Friday, September 27, 2013

3-4-Friday: They Might Be Giants this Autumn

My oh my, but doesn't the book trade half love a 'Super Thursday' or two...

Super Thursdays, incidentally, are those Thursdays in late September and early October when loads of big-hitting authors are published on the same day. All jolly exciting - and a real challenge for booksellers. The books are often embargoed, so they all arrive within a few days (hours?) or each other, and staff often have trouble getting anything else done as boxes are opened with much oohing and aahing. There is sneaky flick-throughs. Customers are faced by over-excited booksellers brandishing gorgeous hardbacks

Blimey, this job is tough at times...

To the conspiracy-minded, all this stuff can look a bit suspicious (you can imagine the US Justice Dept: "What? Publishers working together?") but when, across so many publishers, you have literally thousands of 'lead' titles published in the September and October window, all jostling for the Ch*stm*s market, inevitably many will be published on the same day. Why not bunch them up a bit, and generate a bit of buzz? Simples.

Many of the titles that get released at this time have not been available as advance proofs either, so they arrive to us as unknown quantities. All of this is a heady brew, so for the last couple of days we've all been falling on the books and furiously reading them through...

So … Robert Harris, William Boyd, Mary Berry, Bill Bryson, David Walliams, Nigel Slater, Jacqueline Wilson, Bernard Cornwell, Pam Ayres, Cressida Cowell, Kate Adie – that was just a few, and just yesterday. So for today's 3 4 Friday #fridayreads we've picked three that we've particularly enjoyed watching come in.

A new title by Robert Harris is always a reason for celebration, and one of our finest exponents of ‘The Literary Thriller’ is back with a fictionalised account of one of history’s most notorious political scandals and injustices: ‘The Dreyfus Affair’.

In 'An Officer and A Spy' Harris tells the events through the eyes of Colonel Georges Picquart, the head of the then French counter-espionage section. The pace is fast, and Harris – as he did with ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Lustrum’ – draws subtle parallels with our own times, a warning from history and the heady mix of racial hatred, political manipulation and the role of the press...


Two years ago, Mostly Books was extremely proud to host one of the only UK events for the new James Bond novel written by Jeffery Deaver (at the risk of being 'infatuated by past glories' read about the event here). A new Bond novel is thus something we're always up for here in the shop...

Two years on, and now William Boyd has taken up the challenge of following in the steps of Ian Fleming. Boyd has set his novel ‘Solo’ in 1969, which sees Bond sent on a mission to a fictional African country, encountering a particularly nasty villain, escaping death and then setting off on a revenge mission - against orders.

Boyd knows a thing or two about spy novels, and writing about post-colonial Africa made his name as a young novelist. It seems a match made in heaven, and early reviews are very good.




Finally, Bill Bryson is an American writer that we Brits have adopted (and a big favourite of ours). His latest book ‘One Summer’ is another fabulously entertaining adventure, this time examining his native America through the lens of the iconic Summer of 1927 when America truly stepped out of the shadows of ‘old Europe’ to take its place amongst the world’s great nations.

The birth of talking pictures, television, a biblical flood, Al Capone, Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh. All are given the Bryson treatment, and it’s witty, energetic and eye-opening.

What’s more, we have signed first editions in the shop now, so please let us know if we can reserve one for you...

No comments:

Post a Comment