Monday, 25 February 2013

Book of the Week: Worlds of Arthur

Our book of the week for this week is Worlds of Arthur, Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages by Guy Halsall.

King Arthur is probably the most famous and certainly the most legendary medieval king. From the early ninth century through the middle ages, to the Arthurian romances of Victorian times, the tales of this legendary figure have blossomed and multiplied. And in more recent times, there has been a continuous stream of books claiming to have discovered the 'facts' about, or to unlock the secret or truth behind, the 'once and future king'.

Broadly speaking, there are two Arthurs. On the one hand is the traditional 'historical' Arthur, waging a doomed struggle to save Roman civilization against the relentless Anglo-Saxon tide during the darkest years of the Dark Ages. On the other is the Arthur of myth and legend - accompanied by a host of equally legendary people, places, and stories: Lancelot, Guinevere, Galahad and Gawain, Merlin, Excalibur, the Lady in the Lake, the Sword in the Stone, Camelot, the Round Table.

The big problem with all this is that 'King Arthur' might well never have existed. And if he did exist, it is next to impossible to say anything at all about him. As this challenging new look at the Arthur legend makes clear, all books claiming to reveal 'the truth' behind King Arthur can safely be ignored.

Not only the 'red herrings' in the abundant pseudo-historical accounts, even the 'historical' Arthur is largely a figment of the imagination: the evidence that we have - whether written or archaeological - is simply incapable of telling us anything detailed about the Britain in which he is supposed to have lived, fought, and died. The truth, as Guy Halsall reveals in this fascinating investigation, is both radically different - and also a good deal more intriguing.

Saturday, 23 February 2013


We're delighted to announce that we've widened our range of licensed merchandise with this fabulous range of officially branded mugs.  From Harry Potter to The Hobbit, and a huge selection of Big Bang Theory, these mugs come in a fine presentation box.  They make a great gift or even just a treat for yourself!


They only arrived yesterday afternoon and are already proving extremely popular.

It was all go yesterday as we also took a new delivery of maxi posters, including Tom Daley, Star Trek, Olly Murs, The Big Bang Theory and many more.

So now it's onwards to another day.  Don't forget we are open all day Monday to Saturday.   Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Book of the Week - Mary Berry At Home

This week's book of the week is Mary Berry's At Home.  In this book, the well-loved cookery writer and TV personality takes us through over 150 recipes that have been specially chosen.

This book has it all covered: starters, mains, desserts and cakes are all included.  There's something for everybody, too, with simple recipes suitable for a total novice in the kitchen right through to more adventurous meals for confident cooks.  Complete with clear instructions on how to cook each dish both in a regular oven and an aga, this book is sure to please any foodie.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Half Dozen Pick

Thankfully the snow yesterday was short lived, and here in Cleveleys we've even had sight of some sunshine this morning!  We've checked the forecast and think we might have seen the last of the really bad stuff (there, we've said it now!).  That's not the most exciting thing, though.  On this day, we've so many new books released that we barely know where to start.

Following on from last year's immensely successful Street Cat Named Bob, James Bowen has adapted the original book into an edition aimed specially at young people of secondary school age.  Included are eight pages of adorable photographs of Bob on some of his adventures.  This heart-warming and thoughtful true story shows how lives can be changed in just one moment.

After the popularity of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deborah Moggach returns with Heartbreak Hotel, a delightfully witty tale of Myrtle House, a somewhat forlorn B&B located deep in rural Wales.  Buffy has just moved in from London, and to give his new business a niche appeal, embarks on 'Courses for Divorces.'  There are certainly a few surprises in store when Buffy's clients embark on single life once more!

When her plane is delayed overnight, Gaby Struthers finds herself forced to share a hotel room with a stranger: a terrified young woman named Lauren Cookson - but why is she scared of Gaby in particular? Lauren won't explain. Instead, she blurts out something about an innocent man going to prison for a murder he didn't commit, and Gaby soon suspects that Lauren's presence on her flight can't be a coincidence. Because the murder victim is Francine Breary, the wife of the only man Gaby has ever truly loved.

Tim Breary has confessed, and even provided the police with evidence. The only thing he hasn't given them is a motive. He claims to have no idea why he murdered his wife ...

We all hide things, some more than others...Mia Channing appears to have an enviable life: a beautiful home in the village of Little Pelham, a happy, stable marriage, a job she enjoys and three grown up children to whom she's devoted. But appearances are deceiving; the truth is that it's all a precarious balancing act. When the family gather for her son's thirtieth birthday, Daisy, her youngest daughter, drops a bombshell in the way only Daisy can.

Once again Mia finds herself cast in the role of peacemaker. It's a role she's tired of, particularly since her husband refuses to believe he's responsible for the problems they're facing. Not surprisingly, Mia longs for escape.

For Owen Fletcher, buying the Hidden Cottage was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and provides the perfect escape for him. When Mia meets him, she must decide whether she has the courage to do something for herself for a change. And if she does, can she ever go back to the life of compromise she had before?

The two day diet is a simple, effective way to lose weight, developed by Dr Michelle Harvie and Prof Tony Howell at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention in Manchester.  Its basis is to eat normally but sensibly for five days a week, whilst controlling what you eat for the other two.  As well as general information about the diet, this book contains meal planners and 100 recipes to try.  The authors will donate all their proceeds to Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention.

The latest in James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series is also out today.  In 12th of Never, whilst a serial killer wakes from a two year coma, a professor approaches Detective Lindsay Boxer to report a murder that hasn't yet happened.  What is going on, and will Lindsay be able to stop a disaster before it takes place?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Book of the Week and Other News

Monday means a new Book of the Week, and this week we have chosen the brand new Peter V. Brett book, The Daylight War.

This is the third book in the enthralling Demon Cycle series. 

Continuing the impressive debut fantasy series from author Peter V. Brett, The DAYLIGHT WAR is book three of the Demon Cycle, pulling the reader into a world of demons, darkness and heroes. On the night of a new moon all shadows deepen.

Humanity has thirty days to prepare for the next demon attack, but one month is scarcely enough time to train a village to defend themselves, let alone an entire continent caught in the throes of civil war. Arlen Bales understands the coreling threat better than anyone. Born ordinary, the demon plague has shaped him into a weapon so powerful he has been given the unwanted title of saviour, and attracted the attention of deadly enemies both above and below ground.

Unlike Arlen, Ahmann Jardir embraces the title of Deliverer. His strength resides not only in the legendary relics he carries, but also in the magic wielded by his first wife, Inevera, a cunning and powerful priestess whose allegiance even Jardir cannot be certain of. Once Arlen and Jardir were like brothers.

Now they are the bitterest of rivals. As humanity's enemies prepare, the only two men capable of defeating them are divided against each other by the most deadly demons of all: those that lurk in the human heart.
Also recently published, we have Alex Scarrow's book seven of the Time Riders series, The Pirate Kings.  In the latest adventure, the Time Riders find themselves in 1666, where they manage to become trapped in the Great Fire of London.  Their relief at escaping on a Thames river boat is short lived when they come face to face with a pirate, determined to capture who and whatever he can.  Will the Time Riders be rescued this time?
The seventh paperback of Robert Muchamore's Henderson Boys series, Scorched Earth, is also out now.  In their final mission, Henderson's boys are faced with the challenge of destroying a battalion of Nazi tanks in the summer of 1944 to aid the Allied invasion.  Food and weapons are scarce - will the boys survive?
Myriad books are being published later this week.  For the cookery enthusiast, we're awaiting Mary Berry's At Home, and the Hummingbird Bakery return with 100 more delightful recipes in Home Sweet Home.  Now, where's my whisk?  There'll also be new novels from Sophie Hannah and Cathy Kelly, amongst others.
Don't forget that Thursday is Valentine's Day.  In case you were wondering ...
Until next time!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Book of the Week - Dying Fall

Morning!  After a busy day yesterday trawling the N.E.C. (must have walked ten miles!), it's time for this week's pick of the books.  The latest Elly Griffiths novel, Dying Fall, is largely set in Blackpool and the surrounding area. 

In this crime thriller, Dan Golding, an archaeologist, is killed in a house fire with mysterious and suspicious circumstances.  D.C.I. Harry Nelson meets up with his former colleague Sandy Macleod, now at Blackpool C.I.D. to investigate the case.  It appears that Dan has been being threatened for some time, and many are suddenly reluctant to talk about why.  Who could be responsible for Dan's death?

Saturday, 2 February 2013

We've taken delivery of plenty new books this morning, including more of Jacqueline Wilson's Queenie and the latest in the Wimpy Kid series, Cabin Fever.  Also now in stock we have the new Pat Barker paperback, Toby's Room.  Set in the first world war, this novel explores the feelings and story of Elinor, who is desperate to discover the exact circumstances behind her brother Toby's death. 

Time for a quick note about our opening hours.  We will be closed all day on Monday, 4th February.  This is because we are attending a trade fair in Birmingham,, which is all very exciting and we look forward to making new contacts and being able to introduce new ideas to the shop over the coming weeks.  It's just for one day, though, and we'll be back to normal on Tuesday.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!