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Behind-The-Books Blog

Wednesday Cover Story: A bit of déjà vu…

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Today I came upon the cover of The Greatcoat – a ghost story by Helen Dunmore – and a striking cover at that. The book has just come out this month, but I could have sworn it was an old title as I was sure I’d seen the cover before, some time ago.  My original […]


Literary Lottery

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We’ve all done it haven’t we? Day-dreamed about winning the lottery, that is, especially following the glut of recent UK winners. But holidays, palatial residences and an indulged book-habit aside, I have recently added another item to the ‘when I’m rich’ list. Taking inspiration from the anonymous donor who has upped the prize fund for […]


The books making Oscar headlines

Monday, February 27th, 2012

I used to get excited and stay up all night to watch the the Oscars – an annual ritual, a bit like my camping out all night to get tickets to Wimbledon – but that was when the a) you could actually watch Academy Awards on terrestrial TV and b) the ceremony was much more […]


A hard day’s work…

Friday, February 24th, 2012

On my usual route home via Waterloo, I passed Sleeping Beauty somewhere between Platform 9 and 10. And I mean that quite literally. Propped in the middle of the bustling station was a plush bed, with a very real sleeping beauty comfortably esconced under the covers. It was all part of the promotion for the […]


A Prized Posession

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The numbers of Kindles on my route to work has burgeoned since the Christmas holidays. Quelle surprise, you may rightly say, but what threw this into focus this week was a wonderful surprise gift: a first edition of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell signed both by the author Susanna Clarke and the illustrator Portia Rosenberg. […]


Wednesday Cover Story: Don’t read this book if you’re stupid

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I bought this collection of short stories by Tibor Fischer, some years ago and must admit, purchased it solely on the basis of the title – the most blatant and yet brilliant marketing ploy I’ve ever seen. It’s a challenge, encouraging you to think: ‘well, I’ll prove to you I’m not stupid by reading it!’. […]


Happy Pancake Day!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

In honour of today, Pancake Day, an excuse to share a pertinent poem from one of my all-time-favourite books by illustrator-and-poet Shel Silvertein (as featured in his collection Where the Sidewalk Ends). Happy eating! Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager


Pans and batters at the ready – it’s almost Pancake Day!

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Stock up on flour and eggs, and don’t forget the lemons! Tomorrow, 21 February, is Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day. And the day is not simply celebrated in the kitchen, but all around London as well. There are an assortment of Pancake races happening throughout the city, including the Parliamentary Pancake Race, which […]


Friday Fun: Cello and Beat-Box Mix

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Some people spend hours trawling YouTube and watching all sorts of weird and wonderful videos out there. I’m not one of them. But this particular video was brought to my attention (now a YouTube sensation, especially after his stint on the Today show in America) and deserves to be shared. This talented 23-year-old, Kevin Olusola, […]


A double connection to Alfie

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

The new stage production of Alfie (based on the novel by A&B author Bill Naughton) is ending its run at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton this week (18 February), before moving on the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyne (22 February) and beyond.  See full listings here… We have an obvious connection to the stage show seeing […]


Sharing the love (digitally)

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

So how are we all today? Regretting those calorie-laden chocolates and unimpressed by the already-wilting flowers? Well, a good love story never gets old, so in (belated) honour of Valentine’s Day Allison & Busby are delighted to offer a selection of our best romance novels at 99p (in their digital formats) for a limited time […]


Top 5 Literary Love Stories

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Like many people, I’m not really that interested in Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to sound like a bitter single person, but there’s definitely a part of me that doesn’t see the point in the roses, overly gushy greeting cards and insanely overcrowded restaurants. Valentine’s Day does, however, give me the excuse for a good […]


Opening the door to new young book prize judges

Monday, February 13th, 2012

We all know that there are book prizes of all shapes and sizes: genre-specific awards from organizations like the CWA and RNA (and speaking of – Mary Nichols just been shortlisted for the RoNA Rose Award!); debut awards that shine a light on exciting and fresh new authors; the literary equivalents of those slightly po-faced […]


A few snaps from John Wilcox’s Book Launch

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Last night we enjoyed a merry evening at the lovely Goldsboro Books celebrating the launch of John Wilcox‘s eighth book in his acclaimed Simon Fonthill series, The War of the Dragon Lady.  And here are a few snaps from the night. The Man of the Moment – sporting a conspicuous suntan, having just returned from […]


A tribute to orphans

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

This week is World Orphan Week (6 – 12 February) and so, it seems like a pertinent time to help raise awareness with our own literary spin on the matter and pay tribute to our favourite orphan: the inimitable Mary Russell – otherwise known as Sherlock Holmes’ post-Watson-crime-solving-partner, and wife. You can join Russell and […]


Wednesday Cover Story: Yes, it’s A NOVEL

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Whilst recently browsing the reviews on I Love A Mystery I was struck by the eye-catching cover to At the End of the Road, by Grant Jerkins – love the colours, the layout, the bird overlapping the text, and the general atmospheric image. And, I like how they’ve played with presentation of the book as […]


What the Dickens? Part Two

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

(For Part One click here) Walking around the city of London on a weekday evening, it’s not all that surprising that I start feeling peckish. Even after a long day, I can’t entirely blame this on my propensity to think of my stomach, as in addition to the obvious cafés and fast food places on […]


Thoughts of snow and books

Monday, February 6th, 2012

With the snow falling over London this weekend, I began to think about snow and, of course, its links with the written word. Doing a degree in English Literature taught me that you can take almost any theme, apply it to a few books, and find a wealth of interesting stuff. In literature snow can […]


Pop-ups? Pop to your local library any time…

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

As we near the end of a week celebrating libraries around the country, culminating tomorrow with special events to mark National Libraries Day (see yesterday’s blog), it seems fitting to highlight the new pop-up library at Selfridges in London (found in the UltraLounge on the Lower Ground floor of the department store). Recently opened as […]


Get ready for National Libraries Day

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Library goers up and down the UK are preparing to mark National Libraries Day on 4 February 2012. It will be the finale to a week of events that will celebrate libraries and librarians, and highlight the importance of reading. For example, in London at Canning Town Library, library users will be able to hear […]


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    Our July-December catalogue, which will be ready soon!

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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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