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Book News: January 2011

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



1. Hebden Bridge: a short history of the area - Peter Thomas;

2. Yorkshire Dales Textile Mills - George Ingle;

3. At the Foot of the Lud - Sheena Ellwood;

4. Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver;

5. Falling through Clouds - Anna Chilvers;

6. The People's Manifesto - Mark Thomas;

7. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson;

8. The Good Ship Calder High - Peter Thomas;

9. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel;

10. Gone Walkabout - Anna Carlisle.


TOP TEN: December bestsellers at The Book Case

Five very different local interest titles were amongst bestsellers at The Book Case over the Christmas period. Also popular were a book on mental and manual work, an updated Christmas story, a big history book, one about maps and some hilarious stickers for adults commenting on aspects of today's society. Of our bestsellers over the whole year, local interest books accounted for half, with four novels and a humorous pre-election book making up the remainder. (Remember the election?)

1. At the Foot of the Lud - Sheena Ellwood (£9.99). This well-researched history of Luddenden Foot by a local resident was our most popular seller in December.

2. The Good Ship Calder High and other tales from the 1950s - Peter Thomas (£5.00). The author was a guinea pig at the experimental new school in Mytholmroyd and now tells all!

3. Hebden Bridge: a short history of the area - Peter Thomas (£5.99). Another title in the top ten for Peter Thomas - a history of the area from pre-Norman times to the present day.

4. Around Calderdale: Calderdale and its people on the Calderdale Way 1 & 2 - Ray Riches and Peter Thornton (£19.99). A walk tracing historic routes high on the valley sides on the circular route that takes in most of Calderdale, from the Pathways team. This double DVD covers the whole circuit.

5. The Case for Working with Your Hands - Matthew Crawford (£8.99). Subtitled "Or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good", this book did well for us in hardback and is doing even better in paperback!

6. Another Night before Christmas - Carol Ann Duffy, ill. Rob Ryan (£4.99). Atmospheric modern reworking of the Victorian Christmas classic with a quick dig at celebrity culture along the way.

7. History of the World in 100 Objects - Neil MacGregor (£22 at The Book Case). The big book related to the brilliant Radio 4 series by the Director of the British Museum.

8. Recipes and Rascals: food and funny goings-on in Yorkshire - Sue Hiscoe (£16.95). A beautifully presented collection of recipes inspired by old customs from Calderdale and beyond (including Dock Pudding). Sue is a professional photographer based in Barkisland. Look out for her on Look North on 12th Night!

9. Map Addict - A Tale of Obsession, Fudge and the Ordnance Survey - Mike Parker (£7.99). On an average day, we will consult some form of map approximately a dozen times, often without even noticing. They are the unsung heroes of life.

10. You Can Stick It - P K Munroe (£12.99). Hundreds of subversive, surreal and daft stickers for today's society, to cheer us all up! Provoked much merriment in the shop.



Backbone of England: Life and Landscape on the Pennine Watershed - Andrew Bibby (£8.99) Andrew Bibby walks the Pennines along the route of the watershed that separates the water flowing westwards to the Irish Sea and the Atlantic from the water heading towards the North Sea. Ranging from Kinder Scout in Derbyshire as far as Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, Hebden Bridge-based journalist and author Andrew Bibby reveals the factors which make the Pennine landscape as it is, exploring what has happened in the past and, particularly, what is going on up in these hills today. Due early February.


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: Hand Me Down World - Lloyd Jones (£11.99). A multi-layered story of a woman's search for a lost child across different countries, observed by others. From the internationally bestselling author of Mister Pip.

Adult non-fiction: You Can Stick It - P K Munroe (£12.99). Hundreds of subversive, surreal and daft stickers for today's society, to cheer us all up!

Children's book: The Gruffalo Sound Book - Julia Donaldson (£12.99). Stomp, slither and scamper your way through the deep dark wood with this amazing play-along version of "The Gruffalo". Press the 10 interactive sound buttons and bring the nation's favourite bedtime story vividly to life!

CD: BBC Vintage Comedy: The Goons, Hancock, Take It from Here (£12.99 each). Four episodes from each of these classic comedy series of the 1950s.


Big Book List

Abebooks have published 15 "Longest Novels":

A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth (1994). A snip at 1,488 pages in paperback. It's not easy to find a husband for your daughter. Four families get all mixed up in India. Dozens of characters.

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace (1996) A quick bite at 1,088 pages in paperback Futuristic post-modern parody of something. No-one is really sure. Tennis, Quebec and addiction are in the mix. Endless endnotes.

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (1869) Walk in the park at 1,296 pages in paperback Napoleon & Co invade Russia but that's the least of the problems for five posh Russian families. Love and cannonballs. Much war, little peace.

Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (1877) A mere 960 pages in paperback
Anna is passionate. Levin likes the quiet life. The caddish Count just doesn't care. A tangled web of Russian relationships.

Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand (1957) 1,200 pages of wisdom in paperback
Explains current recession apparently. There's a strike and society falls apart as people stand up to the system. Also featured as a Bleak Book.

Shogun - James Clavell (1975) Only 1,210 pages in paperback
English adventurer gets more adventures than he bargained for in 17th century Japan. Culture shock. Samurai swords and love too.

Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (1862) An epic 1,488 pages in paperback
Ex-con Jean Valjean tries to clean up his act. Twenty years of French turmoil after Napoleon meets his Waterloo.

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell (1936) 1,028 pages paperback - if you give a damn. It's not easy being Scarlett O'Hara when there's Southern gentlemen around. American Civil War upsets the apple cart.

Shantarum - Gregory David Roberts (2003) An unlikely 936 pages in paperback. Fact meets fiction. Aussie armed robber gets sent to the Big House, escapes and goes on unlikely journey to India. Sells well at The Book Case.

The Far Pavilions - M.M. Kaye (1978) A breezy 960 pages in paperback
A bit like Kim. English orphan goes native in colonial India, much turmoil. Goes to England, comes back for adventures.

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson (1999) 1,168 pages of cyberpunk in paperback. Historical science fiction. World War II code-breaking drama intertwined with vision of data-oriented future.

Clarissa - Samuel Richardson (1748) 1,536 pages in paperback and no happy ending Love, and particularly a cad called Lovelace, are unkind to our tragic heroine Clarissa Harlowe. So sad.

The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (1844) 1,312 pages of revenge in paperback Edmond Dant?s is done up like a kipper, goes down, meets priest, escapes, gets rich and wreaks revenge.

Remembrance Rock - Carl Sandburg (1948) A patriotic 1,088 pages in paperback Three centuries of the American dream. From the Pilgrims to World War II. Hail to America. High fives.

Poor Fellow My Country - Xavier Herbert (1975) 1,463 pages Down Under in paperback. It's Australia before World War II. Almost everything that makes Australia Australia goes under the microscope.