The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada
In a future where the "fixed" facts of life we take for granted now have all changed, countries have isolated themselves and nature has become contaminated, Yoshiro is just trying to live a quiet life with his great grandson, Mumei, hoping he survives another season. Tawada's writing is enchanting, conjuring vivid images of this new Japan, and making the heart ache somewhat for the state the world has found itself in. But there is a quiet hope here, that even in a newly hostile world there still exists a fragile humanity. Compelling, and guaranteed to resonate past the last page.
Lauren, Charing Cross Road
Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith
Part philosophy and part biology, this is a fascinating book on the evolution of intelligence told through the story of the octopus. The last common ancestor between the octopus and humans and other intelligent animals was around 600 million years ago, meaning that whilst similar in some ways the octopus' intelligence is totally different to that of humans and they are probably as close as we are going to get, on Earth, to experiencing alien life. I recommend this, if only for the stories of how they react to being in captivity. I won't spoil it, but it is very funny!
Adam, Charing Cross Road
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
A must read if you want to understand modern Britain - how it has been and is still being shaped. Racism and xenophobia are not new to Britain and in this astounding book Eddo-Lodge unveils the insidious structural racism problem in the UK. Compellingly argued and impeccably well researched - you will see Britain in a whole new light. This book changes everything.
Amandeep, Charing Cross Road
A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré
"How I came to be recruited to the Secret Intelligence Service in the first place – the ‘Circus’ as we Young Turks called it in those supposedly halcyon days when we were quartered, not in a grotesque fortress beside the River Thames, but in a fustian Victorian pile of red brick, built on the curve of Cambridge Circus – remains as much of a mystery to me as do the circumstances of my birth; and the more so since the two events are inseparable."
Read more of our extract from A Legacy of Spies on our blog