Why is it World Book Day in the UK today when UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day isn't until next month? Who knows? Who can explain Great Britain, after all? But being loyal commonwealth citizens - and being unrepentant bibliophiles to boot - we figured it was a perfect opportunity to highlight some of our favourite new releases from the Mother Country.
Where better to start, from the land of tabloids, than with Penny Vincenzi's latest The Decision (Headline, 9780755320905). Multiple best-selling author Vincenzi takes us back to the 1960s, and introduces us to two up-and-coming professionals - she in the fashion industry, he in real estate. What starts out so well soon turns sour and the couple end up fighting through a horrible divorce and a terrible custody battle. Will anyone be the victor when neither will give ground?
And, from the author of The Stoneheart Trilogy, comes a story for every young book-lover, Far Rockaway (Hodder, 9780340997338). After a terrible accident, Cat is whisked away from her New York City home to a land where her grandfather's books come to life. Populated by characters she (and you!) will recognize, Cat begins an epic adventure with strange, new friends to find The Castle at the World's End - Far Rockaway!
Being a history geek, I'm happy to be able to recommend Destroyer of Cities (Orion, 9781409117124) by Christian Cameron. It's the fifth book in the Tyrant series by one of my favourite Canadian authors. As a historian and a former soldier himself, Cameron gets the details right in his stories of how the world fractured after Alexander the Great's death. Using history as his guide, Cameron takes you through the battles and intrigues to gain riches, power and glory that still reverberate today.
And finally, and not least by any means on World Book Day UK, the story of Highclere Castle, the setting of UK and Canadian TV hit Downton Abbey. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey (Hodder, 9781444730845) is written by Lady Fiona, the current chatelaine of Highclere Castle and the latest Countess Carnarvon. Lady Fiona describes the history of Highclere castle, with special attention to the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, Lady Almina, through the trials of World War 1.
Well, that's it. We hope you enjoyed this sampling of some of Britain's latest and best. Maybe today would be a good day to read one of these books, in support of UK World Books Day.