Book News

from our favourite local book shop, The Book Case

Thursday, 3 December 2009

TOP TEN: November's bestsellers at The Book Case

1. Summat A'Nowt - Steve Murty, £9.95
Steve Murty's well-illustrated history of the Calder Valley and surrounding area - especially the ancient hamlet of Stubb - stayed in the No. 1 position.

2. Ten Poems about Christmas - ed. Carol Ann Duffy, £4.95
Is it a book? Is it a card? Our multi-tasking Poet Laureate chose the poems in this bright pamphlet with envelope from Candlestick Press (who have also produced "Ten Poems about Bicycles/Puddings/Love".

3. Gone Walkabout - Anna Carlisle, £6.95
The bestselling book of local walks now out in a substantially rewritten and updated edition, with new maps. From Hebden Bridge publishers Pennine Pens.

4. Mrs Scrooge: A Christmas Tale - Carol Ann Duffy, ill. Posy Simmonds, £4.99
The coldest Christmas Eve on record finds widowed Mrs Scrooge outside the supermarket, protesting against consumerism and waste. 'Spoilsport!' shout the passersby as they load up their shopping carts with Christmas goodies.

5. A Place Like This - Jill Robinson, £6.95
The long-awaited third book of the popular Berringden Brow series, set not too far from Hebden Bridge. Heroine Jess is helping to run a neighbourhood advice centre, while contending with the erratic life-style of her son.

6. Yorkshire Dales Textile Mills - George Ingle, £9.99
An illustrated account of all the mills that once stood in the Dales, with information about the firms, child labour, and hand-loom weavers' riots plus details of the buildings, the machinery in them and their power sources. Royd Press.

7. Lecardo, £5.99
This entertaining card wordgame for ages 10-adult featured in the latest issue of Scallymag.

8. Stick Man - Julia Donaldson, £5.99
The team responsible for the Gruffalo bring you the scary adventures of the Stick Man. But all ends happily.

9. Hebden Bridge Town Trail, £2.00
This colourful guide to a 45-minute walk around the town, giving details of points of interest and photographs of the same scenes in times gone by, continued to sell well. From Hebden Bridge Local History Society and Hebden Bridge Walkers' Action.

10. John Muir Trust Wild Nature Diary, £13.50
This collection of wonderful nature photographs is always popular. The Trust celebrates the work of the naturalist, conservationist and visionary, John Muir.

Now in stock is our selection from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, with "magnetic personality" finger puppets-cum-fridge magnets (including Sherlock Holmes, the Scream, Nelson Mandela, Machiavelli, the Devil, Monet, Verdi, Shakespeare and Shiva, plus last year's favourites) mugs, some with disappearing pictures (the Cheshire Cat, Global Warming, Henry VIII & wives, dinosaurs, Adam and Eve, Shakespeare, Descartes, Maths) and "Quotable Notables", a new line of die-cut cards with stickers (including the Mad Hatter, Leonardo da Vinci, Jane Austen, and many more).


We highlight every month books we think are of particular interest: from adult fiction and non-fiction, a children's book and a CD. Adult fiction: The True Deceiver - Tove Jansson, trans. Thomas Teal (£7.99). In the deep winter snows of a Swedish hamlet, a strange young woman fakes a break-in at the house of an elderly artist in order to persuade her that she needs companionship. But what does she hope to gain by doing this? And who ultimately is deceiving whom? Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? - Michael Sandel (£14.99). An exhilarating and informed discussion from this year's BBC Reith lecturer. Is killing sometimes morally required? Is the free market fair? It is sometimes wrong to tell the truth? What is justice, and what does it mean? Children: Tabby McTat - Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (£10.99). Fred, the busker, and his cat, are purr-fectly happy, singing together all day long. But then one day Fred has an accident, and he and Tabby are separated: how will they ever find each other again? This is the latest book by the award-winning duo behind The Gruffalo. Ages: 2-6yrs.

CDs: Classic Children's Songs (£11.99) 35 song settings of classic children's poems, including "The Owl and the Pussy Cat", "Wynken Blinken and Nod", "Duck's Ditty", "Smuggler's Song", several Spike Milligans and many more. And The Manchester Carols - Carol Ann Duffy & Sasha Johnson Manning (£5.99). This new sequence of Christmas carols was recorded at St Thomas's Church, Stockport by the Manchester Carollers and Northern Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Richard Tanner. They retell the Christmas story for the 21st century, celebrating a child's birth and a man who lived by a humble selfless creed championing the marginalised.

Local Interest

A Calder Valley Christmas - DVD by Nick Wilding, £12.99
From well-known local film-maker Nick Wilding, a classic mixture of archive film (including the snow of 1947), reminiscences, hilarious anecdotes and old traditions, on DVD. Culminates in Colden School children singing "Christmas in Hebden Bridge". To be launched at Hebden Bridge Picture House, 3rd December, 7.45 for 8.15pm

The Law Family of Todmorden and the Upper Calder Valley, 16th-20th centuries by Frank T Haylett, £20
258-page A4 book tracing the Law family from the early 1500s on Langfield up to the present day, with the lives of about 2500 people associated with the Law family. There's an accompanying family tree in a separate A4 booklet (included in price).

The Shepherd Lord - George Peter Algar, £9.99
Historical novel set in Yorkshire, about Henry Clifford, the young aristocrat brought up in Skipton Castle, who was raised as a simple shepherd during the Wars of the Roses. The same story is told in Phyllis Bentley's "Sheep May Safely Graze" for children, currently out of print.

John Hodgson's Textile Manufacture in Keighley: a facsimile reprint (£9.95)
This detailed account of the contemporary textile industry in and around Keighley in 1879 is reissued in a pocket chunky hardback, with a new introduction and index by industrial historians Gill Cookson and George Ingle, with a selection of old photos.

Local Authors

Congratulations to Jean Illingworth of Sowerby (NOT Sowerby Bridge) who with Sowerby Residents' Association enterprisingly sent a copy of her book Growing Up in Sowerby to Prince Charles in the hope he might help do something about the dilapidated shops which replaced the lovely old almshouses in Towngate.

Happy Christmas Hammy the Wonder Hamster - Poppy Harris, £4.99
From a Mytholmroyd-based author, the second in a charming series from Puffin about an unusually brilliant hamster.

The Inshallah Paper - Andrew Trimbee, £15.00
A Halifax-born author who has worked on the Halifax Courier, Northern Echo, Daily Mail, Times, Daily Telegraph and East African Standard tells how he set up the first English-language newspaper in Bahrain. The pages of this extraordinary odyssey are crowded with everything from sex-mad expatriates, a ghost and a mermaid to an encounter with the veteran foreign correspondent who felled Max Schmeling. The Bahrainis themselves, gentle and generous, provide the backdrop for this revealing insight into a way of life largely gone, from the coffee ritual at the palace to crafts of yesteryear.

A Useful Spelling Handbook For Adults - Catherine Taylor, £5.99
From the Norland-based Dyslexia Coordinator at Calderdale College, a useful little book aimed at adults who struggle with spelling. She's also the author of "A Useful Dyslexia Handbook for Adults".

Precious Moments by Susie Field, £5.95
A third book of short stories from ex-Brighouse Girls'Grammar School pupil Susie Field, who's now the vice-president of Huddersfield Authors' Circle.

Wasted by Alastair Sinclair, £8.99
The author lives on a canal boat with his partner at Mayroyd Moorings, and this novel is the first of a trilogy. What happens when your nightmares are real, and when you don t wake up, but find yourself in another reality?


This year's winner of a plaster foot is Jonathan Littell, as announced on 30 November. Previous winners include Sebastian Faulks, AA Gill and Giles Coren, while last year's ceremony also saw John Updike given a lifetime achievement prize after four consecutive nominations. The shortlist consisted of: Paul Theroux - A Dead Hand Nick Cave - The Death of Bunny Munro Philip Roth - The Humbling Jonathan Littell - The Kindly Ones Amos Oz - Rhyming Life and Death John Banville - The Infinities Anthony Quinn - The Rescue Man Simon Van Booy - Love Begins in Winter Sanjida O'Connell - The Naked Name of Love Richard Milward - Ten Storey Love Song The brave can find the offending extracts at the Guardian website

See Book News 3 (rd Nov 09)
See Book News 2 (10th Oct 09)
See Book News 1 (2nd Oct 09)

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