By Annie Ku, Anna Robinson, Maisy Twaddle and Georgia Wells
I'm Not As Well As I Thought I Was by Ruby Wax
11 May 2023, Penguin Books Ltd
In her new book, I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was, Ruby Wax recounts how her 2022 globe-trotting search for meaning ended up with her in a mental health institution. The book was intended to be based on her extreme adventures in finding an antidote to the frazzled mind, but her outward journeys lead her to turn inward instead. Darkly humorous and refreshingly honest, Wax writes a guide on how to find meaning when you are lost. By sharing her own experiences and pulling no punches, Wax’s fearlessness and clear message that the mental health conversation needs to be reframed for the better is a great comfort to readers.
I'm Not As Well As I Thought I Was will also be on stage as Ruby Wax goes on tour later this year. Her outstanding work as a mental health campaigner, alongside her being a best-selling author, actress and comedian, marks this book as one of the most formidable reads this year.
Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson
11 May 2023, Penguin Books Ltd
A powerful novel set across three summers and two countries, this novel is an intimate exploration of a father-son relationship, music and faith.
Set in London to Ghana and back again, Small Worlds portrays Stephen. The only thing that can solve his problems is dancing; at church, with friends at a basement party, with his best friend Adeline in the living room, alone. Dancing is his faith and he believes in rhythm.
Dancing is an escape that Stephen can lose himself in. But, when the music fades, his relationships are strained. His father speaks of shame and sacrifice and his home no longer feels like a haven. Stephen must find a space for himself where he can feel free.
Small Worlds searches for a space for Stephen and asks the reader about the worlds we build for ourselves, where we can dance, love and live. How are these spaces made? And how do we begin to feel safe somewhere new?
Author Caleb Azumah Nelson has been hailed as an exciting and fresh new voice within British literature and received acclaim for his debut novel, Open Water.
Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini
16 May 2023, Pan MacMillan
The new thrilling prequel of space opera To Sleep in a Sea of Stars is the opportunity of a lifetime for crew members sent to examine an anomaly on the planet Talos VII. A pit has appeared with such perfect dimensions that I can only be the product of intelligent and conscious design. A small team is assembled to learn more and their voyage will take them to the very edge of existence.
For some of the crew it is an adventure, for others it is a risk not worth taking. For xenobiologist Alex Crichton, the trek is a desperate attempt to find meaning in a cruel and uncaring universe. With each step that they take becoming more and more punishing than the last, no one is truly prepared for what they will uncover.
Meditative and gripping, Fractal Noise features an exciting sci-fi world.
Someone Else’s Bucket List by Amy T. Matthews
23 May 2023, Kensington Publishing
Jodie Boyd had always lived in the shadow of her older sister, Bree. Her sister was outgoing and loved life. She had travelled all across the globe and documented the whole experience on her successful Instagram account with over 1 million followers. However, illness does not pick and choose who it hits. The Boyds’ world is completely rocked by the untimely death of Bree, following a short fight with Leukaemia. Not only are they at an emotional loss, but financially too, weighed down by the huge medical debt left behind.
In her grief, Jodie goes to look through her sister’s Instagram page in remembrance, only to be met with something far more surprising. A posthumous post, addressed to Jodie! In this post, Jodie is challenged to things way beyond her comprehension to complete Bree’s very public bucket list, from “perform a walk-on cameo in a Broadway musical” to “fly over Antarctica.” Jodie begins to doubt herself. That is until she sees the catch of the post – a corporate sponsor will cover the cost of all medical bills if she is able to complete it.
Jodie finds herself impossibly out of her depth, but ready to live life for her sister. The final item on the list is the most surprising of all – to fall in love. But as she comes out of her comfort zone, Jodie finds that this challenge is perhaps one of the easiest on the list.