Mid-June email update

By peter on 21st June 2016

We think it’s time to stop thinking and worrying about the weather (real or political) or the football, cricket or tennis and let yourself be distracted by our newly launched Summer Reading collection and the chance to win a £500 gourmet mini break in Devon… Or any other of the shiny bookie baubles in this email.


A brace of discerning debuts

Just out are two very special debuts which we believe will be at or near the top of our debut tree at the end of this year – yes we’ve given them both a massive thumbs-up by making them Mega Debuts – an accolade we don’t give easily. Why not stop for a second and download a free extract of one or both of them and decide for yourself. Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan. A brilliantly conceived, twisting psychological suspense thriller that’s intensely compelling and deeply satisfying. ‘Gripping from the first page to the last – imaginative psychological thriller that’s sure to increase your heart-rate.’ (Reader Review). Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase. A thrilling spiral into the hearts of two women separated by decades but also a story of forgotten childhood and broken dreams, secrets and heartache, and the strength of a family’s love.

Something for the Summer?

Do you judge someone by the books they read? Just one of the questions in our Summer Reading Survey? Find out the light-hearted results here. Also, our popular Summer Reading category is back! Here you’ll find a carefully distilled selection of superb titles to get you in the holiday mood! Scroll down to see a small selection or visit the site to see them all where you can enter the £500 mini break prize draw! Plus! Make use of our unique Book Map, which lets you find titles that feature your holiday destination in its pages. Cool, right? It’s the perfect setting for some superb escapism! Find out more.

Pre-Publication Exclusives!

Here is your chance to read extracts from terrific new titles before they hit the shelves! This month, don’t miss.
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. The brilliant 3rd novel from the author of A Man Called Ove. A funny, poignant and uplifting tale of love, community, and second chances. Baby Doll by Hollie Overton. Impossible not to read in one sitting! A taut psychological thriller that focuses on family entanglements and the evil lurking behind normality. Florence Grace by Tracy Rees. A fabulous, engaging historical tale of identity, longing and love with a heroine for everyone to believe in.
The Invitation by Lucy Foley. From the author of the excellent The Book of Lost and Found, an escapist epic for fans of Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop. Sleeper’s Castle by Barbara Erskine. A return, after 30 years, for the enigmatic Lady of Hay where history mingles with the modern in this atmospheric epic. The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola. A grizzly tale of murder in Victorian London that will leave you wanting more… An exciting new voice in historical fiction.

Wife. Mother. Spy

‘A thriller that had me holding my breath’ … ‘An intriguing tale of double lives, scandals & lies’. The debut A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter is one both our experts and consumer Reader Reviewers have waxed lyrical about and we wouldn’t want such a treat to be missed. This complex, compelling, claustrophobic, Cold War spy tale is thought-provoking, illuminating and fascinating. Please find out more today.

Take a 375˚ Look! Thrillers by Nikki Owen

We’re very excited by the novels of Nikki Owen. Thrillers from a surprising perspective with a heroine whose Asperger’s syndrome forces the reader to view the world differently. Vulnerable, honest and with real tension, The Project trilogy will grip you from the first word. Start with (re-released) Subject 375 (formerly called The Spider in the Corner of the Room) and then devour The Killing Files and enter a different world, balancing a razor-edged tightrope of shocks and suspense. Find out more.

Long-awaited Annie Proulx is back

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain has just published a characterful, immersive and extraordinarily thought-provoking book that is simply a masterpiece. For the Wolf Hall readership, Barkskins is a massive historical novel charting the lives of two families, the Sels and the Duquets from 1693 to 2013. Dramatic, violent and absorbing we think you will find it difficult to put down.

Dear (e)Reader!

For all you digi-book doyens out there, a perfect selection of terrific tales to download whatever your taste. On our eReader this month, we love…
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. Gorgeously eloquent, beautifully written and powerfully dramatic relationship tale to be savoured and enjoyed. My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry. A relationship drama that gradually develops into something much darker … a real page turner’. (Reader Review). The Museum of You by Carys Bray. ‘A lovely tale about a family touched by tragedy but despite that both funny and warm. Highly recommended.’ (Reader Review).
The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle. Haunting and emotional, it’s another gorgeously readable and oh so captivating slice of historical fiction. A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming. A superbly crafted, topical and powerful novel from this award-winning master of the modern spy thriller. How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry – A lovely, gentle read, full of interesting characters, and at the heart of it all, a rather wonderful book shop.

Not Mad! Max! – Maxim Jakubowski's June Selections

Another month bursting with excellent recommended reads, many of them exceeding 500 pages by several lengths! Maxim’s Book of the Month is City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin. The conclusion to the epic doomsday scenario trilogy set ten years or so after the visceral The Passage and The Twelve. He also highly recommends The Fireman by Joe Hill that he believes will provide you with nightmares and epiphanies in equal share. Why even try to resist?

King of the Supernatural – Stephen King's Bill Hodges Trilogy

As the Bill Hodges Trilogy reaches its climactic finale in End of Watch, we thought we’d point you in the direction of this fantastic, supernatural and chilling series. Each novel works as a stand-alone read, but reading them in sequence is an experience! Along with Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, End of Watch is a deliciously creepy, mind-bending and dark, modern American foray into the grotesque potential of human beings. Read more.

A Penguin Book. But not as you know it! As heard on the Radio 2 Fact not Fiction Book Club, The Penguin Lessons is a remarkable true story that reads like fiction. Set against the turmoil of the Peron regime ending in Argentina, it is an extraordinary story of survival. Politically enthralling and heart-stoppingly tense, it’s a delightful, warming and compelling relationship-tale of one man and his penguin. Not to be missed.

‘Tremaynes' of the Day

S.K. Tremayne is a bestselling novelist and award-winning travel writer. He also writes religious thrillers under the name of Tom Knox but is perhaps most loved for his dark, psychological thrillers. The Ice Twins, a tightly woven and disturbing tale, was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller and his latest, The Fire Child, is a haunting story of broken families and the spectre of the past. Claustrophobic, brilliant and not to be missed. See them here.

The Kids Are Alright! – Superfoods for Super Children

Okay. There are a lot of faddy books for people keen to ride the wave of nutritional must-dos in this modern world of ours. However, here’s one that just makes sense, to us anyway. Superfood for Superchildren combines peer-reviewed scientific evidence with straightforward, mouthwatering recipes to help you provide low-sugar meals, free from refined carbs, to help you and your kids stay healthy, energised and happy.

Front Line Literature – The Somme Remembered 100 Years on

Next month marks 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme. In the wake of the horrific devastation and the futile struggle for mere inches of land, the Somme has left a legacy of incredible stories which hopefully mean that the lessons of those dark days will endure forever. You’ll find them all in their own area within our World War One category: fiction and non-fiction, first-hand accounts and imagined experiences. Among them is The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme by Gavin Stamp, a brilliant study of the origins of the Thiepval Memorial and its significance to future conflicts.

Nordic Noir's Gunnar Get You!

Terrible title puns aside, fans of Scandinavian crime stories will loveWhere Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen one of Ian Rankin’s favourite Scandinavian authors and described by Jo Nesbo as ‘A Norwegian Chandler’. With private eye Varg Veum, a sharp and engagingly flawed anti-hero, at its centre, it’s a stark, bitingly real and tenacious read that will have your mind working overtime. Part of the Varg Veum series, it works just as well as a stand-alone novel. Find out more here.

June Festival Update

This month’s brightest and best lit fests including a chance to win tickets to hear James Naughtie at Raworth’s Harrogate Literature Festival (7-10 July), Lewes Speakers Festival (22-24 July), Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival (21-24 July) and newcomers Buckingham Literary Festival (1-3 July). Scroll down to see more Summer Reading Selections or visit the site to see them all. See you in July. P.S. Fans of ITV’s Home Fires series shouldn’t miss the chance to win a DVD box set of the series.

Fun and Feel Good - Love the book you are reading

Emotional and Absorbing - Get lost in a beautiful story

Literary Loungers - Catch up on some top class fiction

Mysterious and Thrilling - Edge of the sunbed stuff

Action Packed and Exciting - High-Octane reading for the Summer

People and Places - The pick of the best real life stories

Another Time, Another Place - Historical stories to transport you in time

Young Adult Reads