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Book News: November 2010


from The Book Case, who have been providing our community with books for over 25 years


TOP TEN: October's bestsellers at The Book Case

1. The Quarry - Daniel Huws (?7.99). It's the first time we've had an out-of-print book as our bestseller! But we had got in a number of secondhand copies of this book of the poems for the author's appearance at the Ted Hughes Festival.

2. Earth Pathways Diary 2011 (?12.99). Colourful diary with photos, artwork and poems celebrating our connection to the Earth.

3. Beowulf - Kevin Crossley-Holland (?5.99). Kevin Crossley-Holland joked about his rivalry with Seamus Heaney in their modern versions of Beowulf! This version is in strong rhythmical prose, with illustrations by Charles Keeping.

4. Worlds: Seven Modern Poets (?5.99). Another out-of-print bestseller, this well-read book contains Ted Hughes's essay "The Rock" about growing up in Mytholmroyd, as well as a number of Fay Godwin's Elmet photos; plus other well-known poets such as Seamus Heaney.

5. West Yorkshire Folk Tales - John Billingsley (?9.99). Local historian John Billingsley's latest collection of West Yorkshire folklore, entertainingly told, with atmospheric line drawings by Heptonstall illustrator, Stan McCarthy.

6. Seeing Stone - Kevin Crossley-Holland (?6.99). The first in the Arthur trilogy: a 13-year-old boy living in 1199 eventually becomes a squire - while being able to observe the life of King Arthur through a magic stone.

7. We'Moon Diary 2011 (?15.99). "Groundswell" is the theme of this colourful moon calendar and datebook for women this year.

8. Freedom - Jonathan Franzen (?15.00 at The Book Case). This is the novel which had the wrong version published! It's about a well-meaning couple and their son struggling to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world.

9. Dreamfighter - Ted Hughes (?6.99). Mesmerising creation tales from a master storyteller about the creatures around us.

10. Hebden Bridge: a short history of the area - Peter Thomas (?5.99). Peter Thomas's account of the history of our area from ancient times to the present day continued popular.



There are more local literary causes for excitement this month: the internationally-acclaimed historian and local resident Juliet Barker has just brought out her new edition of The Brontes which is our November Non-Fiction Book of the Month. We have some signed copies in stock! Juliet Barker's landmark book was the first definitive history of the Brontes. It demolishes myths, yet provides startling new information that is just as compelling - but true. Based on first-hand research among all the Bronte manuscripts, many so tiny they can only be read by magnifying glass, and among contemporary historical documents never before used by Bronte biographers, this book is both scholarly and compulsively readable. See below.

And this month will see a new Virago version of Helena Whitbread's edition of Anne Lister's diaries - Helena talked about the first edition of the book, "I Know My Own Heart", to a packed audience at the Carlton Hotel (now Carlton Chambers) back in 1988, at an event organised by The Book Case! We hope to be holding a similar event in the months to come. See below.

Congratulations to local author and poet John Siddique for his most moving contribution to Granta's magnificent issue on Pakistan. 'Six Snapshots of Partition' is a memoir piece looking at the effect of the Partition of India on his family and in particular his father. Read it now online.

And there is an exhibition of watercolours of local landscapes by award-winning author and artist Glyn Hughes at the Linton Court Gallery, Settle, until 19th December.

The Book Case has joined The Campaign For Real Books aka CAMBO! It's a not-for-profit pressure group that is trying to ensure survival of the paper book, under the slogan "Paper makes books worth reading!" They say: "Spending time and money in a good bookshop is one of life's greatest pleasures. By joining the Campaign For Real Books you can get 10% discounts on new and old books from your favourite independent bookshops simply by showing them your membership card. You'll also become part of a huge community of book lovers who will have a real say in the future of real books. Too many local shops have closed down - let's make sure we keep the ones we have and encourage new ones to open." Find out more at and "make sure that paper books enjoy a future as long, as dignified and as important as their past."



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 Ballad of John Clare - Hugh Lupton (?9.99). From the well-known Oral Story Teller (who has appeared at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival on many occasions), a bitter-sweet historical novel dealing with John Clare's early life when he is 17 and in tune with nature and the rural environment around his home in the east of England. The book also looks at the parcelling of the land and its distribution to local landsowners and how this broke up communities in the nineteenth century.

Adult non-fiction: The Brontes (new edition) - Juliet Barker (?14.99). Juliet Barker's landmark book was the first definitive history of the Brontes and is now updated. 'As a work of scholarship it is brilliant ... a stupendous read' - Independent on Sunday.

Children's book: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth - Jeff Kinney (?10.99). Catch the hapless Greg Heffley as he navigates his way through family and school life with his best friend, Rowley, by his side in a brand new "Wimpy Kid" adventure! Readership level: 9-11yrs

CD: Voices of the UK: Accents and Dialects of English - The British Library (2 CDs)(?15.95). 143 recordings that capture and celebrate the rich diversity of British English in locations across the whole of the UK. From Scots to Scouse and Geordie to Cockney, the extraordinary variety of accents and dialects in the UK reflects our society's continuity and change, our local history and our individual identities.