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Book News: February 2011

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


TOP TEN: January bestsellers at The Book Case

Still at the top, different facets of local history with three other books of local interest also represented. The Book Case's other bestsellers included two novels, a non-fiction book on why manual work feels better than knowledge work, a book of love poems (Valentine's Day is coming!) and the true story of a wartime escape.

1. At the Foot of the Lud - Sheena Ellwood (£9.99). Still at the top, this well-researched history of Luddenden Foot by a local resident - reviewed in the Courier today!

2. The Good Ship Calder High and other tales from the 1950s - Peter Thomas (£5.00). The author, who is a well-known local historian, was a guinea pig at the experimental new school in Mytholmroyd and now spills the beans.

3. Trespass - Rose Tremain (£7.99). This novel about an unwitting visitor to a silent valley in southern France and its troubled inhabitants was our Fiction Book of the Month.

4. The Case for Working with Your Hands - Matthew Crawford (£8.99). Our Non-Fiction Book of the Month, it tells "Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good", which struck a chord with many of our customers.

5. West Yorkshire Folk Tales - John Billingsley (£9.99). Back amongst the bestsellers, local historian John Billingsley's latest collection of West Yorkshire folklore, entertainingly told, with atmospheric line drawings by Heptonstall illustrator, Stan McCarthy.

6. Fabrics, Filth and Fairy Tents - Angus Bethune Reach, ed. Chris Aspin (£6.95). Our reprint of Reach's graphic journalistic accounts of what he found amongst the West Riding textile workers in 1849 had a bit of a surge in January.

7. Love Poems - Carol Ann Duffy (£4.99). Whether writing of longing or adultery, romance or seduction, Carol Ann Duffy captures the truth of what it means to love, to be in love, and to be loved in return - and, sometimes, of what it means when love ends.

8. One Day - David Nicholls (£7.99). Funny and moving novel which follows two people through twenty years. Galaxy Fiction Book of the Year.

9. Halifax Joint Committee 1995-2010 - Keith A Jenkinson (£11.99). The story of the orange, green and cream buses that operated around Halifax for the last fifteen years, ceasing on 23 October 2010, apart from school and supermarket duties. The company was set up by a bus enthusiast and this book has 150 colour photos, plus leaflets and timetables.

10. The Long Walk - Slavomir Rawicz (£7.99). "The true story of a trek to freedom": Slavomir Rawicz was a young Polish cavalry officer, arrested by the Russians in 1939 and after brutal interrogation sentenced to 25 years in the Gulags. After a three month journey to Siberia in the depths of winter he escaped with six companions. Inspired the film "The Way Back".


The Book Case is now on both Facebook and Twitter and has a Blog.

This is the BBC Year of Books and Sebastian Faulks begins his four-part series Faulks on Fiction this Saturday, 5th Feb at 9pm on BBC2, looking at enduring fictional characters in the British novel.


We highlight every month books we think are of particular interest: from adult fiction and non-fiction and a children's book.

Adult fiction: Mornings in Jenin - Susan Abulhawa (£7.99). Palestine 1948. A mother clutches her six-month-old son as Israeli soldiers march through the village of Ein Hod. In a split second, her son is snatched from her arms and the fate of the Abulheja family is changed forever as they are forced into a refugee camp.

Adult non-fiction: Backbone of England: Life and Landscape on the Pennine Watershed - Andrew Bibby (£8.99). "As well as a celebration of an exceptional area of countryside, this quietly moving and impressive book examines all aspects of the area's history, including wildlife, ecology, geology and culture." - Sunday Telegraph. From locally-based author and journalist and Hebden Bridge Walkers Action member Andrew Bibby.

Children's book: Cabinet of Curiosities - Paul Dowswell (£6.99). A original adventure with strong girl and boy characters set in the fascinating historical setting of ancient Bohemia, more bizarre than fiction itself. Meticulously researched and incredibly imagined. Ages: 10 +


Local Interest

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. Now in stock and our non-fiction book of the month. Look out for our forthcoming event at which Andrew will talk about the book.

Local Authors

A Year in the Bull Box - Glyn Hughes (£9.99 pb, £12.99)
The award-winning local author's new book of poems will be published later this month by Arc Publications of Todmorden - it will be launched at lunch time on Saturday 26th February at the South Square Centre, Thornton, near Bradford. Glyn Hughes's Twiston Beck paintings exhibition will be launched at the same venue tomorrow between 7.0 and 9.0 pm. The exhibition runs from 5th February to 27th February, Tues - Sunday, 12.0 - 3.0 pm (other times may be arranged by contacting the Centre). Details and images can be seen here

History of the British Isles to 1714 AD - John Priestley (£9.99)
From a Halifax-based author, a general history of the British Isles. Unlike many histories, this book pays attention to pre-Conquest Britain as laying the foundation of the British races, English language and law and the historic counties and asks the question: why do the British people look so different in different parts of the country? Overall it stretches from the retreat of the ice caps through the prehistoric period, the Iron Age, the Roman era, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Norman Conquest and right through to the Tudor and Stuart dynasties.

Shirley Craven and Hull Traders: Revolutionary Fabrics and Furniture 1957-1980 by Lesley Jackson (£25))
Shirley Craven was the most gifted textile designer of her generation, specialising in big bold abstracts, and this big colourful book celebrates her remarkable achievements at Hull Traders, the Trawden-based textile company. The accompanying exhibition is at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston untikl 5th March. Lesley Jackson is a writer, curator and design historian based in Hebden Bridge and will be talking about the Hull Traders and Shirley Craven's work on Wednesday 16th February at the Gallery (phone 01772 905414).

Hoping for Rain - Catherine Kerr Phillips
From a local author and actress, an account of how she overcame anorexia. Available online.

New titles

More good titles are coming in February with paperback fiction including Andrea Levy, Peter Carey, Cormac McCarthy, John McGregor, Alexander McCall-Smith, Margaret Forster, Kate Atkinson, Henning Mankell, Peter Robinson and David Downing, plus a foray into fiction by Jason Webster of Duende fame, with a Spanish cop series.