Waterstones Reveals Its New Year Book Club…


…and I’m delighted that the British bookseller has included A Reunion of Ghost on the list of eight novels.

For those who don’t know Waterstones, it’s a chain similar to our Barnes & Noble, and it was on the brink of shutting down several years ago. In desperation, its owner turned to James Daunt, an independent bookseller, to see if he could make a go of it. Daunt’s response was to allow each of the chain’s 277 individual stores to become just that–a unique, individual bookstore staffed by book enthusiasts and designed to appeal to the interests and needs of its neighborhood. Here’s an article from The Guardian about the successful transformation. I actually think the story could make a charming novel.

Anyway–I’m sure you can imagine how happy I am that the booksellers at Waterstones, motivated not by instructions from the industry, but by their enthusiasm for Reunion, have decided to showcase it. Here’s The Bookseller’s article announcing the New Year Book Club:

Two Weidenfeld & Nicolson titles and the Desmond Elliott Prize winner are among the eight novels to have made it onto the Waterstones New Year Book Club, commencing in January.

On the list is debut The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett (Weidenfeld & Nichoson), a love story which begins when Eva and Jim meet at 19 and follows three different versions of their future – together, and apart. The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North, also published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson, has also made the list – described as a “page-turning plot” about an enigmatic film director, told by the six people who loved her most.

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree), which won the Desmond Elliott Prize 2015 and tells the story of Peggy Hillcoat and her survivalist father as they live in a remote European forest, is also on the list.

The other titles to have made it into the New Year Book Club are: Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans (Black Swan), which follows Noel and Vee in post-second world war Britain as they cook up a plan to make money; The Little Paris Bookshop, a novel about a troubled bookseller by Nina George (Abacus);The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan (Mulholland Books), book one of the India set series; A Reunion of Ghosts, a novel about the Alter sisters by Judith Claire Mitchell (Fourth Estate); and When the Doves Disappeared, set in 1941 communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia and written by Sofi Oksanen (Atlantic Books).

Chris White, Waterstones fiction buyer, said: “In 2015 Waterstones Book Club introduced the book reading public to the likes of Laline Paull’s The Bees, Timur Vermes’s Look Who’s Back and Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn, not to mention the phenomenal bestsellers Elizabeth is Missing and The Miniaturist. We’re kicking off 2016 with a list of pure reading pleasure. All life is here and everybody will find something to surprise and delight them. Brighten up a dull January with one of these literary firecrackers.”

Waterstones Book Club aims to bring together the best fiction paperbacks of the year, showcasing a blend of new and established writers across a range of genres and subjects.