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Five librarians from across the UK pick autumn highlights

Updated: 2 days ago

Published September 3, 2021 by Bookseller News Team

Daren Kearl, adult fiction stock and development librarian, Kent Libraries

I really loved the atmosphere and message in Sarah Moss’ Summerwater. The story of a woman in quarantine who goes hill-walking at dusk, The Fell (Picador) should chime with lots of us who used walking in the countryside as a means to keep our mental health during lockdowns.

My interest in Rose Tremain’s writing was reignited after Islands of Mercy; as a fan of Joseph Conrad, the Malay settings were familiar and such was the power of the writing and investment in the characters’ lives, I didn’t want it to end. Lily: A Tale of Revenge (Chatto & Windus) looks to be another engaging novel exploring the Victorian underbelly.

I always enjoy reading a haunting story around Halloween and The Haunting Season (Sphere), a new collection of stories from a fantastic range of authors—such as Bridget Collins, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Elizabeth MacNeal and the folk horror master Andrew Michael Hurley—will be my go-to read this October. Following The Librarian and Grandmothers, Salley Vickers is on a roll, using her psychology background to produce interesting, nuanced characters. The Gardener (Viking), a tale of a neglected English garden being brought back to life by an Albanian migrant hired by two sisters, looks like a reflection on the present day—and I love any books that hold a mirror up to now.

I really enjoyed the intelligent literary murder mystery Snow, and sequel April in Spain (Faber) is set in the rather warmer climes of Spain, following John Banville’s exploration of some of the darker aspects of Irish history.Daren Kearl, adult fiction stock and development librarian, Kent Libraries

Andy McDonald, libraries development officer for digital delivery, enterprise & innovation, Cumbria County Council