Well, another Christmas peak season is approaching in bookshopland and, once again, we don’t have a date for a new Game of Thrones book. But, before we get too downhearted, let’s have a look at what we do have coming up in October. This is, traditionally, the month when publishers start to bring out their really key Christmas titles – it looks as if Super Thursday is 5th October this year, although maybe we’ll also have one on 12th and 26th as well – even if this year’s Jamie Oliver is already out. This, I will always maintain, is why we put out our calendars and Christmas cards early – we need to get them in place early before the first tidal wave of lovely, lovely book stock arrives. And Christmas 2017 looks like it has some very exciting titles to tempt us all.
Let’s start with the real biggies. Pullman and Brown. In any other year we’d be delighted to have a new Dan Brown book, and, don’t get me wrong, we’re still quite chuffed. He only produces a book every four years or so (the last, Inferno, came out in 2013) but they always sell well. It’s easy to look down on authors like Dan Brown but, by golly, I think most of us would be happy to live off his book royalties. The announcement, however, that Pullman was to write an entirely new trilogy of books set in the same world as his acclaimed His Dark Materials made our day back in February and we’ve been giddy kippers about it ever since. Personally, I’ve spent most of the last 20 years selling books for children which have been marketed as ‘the next Pullman’. Some of them have been excellent but, it seems, that to really get the ‘next Pullman’ we had to wait for the man himself to write it. La Belle Sauvage is one I’ll be making time for in October (having just reread Northern Lights and, I suddenly realised, reading Subtle Knife and Amber Spyglass for the first time).
Of course there is more to October than just these two authors. As a store we are also excited about a new collection of poetry by Rupi Kaur, the chance to Ask an Astronaut with Tim Peake and the illustrated edition of Prisoner of Azkaban. There are some old favourites, authors, titles and series that come back year after year, so expect to be able to put John Grisham, Bernard Cornwell, Liz Pichon, Matt Haig, Tom Fletcher and Nigel Slater on your list for Santa. For stocking-filling I’ll be heading for the next wave of adult Ladybird books (because we all have brothers or sisters or know a wannabe Rock Star or, say it proud, a Nerd) or for all the gorgeous gift lines we have arriving every day. Although, to be fair, it is a relief to know we have something for just about everyone under one roof – if this Christmas is as good as it’s looking at the moment I won’t have the time or the energy to go shopping anywhere else!
P.S. If none of that lot appeals to you my own personal reading list for October includes new books by Joanne Harris, Hugh Howey, Alisons Weir and Littlewood and Sarah Millican. Watch out for reviews – lets hope I can find the time for all that!