Pretty well straight away after each issue of Shiny New Books comes out, we editors start planning for the next one. We have a spreadsheet, divided into categories, and as decisions are made the books go on there. We find them ourselves, of course, through catalogues and newspapers, and lots of publishers send them unsolicited. Then there are our wonderful reviewers, who often suggest books they'd love to review. But it's all a bit of a moveable feast. It's not unusual for someone to want to review a book that turns out not to be up to scratch for some reason -- this has happened to me very recently with a non-fiction book I thought sounded really interesting but ended up thinking was pretty stupid -- needless to say I'm not going to tell you what it was!
But sometimes things go the other way, and we get late additions, and so I was able to add something to replace the one I'd taken off. And this is it. All the Light We Cannot See was published in the US last year, and has just won the Pulitzer Prize, but it's new in paperback in the UK, so it qualifies for our Shiny timescale (books published in the last three months). The novel has been attracting a huge amount of attention, and a friend mentioned it to me, having heard it reviewed on the BBC's Front Row. The fact that the novel is set in St Malo, just down the road from where I live, piqued my curiosity, so I bought it, just to see if the hype was really justified.
You'll have to wait for my review till Shiny 6 comes out in about three weeks time, but I'm here to tell you that the minute I'd started it I was completely hooked. It's beautifully written, with a riveting and original story, and I'm loving every minute.