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Lovereading's Editorial Experts

The Lovereading family of book recommendation sites are different from many online book sites as we have real book experts selecting and reviewing the books. We passionately believe that Lovereading’s and Lovereading4kids’s superb ‘expert voices’, with their own specialities, are invaluable in helping readers discover the best books. Find out more about them below.

Sarah BroadhurstSarah Broadhurst

Sarah Broadhurst spent her early working life in the book trade in both retail and wholesale until the arrival of children forced her to look for freelance work she could do from home.

Her position of paperback buyer in Hatchards and then director of a book wholesale company gave her a wide knowledge of all sectors of the trade. She felt the trade lacked unbiased opinion, every publisher had the “best thing since sliced bread” and she knew the trade would benefit from an independent overview of the book published each month. She sold her idea to the trade journal The Bookseller and has, for the last 25 years, been writing a monthly article (from home!) on the new paperbacks on offer.

Over the years her opinion has become highly valued in the trade and she has become an expert in her field, contributing to many radio and television shows and reviewing in a wide range of newspapers and magazines from the Daily Express to Good Housekeeping.

Her speciality is supporting new authors. Writers who have atough time getting recognised. She has backed unknown first novels from the likes of Terry Pratchett, Joanna Trollope and Minette Walters and joins us now in introducing some of the unknown stars of the future to you.

Julia EccleshereJulia Eccleshare M.B.E.

Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role as Editorial contributor and advisor to Lovereading4kids, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian, Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Public Lending Right and most recently she has added the role of Children's Director of the Hay Festival.

She selected and wrote children's book reviews for the Good Book Guide for a number of years, she has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing. She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. She regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes including the Whitbread (now called the Costa) and the Nestle among others.

Maxim JakubowskiMaxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski is a London-based novelist and editor. He was born in the UK and educated in France. He worked for many years in publishing in editorial director positions for Virgin, the Thomson Organisation, Penguin and Ebury Press before opening the world-famous Murder One bookshop in 1988.

He has written on and reviewed crime for Time Out, The Guardian, the Times, the Daily Telegraph and The Bookseller, amongst other publications, and is a regular broadcaster on radio and TV, and lectures on both crime and mystery fiction, and erotica. He also runs CRIME SCENE, London’s annual crime film and literature festival, and is an adviser to the International Mystery Film Festival.

Sue Baker

Sue Baker has for many years been a regular non-fiction reviewer to the book trade and is one of Lovereading's founder book experts. Sue is the ‘expert voice’ in the non-fiction area for Lovereading. Areas that she covers on the site include History, Popular Science, the Environment, Gardening and Cookery as well as regular special features on Biography and Autobiography.

As Sue says, “as a bookseller, book buyer and then reviewer it has always been my greatest pleasure to introduce exciting books to new readers. Non-fiction has always been a passion and through Lovereading.co.uk I can share my passion seeking out the best, the most interesting and unusual non-fiction around.”

Alison FloodAlison Flood

I was that child who used to read under the table during dinner and in the corners at family gatherings. Now I work on the books desk for the Lovereading.co.uk, The Guardian, and review books (thrillers, mostly, but science fiction and fantasy when I can), for whoever will have me, including the Observer and the Sunday Times. When I lived in London, my house was bursting at the seams with books; now I live in Norway, it’s my ereader which is overwhelmed with riches. I’ve two small children, and am loving re-reading favourites from childhood with them.

Andrea ReeceAndrea Reece

Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams.

She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal.

She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

Joanne OwenJoanne Owen

Joanne Owen’s lifelong love of reading and writing began when she was growing up in Pembrokeshire, and very much wished that witches (and Mrs Pepperpot) were real. An early passion for culture, story and folklore led Joanne to read archeology and anthropology at St John’s, Cambridge, after which she worked as a bookseller, and led the UK children’s book buying team for a major international retailer. During this time, Joanne also wrote children’s book previews and features for The Bookseller, covering everything from the value of translated fiction, to the contemporary YA market. Joanne later joined Bloomsbury’s marketing department, where she had the pleasure of working on epic Harry Potter launches at Edinburgh Castle and the Natural History Museum, and launching Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. After enjoyable spells as Marketing Director for Macmillan Children’s Books and Consumer Marketing Manager for Walker Books, Joanne went freelance, primarily working for multi-award-winning independent children’s publisher, Nosy Crow.

Alongside her publishing career, Joanne has written several books for children/young adults. She’s now a fulltime reviewer, workshop presenter and writer, working on YA novels with a strong basis in diverse folklore from around the world, as well as fiction for younger readers (in which witches are very much real).

Simon SpartanSimon Spanton

Simon Spanton has been a publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as mainstream fiction, for 25 years, the last 19 years of which has been as Associate Publisher at the prestigious publisher, Gollancz. In that time he published authors such as Ben Aaronovitch, Peter F. Hamilton, Scott Lynch, Richard Morgan and Brandon Sanderson. Prior to that he was a bookseller.

He’s always believed the genres of SF and Fantasy should be home to bestsellers with the widest possible appeal as well niche titles. They should be about a sense of wonder and strangeness conveyed by gripping stories, peopled by empathetic characters and told in satisfying prose. That thought process will be at the core of his selections each month for Lovereading. As well as reading he’s likely to be watching a film, walking or cycling. Although not at the same time.

Liz RobinsonLiz Robinson

I have been writing expert reviews for Lovereading since February 2014. I relish my time spent exploring all genres, and particularly enjoy novels that send my mind into fevered action, scare the bejeezers out of me, or fling me back in time or to unknown places. Books have always played a huge part in my life, they take pride of place on my shelves, and often receive a pat or a hug as I pass.

I worked as a Police Civilian for twenty years (as a Communication Officer, Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer, and Crime Reduction Advisor), I therefore count myself as a somewhat expert armchair detective! People have been known to be extremely envious when they hear that I read for a living, if I were in their shoes, I would be too!

Mary HogarthMary Hogarth

Former journalist Mary Hogarth has nearly 20 years industry experience covering all aspects of magazine publishing.

An educator, media specialist and writer, Mary previously led the Features Journalism programme group at Southampton Solent University. During the course of her career she has written numerous features for a variety of magazines and recently published How To Launch A Magazine In This Digital Age.

She now runs her own consultancy practice themagazineexpert, specializing in magazine business, new title launches, editorial development and audience engagement. @themagexpert www.themagazineexpert.com

Shelley FallowsShelley Fallows

I can still remember visiting the local library as a child. The children’s area was in a round building attached to the main library by a Short corridor. At the end of that corridor I could disappear into books and become The Naughtiest Girl in the School, Pippi Longstocking or travel up into the distant lands of The Faraway Tree. And so a passion for reading began. I now read anything from classics to science fiction and everything in between.

In 2016 I graduated with First Class Honours in English Literature with the Open University. This qualification is a culmination of my many years of reading together with further studies of literature in its many forms from classics such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, and the Bronte Sisters to the modernism of Joyce, Du Maurier, Mansfield and Virginia Woolf and on to other twentieth century greats such as Philip K. Dick, Beckett, Heaney and Pat Barker.

My journey so far has opened my eyes to many wonderful stories in all manners of genre and form and I look forward to bringing this insight and experience to Lovereading and Lovereading4kids to help others on their journey of discovery.

The Good Book Guide logoThe Good Book Guide

The Good Book Guide has, for over forty years, been one of the most valued places to get honest, expert book reviews. Sadly, in 2015 The Good Book Guide closed its doors but an agreement with Lovereading was reached to acquire its impressive back catalogue of reviews from the last decade and these have now been integrated into the website. Many well known reviewers and globally renowned authors have reviewed for The Good Book Guide over the years including Barry Forshaw, Fiona Lafferty, Antonia Fraser, Salman Rushdie, Beryl Bainbridge and Will Self to name just a few.

Lovereading and The Good Book Guide shared the same ethos - to keep readers regularly informed of the most outstanding new books across a range of genres through expert review recommendation. Here at Lovereading, we are therefore thrilled to be able to continue the Good Book Guide’s legacy through our various media channels and to continue to serve some of the passionate book readers who have been so loyal to the Good Book Guide over the years.

Fiona Lafferty, GBG’s former editor, has joined Lovereading’s Expert Review panel and said, “My association with the Good Book Guide has been a long and very happy one, so I am delighted that a home has at last been found for it at Lovereading. I know that Lovereading shares the Good Book Guide’s commitment to informing readers about the very best books available, and I am confident that, even though the Guide will not continue in printed form, that its philosophy and heritage will be upheld.”

Bing Taylor, Founding Editor of the Good Book Guide said, “I am absolutely delighted the Guide lives on under the umbrella of Lovereading. The ethos of the GBG was to provide regular, unbiased, independent guidance on books currently available and selected by knowledgeable reviewers who love reading. So what could be more appropriate than to join forces with a thriving company sharing the same ethos but adapted for the 21st century.”