Monday, 27 January 2014

Books I'm Excited for in 2014

Below are some books that I cannot wait to read. Like bouncing-on-my-seat-excited-for-publication. How about you? Which ones are you looking forward to?

The Book of Strange New Things - Michel Faber (November 2014)
'This momentous novel is Faber at his expectation-defying best. It is a brilliantly compelling book about love in the face of death, and the search for meaning in an unfathomable universe. Readers won't have encountered anything quite like it before.'

How to Be Both - Ali Smith (May 2014)
A new novel from the author of The Accidental and there but for the.

Stone Mattress: Thirteen Tales - Margaret Atwood (September 2014)

The Bookshop that Floated Away - Sarah Henshaw (April 2014)
A book by my lovely pal, Sarah.
In early 2009 a strange sort of business plan landed on the desk of a pinstriped bank manager. It had pictures of rats and moles in rowing boats and archaic quotes about Cleopatra's barge. This title follows the ebbs and flows of author's journey as she sought to make her vision of a floating bookshop a reality.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami (September 2014)

The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell (September 2014)
The "rich and strange" novel will follow the story of Holly Sykes, who runs away from home in 1984 and 60 years later can be found in the far west of Ireland, raising a granddaughter as the world’s climate collapses.

The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales - Kirsty Logan (March 2014)
I'm reading a proof of this at the moment. It's fabulous. More soon. Here's a sneak peek at the first story.

A Song for Issy Bradley - Carys Bray (summer 2014)
This is a debut novel, from the writer of the fabulous winning short story collection 'Sweet Home.' You can read my interview with Carys over here. I'm very excited for this book.
A note from Carys's editor:
'I was totally floored by Carys’ novel – and not just once! Reading it for the second time, knowing everything that had happened, this novel made me weep. Devastatingly powerful and so sharply observed, this novel about doubt, faith and longed-for miracles makes your heart ache for every member of the Bradley family.'

The Gospel of Loki - Joanne Harris (February 2014)
The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel.

The Good Luck of Right Now - Matthew Quick (April 2014)
Now. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook comes an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.

Boy, Snow, Bird - Helen Oyeyemi (February 2014)
A new take on Snow White.

The Snow Queen - Michael Cunningham (May 21014)
A darkly luminous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours.

I am China - Xiaolu Guo (June 2014)
Chinese folk legends merge with contemporary life in a story that travels from a Dover detention centre to smalltown America. From one of the 2013 Granta best of young British novelists.

The Hundred-Year House - Rebecca Makkai (July 2014)
Set on the Chicago’s North Shore, it is the story of a large estate (at one point an artist’s colony), told in reverse from 1999 to 1900.

Of Things Gone Astray - Janina Matthewson (August 2014)

& the conclusion to Kat Zhang's Hybrid Chronicles, Echoes of Us, which should be published in September. Exciting!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Bookshop Book - cover

Here's a sneak peek at the working cover of The Bookshop Book. It's subject to some changes, but thought I'd show you guys. I hope you like it. Click the image to view full size. :) x

Thursday, 16 January 2014

the book jar

Following on from this post here, I present: The Book Jar! 

I've written the titles of my to-read pile on pieces of paper, and put them in a glass jar. Deciding what to read next has now become a tombola. So, no more stress and dithering. Excellent.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

bookshop rabbits, bookshop snakes, and an update on The Bookshop Book

I have been failing at updating the blog, please forgive me. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and a happy new year!

Lola: Arkadia Books, Helsinki
I promise that my failure to blog is actually a good thing. I'm currently running around trying making The Bookshop Book as good as it possibly can be. I'm chatting to bookshops all over the world - small, large, and in unusual places: underground, on cattle farms, on boats and in greenhouses. Yesterday I spoke to Ian, who runs an amazing bookshop in Finland, complete with a bookshop snake called Ziggy. Today I spoke with Tony, the owner of The Old Pier Bookshop in Morecambe, who told me how he met his wife. She was a customer in his bookshop, and was about to go to Poland to become a nun, until he persuaded her to marry him instead. This is a true story.

Last week I interviewed Ian Rankin about his favourite children's books, and David Almond about the now-extinct beat poetry bookshops of Newcastle. I've spoken to Jacqueline Wilson about her dream bookshop - it has a bookshop rabbit. Then there's Napoleon Bunnyparte, the real-life bookshop rabbit of The Book Barge, which is soon going to be heading across the Channel to sell books in France. (Just to clarify: the owner, Sarah, will be selling the books, not the rabbit, though stranger things have probably happened!).
Napoleon Bunnyparte
So, my new book, The Bookshop Book, is a history of books and bookselling, a look at interesting bookshops around the world, and interviews with authors about what bookshops mean to them. It'll be out in October, and I can't wait for you to read it. If you're a bookshop lover, I have a feeling that this book might just be for you. x


If you want to get in touch about The Bookshop Book, you can drop me an email.