NetGalley UK’s Top Ten Books, June 2016
June’s top ten was probably the most difficult to decide upon since we started the UK Books of the Month roundup a couple of years ago. Across all genres, all the titles were incredibly strong and long conversations were had about those we should include. In the end, we hope we’ve captured the very best of an exceptional month!
The Girls by Emma Cline was acquired in huge publisher deals worldwide, and having read it, you can see why – it was our unanimous choice for Book of the Month. The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin is perhaps the most anticipated sequel of the year, while The Woman in Cabin 10 sees the return of 2015’s most exciting crime discovery, Ruth Ware. We’d also like to make a special mention for The Lost Time Accidents by John Wray – perfect for fans of David Mitchell and Jonathan Lethem.
We hope you find something special!
BOOK OF THE MONTH
This stellar debut novel was inspired by the infamous Manson Family cult – and its blend of coming-of-age tale, obsession, love and violence makes for a heady, compelling cocktail. But it’s the writing – praised by the likes of Jennifer Egan, Richard Ford and Mark Haddon – which makes The Girls such an immersive experience. Woozy, hallucinatory, yet vivid in its depiction of desire and the atmosphere of the late 1960s, this is a novel that will dominate the literary pages, and be one of the most talked about – and read – debuts this year.
The Passage Trilogy comes to a thrilling and momentous conclusion in The City of Mirrors – a worthy successor to the hugely popular The Passage and The Twelve. Praised by Stephen King as “a thrilling finale to a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction”, Justin Cronin at last reveals the fate of Amy – and the fate of the human race. Unmissable.
Yes, this is another end-of-the-world novel, but this is a Joe Hill end-of-the-world novel – which means it’s something quite special. A virus arrives out of nowhere. FOX News says it has been set loose by ISIS using Russian technology from the 1980s. MSNBC blames a cult fixated on the Book of Revelation. Wherever it came from, Harper Grayson has just one thing on her mind: survival. A gripping and terrifying epic.
One of the most affecting and unforgettable YAs in recent memory, Paper Butterflies introduces us to a heart-breaking and superbly realised heroine. Trapped and held alone by her stepmother and sister, June dreams of escape. And then one day, in the woods, she glimpses a boy called Blister – and with him, the possibility of freedom. The question is: what will she be prepared do to so she can finally spread her wings?
In a Dark, Dark Wood – the story of a hen party gone horribly, murderously wrong – was the crime debut of 2015, and The Woman in Cabin 10 is a devilish and worthy follow up. Lo Blackwood, recuperating from a broken heart, takes a trip on a boutique cruise. The idyllic surroundings are shattered however when she witnesses a body being thrown overboard. Has she seen a murder? Or is something else going on?
Emma Straub, author of the best-selling The Vacationers, is one of the sharpest, funniest and intelligent writers about contemporary relationships, and this is her finest book yet. Friends Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe are now approaching their fifties, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity, secrets and revelations are finally let loose can never be reclaimed.
The Museum of You
The bestselling and much-loved author of A Song for Issy Bradley returns with a perfectly and exquisitely observed novel of family love and family secrets. Clover loves her father, her father loves Clover; but their relationship is overwhelmed by the absence of her mother. Clover determines to find out about her mother, using all the things she left behind. But what you find depends on what you’re searching for . . .
The Lost Time Accidents
It is such an inviting premise – haunted by a failed love affair and the darkest of family secrets, Waldemar ‘Waldy’ Tolliver wakes one morning to discover that he has been exiled from the flow of time – that you hope the author does it justice. John Wray exceeds even the highest expectations in this ebulliently written, deeply intelligent take on the Great American Novel. Do not be surprised to see this on the Man Booker Shortlist.
The Man Who Wanted to Know
Feted by Henning Mankell, D.A. Mishani creates mysteries in the grand tradition, but with a very modern slant. Set in Israel, his Inspector Avraham Avraham series has rightly become internationally acclaimed, and this is the latest instalment. Avraham has only one clue to a murder: a witness who saw a policeman at the scene. It’s a clue, however, that exposes a wider, stranger series of events. A crime novel to treasure.
Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew
A historical novel set at the turn of the Twentieth Century in Provence, Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew is a tale of friendship, prejudice and our understanding of others. The hospital of Saint-Paul-de Mausole is home to the mentally ill. Jeanne is told not to approach the patients, but one man seems worth breaking the promise she made to her husband. It is a decision that will change all of their lives. Beautiful and inspired.