound, desperate to escape their small town. He’s going nowhere, fast. They’re opposites in every way… yet over secret walks and shared late-night phone calls, a tentative relationship unfolds. But when tragedy drives them apart, they’ll spend the next few years wondering what could have been… 

A tender, compelling story about the great loves that shape our lives, Talking At Night is an ode to how important it is to live the life that you want, not the one that you’re expected to. Touching on mental health, grief, and the weight of other people’s expectations, this raw, honest, and heartfelt romantic drama is a reminder that it’s never too late to take charge of your own life. Perfect for fans of Sally Rooney and David Nicholl’s One Day! – Liv

*Don’t miss our event with Claire Daverley on Tuesday 11th June – Click here for details*

Before the Queen Falls Asleep by Huzama Habayeb, translated by Kay Heikkinen

I was sent this book by Shelterbox and loved it so much I wanted to share it with everyone.

Newly translated from Arabic, this timely novel of the Palestinian diaspora follows Kuwaiti-born Jihad as she recounts her family stories to her own daughter. A modern-day Scheherazade, Jihad’s tales are filled with love, poignancy and many pocketsful of joy. From the daughter named (and dressed) as a boy by a father who thought he would never have a son; to the often hilarious antics of many aunties and neighbours.

From accounts of poverty and hardship to memories of warmth and hospitality, we follow the enforced journey of the family from Palestine to Kuwait and Jordan as they cling to each other and to their culture in the hope of finding “home”. – Sue

Dancers of the Dawn by Zulekha A. Afzal

What an absolutely stunning teen debut! I was thoroughly entranced by these dancing assassins from page one. 

In a world of desert and sand, of dancing and magic, we meet Aasira, a young girl whose mother was killed for being a traitor to the crown. Rather than kill her as a child, the Queen grants her mercy and allows Aasira to attend the top schools in the kingdom where she will train to become one of her assassins. Aasira will do anything to prove that she is nothing like her mother, she is a good soldier. But as graduation day creeps closer, new truths bring new questions, and Aasira begins to doubt the story she’s known about her mother and herself for so many years.

This is a story of friendship and sisterhood, of truth and lies, of the beauty of dance and power. I am completely in love with it, and I can’t wait until book two! – Hannah