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From addictive domestic thrillers to a memoir of alcoholism, the most exciting new books of January 2016

Author, self-confessed bookworm and contributing editor at The Bookseller Cathy Rentzenbrink tells us about the hot new books that should be on your buy, beg or borrow list this month.

Oh January, the time when so many self-help books are encouraging us to be different from how we are. Whether you are full of kale smoothie induced energy or huddling angrily under the bedclothes refusing to accept that the mince pie free-for-all is over, I promise your life will be improved by reading one of these books.

Novels first. Human Acts by Hang Kang examines the aftermath of an uprising in South Korea in 1980 and The Expatriates by Janice Y K Lee is set in Hong Kong. The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes takes us to Soviet Russia and the life of composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Exposure by Helen Dunmore offers a 1960s London experience of the Cold War and The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon is a mystery set in 1970s suburbia.

If you want to increase your heart rate, then thrillers The Widow by Fiona Barton and The Woman Who Ran by Sam Baker will be right up your street. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes features likeable psychopath Joe – you’ll never look at your local bookseller in the same way again. Finally, these two exceptional pieces of non-fiction will expand your mind: The Outrun by Amy Liptrot and But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens.

Happy reading!

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