Doesn’t it feel like Christmas? It certainly does, and Christmas came early for me this year, as I was in invited to Orion’s Books & Baubles event. Champagne, afternoon tea, a chance to chat with authors, and the Orion staff team, and the icing on the cake, taking home some very exciting books, that are set to be HUGE in 2019! I’ll never get over how welcoming and friendly people who work in publishing are; the Orion team are wonderfully kind, and passionate about books! And it’s always nice to be able to put a face to a name after talking on social media for ages. I also got to catch up with a few fellow bloggers, some I’ve met before and some I met for the first time – I’ve probably said it a million times, but book people really are the best people!
The event was held at the Covent Garden Hotel, that is one fancy hotel!!! Luckily, I came dressed for the occasion: black boots, black leggings, long black top, black jacket, all black everything is suitable for any occasion! Let me not digress, the room where the event was held was festively decorated and full of
Christmas book cheer. Look at this tree; in a battle of Christmas decorations Orion wins!
The baubles had book covers inside! And they did not scrimp on the afternoon tea either, there were so many tasty treats, hot and cold drinks, all beautifully presented, and then beautifully eaten! And it’d be wrong to overlook the fruit pastels in packaging to match the book Somewhere Close to Happy by Lia Louis.
And most importantly, the books!!
Let’s journey through my night in books, rather than post about every single book, I’m going to highlight the one’s I’m most excited for, aka, the proofs I took home! And then I’m going to look at some of their 2019 titles that I don’t have copies of, but I’m dying to get my hands on!
QUEENIE BY Candice Carty-Williams
Your eyes do not deceive you, this proof is available in four different colours, and when it’s publishes in hardback in April 2019, it will be available in four different colours! Reading it is a given, the only decision is what colour to buy. This is probably the fiction title, I am most excited to read. Queenie is a darkly comic and unflinchingly raw depiction of a young woman trying to navigate her way in the world. Preorder from Amazon UK.
Queenie Jenkins can’t cut a break. Well, apart from the one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That’s definitely just a break though. Definitely not a break up. Then there’s her boss who doesn’t seem to see her and her Carribbean family who don’t seem to listen (if it’s not Jesus or water rates, they’re not interested). She’s trying to fit in two worlds that don’t really understand her. It’s no wonder she’s struggling.
She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life?
A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on life, love, race and family, QUEENIE will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity, and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.
SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR by Richard Roper
Just last week I was talking about the rise of “uplit” and how much I love these socially awkward main characters. The first line of the blurb sold this book to me “Andrew works with death.” I think this novel is going to be huge, and it’s publishing in June 2019, available for preorder from Amazon UK.
Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…
Andrew works with death for a living. Searching for people’s next of kin and attending the funerals if they don’t have anyone, he’s desperate to avoid the same fate for himself. Which is fine, because he has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day. At least, that’s what he’s told people.
The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think and the little white lie he once told is about to catch up with him.
Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s about time for him to start.
LOUIS & LOUISE by Julie Cohen
A moving and thought-provoking novel from a Richard & Judy recommended author. This novel has such an interesting synopsis, it’s said to be for fans of Celeste Ng, Kate Atkinson and Anne Tyler. Beth @ Bibliobeth enjoyed Cohen’s previous novel, and insisted I’d be a fool if I didn’t take a copy of this one! It’s publishing on 24th January 2019, and available to preorder from Amazon UK.
ONE LIFE. LIVED TWICE.
Louis and Louise are the same person born in two different lives. They are separated only by the sex announced by the doctor and a final ‘e’.
They have the same best friends, the same red hair, the same dream of being a writer, the same excellent whistle. They both suffer one catastrophic night, with life-changing consequences.
Thirteen years later, they are both coming home.
A tender, insightful and timely novel about the things that bring us together – and those which separate us.
IF ONLY I COULD TELL YOU by Hannah Beckerman
“A TWIST THAT WILL BREAK YOUR HEART . . . AN ENDING THAT WILL PUT IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN.” Sold, reading, thank you! This novel is publishing in February 2019 and available to preorder from Amazon UK.
Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.
As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?
More fiction I’m looking forward to
DIGNITY by Alys Conran – Evelyn, Magda and Susheela. Three women searching for a place to belong. Three lives connected by a legacy of resentment, blood, guilt and hope. Publishes April 2019.
SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides – Late on evening, Alicia shoots her husband five times and then never speaks another word. Forensic Psychotherapist, Theo, is convinced he can treat her; obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought. And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth? Publishes February 2019.
THE GIRL KING by Mimi Yu – Two sisters become unwitting rivals in a war to claim the title of Emperor in this sweeping tale of ambition, sacrifice and betrayal for readers of Tomi Adeyemi, Sabaa Tahir and Alwyn Hamilton. Publishes January 2019.
THE POISONER by Sharon Bolton – (the cover hasn’t been revealed for this title yet) Senior police officer Florence Lovelady returns to Sabden to honour a promise made to dying Larry Glassbrook, a serial killer she put away for murder. Four child skeletons have been uncovered near a children’s home, and Larry insists these are not ancient remains. Publishes June 2019.
MAID by Stephanie Land
The quote on the cover of the proof grabbed my attention, straight away I knew I’d be reading this book. I really like the finished cover, simple yet effective! And you don’t have to wait too long for this book, it’s publishing in hardback on 24th Jan 2019, available to preorder from Amazon UK.
A beautiful, gritty and poignant account of one mother’s journey from cleaning houses to finding a home for herself and her daughter.
‘My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.’
As a struggling single mum, determined to keep a roof over her daughter’s head, Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, working long hours in order to provide for her small family. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today’s inequitable society.
As she worked hard to climb her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labour jobs as a cleaner whilst also juggling higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren’t being told. The stories of the overworked and underpaid.
More nonfiction I’m looking forward to
WE ARE DISPLACED by Malala Yousafzai – Nobel Peace Prize winner and bestselling author Malala Yousafzai presents true stories of the refugee experience interwoven with her own story of her displacement in this incredibly moving follow up to her internationally bestselling memoir, I Am Malala. Publishes January 2019.
SYRIA’S SECRET LIBRARY by Mike Thomson – The extraordinary story of how the besieged Syrian town of Darayya found hope and inspiration in a secret underground library. Its buildings lay in ruins; office buildings, shops and family homes shattered by the constant shelling from government forces. But deep beneath this scene of frightening devastation lay a secret library. Publishes March 2019.
That’s my round up of the amazing proofs I took home, and some titles I’m really looking forward to. There are a few more titles I’ve got my eye on, but as the covers haven’t been revealed yet, I’ve held of mentioning them; 2019 is set to be a fab year for Orion and its imprints!
I’m incredibly grateful to Orion for inviting me to this fantastic event, I had the best time. So many exciting books to read, and talk about! I hope you’ve found a title or two, or 10 that caught your attention!