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Downstairs at Picador

Last night I was lucky enough to attend an event Downstairs at Picador. It was an evening showcasing and celebrating the publisher's hottest new authors. It was amazing! Six authors read from their books, all due to be published next year, and we had a jolly good chat with lots of book-loving folk. It really was such a lovely evening. As a result of all this fun I now already have six book I absolutely have to read in 2013...

How To Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman

How to Be a Good Wife
I think this is going to be a creepy and disturbing story of a marriage, in which the wife is oblivious to some terrible secret. Marta and Hector have been married so long that Marta has trouble even remembering the time before they were a couple. It sounds great, and the extract Emma read last night gave a taste of Marta's unease.

It's not too long to wait for this one, it's published 3rd January 2013.

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler

Ten Things I've Learnt About LoveI could have listened to Sarah read from her book all evening. She started with a list of ten things the narrator would tell their father, and that was it, I was hooked. There are two main characters, with London itself being the third. The city was described so evocatively it provokes an emotional response, and that's even without the father daughter dynamic going on. This is going to be stunning, I just know it.

This can be in our hands on 31st January 2013.

The Heretics by Will Storr

The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of ScienceThe Heretics is non-fiction, but the stories he tells are crazier than most fiction. It looks at an array of strange tales that are dismissed by the majority of people, but adhered to as fact fact fact by small groups of, dare I say, obsessional folk. The extract Will read from his book was an interview he did with Holocaust-denier David Irving. Listening to Irving splitting etymological hairs is so absurd it actually becomes funny. Tragically, horrifyingly funny.

I think this book will stimulate lots of debate, and it's published 14th February 2013.

The View On The Way Down by Rebecca Wait

The View on the Way DownThis is going to be a heartbreaker for sure. It's a story about a family broken by tragedy. Emma is left at home with her parents after one of her brother's dies and the other one leaves home. There are secrets here too, I think. Rebecca read a piece from Emma's point of view, and I immediately felt for the girl as she carefully negotiated her mother's mood.

 I am looking forward to reading this so much. It is published 11th April 2013.

Meeting the English by Kate Clanchy

Meeting the EnglishI think this is going to be very darkly funny. Set in the heady summer of 1989, young Struan leaves Scotland to take a job in London. Well, Hampstead to be precise, to care for an ailing author. It's a world away from Struan's normal life - as he says no one comes back from London. Kate's reading made everyone laugh. Struan is a teenaged hero, afforded special status by bereavement and height. He's also seriously intelligent, and I get the feeling he could conquer the world if he had a mind to.

This one is also on my list of books that must be read. It's out 25th April 2013.

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

This one isn't published until 4th July, so I don't have a jacket to show yet. The plot is pretty unusual, I think. Tess wants to kill herself, but also wants to hide the fact that she's dead. Her solution is to arrange for another person take over her online persona. It sounds like a terrible plan, but an excellent set-up for a novel. I'm looking forward to finding out how Leila, the other woman, copes with the deception, and when/how/if the whole illusion falls to pieces.

So, there they are, six books I am definitely going to read in 2013. I was already excited (very much) by the Tinder Press list, now I am even more convinced that 2013 is going to be an awesome year for bibliophiles. Hooray!


  1. Sounds like you had a great evening. I actually had an afternoon at a Dutch publisher yesterday! Five new books (to be published in the spring) were presented, and like you, I want to read them all! When authors talk about their own books you cannot help but fall for them (the books!).

    1. It makes the books come to life, especially when you hear the author read from their work. It's really good fun too!


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