NetGalley’s View from the UK
I’m Stuart Evers, NetGalley’s newest member of the Concierge Team, based in the UK. Welcome to the first of my ‘View From the UK’ blogs – your monthly roundup of what’s happening book-wise in Great Britain. I’ll be covering everything from the latest prizes and awards, festivals, events, hot titles, literary gossip and overlooked classics, to welcoming new publishers to NetGalley, tips on titles you might want to request and anything else that has caught my eye over the previous month.
I joined NetGalley just before Christmas to help ensure our British members get the very best experience on the site. I’m an author myself, and have been a bookseller and editor so I’m hoping to bring all that recommending experience to help you find the best titles – no matter what genre you read. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, or ideas for things you’d like to see on NetGalley in the UK, please get in contact via our Knowledge Base and I’ll get back to you!
The big news for January had to be the announcement of the Costa Book Awards. Hilary Mantel went into the evening as favourite …
for the overall prize, but with history against her: never had a book won both the Booker Prize and the Costa Book of the Year. The judges were unanimous, and Mantel unapologetic, as another record tumbled. Mantel is now the only woman to have won the Booker Prize twice, the only person to have won the Booker with successive novels, and to have been crowned Booker and Costa winner. In her wake, it will be interesting to see whether historical fiction becomes even more popular than it already is in the UK.
January also moved from the past to the future, as Waterstones announced its 11 – the book chain’s annual tip for the debut fiction titles of the year. It’s an eclectic mixture of novels and authors; but the quality is high throughout. Many of the books are on NetGalley so do seek them out to request, but keep in mind that most UK publishers are only able to approve UK-based members. My personal favourites are Sam Byers’ Idiopathy and The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan.
What with it being January, the bestseller lists have been full of diet books – and one in particular caught my eye. The First 20 Minutes isn’t a diet book in the traditional sense, but does change the way you look at the way you train and how you can improve the way you live. It’s a great balance between practical application and also fascinating popular science.
And while we’re on the subject of personal recommendations, can I point you in the direction of my top crime recommendation Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer? I think she’s a real star, so get in before she goes stratospheric.
So that’s it for this month, next time I’ll be taking a special look at Science Fiction in 2013. See you then!
-Stuart Evers, UK Concierge