Books of the month 2023

January 2023

For adults

Book cover showing lady with glasses reading book

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Nina's life is upended when she is named in the will of a father she never met and thrust into a large, complicated family.

A feel-good, light read to bring joy in January.

For children

Book cover showing boy and dog

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter

A touching and funny book. Billy Plimpton has dreams of being a stand-up comedian, a tough gig for anyone but especially hard for Billy as he has a stammer.

How will he find his voice, if his voice won't let him speak?

February 2023

For adults

The romantic by William Boyd

The story of the fictional life of Cashel Greville Ross as he seeks his fortune across continents in war and in peace in the 19th century. As he travels the world as a soldier, a farmer, a felon, a writer, a father, a lover, he discovers who he truly is.

This is the romance of life itself. An immersive and entertaining read.

For children


All four quarters of the moon by Shirley Marr

The night of the Mid-Autumn festival was the last time Peijing remembers her life being the same. Now, facing a new home, a new school and a new language, everything is different. Peijing thinks everything is going to turn out okay as long as they all have each other. But cracks are starting to appear in the family.

This big-hearted, magical story will connect with all kids who have to face a new start.

March 2023

For adults

The Unmumsy Mum

The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner

'The Unmumsy Mum' writes candidly about motherhood like it really is: the messy, maddening, hilarious reality, how there is no 'one size fits all' approach and how it is sometimes absolutely fine to not know what you are doing.

For children

Malala's magic pencil

Malala's magic pencil by Malala Yousafzai

As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil that she could use to redraw reality. She would use it to give gifts to her family, to erase the smell from the rubbish dump near her house, to sleep an extra hour in the morning.

As she grew older, Malala wished for bigger and bigger things. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

April 2023

For adults

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

This is a gripping historical adventure about the life of an early aviator and the investigation into her mysterious disappearance by a Hollywood star in the 21st century. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022.

For children

Plants save the world by Annabel Savery

From tiny seeds and weeds to massive trees, plants come in all different shapes, sizes and colours. They can be found all of the world. In fact they're so common we hardly notice at all. But plants are the foundation of all life on earth - without them we cannot survive.

May 2023

For adults

Murder Most Royal by S. J. Bennett

Murder Most Royal by S.J.Bennett

A human hand and a bag of drugs are found washed up on a beach next to the Queen's estate at Sandringham. The Queen identifies the 70-year-old victim, Edward St Cyr, from his signet ring.

But the search for his killer is not so straightforward. 

For children

Winnie-the-Pooh meets the King

When Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends go on an expedition to a Royal London Park they don't expect to find themselves in the middle of a royal adventure.

June 2023

For adults

Book cover

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

In this delightfully queer historical fiction set in 1617 Norway, all 40 of an island's men have drowned in a brutal storm at sea. Left behind, Maren Magnusdatter, 20, and the other women must defy the norms of the day to survive.

But then a Scottish tyrant named Absalom arrives to root out suspected witchcraft, along with his pretty young wife Ursa. As Maren and Ursa grow closer, dangers new and old threaten to destroy them all.

For children

Book cover

Heather has two mummies

Heather's favourite number is 2 - she has 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 pets and 2 lovely mummies. But when Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy - and Heather doesn't have a daddy!

When the class all draw portraits of their families - not a single drawing is the same. Heather and her classmates realise that it doesn't matter who makes up a family, the important thing is that all the people in it love one another very much.

July 2023

For adults

Cover of Lioness: my journey to glory

Lioness: my journey to glory by Beth Mead

Beth Mead is one of the world's most talented female footballers - Golden Boot winner and Player of the Tournament at the UEFA Euros 2022, Arsenal Player of the Season 2021-22, and nominee for the 2022 Ballon d'Or.

But long before this, Beth was just an ordinary kid from Hinderwell, North Yorkshire who wanted to play football.

For children

You have the power: find your strength and believe you can

You have the power by Leah Williamson

Join Leah Williamson, captain of the England women's football team, as she shows you that you can be a leader at any age, and that huge things can happen when you believe in yourself!

August 2023

For adults

View of Florence with dog in foreground

Murder in Florence by T A Williams

A cosy murder mystery for a great summer escape!

Private investigator, Dan Armstrong, is asked to investigate a recent spate of violent attacks on a Hollywood movie set in Florence. The star of the show fears her life is in imminent danger. As Dan investigates, he discovers secrets and scandals are rife within the cast and crew. Then the first body is found and Dan and his trusty sidekick Oscar are in a race against time to catch the murderer. But the more Dan uncovers, the more the killer strikes and Dan finds himself caught in the line of fire too.

For children

Zebra and dog running

The Zebra's Great Escape by Katherine Rundell and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

Mink doesn't believe in rules. She loves running wild and free. So, when a zebra appears in the square where she lives and she finds out that his parents have been captured by the evil Mr Spit, she knows that it's up to her to help.

So begins a grand adventure to rescue a whole menagerie of animals - an adventure that will take all of Mink's courage and determination. This is a timeless picture book about bravery, friendship and the importance of taking action.

September 2023

For adults

The carer by Deborah Moggach

A funny and twisty novel by the author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. James is getting on a bit and needs full-time help so his middle-aged offspring employ Mandy. But as James regales his family with tales of Mandy's virtues, their shopping trips and the shared pleasure of their journeys to garden centres something seems to be amiss. Then something extraordinary happens which throws everything into new relief, changing all the stories of their childhood and the father that they thought they knew so well.


For children

Hello, Friend! by Rebecca Cobb

'Hello, Friend!' tells the story of one relentlessly big-hearted and enthusiastic little girl who is insistent on befriending a certain little boy. And why wouldn't he want to be friends with her? She's very good at sharing - in fact, she insists on it, even if it's a sandwich that he doesn't like. But while he doesn't seem keen on many of the things that she loves to do, first impressions can be deceptive, and there is one thing he's very keen on after all - being friends


October 2023

For adults

Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo

A vivid, thrilling and powerful story set in 1980s Nigeria with themes of love, grief and jealousy and a fantastic female protagonist.

For children

Little Leaders: bold women in black history by Vashti Harrison

The stories of 40 trailblazing black women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations. With stunning illustrations the book includes both iconic and lesser-known female figures of black history to inspire and educate.

November 2023

For adults

My Father's House by Joseph O'Connor

A powerful thrilled based on a true story. It is September 1943 and German forces occupy Rome. An Irish priest in Vatican City, Hugh O'Flaherty, dedicates himself to helping those escaping from the Nazis bringing an unlikely band of friends to hide the vulnerable under the noses of the enemy. But the SS begin closing in on the Escape Line and the need for a terrifyingly audacious mission grows critical.

For children


Wave me Goodbye by Jacqueline Wilson

Set in the Second World War, 10-year-old Shirley is sent away on a train with her schoolmates. She doesn't know where she's going - all she has been told is that she's going on 'a little holiday'. Shirley is billeted in the country with 2 boys from East End London, Kevin and Archie. Their experiences living in the strange, half-empty Red House, with the mysterious and reclusive Mrs Waverley, will change their lives for ever.

December 2023

For adults

The Christmas jigsaw murders by Alexandra Benedict

On 1 December, renowned puzzle setter, loner and Christmas sceptic Carla Murphy finds a hand-delivered present on her doorstep. Unwrapping it, she finds a jigsaw box with a question mark on the lid, and, inside, six jigsaw pieces. When fitted together, the pieces show part of a crime scene - blood-spattered black and white tiles and part of an outlined body. On the back of the pieces is a message: 'His death takes place on the solstice, unless you can put together the pieces,' along with a clue to the location of more pieces.

For children

A way to the stars by David Almond

Joe wants to find a way to the stars. With the help of his dad, he builds a ladder, a tower, even a rocket to go up, up, up. Oh no! Crash, bang, wallop! What next? Together, the pair jump on pogo sticks and build sheds to paint their dreams and find a way.

An uplifting and magical tale of sky-high courage, imagination and the bond between father and son that will make your heart soar.

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