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Book News: July 2011

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

TOP TEN: June bestsellers at The Book Case

Well, The Book Case's customers do like local history! A book of local walks was also popular. A clever comic novel, a children's picture book and a non-fiction books about life on the edge made up the remainder.

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

2. Fustianopolis: Hebden Bridge, the growth of a textile town - HBATC (£5.00) Their third month at the top of the bestseller list - two informative illustrated booklets about the history of our area. 3. 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 is generally to be found in our Top Ten.

4. Gone Walkabout - Anna Carlisle (£6.95) Twenty-four walks in the Upper Calder Valley for the sedentary to energetic.

5. Wise Children - Angela Carter (£7.99) A Reading Group choice, which helped this entertaining and bawdy story of twin ageing ex-chorus girls.

6. The Halifax Cavaliers and the Heptonstall Roundheads - David Shires (£5.50) By the late Captain Helliwell, an account of the Civil War struggle between Sir Francis Mackworth's royalist forces at Halifax and Colonel Bradshaw's parliamentary army at Heptonstall.

7. Old Ordnance Survey Maps for Yorkshire: Mytholmroyd 1905 (£2.99) Based on the old 1:25000 map and stretching as far as Midgley.

8. Power in the Landscape - HBATC (£5.00) Also from the Alternative Technology Centre, a colour-illustrated pamphlet with the history of watermills in the area.

9. Funnybones - Alan Ahlberg (£7.99) This big colourful picture book includes "The Ghost Train", "Bumps in the Night" and "Skeleton Crew".

10. Edgelands - Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts (£12.99) "Journeys into England's true wilderness" - a vista of pylons, railways, motorways and out of town shopping centres. A Radio 4 Book of the Week.


Peter and Anne Tillotson, current owners of The Book Case, are retiring in September. To continue the support to the local community they hope to be able to hand over the bookshop to someone, younger, healthier and more energetic, who has enthusiasm for books and fresh ideas for running the business. They are able to propose very advantageous terms for a handover which includes the stock and goodwill. Anyone who has an interest in taking on the business should contact them at The Book Case, 29 Market Street, Hebden Bridge, email bookcase@btinternet.com or telephone 01422-845353.

For Books' Sake ("an intelligent but irreverent website featuring books by and for independent women") has some splendid slogans on T-shirts and bags at their shop and we have postcards about them at The Book Case. Have a look at the rest of their entertaining website too.

This Month's Featured Books

Adult fiction: The Elephant's Journey by Jose Saramago (£7.99). Solomon the elephant's life is about to be upturned. For two years he has been in Lisbon, brought from the Portuguese colonies in India. Now King Dom Joao III wishes to make him a wedding gift for the Hapsburg archduke, Maximilian. So begins a journey that will take the stalwart Solomon across the dusty plains of Castile, over the sea to Genoa and up to northern Italy where he must cross the snowy Alps.
Adult non-fiction: Teach Us to Sit Still - Tim Parks (£8.99) 'Just when the medical profession had given up on me and I on it, just when I seemed to be walled up in a life sentence of chronic pain, someone proposed a bizarre way out: sit still, they said, and breathe'. The visceral, thought-provoking and improbably entertaining story of Tim Parks' quest to overcome ill health.

Children's book: Reckless by Cornelia Funke (£6.99). Through a mirror is a dangerous world. For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed its secrets and treasures. But not any more. His younger brother has followed him, and dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves and cause chaos to rule forever, unless Jacob can find a way to save them. An extraordinary, darkly romantic fantasy thriller, from the bestselling Cornelia Funke. Ages: 12+

Local Interest

The Mystery of the Autumn Crocus (Crocus nudiflorus) by Steve Blacksmith (£5) Newly out from the Halifax Scientific Society, an attractive little book with colour photographs about this attractive but elusive little plant which grows in rural locations throughout Calderdale.

Local Events

Adventurer and writer Alastair Humphreys will give a pictorial presentation of his travels at Hebden Bridge Library at 7.30pm on 15 July. His epic cycle journey around the world started in Yorkshire in 2001 and Alastair will talk about the lessons he has learned on the road, stories of his travels and deliver a call to arms - nothing is achieved without being bold enough to begin it. Tickets are £5.00 each (£3.50 concessionary) and can be obtained by contacting Anna Turner at Calderdale Council. Anna.Turner@calderdale.gov.uk

David Glover will be giving an illustrated talk about The Brontes and Halifax Parish, Links Old and New, at Halifax Parish Hall, at almost the same time, 7.00pm on 15 July. £5.00 entry, tickets from Square Chapel Box Office, 01422 349422.

Orange Prize Winner 2011

Tea Obreht - The Tiger's Wife (£12.99) - a novel that mythologises Yugoslavia's history. '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.

Red House Winner 2011

Michael Morpurgo's "Shadow" about a brave dog in Afghanistan is this year's winner, voted for by children. We have the hardback, but the paperback's not due till September (unless they bring it forward).

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 on the Calderdale website and here - or pick up the leaflets and entry forms at The Book Case.

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.

Manchester Fiction Prize 2011

There's a cash prize of £10,000 for the writer of the best short story submitted. It should be up to 3,000 words in length, and can be on any subject in any style, but must be fiction, new work, not previously published or submitted for consideration elsewhere during this competition. It's open to anyone 16 and up. Closing date 12th August 2011. Leaflets available at the shop.