Fiction Book of the Month: Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson Children's Book of the Month: Loki: A Bad God's Guide To Being Good by Louie Stowell
Black Cake, the debut novel by Charmaine Wilkerson, spans sixty years in the life of one family, telling the story of how an inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories and names can shape a family for generations. Eleanor Bennett won’t let her death get in the way of the truth, so when her estranged children reunite for her funeral, they discover a puzzling inheritance – a voice recording detailing their family history and a traditional Caribbean black cake based on a family recipe with a long history that may heal the wounds of the past. Black Cake is published by Penguin Michael Joseph on 3rd February 2022 and is available to pre-order in bookshops now. Charmaine Wilkerson commented, “I am so grateful for this support for Black Cake. Independent bookshops are such special and unique places – a haven for the most dedicated readers, and the first port of call for anybody looking to find great books and recommendations. Booksellers do such brilliant work championing writers and helping to spread the word and I’m honoured that they might be pressing my own debut into the hands of new readers.”
Srionti Maitra, Warwick Books and member of the selection panel said: “Black Cake, in the tradition of Zadie Smith or Bernardine Evaristo, sees invisible multitudes brought into the limelight – sometimes within the same family, or even the same individual. The book functions as both a biography and an ancestral question mark; how much do we really know of our parents, and their parents, and the variegated communities they come from? Told with an avuncular wisdom, the novel’s scope is matched by its empathy for each character’s wounds and victories. Goes down as easy as a slice of boozy black cake.” Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good written and illustrated by Louie Stowell, follows Norse god Loki who, after one prank too many, is banished to live as a ‘normal’ eleven-year-old boy, only allowed to return to Asgard if he can improve himself within one month. To track his progress, Loki has to keep a magic diary which forces him to confe
ss the truth – and anyone reading Loki’s diary is about to learn that this god hasn’t a clue how to tell good from bad, trust from tricks or friends from enemies. Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good is published by Walker Books on 3rd February 2022 and is available to pre-order in bookshops now.
Author Louie Stowell said, “I'm at my local indie b
ookshop almost every weekend with my dog. The love and care that indies put into choosing and sharing their books is wonderful. So I'm thrilled that Loki's been chosen for book of the month. (Loki is pretending not to care.)”
Steven Pryse, Bookseller at Pickled Pepper Books and member of the selection panel commented, “The sensational start to a new series from Louie Stowell. Combining fun illustrations with hilarious narration from the God of Mischief, this book is guaranteed to make you giggle as Loki tries his best to be good. We can't wait to find out what trouble Loki will get themself into next!”
The titles for each month are chosen by a panel of independent booksellers from publisher submissions. The Fiction panel for February comprised of members of Max Minerva’s, DRAKE – The Bookshop, Darling Reads and Warwick Books. The Children’s panel consisted of members of Burway Books, The Book Nook, Hove and Pickled Pepper Books.
Independent bookshops around the UK and Ireland will be promoting Black Cake and Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good throughout February on social media and instore. The Booksellers Association will be supporting the promotion of the Indie Books of the Month through social media and promotional material.