Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The 7 most exciting Walker Books releases in summer/autumn 2016



On Saturday I had to joy of visiting the Walker Books offices for their Inkslingers Summer picnic where they presented a list of their upcoming titles in Walker Books style (aka with awesome authors in attendance and lots of scrumptious food, including mini cupcakes adorned with book covers by Bluebell Kitchen). While beforehand I promised myself to stay good and not be swayed by the lure of new-book-smell as my TBR is already overflowing, of course I left the event with nine brand-spanking new reads (including two gifted to me by fellow bloggers). The level of awesomeness was high at the event, but I managed to narrow down the list of new releases to my top 7 most anticipated ones, which you can find below.


The Last Beginning

This novel is undoubtedly the one I am most excited for. I'd seen the stunning cover in a previous mailing by Walker, but as it was promoted as the final instalment in a series I didn't read more about it, thinking I'd have a whooooole back catalogue of books to catch up on first. I was wrong, there is only one other book preceding this one, The Next Together, which I managed to pick up at the event this time around so I'm ready to dive in!

Author Lauren James' super fun presentation made me even more keen to lose myself in the world of time travel and reincarnation, so I'm determined to read The Next Together in advance of the release of The Last Beginning on October 6. And for those who've already read the first book, there is  brand-new sort story too which you can download from Amazon here and is completely free!





Barefoot on the Wind

When author Zoe Marriott described this novel as a feminist take on Beauty and the Beast, I was intrigued. And when she read an extract leaving us dangling with a major cliffhanger I was gasping for more, immediately. This book sounds exciting, intriguing and completely unique as it's set not against the backdrop of a European medieval fantastical world as so many fairytales are, but a Japanese one, the same world in the author's novel Shadows on the Moon, a retelling of Cinderella (there were copies at the event but by the time I got around to picking up books they'd all gone *gutted*).

Zoe was also kind enough to gift all attendees a beautiful card with a signed bookplate for our books which was super awesome! And the magnet with the book cover also included in the envelope is already taking a proud place on my fridge :) Barefoot on the Wind is out on 1 September.



The Singing Bones

Walker Books is launching a very exciting new venture in September, which is the imprint Walker Studio. With two books set for release in September and another two in October, this imprint focusing on producing beautiful books for book lovers. Both releases we were able to admire at the event were gorgeous, but the one that stood out to me the most was The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan, to be published on 1 September.

It's a book filled with Grimm fairytales but produced in a gorgeously unique way as each fairytale is illustrated by a sculpture created by Shaun himself. It looks absolutely incredible and as I'm already a lover of fairytales this of course appeals to me even more. But even if you're not as obsessed with them as I am, you'll no doubt be able to appreciate the talent on display within this book and the beautiful way it connects writing with art.



Here I Stand

This is an anthology of short stories and poems by Amnesty International on right and freedom (including gender equality and race) and sounds like a harrowing but compelling book. I don't know anything about the individual stories yet but contributors include the likes of Sarah Crossan, Neil Gaiman, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Liz Kessler and Chris Riddell, so they've gathered an incredible selection of authors for this important book which is published on 4 August.



The Moonlight Dreamers

When I first saw the bright and fun cover of this novel to be published on 7 July I assumed it was a middle grade book, but it's actually recommended for 12+ and the story does sound more mature than I initially thought, focusing on a group of teenage girls as they struggle with topics such as self-belief, bullying, prejudice, friendship, sexuality, and much more.

Author Siobhan Curham self-published her first novel which she sent out to bloggers and she received a great response to, so she's especially grateful to the blogging community which is always great to hear. But back to The Moonlight Dreamers, She told us a devastating but powerful story about the importance of following your dreams especially during the darkest of times because "life goals can be life rafts", which really left an impact on the room. If her book is only half as good as her presentation, we're in for a real treat.



Max

I don't want to say too much about this novel and give anything away, but it focuses on a boy who wants to be a model soldier in Nazi Germany; right from the womb. It sounds disturbing and impactful and because of the subject matter wouldn't normally be a book I go for, however it has won a slew of literary prizes in France already (author Sarah Cohen-Scali is French so it was published there first) and the cover art is disturbingly intriguing. It's out on 7 July.

Beck

This one is a bit different as it doesn't make this list for the story (though the coming-of-age tale set amid the Great Depression sounds good) but for the story behind the book itself. It's conceived and for the most part written by Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet but as he sadly passed away before it was finished, it has been completed by his friend and fellow author Meg Rosoff. I am a big admirer of Meg's books and her words about Mal (included in the book and read out loud at the event) left an impact. I'm now incredibly intrigued to read this novel and see whether I can hear two distinct voices or whether they've blended perfectly. Look out for this book in shops on 1 September.


And those were my highlights from the Inkslingers Summer Picnic! Thanks ever so much to the Walker Books team and authors for a great event, and to Luna's Little Library and Tales of Yesterday for copies of Campari for Breakfast and The Square Root of Summer too.



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