It is Bloomsbury’s 30th birthday and we’re celebrating by looking back at some of our favourite Bloomsbury Reader books. As an imprint dedicated to bringing out of print classics back to life, as well as finding new and exciting titles from classic crime to horror, romance to biography, there is sure to be something for you to sink your teeth into.
Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2015 and the James Tait Black Prize for best biography 2016
Book of the Year 2015 Sunday Times, Times Literary Supplement, Evening Standard and the New Zealand Listener
When we first read the manuscript for Bloomsbury’s Outsider we were fascinated by the story of one of the Bloomsbury group’s most colourful characters. Award-winning novelist and towering figure of the 20th century British literary landscape, David Garnett was a Bloomsbury insider ultimately pushed to the margins. In this, the first biography of Garnett, (known as Bunny), author Sarah Knights – who has had unprecedented access to Garnett’s papers – goes beyond stereotype and myth to present a clear sighted account of this often contradictory figure.
David ‘Bunny’ Garnett is brought to life by Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Jack Davenport in the BBC series ‘Life in Squares‘, the screenplay of which Bloomsbury Reader has published in full, with an introduction by the screen-writer Amanda Coe.
‘An honest and skilfully told love story’ – New York Times
Bloomsbury Reader has been lucky enough to re-publish all of H. E. Bates’s short stories and novellas, making sure this master of the short story, described as the British Chekov by Graham Greene, can be appreciated by a whole new generation of readers. So we were thrilled to bring Love for Lydia, a classic literary novel of love and coming of age amongst the ‘Bright Young Things’ of the 1920s back, both for new readers and seasoned lovers of Bates.
Lydia – shy, sheltered, beautiful and just nineteen – glides into Evensford one wintry day, stirring up feeling amongst the town’s young men. But it is the young Mr Richardson that she befriends. As winter turns to drowsy summer, his world becomes a wondrous place, full only of Lydia; but a change comes over the once retiring girl as she discovers the effect she has on other men. As his closest friends fall under her spell, the love Richardson feels for Lydia becomes tangled with jealousy and resentment, a rift that may never be repaired.
First published in 1952, Love for Lydia is a poignant look at love through the eyes of a boy growing up.
‘Love for Lydia is so exquisitely written, so accurate on both the glorious and dangerous aspects of obsessive love, and so precise in its portrait of a time and place, it seems to me to be timeless’ – Joanna Briscoe
The Amtrak Wars Series by Patrick Tilley
This best-selling Science Fiction series is not to be missed. This is a post-apocalyptic adventure of epic proportions, and with six novels in the series, Cloud warrior, First Family, Iron Master, Blood River, Death-Bringer and Earth-Thunder, it is a story in which you can let yourself be completely immersed.
Hundreds of years after civilisation has been destroyed by nuclear war, Earth is divided between the Trackers of the Amtrak Federation – a community living in vast subterranean cities – and the Mutes, who have evolved to withstand the radiation that has driven their foes underground. A long war for possession of the overground has killed and enslaved many of the Mutes, leaving only the Plainfolk to resist the Federation.
Seventeen-year-old rookie wingman Steve Brickman is a member of the Tracker society, and has grown up deep underground, protected from the radiation of the blue-sky world above. The lure of this open space fills him with both fear and excitement, as he anticipates piloting his first mission against the sub-human Mutes.
But all does not go as smoothly as planned, as the clan M’Call kidnaps Steve and puts him under the strange tutelage of the mysterious Mr Snow. Brickman is torn by a painful divided loyalty. And now, it seems, he has become embroiled in an ancient Mute prophecy; that of the Talisman, the one who will save them all.
And so begins an adventure that will span continents, and change the world forever.
Dennis Wheatley’s prolific output of stylish thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world’s best-selling writers from the 1930s through to the 1960s, and we at Bloomsbury Reader have been excited to republish these fantastic novels.
If you are new to Wheatley, you can read the first three novels in Dennis Wheatley’s thrilling Black Magic series including The Devil Rides Out, Strange Conflict and The Haunting of Toby Jugg, all in one ebook package. If you’ve not yet read Wheatley, or wish to revisit three of his best known books, this series starter provides the perfect introduction to the complete Black Magic Series of eleven titles. The Black Magic series features one of Dennis Wheatley’s best known characters, the Duke de Richleau, and deals with themes for which Wheatley is arguably most renowned: Satanism and the occult.
In The Devil Rides Out, the aristocratic Duke de Richleau faces new, sinister challenges in this macabre tale of the dark arts. Strange Conflict finds London at war. Could it really be that the enemy are in touch with supernatural powers? The Haunting of Toby Jugg is a stirring psychological thriller adapted into the movie The Haunted Airman starring Robert Pattinson.
‘The prince of thriller writers’ Times Literary Supplement
Edmund Crispin was the pseudonym of Robert Bruce Montgomery, an English crime writer and composer. Described by A. L. Kennedy as ‘one of the undiscovered treasures of British crime fiction,’ it’s no wonder that we wanted to bring this ingeniously humorous crime writer back into print.
In The Glimpses of the Moon, death and decapitation seem to go hand in hand in the Devon village of Aller. When the first victim’s head is sent floating down the river, the village’s rural calm is shattered. Soon the corpses are multiplying, and the entire community is involved in the hunt for the murderer. Whilst many chase false trails, it is left to Gervase Fen, Oxford don and amateur criminologist, to uncover the sordid truth.
Equal parts compelling, witty and ingenuous, this novel is a classic example of great British detective fiction.
‘One of the undiscovered treasures of British Crime Fiction’ – A. L. Kennedy
Margery Allingham is ranked among the most distinguished and beloved detective fiction writers of the ‘Golden Age’ alongside Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh. Allingham is J.K. Rowling’s favourite Golden Age author and Agatha Christie said of Allingham that out of all the detective stories she remembers, Margery Allingham ‘stands out like a shining light’.
In The White Cottage Mystery, Eric Crowther collected secrets and used them as weapons. Delighting in nothing more than torturing those around him with what he knew, there is no shortage of suspects when he is found dead in the White Cottage. Chief Inspector Challenor and his son Jerry will have to look deep into everyone’s past – including the victim’s – before they can be sure who has pulled the trigger. The fact that Jerry is in love with one of the suspects, however, might complicate things.
Bloomsbury Reader is proud to publish some of Margery Allingham’s finest work.
‘One of Allingham’s very best’ – Observer
Jane Aiken Hodge writes sweeping historical romance full of danger and adventure. Filling her novels with settings such as Gothic castles and swashbuckling ships, full of fluttering hearts, debutants and orphaned heiresses, she is a favourite amongst the romance fans at Bloomsbury Reader.
In Watch the Wall, My Darling, only a deathbed promise to her dying father could force Christina Tretton to travel to Tretteign Grange, the ‘Dark House’, and meet her estranged family for the first time. Having to fast-talk her way out of an encounter with smugglers on the way is only the beginning. Waiting for her is flighty aunt Verity, her two very different cousins – the stoic Ross and fawning Richard – and her formidable grandfather, who changes his Will every few days.
Taking the neglectful servants in hand, Christina is soon managing the house, proving herself invaluable in her grandfather’s eyes. This backfires when he decides he wants her as his heir, and only on the condition that she marries Ross or Richard. Outraged, she swears she will marry neither, but her cousins have different ideas.
Hanging over them is the constant threat of invasion, as Dark House looks over the sea to France, and Napoleon. As soldiers work to fortify the coast, Christina finds herself in the twisted intrigues of smugglers and spies.
Graham Masterton is a British horror author. His first novel The Manitou was adapted into a film of the same name in 1978. His chilling tales are often gruesome, and filled with characters that you will find yourself routing for to the bitter end. Find out about all of the titles we publish by Graham Masterton here.
In The Doorkeepers, Julia Winward has been missing for nearly a year. When her mutilated body is discovered in the Thames, her brother Josh travels to London from America, determined to find out what happened to her during that lost time. But nothing Josh discovers makes any sense and he soon unearths a terrible secret. Julia had been working for a company that shut down sixty years ago, and living at an address that hadn’t existed since World War II. His investigation leads him to Ella, an eccentric young woman whose psychic abilities plunge them into a nightmarish alternate reality filled with unspeakable horror.
‘One of the few masters of the horror genre’ – James Herbert