Archive for July, 2021

July 27, 2021

Bestsellers from 20 to 26 July

by Team Riverside
Human Kind

Rutger Bregman – Humankind

Frank Herbert – Dune

Dolly Alderton – Ghosts

Bessel Van der Kolk – The Body Keeps the Score

Bella Mackie – How to Kill Your Family

Maggie O’Farrell – Hamnet

John Kampfner – Why the Germans Do it Better

Matt Haig – The Midnight Library

Riku Onda – The Aosawa Murders

Amor Towles – A Gentleman in Moscow

Caleb Azumah Nelson – Open Water

Natasha Lunn – Conversations on Love

Natasha Brown – Assembly

Brit Bennett – The Vanishing Half

J R R Tolkein – The Return of the King

Jonathan Coe – Mr Wilder and Me

Kazuo Ishiguro – Klara and the Sun

Julia Donaldson – Tiddler

Reni Eddo-Lodge – Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Hollie Hughes – The Girl and the Dinosaur

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July 26, 2021

Summer Reading Promotion

by Team Riverside

Our Summer Reading Promotion is now on in store, get 4 books for the price of 3 (with the cheapest book free). We have titles available across Children’s, Fiction and Non-Fiction, see our full list of titles for purchase in the 4 for 3 promotion below:

Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi

Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Troy by Stephen Fry

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Islands of Mercy by Rose Tremain

I Am An Island by Tamsin Calidas

V For Victory by Lisa Evans

The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak

Us Three by Ruth Jones

Actress by Anne Enright

V2 by Robert Harris

All Adults Here by Emma Straub

Summer by Ali Smith

The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel van der Kolk

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Phillippa Perry

Agent Sonia by Ben Macintyre

Difficult Women by Helen Lewis

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

The Moth and the Mountain by Ed Caesar

Sicily ’43 by James Holland

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charles Mackesy

The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

Worst Holiday Ever by Charlie Higson

Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney

The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo

Kay’s Anatomy by Adam Kay

July 20, 2021

We Want Our Books by Jake Alexander

by Team Riverside
We Want Our Books

Hardback, Pan Macmillan, £12.99, out now

Rosa has so many interesting questions that her dad suggests they visit the library to get the answers.  But the library is closed and boarded up, because it’s going to be knocked down and replaced by a restaurant.  There will be no library to provide answers.

In this striking picture book, Rosa and her family do their best to protest against the closure by reminding people of how useful and important libraries are.  But no one seems to listen, as people are either too busy or think that the protest is beneath their notice.

But it turns out that more people care about the library than only Rosa’s family, and that all together they can make a difference.

We Want Our Books is a love letter to libraries and a believable story about the highs and lows of grassroots protest. 

I still get a rush of joy whenever I walk into a public library, when I remember that I can find a book that might change my life and that I can borrow it for free.  And if you need a reminder of how lovely libraries can be, treat yourself to a look here:  Libraries need our support – support yours!

Review by Bethan

July 20, 2021

Bestsellers from 14 to 19 July

by Team Riverside
The Vanishing Half

Brit Bennett – The Vanishing Half

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Notes on Grief

Richard Osman – The Thursday Murder Club

Mary Ann Sieghart – The Authority Gap

Rutger Bregman – Humankind

Lisa Taddeo – Animal

Douglas Stuart – Shuggie Bain

Jennifer Makumbi – The First Woman

Olga Ravn – The Employees

Elizabeth Jenner – What to Look For in Summer

DVSA – Official DVSA Theory Test

Avni Doshi – Burnt Sugar

Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

Chris Riddell – Ottoline Goes to School

David Peace – Tokyo Redux

Kazuo Ishiguro – Klara and the Sun

Margaret Kennedy – The Feast

Maggie O’Farrell – Hamnet

Natalie Haynes – Pandora’s Jar

Marion Billet – There are 101 Things to Find in London

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July 14, 2021

Bestsellers from 7 to 13 July

by Team Riverside
Notes on Grief

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Notes on Grief

Rutger Bregman – Humankind: a Hopeful History

Various – Murder Takes a Holiday

Sarah Moss – Summerwater

Matt Haig –  The Comfort Book

Elena Ferrante – The Lying Life of Adults

Janice Hallett – The Appeal

Natasha Brown – Assembly

Peppa’s London Day Out Sticker Book

Roald Dahl – Matilda’s How to be Brave

Brit Bennett – The Vanishing Half

Andrew O’Hagan – Mayflies

Sally Rooney – Conversations with Friends

Maggie O’Farrell – Hamnet

Mieko Kawakami – Breasts and Eggs

Matt Haig – The Midnight Library

Yun Ko-Eun – The Disaster Tourist             

Riku Onda – The Aosawa Murders

John Christopher – The Death of Grass

Adam Kay – Kay’s Anatomy

Review by Bethan

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July 12, 2021

London Green Spaces by Harry Adès

by Team Riverside
London Green Spaces

Paperback, Hoxton Mini Press, £9.95, out now

After a year of intermittent lockdowns, when I was lucky enough to have a lively local park near me and to be able to visit it, I am very ready to try out some new London green spots. London Green Spaces is one of a gorgeous new series of small London guidebooks, and this book makes it fun to start a day-out wishlist.  Even looking at the photos cheered me up.

I thought I knew most of the cool parks and green bits in London, but there were several in here I’d never heard of.  London Green Spaces offers an enticing reminder of the big places too, the ones that you know about but haven’t visited for a while, like Richmond Park or Epping Forest.  Useful cover maps and suggested walks would help make a day of it.

The Red Cross Garden in London Bridge features, and I can vouch for its sanctuary-like feel as a respite from the Borough Market crowds at the weekend (  The book is good on these small places as well as the grand sweeping ones.  I’d add the Crossbones Graveyard, just round the corner from the Red Cross Garden, though you always need to check the opening hours (

Other craveable titles in the series include Vegan London, London Pubs, and Independent London.  You’re in London (maybe)… it’s summer (sort of)… if you’re able to get out and about these books will help you lively up your plans. 

Review by Bethan

July 4, 2021

How to Listen by Katie Colombus

by Team Riverside
How to Listen

Paperback, Kyle Books, £12.99, out now

This is the most instantly useful book I have read this year.  The subtitle shows exactly what it is for: “Tools for opening up conversations when it matters most”.

Produced with the Samaritans and drawing on the experiences of their volunteers and service users, whose useful and detailed insights appear throughout the book, this is a straightforward guide to active listening.  It is very easy to read and no special skills are needed.

The Samaritans use the helpful acronym SHUSH for active listening: Show you care, Have patience, Use open questions, Say it back, and Have courage (

“Have Courage” is very relevant.  Often we would like to ask how someone is, but we are worried that we might make things worse or not be able to deal with that person’s distress.  Samaritans service user James says: “It’s really not about being a specialist or having particular knowledge.  It’s about being a compassionate human being.  I wish people had the confidence to realise they are able to offer real help just by listening”.

How to Listen warns against giving advice or relaying your own experiences, suggesting instead that listeners prioritise giving people the space to express and explore their own problems and to come to their own solutions.  This has been a revelation for me.  It provides useful advice on spotting people who may be in distress and helps you listen to them properly without distractions.  One thing to do the next time you’re talking to someone: put your phone away and really pay attention.

Review by Bethan

July 4, 2021

Current Bestsellers

by Team Riverside

Our Bestsellers from 28th June to the 4th of July:

Brit Bennett- The Vanishing Half

Delia Owens- Where The Crawdads Sing

Maggie O’Farrell- Hamnet

Natalie Haynes- Pandora’s Jar

Jonathon Lee- The Great Mistake

Elena Ferrante- The Lying Life of Adults

Various Authors- Murder Takes A Holiday

James Hawes- The Shortest History of England

Peter Ackroyd- London: The Biography

Elif Shafak- 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World

Richard Osman- The Thursday Murder Club

Sasha Swire- Diary of An MP’s Wife

Irvin and Marilyn Yalom- A Matter of Death and Life

Kazuo Ishiguro- Klara and The Sun

Kenneth Cukier- Framers

Clare Chambers- Small Pleasures

Susanna Clarke- Piranesi

Xialou Guo- A Lover’s Discourse

Meriel Schindler- The Lost Cafe Schindler

Tim Marshall- The Power of Geography