Short Books Club :: Book club books

We’re back!

All has been rather quiet on the blog front for quite some time, but luckily this means time is passing and summer must be creeping towards us; although, for any Londoners checking in, you may have a hard time believing it. What better way to delude ourselves that warm days will eventually be here to stay than by escaping to the streets of Barcelona in Jordi Puntí’s Lost Luggage? This remarkable and at times downright hilarious novel, recounts the story of four brothers -sons of one enigmatic father and four very different mothers- who grow up separately. When the brothers meet for the first time, they determine to piece together the intriguingly elusive life of their father, Gabriel Delacruz, whom Puntí aptly describes as a ‘passive Don Juan’.


As a welcome back to the Short Books Club, we’re thrilled to be giving out up to five free copies of Lost Luggage to the first five book clubs to get in touch. We hope you’ll enjoy this thrilling read! Write to us at to claim your free copy and don’t forget to cite the name of your book club and your mailing address.



The House on Paradise Street is shooting up the charts…

Move aside Fifty Shades!

Congratulations – 5000 followers!

The JM Barrie Ladies Swimming Society hits 5000 followers on Facebook! To celebrate this and the 4th of July – we are giving away copies of The JM Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society book, notepads, bookmarks and some fabulous vintage bathing caps! ‘Share’ this photo on The JM Barrie Ladies Facebook page and tell us who you would recommend the book to and why… we will be giving prizes away to the best answers. And just in case you need reminding how gorgeous those bathing caps are here’s a brilliant picture…


Not just any old pond…

The brilliant Barbara Zitwer talks about the importance of wild swimming and why the Hampstead Ladies Pond is so important to her in particular. If you want to follow Barbara’s progress with The JM Barrie Ladies Swimming Society, you can visit her excellent Facebook page that is gathering followers quicker than Micheal Phelps can swim a length…



The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Club has been gathering much deserved attention in the press in that past couple of weeks, not least due to the remarkable story behind the writing of the novel. Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest places as Barbara recounted in this week’s Sunday Times Style magazine.





Launching into the cold!

Adverse weather conditions never stopped the members of the J.M. Ladies’ Swimming Society from taking a dip and so it was at the fantastic launch of Barbara J. Zitwer’s novel at the Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond today. Wind, rain, freezing temperatures? They were simply mild irritants to the wonderful collection of friends, fans, journalists and the members of the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association, who met at the pond this morning to toast the publication of Barbara’s novel and to take a dip themselves. It was a great celebration of the restorative, invigorating and rather chilly pursuit of wild swimming and a very fitting launch for The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society


They took to it like ducks to water…

Will she, won’t she. Barbara tests the water…

And she is in! A unique way to celebrate the publication of your novel…


Hot tea and cakes await the swimmers. many thanks to the brilliant High Tea of Highgate for the fantastic cakes and sandwiches – truly delicious!

Barbara (left) warms up with a well-deserved cup of tea.



Calling all Londoners… tea, cakes and a touch of frostbite?

A lovely review of  Barbara J. Zitwer’s The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society in the Daily Mail today. As they so rightly point out with a combination of Peter Pan, wild swimming and a group of feisty octogenarians, what’s not to love? And for those of you that do enjoy dipping your toes into icy waters, the author Barbara is going to be launching her novel at, yes, you guessed it, Hampstead Ladies Pond on April 19th. There will be tea, cakes, a bookshop and surprise surprise a quick dip for those that feel they are made of steely stuff. If you would like to come and join us please email In the true spirit of The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society – everyone is welcome.

Leap to it… free books on offer

We never need much of an excuse to celebrate and we thought the leap year would be as good as any…

So we have ten free copies of The House on Paradise Street by Sofka Zinovieff up for grabs. All you have to do is leave a comment – first ten to do so get a copy!

Sofka’s debut novel is garnering some serious attention at the moment and it hasn’t yet published. Out on March 1st – it is set to get wide coverage over the national press in coming weeks. After all, Greece is quite topical these days…

For all those of you who are members of book clubs – this is a title you should be recommending to your groups – it has something for everyone from history, to romance, to politics and family feuds. It will definitely lead to some great discussions and everyone will thank you for helping them understand a tiny bit more exactly what has happened in Greece and how it’s past has played such a strong role in today’s crisis.


Ready steady…

Just a little heads up… free copies of The House on Paradise Street by Sofka Zinovieff will be up for grabs on Wednesday. Only ten copies available so get ready to LEAP to it…!

Writer’s Retreat

I am very pleased to let you all know about this exciting event for any budding writers out there:



Writers’ Retreats

Find your inspiration.  Exercise your creativity.

Writing workshops at Lower Coxbridge House near Glastonbury.

One day course: Saturday 25th February 2012 10.00am – 4.00pm

Weekend residential course: Friday 27th April to Sunday 29th April 2012

Short Books author Emma Craigie (Chocolate Cake with Hitler) will lead writing workshops to help you create powerful stories.  At the weekend workshop Rebecca Nicolson, founder of Short Books, will lead a sessions on what publishers look for in potential authors.

There will also be opportunities to walk in the beautiful countryside surrounding Lower Coxbridge House,  and optional yoga sessions, led by Sarah Orme, to keep you focussed and refreshed.

Delicious meals and refreshments cooked by Nicole Leathley.

Maximum 12 places.  For more information:

And the winners are…

Many thanks to all those who entered and the winners this month are…

Sonia Hawes – Eydon Book Group

Elizabeth Webb – Minster Readers

Csaba Bali

Jan Willetts

Tracey Atchison – Fairwarp WI Book Group

Jill Hailey

John Hausrath

Susan Pollard – Southway Readers Group

Please can those of you who haven’t sent me your mailing addresses drop me an email (

In the meantime – CONGRATULATIONS.


November Offer of free books is live…

NB: For those that had problems signing in – I have received your emails and entered you into the competition. If you would like to enter just leave a comment below or email

Free proof copies of Cooking for Claudine by John Baxter for the first 10 book groups…

We don’t like to start Christmas too early but as the lights are up on Oxford Street and the first Christmas tree has been spotted near the office, we thought we would be forgiven for offering you a festive reading feast this month. We have just published Cooking for Claudine this month and it is just the ticket to get you in the mood for the fast approaching onslaught of turkey, baubles and mince pies.

John Baxter, an acclaimed film critic and foodie, impulsively moved to Paris to marry the woman he loved, only to discover the first test of his intentions would come in the form of a challenge: to cook Christmas dinner for her formidable, grand French family. His year-long quest to produce the perfect meal takes his readers to the farthest corners of France in search of the country’s finest receipes and ingredients. It is a charming, improbabale (but true!) tale of how a man raised on white bread, who didn’t speak a word of French, had to cook his way to the heart of his new family.

It has been a big hit in both the US and Australia so far. Here’s what they had to say about the book:

‘John Baxter is so erudite while being so funny. He’s much more than a tourist ‐ he’s got it all.’ ‐ Diane Johnson, bestselling author of Le Divorce

‘This is a gentle, amusing and elegant memoir… full of amusing tales of being an Aussie in France, a love affair with cooking and, most importantly his endless quest for the best ingredients to make a French Christmas dinner. The result is a sublime and entertaining celebration of a fascinating life ‘ – Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum

‘This sweet old‐fashioned memoir is wrapped around the first time he cooks for [his wife’s] formidable French family… his quest for the perfect meal is a joyous food tour through France, navigating the strict local conventions about eating’ ‐ Herald Sun

Cooking for Claudine is Gallic gastroporn with a soupcon of crackling for good measure to rival Babette’s Feast. A tasty culinary education’ ‐ Vogue Australia

To enter the competition leave a comment below this post. As I have had problems getting people’s addresses off them, please sign in to the blog before you leave your comment so that I can email you if I have any problems.
On another note: I would love to hear from anyone who has been reading The White Lie, which was the September offer. All your thoughts are very welcome, whether good or bad!

Free monthly offer tomorrow…

Just to give you fair warning of another monthly free books offer tomorrow. This month is is Cooking with Claudine by John Baxter – the PERFECT Christmas read. Paris, food, family – what’s not to love. The books will go on offer tomorrow at 4pm. To enter you need to sign into the blog (that way I don’t get winner’s I can’t get in touch with) and then leave a comment on the post.

If you want to find out more about the book you can go here.

“John Baxter is so erudite while being so funny. He’s much more than a tourist – he’s got it all.” Diane Johnson, bestselling author of Le Divorce

The Three Hungry Boys are coming…

Little do you know, but you are about to be bombarded by these three likely chaps, whose second series on Channel 4 is about to be launched. Challenged with surviving on no money and just their foraging, blagging and culinary skills by River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the three boys embark on a serious boy’s own adventure. They are a brilliant gang and their eco-minded, intrepid spirit deserves as much support as we can muster – at least that’s what we think. If you can’t wait until the series starts at the end of the month, then you can find out more about them here, and here. And you can get a sneaky preview of their book below.

As Hugh FW says:

“Tim, Thom and Trevor have a great take on food, on foraging, on fun. It’s a charming recipe and everyone should have a slice”


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Five minutes with Justin Webb

You can only begin to imagine what the life of Justin Webb must be like with all those early mornings starts to present the Today Programme on Radio Four – pretty busy, I suspect. So we managed to grab five minutes with the ex-US correspondent for the BBC to hear what he had to say on his latest book and the highs and lows of life at the sharp-end of radio.

You can read his post here – where the good people of Amazon have hosted it.

Tweet tweet from Simon Barnes

A fabulous 8 page pull-out of Simon Barnes’ guide to winter birds in The Times this weekend, with fantastic illustrations by Natalie Lee. It is also accompanied by Simon’s brilliant podcast on birdsong that will take you from listening to the robin to recognising the nightingale. You can find the guide here. Or, if you aren’t a Times subscriber you can find both book info and the podcast here.

Signed copies of Dinner with Churchill up for grabs…

A little treat for our loyal book clubbers… Cita Stelzer has kindly signed a few copies of her brilliant book, Dinner with Churchill, for the Short Books Club (they would make a great Christmas pressie for anyone interested in either history or food). If you would like a copy you just need to leave a comment below telling us what three course dinner you would feed the hungry WWII Prime Minister, were he to be sitting in your kitchen waiting for his supper. The five most imaginative menus (decided by consensus in the office) will win a copy. Feel free to go wild, after all, Churchill was partial to bowl of turtle soup or a morsel of pigs head. Top tip: he certainly wasn’t on a diet and wrote that he “didn’t want to go by sun-time… but by ‘tummy time’!”

Calling all South Londoners…

Emma Craigie, author of the much-adored Chocolate Cake with Hitler is talking at the Clapham Waterstones tomorrow (20th Sept) at 7pm. Emma has talked at schools across the country and is fascinating to listen to and much in demand. If you have children studying WWII then do not miss this opportunity – she will dig out the deeply buried historian in your child and have them sitting on the edge of their seats.

Seven Days One Summer by Kate Morris

Reviews here for Seven Days One Summer.

Ophelia In Pieces by Clare Jacob

Post your comments here for Ophelia in Pieces!

Justin Webb reads from Notes on Them and Us

Very happily, Justin Webb found a moment to pop into Short Books yesterday and record an extract from his new book, Notes on Them and Us.

It will be featured on The Sunday Times Magazine website this weekend alongside an interview in the actual magazine but if you would like a sneaky preview you can listen to it here.

Notes on Them and Us is published on September 1, 2011

Justin Webb on the ‘Essential Relationship’

Fresh in from the printer and looking really striking is Justin Webb’s latest offering on the transatlantic relationship. A presenter on Radio 4’s Today programme, Justin was previously the BBC’s North America correspondent – so he know his stuff! In Notes on Them and Us, Justin re-examines the history of our great alliance with America and gives a wry account of the way it actually exists today beyond the emotive adjectives of newspaper headlines. It is amusing, myth-breaking and unflinchingly honest, this is a book for anyone with an eye on global politics.

Justin has kindly agreed to do a Q&A for the Short Books Club and I will be posting it at some point next week. So keep your eyes peeled as it’s bound to be fascinating. Oh, and don’t miss Justin talking to Ryan Tubridy on BBC Radio 2 between 12 and 1pm.

New edition of A Rage for Rock Gardening by Nicola Shulman

Written by Nicola Shulman, A Rage for Rock Gardening, The Story of Reginald Farrer, gardener, writer and plant collector was hugely successful when it was first published in 2002.  Now, by popular demand, we have brought out a new edition with a beautiful new cover as an ebook for those of you who have discovered a love of the digital.

A hundred years ago, there was a revolution in British gardening, as the garden changed from being a diversion of dukes to the hobby of millions. Few figures were more prominent in this renaissance than Reginald Farrer, whose passion for alpines, the most demanding of plants, would inspire generations with a love of flowers. He was the man who put a rockery in every back garden.

Tormented by physical and emotional misfortune, Farrer was one of those ‘born to endless night’. Yet in the realm of horticulture his many faults were turned to advantages, and he became one of the great plant-hunters, collecting new species from the mountains of Tibet and China.

Through the influence of his extraordinary books, Farrer did for English gardening what, half and century later, Elizabeth David would do for is cooking, changing it for ever.

Here’s what the papers said when we first published it:

‘A little masterpiece’ – Daily Mail

‘All lovers of natural history should read this book, as should connoisseurs of Edwardian England and anyone who wants to learn the art of biography.’ – Ruth Rendell, Sunday Times

‘Farrer’s whole life story is so bizarre… that the reader will blink, first with astonishment, then with pleasure at every detail… Am elegant mini masterpiece.’ – Antonia Fraser, Tatler.

‘An unforgettable biography… A real treat.’ – Country Life

Shulman has seen in her epicene, dwarfish subject some ineffable quality that reaches beyond rock gardens and touches the universal…’ – Daily Telegraph


Free June book offer open…


Free copies of Ophelia in Pieces by Clare Jacob are now available for the first ten groups to get in touch.

We have so enjoyed publishing this book as Clare Jacob has such a brilliant eye for the difficulties that life can throw up and the delicate balancing act so many women contend with: children, husband’s work, home… and the rest! Ophelia in Pieces is a brilliant look behind the scenes of the male-dominated world of the barrister and judges. Clare Jacob herself was a barrister and so she knows the inside story! By her own admission, after of defending clients accused variously of bomb-making, hiding cocaine in coconuts and stealing under-pants, she decided to capture the lunacy and mystery of it all in a novel. And how well she has done it.

Here’s a little more on the book:

On the eve of her 39th birthday, top barrister Ophelia Dormandy decides she is going to make amends. Tonight, after months of late nights at her desk, she’s going to return home early, cook a special supper – maybe even wear that red dress Patrick once said he liked.
But Ophelia is in for a shock. After 20 years together, her husband announces he’s been having an affair, and leaves. Her home life implodes, and work soon follows suit – before long, she’s broke, drinking too much and falling for a client of questionable innocence. And then she is faced with the most serious trial of her life, when a disgruntled defendant comes back to haunt her, threatening everything that she holds dear…
So do let me know if you would like copies of your book group and I will mail them to  you asap.




Free Books Offer on Monday

Just a quick warning of the next free books offer. Ophelia in Pieces is a briliant debut novel and brilliant summer read, perfect for those of you off to recline on a sun lounger on some glorious beach in the next couple of months (grrr). The rest of us will just have to make do with rainy ol’ Britain and imagine the rest!

So if you would like copies for your reading group, do keep your eye out for my email at 5pm on Monday afternoon… see you then!

The real life of a female barrister.

Reader’s Guide to The Trouble with Alice

So here you are –  a brilliant insight into the writing of The Trouble with Alice from Olivia Glazebrook. Do be warned though, there are spoilers from the outset, so I would save it until after you have read it.

Do let us know your thoughts.

alice readers guide

Ophelia in Pieces review

Many thanks to the lovely folk at Bookbag for taking the time to read and review Ophelia in Pieces.

Calling all Stoke fans…

The football Premiership is not all glamour now that Stoke City’s ugly duckling wings are flapping in the Big Boys’ faces.

In 2008, unfashionable Stoke City managed to grind their way into the Promised Land of the Premiership. Under the dour, pragmatic guidance of manager Tony Pulis, they were never going to be pretty to watch. Now, three years later they have battled their way to the final of the FA Cup – to be played against Man City on Saturday. Every Stoke fans dreams are resting on the outcome.

It has been a long journey to the top and lifetime Stoke supporter, Stephen Foster, has tracked every last move. In his book, And She Laughed No More, Foster tells the story of a club with a chip on its brawny shoulders, whose tactics were built around heroic defiance of superstars earning 150 grand a week – and, of course, Rory Delap’s long throw. If you want to know how Stoke got to where they are – and the pitfalls along the way – this is the book for you. Foster chronicles the blood, sweat and tears of an unlikely season when the Potters were rescued from their lower league nightmare and transported to the Theatre of Dreams at Old Trafford (they lost 5-0).

Tomorrow’s match is simply the next chapter… Come on the Potters!

The May Offer is live!

David Brooks is causing a stir…

The Observer

The Times

The FT

May offer for free books coming soon…

Hi all,

Sorry it has all been a little quiet here at the Short Books Club – there has been a little holidaying going on! But we are back and all guns blazing ready for the May offer, which will be for The Trouble with Alice by Olivia Glazebrook. The offer will open at midday on Friday 13th (eek!) and as usual copies will go to the first 10 groups to get in touch.

In the meantime, here is a great review of our latest release. This is causing something of a stir in Westminster and David Brooks is coming to the UK next week and will be meeting with both Miliband and Cameron – everyone seems to want a piece of him. Expect to hear a lot more about this book in the near future.

The Observer

The Guardian

The Social Animal has arrived

Copies of The Social Animal by David Brooks are in and we have to say, we love it. It’s been causing a bit of a stir across the pond and it’s out here in May. If you want to know why you are who you are, and why you do the things you do – read this book. It will totally change the way you think about yourself.


The Trouble with Alice – an Amazon Rising Star

Great excitement in the Short Books office this afternoon. The Trouble with Alice by Olivia Glazebrook has been selected as an Amazon Rising Star. We really love this novel and Olivia is a brilliant young writer that we have been shouting about for a while. This is her first novel and she deserves all the praise she gets.

It will be Book of the Month here next month.

The Trouble with Alice – An Amazon Rising Star

Great excitement in the Short Books office this afternoon. The Trouble with Alice by Olivia Glazebrook has been selected as an Amazon Rising Star. We really love this novel and Olivia is a brilliant young writer that we have been shouting about for a while. This is her first novel and she deserves all the praise she gets.

It will be Book of the Month here next month.

The Social Animal has arrived

Copies of The Social Animal by David Brooks are in and we have to say, we love it. It’s been causing a bit of a stir across the pond and it’s out here in May. If you want to know why you are who you are, and why you do the things you do – read this book. It will totally change the way you think about yourself.




A great review for Graven with Diamonds


Out next week, Graven with Diamonds by Nicola Shulman is the story of Thomas Wyatt: Courtier, Poet, Assassin, Spy in the court of Henry VIII. It has garnered a lot of attention in the press so far and Nicola will be talking on Radio Four’s Start the Week with Andrew Marr at 9am on April 11th. She is a real expert and not to be missed if you are a Tudor fan. Hilary Mantel said of the book; ‘A fluid, poised quick-witted dance through the poetic and political career of one of the most elusive, glittering figures of Tudor England’ – and, let’s be honest, she should know!

The Social Animal is No.1 in New York Times Bestseller list!

Very exciting news for us here at Short Books. David Brooks’ brilliant book has soared to No.1 in the US and is out here – dressed in this very lovely new jacket – on the 5th May.

To give you a taster here is the blurb – this book will genuinely change the way you think about yourself and the world…

This is the happiest story you will ever read. It’s about two people who led wonderfully fulfilling, successful lives.

The odd thing was, they weren’t born geniuses. They had no extraordinary physical or mental gifts. Nobody would have picked them out at a young age and said they were destined for greatness.

How did they do it?

In the past thirty years we have learnt more about the human brain than in the previous 3000 – a scientific revolution has occurred. The unconscious mind, it turns out, is most of the mind – the place where the majority of the brain’s work gets done, where our most important life decisions are made, where character is formed and the seeds of accomplishment grow.

In this illuminating and compelling book, David Brooks weaves a vast array of new research into the lives of two fictional characters, Harold and Erica, following them from infancy to old age. In so doing, he reveals a fundamental new understanding of human nature.

Most success stories are explained at the surface level of life. They describe academic ability, hard work and learning the right techniques to get ahead. This story – the story of Harold and Erica – is told one level down, at the level of emotions, intuitions, biases, genetic predispositions and deep inner longings. The result is a new definition of success, highlighting what economists call non-cognitive skills – those hidden qualities that can’t be easily counted or measured, but which in real life lead to happiness and fulfilment.

The Social Animal is a moving and nuanced intellectual adventure. Impossible to put down, it is an essential book for our time – one that will have a broad social impact and change the way we see ourselves and the world.

Somthing for all you Tudor lovers…

Now, this is a great jacket, no? Finished copies of Graven with Diamonds by Nicola Shulman are in and it publishes on April 4th.

Great review of We All Ran into the Sunlight

We are thrilled to have had a lovely review from Harriet Devine’s blog for We All Ran into the Sunlight by Natalie Young.

Thank you Harriet!

Proofs are in – The Trouble with Alice by Olivia Glazebrook

We are really excited by this title – it is Olivia Glazebrook’s debut novel and is a beautifully written tale of a couple struggling to find a way back to each other in the aftermath of tragedy. Olivia has a brilliant way of seeing people and her humour and poignancy make this an unmissable read. It comes out in May and we will be offering copies then.

Do let us know what you think of the jacket. Is this something you would pick up and dive straight into? What are your favourite jackets of all time?

Copies of We all Ran into the Sunlight have gone out…

Postmen across the country are going to be groaning in next couple of days as some really lovely big parcels full of We All Ran into the Sunlight have now gone out. The reader’s guide and author interview will go up on the blog early next week and you will be able to download it from there.

In the meantime, enjoy and have a lovely weekend!

Fab proofs of Graven with Diamonds just in.

We are very pleased here at Short Books today as proofs of Graven with Diamonds by Nicola Shulman have arrived and are looking brilliant. It was a cover we struggled over but are thrilled with the final result. Anyway, I just thought I would give you all a sneak preview as it isn’t published until April but will no doubt come up for offer in the next couple of months.

Free books on offer… The Short Books Club celebrates World Book Night.

Our celebration of World Book Night has now gone live! If you would like copies of one of the above titles for your book club then just leave us a comment saying which one you would like. The first ten groups to comment or to email us will win. Couldn’t be easier…

Congratulations to our winning book clubs

There has been a brilliant uptake for our March free offer – thank you all for your emails and comments. Those that posted on the blog all got there very quickly and have won copies for their book groups. Please can you email me directly with your addresses and the number of copies you require and I will send them out.

Reader’s Guides and the Author Interview will be posted here in the next few days.

In the meantime, I have a book launch to get to! Time to celebrate the launch of Natalie’s wonderful debut. We hope you like it as much as we do and look forward to hearing what you all thought on the blog.

Ready Steady…Go! The March offer is live!

Hi Book Groups,

Here it is – We All Ran into the Sunlight by Natalie Young, this months’ free book offer. If you would like to try to win copies please leave me a comment on this post and keep your fingers crossed…

This debut novel has received rave advance reviews but we would love to hear what you all think. It publishes tomorrow so you will be among the first to read it.

AND pop back on Friday at 5pm for our celebration of World Book Night when 3 other titles will be up for grabs…Please NB the change of time for this going live.

Set in the shimmering landscape of the southern Cevennes, Natalie Young’s novel alternates between the years immediately after the Second World War and the present day to explore a dark family secret and its ripple effect on people’s lives. It is a heartbreaking story of love and ownership, misplaced desire and the damage done when the truth is withheld.
Kate and Stephen Glover – in need of a break from their hectic London life – go on a winter sabbatical in the secluded French village of Canas. The slow pace of life there affects them in different ways. While Stephen feels increasingly restless, Kate finds herself drawn to the village and to the beautiful, derelict château at its heart.
But soon Kate’s daily excursions over the château wall are spreading rumours among the locals. What she doesn’t know is that the house has a terrible legacy, and her private journey of escape and self-discovery is threatening to reawaken the trauma of a family, broken apart one summer’s night more than fifty years before.


“The past grabs hold and will not let you go in this uncanny and
beautiful novel. Strange and delicious in the manner of Rebecca.”
Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress

“We All Ran Into the Sunlight is the sort of intricate invention
that only a few masters – like Ian McEwan or Graham Greene – could
assemble. This novel will mesmerize you – and it will break your heart.”
Stefan Merrill Block, author of the Story of Forgetting

“Bold and original… Natalie Young captures beautifully the character of
a small French town, porous to every drop of gossip but presenting an
impenetrable surface to outsiders.”
Helen Dunmore

“How extraordinary is the mind of the writer. Natalie Young has created
a near-Gothic story of obsession and desire, set against the background
of a sinister château, in both postwar and contemporary France.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted… A true tour de force.”
Mavis Cheek

March free books

The March offer goes live tomorrow and copies of Natalie Young’s We All Ran into the Sunlight will be up for grabs for book groups. However, despite promising a midday kick-off you are all going to have to hold your horses for a few hours.

5pm is the time to be on the blog and commenting to be one of the first ten book groups to get in touch and win free copies. Sorry about that everyone and thanks for your patience!

Even more excitements…

This week is going to be a busy one for the Short Books Club. Not only are we giving away our March title,  Natalie Young’s fantastic debut novel We All Ran into the Sunlight, we are also going to be celebrating World Book Night and offering free copies to ten books groups of any of the following titles:

The Last Resort by Douglas Rogers

The Harlot’s Press by Helen Pike

Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti.

So, if you are hoping to bag some books for your group this month, you need to come and visit the blog on both Wednesday (for We All Ran into the Sunlight) and Friday (for the World Book Night giveaway). Both will open at 12pm and if you want copies you’d better be quick as they will go fast! All you have to do it post a comment in the entry that refers to the offer when it pops up at midday. The first ten win! Easy.

A taster for the March title…

We loved this piece by debut author Natalie Young, on writing her first novel while holding down a job at The Times and being mother to two boys…

Also, a bit of a teaser for you all as We All Ran into the Sunlight is next month’s title.

We think this is pretty exciting…

Crimson China poster on the westbound Piccadilly Line at Holborn

Crimson China by Betsy Tobin

Hi Book Groups,

So here you can find the reader’s guide and the author interview and this is also where you need to leave your reviews of the book. If you go to ‘Leave a Comment’ and post your reviews there. As this is the first month we have done this you will have to bear with us if there are any glitches! Crimson China Readers Guide and Author Interview

February offer now closed

Well, that was exciting and in no time at all we have given away copies of Crimson China to ten book groups! Quite a number of the ten groups are from the North West, where the novel is set, so it will be interesting to see whether this gives them a richer reading experience and whether the groups agree… let us know.

Do not despair if you missed out this time, we will be doing plenty more monthly handouts. Watch this space.

February reading

February Free Copies Offer… Ready Steady GO!