The 10 books you should read this year

A new chapter is upon us, but what does 2015 hold for the world of literature? Grace Hammond takes a look at the highlights.

mag caption: Poss big interview Aug 31, SJ Watson whose debut novel Before I Go to Sleep has been sold in 42 different countries. S J Watson 6(c) Graham Jepson

Otto And Russell And James - Emma Hooper (Fig Tree, January)

Hooper’s debut is already one of the most talked about releases of 2015. When 83 year old Etta decides she is going to walk almost 2,000 to see the sea, she leaves behind a note and a husband forced to confront a lifetime of memories.

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Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary - Anita Anand (Bloomsbury, January)

Biography of Sophia Duleep Singh whose family were exiled from 19th century Kashmir. While raised in genteel English aristocracy, Sophia secretly returned to India and when she came back her life was set on a revolutionary course.

Second Life - SJ Watson (Doubleday, February).

Watson stirred the envy of all would-be writers when his chilling debut novel, Before I Go To Sleep, was made into a film starring Nicole Kidman. With its focus on an apparently devoted wife and mother who lives a double life, the follow-up looks set to be equally gripping.

Galina Petrovna’s Three Legged Dog Story, Andrea Bennett (The Borough Press, February)

Some books expand the mind, others provide light relief. This definitely belongs in the second category, following a group of spirited septuagenarians who not only save a beloved dog from being put down, but triumph in a land where bureaucracy reigns above all else.

The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber, March).

After a 10 year absence, this is the The Remains of the Day author’s eagerly awaited new novel. The book opens as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years.

Dead Wake, Erik Larson (Crown, March)

Gripping story of the luxury ocean Lusitania, which set out from New York in 1915 after Germany declared the seas around Britain a war zone. Its captain believed a civilian ship would be safe from attack, but hubris, fog and a closely guarded secret produced one of history’s great disasters.

Gorsky, Vesna Goldsworthy (Chatto & Windus, April)

Pitched as a 21st version of The Great Gatsby, expectations are high. Set in London, at the city’s social heart is an enigmatic Russian oligarch whose need to be seen as learned ends up embroiling one of the capital’s second hand booksellers.

A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson (Transworld, May)

The follow-up to the bestseller Life After Life, Atkinson here focuses on Teddy, the younger brother of her earlier protagonist Ursula Todd. A would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father, Atkinson explores her usual epic themes as Teddy attempts to navigate the perils and progress of the 20th century.

Magna Carta And Us, David Starkey (Hodder & Stoughton, April)

With 2015 marking its 800th anniversary, prepare for a glut of books about the Magna Carta. Starkey’s, however, looks set to be one of the best, exploring the history of the document which created Britain’s constitution as well as looking at its relevance today.

Honourable Friends?, Caroline Lucas (Portobello, March)

With the forthcoming General Election meaning most politicians will be toeing the party line, this expose of the secret workings of Westminster by the Green Party’s first MP should make for an interesting read.