Every year, I set the same New Years resolutions: learn to drive, shop less, and read more. While I was happy to have managed the latter last year, I did find myself picking up the same books (about Brexit, U.S. politics, and, then, as an antidote, coming-of-age novels) over and over again. This year, I am vowing to change my reading habits. So, in the spirit of branching out, here are seven
books coming out in February 2019 in the UK that you will change all our reading habits for the better.
It is easy to get
stuck in a reading rut. You find one thing you like, you search for others like it, and you assume you will like those too. It seems logical. However, I have found I have ended up reading the same ideas written in different ways, and I'm never really being challenged. And that is one of the best things about reading: you learn new things and new ways of thinking.
Below, I have included something for everyone,
from fantasy to crime fiction to personal essays. So, if you too have made it your New Years mission to swap the same-old reads (or the hours of Friends on Netflix) for a brand-new novel, then this is all the inspiration you will need. 1 ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ by Marlon James Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first in what will be a magical, fantasy trilogy from Marlon James. James draws on fantasy, history, and African mythology to build an ancient world of secrets, loss, and adventure. The first instalment in the Black Star trilogy will leave you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know more. The tale follows Tracker, a hunter who is asked to find a lost child. Only it isn’t quite as simple as it seems. Involving witches, giants, and all manner of mystical creatures, Tracker's adventure is gripping from page one. Black Leopard, Red Wolf will be published on Feb. 28. Pre-order it here 2 ‘The Wych Elm’ by Tana French The Wych Elm is crime fiction written in a way that will completely surprise you. Tana French's story, which follows a character named Toby, is mesmerising. After a brutal attack that leaves him shaken, Toby returns to his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House. All is well until he discovers a skull hidden in the wych elm in the garden. As investigations begin, the discovery makes Toby re-evaluate everything he knows to be true about his family. The Wych Elm will be available from Feb. 21. Pre-order it here. 3 ‘On The Come Up’ by Angie Thomas
The award-winning author of
The Hate U Give is back and, like so many others, I have been eagerly awaiting Angie Thomas' next novel. While they may sit in the YA section, Thomas' books covers topics that are so relevant and eye opening, everyone should read them. On The Come Up follows Bri as she tries to become the greatest rapper of all time. However, after her first song goes viral for very wrong reasons, she is put under serious pressure. Does she hide away or push on to provide for her family? Available from Feb. 7, On The Come Up is a must read. Pre-order it here. 4 ‘Engines Of Privilege: Britains Private School Problem’ by David Kynaston & Francis Green Engines of Privilege explores educational equality in Britain, and whether we really have any. By looking at the benefits and opportunities afforded to children whose parents can afford to send them to private schools, and what that means in terms of opportunities later in life, David Kynaston and Francis Green offer options to change the current system we have in the UK. Aiming to challenge your beliefs and kick start a debate, Engines of Privilege will definitely get a conversation going around the dinner table. It will be available from Feb. 7. Pre-order it here. 5 ‘A Mouth Full Of Blood’ by Toni Morrison
Covering everything from gender, race, globalisation, the current state of politics, as well as the history that informs it all,
A Mouth Full Of Blood is a collection of essays from some of the most well-recognised and much-loved writers and orators of the last century. The book is split into three parts, which begin with a prayer to those who died in 9/11, a meditation on Martin Luther King, and a eulogy for James Baldwin, respectively. Available from Feb. 21, A Mouth Full Of Blood is the perfect book if you're looking challenge yourself and open your eyes to new ways of thinking. Pre-order it here. 6 ‘Feel Free’ by Zadie Smith
White Teeth, On Beauty, and Swing Time, Zadie Smith is a literary power house. Now, Smith's enlightening series of essays, Feel Free, is being brought out in paperback. The collection poses questions such as: what is the social network? How will we tell our grandchildren about the failure to do anything about global warming? Why do we love libraries? A commentary on recent social and cultural events, Feel Free is the perfect book to carry around for your commute. It is available now. Order it here 7 ‘When I Walk Through That Door, I Am’ by Jimmy Santiago Baca
Described as a poet-activist, Jimmy Santiago Baca portrays the
experience of motherhood in the context of immigration, ICE raids on the Southern border of the U.S., and family separation — all through poetry. When I Walk Through That Door, I Am centres on Sophia, an El Salvadorian woman who is carrying the burden of her murdered husband, the painful separation of her child, and the rape and abuse at the hands of ICE. Her mission is to find and be reunited with her child. Incredibly emotive and beautifully written, When I Walk Through That Door, I Am is a must read. It will be available from Feb. 19. Pre-order it here.