Monday, 29 July 2013

Book of the Week - The Men Who Lost America

Our chosen book of the week is one for history buffs.

In 1781 the British Empire suffered its most devastating defeat in a war that most believed Britain ought to have won. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders in London must have been to blame, their arrogant confidence and outdated tactics proving no match for the innovative and determined Americans. But this is far from the truth.

Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, Andrew O'Shaughnessy dispels the myths, emerging with a very different and much richer account of the conflict - one driven by able and at times even brilliant leadership. In interlinked biographical chapters, O'Shaughnessy follows the course of the war from the perspectives of King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, military leaders including General Burgoyne, the Earl of Sandwich, and others whose stories shed new light upon our understanding of how the war unfolded. Victories were frequent, and in fact the British conquered every American city at some stage of the Revolutionary War, retaining key strongholds even during the peace negotiations.

Taking a wider lens to events, O'Shaughnessy looks past the surrender at Yorktown to British victories against the French and Spanish, demonstrating that, ultimately, many of the men who lost America would go on to save the empire.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Book of the Week - The Son

The Son by Philipp Meyer is our book of the week.

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Love, honour, children are sacrificed in the name of ambition, as the family becomes one of the richest powers in Texas, a dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege. Yet, like all empires, the McCulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Book of the Week

Our book of the week is Marcia Moody's biography of the Duchess of Cambridge.

Following the royal wedding, the Diamond Jubilee and the imminent birth of Kate and William's first baby, popular sentiment towards the royal family has rarely been higher. At the centre of this surge in affection is a woman who has captured the heart of a nation and who, at the side of her husband, Prince William, is ushering in a new dawn for the United Kingdom's reigning family. For, due to planned amendments to the rules of accession to the British Crown, their first child, regardless of gender, will succeed William to the throne.

This biography explores the life of the woman who has done so much to revitalize the public image of the royal family, covering her early years, her family, her time at St Andrews University and her meeting with Prince William, their early relationship and its trials, the wedding and her new official role, her style, and, of course, her pregnancy. Besides being the perfect book for admirers of this remarkable young woman, Kate: A Biography marks a crucial moment in the history of the royal line.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Baines Endowed Primary School

It was a pleasure and honour to be invited to a special assembly this morning at Baines Endowed Primary School, Thornton.  This year, the children have participated in the Fantastic Book Awards (FBA) scheme.  Eight Year 6 pupils have read six books over the course of the year, and worked hard to prepare an assembly to tell the rest of the school about their activities.  We were treated to book reviews, amusing animations, poetry and choreography, and, of course, the winner of the award for best book was announced by the children.  This year's winner was Gangsta Granny by David Walliams.  The children wrote a letter to David Walliams and even received a reply, which was read out in the assembly.

The participating children received a certificate and a gift pack including special vouchers to be spent at Look into Books.

It was fabulous to see the children so enthused by reading and we look forward to working with Baines Endowed on the FBA scheme in the coming year.

Monday, 8 July 2013

News, Book of the Week

Now that Independent Booksellers' Week has drawn to close, we'd like to thank you all for your continuing support, not only during IBW but for every week. 

The window display has had to be changed, but, for posterity:

Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, returns with her latest novel, Perfect.  We've chosen this as our book of the week.

You can read an in-depth review in your free copy of the July issue of Booktime magazine (available to pick up in store), but here's a synopsis to whet your appetite:
In 1972, two seconds were added to time. It was in order to balance clock time with the movement of the earth. Byron Hemming knew this because James Lowe had told him and James was the cleverest boy at school.

But how could time change? The steady movement of hands around a clock was as certain as their golden futures. Then Byron's mother, late for the school run, makes a devastating mistake. Byron's perfect world is shattered.

Were those two extra seconds to blame? Can what follows ever be set right?
Don't forget that we can also supply eBooks for most eReaders.  Simply click the 'Indie eBook shop' image on the right hand sidebar.  eBook tokens are available to purchase in store.
That's all for now - let's hope for a 'perfect' week! 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Book of the Week - Wimbledon: The Official History

At the height of the nation's favourite tennis tournament, our book of the week is John Barrett's Wimbledon: The Official History.

It was to raise funds for the repair of a broken pony roller, so essential for the upkeep of the lawns at their ground in Nursery Lane, Wimbledon, that the All England Croquet Club first decided to hold a tennis tournament. From those humble beginnings in 1877 The Championships at Wimbledon have grown to become one of the world's great international sporting occasions, attended annually by some half a million fans, broadcast to almost 200 territories each year and watched by more viewers than any other tennis tournament in the world. In this lavishly illustrated third edition of the definitive Wimbledon history John Barrett has traced the process by which a small private tennis club in rural Surrey has become a multi-million pound business that is the main source of finance for British tennis.

It is a romantic story that reflects the ages, decade by decade, from the chivalrous Victorian days when the whalebone stays the ladies wore beneath their ankle-length dresses often drew blood and the gentlemen played in striped shirts, cricket caps and long stockings, to today's white-clad gladiators in functional attire befitting super-fit international athletes of the 21st century. Within these pages you will find all the game's heroes and heroines all captured in action and in repose in vivid detail through the educated lenses of the world's leading sports photographers. Wimbledon: The Official History captures as never before the magic of an annual event that is at once a dynamic sporting occasion and a cherished British institution.