Gayle recommends

Some of Gayle's favourite books from across the shop.

The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller

Gayle recommends:

If you read The Iliad and your main thought was "I wish it read a bit more like YA romance," The Song of Achilles is for you. Sexy ancient Greek fan fic FTW.

Happy All the Time

Laurie Colwin

Gayle recommends:

Happy All the Time is a very rare thing: a novel about fairly contented people, in fairly happy relationships, that nevertheless manages not to be twee or shallow or boring. A ...

Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen

Alix Kates Shulman

Gayle recommends:

This dark, funny, heartbreaking feminist cult classic is a joy to read – even if the fact that so much of it is still relevant after nearly 50 years is kind of depressing. If ...

The Wolf Wilder

Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Gelrev Ongbico

Gayle recommends:

Katherine Rundell is one of the best children’s writers going. Every one of her books is a joy to read, packed full of excitement, adventure and wonderful characters, but ...


Claire-Louise Bennett

Gayle recommends:

Not a day goes past that I don't shake a fist at the sky and cry in despair, "When will Claire-Louise Bennett publish something new?!" Until my cries are answered, I'll make do ...

With Nails

Richard E. Grant, introduction by Steve Martin

Gayle recommends:

Celebrate his long overdue Oscar nod by treating yourself to With Nails, Richard E. Grant’s glorious, funny, gossipy film diaries. Starting with his first film role in ...


Kerry Andrew

Gayle recommends:

If you like your romantic heroes moody, taciturn and Scottish, get involved.


Nora Ephron, introduction by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron

Gayle recommends:

Finally I have something to recommend when people ask for a funny book! Heartburn is properly hilarious, like a 200 page stand up set, except kinder, and with more food.

Roast Chicken and Other Stories

Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham

Gayle recommends:

I once read this book, cover to cover, by candlelight during a power cut. Not all cookbooks warrant such behaviour, but this one certainly does. Full of musings and stories on ...

The Hate u Give

Angie Thomas

Gayle recommends:

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, The Hate U Give pulls no punches in dealing with its difficult subject matter - it's shocking and heartbreaking, and offers no easy ...

Summer Will Show

Sylvia Townsend Warner, introduction by Claire Harman

Gayle recommends:

Pick up any Sylvia Townsend Warner book and you're in for a treat, but Summer Will Show is a particular favourite. It follows young English aristocrat Sophia Willoughby as she ...

Hotel du Lac

Anita Brookner

Gayle recommends:

A beautifully written novel about the quietly disappointing nature of life. Don't let anyone tell you it's the worst Booker winner - they're talking nonsense.

Martin John

Anakana Schofield

Gayle recommends:

A book about a sex offender who really likes the Eurovision Song Contest. Have I sold it to you yet? Just in case the answer's no: Martin John is also one of the most ...

I Want My Hat Back

Jon Klassen, illustrated by Jon Klassen

Gayle recommends:

One of the most finely tuned bits of storytelling you'll ever have the pleasure of reading. Funny, beautifully illustrated, and just dark enough to keep you entertained, even ...

Nairn’s London

Ian Nairn

Gayle recommends:

Long out of print, and now available again in this glorious facsimile of the 1966 original, Nairn's London is a funny, angry, stirring tour of London's architecture. Fifty ...

The Dud Avocado

Elaine Dundy

Gayle recommends:

The Dud Avocado is such fun. Sally Jay Gorce is my absolute hero - a fabulous American tumbling in and out of trouble and beds in Paris in the 1950s. Glorious!