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40+ Quirky Novels - a little different and totally fabulous.

At LoveReading we adore novels that contain a hint or more of quirky. From relationship tales to sci-fi and fantasy, from humour to family drama, we have a collection of quirky tales for you to enjoy. These are books that contain something out of the ordinary, that cause a flicker of excitement to grow and burn with intensity until you’ve finished reading. They often are the books that spark your thoughts and stay with you forever. 

Sometimes, when life is behaving in a particularly strange way, a novel that takes our minds to an unusual place can be the perfect read. Escaping from reality with a quirky read can soothe and settle, or divert and deflect. Quite a few of these books will sit on favourite book lists, however there may well be a few books here that you’ve not heard of before. 

One of our books of the year in 2015 Fishbowl by Bradley Somer is a: “unique, clever and quite quite wonderful” novel that takes a 30 minute peek into the lives of the occupants of an apartment building, including Ian the skydiving goldfish. "The short chapters, capable of evoking an assortment of emotions, flow as quickly as Ian does past each window.”

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault sits on my list of favourite books. It is: “deceptively clever and utter compelling” and still haunts my thoughts. Bilodo the postman sneaks into other peoples lives by reading their handwritten letters. The author uses haiku and tanka poetry to allow Bilodo to converse with the woman of his dreams. “This is essentially a book of love, of what might have been and of what could still come.”

Another book that still keeps me company is Sourdough by Robin Sloan, this is a: “gorgeous, magical, quirky dream of a story”. Lois is unexpectedly left a sourdough culture and begins to form a connection with it. This story weaves a spellbinding path and with: “almost hypnotic, yet gentle intensity, takes on a life of its own to become a charming, irresistible read.”

If you are looking for something totally different then we recommend The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss. This fantasy novella is: “strangely wonderful, and completely compelling.” We are allowed into the secret world of Auri, who lives underneath a university. “If you are the sort of person who has chatted to inanimate objects, avoided the obvious and listened carefully to silence” then you too may fall in love with this special little book.

So delve into our list of quirk filled slices of wonderful and see if you find them as diverting and wonderful as we do. Let us know in the comments which books you've been inspired to read and which titles you'd add to this list. 

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman

Author: Denis Theriault Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2017

Deceptively clever and utterly compelling, this beautifully written little book will continue to haunt your thoughts long after you've finished it. Set in Montreal, the world of Bilodo the postman is a simple one, but he regularly sneaks a peek into other peoples worlds by reading their handwritten letters; events take a darker turn as he deviates from voyeur into an obsessive usurper. The author uses Japanese haiku and tanka poetry to allow Bilodo to converse with the woman of his dreams; exquisite clusters of words will snag your attention and demand that you re-read them. This is essentially a book of love, of what might have been and of what could still come… One of our Books of the Year 2014.  Selected as a BBC Radio 2 Book Club title in September 2014.

eBooks of the Month
Whispers Through a Megaphone

Whispers Through a Megaphone

Author: Rachel Elliott Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

A gentle, yet astute, edgy and absolutely delightful debut novel. Miriam fears her own emotions, Ralph runs away from his family and while Sadie shouts about her life all over social media, internal whispers refuse to remain buried. A profound sting of awareness comes as you contemplate the meaning of normal after peeking at the inner most thoughts and feelings of the characters. The characters feel so very real, they may on occasion frustrate, evoke sympathy or a laugh, it’s easy to feel a connection to them, to care about them. Rachel Elliott has a lovely light touch, yet she subtly prods and provokes your perception and understanding. Whispers Through a Megaphone (such a beautifully perfect title) is a quirk-filled slice of wonderful and I highly recommend it. ~ Liz Robinson Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016.  A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... Debut novelist Rachel Elliott has created one of the most intriguing and loveable characters in contemporary British fiction in Miriam Delaney, a young woman who has been deeply damaged by her abusive dead mother. It would be understandable if a writer based a tormented, dark narrative around her very difficult life story. Instead, Elliott has written a whimsical, multi-layered tale that is as hilarious as it is moving and soulful.Whispers Through a Megaphone is a self-contained literary microcosm of the world we live in today, a world where we create amusing virtual personae on social media that have little connection with who we really are. Delightfully afloat on quirky humour and playful prose, Rachel Elliott portrays the inner confusion resulting from too much digital noise when all we crave and need is a bit of silence to protect our personal space. ~ Elena Lappin, Editor, ONE

eBooks of the Month
Fishbowl

Fishbowl

Author: Bradley Somer Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2016

A dive in head first and refuse to come up for air book - it’s unique, clever and quite quite wonderful. If at first you just dip your toe in and wonder where on earth you're being taken, don't bail out, as this quickly becomes a delightful and compelling read. Meet some of the occupants of the apartment building of Seville on Roxy, they are everyday typical people (apart from Ian the skydiving goldfish), however this 30 minute peek into their lives makes you feel as though you are simultaneously viewing the whole world. With beautiful compassion, Bradley Somer allows you to observe people from a different perspective. The short chapters, capable of evoking an assortment of emotions, flow as quickly as Ian does past each window. This isn't about answers or knowledge, instead Fishbowl encourages you to open your eyes, to ponder, to smile, to mourn… and applaud this refreshingly quirky tale. ~ Liz Robinson One of our Books of the Year 2015.

eBooks of the Month
The Slow Regard of Silent Things

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Author: Patrick Rothfuss Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2014

A strangely wonderful and completely compelling novella that speaks directly to your soul. This is different, very different and it's not often that an author starts a foreword with "you might not want to buy this book…”. Rothfuss believes it’s best to have read his first two books in ‘The Kingkiller Chronicles’, otherwise you may find yourself perplexed and a little lost. However, if you are the sort of person who has chatted to inanimate objects, avoided the obvious and listened carefully to silence, you could read this as a surprising and remarkable standalone piece. Set in the Underneath of the University from ‘The Name of the Wind’, we are entirely alone with Auri. Auri is a beautiful, simple and utterly complex character, it feels like a privilege to be initiated into her a secret world, one that even if you were there, you may not see unless from her eyes. It is true, even those who have read his first two books may find themselves lost, but if you can settle into the writing, the style, the feel… and connect with it, you may just fall in love with this special, moving and quite, quite adorable little book.

eBooks of the Month
Sourdough

Sourdough

Author: Robin Sloan Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/01/2018

January 2018 Book of the Month A gorgeous magical, quirky dream of a story. Lois exhausts herself everyday as a software engineer, she orders her food from two local cooks, when they leave the country, they also leave Lois with their sourdough culture, to feed, to look after, to keep alive. As her life alters, Lois learns more about, and creates a connection to the sourdough culture. Robin Sloan establishes with beautiful simplicity, a story that weaved a spellbinding path through my mind.  I sank into and became one with the story, tasted, smelled, touched, felt. Sourdough with almost hypnotic, yet gentle intensity, takes on a life of its own to become a charming, irresistible read and I loved it. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

Author: Fredrik Backman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

April 2016 Book of the Month. Totally and utterly and completely gorgeous in every way, the thought of having to put this book down for even a second is inconceivable. The first few pages make you smile, make you laugh and charm you, there is a hint though, of the difficulties that seven (nearly eight) year old Elsa is experiencing. Elsa’s shrewd, wonderful bonkers of a Granny tells her fairy tales, and like all good fairy tales there's more than a dollop of truth and reality mixed in, so ensure you're sitting comfortably and the tale can begin. There is a beautiful simplicity to the writing, yet this is not a simple book by any means, there is a complexity to the emotions it evokes and explores. Elsa and her Granny are two of the most astonishingly different characters to ever appear in print (and that’s a compliment by the way). Set aside some quality time, so you can laugh and cry undisturbed, as the author is able to enchant, to capture your imagination and hold it spellbound from the first to the last page; this is a must have, must read, must treasure book. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
The Strange Library

The Strange Library

Author: Haruki Murakami Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/12/2014

This is a strange little book indeed; soulful, sorrowful and yet curiously engaging and charming. Translated from Japanese and including wonderful illustrations, drawings and photos, this quirky tale draws you into it’s deep dark secrets from the moment you turn the very first page. The illustrations have been beautifully considered and hold hands with the tale as it slinks and skulks along. Even though this is narrated by a schoolboy, with fairly simple language, this is anything but simplistic and childish. Sheep and doughnuts have appeared before in this author’s works - make of that what you will! As a word of warning, reading this may leave you wanting to run in the opposite direction from any little old men who happen to approach you in the library, especially if it has a basement, but it’s well worth that particular affliction.

eBooks of the Month
Gravity Is the Thing

Gravity Is the Thing

Author: Jaclyn Moriarty Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/01/2020

If books were friends (and more than a few are) then I feel as though I have met the most wonderfully quirky forever friend. Gravity is the Thing is a complete joy of a book, and one that refuses to be pigeonholed into a genre. Abi, a Sydney cafe owner, has been invited to attend a retreat to learn the truth about ‘The Guidebook’, chapters have been arriving since she was a teen, and have kept her company in the darkest of times. The book floats between 1990 and 2010, and as Abi opens up her life, she revisits, examines, and searches for answers. Jaclyn Moriarty writes with the most beautiful eloquence, sharp pointed observations sit alongside the tightest of warm hugs. I wanted to meander, to wander, to eke out my reading time, and yet hoover up the words and the feelings they created in one heady go. I contemplated loss and grief, I smiled, laughed, and believed… oh how I believed! Gravity is the Thing is different (in the best possible way), and I predict that this will be one of my favourite books of the year. So, as well as being one of our Books of the Month, it has also been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book. It really is that gorgeous!  Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
Palm Beach, Finland

Palm Beach, Finland

Author: Antti Tuomainen Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/10/2018

A quirky, smirky, entertaining slice of fabulous. Covert ops detective Jan Nyman finds himself investigating a death in a holiday village in Finland and a rather striking lady just happens to be the suspect. I will admit to being rather excited about this novel, Antti Tuomainen’s last offering was the wonderful The Man Who Died which was shortlisted for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. The first paragraph of Palm Beach, Finland is beautifully written, it quite literally slapped my attention and I settled in with something approaching ghoulish glee! A wonderful wave of dark humour rolls through this novel gathering raised eyebrows and snorts. The cast increases, the action builds, and oh how my tummy and mind tied themselves in knots as the story spun in ever decreasing eccentric circles. I just want to applaud David Hackston as I completely forgot I was reading a translation. I thoroughly, completely and totally recommend Palm Beach, Finland, do grab yourself a copy and pop a do not disturb sign on your door!

eBooks of the Month
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Author: Jonas Jonasson Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/07/2015

Surprising, deliciously quirky and amusing, this gem of a book is one to treasure. Quite literally climbing out of his window, one hundred year old Allan disappears on an adventure, but this isn't his first. Alternating between the present and the past is extremely entertaining, nothing is lost but everything gained in discovering what makes Allan, Allan! While he is one of the most captivating characters to ever appear in print, Allan accrues some truly fascinating travelling companions. You get the feeling that Jonasson really enjoyed writing this novel and let his imagination run riotous rings onto the page. This is a book for adults of any age, with a reminder that to reach a century you are likely to have some pretty remarkable stories to tell (if not quite to this level of creativity). This is most definitely a must, must read… and once you’ve read it, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden should be next on your list.  The film version of The Hundred-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared was released in UK cinemas on Friday 4 July 2014. Click below to view the trailer. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month
Vintage 1954

Vintage 1954

Author: Antoine Laurain Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/06/2019

Romantic, wry and fragrant with the intoxicating bouquet of la vie Parisienne, this book will brighten the greyest of days with Gallic charme and enchantement. Paris, 2017, and Hubert invites a few associates to share a bottle of exquisite 1954 Beaujolais. Among his guests are American tourist Bob, and neighbour Julien. For Julien, 1954 has extra significance, for that was when an ancestor of his experienced “something extraordinary”. Namely, he sighted a flying saucer in a year that became known as “The Year of Flying Saucers” due to the prolific number of sightings. Next morning, each of Hubert’s guests themselves experience something extraordinary as they realise they’ve been transported to a Paris of the past, to a city in which citizens exchange lighthearted bonhomie on buses, and cafes allow patrons to “smoke with impunity”. Initially Bob amusingly muses that “despite globalisation, the French had not lost their soul!” Then it dawns on the wine-sharing group how they came to voyage through time: “when the flying saucer flew over, it changed the Saint-Antoine wine and since then whoever drinks it will go back to 1954”.    Despite enjoying a very pleasant sojourn in the past - encountering Audrey Hepburn in a bar, dining with Edith Piaf - the question is: how can they return to 2017? Driven by droll humour and romance, and with a miraculous climax, this is a fabulously full-bodied-book with crisply sweet undertones.

The Colour of Magic

The Colour of Magic

Author: Terry Pratchett Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2005

Who would have believed back in 1985 that this first introduction into the madcap Discworld which satirised fantasy novels and introduced us to some fantastic characters would turn into the Discworld series numbering some forty works.  If you have wondered where to start in this huge series (which need not be read in order) then start here and read The Light Fantastic straight after it.  They are great books.   A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘The very first novel in what turned into the celebrated, magisterial Discworld series, this novel was first published by Corgi in 1985.  Although the more recent novels in the series have become more layered, satirical and thoughtful (number thirty-seven, Unseen Academicals, is the most recent) The Colour of Magic must remain one of my all-time favourites, for its soaring inventiveness, sparky parody and madcap humour – and for introducing us in the first place to that flat World so very different from, yet so very like our own. ' Marianne Velmans, Publishing Director at Transworld Books in The Discworld Novels Series: 1. The Colour of Magic 2. The Light Fantastic 3. Equal Rites 4. Mort 5. Sourcery 6. Wyrd Sisters 7. Pyramids 8. Guards! Guards! 9. Eric 10. Moving Pictures 11. Reaper Man 12. Witches Abroad 13. Small Gods 14. Lords and Ladies 15. Men At Arms 16. Soul Music 17. Interesting Times 18. Maskerade 19. Feet of Clay 20. Hogfather 21. Jingo 22. The Last Continent 23. Carpe Jugulum 24. The Fifth Elephant 25. The Truth 26. Thief of Time 27. The Last Hero 28. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents 29. Night Watch 30. The Wee Free Men 31. Monstrous Regiment 32. A Hat Full of Sky 33. Going Postal 34. Thud! 35. Wintersmith 36. Making Money 37. Unseen Academicals 38. I Shall Wear Midnight 39. Snuff 40. Raising Steam 41. The Shepherd's Crown Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
Wake Up, Sir!

Wake Up, Sir!

Author: Jonathan Ames Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/05/2015

A quirky, eccentric reimagining of the brilliant pairing of Jeeves and Wooster from the Jeeves novels of P. G. Wodehouse. It might be a little disconcerting to find the cover of this book is stamped with a number of American reviews stating this novel is "hilarious", can it live up to expectations... well this is certainly a witty and entertaining voyage of discovery. Jeeves is a wonder of self restraint and diplomacy while maintaining a subtle razor-sharp wit. Alan manages to combine nativity and a knowing self awareness along with a habitual fondness for blundering into unfortunate situations. It feels as though the author had fun writing this, the novel occasionally meanders around, darts off in different directions and asks a lot of questions; along with a good ponder over prejudice combined with some frankly slapstick moments, this is a provocative and stimulating read. ~ Liz Robinson   A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'It’s rare, in my experience, to find a book that makes you laugh (and I mean really laugh, out loud), not only when you’re actually reading the book, but also in the days, weeks and months that follow, when a scene or a line somehow surfaces in your memory. It’s rarer still to find a book that does this, and which is littered with moments of genuine poignancy, but that’s what you will find in Wake Up, Sir!, by Jonathan Ames. It is in part an homage to the work of the great P.G. Wodehouse, but it is also much, much more. Fuelled by the same spirit of benevolence and good humour that pervades the great man’s work, Wake Up, Sir! goes far beyond pastiche to places even Wodehouse didn’t.' - Daniel Seton, Commissioning Editor, Pushkin Press

eBooks of the Month
Moonglow

Moonglow

Author: Michael Chabon Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/09/2017

Absolutely fascinating, a beautiful yet quirky read, this is a tale to make you wonder, to make you feel… A grandfather, on his deathbed, tells his grandson about his life, from rocket ships to prison, from love to aching for revenge, all is revealed. The story isn't released in sequence, instead it flits around in time, I was initially thrown but soon got used to, even welcomed the sudden disturbance to the storyline. Michael Chabon writes with an understated, elegant, yet wickedly spiky hand. There were times when I lost myself in the words that danced across the pages, others when I was brought up short, shocked and surprised. The author’s note at the beginning suggests there is a connection to his family, the acknowledgment at the end gives source to information, how much is actually true though, isn't revealed, but I have fallen in love with the memories scattered on the page. In the vast open thrilling space of ‘Moonglow’ is a wonderfully intimate collection of meandering, amusing, achingly sad, and truly fabulous stories. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Author: Phaedra Patrick Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/09/2016

One of our Books of the Year 2016. October 2016 Debut of the Month. Gosh, this is an absolute treasure of a debut… and it’s full of delightful, delicious quirkiness. 69 year old widower Arthur sets out to find the truth behind a charm bracelet he discovers when sorting through his wife’s wardrobe. Arthur quickly realises that before she met him, his wife had a whole host of experiences, and Arthur knew nothing about them! Phaedra Patrick writes with a beautifully light touch, yet imbues each page with a meaningful eloquence. Arthur is a joy to get to know, you feel his sadness and bewilderment at his loneliness and loss, then as he steps out on his quest, you witness his cloistered heart and mind unfurling towards the possibilities that life can offer. ‘The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper’ fizzes with gentle humour, it encouraged my thoughts to wander in new directions, and charmed the cockles of my heart. This is a beautiful little gem of a read and I highly recommend it.  Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month
The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project

Author: Graeme Simsion Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/01/2014

One of the Top 10 Lovereading Reader Review Panel Summer Read selections. A thoroughly charming book from this witty and intelligent Australian writer.  Don leads a very ordered life.  He does not consider himself odd, does not notice how much he shares with a group of children with Asperger’s syndrome, approaches everything in a completely logical way.  This logic extends into his search for a wife.  It is easy to mock Don and see this purely as a kooky rom-com, but it is more.  It is an exploration of society with all its preconceptions and unwritten rules.  To fit in or not?  How much to fit in?  Should one try to change just to fit in?  And change how much?  Rosie guides Don and the reader through these challenges in what must be one of the most endearing books I have ever read.  It will probably be one of my most memorable books of the year. ~ Sarah Broadhurst   One of our Books of the Year 2014.   Click here to view The Rosie Effect, the sequel to The Rosie Project which is out in paperback in February 2015.   January 2014 MEGA Debut of the Month.   We defy you not to absolutely love this quirky romantic gem of a book, that weirdly sits somewhere between One Day by David Nicholls, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time from Mark Haddon and Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding.   Professor Don Tillman leads a v. v. structured life; single, intelligent, tall, fit, heathy - unable to see why he can’t find a wife and unable to see he is really rather autistic... His hyper-rational solution is a 16 page questionnaire. But love does work in mysterious and irrational ways. Touching, insightful and v v funny, please read the Opening Extract - you will be hooked! In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Rosie Project a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'What a brilliant book... Please read it, he [the protagonist] will change your life' – Jayne Burton. Scroll down to read more reviews. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month
The Death of Mungo Blackwell

The Death of Mungo Blackwell

Author: Lauren H Brandenburg Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/10/2019

I stepped willingly inside the pages and gave myself up to the story in this quirky, feel-good tale. When Charlie Price has to relocate his family, they end up in the small town of Coraloo where the Blackwell’s rule the roost at the market. As Charlie, Velveteen, and their son Gideon find their lives turned upside down, will the Blackwell’s be a help or hinderance? Alongside the main story, sits another from long ago, it almost feels like folktale as it meanders along, yet is completely in tune with the occurrences of now. I was absolutely charmed by the characters, town, and storyline on offer. Lauren H .Brandenburg adds enchantment to this tale, without using magic or wizardry. My expectations altered as I read, and the story developed beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed The Death of Mungo Blackwell, it is gorgeous escapism while focusing on love, family, and friendship.  

Books of the Month
The Portable Veblen

The Portable Veblen

Author: Elizabeth McKenzie Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/01/2017

One of our Books of the Year 2016. Whimsical yet sharp and perceptive, ‘The Portable Veblen’ is an absolute treat of a read. Veblen is eccentrically wonderful, she lives in California, is followed by a squirrel and has a fiancé (yes the order of the squirrel and fiancé is deliberate). Veblen is influenced by Thorstein Veblen, an American sociologist and economist, her fiancé Paul is apparently influenced by achievement and success, and is determined to rid Veblen’s attic of its noisy invader. Occasional photos, letters and little extras crop up through the book, making the journey from beginning to end feel even more intense and physically real. At times I felt as though I was floating directly above Veblen, connected yet apart, and able to pick up on the smallest but most significant details. Elizabeth McKenzie writes with a beautifully considered yet free hand, with my feelings ranging from amused to curious, frustrated to sympathetic, and I also fell in love with a squirrel. This is a book to keep near at hand, a book to love and to cherish, to savour and to treasure. Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Author: Ruth Hogan Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2018

From the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan, comes another irresistible novel of unexpected friendships, second chances ... and dark secrets. Gloriously gorgeous in every way.  After tragedy crashed into her life, Masha often sits on the bottom of the pool at the local lido, unable to look forward, to join in. Sally Red Shoes and Kitty Muriel nudge Masha’s awareness, and life begins to look interesting again. I absolutely adored ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ which was one of my books of the year 2017, so looked forward with relish to Ruth Hogan’s next offering. ‘The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes’ is just as special, and cements this particular author as one of my firm favourites. Ruth Hogan has the very special ability to look beyond the veil of unremarkable to find a sometimes painful, yet beautifully quirky existence. Each character (and I include the dogs in this), is fully realised and absolutely essential to the storyline. Kitty and Sally are so stuffed full of life I found myself wanting them in my life too. Words such as enchanting, captivating, and charming are spilling out of my mind, yet this is not a sickly sweet tale, also added to the mix are poignant, emotional, heart-ache…and I both laughed and cried, sometimes at the same time. Quite simply, ‘The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes’ is a must-read, and I adored every single second of it. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
The End of Time

The End of Time

Author: Gavin Extence Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/01/2020

A lovely, heartfelt, oh so readable and occasionally quirky story containing huge empathy and thoughtfulness. Two teenagers, refugees without their parents, set off from Syria in the hopes of reaching the UK. I am a huge fan of Gavin Extence, as he has the ability to write with an incredibly light touch while exploring hugely provocative topics. His books often contain a waft of magic, not hocus pocus exactly, but something that makes you stop and think. The story here is told by 19-year-old Zain, older brother to 14-year-old Mohammed, and we meet them as they begin the swim from Turkey to Greece. Simply told, the words hit my thoughts with hammer-hard intensity, and yet there were smiles on hand too. There is a gentle compassion to be found in Zain, and as I read, I took him, and his football-loving brother to my heart. All I will say about the third absolutely fabulous character in this tale is that I won’t forget him! ‘The End of Time’ doesn’t preach, it lets you discover thoughts and feelings for yourself, it just exists, as it is, as the most wonderfully compelling and beautiful story. I have chosen ‘The End of Time’ as one of my Liz Robinson picks of the month - it has a massive tick in the 'fabulous read' box from me. Gavin Extence is our author in the picture for July 2019, do take a look at the photos he chose in answer to our questions. Read our Putting Authors in the Picture blog post with Gavin.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/01/2018

Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018 | Category Winner for the Costa Book Awards 2017, First Novel Award |   It is the standard reply when people ask,  “How are you?” ....you say “I’m fine.” Well, Eleanor is most definitely not fine and has not been since she was 10 years old. Shifted from one foster home to another, she does eventually go to university where she ends up in an abusive relationship. On graduation she gets a job in the accounts department of a graphic designer and there she is when we meet her, aged 31 and desperately lonely. Eleanor is on the spectrum with her life overshadowed by some dreadful childhood tragedy which has left her face badly scarred. She keeps her head down at work and spends the weekends with two bottles of vodka. She speaks to her mother on the telephone on a Wednesday and dreads the call. We are uncertain as to whether her mother is in prison or an asylum. Life ticks by until her works’ computer needs attention and enter one geeky IT man. How he and others break down her barriers is beautifully done. Very slowly we learn more about Eleanor and her past. Very slowly a future develops but once the geek (Raymond) arrives the novel is by no means slow. It becomes a page-turning, compulsive read of great charm.

Audiobooks of the Month
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All

Author: Jonas Jonasson Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/04/2016

May 2016 Book of the Month. What do you get if you add together one receptionist, one priest, one very hard to control hitman, and 19 criminals on the warpath… you get an unholy, riotous whirlwind of a read, that’s what! Jonas Jonasson has done it again, ‘Hitman Anders and the Meaning Of It All’ is a wonderfully quirky and amusing must read tale. Jonasson’s trademark gentle yet sharply observant humour, balances out the criminal element of this story beautifully. Hitman Anders is going to join my list of favourite characters of distinction, I wonder what dastardly deeds he’ll get up to when he meets the one-hundred-year-old man, who also resides on that list! From the first paragraph, right through to the last, this is a gorgeously readable walk on the darker and lighter side of life.

eBooks of the Month
Death and other Happy Endings

Death and other Happy Endings

Author: Melanie Cantor Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/06/2019

Life, love, wiping slates clean. When life hands her death, a 43-year-old woman sets the record straight with people she’s close to, with wildly unexpected results - and plot twists aplenty. “Why do we only appreciate what we’ve got when it’s put at risk?” This question simmers at the heart of this breezily written book that sees a woman deal with a diagnosis of terminal illness with a certain calmness. While there’s nothing Jennifer can do about her prognosis, she can do something to confront deep-rooted niggles about problematic romantic and familial relationships. And so after enjoying of an early act of wild abandon - an uncharacteristic event that will surely put smiles on readers’ faces - she sends letters to people who’ve hurt her. Letters that reveal all the things she should have said to her philandering ex-husband, to her self-centred sister, and to her flaky former boyfriend. Their responses lay bare their regrets and love, but also highlight their own failings and insecurities, before a succession of sweeping twists lead Jennifer to understatedly muse that it’s “funny how the worst thing to happen can end up being the best thing.”  Prompting “what would you do...?” questions of the reader, this entertaining debut weaves in universal truths about the value of honesty and living life to the full to stave off future regrets, and will be enjoyed by fans of Jenny Colgan, Jill Mansell, Cathy Kelly and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

Debut Books of the Month
Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful

Author: Nina Stibbe Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/01/2020

Comedy Women in Print Prize 2020 Winner A smirky, fabulously quirky, poignant novel and an absolute joy to read. It is 1980, Lizzie is 18, she starts a new job working for a dentist, moves into her own flat, and thinks she may have got herself a boyfriend (but isn’t entirely sure). Lizzie is a total delight, her courage, spirit and pithy observations mix into a heady cocktail alongside her apprehension and doubt. The other characters are beautifully realised in their own right, every utterance perfectly placed, it is difficult to pick just one out as when I called them forward in my mind, they clambered over each in a riot of energy. Nina Stibbe excels in the small, in fact the incy wincy details that are so beautifully observed you didn’t know they were missing until you read them, and could see and feel the entire picture. The understanding of human frailty and poignancy of human absurdity is so wonderfully explored. There is something compelling about the writing that lodged in my mind, and took up residence in my heart. I snorted (yes actually snorted) out loud with laughter and while heartache and break is never far away, thoroughly loved every word of Reasons To Be Cheerful, it’s just gorgeous!

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Honours

The Honours

Author: Tim Clare Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016. April 2015 NewGen Debut of the Month. Quite simply breathtaking, it’s all too easy to become consumed by this beautifully written, vibrantly different and darkly rich fantasy. Spend 1935 with Delphine who is 12, as she hides in history, in war and battles, seeks out Mr Garforth the Head Gamekeeper and spends her time in hidden tunnels, woods and fields… away from Mother, Daddy and the confusion and mystery of the Society at Alderberen Hall. The author has the wonderful ability to paint a vividly full picture, it almost feels as though you’ve already seen the places he is describing and you’re welcoming them back into your minds eye. There are whispers and hints of what is to come, the writing pops and crackles in your head and heart, is this truth or is it imagination? Being unexpectedly invited into the inner thoughts of some of the characters pushes your thinking to scramble one way and then the other. As you reach the foothills of the ending, take a deep breath and look out, up and beyond; with the ability to keep you teetering on the edge of understanding, this is a stunning and beautifully moving debut novel. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

Author: Fredrik Backman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

59-year old Ove is quite possibly one of the grumpiest people you’ll meet but, he has been an upstanding pillar of the community for decades. The last six months have taken their toll and he decides perhaps that life is not worth living.  Ove lives in a residential area of which he is fanatical about maintaining and keeping to the rules.  A family of a pregnant mother, two daughters and an IT consultant dad move in next door.  Ove resents them.  He resents everything and everyone and so he plans his death but each attempt is thwarted mostly by people needing help.  Ove is a very practical man and so he helps, yet he remains exasperated that other people’s lives are beginning to intrude upon him.  Quirky, uplifting, charming, sad, life-affirming and totally irresistible, this is a perfect gem that will leave you with a spring in your step. ~ Sarah Broadhurst   One of the Top 10 books in the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014. One of our Books of the Year 2014. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Debut Books of the Month
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Douglas Adams, Eoin Colfer Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2009

Even 30 years on this is still a fresh and funny series of stories, whether you read them or listen to the original BBC radio shows. The anarchic, or ‘random’ to use modern parlance, plot, place settings and characters makes them more appealing than a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster!DON’T PANIC. Useful advice for Arthur Dent who is about to discover that along with his house, the Earth, is going to be destroyed by the Vogons and he is about to become embroiled in the search for the ultimate question to life the universe and everything (as we know the answer is 42). Together with his friend, Ford Prefect, the pair venture out across the galaxy on the craziest, strangest road trip of all time.   Eoin Colfer has been a fan of Hitchhiker since his schooldays. “I have decided to embark on a very different project. Something unique that I hope will interest you as much as it does me. I have written the official 6th book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series. Most of you have probably already read Douglas Adams’ insanely brilliant space series. If you haven’t then you don’t know funny. Take it from me, the Hitchhiker books are bar none the funniest sci-fi books ever written. People have laughed so much reading Hitchhikers that they have had to have organs removed. One guy in France popped an eyeball. I kid you not. So, what’s it all about, this Hitchhikers, I hear you cry. Actually I don’t hear you, if I did I would be sitting outside in your driveway, which would be a bit freaky and show how few friends I have. What’s it all about, this Hitchhikers, I imagine you cry. It’s about Arthur Dent, one of the last humans left alive after the Earth has been destroyed by the remorseless Vogons. Arthur manages to hitch a ride on a spaceship and go planet hopping with his friends Ford Prefect, the Betelgeusean journalist. Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two headed president of the galaxy, pirate and worst dressed man in the universe. And Marvin, the paranoid android. All this hitching and adventuring went on for five books and then Douglas Adams passed away before he could write book six. Hitchhiker has been heard on radio, seen on tv and enjoyed on the cinema screen, there was even a musical version. But the story could never end, until now. I am going to continue on where Douglas left off. Unfortunately for me, he left off on rather a large cliffhanger. Everyone was dead. Which means I have rather a large challenge ahead of me, but it is one I am looking forward to. It will be called And Another Thing. And I really hope you will board the spaceship with me so we can travel through Douglas Adams’ hilarious galaxy together.” Books in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series: 1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe 3. Life, the Universe, and Everything 4. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish 5. Mostly Harmless Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month
The Hearing Trumpet

The Hearing Trumpet

Author: Leonora Carrington, Ali Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/09/2005

A classic of fantastic literature, Leonora Carrington's The Hearing Trumpet is the occult twin to Alice in Wonderland, published with an introduction by Ali Smith in Penguin Modern Classics. One of the first things ninety-two-year-old Marian Leatherby overhears when she is given an ornate hearing trumpet is her family plotting to commit her to an institution. Soon, she finds herself trapped in a sinister retirement home, where the elderly must inhabit buildings shaped like igloos and birthday cakes, endure twisted religious preaching and eat in a canteen overlooked by the mysterious portrait of a leering Abbess. But when another resident secretly hands Marian a book recounding the life of the Abbess, a joyous and brilliantly surreal adventure begins to unfold. Written in the early 1960s, The Hearing Trumpet remains one of the most original and inspirational of all fantastic novels. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Battle Beyond the Dolestars

Battle Beyond the Dolestars

Author: Chris McCrudden Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/09/2019

Most definitely sitting on the quirky side of life (and Mars), this is an amusing and mind-bending read. The robots who look down on humanity are determined to end the human rebellion that started on Earth. This is Battlestar Suburbia: Volume Two, if you’ve not read the first in the series you might want to start at the beginning. However, I joined here and felt perfectly comfortable with the Dolestars council estates circling earth and Pam the sentient bread-maker. This is an absolutely fascinating premise from Chris McCrudden, the machines aren’t quite as you may have imagined them. There is no Terminator style human robot on offer (unless you count the human who was pinched for use as a cyborg), instead lamps, photocopiers, and a particularly evil smartphone lead the machine charge. In today’s climate, the utter disdain felt by some of the machines for humanity all feels rather relevant. Battle Beyond the Dolestars is different, a little geeky, and lots of fun, oh, just as a note of warning, you may never look at your lamp in the same way again! 

My Phantom Husband

My Phantom Husband

Author: Marie Darrieussecq Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2000

What would you think if your husband, one day, with no word of explanation or warning, vanished? When would you begin to panic - the first hour, the first night? A deceptively simple story about a deserted woman, My Phantom Husbandis Marie Darrieussecq's eerie follow-up to Pig Tales, showing her to be a writer of great subtlety and depth. When her husband goes to buy fresh bread and never returns, the young narrator's life changes for ever. Night after night she has to learn to be alone, to sleep alone, to live in a space she has shared with a man for seven years. Yet who was he, her husband, and did they really have much in common? Why can't she remember her love for him - or even what he looked like? Dragged into a world of visions, she is besieged by childhood terrors - monsters behind the furniture, vampires floating around in the dark, strangers walking in other rooms. She begins to see her husband, or an apparition of him. Is he a supernatural visitation or the product of madness - or a figment of her guilty conscience? My Phantom Husband is a profoundly unsettling parable about the way love appears and disappears, about the absences and evasions that can lie hidden in any relationship.

Carrying Albert Home

Carrying Albert Home

Author: Homer Hickam Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/06/2016

One of our Books of the Year 2016. A beautifully quirky, yet at the same time completely logical love story (well it is logical once you've realised that you too, have fallen in love with an alligator). ‘Carrying Albert Home’ is a nine part tale, detailing an odyssey that took place during the 1930’s, interspersed with snappy little introductions to each part of the story by the author. As Homer (the elder) and Elsie his wife, adventure their way down the east coast from West Virgina to Florida, with Albert the alligator and the Rooster, it’s sometimes easy to forget that Homer Hickam (the younger and author) is telling the ‘somewhat true’ story of the early years of his parents marriage, surely this is the most fantastical tale ever told! I believe that John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway would remember their parts in this tale with glee, who wouldn't want to have been introduced to the charming and rather glorious Albert? I quite simply devoured this enchanting book in one sitting, and I will want to read it again and again. One of our Books of the Year 2015. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Pig Tales

Pig Tales

Author: Marie Darrieussecq Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2003

Pig Tales is a brilliant satirical novel about a stunning young woman working in a beauty 'massage' parlour. She enjoys extraordinary success at bringing home the bacon (in part due to her increasingly rosy and irresistible backside) until she slowly metamorphoses - into a pig. Rejected by her boyfriend, left to wander the sewers and forage for food in public parks, she takes up with a werewolf with insatiable appetites. They share everything (pizza is a particular favourite; she gets the pizza, he gets the delivery boy) until someone alerts the authorities and tragedy strikes . . . Gender, politics and social hypocrisy all come under scrutiny in this entertaining and enlightening novel. Pig Tales is a Metamorphosis for the present day, a dark fable of political and sexual corruption, and a grim warning of what can happen in a society without a soul.

The Other Half of Augusta Hope

The Other Half of Augusta Hope

Author: Joanna Glen Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/12/2019

A different, emotionally beautiful and rewarding debut about love, hope, and all the strange little things that come together to make up a family. Augusta and Parfait, born on different continents into different worlds, both want to leave everything behind but does that ever solve anything? What a first sentence! Those few words stayed with me throughout the entire book, sitting, waiting, every now and then tapping me on the shoulder to say hello. I so love how this story unfolds, two separate tales, are they on a collision course or destined to remain forever apart? Joanna Glen has set intricate strands from the past coiling and twisting together through to the present to create a feeling of tension and mystery. While undeniably and wonderfully quirky, there is a real sense of warmth here, even when your heart may feel as though it is about to crack in two. As I read I found myself filling up with love for The Other Half of Augusta Hope. It has been chosen as a Debut of the Month and a LoveReading Star Book too, as it really is that gorgeous! Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Author: Jonas Jonasson Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/2014

One of our Books of the Year 2014. May 2014 Book of the Month. If you have read his debut, The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared then you will know the delightful, wacky style of this fellow.  Newcomers will get caught up in the easy, conversational flow which really is the most enormous fun.  Here our central character is a black girl from the slums of Soweto with a flair for numbers.  She starts her young working life as a latrine emptier, educates herself through a fluke set of circumstances and becomes as ‘assistant’ in a very secret operation that makes nuclear bombs.  How she ends up saving King Gustaf V is one of those mad coincidences of life that never really happen but make such excellent reading.  Jonasson is ace at creating odd-ball characters and we certainly meet our fair share of them here.  As mischievous as the first, spotted with actual people and real events, it is pure escapist, feel-good fun. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month
The Library of Lost and Found

The Library of Lost and Found

Author: Phaedra Patrick Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/06/2019

A beautifully charming, amusing, and gentle read, visiting with great empathy and grace occasional cloudy darkness. Library volunteer Martha Storm is a quietly helpful, book-loving hoarder. When she finds a mysterious book relating to her past, Martha begins to see the possibilities life can offer. I have used the word quirky previously for Phaedra Patrick’s writing and it again popped into my mind for ‘The Library of Lost and Found’. This is an author who explores different, cheers on quiet, and celebrates the unique properties to be found in each of us. The words sang to me, I gathered them up and hugged every single one as they arrived in my mind. I adored this read, my heart filled with love for the characters as I smiled and felt heart-ache alongside them. Other magical stories can be found within the pages, they arrive and make a considerate, thoughtful point. ‘The Library of Lost and Found’ is there waiting for anyone who has ever felt a little lost or lonely, it is a wonderful read and I have chosen it as one of my picks of the month. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson

The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson

Author: Lauren H Brandenburg Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/10/2020

A really lovely, definitely quirky and uplifting tale that makes for a perfect pick-me-up read. While this could be read as a standalone it is actually a sequel, and I really do recommend first introducing yourself to the town of Coraloo and its inhabitants via The Death of Mungo Blackwell. Here, the focus moves to Roy and Margarette who have just become engaged. Their families are sworn enemies and either try to disrupt proceedings or lord it over their rivals. A mystery also flits between the pages, with Roy on the case. I really have fallen in love with Coraloo, it calls to me and is somewhere I’d love to visit if I could, even though as I’m not a citizen of the town and I’d be known as an ‘other’. The bizarre walks hand in hand with good old-fashioned hospitality. Lauren H Brandenburg balances sweet humour, crafty shenanigans, and glorious characters with an artful pen. There is something joyous about the The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson, it’s a little bit different, and a lot of fun.  

eBooks of the Month
Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie Was Here

Author: Fredrik Backman Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/07/2016

July 2016 Book of the Month. The publisher’s blurb for this quirky novel certainly drew me to it especially since I am an enormous fan of his first, A Man Called Ove.  I’m afraid I didn’t read his second (shame on me!).  Here we have a woman who is definitely on ‘the spectrum’, who has at last left a cheating, domineering husband (when he had a heart attack in the arms of another woman) and must now earn a living.  She will not accept that the Job Centre has nothing for her and is eventually given a dead-end, short-term job as caretaker in a closing sports centre in a dying town.  She ends up coaching the local kids’ football team in a delightful, warm-hearted tale of great charm.  How she wins everyone round and makes a life for herself is poignantly realised. A lovely read. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

eBooks of the Month
Smoking Kills

Smoking Kills

Author: Antoine Laurain Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/06/2018

How far would you go to enjoy a cigarette? When headhunter Fabrice Valentine faces a smoking ban at work, he decides to undertake a course of hypnotherapy to rid himself of the habit. At first the treatment works, but his stress levels begin to rise when he is passed over for an important promotion and he finds himself lighting up again - but with none of his previous enjoyment. Then he discovers something terrible: he accidentally causes a mans death, and needing a cigarette to calm his nerves, he enjoys it more than any other previous smoke. What if he now needs to kill someone every time he wants to properly appreciate his next Benson and Hedges? An original and totally French black comedy from bestselling author, Antoine Laurain.

She-Clown, and other stories

She-Clown, and other stories

Author: Hannah Vincent Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/03/2020

Quirky, provocative, and fabulous, these short stories highlight everyday normality and yet firmly shake the roots of your thoughts.  Hannah Vincent is a novelist and playwright, I first came across her writing in 2014 when I read Alarm Girl, which I can still clearly remember (bearing in mind just how many books I read, it shows you how powerful her writing is). Although these short stories might leave you with more questions than answers they are actually perfectly formed. Sweary, occasionally shouty, definitely challenging, the mundane is examined, and experienced in a completely different way. She-Clown and Other Stories is a really interesting and decidedly different collection of 16 stories that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

eBooks of the Month
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Author: Mark Haddon Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2012

Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year 2003.It is a dead dog that sets off the chain reaction that leads Christopher Boone to find out the truth about his mother’s disappearance. But this is no usual detective story. Christopher has Asperger's Syndrome: he can recall numbers, will feel safe for a day when he sees three or four or five red cars in a row and he finds emotions near-impossible to unravel. But a dead dog presents the need to understand some complex emotions especially as it also propels Christopher into looking more carefully into his own family and their relationships. Mark Haddon's telling of Christopher's unpredictable response to them is original, kind, disturbing and profoundly moving.

eBooks of the Month
Something to Live For

Something to Live For

Author: Richard Roper Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/07/2020

Our July 2020 Book Club Recommendation. Click here to see our Reading Group Questions. A completely divine and ultimately uplifting debut, I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I loved it. With the best intentions Andrew has told a fib which has grown to surround and become a part of him, his life is then thrown up in the air when he meets Peggy. Ahh, Andrew, I admit to completely falling for this shy, kind, thoughtful man. The first few pages had me smiling, humour finely balancing and holding hands with poignancy. Richard Roper has developed the most fabulous characters and one heck of an emotional setting, which he handles with beautiful sensitivity. As the story developed, I hoped, oh how I hoped for a happy ending but I really couldn’t tell what the final outcome was going to be. With heartache tempered by gentle good humour Something To Live For casts the warmest of glows. I have no doubt that it will be topping my favourite reads of the year. We adore this quirky must-read and have chosen it to sit as a Debut of the Month, Liz Pick, and LoveReading Star Book! Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/04/2014

An amazing novel. The Fault in Our Stars is on the one hand a simple coming of age tale of young love but just like Romeo and Juliet these lovers are star-crossed, destined by dint of terminal cancer to not have a happy ending. But Green doesn’t show these characters to be stereotypes of cancer victims but instead to be living, vibrant, messy, real teenagers who realise that if you don’t get on with life there really is no point to it. Powerful, moving and ultimately uplifting it deserves to be read by all. One of the Richard and Judy Spring 2013 Book Club selections. Shortlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize   Perfect for readers who enjoyed Before I Die by Jenny Downham.   The film version of The Fault in Our Stars is released in UK cinemas on Friday 20 June 2014. Click below to view the trailer.

eBooks of the Month
Pondweed

Pondweed

Author: Lisa Blower Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/07/2020

Wonderfully quirky and yet earthy and tangible, this is an engaging and entertaining read. When is a holiday not a holiday? When 71 year old pond supplies salesman Selwyn Robby arrives home towing the work caravan, he tells his childhood sweetheart Ginny she has to pack her bag as they’re off to Wales. What follows is a road trip full of strange encounters, soul-searching and revelation. With a few words Lisa Blower allowed me to not only see, but feel the words. Descriptions slipped from the page into vibrant life. I could vividly picture the saucy mermaid curtains and fully stocked bar in the Toogood Aquatics caravan which becomes their world and future. I floundered alongside Ginny and Selwyn and I ached for the two of them even as I smiled. Pondweed flipped me onto a different thought path, where I strolled for a while and thoroughly enjoyed my journey.

eBooks of the Month
The Brilliant & Forever

The Brilliant & Forever

Author: Kevin MacNeil Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2016

A delightfully unique and quirky novel that is able to provoke a sledgehammer of emotions into action. Three friends are due to take part in the annual Brilliant and Forever literary competition, and this is a competition with a difference. While the focus remains on the three friends, the competition entries are included, consequently we read stories within the story, which encourages thought processes to fly in new directions. ‘The Brilliant and Forever’ isn't a book to gobble down in one sitting, I sometimes re-read sentences just to let them soak into my soul. The writing is different, at times quite beautiful, while at others I sat and scratched my head as I puzzled and allowed thoughts to float just out of reach. Kevin MacNeil has created a striking, often amusing, sometimes menacing, and provocative tale. As soon as I had finished, I re-opened the book at random, sat back down and started to read again. March 2016 Book of the Month. Click here to listen to a podcast about this book with Kevin MacNeil   A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'A new novel by Kevin MacNeil is always something to get excited about, and I mean that as a reader as well as a publisher. When that novel is as marvellously invigorating as The Brilliant & Forever, well, let’s pop those champagne corks! Both a sharp satire on the culture industry and a true celebration of storytelling, it’s a book lover’s dream of a novel. It tells the story of three friends—two human, one alpaca—as they prepare to take part in their home island’s literary festival where either glory or infamy awaits. It’s funny (there’s lots of quotable lines.) It’s moving (you root for so many of the wonderful characters.) It’s hugely imaginative (Haiku-kery! Talking alpacas!) Oh, it’s unique. You’ve really never read a novel like it…' ~ Vikki Reilly, Birlinn Ltd

eBooks of the Month
Welcome to Braggsville

Welcome to Braggsville

Author: T. Geronimo Johnson Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/01/2016

A strangely original and wonderfully thought provoking novel. By no means a simple read, the author writes in such a way as to make you think and consider. The lack of quotation marks and obvious introductions to show who is speaking, while at first strange, actively encourages you to feel a part of the action, as though you are there, and it focuses and concentrates your mind on what is being said. This is original and quirky writing, some sentences are curiously and almost perfectly repeated and yet the minute differences change the meaning, the context and therefore surprise and agitate your feelings. This isn't a novel to rush or dash through, you need to be alert, vigilant and ready for this compelling encounter.

eBooks of the Month
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Author: Emily Austin Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/07/2021

This deliciously quirky, amusing and sharply-pointed debut novel slowly wormed its way into my heart and soul. Anxiety is plaguing Gilda, who also has death on her mind, she unexpectedly finds herself in a new job, fending off unwanted attention from men while keeping her girlfriend secret, and investigating a suspicious death. Emily Austin writes with such honesty and empathy, I found her words burrowed their way into my mind before reaching beyond thought, to feelings. It took me a while to get to know and warm to Gilda, she borders on awkward as she tells her story. I gradually found myself getting closer and closer to this fragile yet thoughtful and beautiful woman. The plot weaves a unique magic as it ranges from mystery to family drama to relationship story. The humour is pithy and smart, the observations can sting yet are compassionate, and the descriptions simply sing. I really have fallen in love with this book, and can’t wait to see what comes next from Emily Austin, she is a writer I will be looking out for. Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a compelling, provocative, and beautiful LoveReading Star Book. 

Star Books

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