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Behind-The-Books Blog

Save Oliver Twist’s Workhouse!

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Our office is just down the road from one of the few remaining Georgian workhouses in London – the Cleveland Street Workhouse.  However, it is currently under threat, as plans are in place to have it demolished. University College London Hospital wants to knock it down and erect an 11-storey modern building in its place. […]


To invest or not invest in Art?

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Today, on my usual lunch-time wander, I passed the Rebecca Hossack Gallery on Charlotte Street. who happened to be having a one-day sale of some of their artists’ work. The display included a few pieces from Adam Barrow‘s limited edition Letters and Months series – quirky collages made up of postage stamps and iconic images […]


War and Peace: A Summary (Book Five)

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

My summary of War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy continues… Book Five (A time for slow reflection) Being the observant little pumpkin that he was, Tolstoy could not help but notice the tendency of couples rendered asunder to recover from their sundering in very different ways. We consequently have Helene, abandoned by chubby hubby Pierre […]


Films and Books – do the kids rule the roost?

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Apparently Hollywood films are being dumbed down. For every Black Swan or The King’s Speech that makes it to our screens there are far more Meet the Fockers, Twilight sagas or Toy Story empires. Kids (teens especially) make up a huge number of filmgoers (and they often go and see something more than once) so […]


Crowdfunding – what project would you pick?

Monday, February 21st, 2011

While washing up one evening last week (not glamorous I know, but occasionally one has to take time out from the giddy social whirl) my ears perked up while listening to Radio 4’s Front Row. No, Mark Lawson was not hilariously upsetting any more touchy Hollywood stars as he memorably did last spring, instead some […]


How to Bag a Prince

Friday, February 18th, 2011

As much as it pains me to recommend another publishers’ book, I have to give credit where credit is due. In amongst all the awful tat that is circulating with the run-up to the Royal Wedding (dishcloths, commemorative china – ho hum) Penguin has outdone itself.  Introducing the Royal Wedding: William and Kate Dress-up Dolly […]


War and Peace: A Summary (Book Four)

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

My summary of War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy continues… Book Four In Book Four, it is 1806, and Tolstoy’s military menfolk return from their thrashing by Bonaparte at Austerlitz to a hero’s welcome (no severe denial syndrome there), and soon find themselves thrown into a whole heap of troubles, poor darlings. Pierre’s new bride […]


Wednesday Cover Story: A page of book covers…

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Anna Jacobs, author of Cherry Tree Lane – the first book in her Wiltshire Girls series – has just launched her new website. Amongst the features on the website is a page simply displaying all and only her book covers –  a most colourful array of book covers I might add. Check out Anna Jacobs […]


Close, but no cigar

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

There’s something a bit unnecessary about life-time achievement awards, or am I the only one who thinks that? A few weeks ago, Bruce Forsyth picked up a special recognition gong at the National Television Awards, which seemed to do nothing but more firmly cement to his ‘national treasure’ tag. Great actors and writers don’t always […]


I Was Here (reading…)

Monday, February 14th, 2011

I am back from a fabulous week of skiing and snowboarding in the Dolomites. But it wasn’t all about speeding down the slopes, hitting the Sella Ronda circuit and trying not to stack it on the way down the piste. There was also time to relax and enjoy the mountain setting… I Was Here reading […]


War and Peace: A Summary (Book Three)

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

My summary of War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy continues… Book Three As Book Three opens in 1805 (yes, still), we wade deeper into war. But more important than all the trumpeting and strategizing and sauntering is a certain revelation: a clue as to why weepy Sonya is having so little success in winning Nicky’s […]


Wednesday Cover Story: The new Weather Warden covers

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

I’ve just seen the new covers for the upcoming Weather Warden books by Rachel Caine and, if you’ll excuse the weather pun, they are HOT! I thought the previous design-style as seen here on the covers to Ill Wind and Heat Stroke were really cool (ok, enough with the heat references…) but removing the coloured […]


Speaking of Literary Tattoos…

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Yesterday we were talking about tattoos in the office…as you do. It was more a discussion of tattoos that had either gone awry, or perhaps the content of which had not lived up to the longevity the wearer was expecting. For instance, Cheryl Cole’s ‘Mrs C’, and Johnny Depp’s ‘Winona Forever’. And you know how […]


Why I Pay a Licence Fee

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Hoorah for the Beeb, who announced the details last week of their ‘Year of Books’ programming, and it looks like we have some corking programmes coming up. There’s the dramatization of Edwin Drood for one thing, which if it’s half as good as last year’s Little Dorrit will definitely see me tuning in. Anne Robinson […]


Shaun White? Or Wipe Out?

Friday, February 4th, 2011

I am heading to Corvara tomorrow, a lovely village in the Dolomites, for a week’s holiday in the snow and where I plan to try my hand (or rather, feet) at snowboarding. My initial bravado (‘I’m a good skier, how hard can it be?‘ didn’t last long so I sensibly took myself to Snow & […]


Trust me, I’m a Doctor…

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

I will be interested to listen to today’s discussion, Doctors in the Dock, on BBC Radio 4’s programme Face the Facts (will catch it later on bbciplayer). It centered around the question: Is the General Medical Council the right organisation to regulate the medical profession? The plan to instate an independent regulator to discipline doctors […]


Wednesday Cover Story: Behind the scenes of cover art…

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Ever wondered how book designs are created? Think you have to be a whizz at Photoshop and advanced Illustrator? Granted, basic techie skills are necessary, but sometimes it’s more creative – and certainly more fun! – to do it the old-fashioned way. Windmill Books have recently proved their creativity with their post about the aptly […]


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    Uprooted by Naomi Novik

    Ailsa: Gorgeous storytelling that combines elements of traditional fairy-tales to create something new, with a twist. I'll definitely reread this in future.

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