Penguin’s 2016 reading list

Discover your next great read. From a riveting biography to a long-awaited memoir, a compendium of novels and the ones to watch out for our summer reading list for 2016 has it all. Taken from our new-look WGB magazine, this article was put together with help from our friends at Penguin Books.

Our 2016 reading list, with help from Penguin Books

The top five

Charlotte Bronte: A Life by Claire Harman

Charlotte Brontë’s life contained all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired. A bestselling female author in a world still dominated by men, in each of her books Charlotte created brand new heroines, inspired by herself and her life – all fiercely intelligent women burning with hidden passions. This beautifully produced landmark biography is essential reading for every fan of the Brontë family’s writing, from Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights.

The Face of Britain by Simon Schama

Combining his two great passions – British history and art history – for the first time, Simon Schama’s extraordinary storytelling reveals the truth behind the nation’s most famous portrayals of power, love, fame, the self, and the people. Mesmerising in its breadth and panache, and beautifully illustrated with more than 150 images from the National Portrait Gallery, The Face of Britain will change the way we see our past – and ourselves.

Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello

Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll’s most iconic stars. This memoir, written with the same inimitable touch as his lyrics, and including dozens of images from his personal archive, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best known songs and the hits of tomorrow. The book contains many stories and observations about his renowned co-writers and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations on the less appealing side of infamy.

The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford

Here in one volume are all eight of Nancy Mitford’s sparklingly astute, hilarious and completely unputdownable novels: Highland Fling, Christmas Pudding, Wigs on the Green, Pigeon Pie, The Pursuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate, The Blessing and Don’t Tell Alfred. Published over a period of 30 years, the novels provide a wonderful glimpse of the bright young things of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s in the city and in the shires; firmly ensconced at home or making a go of it abroad.

Everything We Touch by Paula Zucotti

Imagine how your day would look if you recorded everything that you touched. From smartphone to soap, from spice to spoon… what if they were all brought together in one place? Would they tell a bigger story? From a toddler in Tokyo to a cowboy in Arizona, from a cleaner in London to a cloister nun in Madrid, Every Thing We Touch is their story told through the objects they own, consume, need, choose, treasure and can’t let go. Each image is mystery, a story, a work of art. Each is a moment in time: a life and a world reflected back at us.

The ones to watch out for

Our 2016 reading list, with help from Penguin Books

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax

Released: January 2016

Five hundred years ago no-one died of stress: we invented this concept and now we let it rule us. We might have evolved to be able to miraculously balance on seven-inch heels, but as far as our emotional development is concerned we’re still swimming with the pond scum. If we don’t advance our more human qualities then we’re doomed evolution-wise to become cyborgs, with an imprint of an ‘Apple’ where our hearts used to be. Ruby Wax shows us a scientific solution to these modern problems: mindfulness. Outrageously witty, smart and accessible, Ruby Wax shows ordinary people how and why to change for good.

Our 2016 reading list, with help from Penguin Books

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

Released: January 2016

A gripping debut psychological thriller from an author who can reveal very little about himself. This is a man who has lied all his life. Roy is a conman living in a small English town, about to pull off his final con. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings. But who is the man behind the con? What has he had to do to survive a life of lies? And who has had to pay the price?

Our 2016 reading list, with help from Penguin Books

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Released: February 2016

An exquisite story of mothers and daughters from the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge, My Name is Lucy Barton is keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable. With this latest novel, Elizabeth Strout – one of America’s finest writers – shows how a simple hospital visit illuminates the most tender relationship of all: the one between mother and daughter.

Our 2016 reading list, with help from Penguin Books

My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal

Released: June 2016

Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing pretend faces. They are threatening to take Jake away and give him to strangers. Because Jake is white and Leon is not. Evoking a Britain of the early 80s, My Name is Leon is a story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how – just when we least expect it – we somehow manage to find our way home.

Pick your read and book your stay in Cornwall at Watergate Bay Hotel.

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