The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Indie Book of the Month titles announced for November


The Booksellers Association has today announced Learwife by JR Thorp as its Fiction Book of the Month for November, while The Night the Moon Went Missing by Brendan Kearney has been named its Children’s Book of the Month.
Learwife by debut novelist JR Thorp is the feminist retelling of the story of King Lear’s queen, whose absence has long been a mystery to Shakespeare’s audiences. Reimagined as an exile sent away to a nunnery, the novel follows the former queen as she hears of the death of her estranged husband and three daughters, forcing her to reckon with her past and consider what will become of her now. Learwife is published by Canongate and is available to buy in bookshops from 4th November 2021.
Author JR Thorp commented: “The indie bookstores of Sydney were where I bought my first books, discovered my first treasures, and spent whole seasons of my life. I can still tread every stack and corridor by memory, years later. Indie bookstores aren't just about purchases; they're about the experience. (And buying fifteen books you immediately start reading in their cosiest corner.)

John Garrad, Book-ish bookseller and member of the Selection Panel added: “Learwife follows in the tradition set by Madeline Miller and Kiran Millwood Hargrave, interrogating the absent women of literary classics. Who was Cordelia's mother, Lear's wife, and where is she when the tragedy unfolds? Thorp fills the gap with the grief, love and frustration of a self-conscious, Othered narrator whose sense of justice undone is telling and powerful.” 

The booksellers on the Fiction Book of the Month selection panel for November were from Book-ish; Darling Reads; Max Minerva’s; DRAKE – The Bookshop and Warwick Books.

The Night The Moon Went Missing, written and illustrated by Brendan Kearney, tells the story of Moon, who becomes upset that people on Earth seem happy to see Sun but go to sleep when he comes out. Little does he know that little girl Lucy loves to look up at him, so when Moon disappears one night, it falls to her to find out where he has gone and show him how much he is loved. Teaching children the importance of the Moon and the value in each of us, The Night The Moon Went Missing is published by DK and is available in bookshops from 4th November 2021.

Author Brendan Kearney said, “There is something so special about independent bookstores. The smell of freshly pressed books and the cosy atmosphere is something you can't find anywhere else. The careful curation of books is inspiring and I love browsing and searching for my next favourite book. Seeing one of my own books in these spaces is amazing and something I feel so lucky to experience.”

Ros Ephraim, Burway Books and member of the Selection Panel commented: “The story brings the Moon's importance to us all in a perfect way. A perfect story for winter nights with sensational illustrations.”

The booksellers on the Children’s Book of the Month selection panel for November were from Chicken & Frog; Burway Books and The Bookshop, Bridport.

Independent bookshops around the UK and Ireland will be promoting Learwife and The Night The Moon Went Missing throughout November 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.