It's been an accidentally long time since we posted here - we've been organising London Bookshop Crawl as well as the February box and planning big things for later in the year - but to make up for that we're back today with a round - up of a whole load of runner up books PLUS a giveaway of all of them!
Over the last few months we've read an absolute plethora of books and changed our minds many times about the contents of the February and May boxes. Some titles we really adored and wanted to include but couldn't (for reasons that will be made obvious below), and others were brilliant but just didn't quite hit the 'yes! this!' spot that we're looking for. All of the books we'll talk about in this post are of course great books and well worth your while and we'll be giving one lucky person the chance to win all of them (giveaway open internationally). Keep reading for details.
For the Love of God, Marie! by Jade Sarson was probably the best graphic novel I read last year. It would have absolutely gone in a box but there is quite a lot of fairly graphic sexual content and I wasn't sure it would be everyone's cup of tea. It is so amazing though. It's about a girl called (surprisingly) Marie who's brought up in a very religious familly and educated at a convent school and interprets the bible - especially the part about loving your neighbour - very literally. A story of acceptance, being different and struggling to come to terms with your life, I really can't recommend this highly enough.
The Opportunity by Will Volley is a really cleverly told graphic novel. If I tell you it's about a door to door salesman you'll probably do what I did and think 'probably not for me', but trust me and give it a go. It's a little bleak at times but very real and the story of essentially one day in a guy's life is pretty great.
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot is one of my favourite books of 2016. Amazingly written memoir with some brilliant nature writing so cleverly woven in you won't even realise you're being educated about things, this was never really in contention for a box just because it's been so widely publicised and has won awards, but it's just phenomenal. It's the story of Amy Liptrot's recovery from alcoholism through moving back to Orkney, where she grew up, and brilliant for when you need something that will give you a bit of a brain break while still totally engaging you.
Beta Male by Iain Hollingshead was in contention for our summer box. The story of four friends who are approaching thirty and all slightly in crisis in different ways, it takes a lot of gender stereotypes and flips them on their heads, and is at heart a fun story about attempting to grow up.
School of Velocity by Eric Beck Rubin tells about piano virtuoso Jan, from his childhood friendship with a boy called Dirk, up through university and on into his career as a world renowned pianist. As he grows up and travels through the world he finds himself coming back to Dirk and their friendship and wondering if he's really been in love with Dirk all along?
If these books look interesting to you you can enter to win them all by filling in the form below! We'll send them to you wherever you are in the world.