So, I’m a sucker for a book deal, especially when I’m curled up on the sofa, choked up and feeling sorry for myself. And here’s where Canongate’s Handpicked promotion comes in. You order a book, they’ll send you another – handpicked by a member of staff – for free. Simple!
I’ve long lingered around the two books The Humans and How Music Works in bookshops but never bought them, deciding I need to hold onto the money (which I do), but when the promise of a third mysterious book is offered, suddenly I must have it. My worry with it was, however, the potential of the Amazon-type algorithm recommendation. You ordered X music book, so have Y music book. Some I wouldn’t have minded, but I had a niggling fear I’d end up with a Neil Strauss book, because I’ve read at least one they have, and generally wouldn’t want to read any more.
Imagine my surprise, then, when less than 24 hours after ordering my original books, the surprise one turns up in the post with a super sweet handwritten note from Jo, their assistant editor. Was it Neil Strauss? No. Was it a book I’d seen sitting neatly beside either of the books I bought on the website? No. It was Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts.
Eric Sanderson wakes up in a place he doesn’t recognise, unable to remember who he is. All he has left are journal entries recalling Clio, a perfect love now gone.
So begins a thrilling adventure that will send Eric and his cynical cat Ian on a search for the Ludovician, the force that is threatening his life, and Dr Try Fidorus, the only man who knows its secrets.
Maybe I’m an easy sell because I like to read widely and try new things, but I read this blurb and actively thought, “I actually really want to read this”. Now I just need to work my way through the mass of work (I’m making myself work from my sofa fort because I took a sick day and will reward myself with reading time later…), a few more books I’ve set aside to read first, then I can enjoy it.
So I’d recommend everyone who reads this tries Canongate’s Handpicked promotion, because while everyone loves a free book, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by your pick.