How do you choose what to read next? Do you browse the shelves, looking for intriguing titles, relying on serendipity to grab your attention and make you reach for a book? Do you browse displays for eye-catching covers or do you go to the library with a list of authors and titles to hunt out?
Whatever way you search, think of the many many books that you don’t pick – there will be thousands and it’s so easy to miss what could be the bestest book you’ll ever read. Such thinking has inspired our fiction promotion which starts this week – ‘Books You Might Have Missed’. We’ve gathered together a collection of books that we feel deserve a second glance and you’ll find them throughout our libraries.
Here’s a quick tour through the titles on the list to whet your appetite. You can visit your local library to browse their displays or look here for the full list.
Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer
Patrick has been on the outside all his life. Thoughtful, but different, and infuriating even to his own mother, his life changes when he follows an obsession with death to study anatomy at university. When he uncovers a crime that everybody else was too close to see, he proves finally that he has been right all along: nothing is exactly as it seems, and that there have been many more lies closer to home.
How To Say Goodbye by Katy Collins
No-one is ever happy to see Grace Salmon. As a funeral arranger, she’s responsible for steering strangers through the hardest day of their lives. It’s not a task many would want – but, for Grace, giving people the chance to say a proper goodbye to the ones they love is the most important job in the world. From the flowers in the church to the drinks served at the wake, Grace knows it’s the personal touches that count – and it’s amazing what you can find out about someone from their grieving relatives – or their Facebook page. But when she accidentally finds out too much about someone who’s died, Grace is finally forced to step out of the shadows – and start living.
Tirzah and the Prince of Crows by Deborah Kay Davies
This is 1974 and Tirzah is 16, pretty, witty and wise. Brought up in a staunchly religious family, she has lived a sheltered life in a remote Welsh valley. But then she meet a boy. As she begins to struggle against the confines of her community, juggling everyone’s expectations and trying to find her own way in the world, life takes an unexpected turn and Tirzah realises that there are many ways to be free. Drawing on Welsh mythology and with an almost fable-esque quality, ‘Tirzah and the Prince of Crows’ is an intensely immersive, layered and powerful novel about life choices and the healing power of love.
Bad Seed by Jessica Eames
Blood for blood. You will answer for what you did. Nicola thought she’d gotten away with it. Since her husband had died, life had been getting back on track. She had a new boyfriend, a new home, and a close relationship with her daughter, Sarah. She hadn’t told anyone the secret she’d buried deep. The secret she didn’t even think about when she was alone. But then she’d received the note. They knew what she had done.
Our Life in a Day by Jamie Fewery
The rules are simple: choose the most significant moments from your relationship – one for each hour in the day. You’d probably pick when you first met, right? And the instant you knew for sure it was love? Maybe even the time you watched the sunrise after your first night together? But what about the car journey on the holiday where everything started to go wrong? Or your first proper fight? Or that time you lied about where you’d been? It’s a once in a lifetime chance to learn the truth. But if you had to be completely honest with the one you love, would you still play? For Esme and Tom, the game is about to begin. But once they start, there’s no going back.
Inhuman Resources by Pierre Lemaitre
Alain Delambre is a 57-year-old former HR executive, drained by four years of hopeless unemployment. All he is offered are small, demoralising jobs. He has reached his very lowest ebb, and can see no way out. So when a major company finally invites him to an interview, Alain Delambre is ready to do anything, borrow money, shame his wife and his daughters and even participate in the ultimate recruitment test: a role-playing game that involves hostage-taking. Alain Delambre commits body and soul in this struggle to regain his dignity. But if he suddenly realised that the dice had been loaded against him from the start, his fury would be limitless. And what began as a role-play game could quickly become a bloodbath.
The Passengers by John Marrs
When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course. The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?
Strings Attached by Erin Reinelt
Straight-laced Jean has just broken up with her overgrown baby of a boyfriend. At 30, she’s always done what’s expected of her – by her traditional parents, by her demanding boss, and by her disaster of an ex-boyfriend – and if she doesn’t have some fun now, when will she? Taking her life into her own hands, she decides to do something that takes her out of her comfort zone; a woman heels-over-head, and not head-over-heels, in love. When Jean meets married-but-open pianist Gabriel, she explores all that modern romance has to offer. But can relationships last, without entangled hearts being broken?
Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds
Henry Applebee isn’t as young as he used to be. He’s also alone, and in love. After decades of searching, he boards a train from London to Edinburgh to find the woman he can’t forget, the woman he spent a fleeting weekend with sixty-five years before. His objective is simple: to make amends for a terrible mistake. But when Henry crosses paths with Ariel, a teenager from Wales, also bound to Edinburgh to fulfil her mother’s dying wish, his well-meaning quest takes an unexpected turn.
The Alphabet Murders by Lars Schutz
Criminal profilers Jan Grall and Rabea Wyler are assigned the gruesome case of a man found murdered in a wildlife park. Later, two more bodies are found, both brutally mutilated, and authorities soon realise that the victims are linked by the letters of the alphabet tattooed on their skin. Then the killer strikes again and Grall and Wyler receive a mysterious package containing a blood-encrusted scrap of skin marked with a letter. And when Grall’s hotel room is marked with a Z, the race is on to find out who this vicious killer is. Before it’s too late.
Blood Cruise by Mats Strandberg
On the Baltic Sea, no one can hear you scream. Tonight, 1200 expectant passengers have joined the booze-cruise between Sweden and Finland. The creaking old ship travels this same route, back and forth, every day of the year. But this trip is going to be different. In the middle of the night the ferry is suddenly cut off from the outside world. There is nowhere to escape. There is no way to contact the mainland. And no one knows who they can trust. Welcome aboard the Baltic Charisma.
Reader, I Married Me by Sophie Tanner
Chloe Usher has just broken up with the love of her life. All her friends urge her to find another man before she disappears down the slippery slope to spinsterhood. One evening, after a particularly messy date and several gins, she realises she doesn’t need an ‘other half’ to complete her. She is enough, just as she is. In an instinctive act of self-love, she announces that she is going to marry herself! The news goes viral and, in the sober light of day, Chloe finds herself thrust firmly into the public eye; suddenly she’s the spokesperson for all the single ladies out there. The reactions from her friends and family are mixed, with some thinking she’s completely lost the plot. Planning her wedding takes Chloe on a bumpy journey of self-discovery, showing the world that if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?!
The Last Astronaut by David Wellington
Sally Jansen was NASA’s leading astronaut, until a mission to Mars ended in disaster. Haunted by her failure, Jansen now lives in semi-retirement, convinced her days in space are over. She’s wrong. A huge alien object has entered the solar system and is now poised above the Earth. It has made no attempt at communication. With no other living astronauts to turn to, NASA wants Jansen to lead an expedition to the object. For all the dangers of the mission, it’s the one shot at redemption she always hoped for. Yet as the object reveals its terrifying secrets, what began as a journey to make First Contact turns into a desperate struggle for survival – and one thing becomes horribly clear: the future of humanity lies in Jansen’s hands.
Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson
Professor Kristian Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. He does not know that a query from a Mrs Tina Hopgood about a world-famous antiquity in his museum is about to alter the course of his life. Oceans apart, an unexpected correspondence flourishes as they discover shared passions: for history and nature; for useless objects left behind by loved ones; for the ancient and modern world, what is lost in time, what is gained and what has stayed the same. Through intimate stories of joy, anguish, and discovery, each one bares their soul to the other. But when Tina’s letters suddenly cease, Kristian is thrown into despair. Can this unlikely friendship survive?
There are many more titles to discover so we hope you’ll pop along to your local library and browse the displays. You’ll also find some of the titles on BorrowBox as either eAudio or eBooks along with other titles for your reading pleasure. We’re always on the look out for titles we might have missed so let us know your ‘Hidden Gem’s in the comments!