Waterstones’ adult selection this month has a somewhat international twist. After an incredible 14-week run at the top of the German fiction charts, Maja Lunde’s The History of Bees is a sobering and prescient account of a planet gradually losing its primary key to life. The history and future of Europe’s most powerful economic force is vivaciously examined in James Hawes’ The Shortest History of Germany, whilst their thriller choice, The Invisible Guardian, submerges us in the terrifying pagan superstitions of the Basque Country. It too was a runaway European bestseller, its author Dolores Redondo drawing immediate comparison as the Spanish Stieg Larsson.
Finally their extraordinary Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year winner, The Hate U Give, continues its position as their Children’s Book of the Month.
Across a sweep of 250 years, Maja Lunde’s utterly chilling debut unspools the story of our civilisation’s near-ruin. From home counties England of 1851 to a future China at the end of this century, we witness the collapse of the bee, the prime pollinator and herald of life across the globe.
Fiction Book of the Month: The History of Bees – Maja Lunde
Lunde presents this catastrophe through the lens of three parents, their lives shaped by the presence or loss of bees, and all in their way harbouring ambitions for their children’s future. Circumstance however casts an ever-deepening shadow, the small scientific obsessions of a Victorian biologist ultimately eclipsed by 2098’s sheer need for survival. The human story, however, remains the same, in a brilliant novel of intimate and sometimes frightening prescience.
Non-Fiction Book of the Month: The Shortest History of Germany, James Hawes
In a little over 225 pages, James Hawes distils some two millennia of history into one exhilarating sprint of a country’s genesis and future. Far more than a simple overview of Germanic progress, The Shortest History of Germany serves too as a virtual CV of Europe, from the shadow of Caesar’s Rome to the schisms of Brexit, offering a real wealth of understanding to what both binds and divides us.
Witty, opinionated, almost roguishly confident, for anyone looking to understand what makes Europe’s most powerful economy tick, Hawes’s guide is the perfect portable companion.
Thriller of the Month: The Invisible Guardian, Dolores Redondo
Basque Country: a land of secrets, mythology and superstition. The discovery of a teenager – brutally murdered, her body left on the banks of the River Baztán – opens a nightmarish door to the past for Inspector Amaia Salazar.
Cautious, astute, Salazar is a woman of logic and reason, but as her investigation grows deeper, the ancient pagan belief of the local community begins to eat at her resolve: is she in the pursuit of a deranged ritualistic killer, or something even less human? A runaway bestseller in Redondo’s native Spain.
Children’s Book of the Month, The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
‘…a rollicking thriller and a deeply enjoyable read. No wonder it has been at the top of the New York Times’s young adult bestseller list for weeks.’ – The Times
A truly ground-breaking work of fiction, destined to become a future classic, The Hate U Give is a gripping, fierce and unflinching novel of one girl’s struggle for justice. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the story belongs to sixteen-year-old Starr, a young girl split between two worlds who finds herself the witness to a fatal shooting. Powerful and unforgettable, her story exposes divisions of class, racial inequality and the misuse of power, opening up a fault line that lies at the very heart of modern America.
See April’s books of the month at Waterstones, 71-74 North Street, Brighton.
Phone: 01273 206017
Opening Times: Mon, Wed-Fri: 9am-7pm; Tue: 9:30am-7pm; Sat: 9am-6pm; Sun: 11am-5pm