Coincidences often happen in my reading life and so I shouldn't have been at all surprised, having read a review of a book published by Poisoned Pen Press, then, out of the blue, to get an e mail from them.Titles and catalogue duly arrived and I now have a good selection, Four for a Boy by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer, Sleeping Dog by Dick Lochte and The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R.King.First impressions are favourable, high quality paper and typeface and Sleeping Dog a great starter for ten.
In the same post another trainee, this time The Herring Seller's Apprentice by L.C.Tyler from Macmillan New Writing.
Wasn't there a whole load of hue and cry about Macmillan New Writing a while back? Isn't this the place to send agentless manuscripts, no advance but royalties if you are one of the lucky ones? Looks like another good one and funny too, I could do with a good reading laugh.
I now consider myself lucky enough to be on the receiving end of quite a few first novels from aspiring self-published writers and I will always give them the fifty page test. If they make it past that the chances are I'll read on, love them, finish them and they will make it on here and that's that. I'd love to have the time to offer more suggestions but I'm a reader, that's all, not an editor or a critic, just a reader and a book either works with me or it doesn't.Frederick Lightfoot is the latest arrival and has very kindly sent me copies of Migrants and Immigrants. The first thing I usually spot, since Scott Pack mentioned it, is the weight of a self-published book. I wasn't aware of this but apparently the high quality paper is a feature.Frederick Lightfoot's books are no exception but as I hate cheap scratchy paper his books find favour already.
A selection of titles from Bloomsbury.
I've heard so much about Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert that it seemed meet and right to give it a try, Britney Spears says she can't get away from it and Annie Proulx suggests the writer has "incandescent talent", who am I to argue.I'm also up for Divas don't Knit by Gil McNeil, this looks like another funny read and after the great but turmoil-inducing Alice Sebold (more tomorrow) I need more funny.It's also got a ribbon bookmark which always appeals.
Agent ZigZag by Ben Macintyre is a true account of the life of wartime spy, Eddie Chapman. I haven't yet decided which side Eddie was on but it looks like both and I'm taking this round to the Tinker for immediate review. He'll love it and give it the war veteran's - eye view before I give it the daughter of the war veteran's- eye view.
Have I left anything out? Oh yes, In Stitches by Dr Nick Edwards, the highs and lows of life as an A&E doctor from The Friday Project. This is life as we know it down the NHS coalmines and I'll need to read it in small doses because it's all so true, especially the bureaucracy bits, and you just end up ranting in agreement at things you know go on but try to ignore on a daily basis.This in order to carry on spreading joy, happiness and healing amongst the nation's sick.Bless the A&E doctors, it's a thankless task.
Writing this earned me a pot of tea I felt, and as I wandered into the kitchen this sight greeted me. If it wasn't so funny he'd be dead meat because cats + kitchen worktops = verbotten here, but somehow I just had to laugh first and shoo next, they just can't resist that swaddled feeling can they?