We Are Reading

At Jaffé & Neale we are always happy to recommend our favourite reads. Here are our current picks:

“Funny, surprising, unsettling; an easy read that shocks you with its profundity. A truly enjoyable read that amuses and keeps you on your toes. A mountain appears overnight and impacts the lives of all its neighbours. Ocho worries about his wife’s fidelity, the town drunk throws bricks through people’s windows and two children navigate their family’s eccentricities. It all comes together in a nail biting ending.”
Ghost Mountain
Review by Patrick Neale
“Unusual, unsettling yet a compelling read. Translated from the Swedish, The Eighth House is Linda Segtnan’s fascinating deep-dive into the unsolved murder of a young girl in rural 1940s Sweden. As the 2020 pandemic hits, Linda finds that the increasing pull that this cold case has over her provides some haunting experiences whilst she’s pregnant with her second child.”
The Eighth House
Review by Rachel White
“THE BEST READ OF 2023. This is a startling piece of work. It’s speculative fiction at its most gripping. It’s the best book I have read in a long while. It takes us through the environmental crisis in America over the next 30 years at the macro and micro level. The characters become friends and enemies. It feels as if Jonathan Franzen and Tolstoy have been asked to collaborate to write a Netflix series about global warming and how it affects everyday lives. A must read. I have imported copies from the US and will be thrusting it into all my customers’ hands.”
The Deluge
Review by Patrick Neale
“An alternative history set in Oxford, where the power of the British Empire derives from the translation institute at Babel, which allows them to imbue silver with magical properties. This is a fascinating exploration of colonialism and the Industrial Revolution with a large dose of etymology – I couldn’t put it down!”
Review by Hattie Williams
“Richard Flanagan has created a moving and gripping memoir, capturing the horrors of his father’s incarceration in the Second World War (as recounted in the Booker Winner Narrow Road to the Deep North), the arrival of the Atomic Bomb, first envisaged by H G Wells and his near death from drowning while canoeing at the age of 21. His laser clear view of what it means to be a human makes it a privilege to read and accompany him on his reflections of growing up in Tasmania, an island with a haunted and guilty past.”
Question 7
Review by Patrick Neale
“An intricate portrayal of small-town Irish life tangled up within a slow-burning suspense novel. Tana French is brilliant at writing believable dialogue and conveying tension.”
The Hunter
Review by Rachel White
“A novel in translation about being found in translation.”
New Finnish Grammar
Review by Hattie Williams
“Simultaneously horrifying and heartwarming.”
Glorious Exploits
Review by Hattie Williams
“Well, watch out Bob Mortimer, this is an hilarious crime caper set on the Scottish island of Mull. The characters are intriguing and the internal monologue of officer Ivor Punch is a joy to witness. There’s a severed hand, a missing airplane and a depressed detective and yet it’s full of laughs. The Lead singer of Mull Historical Society has shown the deeper depths of his talents. Looking forward to more in this series. (Patrick is delighted to recount he heard about this book while attending a Mull Historical Society Gig, highly recommended)”
When The Needle Drops
Review by Patrick Neale
“If anybody was going to tell John Deakin’s story, then it had to be Iain Sinclair. Blending biography and fiction (“psychobiographic fiction” — yup, that’s a new one on me too…) ‘Pariah Genius’ follows the infamous photographer from the bombed out ruins of 1940s Malta to the drunken debauchery of ’50s and ’60s Soho, and ultimately his most famous subject, Francis Bacon.”
Pariah Genius
Review by David Faulds
“If you want an elevator pitch then this is The English Patient meets The Goldfinch. It’s a joy. Derek B Miller has thrown everything into this novel. His storytelling is wonderful, drawing you into the world of a young child who loses its parents and witnesses the catastrophe of the Destruction of the Monastery Montecassino in the Allies’ advance on Italy in 1943. The child is taken under the wing of the enigmatic Pietro Houdini Mussolini. They struggle to survive and collect a band of misfits along their Odyssey. Miller’s writing is mesmeric. It makes you despair as you come to the end of the book. I didn’t realise that my life would involve worrying about the fate of a mule called Ferrari. But Derek B Miller deals out episodes of love, war, history, art and humour in exquisite prose, leaving you craving for more.”
The Curse of Pietro Houdini
Review by Patrick Neale
“A bootleg VHS by an obscure French filmmaker. A dilapidated house in the edgelands of Birmingham. A journey down a rabbit hole of obsessions. A masterclass in British weird fiction.”
The Witnesses Are Gone
Review by David Faulds
“In 1760, royal astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil sets sail for India to observe the passage of Venus across the sun, a rare event that will happen in 1761, 1769, and then not until 2004 and 2012. In 2012, Xavier Lemercier removes a bronze telescope from an apartment he’s sold and, looking through it at other apartments, spots a zebra. This is a lovely book which is perfect summer reading!”
An Astronomer In Love
Review by Hattie Williams
“Seven touching short stories about human (and feline) relationships. May even tug at the heartstrings of dog owners.”
The Goodbye Cat
Review by Simon Lewis-Beeching
“This is such a clever page turner. It’s a fictionalisation of Vladimir Putin’s ascendency and all that entailed. It feels like you have a front seat view on Russian history as it is made. It’s a gripping read and thought provoking.”
The Wizard of the Kremlin
Review by Patrick Neale

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