Our Top 10 books for adults

Image for How to Stop Time1. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER  ‘I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.’
Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot and now craves an ordinary life. Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.
How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.
Image for The Witchfinder's Sister2. The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
‘VIVID AND TERRIFYING’ Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
‘A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel’ Ian McGuire, author of The North Water.
‘The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…’
1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?Based on a true story, this beautiful and haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Sarah Waters, The Miniaturist and Burial Rites.
‘A clever, pacey read that blends truth and fiction…what elevates this book above other historical thrillers are the questions that Underdown asks about the nature of power, fear and how easy it is to become complicit in terrible acts’  The Times
‘A chilling, creeping novel with very obvious parallels to more modern forms of witch-hunts and misogyny, but is still firmly rooted in an England torn apart by civil war and gripped by religious fervour’ Red
‘A haunting, brooding debut’ Psychologies
All I can add is that Beth is a local author living in New Mills – lucky us.
Image for Cast Iron : Enzo Macleod 63. Cast Iron by Peter May  Enzo Macleod 6
The new thriller from the author of Coffin Road,  the Lewis trilogy.

In 1989, a killer dumped the body of twenty-year-old Lucie Martin into a picturesque lake in the West of France. Fourteen years later, during a summer heatwave, a drought exposed her remains – bleached bones amid the scorched mud and slime. No one was ever convicted of her murder. But now, forensic expert Enzo Macleod is reviewing this stone-cold case – the toughest of those he has been challenged to solve. When Enzo finds a flaw in the original evidence surrounding Lucie’s murder, he opens a Pandora’s box that not only raises old ghosts but endangers his entire family.

Western France – now May’s own stamping ground – is as much a character in the book as the Hebrides were in his formidable Isle of Lewis sequence’ The Guardian

Image for The Last Tudor4. The Last Tudor  by Philippa Gregory

Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Using her position as cousin to the deceased king, her father and his conspirators put her on the throne ahead of the king’s half-sister Mary, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her crown and locked Jane in the Tower. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block.

Praise for Philippa Gregory: `Meticulously researched and deeply entertaining, this story of betrayal and divided loyalties is Gregory on top form’ Good Housekeeping

`Gregory has popularised Tudor history perhaps more than any other living fiction writer…all of her books feature strong, complex women, doing their best to improve their lives in worlds dominated by men’ Sunday Times

`Engrossing’ Sunday Express `Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told’ The Times.

5. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

This is a must, if you have not yet read it! Another Sunday Times bestseller.

London 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much sadness as relief.

‘Makes you alive to the strangeness of the world’ Daily Mail

‘Richly themed and exhilarating’ Daily Telegraph 

6. Any Jane Austen novel commemorating 200 years since her death.

Revisit your youth or the books you had to read at school, you may see them through different eyes now!



7. Peak District Boundary Walk

This wonderful little book, edited by Andrew McCloy  and published by The Friends of the Peak District, is 190 miles around the edge of the national park. It includes detailed route description, maps and information about places of interest and local facilities.  Follow along existing footpaths, tracks, quiet lanes, former railway lines and a canal towpath.

Get it and get out and enjoy! Walk it in day stages or tackle it in one go.

Image for The Seabird's Cry : The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers

8. The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicholson

Ten chapters each dedicated to a different bird, each beautifully illustrated by Kate Boxer, travelling their ocean paths. Understanding how their bodies work, their dazzling navigational expertise, their ability to smell their way to fish or home and to understand the workings of the winds in which they live.

I was entranced – my mind thrilling to the veers and lifts of thought, to the prose. this marvellous book inhabits with graceful ease both the mythic and the scientific and remains alert to the vulnerability of these birds as to their wonder’ Robert Macfarlane.

Image for The Chalk Pit : The Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 9

9. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths

Book 9 in the Dr Ruth Galloway – forensic archaeologist, series.

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway discovers the bones aren’t as old as originally thought, it’s time for DCI Nelson to launch a murder inquiry. What was initially just a medieval curiosity has taken a much more sinister nature…Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper.

My favourite current crime series . . . .  a pleasure from start to finish’ Val McDermid
10. Autumn by Ali Smith

Ali Smith’s new novel is a meditation on a world growing evermore bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. This first in a seasonal quartet casts an eye over our own time.

‘I take my hat off to Ali Smith. Her writing lifts the soul’