Doubleday, £12.99, pp176
John Boyne, an Irish author, has released a new project consisting of a quartet of interconnected novellas titled after the elements. The first novella, Water, delves into the theme of contemporary trauma. The story follows a woman who arrives on a remote island with a new identity and a shaved head. As the plot unfolds, we learn that she is trying to escape a highly publicized abuse scandal. The novella explores the question of her complicity in the scandal, and the protagonist, known as “Willow,” must come to terms with her emotions of anger, pain, and eventual redemption. Despite its brevity, this book effectively portrays these powerful themes.
Icon, £11.99, pp356 (paperback)
The author from America effectively depicts the origins of the CIA after World War II, crediting the remarkable contributions of a group of women. This serves as a crucial response to the prevalent sexism and misogyny in spy stories. “Wise Gals” also reveals intriguing espionage stories from various parts of the globe. Above all, the book gives long overdue recognition to CIA agents Adelaide Hawkins, Mary Hutchison, Eloise Page, Elizabeth Sudmeier, and Jane Burrell.
Bazball: The Inside Story of a Test Cricket Revolution
Lawrence Booth and Nick Hoult are a pair of individuals.
Bloomsbury, £22, pp352
“Bazball” was recently included in the Collins English Dictionary. In the book “Inside Story of a Test Revolution,” cricket journalists Booth and Hoult offer an amusing explanation for why this happened. The definition states that “Bazball” is a type of cricket where the batting team aims to take control by playing with a bold and aggressive style. This term is often used to refer to the strategies of England’s test coach Brendon “Baz” McCullum, who worked closely with team captain Ben Stokes. The timing of this addition to the dictionary is noteworthy, as it coincides with the Ashes series this summer. The book also provides valuable context and insights into the key players involved.