Quercus imprint Greenfinch will publish The Literary Almanac by Francesca Beauman, aguide to seasonal reading which will introduce the reader to "an incredible range of well-loved classics, modern masterpieces and lesser-known treasures".
The project was developed in-house and Beauman was approached by the team to be the author. Quercus holds world rights in all languages to the title and publication is scheduled for 23rd September 2021.
The Literary Almanac will offer more than 300 seasonal reading recommendations aiming to inspire readers to reach for different kinds of fiction throughout the calendar year. Each entry will coordinate with a specific month, whether set at a particular time or capturing the mood of the season. Recommendations include "The Count of Monte Cristo to snuggle up with on long winter nights to My Brilliant Friend to be enjoyed on the beach in high summer and Diary of a Provincial Lady to get you through a family Christmas". The almanac will also be illustrated throughout and include "pithy quotations, noteworthy anniversaries and witty asides".
Philippa Wilkinson, commissioning editor, said: "Reading The Literary Almanac is like sitting down for a cup of tea and cake with an incredibly well-read friend. Fran is warm, witty and insightful, introducing the reader to an incredible range of well-loved classics, modern masterpieces and lesser-known treasures. Working on this title has significantly increased my TBR list, and I hope that it will provide similar inspiration for readers everywhere to adopt a fresh approach to their book selections, letting the rhythms of the calendar year guide us."
Beauman commented: "I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to publish this book with Greenfinch. It is in many ways the book I’ve spent my whole life preparing to write. As a child, I used to get into trouble with my parents if I forgot to bring a book with me any time we left the house. The dentist, a long car journey, in a restaurant on holiday: they were doing what they could to shield me from the horrifying prospect of having three minutes to spare with nothing to read. Sometimes, when our family had had a particularly busy or difficult day, my mum and dad would go as far as to compel us to read while we were eating, too: ‘Supper’s ready, bring your book!’, they would shout up the stairs. To others, it may have seemed strange, even unfriendly; I, however, felt like the luckiest girl in the world.
"Decades later, I maintain a close-to-psychotic compulsion to carry a book around wherever I go. I even took The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford with me to the hospital when I went into labour with my first baby – you know, just in case I got bored in between contractions (it won’t surprise you to know that I didn’t even crack the spine). These days I work at Persephone Books, the publishing company my mother founded 20 years ago, which allows me to continue to discover many of the best books out there. I’m now really excited to share all this with you, the readers — even if it does mean your TBR pile ends up nearly topping over!"