by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail)
“For profane and opinionated women everywhere”, this dinky pocket-size book by the Essex Serpent author – an Essex girl herself – breaks down the stereotype with wit and style. From 19th-century radical thinkers to the cultural significance of Kim Kardashian, a rousing celebration of female vitality.
by JK Rowling (Little, Brown)
Rowling’s fairytale, first conceived as a bedtime story for her young children and released online chapter by chapter during lockdown, gets a lavish hardback publication with illustrations by child readers from around the world. This cautionary tale about a kingdom where rumours of a monster are used to control the populace combines boisterous storytelling with cheerful comic touches.
From position of tail to length of miaow, “Japan’s leading cat doctor” gives insights into feline mood and behaviour. Ignore instructions on shampooing and claw clipping, stay for the cute illustrations and fascinating facts.
The Best of Me
by David Sedaris (Little, Brown)
The ideal introduction for anyone not yet acquainted with the American master of deadpan autobiographical comedy. Sedaris selects highlights from his three decades of making readers and listeners laugh, wince and sob at the weirdness and wonder of other people.
The Roasting Tin around the World
by Rukmini Iyer (Square Peg)
The latest in the wildly popular one-dish cookbook series goes global, with 75 big-flavour recipes ranging from Mexican pulled pork to Korean-style aubergines and Russian meatballs. As ever, plenty of vegan and vegetarian ideas, in what will be a surefire hit with nervous cooks and jaded palates alike.
Browse the best books of 2020 at the Guardian Bookshop