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Book News: June 2011

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


TOP TEN: May bestsellers at The Book Case

Local history was top of the charts again in May with four titles; two books of poems sold well, including one by a locally-based writer, three novels were popular, and the BBC Proms Guide was in demand as soon as it appeared.

1. The Mills of the Hebden Valley - HBATC (£5.00)

2. Fustianopolis: Hebden Bridge, the growth of a textile town - HBATC (£5.00) These two informative illustrated booklets about the history of our area continued popular. Lots of old photographs, information and maps so you can see the history all around you!

3. Full Blood - John Siddique (£9.99)
A fascinating talk by John Siddique on some of the ideas behind his new book of poems - including the Tree of Life, chakras and God's female side - gave this one a boost.

4. Power in the Landscape - HBATC (£5.00)
Colour-illustrated pamphlet with the history of watermills in the area. Nicely produced.

5. Room - Emma Donoghue (£7.99)
Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room and they don't have the key. Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010 and this year's Orange Prize.

6. Hebden Bridge: a short history of the area - Peter Thomas (£5.99)
Popular as always, Peter Thomas's account of the history of our area from ancient times to the present day.

7. The Finkler Question - Howard Jacobson (£7.99)
The 2010 Booker winner and our Fiction Book of the Month. A funny and serious novel about love, loss and male friendship.

8. Diamond Star Halo - Tiffany Murray (£7.99)
A word-of-month bestselling "unexpectedly quirky and funny" novel. Growing up in a rural recording studio, Halo Llewellyn is rarely star-struck, but when one of the visiting singers gives birth to Fred, she knows right away that he's special.

9. BBC Proms Guide 2011 (£6.00)
They don't start till mid-July but this has been selling briskly. Lots of extra articles as well as the programme.

10. Ten Poems by the Romantics (£4.95)
Ten poems by Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, the Wordsworths et al in the atttractive "Instead of a book" series - envelope and bookmark included.


We were very sad to hear of the death of Glyn Hughes, a local author of major importance. His novels brilliantly and atmospherically evoked the nature and landscape of the Calder Valley, and he was selected to represent Yorkshire in a Guardian project in 2005 to set up a library of classics of nature writing. Latterly he had been concentrating on his painting and poetry and his most recent book, A Year in the Bull-Box, follows the course of a year's cancer from acceptance to joyous life again through closeness to nature. We had been associated with him from our opening in 1984 and he will be much missed.


Local Authors

The Fairy Folk of Bracken Lea Wood - Christine Cartledge
From a Todmorden reflexologist, ten tales of Nature Spirits for humans of all ages, with an environmental and socially responsible slant. Humans and Fairy Folk work together to save nearby woodland from development. From arranging a litter-pick in the woods to finding a new wand for the Fairy Queen, it is a busy life for the Fairy Folk.

Unless Otherwise Stated - Simon Rennie (£7.00)
From a Hebden Bridge poet, a new book of over fifty poems, the result of over four years of writing. Simon is the host of the Manchester-based monthly Inn Verse poetry evening. "His poetry is anachronistically formulaic and irritates more people than it pleases" he says.

Local Events

Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, 24 June - 10 July

Book events include:

Novelist Sarah Hall ("The best young writer in Britain") Monday 27 June, 8-9.30pm, St Michael's Hall, Mytholmroyd

Tom Palmer, Todmorden-based author of two popular Puffin football series will present a football reading game, Saturday 2 July, 3-4pm, Central Street School, Hebden Bridge. Kate says: "As a child, Tom says, he was a very reluctant reader, before his mum used his passion for football to encourage him to read. He is now the author of two exciting football fiction series for children, Foul Play, for older children, and Football Academy, which features an under twelve premiership side, and was researched at Burnley football club."

Pennine Watershed Writer-in-Residence Char March, Sunday 3 July, 2-3pm, St Michael's Hall, Mytholmroyd: Char has been working with local residents young and old to help them write about watersheds physical and spiritual.

Orange-shortlisted novelist Monique Roffey, Sunday 3 July, 8-9.30pm, Nelson's Wine Bar, Crown Street, Hebden Bridge

Hugely popular crimewriter Val McDermid, Monday 4 July, 7.30-9pm, Little Theatre, Holme Street, Hebden Bridge

Comedian Robin Ince, Wednesday 6 July, 8-10pm, Hebden Bridge Picture House. The show is a compilation of the world's worst and inadvertently hilarious books.

Ann and Peter Sansom of the Poetry Business, Sunday 10 July, 10.15am-4pm, Lumb Bank, Heptonstall

Poet and author Ruth Padel with poet Ann Sansom, Sunday 10 July, 7.30-9pm, Linden Mill, Linden Road, Hebden Bridge

Find out more at the Festival website


Orange Prize Shortlist 2011

The winner will be announced 8th June. We're displaying the paperbacks and can order the others

Emma Donoghue - Room (£7.99) - Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don't have the key. Jack and Ma are prisoners.

Aminatta Forna ? The Memory of Love (£7.99) - Freetown, Sierra Leone: a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with terrible secrets to keep. In the capital's hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons. Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a university professor.

Emma Henderson ? Grace Williams Says It Loud (£7.99) - The doctors said no more could be done and advised Grace's parents to put her away. On her first day at the Briar Mental Institute, Grace, aged eleven, meets Daniel. Debonair Daniel, an epileptic who can type with his feet, sees a different Grace.

Nicole Krauss ? Great House (£16.99) - During the winter of 1972, a woman spends a single night with a young Chilean poet before he departs New York, leaving her his desk. Two years later, he is arrested by Pinochet's secret police and never seen again. Across the ocean, in the leafy suburbs of London, a man caring for his dying wife discovers a lock of hair among her papers that unravels a terrible secret.

Tea Obreht ? The Tiger's Wife (£12.99) - 'In April of 1941, without declaration or warning, the German bombs started falling over the city and did not stop for three days. The tiger did not know that they were bombs...' A tiger escapes from the local zoo, padding through the ruined streets and onwards, to a ridge above the Balkan village of Galina. His nocturnal visits hold the villagers in a terrified thrall.

Kathleen Winter ? Annabel (£12.99) - In 1968, in Labrador, a mysterious child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once. Only three people share the secret - the baby's parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbour, Thomasina. Together the adults make a difficult decision: to go through surgery and raise the child as a boy named Wayne.


Elmet Poetry Prize, Ted Hughes Young Poets' Award and Huddersfield University Yorkshire Prize

The details are now out for the above competitions. This year's Elmet Poetry Prize is on the theme of Connections and will be judged by Liz Lochhead. The Ted Hughes Young Poets' Award, on the same theme, will be judged by Anne Fine. More info.

The Huddersfield University Yorkshire Prize is for the best poem in the competition written by a poet living in Yorkshire. The closing date for the competitions is 15 July.

The prizes will be awarded by the judges at the Ted Hughes Festival in Mytholmroyd on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd October.