Books round-up winter 2012: new paperbacks

Books round-up winter 2012: new paperbacks

Photo: Max S Gerber

Aimee Bender and Joanne Harris among the authors releasing paperback editions this winter

With the recession still biting hard, a hardback option is still not open to everyone, so thank the heavens that some quality softer reads (in form rather than content) are about to hit the shelves. Aimee Bender (pictured) certainly knows how to name a book with The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake being an obvious classic. Out shortly in paperback is her first book, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (Windmill), a collection of wistful and surreal tales.

For those who love a bit of British eccentricity floating around a crown court, all bets will be off when they get their mitts on Forever Rumpole (Penguin), John Mortimer’s selection of personal favourites as well as a fragment of an unfinished Rumpole novel from just prior to the popular author’s death in 2009. Probably still best known for her Chocolat, Joanne Harris has also offered readers a taste of her fantasy work, such as Runelight (Black Swan), the tale of how our world would have looked had it been shaped by the Vikings rather than the Romans.

Over in the world of science, William Hartson brings us The Things that Nobody Knows (Atlantic) featuring the great mysteries of lobsters, the abominable snowman, cannibals and gay giraffes, while Kitty Ferguson’s Stephen Hawking (Bantam) delivers a tome of the life and work of the boffin who is now, remarkably, 70 years young. The 2011 Booker winner Julian Barnes offers us a chance to peer Through the Window (Vintage) and into a collection of essays about the writers who have meant the most to him, while in sports news, Patrick Chaplin’s 180! (The History Press) celebrates the things you might not know about the humble game of darts.