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Books of The Month: media round Up

Posted on 21st January 2016 by Sally Campbell
We are not the only ones who love our Books of the Month, they have all gone down a treat in the media. Here is a round-up of all the fantastic things critics and other esteemed people have written about them:

Our Fiction Book Of The Month


A Whole Life

This understated masterpiece made its way onto the best-seller lists in Germany immediately – and it has remained there ever since. British rights to the novel were won, at auction, by Picador, a spokesperson for which has said Picador is currently seeking “the best and most exciting new writing in translation”.

As part of their Reading Europe season, in October, BBC Radio 4 presented the book as a five-part series, read by Robert Powell.

The Sunday Times said of A Whole Life: "Against the backdrop of a literary world that often seems crowded with novels yelling “Look at me!”, it’s refreshing to read a story marked by quiet, concentrated attention."

The novel, as Jim Crace puts it, is a “quietly mesmerizing…elemental in both tone and subject - shows what joy and nobility can be found in a life of hardship, patience and bereavement. It is at once heart-rending and heart-warming. A Whole Life, for all its gentleness, is a very powerful book.”


Our Non-Fiction Book Of The Month

Reason’s To Stay Alive

Currently number one on The Sunday Times Bestseller list, Reasons To Stay Alive and The Humans, another of Haig’s books, were Cannongate’s bestselling titles of the year, last year.

The accolades for Matt Haig’s honest, uplifting book about depression continue pouring in. Many cite its  power to heal: "A life-saving book", Amanda Craig, "Brilliant and salutary . . . should be on prescription" Rev. Richard Coles. While others admire Haig’s style: "Fascinating and beautifully written" Ian Rankin.

On Haig’s bravery and honesty, Michael Palin has said Haig: "brings a difficult and sensitive subject out of the darkness and into the light".

S. J. Watson makes the point that the book is perfect not just for sufferers but for their loved ones too:

"Reasons to Stay Alive is wonderful. I read it in one sitting. Touching, funny, thought-provoking, with a huge heart. It should be read by anyone who has suffered, or known someone who has suffered (i.e. everyone)"

Our Thriller Of The Month




International publishing rights for Disclaimer have been sold in 25 countries and a deal has already been made with a Hollywood studio; so this enormously exciting debut will hit the big screen in the not-so-distant future.

The New York Times had plenty positive things to say about this author and novel. Of Renee Knight: “She’s a very gifted plotter with a keen sense of timing. She knows just when to amp up the suspense.” And of the novel they said: “…even among books that begin imaginatively, Renee Knight’s Disclaimer is something special.” And, more generally: “an outstandingly clever and twisty tale.”

Lee Child, someone who must have read his weight in crime novels, has said the book is a: "sensationally good psychological suspense … exactly what a great thriller should be".

Our Rediscovered Classic Of The Month


A Moveable Feast

The most notable recent response to A Moveable Feast came in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Paris in November. In the days following the tragic events of the night of November 13th, the novel became a sudden bestseller in France. Copies of the book were laid with flowers to honour the dead.

Since its posthumous publication is 1964, A Moveable Feast has also been the inspiration behind countless films. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011) is set in the same 1920’s version of the city as described in Hemmingway’s book, while The Moderns (1988) brings to life characters from the book in a comic way.  

Sadie Jones, in a piece for The Independent called 'Book of A Lifetime', said “A Moveable Feast taught me everything I know about writing, and I can't hope to attain everything it could teach me.” She also added: “It is a short, perfect book.”.

In reference to the books lasting effect, Sam Jordison of The Guardian wrote: “He could craft moments… that are delightful, awful, joyful, and horrible by turn; writing that is eternal. "

Our Children's Book Of The Month

Time-Travelling With a Hamster

International publishers have snapped this inventive title up: it has been reported in The Bookseller that Harper Collins Children’s Books has sold the US rights to Time Travelling with a Hamster for a rather large six-figure sum. Not bad for a debut.

Ana Girlo, writing for Kirkus Review summed up our feeling at the end of last year when she said:“ I am ridiculously excited about this one”.

Popular with parents far and wide, a mother on www.mummypages.ie says: “From the moment you open the book you will laugh, cry and urge the protagonist on…With its perfect mixture of laugh-out-loud-humour, genuine emotion and sheer heart-pumping greatness, this is a book that both kids and grownups will enjoy reading.”

Children have contributed their reviews of the book to the website www.lovereading.co.uk. Here is a review from Sam Harper, Age 11, a member of Lovereading4kids: “An amazing story which is funny, gripping and has a cute hamster in it – what more could you want from a book? It’s an absolutely brilliant read, I loved it!”


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