Monday 10 January 2011

Have you read a great book recently?

Stories. We all spend our lives reading them, telling them, and listening to them. About this and that. About people and places. But some stories are so good, we wish that they would never end. They are so gripping that we will go without sleep to read a little bit more. Some stories bring us laughter. Some will bring us tears. But isn't that what a great book does? Makes us feel. Books that are so powerful, they really are with us forever.

This year promises us some great stories. The schedules are packed with debuts, both literary and commercial. Plus new titles from household names and other admired authors.

The debut which I am hugely excited about and can't wait for everyone to read is the brilliant thriller from S J Watson, Before I Go To Sleep, narrated by a woman who cannot retain her memories for longer than a day.

White Heat by Melanie McGrath is a superb debut novel and one that reminded me of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow for it's originality, witty, intelligent and unconventional character Edie. On Craig Island, a vast landscape of ice north of the Arctic Circle, three travellers are hunting duck. Among them is expert Inuit hunter and guide, Edie Kiglatuk; a woman born of this harsh, beautiful terrain. The two men are tourists, experiencing Arctic life in the raw, but when one of the men is shot dead in mysterious circumstances, the local Council of Elders in the tiny settlement of Autisaq is keen to dismiss it as an accident.

Plague Child by Peter Ransley is the first in a trilogy set during the English Civil War. Tom Kneave doesn't know of his real background, he was rescued from the Oxford plague pit as a baby and raised by a poor man in London. But 15 years later he himself finds himself back at his birthplace, piecing together the few clues he has.

David Hewson's Nic Costa novels are a real treat for fans of Italy and especially Rome. The Fallen Angel has Detective Nic Costa facing his hardest case yet. We have commissioned a numbered edition of 250 copies. If you haven't tried David Hewson before. Now is the time.

We have managed to get more copies of our December Book of the Month signed. Snowdrops by A. D. Miller is deservedly receiving exceptional reviews.
'A tremendously assured, cool, complex, slow-burn of a novel and a bleak and superbly atmospheric portrait of modern Russia.' --William Boyd. Snowdrops is an intensely riveting psychological drama that unfolds over the course of one Moscow winter, as a young Englishman's moral compass is spun by the seductive opportunities revealed to him by a new Russia: a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical dachas and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets - and corpses - come to light only when the deep snows start to thaw - Snowdrops is a chilling story of love and moral freefall: of the corruption, by a corrupt society, of a corruptible young man. It is taut, intense and has a momentum as irresistible to the reader as the moral danger that first enchants, then threatens to overwhelm, its narrator.

The Facility is our current Book of the Month. You can read my review of this book, here. Also, there is a more information about the author and his favourite five books! If you are able, come along the launch party here at Goldsboro Books. Details here.

We have many more signed first editions available on our website. Do take the time to browse here

Don't forget to buy, read and collect!
David Headley
Goldsboro Books Limited

One to Watch

The Oracle of Stamboul
by Michael Davi Lukas

The Oracle of Stamboul

Exclusive Signed First Editions*

A magical historical novel about an astonishing eight year old girl in the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

It is 1877, on the shores of the Black Sea, and the omens for the newborn Eleanora Cohen are hardly promising. Not only does her mother die in childbirth, but her village is being attacked by the Tsar's Royal Cavalry. However, despite this bad beginning, a sour stepmother and a traumatic journey in the hold of a ship, young Eleanora grows into a remarkably clever but very engaging child. And when a heartbreaking tragedy leaves her marooned in Istanbul, where spies and boarded-up harems and sudden death are as much a part of life as delicious spices, Paris fashions and rosewater, it is Eleanora's extraordinary courage and character which lead her straight to the Sultan's court, and to her salvation.

Our Price £12.99

*Signed first editions will be Exclusive to Goldsboro Books in the UK.

Thursday 6 January 2011

The Facility by Simon Lelic - Book of the Month

Simon Lelic's debut novel Rupture was the January 2010 Book of the Month at Goldsboro Books. It was a skillfully worked crime novel that showed Lelic's perceptive talent for capturing differing voices of the same shocking event.
The Facility, January 2011 Book of the Month, is written in a more conventional style and imagines a dystopian near-future where the totalitarian governement is using counter-terrorism laws to allow the police to make people 'disappear'. When Arthur Priestly is taken, his estranged wife Julia approaches Tom Clarke, a journalist at an online campagning newspaper to help her find him. They discover that the government is imprisoning people believed to have a new and potent disease.
Lelic creates a real sense of place and deftly maintains the pace of the thriller plot as the security forces latch on to Tom and Julia. His exploration of how the rights of  the minority are violated for 'the greater good' is written with sharp and exceptional prose. This novel is challenging but well worth the read.
You can find our more about Simon Lelic on his website

About Simon Lelic

I was born in Brighton in 1976 and, after a decade or so living in London and trying to convince myself that the tube was fine, really, because it gave me a chance to read, my wife and I recently moved back to Brighton with our two young boys. That Barnaby and Joseph’s grandparents happened to live close enough by to be able to offer their babysitting services was, of course, entirely coincidental.

As well as writing, I run an import/export business. My hobbies (when I have time for them) include reading (for which I make time, because I can just about get away with claiming this is also work), golf, tennis, snowboarding and karate. My weekends belong to my family (or so my wife reminds me), as does my heart.

I studied history at the University of Exeter. After graduating I was qualified, I discovered . . . to do an MA. After that I figured I had better learn something useful, so took a post-grad course in journalism. I know, I know: so much for learning something useful. After working freelance and then in business-to-business publishing, I now write novels. Not useful either, necessarily, but fun and, in its own way, important.

My Five Favourite Books

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

Not exactly an original pick, I realise, and some would dispute its literary merits. On the other hand, it has proved almost Shakespearean in its impact on the English psyche – and certainly on mine.

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Technically, philosophically, this is probably not McCarthy’s best book. But it is my favourite. Devastatingly simple, yet dazzling in so many ways. The book I wish I had written.

As If, Blake Morrison

A recent entrant into my ever-changing top five but a book I could read again and again –were it not so intensely heartbreaking. Although actually, that hasn’t stopped me, and nor should it any parent, son, daughter.

The Paris Review Interviews, volumes I-IV, Philip Gourevitch (ed.)

I’m cheating, I realise, by picking four books as one. Not literature these but collectively an indispensable insight into the minds of those who forge it. A regular source of inspiration, consolation and distraction.

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

What can I say that has not been said before? Just stunning.