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Book News: July 2010

from our favourite local book shop, The Book Case


TOP TEN: June's bestsellers at The Book Case

1. Notwithstanding - Louis Bernieres (£7.99): "Stories from an English village" where a lady dresses in plus fours and shoots squirrels, a retired general gives up wearing clothes altogether and a spiritualist lives in a cottage with the ghost of her husband. Louis de Bernieres appeared in Mytholmroyd during the Festival.

2. Selected Poems - Simon Armitage (£9.99) & 3. Seeing Stars - Simon Armitage (£12.99): Simon Armitage opened his reading at the Ted Hughes Theatre with the memorable "Sperm Whale" piece from this new collection described as "by turns a voice and a chorus: a hyper-vivid array of dramatic monologues, allegories, parables and tall tales." "Selected Poems" has a choice of poems from nine of his books up to 2001.

4. All Points North - Simon Armitage (£8.99): And this humorous prose collection is about growing up and being Northern in West Yorkshire.

5. Amenable Women - Mavis Cheek (£7.99): Mavis Cheek spoke with Louis de Bernieres to an appreciative audience in Mytholmroyd. In this novel, Flora Chapman is in her fifties when her husband dies in a bizarre ballooning accident. Seizing upon her new found freedom, she decides to finish the history of their village that Edward had begun.

6. Truth to Tell - Mavis Cheek (£11.99): Mavis Cheek's most recent novel. Nina Porter seems to have it all: husband, home, family and security. But her life turns upside down when a marital row over truthfulness sets her thinking.

7. Hebden Bridge: a short history of the area - Peter Thomas (£5.99): Local author Peter Thomas's account of the history of our area continues to sell briskly.

8. Falling through Clouds - Anna Chilvers (£7.99): A modern twist on a medieval classic from a local author. Anna will be talking about the book during the Halifax Festival.

9. The Plot - Madeline Bunting (£8.99): Subtitled "A biography of an English acre", this was our July Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Following the author's deeply conservative father's death, she began to explore his passionate, lifelong attachment to a small plot of land in North Yorkshire.

Tied at 10th place: West Yorkshire Folk Tales - John Billingsley (£9.99): The people of West Yorkshire have always been fond of a good story. Well-known local historian John Billingsley's latest book includes cautionary tales, amusing anecdotes, age-old legends and fantastical myths
& Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver (£7.99): Orange Prize winner about a man torn between the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s McCarthyite America.



This month Bookhugger online literary mag have chosen The Bookcase as Independent Bookshop of the Month


Local Interest

Walks around Calderdale - Dorian Speakman (£2.99)
From Dalesman, a pocket-sized guide to ten local walks, ranging from Ogden Water and Mirfield to Walsden, and including Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall, Mytholmroyd, Cragg Vale and Todmorden areas.

Hebden Bridge 1510 - the 500-year-old bridge (£1.00)
A fold-out poster with a late-19th-century photo on one side and notes about the history of the bridge and of Old Gate on the other.

Hebden Bridge Calendar, 2011 - Vanessa Kay (£4.99)
Local photographer Vanessa Kay has taken over the Hebden Bridge Calendar from Geoff Boswell - the format is basically the same with lots of nice colour pictures and room to write your appointments - but the pictures and some info are shown on the back cover.

Mountain Bike Guide - South Pennines of West Yorkshire and Lancashire - Stephen Hall (£16.50)
Introduces you to the wilderness and urban trail networks of Kirklees & Calderdale, Airedale & Wharfedale and Lancashire. Contains 26 well-researched and legal routes, most with short, medium and long modular options. Colour photos, Ordnance Survey mapping, gradient profiles, clear route descriptions and informative text. The front cover shows a cyclist on an uphill track near Stoodley Pike and local routes include Crimsworth Dean, Widdop, and Luddenden, Oxenhope and Ogden.

Lament for the Mills - Robert Cockcroft (£7.99)
This unusual and striking book from an author born in Todmorden tells the story of the Cockcroft family and their mills through skilled poetry, prose and some great black and white photos - some supplied by Roger Birch.

More Memories of Halifax (£10.99)
From True North books in Halifax, another collection of old photos of Halifax as it used to be.

125 Not Out: the Story of Illingworth St Mary's Cricket Club, 1884-2009 - Andrew Smith (£10)
From Illingworth CC President Andrew Smith, a history of Illingworth Cricket Club which celebrated its first 125 years last year. Nicely produced in colour with lots of facts and figures and loads of illustrations.


Local Authors

Tyke on a Bike: Canals of Northern England and Scotland - John Priestley (£9.99)
From Halifax-based author John Priestley, an account of how he abandoned his job to bike around the canals of Yorkshire, Lancashire and further afield - including our very own Rochdale Canal.

Upward Road: my early life - John Priestley (£9.99)
This new book by the same author is about growing up in Halifax in the 1950s and '60s before he went on to Oxford University.

From Haworth-based author Edward Evans: II PY (£12.99)
A thriller featuring a Rolls Royce - the IIPY of the title - crimes and chases from Haworth to France, with homage to one of automobile history's greatest cars. (The car is alive and well and available for hire.) The book, first published in 2008, raised £2,000 for the homeless.

Like a Fish Out of Water (£14.99)
A chunky page-turning novel which ranges from a mid-20th century English public school to the violence of Nazi-occupied France - seen through the eyes of an 89-year-old widow who asks a Bradford Telegraph and Argus journalist to write her life-story. £1 from every copy sold goes to the RAF Benevolent Fund.

For the Right Reasons (£12.99)
New out this year, and featuring the Conway family of Haworth first met in "IIPY". As the Berlin Wall falls, they become dragged into the murky world of espionage. £1 from every copy sold will go to the Help for Heroes charity.


Local Events

Woven in the Fabric by Anna Carlisle, Sat 14 August
- Halifax Festival & Square Peg Productions
An exciting new promenade play which examines the lives of Martha Crossley of Dean Clough, Halifax and Lavena Saltonstall of Hebden Bridge and Halifax Suffragette. During the performance the audience will be invited to assist in the making of a rag rug. The performance will start at Square Chapel and make its way to Halifax Minster, so please dress with the weather in mind!