US-based author Charlie Lovett’s The Bookman’s Tale (Alma Books) has been crowned the nation’s favourite ‘hidden gem’ by reading groups to coincide with National Reading Group Day (28th June).
It won almost a third of the total votes in an online poll of 21 recent titles for adults in The Reading Agency's UK-wide hunt for the book that hadn’t received popular recognition but would make a great reading group pick.
Natasha Roe of The Reading Agency said: “This was a new approach to National Reading Group Day for us. We have been thinking about how we could create a real buzz around reading group reads, and we recognised that every year there are certain books that reading groups love but, for whatever reason, don't make the bestsellers' lists.”
She added: “We were absolutely delighted to have had a great response of over 1,000 votes in our inaugural National Reading Group Day ‘hidden gem’ poll. It's given us lots of food for thought, and we plan to build on readers' enthusiasm for next year."
All of the titles included were entered by publishers who are members of The Reading Agency’s partnership scheme to link up libraries and publishers. Reading groups and readers voted through The Reading Agency’s Reading Groups for Everyone website (readinggroups.org).
Reading groups around the UK were also invited by The Reading Agency to apply to review the winning title, sharing their reviews and opinions on readinggroups.org and other social media platforms using the hashtag #NRGD2014.
The Bookman’s Tale, which was published last year, tells the story of how a mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love.
Lovett is a writer, teacher and playwright, who is himself a former antiquarian bookseller. His new novel, First Impressions, will be published by Alma Books in October 2014.
To mark National Reading Group Day, a guide to The Bookman’s Tale is now available online.