As some of you may know, for my birthday this month, I treated myself to a membership to The Urbane Book Club – or as I like to call it, the gift that keeps on giving! For the entire year, I will receive a copy of every new book published by Urbane Publications, a discount on further purchases, a chance to meet authors and attend book launch events. A few days after signing up, I received my first box of newly released titles and a welcome box. Here’s a look at what I received:
The Welcome Box
This box contained a random selection of backlist titles and an Urbane mug.
Crowdocracy: The End of Politics, Release your Wow!, Serial Damage and Simon Says
That’s definitely a random selection of books! Bar, Serial Damage, I have no intention of reading any of the other titles but I actually have three people in mind who would really appreciate them, so that’s part of their Christmas presents sorted already. I was fully aware before signing up that Urbane published a range of genres so there is likely to be the odd time I receive a book or two that isn’t for me. I actually calculated the costs of these four titles on Amazon UK and they came to a total off £42.14 – the membership to the bookclub was £99.99 for the entire year, this was just my welcome box! On the count of three can we all shout VALUE FOR MONEY! One, two, three…
Now, I must say, I had my fingers-crossed for a copy of Dancer’s in the Wind by Anne Coates but random means random right!?
Here’s some bookmail that put a massive smile on my face, I will read every single one of these books!
Deadly Prospects by Clio Gray
1869, Sutherland, Scotland. For years the people of this remote area of the Highlands have lived a hard life. Now a local Gold Rush has attracted the Pan-European Mining Company to the area, and Solveig McCleery is determined to re-open the Brora mines and give the population the riches they deserve. But when work starts on re-opening the mines, the body of a prospector is discovered, and odd inscriptions found on stones near the corpse.
Before the meaning of these strange marks can be deciphered another body is discovered. Are these attacks connected to the re-opening of the mines? Will Solveig’s plan succeed in bringing peace and prosperity back to the area? Or has she put in motion something far more sinister?
The Gift Maker by Mark Mayes
‘Gifts ought to be free, but they never are. They tie you to the wishes of others. To your own sad expectations. To the penitentiary of your dreams.’ Late one night, Thomas Ruder receives a strange package: a small blue box. Another such item is delivered to his friend Liselotte Hauptmann. These ‘gifts’ will change their lives forever. In the far-off border town of Grenze, a play is to be performed at the Sheol Theatre. Reynard the impresario expects a very special audience. Thomas and Liselotte, together with their friend Johann, are drawn into Reynard’s seductive web, as Daumen, the gift maker, must decide who his master really is. The Gift Maker is a story about identity, about fulfilling your dreams and becoming the person you always were … at whatever cost.
The Single Solider by George Costigan
It is said that home is where the heart is, but when war rips a young man from everything he knows and loves, will he be able to find his way back to everything that matters? In war torn rural France, amongst the devastation, physical and emotional, of German occupation, a man decides to move his house, using only a cow and a cart, six kilometres to the other side of his village. Where he painstakingly begins to re-build his home. By hand. Why would anyone do such a thing? The war was being won but would he ever find peace? History, passion, love, secrets and painful truths collide in this astonishingly human, warm and emotive debut from writer George Costigan.
All The Places I’ve Ever Lived by David Gaffney
Part murder ballad, part ghost story, part true crime, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived takes you on a gripping journey from the small-town murder of a teenage girl in the 1970s to the recent real-life shootings in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. Are the crimes linked? Fifteen-year-old Barry Dyer may have the answers, but when events impact so horrifically on a town and its people, it always pays to tread carefully when revealing the truth… Quirky, disturbing, and haunting, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived is a moving and tender exploration of a teenage outsider in a small community, as well as being a finely wrought portrayal of the neglected industrial settlements of West Cumbria, where nuclear plants, thermometer factories and chemical works contrast vividly with the desolate beauty of the Lake District. David Peace meets Murakami in award-winning writer David Gaffney’s compelling mash up of Twin Peaks weirdness and peri-urban noir.
So that sums up my first month with Urbane and I must say I’m extremely happy, I’ve browsed the upcoming titles and the backlist and it looks like my year is going to get very Urbane!
There’s only one thing left to do and that is to thank myself for treating myself to such a wonderful birthday present :-p
Until next time folks, stay bookish!