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Book News: August 2011

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

Peter and Anne Tillotson, current owners of The Book Case: "Having announced that Anne and I will be retiring and giving up The Book Case in September, we have had a number of discussions with various people who are interested in taking over the business but have so far not been able to resolve anything, so we are still open for further discussions. We really do hope to find someone who feels able to carry on the business, and we are open to all sorts of suggestions and new ideas. There is a great deal of support in the local community for The Book Case, which was established in Hebden Bridge in 1984, and we feel there is still a future for the business. Please contact me if you would like to hear more about what we can offer in a handover."

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.

TOP TEN: July bestsellers at The Book Case

1. The Hacienda: How Not to Run a Club - Peter Hook (£7.99)
Peter Hook's talk at the Picture House as part of the Festival sent his book whizzing off the shelves! As co-owner of Manchester's Hacienda club, Hook propelled the rise of acid house in the late 1980s, then suffered through its violent fall in the 1990s.

2. A Trick of the Dark - Val McDermid (£7.99)
Val McDermid talked to a packed audience at the Little Theatre as part of the Festival. When Charlie Flint is sent a mysterious package of cuttings about a brutal murder, it instantly grabs her attention. The murder occurred in the grounds of her old Oxford college - a groom battered to death just hours after his wedding.

3. Fustianopolis: Hebden Bridge, the growth of a textile town - HBATC (£5.00)

4. The Mills of the Hebden Valley - HBATC (£5.00)
These two informative illustrated booklets about the history of our area remained buoyant.

5. Moods of Future Joys: Around the World by Bike 1 - Alastair Humphreys (£7.99) Adventurer Alastair Humphreys talked to an enthusiastic audience at Hebden Bridge Library. This book follows him on the first leg of his epic journey around the world, starting in Yorkshire, then going down through Europe and travelling the whole length of Africa.

6. In Praise of Men and Other People - Ann Sansom (£7.95)
Ann Sansom spoke at two events for the Festival. "Her poetry overturns the reader's expectations. Her poems often present human dramas in which people are seen as acting out their versions of themselves in their own fictions."

7. Thunder and Sunshine: Around the World by Bike 2 - Alastair Humphreys (£7.99) Alone on the road for four years, in countries few people visit, enduring an 85? C temperature range, Alastair survived on a total of just £7,000. The story of his journey from South Africa back to Yorkshire, via the whole of the Americas, South to North, then Siberia in winter, Japan, and back through China, Central Asia and Europe.

8. How to Paint a Dead Man - Sarah Hall (£7.99)
Novelist Sarah Hall was one of the earlier speakers at the Festival and her event was much enjoyed. In this novel a dying painter considers the sacrifices and losses that have made him an enigma, both to strangers and those closest to him.

9. Borrowers of the Night: the Clifton Wood Murder - Anna Best (£10) On New Year's Eve, 1832, twenty-year-old Elizabeth Rayner was murdered at Clifton near Brighouse. The murder was never solved, and now Elizabeth's great-niecex4 has reexamined the records of the coroner's inquiry to try and solve the mystery of who killed her and why.

10. Foul Play - Tom Palmer (£5.99)
Todmorden-based Tom Palmer organised a football reading game at Central Street School as part of the Festival. This book is the first of his popular Foul Play series published by Puffin.

This month's featured books

Adult fiction: The Stranger's Child - Alan Hollinghurst (£18.00 at The Book Case). In the late summer of 1913 an aristocratic young poet comes to stay at the home of a close Cambridge friend. The weekend will be one of excitements and confusions, but it is on a sixteen-year-old girl that it will have the most lasting impact, when Cecil writes her a poem which will become a touchstone for a generation, an evocation of an England about to change for ever. Booker favourite.
Adult non-fiction: Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music - Rob Young (£9.99). Investigates how the idea of folk has been handed down and transformed by successive generations - song collectors, composers, Marxist revivalists, folk-rockers, psychedelic voyagers, free festival-goers, experimental pop stars and electronic innovators, in a sweeping panorama of Albion's soundscape.

Children's book: Babbit - Lydia Monks (£5.99). Meet Babbit, a garrulous toy bunny who has a startling adventure - that he can't stop rabbiting on about! Picnics, piggy-in-the-middle and evading capture by monsters are all in a day's work for this talkative carrot-lover. But how will his flipperty-floppity day end?


Local Interest

Remains of Elmet - Ted Hughes (£9.99)

The original 1979 text, without Fay Godwin's pictures. "The Calder valley, west of Halifax, was the last ditch of Elmet, the last British Celtic kingdom to fall to the Angles. For centuries it was considered a more or less uninhabitable wilderness, a notorious refuge for criminals, a hide-out for refugees. Then in the early 1800s it became the cradle for the Industrial Revolution in textiles ... Throughout my lifetime, since 1930, I have watched the mills of the region and their attendant chapels die." (Ted Hughes, Preface to "Remains of Elmet", 1979).

Savile Bowling Club: 100 Years of Bowling, compiled by Bill Green (£5.00)
A short history of the 100-year-old club built on a woodland clearing made available by Lord Savile in 1910. It's been compiled from old minute books and documents, with lots of old and new photographs.

Local Authors

The Last Word - Mark Illis
Gloria, meet Stephen. He's your dead brother's best friend. He's also a liar, and he doesn't want to hand over your brother's belongings. He's got a hair collection, and he's got somebody's teeth hidden in a drawer. Oh yes, and someone is sending him letters claiming it's his fault Max is dead. Stephen, meet Gloria. She's not good with people. She wants you to hand over all Max's most precious stuff. She likes to steal things, she gate-crashes funerals, she's going to force you to revisit some of the most painful moments in your life. And she doesn't know who's writing the weird letters you're getting, but she tends to agree.

Mark lives in Hebden Bridge and his last book "Tender" was a great success. The launch will be 4-6pm on 18th September at Stubbing Wharf pub, Hebden Bridge.

Arguing with Malarchy - Carola Luther (£9.95)
Locally-based Carola Luther's poems are alert to the ways a life can be briefly snared in the turn of a phrase - or in the moment when lanaguage fails. She explores silence, absences, the unspoken communication between animals and human beings, the pauses and boundaries between what is remembered, forgotten or invented, the living and the dead. The startling picture on the cover is a chicken ...

Stop! Don't Read This: The Story - Leonora Rustamova (£6.99)
From Hebden Bridge-based publishers Blue Moose, an account of the racy self-published novel by the Calder High teacher "Miss Rusty" which led to her suspension - and the novel itself.

Local Events

Get Me Out of Here! - poems for trying circumstances
A reading from the new Grey Hen Press anthology at Hebden Bridge Library, Cheetham Street, Hebden Bridge HX7 8EP, Friday 12th August, 7-8.30 pm with: Helen Burke, Julia Deakin, Joy Howard, Char March, Alison Orlowska and Gina Shaw. 'An A?Z of women poets whose formidable eye and instinct for pithy observation make this required reading for all ages but especially for the young-and-grumpy-in-heart' - Penelope Shuttle. The book is in stock at The Book Case.

Ted Hughes Festival, 21-23 October 2011 - another exciting line up later this year.


Man Booker 2011

Longlist Favourite to win is Alan Hollinghurst's "The Stranger's Child" (our Fiction Book of the Month) but you can never tell with the Booker.

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.