News and Events

The Personal Touch this August

This month’s non-fiction at Short features some personal stories, not always in the way you might expect.

In Our Hearts Hang from the Lemon Trees, London literary agent Laetitia Rutherford tells the story of one family split between Thatcherite Notting Hill and the French Riviera, and the secrets that widen the divide. Laetitia’s observations on her relationships with her father in London and her grandfather in France are interwoven with the works of Guillaume Apollinaire, whose poems helped ease her navigation through a dysfunctional childhood. A captivating memoir.

In A Good Bullet, Freddy Syborn (co-writer of BBC3’s Bad Education) talks comedy, offence, entertainment, and everything inbetween, in a stunning and oddly personal work.  His comedy partner Jack Whitehall, who also illustrated the book, called it “funnypeculiar” on Twitter, to which Freddy replied, “peculiarpeculiar”.  And that’s kind of what you get.  Prepare to be shocked, appalled, offended and surprised by a stunning book, which brings the wit of Dryden and Addison to bear upon a modern age of free speech and terrorism, tabloids and celebrities, horror films and stand-up comics, and will have you discussing the issues in coffee houses across the country.

Our Hearts Hang 3D A Good Bullet 3D

This is What We Read in the Summertime

It’s July, half a year down… In the last 6 months at Short we’ve fasted 2 days a week, we’ve sought out the soul of live music, we’ve got our heads around financial modeling, and applied those rules to dating, and we’ve seen the disturbing underbelly of the kitchens of a celebrity chef.  Phew, it’s been busy.  Now it’s time to sit back in the sun (at last) and enjoy some summer reads…

First, for the travellers and culture-vultures out there, we’ll be taking a look at the newly crowned champion of Eurovision: Denmark.  Patrick Kingsley’s How to be Danish was a real Christmas success when it was released in hardback last year.  Now in a trendy paperback repackage, it’s the coolest way to learn about the happiest nation in the world.  From Nordic Noir to the Danish design DNA, via eccentric dining and cycling in Copenhagen, Patrick guides us through the cultural heart of Denmark… Did you know that ‘Lego’ means ‘Play Well’ in Danish?

Next, we have a story of reinvention. You may have heard a little about Jessica Fox’s story, as she trades a high-stress job at NASA for a second-hand bookshop in Scotland. Her memoir, Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets, is also now available in paperback, making it the perfect summer read – the story of a leap into the unknown, and a whirlwind romance.

Finally, our newest novel comes from a top US literary talent, Susan Choi, and tells an intoxicating story of erotic obsession – a coming-of-age novel with a twist, My Education is about how a passionate love affair turns graduate student Regina Gottlieb’s life upside-down.  The book has already been spotted in the clutches of US trendsetter Sarah Jessica Parker, and you’re sure to see it poolside this summer. A must read.

Sunbeds, cool drinks and books at the ready…

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Win a Weekend Away

Three Things web image“It was the most unexpected and enchanting sight – slated rooftops of different shapes and sizes stretched before me; the stones grey green and blue, each unique, filled with personality, age and a weather-beaten history. I was in sensory heaven. Everything was so beautiful, so clean, green and fresh…’You’re not in Kansas any more Dorothy,’ I said to myself again…”

Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets is out today coinciding with American Independence Day and what better way to celebrate than to launch the Short Books Summer Competition.

Intrigued by the extract above? Read on here, here and in an independent bookshop near you. And enter our summer competition to win a weekend away for 2* in Wigtown, Scotland aka Jessica’s sensory heaven.

How to enter? It’s easy. Whether it’s sitting on the bus as you commute to work, or curled up on an uncomfortable windowsill desperately trying to catch the last few rays of sunshine, we’d love to know: where’s your favourite place to read?

Just like Jessica has, send us a photo of you and your copy of Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets in your favourite place to read. The book is available on Amazon, at Waterstones or at an independent bookshop near you.

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You can send in your photo in 1 of 3 ways:

Tweet us: @shortbooksUK

Facebook us: on the Short Books page


Email us:**

The quirkier and more inventive your picture, the better because the photo with the most likes or retweets WINS.

*Sneak peek of beautiful Lochancroft cottage here. The weekend can be booked between Oct 2013 and March 2014. The competition ends 31st July, 2013. Winner to be announced on that date.

**The photos that are submitted via email, will be posted on the Short Books twitter & facebook pages. Don’t forget to encourage your friends to retweet or like the photo -to increase your chances of winning!


Competition to be announced July 4th

Three Things web image

Stay tuned for an exciting competition that will be announced along with the mass market release of Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets by Jessica A Fox.

If you like reading, travelling and getting creative – this is the competition for you!

Check back next Thursday July 4th for full details.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and sign up to our mailing list to cover all your bases and make sure you DON’T MISS OUT.

Indie Day

Short Books is very excited to be attending Independents Day on 6 June, 2013!

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Hosted by our mother ship, the Independent Alliance of Publishers, in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the event will celebrate all things indie across publishing, theatre, film, art and music. A series of debates, discussions, DJ sets and more will examine questions such as, What exactly constitutes being ‘independent’? Given the current economic times, how are independent arts industries really doing? and How to make a debut as a first-time writer?

Join us for a wonderful evening of music, literature, film and more at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Book your tickets here.

Twitter buzz: #independentsday


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.



Some Things You May Know, Some You May Not…

May is a big month for Short Books, and we have a publication day loaded with great new titles.  Here are some things you may know, and some things you may not…

By now we all probably know a little or a lot about The Fast Diet, and you may already be following Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer’s guide to intermittent fasting, and we hope reaping the many benefits.  So, not only to help you through those fasting days but to ensure you enjoy them, we are releasing The Fast Diet Recipe Book.  With the help of Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker, Mimi Spencer guides you through what to eat within your 500- or 600-calorie allowance, seasoning it all with some helpful tips along the way.  Now there’s no excuse not to try this groundbreaking diet, and to become part of the food revolution!

In Mr Gig, Nige Tassell (one-time music promoter, reviewer, roadie, DJ and punter), guides us around a world he once knew very well – the world of the live gig. But Nige has been out of the game for a while, and the live music scene is not the same. Stadium tours, cover bands, mobile phones, pop reunions; Nige must navigate it all as he tries to find the soul that he remembers from his days as “Mr Gig”.  This is a thoroughly entertaining exploration of live music, and a fresh view of this popular art form.

We all know the importance of friends; that they are there for us when we need them, that having good friends can make us happier. But it doesn’t end there.  In Friendfluence, Carlin Flora shows us friendships from a new angle. Drawing on behavioural science and personal accounts, she demonstrates how our characters, personal development, and even our life chances are moulded by our friends. Fascinating stuff.

Hopefully you’ll also know a little about the background to Derek Niemann’s Birds in a Cage.  This is the true story of four British PoWs who found a release from the hardships of WWII internment by watching birds.  Released to a great response in hardback last year, this new paperback edition is a great chance to read this inspiring tale in a wonderful little package.

Finally, we at Short know the work of Siân Busby well, having published her previous books including the award-winning The Cruel Mother and the acclaimed McNaughten.  Now we are extremely proud to be publishing her last novel, A Commonplace Killing, an intense murder mystery based in postwar austerity Britain. The story of DDI Jim Cooper’s investigation into the murder of a respectable woman is both timely and moving. Be sure to see why Siân’s writing is so highly praised by reading this wonderful novel.

A Commonplace Killing Extract

As Short Books are proudly publishing Siân Busby’s A Commonplace Killing this May, we’re giving you a taster of this incredible novel.  Take the chance to read the atmospheric opening, here:

Be sure to pick up a copy when published on Thursday:

Amazon / Waterstones / Find your local indie

Celebration of Independents

Declare your independence on 06 June! The Independent Alliance, of which we at Short Books comprise a small (but perfectly formed) part, are teaming up with the Institute of Contemporary Arts to put on a mighty fine day of events that will celebrate all things indie in Britain’s creative industries.

There’ll be a series of talks and debates on issues such as the future of independent businesses like us, and the prospect for the humble-but-talented first-time writer.  Talks will feature prominent folk from our friends in the Alliance, along with our very own Justin Webb, former BBC North America editor and author of Notes on Them and Us.

There’s also a rare chance to see some leviathans of independent publishing, such as Alan Bennett and Simon Armitage, reading from their works and in conversation, including an indie music line-up put together in true mix-tape spirit by record shop Rough Trade.

Tickets can be booked through the ICA, with full details of what’s on offer to be found here:

Read the announcement on The Bookseller here:

What’s so great about being independent? Well, only these wonderful gems, to name but a few:

St George’s Day, the Catalonian Way

Get in the spirit of Catalonia by visiting Borough Market this Sunday, in celebration of St George’s Day.

The Catalonians say that roses grew out of the dragon slayed by St George, so for Sant Jordi’s Day men offer flowers to women – and in exchange women give books. So celebrate England’s patron saint the Catalonian way by visiting Borough Market on Sunday 21st April. There are plenty of cultural highlights including traditional food and performances and, of course, flowers and books.

Riverside Bookshop will be at the market with a great selection of Catalan literature in translation… the highlight of which, we hope you’ll agree, is Jordi Punti’s Lost Luggage.

So soak up the Catalonian atmosphere and pick up a copy of Lost Luggage!

For a taster of Lost Luggage, take a look at this brilliant extract.

The story of the four Christophers’ search for their father, and for an understanding of his life on the roads of Europe, is picking up well-deserved praise. The Daily Mail say it is “Inventive, absorbing and beautifully written”, the Express call it “an outstanding read”, Dazed & Confused call Jordi “a tactical mastermind”, and Easy Living add that this is “an utterly absorbing tale of family, friendship, love and loss”. We’re not surprised by the plaudits, as this is a novel that we are very proud to publish.  We hope you’re keen to read it!