LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY
by Bonnie Garmus (Penguin, £9.99, 400pp)
The number one global bestseller Lessons in Chemistry is available in paperback
It is chemistry that brings Elizabeth Zott and Calvin Evans together. They’re both chemists at a private research lab in California. Calvin is a genius; Elizabeth is almost equally talented, but this is the 1960s and men, including Calvin, often mistake her for a secretary. With that misunderstanding cleared up, they fall deeply in love.
But tragedy follows and Elizabeth finds herself a single parent, struggling to make a living until a chance encounter lands her a job as presenter of a daytime television cooking show.
A reluctant TV star, she refuses to patronise her audience of housewives, instead introducing them to the chemistry of cooking and the science of self-belief. A TV adaptation of Bonnie Garmus’s fierce and funny debut begins airing this month on Apple TV+, starring Brie Larson.
LEFT ON TENTH
by Delia Ephron (Penguin, £10.99, 304pp)
Left on Tenth by Delia Ephron is available in paperback now
When Delia Ephron’s husband, Jerry, died of cancer in 2015, it was a second shattering loss, following the death in 2012 of her sister, Nora, from leukaemia.
A year after Jerry’s death, while Delia was still wondering how to live without him, she got an email from a man called Peter. When they were young, he wrote, Nora had set them up on a date. He lived in California, was a psychiatrist and he, too, was recently bereaved. Delia couldn’t remember their date, but she was charmed by his email.
They met, love blossomed and late-blooming happiness seemed possible. But then Delia was diagnosed with aggressive leukaemia. Her delightful memoir describes her experience of ‘a lot of good fortune wrapped around very bad fortune’ with heart-lifting humour and grace.
THE WAR ON THE WEST
by Douglas Murray (Harper Collins, £10.99, 320pp)
Douglas Murray’s new Sunday Times bestseller The War on the West is out now
A statue is torn down and flung into Bristol harbour; a wartime prime minister is condemned as racist; a museum restaurant closes because its mural contains, among other scenes, an image of an enslaved child.
These are just some of the examples cited by Douglas Murray in his analysis of the current assault on the West. Suggesting that ‘an unfair ledger has been created in which it seems that the West can do no right, and the rest of the world can do no wrong’, he argues that the history of Western culture is one of openness to ideas and influences, ‘not to subjugate or steal them, but to learn from them’.
Murray warns that demonising the great gifts of Western tradition — from music and art to politics and science — risks ‘killing the goose that has laid some very golden eggs’