Mid-February eNewsletter

By peter on 20th February 2017

Read on for lots of book recommendations to keep you absorbed, entertained and on-track to make 2017 your year of reading… especially our intriguing Mega Book of the Month A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.


More Exclusive Pre-Pubs

This is our superb selection of downloadable extracts of top titles before they’re published. This month, whet your appetite with:
When I Was Invisible by Dorothy Koomson – ‘An absolute page-turner of a novel… uncomfortable… powerful and oh so compelling.’ Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi – Simply superb, it will leap straight into your heart and soul. Without doubt, a must read. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal –  ‘Addictive, funny yet serious undertones’, ‘fascinating and enjoyable’ (Pearl Wilson, Reader Reviewer).

Romeo and Juliet for the Space Age

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan is a beautifully written, stunning, unusual debut that weaves its way through an intense, all-encompassing first love. A love forbidden by the times in which they live and yet one that they’ll risk everything not to lose. Graduate of the Faber Academy writing course and space geek Katie Khan started writing the book in 2012. So, quite a while to wait but so worth it.

Unmissable February Highlights

Here, all in one place, are the highlights of this month’s top recommendations. Books you won’t want to miss. Book like:
The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and Her Lover by Simon Parke – A worthy and absorbing read, as the axe falls, history hovers in touching distance. The Second Bride by Katharine Swartz – A bittersweet, compassionate family drama set in Cumbria. Emotional yet ultimately full of love and hope.
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The Black Sheep by Sophie McKenzie. Honeymoon Suite by Wendy Holden. The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom.

A Love Story Like No Other

We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan – Our MEGA Book of the Month, a first collaboration between two major award-winning novelists. ‘A wonderful love story, told in prose, featuring two very damaged young people who blossom when they find one another. A gem.‘ (Reader Review). The authors first met at a dinner to celebrate their respective books being shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Soon after the two of them began sending chapters back and forth on WhatsApp.

If you liked, you’ll love …

Keep your bedside table piled high with recommended reads that are right up your street … see below for two of our favourites this month. If you were a fan of the poignantly comic The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce then do have a browse of The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. We think it is a discovery of enchantment and delight.   And fans of the heartbreaking but beautiful The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson should be tempted by the charming and bittersweet story that is The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan.

From ‘Self’ to Shelf - Spring 2017 Independent Authors

Self-publishing may still sound a bit like bad books badly printed in a shed, but there are those that take the world by storm. These are our top tips for the Spring.

A Glass Act! – Cathy Glass

When a novel has the author’s personal experiences pouring out of every word, the reader can’t help but feel every bite and bend, hope and fear and twist and turn of it. The novels of foster-carer, Cathy Glass are a great example. The much-loved author of The Child Bride, Girl Alone, The Silent Cry and her latest Nobody’s Son is described by our regular Reader Reviewer Angie as: ‘one amazing lady, and to read her books, gives hope to all the children who come into contact with her.’ Find out more.

Reader Reviewers Recommend! – February’s Selection

Newly launched last month, this is a sparkling selection where we feature the books that Reader Reviewers have marked in the ‘must read’ column! Books like:
The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee – A beautiful and deeply moving story that can’t be put down (Judith Smith, Reader Reviewer). Moonglow by Michael Chabon – Absolutely fascinating, a beautiful yet quirky read, this is a tale to make you wonder, to make you feel… Who’s That Girl? By Mhairi McFarlane – One kiss and your world falls apart… A light, highly infectious, delightful read.
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff – Quirky, loveably light and happily hilarious romantic comedy. Debut adult novel from well respected teen/YA author. ‘A perfect gem of a book, so engaging’ (Sandra Rabiasz, Reader Reviewer). The Trophy Child by Paula Daly – Family drama, psychological thriller and police procedure mix well in a clever, well-written tale with excellent characterisation. ‘A captivating and intriguing suspenseful read’ (Karen, Reader Reviewer).
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Spookily Good! – The Books of Mick Herron

If you like a bit of intrigue and a dollop of humour, you have to try the spook-filled spy thrillers of Mick Herron. There’s a whole series of addictive tales to enjoy about a house filled with ‘out to pasture’ MI5 operatives, confounding colleagues and generally upping the ante in anti-establishment. Brilliant, gripping and thoroughly entertaining books. His latest and 4th in the series is Spook Street. Start here.

Just Great Stories! – That’s our Maxim!

Every month, crime fiction guru Maxim Jakubowski takes us through his singular choices of the best books about in his favourite genres.  This month he recommends that we slow ourselves down, sit by the fire and relax while the characters on the page race, run, burn rubber and screech tyres in a high-octane choice of books to see out the winter! We have them all!  But here are his top two: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – Loved by our Reader Reviewers this is a dark, unpredictable and gut-gripping tale, right up to the imaginatively wicked and jaw-dropping ending. And Kill the Next One by Federico Axat – Clever, stomach-churning psychological thriller that reinvents itself amid a web of questions so dizzying, you’ll be guessing to the very end.

Stuck for time? Try a Short Story

Sometimes you just can’t find the time to get into a novel even if you are desperate to read more. If that is your predicament then why not try a short story, or two. Small, perfectly formed and some not much longer than a chapter. We have a special category of them but this month we recommend Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes…  fleeting, yet memorable glimpse into other lives.

From Child to Wolf

David Young introduced us to Karin Muller, the only female lieutenant in the East German Secret Police in Stasi Child and her fascinating story continues in Stasi Wolf. Sarah Broadhurst says ‘stories with plenty of twists and human drama but what makes these stand out is their place in history. This is a fascinating period and a fascinating place, both beautifully realised.’

In a Reading Group? Let us help you choose your books

Did you know we have a category especially for books we think make perfect choices for reading groups? Books that are great reads but will also give your group lots to discuss. Books like Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land. Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her into the police. But out of sight is not out of mind… and blood is thicker than water. And that is what’s hot this cold February!  But don’t miss the last chance to see our ‘life-changing books’ in our New Year, New You category. See you next month as the daffodils start singing, with more recommendations from the heart! P.S. If you fancy picking up lots of book goodies have a browse around our Free Prize Draw section. Lovereading book bags and signed copies await.