Our Top 3 Books For October Revealed...

As the nights draw close and the days get shorter, we've got three fantastic books that are perfect for curling up with on a chilly autumn evening with a soothing cup of something warming and a tantalisingly tempting treat. You can find them now in this month's subscription box or pick up as a one-off treat for yourself.

Local Voices: The Ghost Woods, by C.J. Cooke

Cover image of The Ghost Woods by C.J Cooke

What's the craic?

In the midst of the woods stands a house called Lichen Hall. This place is shrouded in folklore - old stories of ghosts, of witches, of a child who is not quite a child. Now the woods are creeping closer, and something has been unleashed.

Pearl Gorham arrives in 1965, one of a string of young women sent to Lichen Hall to give birth. And she soon suspects the proprietors are hiding something. Then she meets the mysterious mother and young boy who live in the grounds - and together they begin to unpick the secrets of this place.

As the truth comes to the surface and the darkness moves in, Pearl must rethink everything she knew - and risk what she holds most dear.

Paperback Down says...

A creepy manor house in the middle of ancient Scottish woodland, with mysterious characters and hints of folklore and superstition - could we have picked a more perfect book for the run-up to Halloween? Written by Belfast-born author, C.J. Cooke and set over two timelines, this suspenseful gothic mystery follows two young women who find themselves residents of Lichen Hall, a sinister and isolated home for unwed mothers. Dealing with the social issues of the time with compassion and empathy, this atmospheric and gripping tale will keep you up reading until the wee small hours of the morning.

Science Fiction & Fantasy: Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro

What's the craic?

1882. North of Edinburgh, on the edge of an isolated loch, lies an institution of crumbling stone, where a strange doctor collects orphans with unusual abilities.

In London, two children with such powers are hunted by a figure of darkness - a man made of smoke. Charlie Ovid discovers a gift for healing himself through a brutal upbringing in Mississippi, while Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight, glows with a strange bluish light. When two grizzled detectives are recruited to escort them north to safety, they are confronted by a sinister, dangerous force that threatens to upend the world as they know it.

What follows is a journey from the gaslit streets of London to the lochs of Scotland, where other gifted children - the Talents - have been gathered at Cairndale Institute, and the realms of the dead and the living collide. As secrets within the Institute unfurl, Marlowe, Charlie and the rest of the Talents will discover the truth about their abilities and the nature of the force that is stalking them: that the worst monsters sometimes come bearing the sweetest gifts. 

Paperback Down says...

A Dickensian historical fantasy with a cast of characters and a cross-continental reach. This brilliantly inventive story follows a group of children with unusual abilities, gathered together from across the globe at the mysterious Cairndale Institute. In the way of all pesky meddling kids, they come to discover a sinister truth about the world they live in and set about trying to save each other and those around them. Richly detailed and with an authentic acknowledgement of the realities and inequalities of the Victorian era, this is fantasy world-building at its most epic. With genuinely frightening villains, it'll leave you questioning who exactly the real monsters are.

Bucket List Books: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

The cover of Anne of Green Gable, by LM Montgomery

What's the craic?

When red-headed orphan Anne Shirley arrives at Green Gables, she feels sure she's found the home she has always longed for. Her new adoptive parents, the Cuthberts, are less certain - they had asked the orphanage for a boy. But before long, Anne's irrepressible optimism and loving nature charms them.

While her temper is unpredictable and her extravagant imagination makes her dreamily whimsical and prone to comic mishap, they come to love Anne as if she were their own child.

Paperback Down says...

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers" 

Anne of Green Gables is without doubt one of my absolute all-time favourite books and a true comfort read that I love to revisit time and time again. Telling the story of the irrepressible Anne with an 'e', this heart-warming story has delighted and enchanted generations of readers around the world since its first publication in 1908. If you've read it before then it's time for a seasonal re-read. If you've not yet discovered the world of Avonlea, then tick this one off your bucket list and get stuck in!

Which will you choose?

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