The Goldsboro Book Of The Month Club – A Year In Books

 

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As readers of this blog may know, I love to read a variety of books covering different genres. And along with my love of reading I also love collecting books. I like to pick up signed books, special editions and those featuring stunning cover art. With this in mind I decided, in March of last year, to become a member of Goldsboro Books’ ‘Book of the Month’ Club.

Goldsboro Books is an independent book store in London that specialises in signed first editions and rare books. Each month they select a title that they love to be their ‘Book of the Month’ to be sent to club members with a 10% discount on the listed price. At the very least, each book is a signed first edition with other books being special editions created exclusively for Goldsboro Books. But what did I think of my first twelve books? Here are the Goldsboro Books ‘Book of the Month’ titles from March 2015 through to February 2016…

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March 2015

The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer (Bantam Press)

Signed First Edition

The Shut Eye was the first book by Belinda Bauer I had read and it is one I enjoyed. This gripping crime novel follows the disappearance of a four-year-old boy whose footprints are all what is left behind for his mother Anna. Through desperation, Anna seizes the offer of help from a psychic to find out the whereabouts of her son. As the story progresses we discover their intentions, and begin to untangle the mystery surrounding this boy’s disappearance.

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April 2015

The Shore by Sara Taylor (William Heinemann)

Signed First Edition, one of 500 numbered copies, exclusive edition with sprayed edges

I adored The Shore, a stunning debut novel that I named as one of my top ten reads of last year. The opening chapter left me surprised and eager to find out more. This is the story of two interconnecting families living on a collection of small islands that make up ‘The Shore’ but life there is not as idyllic as you would suspect. Here is a community that has been through so much and at its heart are some remarkable women who have their own difficult and fascinating stories to tell.

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May 2015

Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson (Orenda Books)

Signed First Edition, one of 500 numbered copies, hardback edition exclusive to Goldsboro Books

Snowblind is the first in Ragnar Jonasson’s ‘Dark Iceland’ series, translated by Quentin Bates. It tells the story of policeman Ari Thor Arason who is on his first posting at Siglufjordur, a seemingly quiet Icelandic fishing village. It is a beautifully written novel that perfectly captures the chilling, claustrophobic setting as we begin to discover the secrets of this community, and find out who can really be trusted…

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June 2015

All Involved by Ryan Gattis (Picador)

Signed First Edition, one of 500 numbered copies, slipcase edition exclusive to Goldsboro Books

Another book that featured in my top ten for the year is this shocking, compelling novel from Ryan Gattis. Based on the events of the LA riots in 1992 the novel is split across the six days the riot took place. On each day we get the points of view of the people caught up in the terrifying events, a total of seventeen different voices including a nurse, gang members and a fireman. It is unflinching in its brutality but utterly compelling and beneath the violence there is humanity.

Review of All Involved

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July 2015

The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald (Chatto &Windus)

Signed First Edition, exclusive edition with sprayed edges

Translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies, this charming novel tells the story of Sara, a twenty-eight- year old woman who has yet to venture outside Sweden. However, at the request of her elderly pen friend Amy, Sara visits the town of Broken Wheel in Iowa. On her arrival though she is hit by the news that Amy has passed away leaving her alone in a strange town in dire need of repair. But she soon recognises the people featured in the letters, and finds that through Amy’s books she has what she needs to help them and the town. A pleasant read that is very much dedicated to book lovers and the power of reading.

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August 2015

Early One Morning by Virginia Baily (Virago Books)

Signed First Edition, one of 500 numbered copies, exclusive edition with sprayed edges

I loved Early One Morning, the powerful, moving story of one woman and the decision she makes that changes her life – and one boy’s – forever. Set in 1940’s Rome, Chiara Ravello claims that a boy destined to be taken away is her nephew, saving him from capture. The novel follows the life that Chiara and the boy, Daniele, lead together and the challenges they faced. It also picks up the story thirty years later, as a teenage girl makes a phone call to Chiara that brings all the memories flooding back.

Review of Early One Morning

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September 2015

The Book Of Memory by Petina Gappah (Faber & Faber)

Signed First Edition

Petina Gappah’s impressive debut novel tells the story of Memory, an albino woman who resides in a prison in Zimbabwe. Convicted of murder and facing the death penalty, Memory is fighting for her freedom and her narration of her story forms part of her appeal for her lawyer. As the novel progresses we learn more about Memory’s early life, the struggles and challenges she faced in the poor suburbs. We also learn about the man she was convicted of murdering and discover he may not be what he seems. A fascinating story of love, fate and the quest for freedom.

Review of The Book Of Memory

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October 2015

Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz (Orion Books)

Signed First Edition, one of 1,000 numbered copies, exclusive edition with sprayed edges and marker ribbon

Trigger Mortis was my first experience of reading a James Bond novel and I enjoyed reading it. It stays true to the original Bond stories we know well whilst offering something a little different. In Jeopardy Lane, Horowitz has created a Bond girl who can give James a run for his money and in Jai Seong Sin he has created a sinister villain but one who has a human side to him, his own stories to tell. The plot itself continues on from the events in Goldfinger and there are plans afoot to sabotage a Grand Prix Race. It’s a great, classic Bond adventure that includes previously unseen material from Ian Fleming.

Review of Trigger Mortis

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November 2015

The Age of Reinvention by Karine Tuil (Scribner)

Signed First Edition

Translated from the French by Sam Taylor, The Age of Reinvention is an international bestseller and it was shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Goncourt prize. It is a suspenseful novel that tells the story of Sam Tahar, a Manhattan attorney who lives a privileged life with fame, fortune and an enviable marriage. But Sam Tahar is not all that he appears to be, having assumed the identity of old friend Samuel Baron. It is here we start to uncover the truth of Sam’s life –his loves and his identity. This is a powerful novel that explores love, identity and our complex, modern world.

Review of The Age Of Reinvention

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December 2015

Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson (Orenda Books)

Signed First Edition, one of 500 numbered copies, hardback edition exclusive to Goldsboro Books

Policeman Ari Thor Arason returns in the second instalment of the ‘Dark Iceland’ series with events taking place five years after those in Snowblind. As with Snowblind this is a well paced novel that perfectly captures the setting and builds a chilling atmosphere. This time around, Ari Thor is investigating an attack on a fellow police officer who is killed when following up an enquiry on a deserted house. This leads to Ari Thor piecing together this new puzzle and there are new secrets to discover in this quiet village.

Review of Nightblind

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January 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton (Bantam Press)

Signed First Edition, one of 700 numbered copies, slipcase edition with sprayed edges exclusive to Goldsboro Books

One of the most talked about books of the year so far is The Widow, a debut crime thriller from Fiona Barton. In this novel though, the emphasis is not on the accused but on his wife. Glen Taylor has recently died having previously been accused of a terrible crime. Left behind is his wife Jean Taylor who is now faced with the journalists that come knocking at her door, not to offer comfort but to find out more about Glen. Barton’s experience as a journalist adds an authenticity to the story as it explores how we treat those who are connected to crimes. Along the way we also find out more about Jean and Glen Taylor and the events that changed their lives.

Review of The Widow

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February 2016

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama (Quercus)

Signed First Edition (signed by author and translator), one of 500 numbered copies

I have yet to read Six Four but its premise is certainly an intriguing one. In 2002, a press officer connected to the police department discovers an anomaly in a case dating back to 1989. This particular case was a flawed investigation into the kidnap of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl and is referred to as ‘Six Four’. This novel has been incredibly successful in Japan so am looking forward to finding out more.

I have enjoyed my first year as a member of the ‘Book of the Month’ Club. I have been impressed with the variety of books I’ve received and have particularly enjoyed receiving the special editions (I love a book with sprayed edges!) My favourite of this selection was The Shore by Sara Taylor which I have been recommending ever since. Another highlight is my discovery of Ragnar Jonasson and I will certainly be collecting the rest of the ‘Dark Iceland’ series.

It has been great to read books that I otherwise may not have picked up and it is wonderful to receive a parcel from Goldsboro each month with each book being received in perfect condition. It is clear to see that the staff at Goldsboro take pride in what they do and in championing books that they love and want to introduce to their customers. With all this taken into account I would recommend the club to any readers who are open to reading a variety of genres or those who may be interested in collecting more signed or special editions.

If you would like to find out more about the Goldsboro Books ‘Book of the Month’ club and how it works you can check it out on their website here. Or to find out more about some of these books you can find full reviews in the links above!

 

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3 thoughts on “The Goldsboro Book Of The Month Club – A Year In Books

  1. This looks great. I love reading a variety of books and several of these I’ve either read or on my amazon wishlist. Last year for my mum’s birthday I gave her a year of books and she loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

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