The Bookman's Tale by US-based author Charlie Lovett and published by Alma Books in the UK was announced on Saturday 28th June as the nations's favourite 'hidden gem' for National Reading Group Day.
Over 1000 readers voted for the National Reading Group Day 'Hidden Gem' - a book they felt didn't get the popular recognition it deserved, but which would make a great reading group read.
The Bookman's Tale - the story of how a mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller's search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love - won almost a third of the total votes.
"I think one reason book groups here in the US have responded so positively to The Bookman's Tale is that it seems to hit the sweet spot between page-turner and thought-provoking literary mystery," says author Charlie Lovett. "In my many visits with book groups, readers have enjoyed exploring the influence of Shakespeare; the mechanics of multiple timelines; the dynamics of the relationship between Peter and Amanda, and the meaningful place of physical books in an increasingly digital society. Because The Bookman's Tale is, on one level, an ode to 'the book' itself, it has held a strong appeal for those who care enough about books to gather in groups and discuss them."
As a special treat to mark National Reading Group Day for reading groups everywhere, a guide to The Bookman's Tale is available online, and you can also send questions to author Charlie Lovett using the @CharlieLovett and #NRGD2014