It’s fair to say I’m pretty much obsessed with books, since I read, edit, write and review them. I read The Bookseller, the UK weekly magazine for people in the book producing industry, an its US counterpart, Publishers Weekly. I’ve got my finger firmly on the book world’s pulse. So I thought I’d introduce Literary Lundi, intentionally Franglais to match me! I’ll take a look at books I’ve come across during the previous week that I think you should know about.€
Books by indie authors
There are so many excellent indie authors out there. There is still a prevailing, unfair bias against them. Yes, there is some poor writing out there, but not everything the traditional presses turn out is worth reading by a long shot. Do try out books by indies if you haven’t already. Browse your favourite genres on Amazon and Smashwords and see what you find. If you’re looking for ebooks, then always avail of the free sample offered. That’s a frankly brilliant tool that’s come along with digital publishing. Prior to that you might occasionally get excerpts of books magazines or newspapers, or you could quickly and guiltily skim a few pages in the bookshop. Now you can get a proper feel for a book by reading a generous portion of it.
Here are links to my reviews of the latest books by three very talented authors I have the pleasure to work with. First up is The Last Gypsy Princess by Alan A Larson. I called this a Roma rollercoaster. It’s a face paced thriller set in the Roma community. And it’s going to hit the big screen in due course. Now that’s an outstanding achievement for any author, to have their book seized on by a film company, especially an indie author. You should also check out Alan’s debut novel, Mexizona. This book tackles two thorny political issues – illegal immigration and political corruption – and even throws in a good dose of teenage hormones too! http://www.booksarecool.com/2013/mexizona-by-alan-larson-can-love-cross-physical-and-political-borders/
The second author I’m inviting you to discover is M K Turner. Her fourth book in her impressive Meredith and Hodge series, Tin Soldiers, has just come out. This is a series well worth following from the beginning so I’ll point you towards Misplaced Loyalty in this article I wrote about Marcia last year. It’s quite astounding to think that Marcia has produced all four books in this series within a year – that’s nearly half a million words!
If historical fiction sounds appealing then here’s a novel, the first in a trilogy, set in Belle Epoque Louisiana. Seeding by Beaux Lee http://www.booksarecool.com/2014/seeding-historical-fiction/ is a beautifully written account of the early years of long Louisiana Brown, a free girl of colour who both witnesses and endures some truly horrific acts of racial prejudice as a child. However, she’s irrepressible and courageous. She takes off to New Orleans where she begins to forge herself a successful life with her cousin Moxie. It’s incredibly atmospheric, moving and enjoyable.
Traditionally published books
A knitting book this week. One Direction knitting pattern exclusive by Carol Meldrum is a collection of patterns so you can knit, either for yourself or a relative or friend who’s a fan of the band, a woolly set of boy wonders!
And I’ll finish with a few French books. I’ve set myself a challenge to read more French so the books I’m tackling at the moment are at opposites ends of the fiction spectrum – a classic (Sans Famille by Hector Mulat) and some chick lit (Demain j’arrête by Gilles Degardinier).
And some translated fiction that I read is The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier. If you’ve never read French literature before – and many of us haven’t, a fact greatly begrudged by French writers who suffer from being tarred with the same brush as French cinema which, rightly or wrongly, is famous for being depressing and boring – then this is a good book to start with.
And P. S. A few snippets of book news…
Children’s author Julia Donaldson (of Gruffalo fame) was the year’s top earner in 2013. Her books sold to the tune of £12.8 million. She was followed by Sir Alex Ferguson (£10.3m), James Patterson (£8.5m), Jeff Kinney (£8.3m), David Walliams (£7.8m), Dan Brown (£7.1m), George R R Martin (£6.4), Lee Child (£6.3m), Jamie Oliver (£6.2m – and that’s a drop of 49% from his 2012 earnings!) and, in 10th place, J K Rowling cum Robert Galbraith (£5.8m). I’m not sure if I find all that inspiring or depressing. It’s rather demoralising that the same names dominate in mainstream publishing year after year, but these authors do demonstrate that you can make a LOT of money!