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Autumn/Winter Reads: The Ones to Watch

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett October 29, Bonnier Zaffre

Thought you’d never read a book about Queen Elizabeth living a double life? Well, it exists, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Following the morning after a grand dinner party at Windsor Castle, The Queen finds out that one of her guests has been found dead with a rope around his neck. This Queen, however, has a knack for crime-solving which has hereto been hidden from the public. The Windsor Knot is the ultimate book to cosy up with and get lost in on a chilly autumnal evening. - Hollie 

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett November 10, Atheneum Books for Young Readers

When she went to college, all Emily wanted was a new life. What she didn’t expect was for her first year at Boston University to be so lonely. When she meets Josh and his charismatic friends, she readily joins their friendly social group, The Kingdom. Initially, they remind Emily of the church-going community of her childhood, filled with welcoming – rather than wasted – faces . Very quickly, Emily is swept up in the allure of The Kingdom. As she lets her class and commitments slide to focus on intense religious practices, she begins to relinquish control of her individuality to keep the peace with her new family. When an exclusive mission trip to Europe turns deadly, Emily begins to question how far she is willing to go to belong. Will Emily fall prey to something sinister, or can she find a way to survive?  - Zoë

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam November 12, Bloomsbury

“Well, the sun was shining. They felt that boded well – people turn any old thing into an omen.”

In Rumaan Alam’s deeply unsettling and darkly satirical new literary thriller, two families –  strangers to one other – are thrown together and isolated from civilisation when a power outage plunges New York into darkness. Amanda and Clay were hoping for a quiet weekend away with their teenage son and daughter. But when Ruth and G.H – the older Black couple who own the home that they are renting – unexpectedly return in the middle of the night, fear and suspicion begin to bubble beneath the surface. A tense and gripping exploration of family, race, class and the trust that we must put in strangers when the world outside is no longer recognisable to us. - Bayley 

The Betrayals by Bridget Collins November 12, Borough Press

In this brilliant and thrilling follow-up to Bridget Collins’ The Binding, Léo Martin returns to his old school at Montverre, an exclusive academy for exceptionally talented individuals where they train for the grand jeu, an old and mysterious contest. With his personal life and political career in tatters, Léo is forced to reconsider everything he knows. This, however, is made much more difficult by his mysterious connection with Claire Dryden, who serves in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. Both with secrets to hide, Léo and Claire are drawn to each other. But as the legendary Midsummer Game draws closer, it won’t be long before their secrets are revealed. - Laura

A Promised Land by Barack Obama November 17, Penguin

In one of this year’s most highly anticipated books, President Barack Obama tells the story of his journey into the White House. From the early days through to his first term in office, he takes readers inside his political career. Told in his own words, A Promised Land is a deeply personal account of Obama’s compelling journey, his search for identity and the trials and tribulations he faced up to, and after, the watershed moment of November 4th 2008. On that historic day, he was elected the 44th president of the United States and became the first Black individual to do so. Inspirational, unique and thought provoking, this memoir is not to be missed: it demonstrates the power of truly believing in the possibility of change and a better future. - Genevieve 

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat

November 19, Dialogue Books

Zaina Arafat’s captivating debut is an exploration of sexual, cultural and religious identity. Set across two timelines, it follows a Palestinian-American woman as she wrestles with her longing for love and belonging through her childhood, which is filled with shame and misunderstanding, and her young adulthood. Once comfortably settled into a relationship with her girlfriend, the feelings she has repressed for over a decade threaten to read their heads and ruin the life that she has built for herself. As she reckons with her destructive tendencies, she chooses an unconventional option, one that will force her to confront the trauma of her past. Gripping and provocative – and addictive – You Exist Too Much is a perfect November read.

- Meg 



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