Top Ten UK Books… coming in Dec 2015/Jan 2016
There’s been a lot of activity behind the scenes at NetGalley over the last few months, and I’m really glad that our new developments have finally been let out into the wild! For me, the best is the introduction of some new categories – including literary fiction, horror, humour and middle-grade. Do update Your Categories with them in mind!
I hope you like the new genre spotlights, and discovering all the new titles on the site – and with that in mind, here’s our top picks for December and January. Enjoy!
BOOK OF THE MONTH
This riotous, intelligent and consistently surprising novel is not short on ambition – its concerns are wealth, class, desire and family – nor on narrative drive. The story concerns Norwegian-translator Veblen, her fiancé Paul, a squirrel who may or may not know more than he is letting on, and a heiress to a pharmaceuticals empire, intent on promising Paul fame and fortune through a shady-sounding deal with the Department of Defence. Perceptive, inventive and very sharp.
One of the UK’s most consistently brilliant novelists, Helen Dunmore again delivers a narrative of secrets, surprises and beguiling characters. When a highly sensitive file goes missing, Lily Callington’s husband is accused of passing information to the Soviets, and arrested. It is the height of the Cold War and everyone has secrets – but some have more than others…
After the Circus
Yale University Press
Last year’s winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Patrick Modiano, often borrows from crime and mystery novels while also examining the dark heart of the human condition. It means his work is both compelling and psychologically acute – and After the Circus is the perfect example of this, tracing, as it does, the relationship between a young man and an enigmatic woman he first glimpses at a police interrogation.
The Private Life of Mrs Sharma
Ratika Kapur’s first novel, Overwinter, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and this follow-up confirms her as one of India’s most affecting and unusual voices. Renuka Sharma is a dutiful, traditional wife and mother, waiting for her husband to return from Dubai. But India is changing around her, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if she came out of her shell a little, would it…?
Even the Dead
In Quirke, Benjamin Black – the crime writing alter-ego of Booker-prize winner John Banville – has created an outstanding and enigmatic character who delves into the dark heart of a 1950s Dublin riven by hypocrisy and secrets. When a body is found in a burnt-out car, Quirke is called in to verify the apparent suicide of an up-and-coming civil servant. But Quirke can’t shake a suspicion of foul play.
The Killing of Polly Carter
The Death in Paradise novels have become overwhelmingly popular since the BBC television adaptations brought them to a wider audience. In this latest instalment DI Richard Poole has to deal with a houseful of suspects in the case of the murder of supermodel Polly Carter, as well as the visit of his mother…
The Thirteenth Coffin
Silent Witness has been one of the staples of British crime drama for over two decades, and its creator, Nigel McCrery, is as good as crime writer as he is originator of compelling television. Beside the decomposing body of an unidentified homeless man, DCI Mark Lapslie makes a bizarre discovery that recalls the murder of a woman on her wedding day…
Tricia Sullivan’s Occupy Me may be categorised as Sci-Fi & Fantasy, but in many ways this is an unclassifiable novel of rare invention and skill. A woman with wings that exists in another dimension. A man trapped in his own body by a killer. A briefcase that is a door to hell. A conspiracy that reaches beyond our world. All combine in this sublime work of imagination.
The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt
Tracy Farr’s The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt finally gets a release in the UK – perfect for fans of offbeat and unusual historical fiction. Lena Gaunt is a character you won’t easily forget: musician, octogenarian, junkie, and lover of that most strange instrument, the Theremin. Garlanded with praise and prizes in Australia on its first publication, Gaunt is a fine achievement.
Set to be one the big, big YA novels of the year, This Raging Light captures completely the agony and ecstasy of first love. There are so many wonderfully drawn characters in Estelle Laure’s debut, but the central voice of Lucille is just irresistible. A read-in-one-sitting treat.