David Mitchell: The Bone Clocks The only other novel of Mitchell’s I’ve read is Cloud Atlas, and, like that, The Bone Clocks consists of six novellas loosely tied together, though in conventional sequence rather than nested like layers of an onion, as in Cloud Atlas. Without giving too much away, each novella eavesdrops on a decade in the life of Holly Sykes, a seemingly very ordinary English woman, from teenage runaway to dying septuagenarian, though only the first and last parts are from her point of view. The Bone Clocks is a portmanteau of everything – literary satire to contemporary reportage, near-future dystopia to out-and-out fantasy. It’s never less than ambitious – some might say indulgent – but it is held up from collapse by the sheer quality of writing. I can’t remember the last time I read a novel this satisfying since 2014. That was when I first read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus: a very different book in many ways, but parallels The Bone Clocks in its evocation of how the fantastic may lurk even at the edges of everyday lives.
Gabriel Bergmoser: The Hunted There’s something about the harsh red centre of Australia that brings out the worst in people, worse even than Crocodile Dundee. So much is clear from this taut, exceptionally violent thriller about what happens when a young woman, caked in mud and blood, rocks up at a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere. Edge-of-your-seat stuff, this, but not for the squeamish.
Lewis Dartnell: Being Human A spirited canter through the ways our biology has inescapably affected world history in ways large and small. Learn how cognitive biases led to the disaster of the Charge of the Light Brigade and why we call chilis ‘peppers’; how inbreeding and genetic diseases led to war; how a mosquito was ultimately responsible the union of England and Scotland; and many more nuggets that’ll open your eyes and stretch your mind. DISCLAIMER: I was sent a pre-publication copy for endorsement.