What’s On Your Nightstand: Alex Marwood

What's On Your Nightstand-From Left to Write

I love reading mysteries and thrillers and often wonder what authors of those genres like to read. Today we have Serena Macksey, who pens thrillers under the pen name Alex Marwood, sharing the books on her nightstand. Take a peek with me and I think you’ll find some new books to add to your to-be-read list, including her newest novel, The Killer Next Door.

Serena Mackesy ,author. CREDIT Geraint Lewis

Serena Mackesy, author. CREDIT Geraint Lewis

I read a lot of non-fiction when I’m writing. At the moment I’m rereading Out of the Shadows, Anne-Marie West’s 1995 memoir of being raised by the serial killers Fred and Rose West. Although, obviously, it’s ghostwritten, it’s a terrific book in its way, particularly because it reflects the worst thing of all for victims of abuse as West was: the confusion of continuing to love the vicious parent despite knowing that the only emotion one should feel is loathing.

I’m trying to save Alison Gaylin’s Stay With Me for my vacation in a couple of weeks, but I have a feeling the temptation will overcome me. Gaylin’s Brenna Spector series – the central character is cursed with perfect recall of every event in her life – is wonderfully ingenious. The tightness of Gaylin’s plotting is quite breathtaking.

And I’ve just finished Elizabeth Little’s Dear Daughter. An absolutely cracking debut. I enjoyed the narrative voice – cynical, wisecracking, vulnerable – of the heroine more than I’ve enjoyed a piece of first-person writing in a long while.

The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood

Alex Marwood’s newest novel The Killer Next Door is a tightly paced thriller that will keep you up at night and make you ask yourself: just how well do you know your neighbors? It releases next week on October 28 and is available for pre-order. More about the novel:

Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash—no credit check, no lease. It’s the kind of place you end up when you you’ve run out of other options. The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don’t know is that one of them is a killer. He’s already chosen his next victim, and he’ll do anything to protect his secret.

Alex Marwood is the pseudonym of British novelist Serena Mackesy, a former journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. Her first novel The Wicked Girls won an Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original and is nominated for the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel and the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original. Marwood lives in South London and is working on her next novel.   

Learn more about the author on her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

October Book Club Feature: The 13th Gift

The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith

We’re finishing up the month with The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith for our next October book club selection. With the upcoming holiday season, it’s easy to become sucked into the materialist frenzy. Smith’s memoir reminds us what is the most important gift should be:

After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children–especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their “True Friends.” As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

After reading the book, you might even be inspired to give someone the pleasure of these 13 gifts.

Learn more about the author and The 13th Gift  on its website. You can even see photos of Smith’s family and pictures of the cards she and her family received from their “True Friends.”

Pre-order the book now and join us on October 28 as From Left to Write members discuss the book!

Book Club Discussion: The Goddess of Small Victories

Goddess of Small Victories FL2W Book Club Banner

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have dinner with Albert Einstein? In the novel The Goddess of Small Victories (Other Press) by Yannick Grannec, we get a glimpse into mathematician Kurt Gödel who was good friends with Albert Einstein. Gödel’s colleagues are immortalized in the history books, but Grannec gives the scientists and mathematician humanity through […]

[Continue reading...]

What’s On Your Nightstand: Joelle Herr

Joelle Herr Photo

I had so much fun with Joelle Herr’s irreverent William Shakespeare Rewritten by You, I just had to know what books she had on her nightstand. My to-be-read list has gotten longer thanks to her list. Read on to find out what book has been sitting on her nightstand for several months and why! The Paying […]

[Continue reading...]

Review: The Wonder of All Things

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

I loved Jason Mott’s debut novel The Returned so much that I hunted down an elusive galley of his second  at Book Expo America. The Wonder of All Things has been sitting patiently on my shelf until closer to its release date, when I released it from my self-imposed ban. I even cleared my schedule in order to read it […]

[Continue reading...]

Book Club Feature: The Goddess of Small Victories + Giveaway

Goddess of Small Victories by Yannick Grannec

Staying in theme with our first book club selection, our second pick for October is also about numbers. The Goddess of Small Victories (Other Press) by Yannick Grannec (translated by  Willard Wood) is a fictional account about brilliant mathematician Kurt Gödel as told from his wife’s perspective. Adele, a former cabaret dancer, was shunned by the scientific community, […]

[Continue reading...]