Blake Friedmann Authors in Best of 2018 Lists

With 2018 drawing to a close, everyone is sharing their favourite books of the year. At Blake Friedmann, we are so proud that our authors have been featured in so many of these selections. In celebration of these amazing achievements, we have compiled this summary of the lists in which our authors were included, along with the praise that accompanied their selection.



Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'Mesmerizing story…  It's impossible not to fall in love with Saba. She brings a ton of emotional texture to the story.'


SLAY IN YOUR LANE by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

Grazia, The 12 Books We Couldn’t Stop Talking About This Year

‘Guide to be­ing a black girl in mod­ern ur­ban Britain which is es­sen­tial read­ing for both the women it de­scribes and any­one who could do with a crash course in un­der­stand­ing their lives. Un­miss­able.’

The Guardian, Favourite Books of 2018

‘Never would I have thought a modern take on the British black female experience would be covered so wonderfully and with such excitement by two British black females. The range of topics were discussion worthy, and filled me for weeks with talking points … BUY A COPY FOR THE NEW YEAR AND BE SURPRISED AND EXCITED.’

Kimberley Sheehan, The Reading Agency, Books of the Year 2018

‘This book is a brilliant starting point to understand what it's like to be woman, black and a Londoner in 2018. It ultimately left me feeling hopeful about the future for women and empowered -- which has been a nice change compared to the rest of the year!’

Forbes, The Most Empowering Books by Female Authors of 2018

‘In this highly anticipated work from award-winning journalist Yomi Adegoke and her best friend, marketer Elizabeth Uviebinene SLAY IN YOUR LANE celebrates the gains that black women have already made in Britain whilst also highlighting the work that still needs to be done. It’s an encouraging and honest account of their own lives and a celebration of the achievements of some of Britain’s most successful black women that’ll leave you feeling fired up and hopeful for the future. For black women it serves as an inspiration and for other women and men a guide on how we can better support women of colour.’



Jake Kerridge, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Raven Crime Reads, Top 10 Crime Reads of the Year 2018

 ‘CITY WITHOUT STARS is an intense, emotive and completely absorbing read, suffused with a violent energy, and with an unrelenting pace to its narrative. It heightens the reader’s senses and imagination throughout, completely enveloping the reader in this corrupt and violent society, with instances of intense human frailty and moments of strength, underpinned by precise description, and flurries of dark humour. I thought it was absolutely marvellous.’

The Telegraph, 50 Best Books of 2018

‘A grim but unputdownable thriller set in Mexico, where the homicide rate is so high that a prolific serial killer goes nearly unnoticed.’

UNCOVERED cover.jpg

UNCOVERED by Ian Birch

Steve Smith, Folio Magazine, The Best Books for Print Lovers 2018

‘This is the book true magazine geeks will appreciate most this holiday… a deft and deep compendium of provocations from titles large and small.’

LITTLE by Edward Carey

LITTLE hb front cover.JPG

The Times, Books of the Year (Historical Fiction)

'Told with extraordinary panache, and illustrated by Edward Carey, this tale of the founder of Madame Tussauds is a macabre joy.'

Sunday Times Culture Magazine, Books of the Year

'Edward Carey's LITTLE is weird, wonderful and unlike any other historical novel this year. Enriched by the author's own illustrations, this retelling of the early life of Marie Grosholtz (aka Madame Tussaud) is both macabre and moving.'

Kirkus, Best Historical Fiction

Amal El-Mohtar, NPR, Best Books of 2018

'Picking up on the same themes of bodies and objects as his Iremonger trilogy, Edward Carey's LITTLE is a tenderly macabre fictional memoir written in the voice of Anne Marie Grosholtz, the woman who would become Madame Tussaud… her life is full of deep sadness mixed with fabulous incident, and compassionate insight punctuated by the author's whimsical illustrations.'

William Ryan, Irish Independent, Authors Top Books of 2018

'A gripping novel of shy wit and darkly humorous occurrences and is mesmerising in its virtuosity. On top of which the author's own illustrations are wonderfully bizarre, as indeed is the story he tells.'



Jon Coates, Crime Time,  Best of the Year 2018

Jake Kerridge, Crime Time, Best of the Year 2018


HOLD/HOUSEGIRL by Michael Donkor

Melissa Gray, NPR, Best Books of 2018

‘I hate novels. This is a strong statement, I know – here’s why I make it before telling you about HOUSEGIRL: I hate novels because too often, I know exactly where the story is heading, where the characters are heading. I loved HOUSEGIRL because Michael Donkor's storytelling and character building were so exquisite… Two days after I finished the book, I found myself actually missing the characters. This is a rare accomplishment for a first-time author, which is why I recommend HOUSEGIRL – even though it's a novel.'

The Observer, Best Books of 2018

‘Exquisite debut’

Brittle Paper, African Books of 2018

'A unique take on the classic "housegirl" narrative.'


PRETEND YOU DON’T KNOW ME by Finuala Dowling

Jackie Kay, The Guardian, Best Books of 2018

‘A witty and wise collection. Her sequence about her mother’s dementia is very touching. Elsewhere, these vital works will have you crying with laughter.’



TODAY SOUTH LONDON, TOMORROW SOUTH LONDON by Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison

 Evening Standard, Best Comedy Books and DVDs of 2018


THE CHILDREN'S HOME UK final cover.jpg

THE CHILDREN’S HOME by Charles Lambert

New York Times, Before Watching ‘The Haunting of Hill House,’ Read These 13 Haunted Books

‘”Abandoned children of varying ages begin showing up at the sprawling estate of a disfigured recluse, Morgan Fletcher,” Carmela Ciuraru wrote, calling it “one of the year’s most bizarre stories.” “Lambert’s subtle prose enhances the novel’s creepiness, as does his refusal to fully resolve or explain its many mysteries.”’


BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan

Den of Geeks, Top Books of 2018

‘I’d like to report a robbery. Under cover of darkness, writer and Guardian TV critic Lucy Mangan crept into my soul, pocketed my memories and wrote them up beautifully in the guise of her “memoir of childhood reading.”… Lucy Mangan’s funny, warm BOOKWORM is personal and universal in the way that the very best books are… [It] rekindles old obsessions and sends you in search of any stories you may have missed at the time. I loved this book so much, I ate it.’



The Times, Books of the Year 2018

'Are novellas making a comeback? If they can match the elegance of [THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK], let's hope so. THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK is a delicate story of a Dutch paining and the death of a naked woman in Cape Town. As usual, DI Benny Griessel inquires.'



One of Ireland’s best-selling books of 2018



The Spectator, Books of the Year  

‘the fascinating history of Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son Hernando, guardian of his father’s flame, courtier, bibliophile and cataloguer supreme, whose travels took him to the heart of 16th-century Europe.’

BOOKWORM shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards

We are overjoyed to announce that the fantastic BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan has been shortlisted for the Beautiful Book category of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards.

Nominated alongside Mangan were BOOKWORM’s production team, Laura Barrett, who designed the gorgeous cover, Shabana Cho and Julia Connolly.

BAMB just_AWARDS_logo_equ_CMYK_-01.png

Bookshops across the UK and Ireland have revealed their favourite books and authors of 2018 across seven categories, as part of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards

Unlike the other categories though, the Beautiful Book is voted for exclusively by booksellers, who will now be choosing a winner from the shortlist of six titles revealed today.

The winners will be announced on 13 November at an awards ceremony at Foyles.

BOOKWORM final front cover.jpg

BOOKWORM is a love letter to the joys of childhood reading; it will offer a witty, impassioned history of the childhood stories we loved and the extraordinary people who created them; it will also explore the thousand subtle ways these books shape our own lives - the bonds we form, the rites of passage we undergo, the understanding we gain. It will begin as we all do, with picture books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, leading us through secret gardens, along railway lines and across prairies, right up to a shared coming of age with Judy Blume, Patrick Ness and Philip Pullman.

Lucy Mangan is a columnist for Guardian Weekend magazine and Stylist, and author of MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS, THE RELUCTANT BRIDE and HOPSCOTCH AND HANDBAGS.


Praise for BOOKWORM

Credit: Stylist

Credit: Stylist

‘In Lucy Mangan’s BOOKWORM childhood books are brought vividly to life, as are the remembered pleasures of first encountering them…Mangan guides us along her bursting childhood shelves… It’s a delightfully cheerful and humorous romp through children’s literature.’ — Harriet Baker, Times Literary Supplement

‘In her joyful memoir BOOKWORM Lucy Mangan revisits our most beloved childhood books, brings the characters of our collective childhood back to life and uses them – with great wit and wisdom – to tell her own story. Wonderful.’ — Nina Stibbes, The Observer, Best Summer Books 2018

‘This is the book I've been longing for all my life:  a passionate, witty, informed, gloriously opinionated account of childhood reading.  It's a ten out of ten gold star triumph.’ — Jacqueline Wilson


Visit Lucy’s Guardian page

Follow Lucy on Twitter



Photo Credit: Stylist

Photo Credit: Stylist

Lucy Mangan’s brilliant fictional account of life in the suburbs, DIARY OF A SUBURBAN LADY, has been snapped up by Profile Books. Rebecca Gray, Associate Publisher at Profile, has acquired UK & Commonwealth Rights from Juliet Pickering at Blake Friedmann and Louise Lamont at LBA. Profile will publish DIARY OF A SUBURBAN LADY in Autumn 2019.

Rebecca Gray says: ‘I’m so delighted that the marvellous Ms Mangan has decided to bring the DIARY OF A SUBURBAN LADY to Profile, we’re going to have a ball publishing it. From marital misadventures to children’s first haircuts to horrifying threadworm experiences, with plenty of friends and frenemies along the way, it’s a hilarious skewering of the combination of sweetness and nightmare that is modern family life. Hopefully she’ll have some thoughts on last minute World Book Day costume demands too.’

Lucy Mangan says:  I’m thrilled to be publishing this book with Profile and to have Rebecca by my side as I venture into fiction for the first time, with this modern take on THE DIARY OF A PROVINCIAL LADY (E M Delafield’s dry-witted classic of family life and other vexations). I intend to neglect my own family entirely as I get to work on DIARY OF A SUBURBAN LADY, which I hope will be a comic journey through the vicissitudes of modern domestic and professional life that will go well with a double gin and tonic at the end of the day.

Lucy will be attending the Derby Book Festival in June to discuss her memoir on childhood reading, BOOKWORM, which was published by Square Peg in March 2018.

Lucy Mangan is a journalist and a writer for the Guardian. She has written for most major women’s magazines, including GraziaMarie Claire and Cosmopolitan, and has a weekly column in Stylist magazine. She was named Columnist of the Year at PPA Awards in 2013. Her works include MY FAMILY AND OTHER DISASTERS, HOPSCOTCH AND HANDBAGS: The Essential Guide to Being a Girl, and THE RELUCTANT BRIDE. A commemoration of 50 years of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, INSIDE CHARLIE'S CHOCOLATE FACTORY was published by Puffin UK/US in 2014.

Visit Lucy’s Guardian page

Follow Lucy on Twitter


BOOKWORM cover.png

An enchanting memoir on childhood reading, BOOKWORM by Lucy Mangan, is published in hardback and ebook today by Square Peg. Lucy revisits childhood favourites in this immersive read, reflecting on what these stories meant as a young reader, and how these meanings have changed over time. Jacqueline Wilson has praised BOOKWORM as ‘passionate, witty, informed, and gloriously opinionated'. 

When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one.

She was whisked away to Narnia, Kirrin Island, and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy, and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With CHARLOTTE’S WEB she discovered Death and with Judy Blume it was Boys. No wonder she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home.

In BOOKWORM, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-loved books, their extraordinary creators, and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way. Bringing the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life – prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate – Lucy brilliantly uses them to tell her own story, that of a born, and unrepentant, bookworm.

Lucy Mangan is a journalist and a writer for the Guardian. She has written for most major women’s magazines, including Grazia, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, and has a weekly column in Stylist magazine. She was named Columnist of the Year at PPA Awards in 2013. Her works include MY FAMILY AND OTHER DISASTERS, HOPSCOTCH AND HANDBAGS: The Essential Guide to Being a Girl, and THE RELUCTANT BRIDE. A commemoration of 50 years of Roald Dahl's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, INSIDE CHARLIE'S CHOCOLATE FACTORY was published by Puffin UK/US in 2014.

Visit Lucy’s Guardian page

Follow Lucy on Twitter

Praise for BOOKWORM:

‘Throughout BOOKWORM [Mangan] artfully evokes that peculiar magic of reading as a child…Deliciously unrepentant, Mangan’s BOOKWORM makes a timely case not just for how vital reading is, but also for rereading books as a child, and how reading remains consoling, fortifying and, sometimes, magical.’ — Helen Davies, The Times

‘A wonderful romp through the pages of childhood, illuminated by wisdom, humour and enthusiasm.’ — Bernard Cornwell

‘Absolutely gorgeous. I felt like this was written just for me, and I think everyone will feel this way.’ — Jenny Colgan

'Beautiful and moving... It will kickstart a cascade of nostalgia for countless people' — Marian Keyes

‘Mangan is writing to and for her fellow book junkies, the ones who can’t leave the house without a book (or three) in their bag, for whom even the thought of doing so brings them out in a cold sweat. BOOKWORM invites us to relive and re-evaluate our own childhood reading, and has the good manners to entertain us along the way.’ — Claire Hennessy, Headstuff

‘What a treat! If you remember reading any of these for the first time, or just identify as a bookworm in general this book is such a delight…I can’t think of a better tribute to the power of reading…an ideal gift for any bookworm you know.’ — Bee Reader




I KNOW A WOMAN final cover.JPG

The beautifully illustrated book, I KNOW A WOMAN by Kate Hodges, is published today by Quarto Books. A celebration of the world’s most influential and inspiring women, from artists to musicians to political activists, I KNOW A WOMAN reveals the unexpected connections that link them. The book contains a thoughtful foreword by author Lucy Mangan, and vibrant illustrations by Sarah Papworth.

Behind every great woman… is another great woman. Here, the extraordinary achievements, relationships and secret histories of 84 pioneering women are revealed in inspirational stories which together show the indomitable strength of womankind. From ground-breaking scientist Marie Curie to political activist Malala Yousafzai, from feminist author Virginia Woolf to the game-changing Billie Jean King; I KNOW A WOMAN creates a gigantic web of womanhood which celebrates the relationships between the world’s most inspirational and influential women. Threading tales from across the globe and throughout history, the lives of innovative aviatrixes, gun-toting revolutionaries and women with incomparable intellects are revealed.

Kate Hodges graduated from the University of Westminster with a BA in Print Journalism. She has over 20 years writing experience on magazines, having been a staffer on publications including The Face, Bizarre, Just Seventeen, Smash Hits and Sky, and written for many more, including The Guardian, The Sunday Express, Kerrang! and NME. She has also worked for Rapido TV, makers of the cult show Eurotrash, luxury brand marketing company Noir Luxe, and P For Production films. Her first book, Little London, a guide to free and cheap, family-friendly things to do in the capital, was published in 2014. London in an Hour and Rural London came out in 2016.