There are some brilliant books coming out this summer and later this year which are already piled high on my Waterstones wishlist! Here is my pick in the best of a very strong bunch:
The Ecliptic - Benjamin Wood (out now)
I was very lucky to receive a proof of this book a couple of months back, but I am so excited now that it has been released so that I can finally talk about it with other readers! It is one of the most mind-blowing, brain-twisting books I have ever read! There are so many layers and complex characters, that I just know my book group will love dissecting this (like we did with its predecessor The Bellweather Revivals). For an intelligent beach read, look no further than this mesmerising novel.
Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee (released 14 July)
No list would be complete without the surprise publication of a sequel to a true classic. I am ashamed to say that I have only just discovered the characters of Scout, Jem and Atticus Finch. To Kill A Mockingbird has always been on my 'to read list', but I was worried it would not live up to the much adored hype. I was wrong of course and the great thing about the publication of this sequel is that it has made thousands of readers revisit the book they read in their teens for school, or read it for the very fist time. I, like many of others are intrigued to read about an adult Scout and to find out what happened to a group of unforgettable characters.
Everything Sweet - Meringue Girls (released 30 July)
I first discovered the Meringue Girls at a food festival a few years ago when I fell in love with their beautifully coloured and uniquely flavoured meringue kisses. I have been hooked ever since! Their first book was a colourful and trendy collection of good looking and tasty recipes which I have successfully been able to produce with their easy instructions. As the hosts of my favourite instagram account, I have been so impressed with their new range of new bakes from flower lolly pops to eclairs, which I really want to recreate!
Devestation Road - Jason Hewitt (released 30 July)
I absolutely loved this author's debut The Dynamite Room and this second book is another wartime novel based on an unlikely friendship. I am expecting another compelling novel exploring the devastation of WWII as it tells the story of a man waking in an unknown country, injured and confused as he attempts to make an extraordinary journey home.
The Taming of the Queen - Philippa Gregory (released 13 Aug)
I am huge fan of Philippa Gregory's richly written historical novels, especially her heart-stopping Cousin's War and Tudor Court novels. This new novel takes us back to the reign of Henry VIII and his affair with Kateryn Parr. I can't wait to enter the dangerous world of the Tudor Court again with its secrets and suspicions. The publication of the book will be supported with some special talks with the author including an event at the National Theatre.
Quinntessential Baking - Frances Quinn (released 27 August)
The winner of 2013's Great British Baking has been taking her time to release a gorgeous, well thought-out and beautifully designed book which I cannot wait to get my hands on! Her photos of genius bakes on social media and her website have been building up to this release and I am looking forward to see how her talents in baking and design will combine together to create a unique book.
After You - Jojo Moyes (released 24 September)
Another sequel, this time to the bestselling, tear inducing Me Before You. Written while Jojo was writing the script for the film adaptation of the first book which is currently in production, After You will revisit Lou and her family. What I loved about Me Before You (and the amazing The One Plus One) was the realness of the characters and their situation. Jojo really knows how to pull at the heartstrings as well as finding humour in relatable circumstances.
The Lost Tudor Princess - Alison Weir (released 1 October)
Another novel to document the scandal and intrigue of the Tudor court. Alison Weir is focusing on the little-known Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox. With a family tree full of monarchs, she fell in love twice with unsuitable men. Imprisoned in the Tower of London on three occasions, and being at war with two queens, this is a story that needs to be read. There are some great author events supporting this release, including one at my local library, so I am looking forward to finding out more!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Illustrated Edition (released 6 October)
Surely all book lovers by now will have read the novels, seen the films, been on the studio tour, drank butter beer and ate some Bertie Botts every flavour jelly beans and bought tons of merchandise, but this autumn release is going to be something very special. Illustrated by Jim Kay, the pictures that have already been released evoke such a strong feeling of Hogwarts and the wizarding world as well as excellent depictions of much-loved characters, this is going to be at the top of many a Christmas list!
The Lake House - Kate Morton (released 22 October)
I am a huge fan of Kate Morton's previous releases including The House at Riverton and The Secret Keeper. With common themes of lost family secrets, grief, abandoned houses and stunning locations, her books always have me turning the pages well into the night. The Lake House is set between a Midsummer Eve party in 1933 and Cornish cottage 70 years later. The importance of correspondence and words are a recurring theme in Kate Morton's novels and with a budding author at the heart of the story, The Lake House promises to be no different.