Fans of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy woke to a surprise on Saturday morning when an extract from the first book of the author’s forthcoming companion series, The Book of Dust, was published online. Chapter Ten of La Belle Sauvage introduces readers to Malcolm, the eleven-year-old protagonist of this new fantasy novel, and sees the return of Lord Asriel, Lyra’s father of the original trilogy, which was published an astonishing seventeen years ago.
In other book news:
This year’s £20,000 Folio Prize has been awarded to Hisham Matar, the American-born, England-based author, for his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Return, a memoir about Matar’s own journey back to Libya to discover what happened to his father following his kidnapping in 1990 by security officials of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. This is the first year the Folio Prize has been open to works of nonfiction.
Margaret Atwood’s best-selling 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale has experienced another surge in popularity and sales thanks to the recent success of the TV miniseries currently airing on Channel 4 in the UK. A timely study of far-right extremist politics and the women suffering at the hands of a patriarchal regime, the novel has been studied at schools and universities since its initial publication, and been in constant demand by readers as a classic of dystopian fiction.
If this recent hot and humid weather in the UK has got you anticipating the summer months ahead, that means beach reads are on the horizon. For some inspiration, take a look at this selection of the best books of 2017 to slip off the shelves this summer, or this list provided by the New York Times. If you fancy a more general look at the best books published so far this year, try this list instead or TIME’s Best Fiction Books of 2017 so far .