Themed collections

Here are some collections of suggested titles around different themes; genre, publishers, awards and more. 

Please get in touch with your own lists, or ideas for lists.

Books from NW Publishers

Here are a list of some contemporary titles from publishers around the North West

If you’ve read any of these, please leave a review and let us know what you think!

Significant Other by Isabel Galleymore (Carcanet)

Significant Other by Isabel Galleymore (Carcanet)

In her first book of poems, Isabel Galleymore takes a sustained look at the ‘eight million differently constructed hearts’ of species currently said to inhabit Earth. These are part of the significant other of her title; so too are the intimacies – loving, fraught, stalked by loss and extinction – that make up a life. The habit of foisting human agendas on non-human worlds is challenged.

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Where the Road Runs Out by Gaia Holmes (Comma)

Where the Road Runs Out by Gaia Holmes (Comma)

Gaia Holmes’ third collection of poetry transports us to the edge of things: to remote, treeless islands, to dark, unfathomable mines, to the gaping maw of grief. With frailty and ferocity, these poems map out the strange absences left in our lives when a rupture occurs – like the sudden appearance of a sinkhole – threatening to pull everything else down with it. Where the Road Runs Out is a powerful and intimate portrait of loss, isolation, and ultimately healing. Above all, it is a paean to the landscape, and the myths, magic and mysteries that lie just beneath the surface.

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The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout (Comma)

The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout (Comma)

The Sea Cloak is a collection of 14 stories by the author, journalist, and women s rights campaigner, Nayrouz Qarmout. Drawing from her own experiences growing up in a Syrian refugee camp, as well as her current life in Gaza, these stories stitch together a patchwork of different perspectives into what it means to be a woman in Palestine today.

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Glitch by Lee Rourke (Dead Ink Books)

Glitch by Lee Rourke (Dead Ink Books)

After two decades spent in the US, L-J is on a flight back to his native Suffolk to visit family and his childhood coastal home. His flight is straightforward, as per design, until it hits a glitch – an unexpected and dramatic cabin decompression – which suggests that all that L-J expects from this trip cannot be counted on.

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Sealed by Naomi Booth (Dead Ink Books)

Sealed by Naomi Booth (Dead Ink Books)

Timely and suspenseful, Sealed is a gripping modern fable on motherhood. A terrifying portrait of ordinary people under threat from their own bodies and from the world around them. With elements of speculative fiction and the macabre, this is also an unforgettable story about a mothers fight to survive. Heavily pregnant Alice and her partner Pete are done with the city.

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Portico Prize Shortlist 2019

Here is the shortlist for the Portico Prize 2019

If you’ve read any of these, please leave a review and let us know what you think!

Under the Rock: The Poetry of a Place by Benjamin Myers (Elliott and Thompson)

Under the Rock: The Poetry of a Place by Benjamin Myers (Elliott and Thompson)

Carved from the land above Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, Scout Rock is a steep crag overlooking wooded slopes and weed-tangled plateaus. To many it is unremarkable; to others it is a doomed place where 18th-century thieves hid out, where the town tip once sat, and where suicides leapt to their deaths. Its brooding form presided over the early years of Ted Hughes, who called Scout Rock ‘my spiritual midwife . . . both the curtain and backdrop to existence’.

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The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness by Graham Caveney (Picador)

The Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness by Graham Caveney (Picador)

Graham Caveney was born in 1964 in Accrington: a town in the north of England, formerly known for its cotton mills, now mainly for its football team. Armed with his generic Northern accent and a record collection including the likes of the Buzzcocks and Joy Division, Caveney spent a portion of his youth pretending he was from Manchester. That is, until confronted by someone from Manchester (or anyone who had been to Manchester or anyone who knew anything at all about Manchester) at which point he would give up and admitted the truth.

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Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile by Adelle Stripe (Fleet)

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile by Adelle Stripe (Fleet)

Best known for her classic black comedy Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Andrea Dunbar wrote three plays before dying at a tragically young age. This new literary portrayal features a cast of real and imagined characters set against the backdrop of the infamous Buttershaw estate during the Thatcher era.

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The Mating Habit of Stags by Ray Robinson (Lightning Books)

The Mating Habit of Stags by Ray Robinson (Lightning Books)

Midwinter. As former farmhand Jake, a widower in his seventies, wanders the beautiful, austere moors of North Yorkshire trying to evade capture, we learn of the events of his past: the wife he loved and lost, their child he knows cannot be his, and the deep-seated need for revenge that manifests itself in a moment of violence.

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Ironopolis by Glen James Brown (Parthian)

Ironopolis by Glen James Brown (Parthian)

Ironopolis is a warren of streets, memories and people with secrets.
Glen James Brown orchestrates a remarkable novel across these streets as Ironopolis tells its own story across three generations. Jean unveils a secret on her deathbed.
Alan unravels the truth of his father, who has haunted the Burn Council Estate for a lifetime. Corina is trying to get through one last day at the hairdressers before closing it for good.
And then there is the ageless Peg Powler, part myth, part reality and her reason for stalking them all.

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Saltwater by Jessica Andrews (Sceptre)

Saltwater by Jessica Andrews (Sceptre)

When Lucy wins a place at university, she thinks London will unlock her future. It is a city alive with pop up bars, cool girls and neon lights illuminating the Thames at night. At least this is what Lucy expects, having grown up seemingly a world away in working-class Sunderland, amid legendary family stories of Irish immigrants and boarding houses, now defunct ice rinks and an engagement ring at a fish market.

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