Past Publishers: Canongate Books


August boxes have shipped so it's time for some exciting looking books from our May publisher, Canongate Books! In case you're new around these parts, every quarter as one box is shipping we do a round up of some awesome looking stuff from our previous box's publisher. You can also check out our Past Publishers posts for Alma Books and Seren Books. I'm not sorry about the expansion of your TBRs.

My favourite thing about Canongate is the massive variety of books they publish. As author Scarlett Thomas said when we interviewed her for May's box, they don't make their authors churn out the same book time after time but let them be free to write whatever they feel inspired to write (I'm paraphrasing) and it shows!

Firstly I have to mention that Canongate now publish almost all of Scarlett Thomas's other books, so if you loved Dragon's Green check out her other titles.


I could have gone on forever with this post, and before I start on the ones I discovered browsing their website I do want to give a shout out to a couple of excellent books that I adore, The Outrun by Amy Liptrot which is a memoir/nature writing combo like none I've ever read before, and The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng which was my choice for Malaysia for #readtheworldproject and which is just an incredible story. Also Matt Haig's indomitible Reasons to Stay Alive. Does what it says on the tin and does it with honesty, clarity and so much feeling.

The first book I stumbled across while wandering the heaven of the Canongate website is nonfiction, a genre I personally really love but don't talk about much here on the blog. I really enjoyed Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me a few years back and really like the look of A Field Guide to Getting Lost which is all about (as it says in the title) loss, getting lost, and losing things. Rebecca Solnit's aren't easily classified and their refusal to conform is great.

Short stories are a wonderful thing, and short stories with elements of fantasy, horror and the surreal are an even better thing and Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link looks to have all of those things, plus a gorgeous cover. Stories about a grandma carrying an entire village in her handbag and a guy waiting for aliens with a boatload of refugees amongst many others sound pretty perfect to me!

Wake me When I'm Gone by Odafe Atogun sounds like a really intriguing story. Ese, the most beautiful woman in the region, marries for love. When she is widowed she breaks the heart of the chief and the law of the land by refusing to marry again. The novel tells her story as she struggles for her freedom and to support her son. And again, the cover is also gorgeous!

Since I was a child I've been absolutely obsessed with the circus. I don't know what it is (and I've never been enthralled by animal acts) but the aerial performers and people with all the skills fascinate me. Then I read The Night Circus a few years back and still adore it and now anything with circus, carnival or theatre in the title immediately catches my attention. Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch tells the story of Julia Pastrana, a 'singing and dancing marvel from Mexico' as famous for her abilities as for her strange appearance, touring the world as part of a nineteenth century carnival. It's a book told from two perspectives, as we discover what Julia's link is to Rose, a woman who collects lost treasures in modern day London...

So, add some of these to your reading lists & let me know what you've read recently that's been great!


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