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Mid-June Summer Reading

A mid-month reminder that as we stroll into summer, there is no better time to look for your next fantastic read. Outside in a tranquil spot, or by an open window, these are the days to kick back and get lost in the stories of others. But what to choose? Pop into our newly launched Summer Reading category, a lovingly hand-picked picnic of perfect summer books.

Start planning your Summer Reading

Have a look at the shelf below for some of our favourites, scroll down to see more or visit the special category on the site to see them all.

Deserved Debut – Desmond Elliott Prize Winner Announced








Possibly the most coveted prize for UK first novelists, The Desmond Elliott Prize was founded in 2007 to celebrate the best 1st novel by a new author and to support writers just starting what will be long and glittering careers. Ten years on it has succeeded in its mission in a manner that would make Elliott proud.

This year’s winner has just been announced and it is Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. Chair of the judges Sam Leith, Literary Editor at the Spectator, described the novel as, “miraculously constructed… at once so fabulously entertaining, so exquisitely wrought and so moving that it stands among not just the best first novels of the year, but the best novels of this or any year.” Find out more.

One for the Mantel-piece? The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction








Founded to honour the legacy of historical novelist Sir Walter Scott, this is the largest prize, outside London, to reward the best in historical fiction. The first winner was Hilary Mantel who remains an avid supporter of the Prize, describing it as ‘much the best thing that has happened for fans of historical fiction‘.

The winner was announced on 17 June at the Borders Book Festival and was awarded to the big-hearted, beautiful and splendidly sweeping tale of war, survival and love in the American West, Days Without End by Sebastian Barry.

Start choosing your July reads today!

Our gift to you! A chance to read extracts of excellent books before they’re published. You’re welcome!

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon – A brilliantly conceived, jaw-dropping, incredibly realistic psychological thriller. From the author of Try Not to Breathe. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce – From the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes a heartrending, gloriously life-affirming, ode to vinyl, love story. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – A dramatic, powerful, and so incredibly addictive, breathtaking whammy of a read, pure escapism at its best.
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You liked that? Try this! – If You Like You’ll Love

This is our no-brainer category for people looking for new authors with the talent to match their favourites. You tell us authors you like and we introduce you to others you’ll love. Simple!

If you Like Victoria Hislop or Rosie Thomas you’ll love The Invitation by Lucy Foley, a captivating story of dark secrets and forbidden love. If you like Erica James you’ll love The Forever House by Veronica Henry, a gorgeously affectionate, loving, and generous read.
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The Cream! – Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction





With a widely varied judging panel from the top of their professions, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the most prestigious award to honour fiction written by a woman. Previous winners include: Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain and Ali Smith.

This year’s gong went to The Power by Naomi Alderman. Chair of the judges Tessa Ross said that while her judging panel debated the shortlist “for many hours“, they “kept returning to Naomi Alderman’s brilliantly imagined dystopia – her big ideas and her fantastic imagination.

     

Mid-June Highlights

Take a moment to discover the top titles that may have passed you by this month. Books like:

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer – A dark, harrowing and weirdly uplifting future vision from the celebrated author of the creepily brilliant, post-apocalyptic Southern Reach Trilogy.

The Floating Theatre by Martha Conway – Brimming with stunning writing and historical illuminations. Perfect for fans of Gone with the Wind and Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway.

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Mid-June ‘New Gen’ Highlights

Younger (or young at heart) readers take note of three cracking novels out this month:

After the Fire by Will Hill – Inspired by the Waco siege in Texas in 1993. The tension rarely abates and we think it is one of the most gripping and suspenseful books you’ll read all year. A Small Free Kiss in the Dark by Glenda Millard – Be prepared to be moved, enthralled, heartbroken and inspired by this moving tale of hope and survival, set in a bleak, war-torn world. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord – A moving story of a teenage girl coping when her world turns upside down. A thoughtful and well-written book that tugs at the heartstrings. The Scattering by Kimberly McCreight – The nail-bitingly tense sequel to the original and incredible The Outliers.  ‘Action packed and gripping – I flew through the pages’ Amy, 15.

Dear (e)Reader! – eBooks of the Month

For all you digi-book doyens out there, a perfect selection of terrific tales to take away whatever your taste. Here’s what’s up for download (or is it ‘down for upload’? – Ed) this month.

The Girl Who Ran by Nikki Owen – The final book in the ‘Project Trilogy’ and it’s an absolute belter as the story surges to a fittingly dramatic conclusion. The River at Night by Erica Ferencik – Fast-paced, suspenseful and travels the gamut of life experiences as the narrative races towards a splendid climax. The Boy Who Saw by Simon Toyne – Hugely compelling and highly recommended. Second adventure for a Jack Reacher/Superman cross with shades of Jason Bourne called Solomon Creed.

The Big Jakubowski – Maxim’s Top Tips for June

Crime aficionado Maxim Jakubowski has been delving deep into the underworld of wonderful writing again this month to bring you the best books about for lovers of thrill, suspense and edge-of-your-seat reading. It’s a labour of love, he says. 








This month his top tips take you on a whirlwind tour of the world from Bosnia to Mount Everest, without ever needing to leave your favourite chair! See the whole lot here, or check out the top two titles:

His Book of the Month is Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang by Mike Ripley – Witty, entertaining and meticulously researched exploration of British thrillers that will have you scouring the second-hand shelves for classics of a bygone era.

And Highly Recommended is The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker – A humdinger of a serial killer thriller in sheer overdrive, it is a winner from the get go.

Read, Loved and Highly Recommended! – Reader Highlights

We take the views of our Consumer Reader Reviewers (many of them bloggers) very seriously and we’ve collected the books they loved the most into one handy section of superstars. Click here for more.

The Bureau of Second Chances by Sheena Kalayil – A wonderfully atmospheric picture of life in India ‘A gem of a novel! A delight to read!’ (Reader Review). Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – ‘I feel deeply privileged to have read such an exceedingly exceptional book….heart wrenching and yet light-hearted and funny.‘ (Reader Review).
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Barnett Fare – The Books of Laura Barnett





Author, journalist and theatre critic Laura Barnett is a versatile and powerful writer whose understanding and deep affection for her characters practically drips off every page.

Versions of Us is a heartbreaking and beautiful love story about the ‘what if’ moments in our lives and Greatest Hits, her brand new novel is ‘ … a lyrically soulful novel, full of warmth, passion … that rocked to the core of my heart.’ (Reader Review). Find out more.

The Queen of Social Commentary

2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. Her novels continue to delight and there have been numerous TV and film adaptations of them (who can forget Colin Firth after the swim in the lake?). So, we have created a special category where you will find some of her classic novels along with modern re-workings of them and also a selection of non-fiction titles that explore her life and work and the continuing fascination it exerts upon readers. Discover more today.

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Don’t forget to visit the site to see more Summer Reading Selections.

P.S. Find out more about a unique event, REBUSFEST, in Edinburgh at the end of the month. And don’t miss the chance of winning some exclusive Rebus books and other exclusive book goodies in our free prize draw category.

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June 2017 eNewsletter

June. Named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. So, we’ve married all our tastes and talents this month to focus on bringing the very best recommendations for book-lovers, whatever your poison. And if you are a fan of new crime writing don’t miss the longlist for the CWA, New Blood, John Creasey Dagger – all highly recommended.

Satis-Fiction! – Books of the Month

A flourish of fantastic fiction awaits the eager reader this month on our bookshelf of June’s best reads. Click here to get started.

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Satis-Factual! – Non-Fiction Books of the Month

Non-fiction fans will find a treasure trove of true stories this month. We highly recommend:

Blue: A Memoir by John Sutherland – A candid, objective, cooly passionate and often unsettling account of policing from a Met police officer.

Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe, Rachel Nickell’s son, is a touching and at times heartbreaking read, yet it also compellingly celebrates life, love and family.

That’s a First! – Debuts of the Month

Often the result of years of passionate work and intimately enriched with the author’s soul, a first novel is a very special thing. These are the top debutants around this month. Don’t miss:

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan – Big-hearted, unforgettable story of loss and recovery, of everyday people transforming lives. Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig –  ‘Your heart will ache for Ginny. She will make you laugh, she will make you cry, and you won’t forget her.’ (Reader Review). The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney – ‘A juicy page-turner as you discover whether dysfunction can ever start to function as a family.’ (Reader Review). Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – ‘… an exceedingly exceptional book … Light-hearted and funny. ‘ (Reader Review).
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Top of the Pops! Father’s Day 18 June 2017





Robert Frost once mooted that a mother’s love is unconditional but a father’s must be ‘deserved’. A bit simplistic perhaps, but just in case, don’t forget Father’s Day! We’ve done the hard work for you (and our Dads said we’d never amount to anything … pah!) with a special shelf filled with perfect gift ideas. Books like Dad, You Suck by Guardian columnist Tim Dowling. This giggle-filled, snort-inducing collection of moments is a wonderfully candid, intensely funny antidote to the pressure to be the perfect parent. See below for a taster of other titles or visit the site to see them all.

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Pre-Publication Exclusives!

A golden opportunity to have a peep behind the fly covers of some excellent books before they are published. The ultimate ‘try before you buy’! 

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Get on the ReBUS!





Not only are we celebrating the 30th year of Ian Rankin’s impeccable crime series by giving the self-abusing Scot sleuth his own special category, we’re also running a free prize draw. Three lucky winners will receive copies of 5 key Rebus books and a Goody bag including a festival tote bag, Rebus 30 pen, beermat, bookmark and a miniature bottle of Highland Park whisky. Haven’t read a Rebus case yet? Criminal! Click here to get started. 

Six of the Best! – The Austen Project

200 years since Jane Austen’s death, six contemporary authors have been charged with reimagining her classics. So far, Joanna Trollope, Val McDermid, Alexander McCall Smith and Curtis Sittenfeld have taken up the challenge. The latter’s Eligible, now in paperback, is Pride and Prejudice in modern-day Cincinnati and a thoroughly enjoyable read. No-one knows yet who the last two authors will be to complete the project. We’re on the edge of our seats and you will be the first to know! Find out more.

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Don’t Desert Gobi! 





Named after the desert she was found in by ultra-marathon competitor and author Dion Leonard, Gobi is an extraordinary dog whose story has already touched many. 

Finding Gobi is a story of hope and courage; of life-changing lessons learned and the unbreakable connection between man and dog. A connection that was lost and miraculously found again. Neither Dion or Gobi will ever be the same again and, perhaps, neither will you. Click here for more.

We are Friends of Dorothy (Koomson)








Packed with emotion, humour and razor-sharp observation, the powerful writing of Dorothy Koomson features time and time again on our Book of the Month and Book of the Year lists.

Often boldly exposing difficult subjects and delving deep into human relationships. Her latest, The Friend, is no exception. A gloriously dramatic, compelling tale of secrets, lies and the friends we choose. ‘A wonderful read that keeps you guessing right to the end.’ (Reader Review). We also recommend you look at her earlier novels When I Was Invisible and That Girl from Nowhere. Click here for more.

Alex Rides Again!





Tell your young teens and all their friends and all those closet adult fans too [market research has told the publisher there are many!] Alex Rider has a brand new action-packed, stylish adventure to get stuck into, Never Say Die.

If you know anyone who hasn’t read these action-packed novels by Anthony Horowitz, we can’t recommend them highly enough! Of course, we also know that, as the first story Stormbreaker came out 17 years ago, you may be an old (okay not so old) fan. In which case, click here and get your copy and squirrel yourself away for a high-octane trip down memory lane!

20 years of the Boy Who Lived

Amazingly it is 20 years since the publication of the first Harry Potter book. As we all now know J K Rowling had dozens of rejections before the brilliance of her story was noticed and the rest is history. To celebrate the event Bloomsbury have created some stunning ‘house’ editions of the first title both in paperback and hardback.

 




Perfect for a new generation of readers or just to keep on your bookshelf and remember when you queued at midnight to get the latest one! Also don’t miss the chance to win a set of these amazing books!

 





Scroll down to see more hand-picked selections in the categories you have told us you like to be kept up to date with. To change them just log in to your account








P.S. Don’t forget to visit our Free Prize Draws category. This month we have sets of The Grantchester Mysteries  a DVD box set of Prime Suspect 1973 to give away and tickets to an exclusive Desmond Elliott Book Award event on 22 June in London. Good luck.

Happy Reading.

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Mid-May eNewsletter

Welcome to our mid-May update full of the latest, best and most exciting books all selected by our team of incredibly experienced book experts. And don’t miss Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher de Hamel, the winner of the prestigious Wolfson History Prize… a perfect gift for Father’s Day perhaps?.

 

Pre-Publication Exclusives

Your monthly peek between the sheets of books yet to hit the shelves! Books like: Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett – A musical journey through a life lived to the full and a compelling tale about making peace with our mistakes.

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E-asy Reading! – eBooks of the Month








For those still seeking the next great e-read, stay in touch right here with the latest digital delights with our definitive list of the best in eBooks.

Scared to Death by Kate Medina – With a whipping, corkscrewing plot and fast-paced action, ‘Scared to Death’ just roars along, ensuring a worthwhile and entirely captivating read.

You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood – A captivating courtroom drama, and a poignant personal story that explores social disadvantage and London gang culture from a unique perspective.

A True Story of Murder, Loss and Survival





Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe is a truly touching, considered, and frank life story of the young son of Rachel Nickell who, aged nearly 3, witnessed the brutal attack on his mother.

Liz Robinson, one of our Lovereading expert reviewers wrote. ‘I felt pain, yet I also felt admiration, and wonderment as difficult choices were made while Alex and his father were in a world of pain and confusion. ‘Letting Go’ is at times a heart-breaking read, of course it is, yet it also compellingly celebrates life, love and family.’

Maybe you Missed… Mid-May Highlights

This is where we highlight excellent titles that may have passed you by this month. Titles like:

A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson – An Agatha Christie-style mystery with Christie herself at the centre of it. Great fun; full of red herrings, clues and twists. Sound: Stories of Hearing Lost and Found by Bella Bathurst – Engaging and intelligently fascinating study of the nature of listening and the science of hearing. The Cardinal’s Court by Cora Harrison – Captivating, transportive historical mystery and a murderous journey in the murky corridors of the past.
The Fireman by Joe Hill – Nightmarish, super-powered, mankind survival tale jam-packed with pulsing emotion, breathless adventure and quirky characters. An Unlikely Agent by Jane Menczer – An enthralling Edwardian espionage thriller featuring an endearing, independent female lead and lashings of intrigue.
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Exuberant, Sensual, Imaginative








New York born, but resident in Rome, Jonathan Levi writes with a nimble style and lithe perception that demands your full attention.

Septimania is a ‘brilliantly bonkers’ (our expert reviewer) magical-reality tale of one man’s search for love and A Guide for the Perplexed is a dazzling Pandora’s Box of literary delights: a flabbergasting feat of imagination. We don’t want to give too much away; you should really find out for yourself! Suffice to say Levi is one of our major author highlights in the month. Click here.

     

Recommended by Readers – Our Reader Review Highlights

The books loved by other book lovers just like you. This month, don’t miss:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson – ‘A jewel of a read’; ‘Raw, high-energy and distressing’; ‘ … gripping thriller’; ‘ … brings something unique to the world of crime writing’ (Reader Reviews). Crimson Lake by Candice Fox – A sharp, clever crime thriller set in Australia that is menacing, absorbing and edgily entertaining. No wonder the author is being celebrated as a new star of crime fiction. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – ‘A distinctive, funny and moving voice’; ‘Heart-warming and captivating’; ‘brilliantly written, bittersweet, thought-provoking.’ (Reader Reviews).

Making History – Debut Novel from Lucy Hughes-Hallett





Already an established Historical Biographer, Lucy Hughes-Hallett has now penned her first novel. The first of many we hope. Spanning centuries and multiple relationships, Peculiar Ground is a superbly written literary tome with a family drama at its centre. It’s a book of layers and levels and unexpected places. ‘A beautifully written, captivating and quirkily clever tale … I loved, loved, LOVED this book… a magical and appealing novel.’ (Reader Reviews).

Wolfson Winner! – Wolfson History Prize 2017




May is turning out to be the month to be a fan of History! The Wolfson History Prize was founded in 1972 and has become synonymous with the best History writing. The winner was Christopher de Hamel for his book Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts. The judges said “Imaginatively conceived, beautifully written and illustrated… de Hamel offers serious new insights in every chapter.” Find out more





While we’re celebrating a passion for history, this is the perfect time to whet your appetite about the upcoming Chalke Valley History Festival (26 June – 2 July).

There are incredible events, speakers and activities, as well as camping, glamping, re-enactments and an airshow. Not to mention the fabulous food! Interested? Look out for our special blog and join the show! Plus you can enter our competition to win a family ticket.

In Short! – Short Stories Category





We’re big fans of the short form here at Lovereading. A well-crafted short story is a wonderful thing; a mini escape, perfect for the bus or train and something to talk about with friends. New this month is Alexander McCall Smith’s Chance Developments, a poignant collection of tales inspired by a series of old photographs.

Liked that? You’ll LOVE this!

Our If You Like You’ll Love category suggests books we think you’ll love, based on the ones you’ve already enjoyed! Say goodbye to the ‘end of book blues’.

Like Anne Tyler?… You’ll Love Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. Like Victoria Hislop?… You’ll Love Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson. Like Erica James?… You’ll Love The Forever House by Veronica Henry. Like Liane Moriarty?… You’ll Love What Alice Knew by T A Cotterell.

Daddy Cool! – Father’s Day 2017




Every Dad has his day. This year, it’s Sunday 18 June! A book is a thoughtful, lasting way to say ‘I love you’. It certainly beats another pair of socks or novelty tie. Click here to see our collection of great reads, bursting with brilliant ideas to get in Dad’s good books!

Pure Magic!





Every now and then a crossover novel comes along that is written for young adults but is too good not to be read by older ones too! The magical, head-spinning first book of the new Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell is just such a book! Perfect for fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s a fantasy novel that’ll keep you guessing on every page, filled with wit, adventure and fantastic characters. There’s more than a dollop of magic too.

Rich and compelling and bursting with tricks, it’ll have you on the edge of your seat. Find out more.

Crime Watch – Maxim’s Recommendations




Once again, crime writing sleuth Maxim Jakubowski has been lifting the lid this month on the best books for crime and thriller fans. It’s an eclectic gathering which includes everything from literary studies of the evils of the Nazi regime to supernatural dangers and twisted school children! 





His top two tips for success this month are:

Book of the Month Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson  – A stunning, eerie and scarily real serial murder tale, translated by Maxim himself.

Highly Recommended Mischling by Affinity Konar – An incredible, harrowing, beautiful and unforgettable novel about the horrors and huge heart of humanity.

Friends Forever, Enemies Never




If you have teenage children, it can be hard watching them go through all the trials and tribulations that life can hurl at them. Nicola Morgan’s The Teenage Guide to Friends is essential reading for teens and parents alike, tackling the all-important subjects of making and keeping friendships, as well as what to do when they break down (as they do). It’s a truly illuminating read that you will want to dip into over and over again. Get it here.





P.S. Don’t forget to enter our free prize draws especially the chance to win DVD box sets of Prime Suspect 1973

P.P.S. If you are a fan of fiction that will make you laugh look no further than the shortlist for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. Our top pick is the outrageously funny, fast-paced and uniquely addictive Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen.

And that is just about all from us this month. We hope you get to use the extra light of the evenings for some window-side reading and we’ll be back next month to help fill the gaps in your bookshelf!

 

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May eNewletter

May’s recommendations are fluffier and brighter than a basket of blossom and we’re blooming with joy to bring you the fruits of our labour this month! Whatever your taste, your next great escape is just a few clicks away. Read on for more.

May Queens! – Books of the Month

A right royal basketful of the best books about awaits you this month. Books like:

Don’t Let Go by Michel Bussi – A captivating, fiendishly puzzling crime drama with an exotic, fascinating backdrop and a heart-stopping finale. A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride – Gruesome, unpredictable and excitingly dark serial murder drama and an investigating team with a twist! The Ice by Laline Paull – From the award-winning author of The Bees, a beautifully written, complex, thought-provoking and intense Arctic drama. The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork – Nail-biting suspense combined with masterful writing… the very best of Nordic Noir.
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The Best Reads. Fact. – Non-Fiction Books of the Month

It’s not just fiction that floats our boat! Here, for fact fans, are the best non-fiction finds this month: We particularly love:

The Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom by Nujeen Mustafa –  The inspiring and illuminating first-hand account of a daring escape from a war-torn home, in a wheelchair.

East West Street by Philippe Sands – Multiple strands form one compelling and award-winning history, exposing the origins of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Calling all enfoodiasts! This month don’t miss: The Plagiarist in the Kitchen by Jonathan Meades – An ‘anti-cookbook’. No recipe is truly original and to prove it, here are 125 of the best stolen ones for you to try!

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Darling Buds! – Debuts of the Month

Somerset Maugham said: There are three rules to writing novels. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are”. Here are our top tips for the best first-time authors who have tried to work them out! Don’t miss:

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach – Clever, twist-filled family tale in which mistrust leads to a suspenseful journey of searing tension. Perfect for fans of S K Tremayne. What Alice Knew by T A Cotterell – Devastating relationship tale: ‘A rollercoaster of emotion … A definite page-turner which will keep you hooked (Reader Review). Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – ‘… an exceptional book … Heart-wrenching … yet light-hearted and funny…’ (Reader Reviews). Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson – ‘A jewel of a read’; ‘Raw, high-energy and distressing’; ‘… a gripping thriller that brings something new’ (Reader Reviews).
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Crime and Cake – The Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie





Charming, atmospheric, and compellingly crafted, The Grantchester Mysteries is the epitome of ‘cosy crime’, with a quintessential English detective for a hero. No wonder the sleuthing Archdeacon, Sidney Chambers is already on his sixth case, Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love and the TV adaptation is such an enormous hit! This month you can win one of 5 sets of all six books! Click here to try your luck.

Pre-Publication Exclusives





Read exclusive extracts of highly recommended books before they hit the shelves! Books like:

Island of Secrets by Patricia Wilson – Perfect Summer Read. A beautiful, heart-breaking and all too human story of love and sacrifice in the face of evil.

Plus, if you are quick, there is a special offer currently on the eBook format ahead of the physical edition.   

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Prestigious awards galore this month…





First Prize! – Desmond Elliott 2017 ShortlistSupported by Lovereading and just about the best prize around for first-time novelists, the Desmond Elliott shortlist has just been announced. Is your favourite among them? And who’s your tip for the top honours?

Chair of Trustees for the Desmond Elliott Prize, Dallas Manderson said: “The judges have done a commendable job of selecting three titles from a strong, varied and ambitious longlist and we are delighted to present such an exemplary shortlist in our 10th anniversary year.” 

Browse the hopefuls, read what our expert reviewers have to say and pick your winner. The winner is announced on 21 June 2017.

 




Great Scott! – Walter Scott Prize 2017 ShortlistMuch the best thing that has happened for lovers of Historical Fiction’ (Hilary Mantel).

Why not peruse the shortlist for the hotly contested Walter Scott Prize and get the chance for you to win tickets to the Borders Book Festival on 17 June to see the winner announced in person! Click here for more.

 





Pages of History – Wolfson History Prize 2017 Shortlist – A quick reminder for History fans that you can now see the shortlisted titles vying for the top spot in the Wolfson History Prize.

We’ve added our own Lovereading Expert Reviews and free downloadable extracts so you can judge for yourself! Click here for more.

Find your next favourite reads

If you like Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train you’ll love The Second Sister by Claire Kendal. If you like The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett you’ll love The Other Us by Fiona Harper. If you like Harriet Evans you’ll love The Last Days of Summer by Sophie Pembroke.

‘Chalke’ it up to History! – Chalke Valley History Festival 2017





While we’re celebrating a passion for history, this is the perfect time to whet your appetite about the upcoming Chalke Valley History Festival (26 June – 2 July).

There are incredible events, speakers and activities, as well as camping, glamping, re-enactments and an airshow. Not to mention the fabulous food! Interested? Look out for our special blog and join the show! Plus you can enter our competition to win a family ticket.

Gripping and Frighteningly Realistic – The Books of Paul E Hardisty





Radiating the resonance of the author’s own life experience, the adventures of Claymore Straker, a modern justice seeker in the hot zones of the Middle East, are searingly real, incredibly topical and brilliantly written.

The first in the series was nominated for a CWA Dagger and Hardisty’s work has been strongly endorsed by his peers. The latest complex tale, Reconciliation for the Dead, is out now and is a dangerous and compelling return of a gripping hero. For fans of James Lee Burke, Lee Child and Terry Hayes, author of I am Pilgrim. Click here for more.

Don’t miss our Free Prize Draws this month




Lots of booky prizes are up for grabs this month but in the office we are enviously eyeing the box set of series 7 of the wonderfully acerbic Vera, based on the Vera Stanhope series of books penned by Ann Cleeves. Enter this and more today to claim your chance.

Scroll down to see more hand-picked selections in the categories you have told us you like to be kept up to date with. To change them just log in to your account.

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Mid-April eNewsletter

We hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter and found the time to enjoy a bit more reading time than usual. Our mid-month email is packed with book recommendations from the Lovereading editorial experts including a virtual shelf full of titles you can read opening extracts of before they hit the virtual and physical bookshops!

     

Why wait for the publication date?

Sneak a peek at some carefully selected novels we rate very highly, before they’re published. You know you want to

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Making History! – The Wolfson History Prize




A quick reminder for fans of brilliant non-fiction that you can now see the shortlisted titles vying for the top spot in the Wolfson History Prize 2017. We’ve added our Lovereading Expert Reviews and free downloadable extracts to help you choose your favourite. Click here for more and don’t miss the chance to win all the shortlisted titles worth £175!

And speaking of prize-winning fiction…





If you are part of a reading group why not read The Blood Miracles, the follow-up novel from last year’s Desmond Elliott Prize winner Lisa McInerney.

It’s outstanding, compelling, convincing, captivating and very, very readable.

In the Bag! – April Highlights

These are the best books this month that may just have escaped your beady eye. Must-haves for your book-bag! Books like:

The Museum of You by Carys Bray – 2nd novel from the author of award shortlisted A Song for Issy Bradley. Sarah Broadhurst described it as ‘sad, poignant and tender with some lovely secondary characters’. And Reader Reviewer Janet said ‘A magical thought-provoking book.’ Billionaires’ Banquet by Ron Butlin – An exceedingly original novel that evokes the zeitgeist of Thatcher’s Britain with wit, humour and an exhilaratingly zesty touch. Complex, astute and often acerbic, this is an utterly involving depiction of a transformative period in British history. Well of the Winds by Denzil Meyrick – A stimulating, fascinating and so very readable addition to the D.C.I. Daley Series, this time set on an island off the coast of Kintyre. If you’ve not yet met Daley and Scott, do sink into the pages and introduce yourself.

 

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The eye-opening account of a refugee’s incredible strength and bravery





Nujeen is a teenager. She loves TV and wants desperately to fit in and be normal. Yet Nujeen has also travelled an arduous journey through seven borders in a wheelchair in the hope of finding a better life.

The Girl from Aleppo: Nujeen’s Escape from War to Freedom will give you the opportunity to understand the plight of the people fleeing. The story, although personal and unique, is still the story of many, many ordinary people seeking safety and deserves to be heard and better understood.

     

Transportive Historical Fiction – Karen Maitland





Fans of Kate Mosse and C.J. Sansom may already know the novels of Karen Maitland. Her impeccable research and deep understanding of community have helped craft some truly brilliant works of historical fiction. It’s no wonder she’s a firm favourite with reading groups up and down the country. Her latest title, The Plague Charmer, is a harrowing, enthralling and ultimately exciting look at the horror of apocalyptic illness in an age of superstition and its effects on real people. Find out more.

I Came, I Read, I Recommended! – Reader Highlights

Some of the popular books with our band of book lovers on our consumer Reader Review Panel, all gathered into one place to help you find your next great read!

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova – A beautifully crafted novel told in beautiful, descriptive prose. Watching Edie by Camilla Way – A truly compulsive read. Menace hangs over the whole story. The Lauras by Sara Taylor – A captivating and subtle novel, where heart-catching surprises lie in wait.
The Cows by Dawn O’Porter – Oh my word, this is an eyebrow-raising, mouth openingly good read. The Cutaway by Christina Kovac – A compelling and stylish psychological thriller from a fine new voice in crime fiction. A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys –  A scrumptiously entertaining mystery that fizzes with glamour, romance and intrigue.

Take it from the Max! – Maxim Jakubowski Recommends

Crime guru Maxim Jakubowski has been reflecting this month that the genre seems to go from strength to strength in spite of all the greats that have gone before.








With no signs of a slowdown in exciting plots, incredible twists and engaging protagonists, crime writing is alive and well. Good news for avid fans! See all his picks for the month here, or go straight to his top two:

Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker – Reminiscent of Twin Peaks and Fargo, a small-town missing child story that is poignant and comic as well as dark and disturbing.

And What You Don’t Know by JoAnn Chaney – Atmospheric and gripping psychological crime thriller where lives are changed forever in a dark, wonderfully voiced page-turner.

Gritty, Real, Northern Crime Saga

Julie Shaw’s grandparents were Annie and Reggie Hudson, the crime lords of the infamous Canterbury Estate in Bradford. Her gripping series ‘Tales of the Notorious Hudson Family’ based on real events is provocative, edgy and at times unbelievably sad but highly readable. The 6th in the series, Blood Sisters, is just out and is perfect for fans of Martina Cole.

That’s it from us this month. We’ll be back in May with more top tips for your next great read. Happy Reading!





P.S. Are you a fan of Ian Rankin’s Rebus? Find out more about RebusFest happening at the end of June in Edinburgh… but be quick, events are selling out fast.

P.P.S. The Baileys Women’s Prize shortlist has recently been announced and we are rooting for Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo. You can find all the shortlist in our book awards category.

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April eNewsletter

Sebastian Faulks, famed writer of Birdsong always wanted to be a taxi driver. That is until he read George Orwell in 1968 and changed his mind. That’s the power of books! And that’s why we’re 100% dedicated to bringing you our top recommendations for the best books about, whatever your taste. Read on for your next adventure…

Books of the Month

This month’s bookshelf is burgeoning with brilliant titles just waiting for your love! Books like:

The Stolen Child by Sanjida Kay – Captivating, terrifying and deeply moving thriller about a fragile family and haunting tragedy. The Lauras by Sara Taylor – An amusing and tender road trip coming of age story that will have you looking at your parents and yourself in a whole new light! Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor – ‘A beautifully written novel of ordinary life transformed by tragedy.’ (Reader Review). The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova  – Author of The Historian gives us an intelligent and beautifully crafted tale of humanity, history and the effects of grief.
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Factual & Satisfactual! – Non-Fiction Books of the Month








For fans of non-fiction, there is no better place to look than right here! Check out:

Four Mums in a Boat – Ordinary women doing the extraordinary. This book is testament to following your dreams and that you can do anything you put your mind too if you work hard enough… even if that includes rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean!

East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity by Philippe Sands – An immersive and compelling multi-prize-winning book that explores personal and public legal attempts to hold Nazi warmongers to account at Nuremberg and the first stirrings of international law. 

     

The Firsts of April – Debuts of the Month

Delectable debuts that we are tipping for the top! Books like:

The Cows by Dawn O’Porter – Eye-brow raising, wince-inducing and warm tale about three women’s muddled battle through modern life. The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett – Clever sharply-observed examination of an intense friendship between new neighbours and the disastrous fallout. Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito – Provocative, compelling Nordic mind-bender! ‘An excellent, if unnerving read.’ (Reader Review). A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys – Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey in a mystery that fizzes with glamour, romance and intrigue.
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Malorie Blackman, Crossover Author of the Month





With her heart-rending story of love and space exploration Chasing the Stars out in paperback this month, there’s no better time to dive into the wondrous world of Malorie Blackman.

She is also the author of the groundbreaking and award-winning Noughts and Crosses series. Her novels are primarily aimed at Young Adults but they easily ‘crossover’ into adult fiction with her unique blend of wit, thrill and emotional realism. See our special category to find out more.

Pre-Publication Exclusives!

A chance to read exclusive extracts of highly recommended books before they even hit the shelves. You’re welcome! Don’t miss:

The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork – A chilling, stimulating, intensely dark tale. Second in the ‘Munch and Kruger’ series which started with I’m Travelling Alone. Don’t Let Go by Michel Bussi – Captivating, intimate and fiendishly puzzling exotic crime drama with an unmissable, heart-stopping finale. Night Market by Daniel Pembrey – Following up on his highly accomplished debut The Harbour Master is Henk van der Pol’s next thrilling and convoluted case.
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A History Hand-out! – The Wolfson History Prize 2017 Shortlist





We’re delighted to be supporting The Wolfson History Prize that honours (with a sizeable cash sum) the best historical writing in the UK, combining readability with excellence in research. History fans will be thrilled to know that the shortlist has just been announced and you can find it here. History in the making! Three lucky readers also have the chance to win all the shortlisted books, worth £175!

Debutants’ Ball! – The Desmond Elliott Prize 2017 Longlist Announced




Supported by Lovereading and the most coveted prize for UK first novelists, The Desmond Elliott Prize is as characterful as its eponymous patron. Three expert judges lovingly assess the hopefuls for compelling narrative, arresting character and confident storytelling.

Last year’s winner The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney will be a hard act to follow. Check out the longlist here and the newest voices in great literature.

The Cream of Historical Fiction –  The Walter Scott Prize 2017 Shortlist





The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, founded in 2009 is the largest annual fiction prize to be judged outside London, and the winner receives £25,000!

The shortlist for 2017 has seven novels that, through insightful research and impeccable writing, will transport you to unusual subjects and times. You can see them all in our special category. The winner is announced at the Borders Book Festival on 17 June and one lucky reader can win tickets to the prize-giving!

     

Not Read Rebus? Criminal! – Rebus 30 Category




Fans of Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels will be aware that we are celebrating the 30th year of this eponymous crime series with a special category featuring all of the gritty Edinburgh cop’s cases. It’s a fest of crime fiction!

Talking of festivals did you know about REBUSFEST in Edinburgh at the end of June?  Hosted by Ian Rankin and the Orion Publishing Group REBUSFEST is a weekend of literature, art, film, music and more to celebrate 30 years of the iconic detective. Taking place in Rankin and Rebus’ hometown of Edinburgh, this is your chance to step into the world of your favourite detective for an unmissable weekend. Find out more by visiting our Rebus category!

What to Read when The Girl on the Train has Alighted?




Some novels are hard to follow. After the last page is turned, you feel a sort of bereavement. Well, we think we’ve found the next must-read thriller. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney.

It is a novel to meddle with your reasoning and taunt your gut instincts that is, on occasion, uncomfortable and challenging and walks a razor sharp edge of belief and understanding. Will you discover the truth?

One Reader Reviewer wrote:  ‘Sometimes I Lie has to be THE BEST novel I have read, it is clever, unsettling, intriguing and utterly convincing.‘ Don’t just take their word for it, find out for yourself!

More If You Like… You’ll Love recommendations

If you like Jojo Moyes or Jodi Picoult you’ll love This Love by Dani Atkins. If you like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn you’ll love Good as Gone by Amy Gentry.  If you like Kate Mosse or C.J. Sansom you’ll love The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland.
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Scroll down to see more hand-picked selections in the categories you have told us you like to be kept up to date with. To change them just log in to your account.

Happy Reading.

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Mid-March Newsletter

Mid-March already! Read on for news of unmissable books in April you can start reading now… 30 years of Rebus… more of Maxim’s marvellous recommendationsthe chance to win exclusive book goodies… and much more.

     

April Pre-Publication exclusives

A packed virtual shelf of books that we have exclusive Opening Extracts of ahead of publication. Enjoy…

Well of the Winds by Denzil Meyrick – Next instalment of the The D.C.I. Daley Series. Past and present collide in a gripping web of secrets and small community lives. Don’t Let Go by Michel Bussi – A captivating, fiendishly puzzling crime drama with an exotic, fascinating backdrop. Like the title we simply couldn’t put it down. The Owl Always Hunts at Night by Samuel Bjork – Nail-biting suspense combine with masterful writing to compete with the very best of Nordic Noir. A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys – Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey in a mystery that fizzes with glamour, romance and intrigue.
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Spotlight on Rebus.  Top Rankin!

Ian Rankin has a huge throng of dedicated followers the world over for his eponymous Rebus mysteries and amazingly it is 30 years since the first one hit the bookshops; gritty detective stories on the dirty streets of Edinburgh with a delightfully anti-social hero. If you have never read any of his books do take a look at what other ‘newbie’ Rebus readers think by checking out their reviews.

Also the 21st and latest Rebus, Rather Be the Devila tale of twisted power, deep-rooted corruption and bitter rivalries, has been reviewed by one of our Lovereading experts who herself was a ‘newbie’ to Rebus and she loved it saying “I found myself well and truly caught in the snare of Ian Rankin’s writing“. If you haven’t discovered his stand-out crime writing yet, we envy you for the joy you will have in reading all 21. You can find all of the darkly addictive Rebus cases here. And, tickets have just gone on sale for an exclusive Rebus event – RebusFest – in Edinburgh over the weekend of 30 June to 2 July – more details in our special category.

E is for Reee-ading – March eBooks of the Month

Whatever device you use, we have scoured the digital delights of the literary world for the best books for downloading denizens! This month, we love:

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary – Silence is deadly in this chilling, dark and cold crime drama from an award-winning author. Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey – An absolute belter of a crime novel, and the seventh in the ‘Maeve Kerrigan’ series. The Fatal Tree by Jake Arnott – Powerful and expressive, an extraordinary tale, based in reality, set in the London underworld of the 1720s.
     

Horses’ Mouths – Reader Highlights

Every month we list the books most loved by our dedicated Reader Reviewers. Great recommendations from book lovers like you.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo – ‘This story is a joy to read and be part of. Full of heartache, enduring love and desperation that will bring you to tears.’ (Julie, Reader Reviewer). Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – ‘Addictive, funny yet serious… will have you thinking about this book long after the last page is reached.’ (Pearl, Reader Reviewer). Waking in Time by Angie Stanton – ‘I loved the concept of the book; two time travellers, one moving forward the other backwards and meeting in the middle, each with different memories.‘ (Olivia, Reader Reviewer).

A Basket of the Best – Mid-March highlights

These are our mid-month highlights, all gathered into one handy place, so it’s now even easier to find your next great read!

The Soldier, the Gaoler, the Spy and Her Lover by Simon Parke – A captivating and fascinating novel, where fact blends seamlessly with fiction, set from 1647-1649 during the final months of Charles I.

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A Crown on the Jewell. All Hail, Lisa Jewell!

If suspenseful family drama is your thing, look no further than the books of the brilliant Lisa Jewell. Inspired by Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, a newly redundant secretary started to pen the first tentative chapters of a story. That secretary was Lisa Jewell and the chapters were the first of Ralph’s Party, the bestselling debut novel of 1998. The rest is history! Her latest, a Book of the Month for us, is I Found You: a page-turning delve into the darkest corners of memory and identity. A gripping, psychological treat that is just a little different from what she’s written before. Find out more here.

Just Great Stories! – That’s our Maxim!

Every month, editorial guru Maxim Jakubowski takes us through his choices of the best books about in the crime fiction, literary and sci-fi genres. This month his top two picks are:

Amor Towles A Gentleman in Moscow – Epic historical masterpiece that never even moves outside a hotel’s lobby!

Michael Farris Smith Desperation Road Harsh and beautiful, very human thriller that manages to sing of the human spirit but grip vice-like on your nerves!

But visit his category to see them all.

More of the same? MUCH More! If You Like You’ll Love

Know what you like but not sure where to look? Our If You Like, You’ll Love section keeps your bedside table piled high with writers right up your street.

For instance, if you liked The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, you’ll LOVE Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney, an extraordinary, thought-provoking and ultimately life-enhancing novel that walks a razor-sharp edge of belief and understanding, will you discover the truth?

Reader Reviewer Caz said ‘an extraordinary book… you will exhale slowly once you have finished it, vowing to live life to the full.’

If you like Santa Montefiore you’ll love The House on Sunset Lake by Tasmina Perry. If you like Sophie Kinsella you’ll love Puzzle Girl by Rachael Featherstone. If you like Helen Simonson you’ll love The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan. If you like Louis de Bernieres you’ll love When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea.

Why not give your Mum a book on 26 March?

By now you know that we believe a book is a perfect gift for any occasion. Lasting, thoughtful and non-expensive. What better way to show Mum that she matters this Mother’s Day? But which one? That’s where we come in! Check out our selection of ideas here. Ideas like:

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Finally… From ‘Self’ to Shelf – Spring 2017 Independent AuthorsDon’t miss our latest selection of self-published titles worth a peruse.

That’s it from us this month. We’re looking forward to giving you more recommendations next month, so watch this space for some great new adventures in April!

P.S. Perfectly timed for International Women’s Month is the inspirational Modern Women: 52 Pioneers by Kira Cochrane.

P.P.S. If you live in the South East of England why not put The Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival in your calendar from 30 April – 1 May? Also, find out how you can win one of 4 pairs of tickets to see historical novelist Alison Weir discuss her books.

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March eNewsletter

In the month that saw the birth of sci-fi comedy genius Douglas Adams, why not hitchhike a ride on our stellar book-bus this month and let us guide you through a galaxy of great reads? The best books about for bibliophiles of all tastes and interests, lovingly hand-picked by our team of experts, so you can find your next flight of fancy with minimal fuss! Read on for more.

March On! – Books of the Month

As always, our lovingly hand-picked virtual bookshelf is tantalisingly teeming with top tomes. We particularly love:

Secrets of a Happy Marriage by Cathy Kelly – Secrets lies and family ties. Heartwarming and wise, compassionate and characterful. Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey – Gripping and relentlessly paced, blood-drenched suburban nightmare. Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi – ‘Shocking and engrossing… Expect to finish this book and be both amazed and astonished’ (Reader Reviews).
Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore – A breathtaking, evocative, and stormy tale set in the early 1790’s, just as the fallout from the French Revolution was spilling over into life in Britain. Modern Women: 52 Pioneers by Kira Cochrane – A rainbow representation of female brilliance perfectly timed for International Women’s Month and International Women’s Day on 8 March.
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Springing up! – March’s Debuts of the Month

Championing brilliant, brand new writers is one of the great things about having an office full of book-boffins. This month, we think you’ll love:

When the Sky Fell Apart by Caroline Lea – Compelling, powerful and evocative wartime story of life under occupation. Prepare for your heart to break. The Riviera Express by T P Fielden – Snappy, vibrant and fun classic-style murder mystery: ‘light and pleasant … hours of innocent pleasure’ (Reader Reviews). Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo ‘Oh my! … a totally addictive read … relationships, family betrayals, secrets and cultural differences.’ (Phylippa, Reader Reviewer).
Ragdoll by Daniel Cole – Mind-whirling crime drama, gritty, gripping and fresh. A fantastic new voice in crime writing. Her Perfect Life by Sam Hepburn – Previous YA author has written a fascinating and seductive psychological thriller, frothing with foreboding.
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Marvellous Book Goodies Up-For-Grabs

We love a good give-away! This month we’re jumping for joy to give you the chance to run off with a copy of the DVD of ground-breaking and devastating French TV drama, No Second Chance, adapted from the novel by Harlan Coben, together with a copy of the book. Perfect, as his newest novel Home is just out. It’s an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home. See what else is up for grabs here.

If You Haven’t Yet, You Should! – The Books of Jake Arnott

Jake Arnott is a formidable writer who scratches the surface of life and writes the dirt under his fingernails. Underworld tales of immense power and transportive quality.

The Long Firm, set in 1960s London, is a cult classic first published in the ’80s, that immerses you in a world of violence, glamour, sex and crime and leaves you gasping for air. Take a deep breath then and read his latest, The Fatal Tree, where Jake Arnott does for the 18th century what he did for the ’60s in The Long Firm. This journey through the criminal underworld of London in the 1720s is a seductive, clever tale of crime, punishment and love among thieves that is a vibrantly striking, sordid wonder. Find out more.

Reading with (or for) Mother!

By now you know that we believe a book is a perfect gift for any occasion. Lasting, thoughtful and non-expensive. What better way to show Mum that she matters this Mother’s Day? But which one? That’s where we come in! Check out our selection of ideas here. Ideas like:

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If you like Maeve Binchy make some time for Patricia Scanlan

Dublin born Patricia Scanlan has been writing absorbing family dramas since 1991 and her 20th, Orange Blossom Days, is loved by our editorial expert Sarah Broadhurst who said of it ‘lively, sensitive and insightful with plenty to get your teeth into‘.

If you are a fan of Maeve Binchy and haven’t discovered Patricia’s books, we think it’s well worth the click.

Get ahead of the crowd with our Pre-Publication Exclusives

  1. Like reading the first chapters of a book in the shop, but without the staff glancing at you suspiciously?
  2. Free extracts to browse at your leisure? A chance to see what’s out there and try the books that take your fancy before you buy them. You’re welcome!

See the shelf below for books not published until the end of March. We especially like A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey in a scrumptiously entertaining mystery that fizzes with glamour, romance and intrigue.

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Happy Reading.

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Mid-February eNewsletter

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).
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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.

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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.

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Mid January eNewsletter

Mid-January and we hope your New Year’s resolutions are going well, especially any to do with reading more. Read on for many more recommendations. 

And with Valentine’s Day peeking over the horizon we are enjoying Love Makes the World Stand Still by Cath Tate. A devastatingly funny book that is bursting with romantic sentiment, insightful wisdom and a tiny touch of cynicism.

Unmissable January Highlights

Here, all in one place, are the highlights of this month’s top recommendations. Books you won’t want to miss. Books like:

The Bone Field by Simon Kernick – A January Book of the Month: ‘A fast-paced thriller which I would heartily recommend.’ (Rachael Anderson, Reader Reviewer). Everything You Told Me by Lucy Dawson – Fast-paced, intense and gripping psychological thriller. The Affair by Amanda Brooke – ‘Unpredictable and compelling‘ (Reader Review). A stand-out family drama and a captivating and thought-provoking read.
A Family Secret by Josephine Cox – Master storytelling: the secrets and love at the heart of family life and how truth can disrupt. My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon – A bittersweet tale of high passions, infidelity and revenge. Watch your back…
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Let us help you make 2017 the year to get more creative

OK, by now a lot of the New Year’s resolutions you made may well have fallen by the wayside so why not make some more. What about a creative hobby? If so, take a look at our Arts and Crafts category. A real favourite in the office and new this month is The Great Pottery Throw Down by Liz Wilhide and Susie Hodge, a complement to the TV series and a celebration of the unpredictability, history, usefulness, and the tactile and visual beauty of pottery.

Recommended by our Reader Reviewers

Did you know we have a dedicated group of fervent readers and reviewers across the country who give us their honest opinion and experience of current books? Not only can you use their reviews to help you choose your next read, but they have proven so popular that we have decided to share their feedback with you on the titles they are really raving about. We hope you enjoy.

Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson – ‘an engrossing … story’; ‘a super read’; ‘fabulously immersive’; ‘should be on everyone’s reading list‘ (Reader Review). Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land – The author doesn’t hold back in this uncomfortable, powerful, provocative read – it’s an absolute knockout. Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird – The lives of a Syrian refugee family are brought vividly and sympathetically to life for young readers but we believe it is a must read for everyone.

Don’t miss 2016’s Must-Reads.

2016 as well as being a year of turbulent change was also a bumper year for brilliance on the bookshelf. We have compiled our favourites in one easy to browse category so that you won’t miss out on the literary gold-dust of 2016. Enjoy!

Fabulous February titles you can start reading now

The only thing better than getting a great new book as soon as it’s published is sneaking a peak before it hits the shelves. This is where you can!

The Moment She Left – A completely captivating and tension-filled dramatic tale. Emotional and yet terrifically readable. You Said Forever – Tugs at your heartstrings, pushes you to face your disbelief, and yet is filled with warmth and hope too. Who’s That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane – A funny, sad, entertaining and really enjoyable read – another winner from this fabulous author.’ Caroline Mathews
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Books to give you a fresh start in 2017

Browse our New Year, New You category to get some help and support with your New Year’s Resolutions to make positive change in your life. And don’t miss:

Clean and Lean for Life from wellness guru James Duigan where he brings his clean and lean philosophy to a cookbook with 150 recipes that refreshes your whole approach to food whilst providing the advice you need to live a cleaner, healthier existence.

From TV to the written word

Frank Gardner is the BBC’s Security Correspondent and he has used his in-depth knowledge and experience to craft a nerve-shreddingly plausible international thriller called Crisis. Ex-Special Boat Service commando turned MI6 operative Luke Carlton fights to save his country from catastrophic attack. This is terrifying, edge-of-your-seat stuff and we loved it!

A Debut you shouldn’t miss and you won’t forget

It’s very hard to write a book that has real appeal to teens and adults but when it works it is sublimely brilliant and we think we have found one in The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr.

An accident aged ten has left Flora with no short term memory. Then a secret kiss on the beach – with her only friend’s boyfriend – lodges in her mind. Inspired, she sets off alone to follow him. It’s a unique mix, part coming-of-age, and part psychological thriller, with an almost fairy-tale setting that we think will be one of the books of 2017.

Have you discovered Ragnar Jonasson yet?

Combining Golden Age crime writing and Nordic Noir there is, quite simply, nothing like them and if you have yet to read him, you are missing a treat. The 4th in his Dark Iceland series, Rupture, has just been published. Set in a small fishing village in Northern Iceland accessible only by a tunnel this is first class classic detection with a frozen twist. See the shelf below and enjoy.

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And that’s all from us this month. Happy New Year and best wishes for a prosperous, page-turning 2017!

P.S. We loved Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty when it was published in 2013 and were very excited to hear it has been made into a TV series. So, from 22 January, we will be turning off the phone on Sunday nights at 9pm to make sure we don’t miss a second. We recommend you do the same.

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