No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
This is where you will find stunning books from literary masters past and present. Literary fiction doesn’t just mean good or valued, as brilliant writing can be found in any genre. These are serious stories with high artistic qualities that strike at the heart of what it is to be human.
'I started to write short pieces when I was living in a room too small to write a novel in.' So says Angela Carter of this collection, written during a period living in Toyko. These exotic, sensuous stories represent Carter's first major achievement in the short story form. Lush imaginary forests, a murderous puppet show and an expressionistic vision of Japan: each one instantly conjures an atmosphere, dark and luminous in turn, and from the recognisably daring imagination of one of the great twentieth-century stylists.
A short, seemingly simple, yet complex and rather wonderful novel about a young boy coming to terms with life, death, and everything in-between. Eleven year old Michael believes that a murder has taken place, and he tells his own story. The first sentence sets the scene with dramatic intensity, and left me with the hint of raised eyebrows, the possibility of a smirk. The tale begins the day before the murder, and background information is gradually filled in, allowing the connection to Michael to grow, to be nurtured. Maria Donovan explores sorrow, confusion, anger, friendship and love, all from the viewpoint of an eleven year old, with such thoughtfulness and compassion. I loved getting to know Michael and his companions, he entered my heart, he made me smile, and occasionally wince. ‘The Chicken Soup Murder’ is a thought provoking, yet gentle heartfelt hug of a tale, and a very lovely read indeed. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
A very special book indeed, magical in all its senses, which won the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award for best book. Slow to get into and long, it is written in the style of the period in which it is set, Regency, which I felt added to its charm. It’s about magicians, different strands of magic, highly imaginative with many layers and intricate sub-plots and, despite the dusty language, is totally compelling. A highly intelligent alternative history which I urge you to read and become totally hooked. ~ Sarah Broadhurst The Bloomsbury Modern Classic Series Restless by William Boyd Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
A beautiful new limited edition paperback of The Song of Achilles, published as part of the Bloomsbury Modern Classics list. The god touches his finger to the arrow's fletching. Then he breathes, a puff of air - as if to send dandelions flying, to push toy boats over water. And the arrow flies, straight and silent, in a curving, downward arc towards Achilles' back.A breathtakingly original rendering of the Trojan War - a devastating love story and a tale of gods and kings, immortal fame and the human heart. Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. The Bloomsbury Modern Classic Series Restless by William Boyd Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
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
This book seemed to come out of nowhere. It was the first Afghan novel to be written in English and it became a word-of-mouth bestseller in no time at all. Telling a tragic story of childhood jealousy and fear, it covers a bitter part of Afghan history in a painful tale that truly pulls at the heartstrings. A brilliant book. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Voted 2nd in the Books of the Decade by Lovereading readers. Richard Charkin, Executive Director of Publisher Bloomsbury, said: “We’re delighted that The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini has been selected by Lovereading as the number two title of the last Decade. We’re so pleased it continues to resonate with today’s readers and hope it will continue to do so for many decades to come.” Voted as the Penguin/Orange Reading Group Book of the Year 2006 and 2007. The Bloomsbury Modern Classic Series Restless by William Boyd Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
October 2017 Book of the Month A short, emotional and entirely captivating novel based on the real events that surrounded, enclosed and smothered the notorious Mata Hari. Mata Hari is a name that still evokes and conjures vivid images, this is a story that releases fact and weaves in fiction, until you're left with a concentrated, intense tragedy. The prologue introduces the end, a chillingly evocative photo followed by a news report, this may be a novel, but it doesn't feel like one, instead it feels as though reality is spilling from the pages. Several photos add an intensity to the already striking and memorable tale. By writing in letter form, Paulo Coelho allowed me to touch, to feel, to question, he made me look at Mata Hari as a woman rather than an exotic creature. ‘The Spy’ strips glamour, discards enchantment, yet there still remains an air of mystery about the fascinating Mata Hari, and I’m left with her still in my mind, I’m left wanting to know more. ~ Liz Robinson If you like Paulo Coelho you might also like to read books by Laura Esquivel, Diana Cooperand Louise Erdrich.
A beautiful new limited edition paperback of The Little Friend, published as part of the Bloomsbury Modern Classics list. The sunlit rails gleamed like dark mercury, arteries branching out silver from the switch points; the old telegraph poles were shaggy with kudzu and Virginia creeper and, above them, rose the water tower, its surface all washed out by the sun. Harriet, cautiously, stepped towards it in the weedy clearing. Around and around it she walked, around the rusted metal legs. One day is never, ever discussed by the Cleve family. The day that nine-year-old Robin was found hanging by the neck from a tree in their front garden. Twelve years later the family are no nearer to uncovering the truth of what happened to him. Inspired by Houdini and Robert Louis Stevenson, twelve-year-old Harriet sets out to find her brother's murderer - and punish him. But what starts out as a child's game soon becomes a dangerous journey into the menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town. The Bloomsbury Modern Classic Series Restless by William Boyd Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
October 2017 Debut of the Month An outstanding feat of literary fiction in which three individuals - oceans and centuries apart - are indelibly connected by their devotion to beekeeping. This is speculative fiction at its smartest, and comes with a powerful message about the interconnectedness of life. In Hertfordshire, 1852, biologist and seed merchant William is creating a new kind of beehive he hopes will bestow great honour upon him and his children. With a skip forward to 2007, and a leap across the Atlantic to Ohio, we meet beekeeper George, who’s battling modern farming, while placing his hopes in his son’s hands. Then, in Sichuan, China in 2098, through Tao we witness a grim vision of a future in which the bees have disappeared, and so she painstakingly hand-paints pollen onto fruit trees. While the protagonists are very different people, leading very different lives, they share an elemental need to do the best for their children, and are driven by a deep-rooted impulse to fight and survive. At once sweeping, and intricately complex, this will make you see the world anew, and want to take action to make it better. ~ Joanne Owen
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. A fabulous premise, step inside, and a bold, captivating read awaits. Set at some point in the future, not too far away, sits The Transition, an alternative to prison, and a one stop shop to fix all your problems… you just need to allow The Transition to run your life for six months. This is clever writing, I found myself slowly sliding from known to unknown; so much connects to the here and now, it almost comes as a shock when Luke Kennard flings little snippets of the future towards you. Surprising traps were set in place, and as my mind stumbled, I questioned, probed, considered. Relationships sit at the heart of this story, as they are tested to the limit and the story becomes progressively darker, the ending leaves certain threads deliberately unexplored. ’The Transition’ startles and shocks, what a wonderfully arresting and impressive read this is. ~ Liz Robinson
Set in the deep American south between the wars, this is the classic tale of Celie, a young poor black girl. Raped repeatedly by her father, she loses two children and then is married off to a man who treats her no better than a slave. She is separated from her sister Nettie and dreams of becoming like the glamorous Shug Avery, a singer and rebellious black woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the support of women that enables her to leave the past behind and begin a new life. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers. 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.
October 2017 Book of the Month | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017. From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories, and a story about ageing and time and love and stories themselves. Here comes Autumn. On being Longlisted for the Man Booker prize Ali Smith said; "A lovely surprise – I'm very very chuffed – but especially to be on this longlist, in such bloody good company". You can read an interview with her on the Man Booker website here.