NetGalley UK’s Top Ten Books, August 2016
August is sometimes a slow month in terms of new books, but this year there is a nice blend of original titles and returning big names. Heading the pack is the European sensation, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old, a bestseller that is sure to translate to the British market – do have a read, we think you’ll love it.
Other highly recommended titles include a big break-out fantasy novel in Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight, charming children’s fiction in Wonderboy, and classic crime in William Marshall’s Gelignite. We hope you find something that excites you and that you can recommend for summer reads!
Book of the Month
The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old
The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen – Holland’s unlikeliest hero – has become a cultural phenomenon in his native Netherlands, and is certain to be one of the most talked about novels of the year. It’s a story of growing old in both grace and disgrace, and has a charm, wit and insight that makes it one of the most original books you’ll read this year. Unusual, sly and utterly beguiling, The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen could be this season’s secret bestseller.
The Angels Die
This tale of life between the wars in Algeria is a beautifully written and moving novel with a devastating left-hook. At its heart is Turambo, whose hopes of a better future in the city are dashed by a succession of menial jobs. Turambo rages at the injustice surrounding him, but a boxing apprenticeship offers Turambo an alternative to street brawling. Panoramic yet intimate, this is a superb character study of an unforgettable creation.
Nevernight – an epic, brilliantly intriguing fantasy – is the story of Mia, a girl haunted by the violence she experienced at the age of 10. Six years later, she is hell-bent on revenge, but to have any chance of success she must enter the Red Church, an academy for assassins, where she will have to prove herself against the deadliest of enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons. Gripping and compulsive reading.
Singer Taduno returns from political exile to the country of his birth to find that the dictatorship’s efforts to erase all trace of him have been so successful that he has been entirely forgotten, even by his closest friends and neighbours – while the regime has also imprisoned the woman he loves. He must chose to fight the power, or save the love of his life. A surprising and unusual debut that is unafraid to take on the biggest of themes.
The House on Sunset Lake
The House on Sunset Lake from the Sunday Times bestseller Tasmina Perry is a heart-wrenching love story bejewelled with mysteries and dark secrets. Set in the Deep South of America in 2015 and 1995, it traces the tumultuous relationship between Jim Johnson and Jennifer Wyatt, and the dark secrets of the strange and mysterious house where they meet: Casa D’Or. Few writers do this kind of emotional drama as well as Tasmina Perry.
The Hummingbird's Cage
Joanna’s life feels impossible. On the outside, her family looks perfect. But behind closed doors, her husband is a controlling monster, intent on breaking her spirit for good. It feels there is no hope, until a stranger offers her and her daughter a way out. But running proves as dangerous as staying. One morning, she wakes in a strange town without her daughter and with no memory of how she got there. Does she have the courage to find her child?
The Perfect Girl
Zoe Maisey is a musical genius, a virtuoso adored by the world – and yet behind the performances that stun audiences, there is a greater daily show. Because Zoe once was convicted of causing the death of three teenagers. She has served her time, but the past she has tried so hard to bury always threatens to come back to haunt her. And then, one night, her mother dies, and those threats become a reality.
William Marshall does not have the reputation his superb police procedurals deserve – but this is set to change with the reissue of his 1976 classic, Gelignite. Set in Hong Kong and featuring DCI Harry Feiffer, a European born and raised in Hong Kong and Senior Inspector Christopher O’Yee, this is mystery writing at its most inventive.
AU, EU, UK Edition
Joseph ‘Wilco’ Wilkes is one of life’s losers – he’s picked on, pushed around, and bullied by the rugby boys at the posh private school he attends on a scholarship. But his life is about to change in this delightful and engaging superhero tale.
Happiness and Other Small Things of Absolute Importance
Drawing on literary and philosophical sources ranging from Alice in Wonderland and The Little Prince to Leo Tolstoy, King Solomon and Friedrich Nietzsche, Haim Shapira challenges perspectives on happiness and focuses on alternative ways to appreciate what is important. Stirring and deeply thought-provoking.