Print versus online, David versus Goliath -- the publishing industry might be at war but readers remain in love with storytelling, in whatever form it comes. So, with Father's Day around the corner, here are some of our top picks of brilliant new books for the men in your life.
Martha Costello, Judge John Deed, Horace Rumpole -- we love to see lawyers suffer for their art and Charles Courtley in Wig Betrayed is no exception. Written by former military judge Robert Seymour, Wig Betrayed takes the reader into the tough world of military justice. Newly appointed judge Charles Courtley is feeling the strain of the job, and when the isolated judge is offered a fresh start working for the military it sounds like a good idea. But the new role brings Charles two challenging cases involving soldiers who meet a terrible fate. Charles is pushed to his professional limits, just as his marriage collapses. Can he survive?
We all like a moan about our family but Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knaussgard has taken it to a whole new level. Following his first two 'Struggle' books about family life in Norway, in My Struggle: Book Three the writer who admits he has "given away his soul" tackles growing up, and opens with his family's arrival on the island of Tromøya in August 1969, when Karl Ove is a baby. It charts his life up to his teens and includes his challenging relationship with his father, his awkward first love, friendship make ups and break ups, etc. Knaussgard is a 'marmite' author - some find his "scrupulous analysis of every emotional nuance" "maddening" but others need his next book "like crack". See which camp you belong to.
"One glorious spring day in London, Jesus Christ rudely interrupts the morning rush hour by returning to Earth..." So starts former Christian Paul Beaumont's debut novel, A Brief Eternity, a new book that is set to blow the whistle on paradise. Atheist Paul gave up on his twenty-year relationship with God and has written the novel to challenge the beliefs of those faithful to religion by assuming that everything they say is true. A Brief Eternity explores the terrifying consequences of what might happen if we really all did get to live together forever.
Every Royal Marine battles through thirty-two demanding weeks of training to determine whether they're up to the job. Someone who knows only too well about the physical and mental challenges involved is former Royal Marine, Mark Time. Knowing his weak body would have to shape up to complete his tough commando training, 16-year-old Mark Time prepared for life in the Royal Marines by sleeping in his garden shed wearing only plastic bags. He braved pain by ordering his mate to attack him while trapped in a sleeping bag and even starved himself in a stupid urban survival exercise, turning down the offer of his favourite crispy pancakes from his mother indoors.
Often hilarious and yet shockingly sobering, Going Commando is the true story of a teenage boy who joins one of the world's most elite military units with only naivety and incompetence equaling his will to succeed.
Broadchurch. Peaky Blinders. Want You Dead. Crime as a genre is moving and shaking right now. For a fresh take on the whodunit, try Louise Welsh's A Lovely Way to Burn. The premise: a pandemic called "The Sweats" is sweeping the globe. London is a city in crisis. Hospitals begin to fill with the dead and dying, but Stevie Flint is convinced that the sudden death of her boyfriend Dr Simon Sharkey was not from natural causes. As roads out of London become gridlocked with people fleeing infection, Stevie's search for Simon's killers takes her in the opposite direction, into the depths of the dying city and a race with death.
"My name is Michael Pennington, and I am not a comic character. I'm often mistaken for one though. You might know him by another name. Johnny Vegas." From BBC Dickens adaptations to Benidorm and Ideal to the PG Tips ads, Johnny Vegas has become one of Britain's best-loved comic actors. But how did an eleven-year-old Catholic trainee priest from St Helens grow up to become the North West of England's answer to Lenny Bruce? Once you've finished this darkly hilarious tale of family, faith and the creative application of alcohol dependency, you'll never look at a copy of the Catholic men's society newsletter the same way again.
In their new book, the Freakonomics authors have gathered up all they have learned about challenging conventional wisdom turned it into a practical toolkit for thinking differently - thinking, that is, like a Freak. Whether you are interested in the best way to improve your odds in penalty kicks, or in major global reforms, here is a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems.
Along the way, you'll learn how the techniques of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion can help you, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they're from Nigeria. Dubner and Levitt see the world in an entirely different way. Now you can too.