April: A Month in Books

Woman carrying a Penguin Books Umbrella in London
Category: Reading

April showers mean…extra reading time! Get ready to add to your TBR pile or make some travel plans, because there are plenty of bookish things to get up to this month, if the weather outside refuses to cooperate…

 

Big new book releases

All the Galaxies cover
All the Galaxies, Philip Miller, 6 April

Scotland’s second referendum has failed, leaving the country in turmoil, broken into autonomous city states. Against this fractured background, a disillusioned Glasgow journalist tries to find his son, missing after a protest that went violently wrong. Meanwhile, in outer space, a boy and his spirit guide search for the boy’s long-dead mother.

Perfect, Cecelia Ahern, 6 April

In this sequel to the bestselling YA novel, Flawed, Celestine North has been branded the number one threat to the public. She’s on the run with the attractive but complicated Carrick, the only person she can trust. But Judge Crevan is closing in…

The Flame Bearer (The Last Kingdom Series, Book 10), Bernard Cornwell, 20 April

England’s greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home that was stolen from him so many years ago. But his enemies are many, and the current peace is an unsteady one, particularly when Constantin of Scotland brings his armies south, seeing an opportunity for conquest.

Flesh of the Peach, Helen McClory, 20 April

The winner of the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year returns with the story of a grieving young woman coming unravelled in the wake of her mother’s death, the end of a relationship, and the beginning of a new one.

Between the Lies cover
Between the Lies, Cathy MacPhail, 20 April

Judith Tremayne is missing, seemingly vanished into thin air. But then Abbie Knox, a school nobody, receives a message from her, and finds herself at the centre of a whirlwind of rumours, secrets and lies. Another tense story from the two-time winner of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards.

Not Only the Sky, Alyssa Warren, 27 April

A young girl living with her eccentric female relatives leads a fairly charmed life, until a late-night discovery shocks her out of her childhood. Years later, the family is fractured, and the girl—now a teenager—may hold the key to bringing it all back together.

 

Book festivals

Big Dog, 7-9 April, Dumfries

Named after Nana, the big dog who looks after the children in Peter Pan, Big Dog is an exciting new family festival. Take a lead from some of the nation’s best children’s writers, who are hosting a long weekend of barking fun and ruff magic. Get interactive with Stories in the Park, catch a screening of A Monster Calls, drop in on arts and craft events and enjoy a Scots language version of Michael Rosen’s classic We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Hooked: Young Readers and Writers Day, 8 April, Dumfries

Hooked is a new day-festival for young adults who are passionate about literature and the arts. Come and be inspired by some of Scotland’s most talented writers, illustrators, spoken-word artists and musicians.

Big Lit, 20-23 April, Dumfries & Galloway

Four-day festival for all ages, featuring the gloriously funny People’s Potato, John Hegley, writers workshop with award-winning novelist Karen Campbell, broadcaster and performer Billy Kay exploring the Scottish diaspora and its influence on wine, music and poetry, a literary murder mystery, artwork, and a Scottish PEN event featuring exiled Palestinian poet Ghazi Hussein. Also catch the Big Lit young people’s strand with events that range from literary drumming to daft poyems, games, crafts and madcap storytelling.

Colonsay Book Festival, 29-30 April, Colonsay, the Hebrides

Alexander McCall Smith, Karen Campbell, Christine de Luca and Sue Lawrence are just some of the authors who will gather on the beautiful island of Colonsay for the annual literary festival.

 

Film

Zookeeper's Wife poster
The Sense of an Ending, 14 April

The adaptation of Julian Barnes’s Booker-winning novel features a powerhouse cast that includes Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, Emily Mortimer and Harriet Walter. It tells the story of an elderly man who receives a letter that unlocks the painful and tragic relationship he had back in the 1960s.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2, 28 April

The Guardians (and Baby Groot!) return, now on a quest to unravel the truth about Peter Quill’s father.

The Zookeeper’s Wife, 28 April

Jessica Chastain stars as the titular wife in this adaptation of Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction book. The film depicts the true story of Antonina Zabinska who, together with her husband, the keeper of the Warsaw Zoo, helped save save hundreds of people and animals when the Germans invaded during World War II.

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