BFLA Authors in Best of 2017 Lists!

2017 is almost over, and as the year draws to a close, everyone is sharing their reading highlights in ‘Best of’ lists. At Blake Friedmann we are immensely proud that our authors have been featured in many of them. To celebrate their fantastic achievements we have compiled a summary of the great lists they were included with and the praise that accompanied their selection:



Jane Ridley, The Spectator, More Books of the Year 2017

‘Anne de Courcy’s THE HUSBAND HUNTERS reveals how the ruthlessly ambitious wives of American parvenus stormed the social heights of New York and London in the gilded age. A tale of buccaneering matriarchs marrying their American princess daughters to the dim-witted, cash-strapped sons of British peers, and using their new-found social cachet to force admittance into the exclusive New York elite. Cleverly researched, sparkling with diamonds and wickedly funny.’

The Mainstreet Trading Company, General Non-Fiction, Books of the Year 2017

DIKELEDI - DANGOR Achmat - SA PanMac.jpg


DIKELEDI by Achmat Dangor

Books Live, Our guide to the best holiday reads

A family saga set in a time of forced removals and the creation of bantustans.’









SHELTER by Sarah Franklin

Steph’s Book Blog, My Top Ten Books for 2017

‘The author does an incredible job of showing the way WW2 was fought in a different way. Yes, cities and soldiers do feature but only briefly. This is all about the foresters and how important and unnoticed their role was.’

What Cathy Read Next, Ten Favourite Books of 2017

‘An outstanding debut. SHELTER has an authentic period atmosphere with wonderful characters who take you on an intense but heart-warming journey.’


OUTSIDERS final cover Little Brown.jpg

OUTSIDERS by Lyndall Gordon

Joseph O’Connor, Irish Times, The Best Books of 2017

‘I love how Lyndall Gordon thinks and I love the clarity and reach of her writing, combining imaginative audacity with scholarly scruple. Her OUTSIDERS, a collection of portraits of George Eliot, Emily Brontë, Virginia Woolf, Olive Schreiner and Mary Shelley, builds into a lucid meditation on how certain writers become lighthouses for each other.’

Joan Bakewell, New Statesman, Books of the Year 2017

‘As the role of women undergoes yet another convulsion, it’s good to read, in Lyndall Gordon’s OUTSIDERS, of the robust intelligence of five women who made a powerful contribution. The work and lives of Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Mary Shelley, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf are well known. Gordon’s thesis sets out just how original and brave they were – and at what cost. We owe them much.’

Books Live, Our guide to the best holiday reads

‘A profound investigation into the lives and works of Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf.’


THE OTHER TWIN final cover.jpg


Chapterinmylife, Top Reads 2017

‘I found myself immersed in this novel right from the very first page. Delightfully disorientating, chilling in its deception, THE OTHER TWIN burrowed its way into my brain’







THE LAST PILOT Picador ppbk cover.jpg

THE LAST PILOT by Benjamin Johncock

Jenny Rohn, The Guardian, Favourite read of 2017 – as chosen by scientists

‘In Benjamin Johncock’s THE LAST PILOT, we fast-forward to a group of aviator engineers vying to break the sound barrier in the Mojave Desert. Every perilous flight might be a man’s last and family relationships suffer. Worse, their jobs become redundant when the first astronauts start going into space: if the pilots can’t beat them, should they join?’ 




So Happy it Hurts_front.jpg

SO HAPPY IT HURTS by Annelise Mackintosh

Ross McIndoe, The Skinny, Wreath All About It: Books Gift Guide

‘SO HAPPY IT HURTS feels like the natural evolution of Mackintosh’s style and skill… Written partially in answer to insipid self-help literature, SO HAPPY IT HURTS refuses neat solutions or easy platitudes. It is a book that can make you feel better, but not because everything will always be okay or because the world isn’t full of terrors. Happiness is something you have to fight tooth and nail for – SO HAPPY IT HURTS is a bruised and muscular battle cry.’



FEVER Hodder final cover.jpg

FEVER by Deon Meyer

Jon Coates, The Express, The Crime Time Best of the Year 2017

Barry Forshaw, Financial Times, Best Crime of 2017

‘An epic-length novel and a change of pace for Meyer, far from his customary state-of-the-nation South African thrillers. Nico Storm and his father undertake a nightmare journey through a devastated continent; they are among the few to survive a worldwide virus. Meyer justifies at every point the book’s length.’



ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY Final front cover.jpg


Taiye Selasi, The Guardian, Best Books of 2017

‘Sisonke Msimang’s ALWAYS ANOTHER COUNTRY is my favourite kind of memoir, so lyrical and dreamlike that it reads like a novel. It’s an artful meditation on exile and return, womanhood and motherhood unfolding against the backdrop of post-apartheid South African politics.’

Books Live, Our guide to the best holiday reads

‘One of the most searing voices of contemporary South Africa, this is Msimang’s candid and personal account of her exile childhood in Zambia and Kenya, college years in North America, and returning to the country in the ’90s.’


THE DEVIL'S HIGHWAY hdbk front cover uk.JPG

THE DEVIL’S HIGHWAY by Gregory Norminton

Robert Macfarlane, Resurgence & Ecologist, Books of the Year

‘I nominate Gregory Norminton’s THE DEVIL’S HIGHWAY, which I have read in advance of its publication this January. It’s a brilliant deep-time meditation on how landscapes hold – and conceal – meanings. The novel’s stories are set across three points in time, but always in the same place (a Roman road – the highway of the title – crossing southern England). It’s a powerful meditation on the damages – and the good – we have wrought, and will wreak, on the living world.’

THE MISSING WIFE cover UK new for 2017.jpg


THE MISSING WIFE by Sheila O’Flanagan

Amazon, Amazon’s 10 Best-selling ebooks











Easons, Our Favourite Books of 2017










EXQUISITE final cover April 2017.jpg

EXQUISITE by Sarah Stovell

Karen Robinson, The Times / Sunday Times Crime Club, The Crime Time Best of the Year 2017

Jake Kerridge, The Daily Telegraph, The Crime Time Best of the Year 2017

Stav Sherez, The Spectator, The best crime novels of 2017

Love Reading, Books of the Year 2017, June 2017 Book of the Month.

‘Wow! This is a cracking psychological thriller. Told in first person from two different viewpoints it causes...’

Chapterinmylife, Top Reads 2017

‘The narrative in EXQUISITE is intense, it is emotive and it delivers an insidious plot which wormed its way into my very soul. From the breath-taking beauty of the Lake District to the seedy bedsit land of Brighton, my imagination was captured from page one!’

Bonus - Must-read books for 2018


BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan

Sarah Shaffi, Stylist, The 20 must-read books to make room for in 2018

'Stylist columnist Mangan has always been a reader, travelling from Narnia to Wonderland via Kirrin Island, learning about death from Charlotte’s Web and boys from Judy Blume. In BOOKWORM Mangan revisits her childhood reading - looking at the ways books shape our lives - picks a few forgotten treasures to inspire a new generation of bookworms, and uses books to tell her own story.'







Sarah Shaffi, Stylist, The 20 must-read books to make room for in 2018

'Bea Hanlon and her preacher husband Max are on a mission on Advent Island in the Pacific. The remote island is inhospitable, but to everyone’s surprise Bea gradually adapts to life on the island, and begins to enjoy herself, until the arrival of an unwelcome house guest - Marietta, who was the island’s missionary before the Hanlons arrived. Examining the true nature of religious missions and a marriage in crisis, this is a vividly drawn and powerful novel.'