Book News

from our favourite local book shop, The Book Case

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

TOP TEN: February's bestsellers at The Book Case

1. The People's Manifesto by Mark Thomas, £4.99. Mark Thomas toured the country to find out what people really wanted. There are some really good ideas in this thoroughly entertaining little book!

2. Hebden Bridge: a short history of the area - Peter Thomas, £5.99. Peter Thomas’s account of the history of our area continues popular. A Royd Press publication.

3. Falling through Clouds - Anna Chilvers, £7.99. This first novel from a Hebden Bridge author is a contemporary retelling of the medieval English tale Sir Gawain and the Green Knight via the story of a young man plagued with nightmares after being held hostage in Iraq and his relationship with 22-year-old student Kat as they summer in Cornwall.

4. Little Stranger - Sarah Waters, £7.99. A chilling ghost story set in a dusty post-war summer in rural Warwickshire. A doctor is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, home to the Ayres family for over two centuries. Our Fiction Book of the Month for February.

5. The Spirit Level: Why Equality Is Better For Everyone - Richard Wilkinson, £9.99. This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them - the well-off as well as the poor. Almost every modern social and environmental problem - ill-health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations - is more likely to occur in a less equal society. Our February Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

6. Hammy the Wonder Hamster - Poppy Harris, £4.99. Hammy: the cleverest hamster the world has ever seen! But there's something different about Hammy, something very special. Not only is he super cute, he's got amazing brains and an incredible secret. By a local author.

7. Life Class by Glyn Hughes, £13.95. A magnificent poem by a major poet, notable for its keen attention to the natural world and accounts and circumstances of a life lived to the full. Glyn Hughes lives locally and is a prize-winning author and poet.

8. Memories of Dolphin - Tom Greenwood, £11.99 inc DVD. Still selling well, this book from a Hebden Bridge author commemorates the great Baildon climber Arthur Dolphin who died tragically young in the Alps in 1953 and includes a DVD of black and white footage showing Dolphin in action in the Lake District in 1950 and 1951.

9. Summat A'Nowt - Steve Murty, £9.95. Steve Murty's well-illustrated history of the Calder Valley and surrounding area, last year’s bestseller, makes another appearance.

10. 10 Poems About Love, £4.95. Well, it was Valentine’s Day! This is one of Candlestick’s little pamphlet-card anthologies.


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: Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel (£8.99). 'Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,' says Thomas More, 'and when you come back that night he'll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks' tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.' Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009.

Adult Non-fiction: Do They Think You're Stupid?: 100 Ways of Spotting Spin and Nonsense from the Media, Celebrities and Politicians - Julian Baggini (£8.99). Aka "The Duck that Won the Lottery", another entertaining selection of examples of bad argument.

Children: Lord Sunday by Garth Nix (£5.99). In this seventh and last book of "The Keys to the Kingdom", the mysteries of the House, the Architect, the Trustees, the Keys and the Will are revealed, and the fate of Arthur, our Earth, and the entire Universe is finally decided. Ages 8 -12yrs+

CD: Secret Songs of Birds: The Hidden Beauty of Birdsong Revealed (£9.99). Many songbirds, such as the Skylark, Icterine Warbler and Grey Fantail produce songs that astound us with their complexity and speed of delivery. Though these songs never fail to impress, it is almost impossible for the human ear to distinguish the wealth of hidden notes and surprising melodies that make up these remarkable compositions. On this disc original recordings are played alongside digitally mastered versions where the natural speed has been specifically altered to reveal the subtle intricacy of each song in its full splendour.

Local Interest

Weird Calderdale - Paul Weatherhead (£8.50) Back in stock, an expanded and updated edition of this collection of strange local legends. The

Pennine Way - Paddy Dillon (£12.95) The Pennine Way was the first long-distance path to be created in Britain, back in 1965. It traverses the 'backbone of England', striving to stay high on the moors, yet dropping down to delightful little towns and villages each evening. It has always been a popular trail, rightly regarded as a challenge, running higher and wilder than any other National Trail. This title presents detailed description of the official route, with variants. It is illustrated with photographs throughout the seasons and OS map extracts with full information about accommodation, public transport and other facilities available en route.

Local Authors

Savage Gods, Silver Ghosts: In the Wild with Ted Hughes - Ehor Boyanowsky (£19.95) Ehor Boyanowsky became friends with Ted Hughes through their shared passion for fishing, and this is a portrait of Ted Hughes the outdoorsman via their joint fishing expeditions in British Columbia.

Gaza: beneath the bombs - Sharyn Lock; Sarah Irving (£12.99) Hebden Bridge-based Sharyn Lock's eyewitness account brings home the horror of life in Gaza beneath the bombs. Sharyn went to the Gaza strip with the Free Gaza Movement, thinking the greatest danger she faced was making it past the Israeli sea blockade in a fishing boat, but soon after her arrival Israel attacked Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants by land, air and sea. With others from the International Solidarity Movement, Sharyn volunteered with Palestinian ambulances, assisting them as they faced overwhelming civilian casualties.

Local Event

Locally-based poet Simon Rennie will be having his Hebden Bridge launch of his first collection of poems, Little Machines, on Thursday 11th March from 8pm onwards, upstairs at the Hole in t'Wall (just by the old Packhorse Bridge) and reading with him is another fantastic poet from Hebden Bridge, John Siddique.

New Titles

March is traditionally one of the big months in publishing, and this one is no exception. In fiction, we’ll have new novels in hardback from Ian McEwan, Alexander McCall Smith, Sophie Hannah and Delphine de Vigan. In paperback, there will be Hilary Mantel and Colin Toibin (the Booker and Costa winners), Kazuo Ishiguro, Ursula Le Guin, Salley Vickers, Fay Weldon, Maggie Gee, Val McDermid, Donna Leon, Nicci French and many many others. And lots of promising reissues too: Oxford anthologies of short stories, Gaskell, Philip K Dick, Alfred Bester, Terry Pratchett, Nancy Mitford, John Wyndham and a whole lot of Hilary Mantel and Val McDermid.


See Book News 5 (4 Jan 2010)
See Book News 4 (3rd Dec 09)
See Book News 3 (3rd Nov 09)
See Book News 2 (10th Oct 09)
See Book News 1 (2nd Oct 09)

See more at The Book Case

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