BookClub Picks - must-reads, great authors, indie authors and debut novels.
Introducing new authors and possibly familiar authors too via our BookClub page. Discover and grab (or download immediately) a book that you won’t want to put down. We add a book, sometimes two, each month. Many are indie authors many are well known always worthy of a place as the book of the month.
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Full of suspense and perfect but not purely for young adult fiction. Set in the not too distant future of the United States of America. Dictatorial politics, environmental issues and overpopulation a one child per family policy has been applied and everyone is microchipped! The main character is eighteen year old Ava Goodwin who has a secret twin sister, Mira. Ever growing strong young women showing a new found desire for their independence, whilst on the run. Happy to see there will be a follow-up next year. It was over way too soon - loved it.
Wasn't sure if a translated book would live up to expectations, if honest, but boy did it surpass everything. So beautifully written and easy to sink into. Often don't have the luxury of reading time and have to put books on hold. Very difficult when you want to discover what happens next. This is one of those books. Set in Spain the story opens with Manuel being told his husband Alvaro has been killed in a car accident. Manuel finds this hard to believe as Alvaro is supposed to be in Madrid and not Galicia where the accident took place. The story unravels a double life that Alvaro had been shielding Manuel from. Following a web of suspicion, mystery and corruption deep into a powerful guarded family that Manuel previously knew nothing about.
Could not put this crime thriller book down, at the same time didn't want to finish it. Great characters including Bryony or D.I. Bryony Masters her close friend Immi who's trying to get her infamous father Kenny Ransom behind bars with Bryony's help. Then along comes a bit of action and suspense with Nathans arrival in Cornwall. A page-turner full of intrigue and a little bit of romance. Loved it.
29 Seconds a great 'me time' book. You may either finish over a long weekend if you do nothing else or slog on with work knowing there's a great escape at the end of the day and a page-turner of a suspenseful book. Full of tension, fear and hope for Sarah and her family. It's a bit creepy in places, he's utterly vile, she's believable. You may find yourself wishing she did things differently anticipating more trouble for Sarah. But quite a few twists en route so you can't really second guess at all - just hope. Yes to this book and we loved LIES too.
Escape with the page-turning sequel to No Way Back (see our bookclub pick October 2017). You have to feel for Audrey Fox after finally feeling settled she discovers secrecy is required to spare the people she loves. Just when it appears to have calmed another problem brews which she is unable to confer with her closest friends. Audrey has to make a decision about her secret.
Read with hands over eyes in parts it is that sort of squirming uncomfortable read in a few places. But could not put it down. Wades in and out of time but clearly chaptered, so you are uncovering more information and trying to figure out what is happening. If you love mental health issues, medical, motherhood and relationship psychological thrillers this is for you. Grab a bottle of wine or a flask of coffee and a duvet and put your phone on silent for the weekend.
Absolutely loved it, took over in the evening and was sad to actually finish it. A psychological thriller (again) sorry can't seem to escape them. A brilliant book full of thought-provoking twists. Very current you'll love and hate the characters and not know who to trust. Jessica gets back from holiday with her partner Michael to discover she cannot trace her boss and therefore her job. Seeing as Michael didn't believe she had the job he just feels she has been caught out and that is just the beginning. No spoilers. Trust Me to purchase this book.
If you like sad and unforgettable stories read this one. Set in 1942, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Lale has to survive by tattooing prisoners on the arm. The prisoners are being marked for survival. Lining up is the petrified young woman Gita. For Lale, it is love at first sight. This is the story of survival and love during the Holocaust.
Heartbreaking gut-wrenching but couldn't put it down, this could be you or someone close to you. Thin Wire is a real-life account looking at drug-addiction from both sides, told by mother and daughter. Amber is introduced to drugs and becomes addicted to heroin without her mother's knowledge. She moves in with a dealer where things just get worse for her. Amber is afraid her family will not want her back when they realise how bad things are. The book's closing section offers personal guidelines; one for addicts, the other for parents or partners of addicts. Highlighting the difficulties of overcoming addiction. Sadly, 'In a society where 50% of teenagers experiment with drugs, Amber is every mother's child.'
Go classic get prepped for March/April bookclubs. Pre-Order for March 22 release price guarantee via Amazon link. A brand-new, beautiful edition of gothic masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Published to celebrate the bicentenary of Emily Brontë’s birth in 2018.
Child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson. Refusing to listen to warnings that the girl could be dangerous. Ellie was the sole survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen believes Ellie is just depressed and angry battling to cope with her loss of her family. But Ellie's foster parents and teachers are starting to feel differently. As Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger,
I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll. Ella Longfield overhears two young men, recently released from prison, flirting with teenage girls on a train, she is a little concerned but something stops her from calling for help. Later she discovers one of the girls (Anna) has diappeared. A year on Ella is stricken with guilt as Anna is still missing and Ella knows she did nothing to help her. She is also recieving threatening messages someone knows where Anna is and someone is watching Ella.
Death Stalks Kettle Street by John Bowen. A little murder mystery with a great set of characters to get you in the book reading spirit for the new year. Unexplained deaths happening on the same street. Too many to be passed off as accidents or sucides. A local resident is receiving clues via the letter box which along with a friend the pair become a couple of lovable and unexpected detectives.
The Mistake - K. L. Slater. A psychological thriller. A quick read as you will struggle to put it down. Rose is about to uncover the truth that changes everything. Sixteen years ago Rose's eight-year-old brother Billy goes missing and is discovered two days later - dead. Rose blames herself for failing to protect her little brother and now discovers she herself is in danger. She thought she knew her neighbour Ronnie who had always been there for her but she uncovers something in his attic that changes everything. By the author of Blink, Liar and Safe With Me.
Debut novel The Doll House by Phoebe Morgan. Ooh, it's gripping - from the point of picking up. Little twists as you read on we fully recommend The Doll House. A debut novel but not an entry writer. Phoebe Morgan must have been brewing up for this one and we can't wait for more.
Friend Request by Laura Marshall. Another debut novel for November. An addictive psychological thriller of a book. A great book especially for our social media times. Maria wants to be friends but is it a friend request, how can she want to be friends. Set back and forth from 1989 school days to current date. A real page turner that will keep you thinking through to the end and beyond reading.
'No Way Back' by Kelly Florentia. Ooh, what a great cover. Imagine wine, Louboutin heels a broken heart and a sense of humour. That would sell it to me but if you want more without any spoilers: Audrey Fox, likeable from the start. Loveable wears her heart on her sleeve and leaves a Louboutin under the table. It's an easy read, the extra detail is perfect. Making you feel part of the plot without knowing what will happen next. Whether in Cyprus where the story begins, back home in London or Paris. Fully recommended for our October book club. It has a nice holiday read feel as well as a great pick me up once home. You'll be challenged to put it down. Well done Kelly, this novel has the makings of a rom-com come dramatic movie (personal faves). So who would we cast as Audrey, Nick, Daniel, Audrey's parents, family and friends. They all felt so real that a few great actors come to mind but saving that for another day.
Debut novel 'Don't Wake Up' from Liz Lawler. A captivating, psychological, thrilling page turner. Alex Taylor thought she was about to be proposed to but instead wakes up to find herself strapped to an operating table. Unaware of how she arrived there joined by a man dressed as an unfamiliar doctor with a horrific bedside manner. The author has previously been a nurse which makes sense due to the detailed descriptions that on ocassion make you squirm and squeeze your knees together! Majority of readers couldn't put this book down, same here. So get yourself a copy and grab a drink.
Hot Mess by Lucy Vine. Laugh out loud many readers will relate. Others will not admit to it and the rest imagine are giggling at their expense. Meet Ellie Knight desperate, single and doesn't currently give a toss. Or maybe she does, but she certainly isn't keen on 'nice' in any shape or form. There's some Tinder moments, some rude moments, also some Peppa Pig and the Hungry Caterpillar mentions. Which are probably why it's equated to the Bridget Jones for the millennials. Whatever age we're sure you'll enjoy, it's also one you'll want to read but be able to put down for a minute or two and come back to. Loved it.
LIES by T M Logan. Wow couldn't stop reading this one, so without a second thought picked it for July's book club choice. A smart psychological thriller based on LIES if it wasn't 3:30 in the morning I would finish reading it now but the truth is will have to finish it later. All you need to know, Joe the husband/father William the adorable child Mel the mummy and wife and Ben. Now, what happened to Ben you'll have to download and stay up all night lol. Or order a copy when you know you don't have anything pressing to do. Taking a gamble on the ending being good but we have very high expectations and hope you enjoy too.
The Escape by C.L. Taylor. Seizes your attention from the get-go, a gripping psychological thriller. Full of suspense. Starts out introducing Jo to us; a panicky mother and wife. Who despite helping young adults as a student support officer at a university, struggles with situations she cannot escape from. Labelled with agoraphobia, Max her husband doesn't have a lot of patience with her. At the start Jo is picking up their daughter from nursery and has a very uncomfortable meeting with a stranger along the way, just a taster.
Follow You Home by Mark Edwards. Fast paced psychological thriller beginning on a night train travelling across Europe. In the midst of what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, before Daniel and Laura return to the UK to settle down and start a family. Warning quite creepy, easy to get into so start reading when you have the time, as you won't want to stop.
Summer In Tintagel by Amanda James. Despite Rosa's busy schedule at work in London as a journalist she agrees to fulfil her grandmother Jocelyn's dying wish. Visiting the mystifying Tintagel castle in Cornwall, where she uncovers family secrets. An intriguing romance with an unearthly twist and really descriptive of the region. You'll love it and find it difficult to put down.
Shtum by Jem Lester. Without giving any spoilers away, decided to just say how clever and witty the author is - this being his debut novel. It is a heartbreaker yet will make you roar with laughter. Possibly, feel a little guilty for doing so, but the author wanted it to be real and this is about as real as it gets. Based on own experiences with an autistic son. Who cannot speak and yet has no problem communicating his wants and needs. If you can relate to this maybe you have children. Whether on the spectrum or not, or if you work with children you will no doubt enjoy the giggles and understand the frustration. Pretty sure everyone will be amazed at the struggles and be enlightened by the story. You are welcomed into a world of comedy and angst whilst trying to stay in control of family life. If you're not sure and want more detail check the Amazon link.
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land. Controversial psychological suspense debut for 2017. A disturbing read difficult to put down. Annie's mother is a child serial killer and Annie 'Good Me' reports her to the police. I was hooked from the first page early on you are hearing Annie's confused voice. Annie moves in with a foster family gaining a new name and now known as Milly. She has to contend with living as part of the family with the unfriendly yet most popular girl in her year at school. Plus the horrid rampant teenage bullying as well as the looming trial of her mother and 'Bad Me' thoughts!
The Girl Who Beat ISIS: Farida's Story by Farida Khalaf and Andrea C. Hoffman. Well, we went with a strong book, not for the faint-hearted. So let us start the year with a book that is beautifully told difficult to read and hard to put down. Like one of those gripping films that you peek at through clenched fists. A memoir by a young woman (whose name has been changed) that relives her story. Sharing what it was like for innocent families living in the mountains of northern Iraq. Caught up in the chaos of day-to-day life with ISIS.
'Tim’s proceeds received from the book will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.' which is another reason why we picked it for our December book.An outstanding collection of photographs taken by astronaut Tim Peake along with personal commentary. Includes awesome aerial photographs of cities illuminated at night, the northern lights, as well as mountains, deserts and oceans. The title came from when Tim called a wrong number from the space station and asked the surprised lady at the other end " Hello, is this planet Earth?" A perfect book for learning and sharing and being inspired not just a book to sit on the bookshelf or be read once and forgotten.
Night School: (Jack Reacher 21) by Lee Child. 'In the morning, they gave Reacher a medal. And in the afternoon, they sent him back to school.' It’s a school with only three students: Reacher, an FBI agent, and a CIA analyst. This time 'Night School' takes Jack Reacher back to his army days, but he’s not in uniform. Alongside trusted sergeant Frances Neagley, he must carry the fate of the world on his shoulders, to find an American find out what he's selling and to who for a hundred million dollars. It's Hamburg, 1996 where a smartly-dressed group of young Saudis are plotting something big.
Hide and Seek: M. J. Arlidge. Recommend best to read all five beforehand sorry happy reading 6 books for October! Fast paced thriller series following DCI Helen Grace in order; Eeny Meeny, Pop Goes The Weasel, The Doll's House, Liar Liar, Little Boy Blue and now Hide and Seek a fast paced novel with short chapters finding the main character Detective Inspector DI Helen Grace herself in Holloway awaiting trial for murder that she did not commit along with other inmates that she was responsible for putting in there beforehand. If you check the first book link then you'll see others available on same link.
I See You: Clare Mackintosh. If you love a fast-paced hard to put down thriller of a book this book's for you follows hot on the heels of Clare's debut award-winning, masterpiece 'I Let You Go.' I See You begins with a train journey and very familiar situations for commuters until Zoe glances at the classified section and spots a photo of herself staring back at her. It doesn't need us to tell you anymore if you're not sure you can check the first few pages on the link and suggest do that when you shouldn't be doing anything else as it will end up not getting done.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. Based on the eighth story in the Harry Potter series this is a script of the official Harry Potter story. The first presented on stage (world premiere in London's West End 30 July 2016). This is a book for ultimate fans, one of them here read within a few hours, they are pretty quick readers! But, as it's a script if you wanted to you could read over the course of a day or stretch out over the weekend. What it does is excites you in anticipation of the play as reading a script misses the description you would find in a novel so it's a great warm up if you're lucky enough to have tickets to go watch on the big stage. 'It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.'
The Woman Who Upped and Left by Fiona Gibson. An easy to read book, that many will be able to relate to and see the funny side. Audrey is a single parent of a teenage son Morgan. Whilst struggling to manage two jobs she dreams of getting away from it all. Her home, responsibilities and clearing up after her lazy son and his girlfriend. It will have you laughing out loud as Audrey goes through the motions of trying to help him and trying to escape him then feeling guilty and worrying when she does finally get a break. A look at a very typical modern day family relationship.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. A bestseller from 2012 now a major film so we thought we'd go back and check out the ever-popular 5* book. A romantic tearjerker a fully believable sad love story you'll love Lou and Will. Feeling, emotionally involved with the characters struggling to put the book down. Without giving too much away it is sensitively written with situations worthy of tears.
Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott. You could start here and not worry that you hadn't read previous books from Rachel Abbott even though DCI Tom Douglas appears in all of them. (You can always pick them up later). A great thriller unpredictable right until the end. If you love a suspense then this book and author are for you. In Kill Me Again Maggie Taylor lands a new job in Manchester and the family make what she feels is the right move. Maggie is not sure how her husband feels about the move but when he disappears one night leaving their children unattended Maggie has no idea where or why he is missing. It moves on to Maggie not knowing if the man she is married to is hiding from something. She also has discovered a valid reason to be scared for her life.
The Magic Touch by Kelly Florentia. The Magic Touch is short story writer Kelly Florentia's debut novel humour and romance you won't want to put down. Emma thinks she is wiser than her 39 years and can't agree with her long-term partner that they should get married. She's been there before and isn't convinced to try again but then she believes her partner Harry is having an affair and with the help of friends, her 93 year old neighbour and a little psychic magic she searches to uncover the truth.
The Rejected Writers' Book Club by Suzanne Kelman. Humorous Fiction. A quirky group of women meet to celebrate their 500th publisher rejection letter. When the group receive a shock (Won't include spoiler) that sends them on a humorous road trip to San Francisco. An uplifting book of friendship and what really matters in life. An uplifting positive feel-good, laugh out loud book.
Wrong Place, Wrong Time by David P. Perlmutter. A true crime book that has many 5* reviews and tops the true crime charts worldwide. Having peeked at it initially as a possible book club choice couldn't put it down. Gripping, intriguing and believable. Based on true events in the early 90's and a visit to Marbella, Spain supposedly a time to reflect and relax but turned into a terrifying nightmare. Gripping book!
The Gap Of Time - William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale RETOLD by Jeanette Winterson. The first book in a series where The Hogarth Shakespeare sees Shakespeare's' works retold by both acclaimed and best-selling authors of today. Launched in over 20 countries in October 2015 with a promise to 'Excite Imaginations All Around The World." The Gap Of Time opens with a synopsis of the Shakespeare works - 'The Winter's Tale' and then uncovers a retold version along with witty and appropriately scattered foul language. Leo is jealous of his wife Mimi's relationship with his best friend Xeno. To the point that he cannot believe the baby she is carrying is his, it is a sad tale with anger and hints of humour, a really clever version that you will really love.
Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter. Debut short story a roller-coaster of emotions, grief, love, humour, hope, sadness. Quite original and deeply moving inspired by the collection of poems by Ted Hughes' based on a mythological Crow. A young family who tragically loses their mother are left to cope with the help of a crow who comes to visit and to their rescue. Until they can cope with the trauma of losing a loved one, it will make you cry and hopefully feel good too. Besides the obvious quality of this short story we selected for December book club as it is quite a timely book with all the media discussions about a normally taboo subject - death. How families could relay their wishes and plan their funerals with loved ones. So that it is easier for those left behind to deal with.
Beatlebone by Kevin Barry. A humorous book based on incidents that may or may not have happened to John Lennon. How he had a dry spell for writing and required time alone on his island. That he did actually purchase in 1967 in Clew Bay, Co Mayo, Ireland. There's a lot of chat going on between an angry Lennon and his fictional Irish driver who is trying to get Lennon to his island so he can scream his f***ing lungs out and achieve screaming therapy. Whilst avoiding the media. Unusual and not everyone's cup of tea but it is funny and won the Goldsmiths prize 2015
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. A psychological thriller looking closely at a marital relationship with lots of unpredictable twists and turns. When Nick's wife Amy suddenly disappears on their fifth anniversary. Nick finds himself the suspect and asking Who Are You? and What Have We Done To Each Other?
How I lost You by Jenny Blackhurst. A Brilliant debut psychological crime novel. They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied? Having no memory of what happened and believing what she had been told by police, doctors and family Susan Webster did her time at a Psychiatric Institute. Released early on parole and given a new identity and address to restart her life. She then anonymously receives a photograph of a toddler that she believes could be her son. Addressed to her as Susan and not her new identity how did it find her here, who sent it and why ...
From a popular author a new THRILLER series Broken Promise - By Linwood Barclay. Fast-paced thriller begins with former newspaper reporter David Harwood losing his job and relocating back to his small hometown 'Promise Falls' with his young son. On an errand for his mother escaping his own problems, he finds his cousin Marla. Marla is holding a baby whom she believes an angel has given her. He soon hears the mother has been discovered across town - murdered.
Thriller: The Girl On The Train By Paula Hawkins. This one is already quite popular but if you haven't read it you'll know from the first couple of pages if it's for you. Straight away I was on the train enjoying the peace of commuting. A good excuse to do nothing because you don't have to. Or just dig into a book this one's a great choice.
Thriller: Leaving George by Diane M Dickson. You take the woman's side feeling her pain as an abused wife cleverly planning an escape. The escape lasts over a period of time using inheritance money that has at last been released. But will she escape or will her husband spoil her plans.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - International Best Seller 2013 Australian Novel set to become a major film release date 2019. This brilliant easy to get into novel is a fun love story. About a professor and a woman who is far from his normal idea of a perfect match. The author's story began life in 2007 as a drama - screenplay, but was significantly changed to romantic comedy and released as a debut novel. Bill Gates asked to meet with the author and told him that the book was "funny and profound" whilst his wife Melinda stated it was "laugh out loud funny" Also see the sequel 'The Rosie Effect' (2014) below. Which finds the couple relocate to New York.