Funny Girl - the much-anticipated new novel by Nick Hornby, the million-copy bestselling author of About a Boy Make them laugh, and they're yours forever . . .
It's the swinging 60s and the nation is mesmerized by unlikely comedy star Sophie Straw, the former Blackpool beauty queen who just wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball.
Behind the scenes, the cast and crew are having the time of their lives. But when the script begins to get a bit too close to home, and life starts imitating art, they all face a choice.
The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, each harbour a secret. The Oxbridge-educated director, Dennis, loves his job but hates his marriage. The male star Clive, feels he's destined for better things. And Sophie Straw, who's changed her name and abandoned her old life, must decide whether to keep going, or change the channel.
Nick Hornby's new novel is about popular culture, youth and old age, fame, class and teamwork. It offers a wonderfully captivating portrait of youthful exuberance and creativity, and of a period when both were suddenly allowed to flourish. Fans of Hornby will love this book, as will readers of David Nicholls, Mark Haddon and William Boyd.
Nick Hornby is the author of five bestselling novels (High Fidelity, About a Boy, How To Be Good, A Long Way Down and Juliet, Naked), a novel for young adults, Slam, and four works of acclaimed non-fiction: Fever Pitch, 31 Songs, The Complete Polysyllabic Spree and Stuff I've Been Reading. A Long Way Down, About a Boy, High Fidelity and Fever Pitch have all been made into major films. He also wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated An Education, and is currently writing screenplays for Cheryl Strayed's Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, and Colm Toibin's Brooklyn.
In a small town in the south-east of Ireland in the 1950s, Ellis Lacey is among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. So when she is offered a job in America, she leaves her family to start a new life in Brooklyn, New York.
Annie and Duncan are a mid-thirties couple who have reached a fork in the road, realising their shared interest in the reclusive musician Tucker Crowe is not enough to hold them together any more. When Annie hates Tucker's 'new release', a terrible demo of his most famous album, it's the last straw - Duncan cheats on her and she throws him out.
She is an Italian accountancy student in London, and her boyfriend Eddie teaches at a language school. But the prime reason Immacolata Borelli came to Britain was to look after her gangster brother, wanted for multiple murders back home in Naples.
For the Borelli clan are major players in the Camorra, a crime network more close-knit and ruthless than the Sicilian Mafia.
A memoir about becoming a comix memoirist. It chronicles the author's own nervous breakdown, his experiments with psychedelic drugs, his mother's suicide and his incarceration in a mental hospital. It is suitable for those interested in the American counterculture, and the development of graphic art.
Named Pembe and Jamila, meaning Pink and Beautiful rather than the names their mother wanted to call them, Destiny and Enough, the twin girls have very different futures ahead of them all of which will end in tragedy on a street in East London in 1978.
Suspecting a disastrous conspiracy, Toby attempts to forestall it, but is promptly posted overseas. Three years on, summoned by Sir Christopher Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely watched by Probyn's daughter Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and his duty to the Service.
Imagine you give a dinner party and a friend of a friend brings a stranger to your house as his guest. He seems pleasant enough. Imagine that this stranger goes upstairs halfway through the dinner party and locks himself in one of your bedrooms and won't come out. Imagine you can't move him for days, weeks, months. If ever. This is what Miles does, in a chichi house in the historic borough of Greenwich, in the year 2009-10, in There but for the. Who is Miles, then? And what does it mean, exactly, to live with other people? Sharply satirical and sharply compassionate, with an eye to the meanings of the smallest of words and the slightest of resonances, There but for the fuses disparate perspectives in a crucially communal expression of identity and explores our very human attempts to navigate between despair and hope, enormity and intimacy, cliché and grace. Ali Smith's dazzling new novel is a funny, moving book about time, memory, thought, presence, quietness in a noisy time, and the importance of hearing ourselves think.
Maxwell Sim seems to have hit rock bottom. Estranged from his father, newly divorced, unable to communicate with his only daughter, he realizes that while he may have seventy-four friends on Facebook, there is nobody in the world with whom he can actually share his problems. Then a business proposition comes his way.
John le Carré's latest novel, Our Kind of Traitor, is set in contemporary, recession gripped Britain. A left-leaning young Oxford academic and his barrister girlfriend take an off-peak holiday on the Caribbean island of Antigua. By seeming chance they bump into a Russian millionaire called Dima who owns a peninsula and a diamond-encrusted gold watch. He also has a tattoo on his right thumb, and wants a game of tennis.
What else he wants propels the young lovers on a tortuous journey through Paris to a safe house in the Swiss Alps, to the murkiest cloisters of the City of London and its unholy alliance with Britain's Intelligence Establishment.
Paul O'Rourke - dentist extraordinaire, reluctant New Yorker, avowed atheist, disaffected Red Sox fan, and a connoisseur of the afternoon mochaccino - is a man out of touch with modern life.
Nuri is a young boy when his mother dies. It seems that nothing will fill the emptiness that her strange death leaves behind in the Cairo apartment he shares with his father.
When Nuri first sees Mona, sitting in her bright yellow swimsuit by the pool of the Magda Marina holiday resort, the rest of the world vanishes. But it is Nuri's father with whom Mona falls in love and who she will eventually marry. And their happiness consumes Nuri to the point where he longs to get his father out of the way. However, Nuri will soon regret what he wished for. And, as he and his stepmother's world is shattered by events beyond their control, they both begin to realise how little they really knew about the man they loved.
In a voice that is delicately wrought and beautifully tender, Hisham Matar asks, in his extraordinary new novel, when a loved one disappears how does their absence shape the lives of those who are left?
'A curiously engaging story that takes one into a world that seem as simultaneously remote and familiar as something in a dream. Each time I had to put it down I couldn't wait to get back to it' Michael Frayn 'Two things stood out as I read Anatomy of Disappearance. First, there was the quiet power of the language, and the author's control of it. Second, there was Hisham Matar's ability to tell a story that from the first sentence seems inevitable, yet is full of surprises. I was moved and very impressed.' Roddy Doyle