The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in July

Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief.

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Fiction Books

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

Set during the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood. An instant classic.

The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop

What is home? What is our idea of homesickness? This a novel that takes us from England to Australia to India. It is not just about the places but the people in them and the expectations on them about the idea of home. Charlotte loves the cold of England, her husband, raised in India wants some warmth. They decide to emigrate to Australia with their young children. Charlotte is a character that will lead you on a journey towards her idea of home. The fascinating part of the novel is that all the time the characters are at home they are looking out. A really satisfying novel that will keep you reading and thinking. Chris

The Dust That Falls From Dreams by Louis de Berniéres

Set in the golden years of King Edward VII’s reign, Rosie McCosh and her three sisters are growing up in an idyllic and eccentric household in Kent, with their ‘pals’ the Pitt boys on one side of the fence and the Pendennis boys on the other. But their days of childhood innocence and adventure are destined to be followed by the apocalypse that will overwhelm their world as they come to adulthood. How do they cope and what happens after the war? De Berniere puts us right there in the middle of all that devastation and change. Chris

The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons

Another great read from the author of Mr Rosenblum’s List. Love and music and like Mr Rosenblum another great character in Harry. The novel has a feel of Downton Abbey about it, a time of transition and learning to live in a new world. Humour threads it’s way through this compassionate story of families, especially the handling of the talented young musician! Chris

A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

Two people meet, one an old woman who is waiting for something that she cannot quite explain and the other a young man home from the war broken and waiting to regain his life. He delivers a letter to a man in Cornwall from his dead son and meets Marvellous. Just like When God Was A Rabbit Winman has written another magical, quirky novel. Chris

Motherland by Jo McMillan

Midlands, England in the 1970’s and Jess is helping her mother sell communism to the working class of Tamworth. Jess is twelve years old. Her mother is a delight, a woman who has ideals, a sense of humour and just loves people. She wants them to be happy and above all peaceful. After a few visits to  East Germany she begins to feel a little crushed by all the rules. I laughed out loud a few times at the almost Monty Python humour. If you like your fiction about real events with humour you will love this. Chris

I Saw A Man by Owen Sheers

Three people, three stories all connected by loss and guilt. Owen Sheers builds the tension between these three people like a good thriller. Michael, the writer walks into what he thinks is the empty house of a neighbour. Daniel is an American pilot responsible for ordering drone attacks in various parts of the world. He has written to Michael about his guilt. Josh, a banker and his wife Samanatha and their two children are caught in the middle. So very very good.  Chris

Crime Fiction Books

The Cartel by Don Winslow

Ten years ago Don Winslow wrote the thriller of the decade. The Power of the Dog was an epic thriller that detailed America’s thirty year war on drugs on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. Ten years later he has done it again. Winslow blows The Power of the Dog away detailing the next ten years of the so-called “war” on drugs taking everything that was groundbreaking, epic and mind-blowing to a whole new level. A thriller that is impossible to put down and impossible to forget. Jon

Stealing People by Robert Wilson

Charlie Boxer returns in one of Robert Wilson’s best novels to date.There are so many fantastic elements to this story. Big business, politics, war and how they are each inseparable from the other.  Robert Wilson brings all his talent as a supreme thriller writer to bear in the tightly-plotted, fast paced, addictive page-turner. Jon

Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville

Stuart Neville takes his writing up another notch in his latest thought-provoking and tragic crime novel. This isn’t a crime novel where a mystery needs to be solved or a vicious killer is stalking victims, although you are kept guessing at different times. This is a crime novel about what happens afterwards, after a crime has been committed and punishment has been handed out and served. It is about what happens to those who were involved and how they deal with the consequences. Jon

The English Spy by Daniel Silva

Daniel Silva delivers another stunning thriller in his latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue featuring the inimitable Gabriel Allon, the world’s favourite art restorer, assassin and spy. Daniel Silva returns with another powerhouse of a novel – one that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination.

The Dying Season by Martin Walker

The Dordogne town of St Denis may be picturesque and sleepy, but it has more than its fair share of mysteries, as Bruno, chef de police, knows all too well. But when Bruno is invited to the 90th birthday of a powerful local patriarch – a war hero with high-level political connections in France, Russia and Israel – he encounters a family with more secrets than even he had imagined. When one of the other guests is found dead the next morning and the family try to cover it up, Bruno knows it’s his duty to prevent the victim from becoming just another skeleton in their closet.

Childrens’ Picture Books

Grandad’s Islind by Benji Davies

Benji Davies, author of Storm Whale has quickly become one of our favourite illustrators and authors. In this new book she tackles with great subtlety and care the subject of death and a small boys struggle to come to terms with the loss of grandfather. Ian

The Night World by Mordecai Gerstein

Everyone in the house is asleep, but a little boy sneaks out into the garden to discover the world of the night is alive with movement and adventure. As the moon wains and the sun rises he gets to experience the joy of a new day. This book is worth buying for the wonderful artwork alone! Ian

Books for First Readers

Izzy Folau: Chance of a Lifetime by Israel Folau

Fans of David Warner’s The Kaboom Kid will love Chance of a Lifetime, which unites two young boys from very different backgrounds when they’re offered the chance to be coached by Australian Rugby star Izzy Folau. As much a story of friendship as it is about rugby! Simon

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

This is Aaron’s first foray into chapter books and he has done it with the wit and humour that we have come to expect from the author of Pig the Pug. The Bad Guys have an image problem they look like BAD guys, they even smell like BAD guys but that is all about to change.  They Bad Guys are planning to break out 200 dogs form the maximum security pound. Can they pull it off? Can they really become the Good Guys ? Ian

Books for Young Readers

The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

The Bailey twins are back in there eagerly awaited third adventure. Alex is still training to become the next Fairygodmother and Conner is off on a mission in Europe. But there is a creeping evil that threatens the Land of Stories that will bring Alex and Conner back together to face their biggest challenge yet. Jan

Soon by Morris Gleitzman

Soon continues the incredibly moving story of Felix, a Jewish boy still struggling to survive in the wake of the liberation of Poland after the end of World War Two.

Books for Young Adults

Risk by Fleur Ferris

Taylor and Sierra are best friends who both fall for the same gorgeous guy they have met on the internet. Sierra goes to meet Jacob whilst her friends cover for her. But Sierra doesn’t turn up when expected and Taylor and the rest of their friends are thrown into a scary, dark world they know nothing about. Can Sierra be found in time? I couldn’t stop reading this, scary and confronting. Jan

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Minnow has been with the cult since she was five years old. They have taken everything from her but when she rebels they take away her hands. When the Prophet is killed and the camp set on fire the FBI know she is aware of what happened. A truly amazing debut novel. Jan


Published by

Jon Page

Jon Page is a bookseller and author of the Bite the Book Blog.