The next batch of Waterstones Book Club titles will be launched on 28th March. Each book is highlighted for a week in Waterstones stores. It’s a pretty diverse collection, although I have already heard some justifiable murmurings about the lack of a short story collection on the list. I can’t help but feel that this reflects the current state of public interest in short fiction rather more than it does any lack of high quality writing in the area. I’m very pleased to see the fractured and utterly compelling Hawthorn and Child on the list. Hopefully it’s week on the feature table will make up for its poor publicity (and stocking) last Summer. I enjoyed Michael Frayn’s farce Skios when I read it as part of my ill-fated attempt to read the Booker Long/Shortlist last year. Ancient Light has some wonderful passages of writing, although ultimately I found it disappointing. I received The President’s Hat in the post this morning, which I’m keen to read after it was highlighted by Nick Lezard on Tuesday. As for the rest, I’ve had Simon Armitage’s Walking Home and the Mortimer’s Dear Lupin on my list as interesting looking nonfiction reads for a while. I’ve heard the full gamut of responses to A.M. Home’s May We Be Forgiven, so I’m in two minds about whether I want to read that. The swirling epic House of Rumour appeals to me, but goodness knows if I’ll ever get around to it. I haven’t read any Jake Arnott, but I know a few people who think a lot of him.
The full list is below. As ever, I have linked to any reviews I’ve written and books on the shelf are in bold. Any thoughts on the list?
- Skios by Michael Frayn (Faber)
- The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger (Penguin)
- Dear Lupin by Roger and Charlie Mortimer (Constable & Robinson)
- Ancient Light by John Banville (Penguin)
- The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain (Gallic Books)
- Walking Home by Simon Armitage (Faber)
- May We Be Forgiven by A M Homes (Granta)
- The House of Rumour by Jake Arnott (Hodder & Stoughton)
- In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes (Cornerstone)
- Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgway (Granta)
- Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike by William Fotheringham (Vintage)
- Burying the Typewriter by Carmen Bugan (Pan Macmillan)
- Talking to the Dead by Harry Bingham (Orion)
- Heft by Liz Moore (Cornerstone)