month for Christmas is an updated and revised edition of a book DK have
published before - a visual chronicled history of DC Comics. As a young
teenager, I was always happier with DC than Marvel, and I still think
that Superman and Supergirl are superior to any of Marvel's
suoperheroes. This book is, quite simply, a visual feast, a celebration
of the finest comic book publisher in the world. Some of the books on
this page are held over for another month, because they make
extraordinary gifts at a time when reading is high on everyone's
agenda, and because, quite simply, they make a brilliant selection of
the very best nonfiction books around!
of the Month - DC Comics Year By Year - A Visual Chronicle (New Edition)
by Dorling Kindersley 3rd October 2019
Embark on an amazing adventure through more than 80 years of DC Comics history!
the evolution of DC Comics from Superman first taking to the skies in
1938 to the Rebirth of the DC multiverse and the final countdown of the
characters, and storylines are presented alongside background
information and real-world events to give readers unique insights into
the DC Universe.
fully updated, this spectacular visual chronicle is written by DC
Comics experts and includes comic book art from legendary artists such
as Bob Kane and C.C. Beck to latter-day superstars like Jim Lee and
Tony Daniel, and many more of DC's finest talents.
Includes two stunning prints.
stunning new edition of an old favourite is, quite simply, comic book
history at its very finest. When I was a youngster, my uncle Leslie
somehow seemed to get hold of a huge number of American comics in the
early 1950s. Most of them were DC comics, Superman, Batman, Supergirl,
Superboy, Wonder Woman etc. It was he who introduced me to the
brilliance of Tarzan of the Apes, who went on to figure large in my
literary preferences - at one time I had every single Tarzan book in
existence, and went on to co-found the British Edgar Rice Burroughs
Society with like-minded lovers of ERB and his creations. Tarzan came
to DC comics courtesy of the great Joe Kubert in the 1970s/80s, along
with Korak (Son of Tarzan) and John Carter of Mars. These are among the
finest Tarzan and ERB comics ever, although they don't get the coverage
they deserve in this magnificent book. DC Comics will forever be
remembered for Superman and Batman. For me, it's about quite a lot
more, but the book's coverage is extraordinary and superb in every
detail. An instant collectors' item if ever there was one!
Robert Winston: Explanatorium Of Science
by Dorling Kindersley 5th September 2019
to the Explanatorium - the only science encyclopedia for children
you'll ever need, with amazing photography that shows and explains how
chemistry, physics, and biology work.
up this book to reveal how science really works! Watch as mixtures
merge and matter changes state. Discover how some chemical changes can
be reversed, yet others can't, and why some reactions produce a bang!
See bacteria at work in the world around us, and even inside the human
digestive system. Understand the tricks that light plays and unlock the
secrets of electricity to find out how it powers your home.
it's elements, evolution, or energy, the world of science is brought to
life by stunning photographic explanations that answer the biggest and
smallest questions about our Universe.
Packed full of astounding close-up images, Explanatorium of Science is
the ultimate guide to how the world works, explaining every aspect of
science from gigantic galaxies to tiny cells and miniscule atoms.
Robert Winston is one of those extraordinary people who have the
capability of being able to communicate with people in a way that
commands attention, like Sir David Attenborough. This latest book is
one of a series written by Professor Winston, and introduces people of
all ages to the wonders of science. I know it's intended for younger
readers, but I'm exploding that myth and saying that it has taught me
so much about science that I didn't know, in a very short space of
time. It's a wonderful treatise on science to which I shall return time
and time again. It should win awards...
Jane Rockett & Lucy St George: Extraordinary Interiors in Colour
by Ryland Peters and Small 8th October 2019
In Extraordinary Interiors In Colour,
self-confessed colour addicts Jane Rockett and Lucy St George follow on
from their best-selling first book by tackling the topic of choosing
colour for the home.
is their passion for colour that Jane and Lucy launched the Rockett St
George paint range in August 2018 sophisticated, earthy shades that
work perfectly together. This new book allows them to explore the world
of colour and reveal their inspirations – travel, hotels and
restaurants, Instagram, the natural world and vintage design. Starting
at the beginning, Jane and Lucy investigate colour theory before
plunging into the history of colour and how it affects our emotions.
Next, they take a look at the natural world and explore what colour
means in different cultures around the globe. They then tackle the
million-dollar question – which colours should you choose? A final
chapter explores inventive ways to decorate with colour, from bold
blocking to brave use of contrasting hues. Each chapter is interspersed
with a real-life home that exemplifies the Rockett St George style. If
you want maximum impact when updating an interior, there’s no better
way to achieve it than with bold, clever and creative use of colour.
Interiors is an apt name for this stunning book, which not only
celebrates the intensity and the vibrancy of interiors decorated with
Rockett St George paint, it also takes the reader on a journey through
what colouir is, how it works, what colours go together and why in a
truly extraordinary celebration of colour. With reference to the
Natural World, amongst other things, this remarkable book shows how
nature blocks colours together, and why it works. This truly is the
century of amazing books, and this one, from RPS, is a shining example
of a book that's both practical in terms of advice on the use of colour
in interior design, and is also a stupendous book that's a pleasure to
look at and to have on your bookshelves.
Ros Byam Shaw: Farrow and Ball Living With Colour
by Ryland Peters and Small 8th October 2019
brand Farrow & Ball began in the 1940s as a small firm based in
Dorset specializing in paints made in the traditional way from
its success, Farrow & Ball has stayed true to its origins. It is
the quality of the paint, with its exceptional depth and subtlety of
colour, that has made the company famous worldwide. Farrow & Ball
paints look as good on the walls of a slick apartment as they do in a
period drawing room and are as perfect for a cottage as in a castle.
Divided into chapters according to style, including Classical, City,
Modern Country, Cottage and Country House, the first part of the book
shows Farrow & Ball paints and wallpapers in a variety of beautiful
interiors. Part Two is devoted to colour. From All White and In Neutral
to Softly, Softly and Bright and Beautiful, each chapter explores a
particular palette and shows how colour can be used to create
atmosphere and character. Inspiring, instructive and celebratory, Living with Colour brings out the painter and decorator in us all.
more practical than the Rockett St George book above, Farrow & Ball
Living With Colour is another prime example of a beautiful book that;s
also exemplary and helpful when it comes to interior design and its use
of colour. We all want to make the most of our houses, in particular
the rooms in which we spend most of our time, the living room, the
bedrooms etc., and this book and the one above celebrate the decoration
of such rooms in grand style. The printing of these two books is
stupendously good - the colours in both are vibrant and stunning. There
are loads of makeover programmes on TV, but I'd choose a book (or
books) such as these two over TV programmes any day. Inspiration by the
bucketful in both of these amazing books!
Ammonite Press's Biographic Series...
Viv Croot: Biographic Beatles
by Ammonite Press December 2019
people know that The Beatles (1960 1970) were the most famous pop group
of all time, who were at the heart of Sixties counterculture and whose
songs transformed the music world. What, perhaps, they don t know is
that they have spent more than 1,300 weeks, or 25 years, on the
Billboard chart; that the artwork for Sgt. Pepper cost £3,000, 60 times
that of a normal album at the time; that their first live US television
performance was watched by 34 per cent of the population; and that they
were the first band to include all the song lyrics in their album
artwork. Biographic: The Beatles presents an instant impression of
their life, work and legacy, with an array of irresistible facts and
figures converted into infographics to reveal the musicians behind the
If I were asked to say what music, which
band/performer changed popular music in the last 100 years, my answer
would have to be: The Beatles. Ammonite Press's heavily stylised series
of "biographics" kicks off with the Beatles - the covers (and the
interior illustrations) remind me of something by Andy Warhol, who was
around at the time of the Beatles, of course. All of the essential
information is there in bite-sized chunks; not a comprehensive
biography by any means, and I'd turn to someone like Hunter Davies for
that. This new series of books is designed to kick start your knowledge
of these icons, and they succeed, but only on a certain level. This is
popular culture biography, not literary biography. All I'm saying is,
don't expect too much, this is very much like the Ladybird Book of the
Beatles, but with a different style of illustration.
Katie Greenwood: Biographic Marilyn
by Ammonite Press December 2019
people know that Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) was a Hollywood icon, and
at one time the most famous movie star on the planet. What, perhaps,
they don't know is that she lived in 43 different homes; that she
performed as a singer to an audience of 100,000 servicemen in Korea;
that her dress from The Seven Year Itch sold at auction for $4.6
million; and that she was born in the same year as Harper Lee, and was
reading her novel To Kill a Mockingbird at the time of her death.
Biographic: Marilyn presents an instant impression of her life, work
and legacy, with an array of irresistible facts and figures converted
into infographics to reveal the actor behind the movies.
Once again, some very interesting and essential
facts about Marilyn Monroe, but this might be an appetiser for a more
thorough and traditional biography. It's an introduction to her life,
certainly, and as I say, very interesting.
Liz Flavell: Biographic Marley
by Ammonite Press December 2019
people know that Bob Marley (1945 1981) was a singer-songwriter who
popularised reggae music and whose Jamaican culture and Rastafarian
beliefs have attained worldwide influence. What, perhaps, they don't
know is that his music inspired 7,000 prisoners of war to escape; that
after running out of money he was forced to spend two years living in
London; that he has sold more than 75 million records around the world;
and that he was shot twice while trying to bring peace between two
political groups. Biographic: Marley presents an instant impression of
his life, work and legacy, with an array of irresistible facts and
figures converted into infographics to reveal the musician behind the
I know nothing whatever about Bob Marley, not
even in the "most people know" category of information. I certainly
didn't know about the 7,000 prisoners of war, or that he was shot, not
once, but twice. The way the information is presented in these books
has been done before, mainly in children's books. It works for them, so
I'm guessing it will also work for adults.
Sophie Collins: Biographic Audrey
by Ammonite Press December 2019
people know that Audrey Hepburn (1929 1993) was a Hollywood movie star
and world famous fashion icon. What, perhaps, they don't know is that
she is one of a few select people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an
Oscar and a Tony; that she could speak 5 different languages; that she
owned a pet deer named Pippin; and that she broke her back after being
thrown off her horse during the filming of Unforgiven. Biographic:
Audrey presents an instant impression of her life, work and legacy,
with an array of irresistible facts and figures converted into
infographics to reveal the actor behind the movies.
SI do happen to know more about Audrey Hepburn,
because she was recently the subject of a long article in my favourite
monthly magazine, Yours: Retro. Not much of that information is covered
in Sophie's book, but what is covered makes for fascinating reading. I
haven't seen more than a couple of Audrey Hepburn's films. This is so
far the best of the series as far as I'm concerned.
Natalie Price-Cabrera: Biographic Picasso
by Ammonite Press December 2019
people know that Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor,
printmaker and poet. What, perhaps, they dont know is that his full
name is 23 words long; that he painted 15 different versions of Les
Femmes DAlgers, one of which sold for $179 million; and that he was
interviewed by police over the theft of the Mona Lisa. Biographic:
Picasso presents a modern study of his life and work, with an array of
irresistible facts and figures converted into infographics to reveal
the artist behind the pictures.
When I was studying for my Open University BA
Degree, I attended a summer school week in London, where one of the
tutors was Diana Norman, a noted art critic and expert. She told me
that I was at liberty to say that I didn't like Picasso, but I had to
be able to say why. So here goes: I don't like Picasso because his
illustrations are nothing like what they are supposed to represent. I
think it was Paul Merton in one of his more hilarious sketches who,
referring to a Picasso painting, said "have you ever seen a woman like
that?" The thing that annoys me about Picasso is that he was an
extremely talented artist and painter before he embarked on the
paintings for which he is best remembered. For me, these paintings, all
of them, smack of The Emperor's New Clothes. Someone says they're great
and one by one everybody in the art world falls over themselves to
agree for fear of looking stupid. I can't abide modern art. Most of the
Turner Prize winners of the past forty years have been rubbish - not
art at all. An unmade bed. I mean to say... I like art to look like
what it's meant to look like. Abstract art leaves me cold, modern art
like Picasso's dreadful daubs leave me frozen. Give me a Constable, a
Gainsborough, a Michaelangelo, a Leonardo anyday. The Tate Modern is
the art gallery I would least like to visit in the world. Enough people like Picasso (?!?) to include him in the series,
but he's simply not someone I want to know about.
Jonk: Baikonur - Vestiges of the Soviet Space Programme
by Jonglez 1st October 2019
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was created by the Soviets in the
1950s. It was from Baikonur in 1988 that the first Soviet spaceplane,
Buran, was launched in response to the United States Space Shuttle. The
Buran programme would officially end in 1993 during the presidency of
Boris Yeltsin, with only one Buran launch ever taking place, in 1998.
Thereafter, parts of the Baikonur Cosmodrome fell into disuse, notably
the sites connected with the launch of these Soviet craft. The two
shuttles that were completed remain abandoned there, laid to rest in
this atmospheric place. This is the first time that photographs of
these spectacular locations have been published in a book. Jonk
travelled 20km through the Kazakh desert under cover of night, entered
the hangars clandestinely, and spent three nights there under the radar
of military security to produce a truly incredible photographic
reportage of what is considered today the world's most important urban
exploration site. Jonk reveals his excellent collection of photographs
taken in the disused part of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. As well as
providing us with these amazing pictures, he describes the incredible
adventure of visiting a location that is unique in the world.
first ever collection of photographs showing in detail the Baikonur
Cosmodrome, the world's most important urban exploration site.
month I published a review of a stupendous book chronicling the USA's
manned spaceflight programmes, from Mercury thru Gemini to Apollo, the
International Space Station and beyond (It's still on this page, further down). This month it's the turn of the
Soviet space programme, with a stunning array of photographs, most of
which have never been seen before, of spacecraft and associated
operations. In stark contrast to the way we used to get information
during the Cold War, this is an amazing collection of photos and data
of what went on at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. A very important slice of
Soviet social history.
You might still like to check out these great non-fiction titles...
Dan Cruickshank: Manmade Wonders of the World
Published by Dorling Kindersley 3rd October 2019
and explore the most incredible statues, monuments, temples, bridges,
and ancient cities with this unparalleled survey of the most famous
buildings and structures created by humans.
From Stonehenge to the Sagrada Familia, from the Great Wall of China to the Burj Khalifa, Manmade Wonders of the World plots
a continent-by-continent journey around the world, exploring and
charting the ingenuity and imagination used by different cultures to
create iconic buildings. This truly global approach reveals how humans
have tackled similar challenges - such as keeping the enemy out or
venerating their gods - in vastly different parts of the world. As
writer, historian, and broadcaster Dan Cruickshank writes in his
foreword, "reading this book is like taking a journey through the world
not only of the present but also of the past, because the roots of many
wonders lie in antiquity."
combining breathtaking photography with 3D cutaway artworks,
floorplans, and other illustrations, the hidden details and engineering
innovations that make each building remarkable are revealed.
the most visited monuments in the world - such as the Eiffel Tower, Taj
Mahal, and Machu Picchu - as well as some hidden gems, Manmade Wonders of the World can
help you to map out the trip of a lifetime or simply be enjoyed as a
celebration of the world that humans have built over thousands of years.
Ray DVDs are supposed to be anything from four times to seven times
sharper than ordinary DVDs, and HD television is of course much sharper
than ordinary TV. 4K (Ultra high definition) is sharper still, and most
modern laptops are displaying in HD. This latest title from Dorling
Kindersley has its photographic illustrations in Ultra High Definition,
or so it seems to me, because they are clearer, sharper than any other
book I have ever seen. The subject of these photographs is Manmade
Wonders, with a glowing foreword by the great Dan Cruikshank, and I
cannot remember ever enjoying a "coffee table" book more than this one.
It is stunning and beautiful in every aspect, the photographs are
jaw-droppingly good, very high definition, and the maps and diagrams
(the cutaways) are second to none, stunning. This is a strong candidate
for my nonfiction book of the year, and quite frankly, I can't see
anything else coming anywhere near. I've had the privilege of reviewing
a vast array of nonfiction books over the years, and this one has to be
the very best of all of them! "Breathtaking" indeed!
Neil Oliver: The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places
Published by Transworld 20th September 2019
Oliver is one of my two favourite history/archaeology presenters, the
other being Professor Alice Roberts, and I've reviewed some of Alice's
work in Books Monthly in the past, but this is the first time I've seen
Neil in print, and the result is superlative. At first glance, the 100
places may seem random, but the more I got into the book, I realised
there was a structure to it. It may be that the places are in order of
importance to the development of the British Isles over the years in
terms of time, or it may be they are in order of importance to Neil.
Either way, the result is absolutely extraordinary. Neil chooses
Happisburgh on the North Norfolk Coast (where I live, just along the
road) as his kick-off point, because that was where human habitation of
the globe suddenly slipped back to over 900,000 years overnight when a
receding tide exposed footprints in the mud. If that's not the most
important development in the story of the British Isles, I don't know
what it. Neil's writing is as engaging and endearing as his TV
documentaries, and you can hear his voice loud and clear as he picks a
subject and expands on it to reveal its place in our history. I can
hear him saying "The Ness of Brodgar" because I've heard him say it on
TV, and his voice is just perfect for this kind of programme and book.
This is a book you can dip in and out of at will, you don't have to
read it in Neil's order. If you're like me, you'll look at the stories
about places you've visited yourself, like Avebury, Stonehenge, The
Wash etc., and then catch up with the places you might know about
because of Bernard Cornwell's Dark Ages series (Lindisfarne, Bamburgh
Castle etc.) There's lots of Dark Ages material in this brilliant book,
and it is one of the most readable and fascinating books on history,
specifically the history of the British Isles, I have ever read. If
only Neil Oliver had been my history teacher back in the 1950s... but
then that wouldn't work, would it, because I'm considerably older than
he is! A glorious, fantastic book that every home should invest in.
should have two copies - one for the car and one for the house to plan
journeys. . . a reminder to think more about the places you pass and
less about your route, because every British journey is through rich
history." (Edward Stourton)
From much-loved historian Neil Oliver, comes this beautifully written, kaleidoscopic history of a place with a story like no other.
British Isles, this archipelago of islands, is to Neil Oliver the best
place in the world. From north to south, east to west it cradles
astonishing beauty. The human story here is a million years old, and
counting. But the tolerant, easygoing peace we enjoy has been hard won.
We have made and known the best and worst of times. We have been hero
and villain and all else in between, and we have learned some lessons.
The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places is
Neil’s very personal account of what makes these islands so special,
told through the places that have witnessed the unfolding of our
history. Beginning with footprints made in the sand by humankind’s
earliest ancestors, he takes us via Romans and Vikings, the flowering
of religion, through civil war, industrial revolution and two world
wars. From windswept headlands to battlefields, ancient trees to
magnificent cathedrals, each of his destinations is a place where,
somehow, the spirit of the past seems to linger.
Keeling & Scott Alexander: Seven Worlds One Planet
by BBC Books 10th October 2019
home. A place 200 million years in the making.
ago, our planet had only one gigantic land mass. Then something
monumental happened. That supercontinent ruptured and seven different
worlds were born.
of those worlds - or continents - evolved, and continues to evolve, its
own way of life. From the jungle of the Congo or the majestic Himalayas
to the densely populated wilds of Europe or the comparatively isolated
Worlds, One Planet explores
the natural wonders that give each of our continents its distinct
character. Following the animals that have made these iconic
environments their home, it discovers spectacular wildlife stories that
reveal what makes each of these seven worlds unique.
a foreword by Sir David Attenborough and over 250 breathtaking images,
including stills from the BBC Natural History Unit’s spectacular
Worlds, One Planet is
a stunning exploration of the planet, and the worlds within it, that we
blu ray still in mind, I have to say that we have been watching Sir
David Attenborough's latest documentary on our 4K TV on the BBC1 HD
channel, and the clarity is staggering. The book, as always, has so
much more information in it than Sir David could impart in the course
of the one-hour programmes, and the photography is absolutely stunning,
as it is in the companion book which, as always, gives you so much
more. It's my confirmed belief that if you're hooked on the TV
programme, then you need the book as well. Written by experts in their
field, and with absolutely crystal clear photography, this book would
stand alone as a brilliant exposition of the fauna of our unique world,
together with the mountainous challenges they face to survive in the
relentless onslaught of man's progress and continual usurpation of
their breeding and feeding grounds. Sir David is encouraged by the
reaction to his Blue Planet 2 series, which has brought about new
attitudes to the use of plastics on our world. Seven Worlds One Planet
is both a celebration of our wildlife, with whom we should be sharing
the planet, and a warning that if we don't check that progress, further
extinctions will surely follow. The book isn't written by Sir David,
but it carries his messages loud and clear. It is fascinating to read
about the amazing diversity of wildlife on the different continents or
worlds. In the introduction, we're told about the fact that millions of
years ago there was one super-continent, Pangea, and that over time it
split into the continents we know and recognise today. This is the only
fault with this book, that I can find, that the maps of Pangea and the
seven continents, are small, not much larger than a fifty pence piece.
think the introduction would have benefited from whole page maps -
other than that, it is faultless and fascinating. Another brilliant
Christmas gift if ever I saw one, and thanks to BBC books for allowing
me the opportunity to review it in Books Monthly. Books are the
lifeblood of our education and development, and this is another shining
example of all that's good in the modern publishing world.
Mitchell: Dishonesty is the Second-best Policy - And Other Rules To
by Guardian Faber Publishing 7th November 2019
David Mitchell’s 2014 bestseller Thinking
About It Only Makes It Worse must really have
made people think – because everything’s got worse. We’ve
gone from UKIP surge to Brexit shambles, from horsemeat in lasagne to
Donald Trump in the White House, from Woolworths going under to all the
other shops going under. It’s probably socially irresponsible even to
try to cheer up.
if you’re determined to give it a go, you might enjoy this eclectic collection (or eclection) of David Mitchell’s attempts to make light
of all that darkness. Scampi,
politics, the Olympics, terrorism, exercise, rude street names,
inheritance tax, salad cream, proportional representation and farts are
all touched upon by Mitchell’s unremitting laser of chit-chat, as he
negotiates a path between the commercialisation of Christmas and the
true spirit of Halloween. Read this book
and slightly change your life!
Mitchell, Lee Mack and Eddie Izzard are the three people guaranteed
today to make me laugh. Situation comedies on both BBC and ITV are dire
and have been since Victor Meldrew came "to the End of the Line" (the
last series ended with the classic song by the Travelling Wilburies),
with the notable exception of Not Going Out.
There are legions of stand-up comedians who are simply not funny, there
are dozens of so-called sitcoms such as Citizen Khan, Still Open All
Hours and a whole host of others that simply wither and die for want of
being funny in any way whatsoever. I won't mention Mrs Brown's Boys,
which plumbs the depths of all that's wrong with TV broadcasting today.
But Friday nights on BBC1 are
guaranteed to raise not just a laugh but side-splitting hysterics when
David and Lee, together with Rob Brydon, and especially when Bob
Mortimer is a guest, appear on Would I Lie To You. That and Not Going
Out are the two most brilliant and funny programmes on the television
(for me). David Mitchell's extraordinary sense of humour is at its best
when he's railing against something, which he does often on WILTY and
even more so in his books. Dishonesty... is his second such book, and
to read him pitching out against such things as Scampi, farting, the
Olympics etc., brings just unutterable pleasure, because you can
imagine him sitting in your living room (or wherever you choose to read
this brilliant book) and saying it aloud, just to you. He has an
opinion on everything, and can turn any subject into one of hilarity.
He's a genuine philosopher who hides his philosophy behind the mask of
a seriously funny person. The episode of WILTY when his wife, Victoria
Coren-Mitchell was on it with him recently - she's not a comedienne in
that she does stand-up comedy, but as host of a genuinely funny quiz
show, she is brilliantly funny in her own right, - was one of the
funniest episodes ever, rivalling the inimitable Bob Mortimer. I would
include Bob in my list of best comedians but unfortunately he
associates regularly with two "comedians" who are simply not funny in
any sense of the word: Vic Reeves and Paul Whitehouse. David and
well-matched, and one can only imagine how a typical day in the
Mitchell household goes down. I try to see humour in everything except
tragedy and health issues myself, my passion is words and turning them
inside out and around - I'm good at anagrams and I have a phenomenal
memory for 1950s/1960s radio shows, monologues, song lyrics etc., etc.
I'm not a comedian, never have been, but generally try to make
people laugh as it lightens the mood and laughter; laughter, as
has said forever, is the best medicine. David's book is genuinely good
medicine. It will bring a smile to your face, it will make you laugh,
and it will make you think you're in the room with David himself.
Utterly, utterly brilliant.
Sinclair McKay: The Scotland Yard Puzzle Book
Published by Headline 17th October 2019
Pit your wits against the brilliant minds of Scotland Yard, from the bestselling author of Bletchley Park Brainteasers, Sinclair McKay.
If you cracked the GCHQ Puzzle Book and tore through the Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book, you MUST show off your brainteaser abilities and prove that you have what it takes to be a detective at the Yard...
can a man be in two places at once? How might a murder be committed
when no one is seen entering or exiting the house? Can an entire crime
be solved with just a suitcase of empty beer bottles?
It's time for you to tackle the conundrums that confounded the best detectives over the years.
it opened its doors in 1829, Scotland Yard has used the science of
detection to solve the most macabre of murders and catch the most
audacious of thieves. The Scotland Yard Puzzle Book takes
a look through the history of this famous institution and recreates
some of the most complex puzzles its detectives have ever faced.
Technology can now shine a light on some of the most difficult cases,
but the analytical mind needed to crack the clues remains as essential
Do you have what it takes to be a Scotland Yard detective?
a year or so, when I was fifteen years old, there was one thing on my
agenda for a career, and that was to be a policeman. I don't know if it
was the uniform and the chance to become a figure of authority (I was
never made a prefect at school because the headmaster knew that I was
due to leave at the end of July that year, which I thought was unfair);
I don't know if it was because of the books I read - I was a huge fan
of Sherlock Holmes, of John Creasey's Inspector West, and of PC49 in
the Eagle comic. We didn't have television, so I didn't know about TV
detective dramas, although I loved them from 1963 onwards, when we did
have access to a television, my favourites being No Hiding Place
(Inspector Lockhart) and eventually Z Cars. Nowadays, there isn't a TV
police drama that I don't like, though I do have my favourites, which
are Endeavour, Lewis and Inspector Morse, closely followed by Vera and
Shetland. This brilliant puzzle book gives you the opportunity to
become a detective, with a series of terrific puzzles to solve, clues
to unravel, villains to catch, crimes to solve. This is the perfect
antidote to television, laptop, iPad and phone. Pit your wits against
the great detectives and see how well you'd cope as a detective! If you
like puzzles, and if you like setting your mind to solving them, this
terrific book will keep you occupied for hours with access to many
real-life Scotland Yard cases. Are you up to the challenge?
Dr Gareth Moore: The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Tour of Britain
Published by Trapeze 17th October 2019
The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book was the biggest-selling puzzle book of 2018. And now it is back, with brand new maps, and bigger and better brainteasers!
In The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Tour of Britain map
your way around Britain in 40 new regional maps,with hundreds of
puzzles, mind-boggling brainteasers, navigational tests, word games,
code-crackers, anagrams and mathematical conundrums to keep you
occupied as you go!
maps covering the 8 areas of South-West England, South-East England,
the Midlands, East England, North-West England, North-East England,
Wales and Scotland, you'll put your knowledge and skills to the test
and become a local - as you discover amazing facts about each region's
folklore, famous historical events and the perfect day out from the
OS's GetOutside Champions.
With four levels of difficulty that make this fun for all the family, The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Tour of Britain is also a celebration of the regional diversity, history and landscapes that make Great Britain so great.
many years now I've regretted my decision at Grammar School not to
include geography in my curriculum. It goes hand in hand with history,
after all, at which I excelled; and now I can't get enough of it, with
BBC TV programmes like Coast and Neil Oliver's tours and documentaries,
along with what I've learned from Sir David Attenborough's nature
programmes and Michael Portillo's great British Railway Journeys (and
railway journeys elsewhere in the world. Geography fascinates me more
than ever, and looking back, what I was being taught in grammar school
was really not geography but a mixture of geology and international
trade. From memory, we never looked at a map, and for me, maps are the
mainstay of geography. I am fascinated by maps, especially large-scale
Ordnance Survey maps, but also road atlas maps as well. I don't know
how well I will get on with Dr Moore's Ordnance Survey Puzzle Tour, but
it looks absolutely fascinating, the maps are brilliant! I can't wait
to get started on this terrific book, and have no hesitation in
recommending it to anyone who takes an interest in where we are. On
reflection, I don't honestly think I missed much by not taking Doughy
Baker's geography lessons - he was a dreadful teacher and I've learned
much more with textbooks, road atlases and OS Maps, certainly enough to
enjoy this book and its puzzles. By the way, this and the Scotland Yard
book above are recommended as a pair on Amazon - they're from different
publishers, not that it matters! Congratulations to both publishers on
coming up with two terrific puzzle books in an age of computer games.
Books matter more now than ever, in my opinion. I hope my selection of
books this month will inspire you in your Christmas gift choices!
Helen Brocklehurst: The AA British Road Map Puzzle Book
Published by Sphere 17th October 2019
How well do you really know your way around Britain?
the history of Britain's roads and work your way around its highways,
byways, bypasses and backwaters in these map-based challenges.
your word-puzzling skills, map-reading savvy, general knowledge and
problem-solving prowess, with over 400 mind-stretching questions.
Guaranteed to drive your mind round the bend, this is the ultimate quiz
to British places for motorists and map addicts.
producing the first road signs and handwriting route directions, to its
bestselling atlases and touring guides, The AA has been helping
motorists navigate British roads since 1905 - and no one knows
Britain's roads better.
researching on Amazon which puzzle books would make good Christmas
gifts, I stumbled on this third one, coincidentally published, like the
other gtwo, on 17th October (three different publishers, three puzzle
books, all published on the same date - I don't suppose anyone other
than me takes any notice of who publishes what - they're all books,
after all, what does it matter who the publisher is? That may be the
subject of a small piece in Books Monthly at some stage next year).
I've been equally fascinated by road atlases and ordnance survey maps
for as long as can remember - I don't have a SatNav, I'd rather study
my road atlas and work out my journey than be distracted by something
in the car when I should be concentrating on my driving. I don't know
what percentage of the driving population own road atlases, but even of
you don't, this brilliant puzzle book is crammed with information about
elements of the highway code and exercises (puzzles) in reading the
kinds of maps you get in road atlases - it's great for brain-training,
great for keeping you alert when you're actually driving, because it's
educational, and most importantly, it's great fun!
The Classic FM Puzzle Book, Foreword by Alexander Armstrong
Published by Cassell 3rd October 2019
you know classical music? It's time to put your knowledge to the test
with this collection of questions and puzzles designed to challenge, to
entertain - and to educate.
together basic trivia, complex wordplay and a range of visual teasers,
the book calls on the knowledge of the Classic FM experts to provide
hours of music-themed challenges.
With difficulty levels varying from pleasantly tricky to fiendishly hard, The Classic FM Puzzle Book will entertain from the first bar until the very last note.
someone who loves classical music, (we have a substantial CD library of
all the major composers, favourites being Mahler, Shostakovich,
Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Prokoviev, Borodin etc.) I always have
Classic FM on Saturdays and Sundays - it's far more listenable than
Radio 3, the presenters (with one notable exception, I won't name her
but her voice is dreary and her presentation even more dreary, and
she's comparatively new to Classic FM) are great, knowledgeable,
approachable and so on, and there is genuinely classical music for all
tastes: baroque, classical, romantic, modern. The new Classic FM Puzzle
Book is a cornucopia of stuff about composers, their lives and their
works. If you like Classic FM, you will absolutely adore this book!
Heptinstall: 1001 Cars (You must drive before you die)
by Cassell 3rd October 2019
a preface from founding member of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason.
yourself for the world's greatest road trip.
yourself in for a cavalcade of the fastest, biggest, smallest, most
expensive, most innovative and downright sexiest motorized vehicles
ever produced. Whether you're a vintage car spotter or an armchair
Cars To Dream Of Driving Before You Die brings
you the best stories and the most amazing photographs of the finest
cars from every corner of the globe.
truly global guide offers a unique history of motoring through the
ages, from Henry
Ford's pioneering Model T,
with its hand-cranked starter, to the latest hi-tech vehicles, such as
LS 600h, hybrid-powered, 4x4 sports saloon, and
reveals the stories behind the cars, the geniuses who designed them,
the companies and factories who built them, and the people who drove
the extraordinary contraptions that started it all more than 100 years
ago and drool over today's most spectacular supercars. From the most
famous Ferraris and Porsches to ground-breaking sports cars from
Brazil, South Africa and New Zealand, 1001
Cars To Dream of Driving Before You Die is
the ultimate car enthusiast's companion. Featuring cars chosen by
stars, millionaires and world leaders, from James
Dean's Porsche 550 Spyder and Al
Capone's Cadillac V16 to
the classic James Bond favourite, the Aston
there's a car here for every petrol-head.
ultimate guide for every car fanatic.
recognise this book as a must-have for motoring fanatics. I enjoy F1
motor racing, but I wouldn't take out a subscription to Sky in order to
watch it - I think the broadcasting authorities are wrong to allow
anything other than "conventional" broadcasters (terrestrial
broadcasters like the BBC or ITV) to show F1 racing, but I'm not that
obsessed with it that I would allow myself to be lured into something I
can't afford just for the sake of watching it, although I have friends
who would do just that! For me, looking at pictures of cars is just as
satisfying as actually driving them. Again, I once sat in a Lotus
Esprit belonging to a friend, and found it to be one of the most
uncomfortable experiences of my life! I have a car that is a few months
short of its twentieth birthday and which will, very soon, be
recognised as a classic car. It cost me £500 and it is a joy to drive.
I don't hunger for driving other cars, I'm happy just to look at them
in just such a sensational gift book as this one, compiled by Simon
Heptinstall. The photography is sublime, some of the cars (not all, by
any means) are very nice to look at. This is a superb gift book for any
motorist or enthusiast. Petrolheads will go out of their way to
actually sit in or drive these motors, and have to watch inane and
time-wasting TV programmes like Top Gear, which lost its appeal when
Raymond Baxter stopped presenting it. If you're an old fuddy-duddy like
me, you'll be content with this book on your lap, a cup of coffee and a
biscuit in your other hand while you turn the pages and dream. You're
unlikely to ever drive or ever to have driven more than twenty of the
cars in this book, there are many, many American and other foreign
ones, and the two Ford Focuses are out of most people's reach, of
course. No Ford Prefect, no Ford Anglia, no Sierra, no classic Fords at
all, in fact, so in that respect the book is somewhat disappointing.
But the illustrations are beautiful. You may get to see 1000 movies
(see below), although only a handful will be in the following book; the
chances of you getting beyond twenty cars is remote, to say the least.
Even seeing more than a couple of hundred of the cars in this book is
remote... but a joy to look at in this remarkable and well-illustrated
Jay Schneider: 1001 Movies (You must see before you die)
by Cassell 3rd October 2019
bestselling film book returns fully updated for 2019!
incredible gift series has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide!
a fun stroll through some all-time favourites, and a guilty reminder of
just how many great movies I haven't seen yet . . .'
edited by Steven Jay Schneider, it makes for addictive browsing, and
likewise features top quality stills.'
more than 1.75 million copies sold worldwide in thirty languages, 1001
Movies You Must See Before You Die celebrates
the great and groundbreaking, classic and cult, must-see movies of all
time, offering a treasure trove of incisive, witty and revealing
insights. Spanning more than a century of extraordinary cinema, this
comprehensive volume brings together some of the most significant
movies from every country and all genres, from
action to Western, through animation, comedy, documentary, musical,
thriller, noir, short, romance and sci-fi.
revised and updated,
this definitive edition features 500
original movie posters and hundreds of stunning movie stills, including
recent Oscar-winning and nominated films such as BlacKkKlansman,
The Greatest Showman, The Favourite, Roma and A
Star is Born.
Quotes from movie directors and critics, together with little-known
facts, complement the incisive reviews and vital statistics of each
movie to make this the most fact-filled edition ever.
whether your passion is rom-com or art house, The
Blue Angel or Blue
Movies You Must See Before You Die is
bound to become the only film book to which you will ever turn.
are old age pensioners (on a shamefully low pension, the lowest in
Europe, I believe), and our entertainment is home-grown from necessity.
The last time we went to the cinema was to see a streaming of Henry IV
Part 2 from the RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon because our daughter
appeared in it. But cinema is a large part of our lives. We watch with
interest to see what films are due out in the cinema so that we are
able to find out when they are going to be available on blu ray (we
have a decent [4k UHD] TV to watch blu rays on). Time was, when I was
working, we would go and see the latest Star Wars or Star Trek movie -
we went to the cinema in Fakenham to see the Lord of the Rings trilogy
in 2001/2/3, but for me and, I think, for my wife, enjoyment of these
films is far enhanced by watching them in comfort in our own home on a
42 inch TV. This magnificent book suggests 1001 movies you must see
before you die. I don't know who came up with the "You must see before
you die" (substitute the word "drive" in the case of the 1001 cars
book) strapline, but it's the least appealing part of this series of
books for me. That said, this is a book that has been previously
published like the 1001 cars book, and both have been updated to take
into account new cars, or in this case, new films. We have The Greatest
Showman, and love it. We have The Favourite, but have so far not got
round to watching it. Including it in the 1001... book doesn't make it
imperative that we watch it; after all, Steven Jay Schneider's list of
1001 films isn't either exhaustive or essential - it's a very personal
selection, inevitably. But just seeing his selection, and reading about
them in this beautiful book (more to my taste than the cars book, I
have to say) combines two of my great passions - books and movies. This
series has gone from strength to strength in the space of almost a
decade - I remember reviewing some of the titles when they were first
published back in 2012 (yes, Books Monthly is that old - twice as old,
in fact!) and remarking then on what a terrific idea it was. These
books are, for me, essential reading. I may not be interested in every
title published, but the privilege of seeing these two titles, recently
revised and updated, is immense, and I'm proud to have been able to
feature them in Books Monthly!
I said earlier in this review that this selection of movies is
lpersonal - it isn't, it's a collaborative selection made by people
involved in the movie industry, or rather in the movie critics
community. As such, it is not entirely without faults, and I was
disappointed to see that there was no mention of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
(although The Great Escape is in there, so the selectors didn't have a
hang-up about Steve McQueen); no mention of OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOU,
no mention of ZULU, and no mention of any of the STAR TREK films, not
even the recent ones with Chris Pine. Instead the book is partially
filled with obscure foreign films that no one has any intention of ever
seeing, in foreign languages that would mean having to watch
sub-titles, and that is no way to watch a film, films so obscure that
they get two pages in the book rather than one or more commonly a half
page as most of them do. It's a real pleasure to look back on the film
posters that heralded these films at the cinemas we used to frequent,
but I can't help thinking that it's the wrong thing to do to involve
movie critics in compiling such a list, because they are a breed apart,
and they don't watch films with the eyes of the cinema-going public,
they like to impose their views as though they are the only people who
really know what makes a good film, and they so often get it
disastrously wrong. STAR WARS is in there, at least the original trio,
but no TARZAN? On reflection, this book should have been compiled by
just one man. I doubt if I could name 1000 movies, although I've
probably seen that many in my time, thinking back to when I went to the
cinema three times a week because the programme changed on Mondays,
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. An enjoyable book, and a good
concept, but the glaring omissions and the terrible, terrible
inclusions spoil it somewhat for me.
Wesley Price: Space Mission Art - The Mission Patches & Insignias
of America's Human Spaceflights
by Ammonite Press December 2019
1961, the United States of America has launched men and women into the
hostile vacuum of space. For the adventures on which they were about to
embark, astronauts, associates and designers commemorated each mission
by creating a unique insignia that the crew could wear with pride on
their spacesuits. Space Mission Art collects every one of these iconic
designs, plus sticker sheets, to celebrate the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo,
Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. They are presented in full colour
and glorious detail alongside the stories behind their design. There
are also crew photos, mission facts and trivia that reveal the human
face of space exploration, capturing the comedy, tragedy, bravery and
beauty of these extraordinary adventures into the unknown.
I was fortunate enough to be working in the
British Space industry at the time of the Apollo programme. Years
earlier the whole family crowded outside in 1961, on 12th April to see
Russia's Vostok 1 spacecraft carry
Yuri Gagarin around the Earth. It was like seeing the science fiction
heroes I followed each week in my Lion and Tiger comics coming to life
before my very eyes, and when President Kennedy responded to the
Russians' challenge with a promise to put men on the Moon and bring
them back safely by the end of the decade, all of the forecasts of an
Earth Space Force by the year 2000 seemed to be on course for coming
The truth, of course, was very different - but America's manned
spaceflight programme was born, beginning with Mercury, then Gemini,
followed by Apollo, Skylab and the Shuttle. Now, it seems that interest
in manned spaceflight has been rekindled, with various reusable systems
under development, and promises of commercial spaceflight within a
couple of years. As I said, I was working for Hawker Siddeley Dynamics
in Stevenage (Stevenage was known as Space City in the 1960s because
there was also a British Aircraft Corporation factory just along the
road, manufacturing rockets and missiles - I worked there for many
years also) in 1969 and my job as Librarian was to gather as much
information (data, you'd call it now) as possible on spaceflight, both
and unmanned. There was a dedicated team of top scientists at Hawker's
hell bent on getting satellites built and into Earth orbit. They were
all passionate about manned spaceflight as well, and I managed to get
myself on the circulation list for all NASA publications, including
their press releases for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programmes. I
prepared information for the James Burke and Geoffrey Pardoe TV
coverage of Apollo, and we stayed up to watch Armstrong and Aldrin land
on the moon in July 1969. I regularly visited the American Embassy in
London to pick up the Nasa press releases, and I well remember admiring
the suit patches for each mission.
was a time when I could have named all of the astronauts for each
of the Apollo missions. I remember some, now, but not enough, not
because my memory is failing, but because it's been hijacked by other
genres of literature and information. This magnificent book collects
all of the artwork
for all of NASA's manned spaceflight missions, with crew photographs
and profiles, mission profiles, suit patches etc., and is a fantastic
reminder of the triumphs and the tragedies we witnessed along the way
to the moon and to the International Space Station.
Again, there was a time when the BBC and to a lesser extent ITV covered
manned spaceflight with relish, but interest faded when it became clear
that successive US governments were less and less convinced of the
benefits on the grounds of cost. Now there is talk of a manned mission
to Mars, and I hope I'm around to see it, because I've been inspired by
man in space for as long as I can remember. The book is beautifully
presented, the printing is clear and the text is absolutely brilliant.
This is an inspirational, commemorative book that will intrigue,
delight and inform anyone lucky enough to get their hands on it. It's
also a revelation - the huge number of shuttle missions listed in this
book was something of a shock to me. Many are listed by Luke as
classified or unclassified defence missions, and one wonders if there
is some kind of defence missile system deployed in near or far-Earth
orbit? Absolutely fascinating, and pure magic, as anything to do with
manned spacflight surely is. Available from Amazon and from www.thegmcgroup.com
or by calling 01273 488005. Don't miss it!
Simon King & Clare Nasir: What Does Rain Smell Like?
Published by 535 17th October 2019
Why doesn't rain fall all at once?
Can technology change the track of a hurricane?
What's the weather like on other planets?
Simon King and Clare Nasir reveal the captivating ways the weather
works, from exploring incredible weather phenomenon (how are rainbows formed?), expertly breaking down our knowledge of the elements (could we harness the power of lightning?) to explaining the significance of weather in history (has the weather ever started a war?) and discussing the future of weather (could climate modification save the planet?).
In What Does Rain Smell Like? Simon
and Clare uncover the thrilling science behind a subject that affects
us all. They unearth and analyse all aspects of the weather and how it
changes our lives through answering our most curious questions about
the world around us.
weather is a topic of conversation we are willing to engage in with
anybody we meet; here in North Norfolk, the weather forecast is rarely
right, no matter who the presenter or channel may be. We have lost
count of the times they have said it would be a fine day, lots of
sunshine etc., and we're out with our dog in pouring rain. Sheringham
is one of those places that quite often gets a "haar" - days on end of
thick fog when just down the road it's gloriously sunny and warm. This
book is essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the
weather, with the authors explaining just about every aspect of the
weather in terms that even the layest of layment can understand. It's
brilliant, simply brilliant.
Chris Packham: The Science of Animals
Published by Dorling Kindersley 26th September 2019
spectacular, studio-quality photography and clear explanations, this
book reveals the incredible anatomy, behaviour, and beauty of every
type of creature, from hair to scale and whisker to tail.
elegant introduction to zoology offers interesting views, angles, and
close-ups that show you animals in surprising detail. The unique
nose-to-tail approach, with chapters on different body parts, allows
you to focus in on the beauty of the antenna of a moth, the flight
feathers of a parrot, or the feeding tentacles of a jellyfish. It
explains how form relates to function - how each feature is an
evolutionary answer to the challenges of environment and lifestyle.
on key animals combine photography from the field with rounded
descriptions of star species. These species are glowing examples of
hunting, speed, camouflage, or any topic in question. The Science of Animals also
explores how we have depicted animals in art, from zoological drawings
that recorded new discoveries to great paintings inspired by a deep
connection to the natural world.
With fascinating stories, such as how animals communicate, defend their territories, and attract mates, The Science of Animals offers an engaging introduction to the diversity of the animal kingdom.
other blockbuster from Dorling Kindersley this month is this enormous
coffee table book on how Earth's animals work, how they are structured,
how they behave. It's like a giant biology textbook, with stunning
illustrations and photographs. Had it been around when I was making my
subject choices at grammar school back in the 1950s, I might well have
chosen biology. As it is, I missed out. A simply sensational book.
David Day: The Hobbits of Tolkien
Published by Pyramid Books 3rd October 2019
Day has been writing books about the various worlds of J R R Tolkien
for as long as I can remember, and this paperback-sized book is one of
a series of brilliantly written and illustrated books on the subject of
the characters and races of Tolkien's Middle Earth. Faultless and
years after the publication of renowned Tolkien expert David Day's A
Tolkien Bestiary comes The Illustrated World of Tolkien - a collection
of artworks and essays from expert illustrators, painters and etchers,
accomapnied by David Day's fascinating and scholarly writing. Whether
you are an expert or you just want to learn more about Tolkien's world
and characters, this title is the one you've been waiting for - an
exquisite reference guide for any fan of the author's work and
the imaginative brilliance his vision inspired. An entire race was born
when J.R.R. Tolkien scrawled on a leaf, 'In a hole in the ground there
lived a hobbit.' From the invention of that single word (hobbit)
Tolkien became the explorer and chronicler of the character, their race
and their significant role in his fantastical world, Middle-earth.
in his latest book, Tolkien expert David Day unpicks the myriad of
riddles, puns and mystical meanings in Tolkien's works; The Hobbit and
The Lord of the Rings.
David Day: The Illustrated World of Tolkien
Published by Pyramid Books 19th October 2019
works have inspired artists for generations and have given rise to
myriad interpretations of the rich and magical worlds he created.
Illustrated World of Tolkien gathers together artworks and essays from
expert illustrators, painters and etchers, and fascinating and
scholarly writing from renowned Tolkien expert David Day, and is an
exquisite reference guide for any fan of Tolkien's work, Tolkien's
world and the imaginative brilliance his vision inspired.
this large-format book, David Day gathers together some of the finest
current illustrators of Middle Earth alongside a number of noted and
notable writers to bring us a comprehensive and delightful treatise on
the worlds of J R R Tolkien. I think I spotted a mistake, when the book
claims that Arwen spent most of her life with the Elves of Lothlorien -
it was always my understanding that she lived for the most part with
the Elves in her father Elrond's realm of Rivendell. I am prepared to
be wrong about that, and for this to be simply a typo, and it certainly
doesn't spoil the enjoyment of the book, which is simply superb!
David Day: A Dictionary of Sources of Tolkien
Published by Pyramid 17th October 2019
spellbinding world of Middle-earth is full of beasts and battles,
heroes and heroines, and the struggle between good and evil.
this dictionary of sources, Tolkien scholar and best-selling author
David Day's four decades of research inform us about the lands,
inhabitants, languages, geography and history of Middle-earth.
compelling encyclopedia on Tolkien's world also includes over 200
illustrations and an appendix that examines the legends that were key
sources for Tolkien's creations - the Völsunga Saga, the Nibelungenlied, and Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle.
Day has written more books about Tolkien's worlds and work than just
about anyone else, and this month sees the release of three brilliant
new books; you can read about the others on this page but I thought I
would whet your appetite here with this one, which brings together all
of the books and sagas etc., that may have influenced J R R Tolkien as
he embarked on his amazingly complex and massive creation. There are
references to Norse myths, to Germanic folklore, to just about anything
imaginable in the world of fantasy and myth, and it is a joy just to
read this book, even though it it takes the form of a reference book,
from cover to cover. The illustrations are striking, some of them are
amazingly good, and this is a book any Tolkien fan will be proud to
have on his bookshelf. Utterly amazing.
Pendleton Playing Cards
Published by Chronicle Books 25th September 2019
is an amazingly beautiful purse-like container for two handsome packs
of playing cards, just one of the many fine examples of gift that
publishers Abrams and Chronicle sell besides their beautiful and
handsome roll-up game combines convenience with style. It features a
canvas board and a snap-on vegan leather pouch for storing pieces, and
rolls up-just like a Pendleton blanket-for swift storage and easy
Sara Sheridan: The World of Sanditon
Published by Trapeze 3rd October 2019
The official TV tie-in to accompany the ITV drama scripted by Andrew Davies
The official companion to ITV's hotly anticipated new drama, The World of Sanditon delves behind the scenes of Sanditon, giving you the inside scoop on Jane Austen's unfinished masterpiece, adapted for television by Andrew Davies.
Produced by Red Planet Pictures, ITV's Sanditon series
tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional
Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous,
charming and slightly wild Sidney Parker. Written by Emmy and
BAFTA-Award winning writer Andrew Davies, the series will bring
Austen's story to life and this book will allow you to go behind the
scenes of the cast and crew, exploring the world that Austen created
and offering fascinating insights about the period and about the
real-life heartbreak behind her final story. Readers will also have
access to location guides, interviews with the cast, and in-depth
historical information by esteemed author Sara Sheridan.
Full of beautiful photography from the series, this is the only guide you need to Autumn's biggest show - welcome to Sanditon!
month I had the pleasure of reviwing the sumptuous companion to the new
Downton Abbey film; this month I'm honoured to be able to review the
companion to ITV's latest Sunday night blockbuster, Sanditon, which I
hope, along with millions of other viewers, could become ITV's new
Downton Abbey! This companion, compiled by Sara Sheridan and with a
foreword by Sanditon creator Andrew Davies, is the very finest example
of a literary companion it has ever been my good fortune to review. I
don't need to say that the many fine photographs are stunning, that
goes without saying, but I've said it anyway. There is such a wealth of
information in this book I don't know where to begin! First of all,
there is an excellent introduction to the life and works of Jane
Austen, without whom there would be no Sanditon. There is information
on how libraries started in England, and the blossoming publishing
industry; on the seaside, because Sanditon was set at a time when
seaside holidays were starting to become fashionable; on turn of
the century Great Britain, on food, on clothing, on everything about
Jane Austen's England; and, of course, there are profiles of the main
characters and the actors and actresses who portray them. You have to
wait until the very end of the book before you get the profile you've
been waiting for, that of Charlotte Heywood, portrayed by the stunning
Rose Williams, who is the very essence of an Austen heroine, and who
deserves an award for her acting prowess in Sanditon. Each profile
looks at the character and the actor/actress portraying them, which is,
for me, a first with this type of companion, and very welcome indeed.
This sumptuous book arrived just in time to make it into this issue,
and I decided that I would have two nonfiction books of the month
because it is simply brilliant, quite the best TV/film companion I have
ever been privileged to review in Books Monthly.
Book of the Month - The Bake-off Team: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes
Published by Sphere 3rd October 2019
THE BRAND-NEW OFFICIAL BAKE OFF BOOK!
THE ULTIMATE CAKE-BAKING BIBLE
The Big Book of Amazing Cakes brings the magic of The Great British Bake Off to your kitchen with easy-to-follow recipes for every shape, size and delicious flavour of cake you can imagine.
Featuring the very best cakes from inside the Bake Off tent,
alongside much-loved family favourites, stunning showstoppers and
classic bakes, the book is packed with expert advice and helpful tips
for decorating. From simple sponges to spectacular celebration cakes,
aspiring star bakers will have everything they need to create the
perfect bake for any occasion.
exclusive recipes by the series 10 bakers, and favourite bakes from
contestants across all ten series. STOP PRESS: David just won the
Bake-off trophy for 2019, and deservedly so. His show stopper blew the
honestly think that Bake-off has benefited from the move from the BBC
to Channel 4, the production is better, the presenters are better, and
the format of the programme is better. To add to that, the books that
accompany the series are definitely better, and this Big Book of
Amazing Cakes has to be the best yet, with stunning photography, clear,
easy-to follow recipes, and genuinely mouthwatering recipes. Many of
this year's contestants will go down as some of the best in the show's
ten year history, and some will go on to write books of their own, of
course, but this book showcases their recipes to perfection. There are
the perennial favourites, such as Victoria Sponge, and Christmas Cake,
but there are also some of the fantastic show-stoppers from the current
series which, as I write this, is still going on, with about six
contestants left. My personal favourite is Henry, followed by Steph,
but really, they're all brilliant and the standard this year is
incredibly high. But this is about the book, not the programme, and I
honestly think that this book will be around for a long time as the
perfect showcase for cake baking, as a shining example of a perfect TV
show, and as a companion that does so many thing: educates and
entertains, encourages and inspires. Fantastic. A strong contender for
one of this year's very best nonfiction books.
Book of the Month - Metropolitan Museum of Art: Christmas Is Coming!
Published by Abrams Books 15th October 2019
the most wonderful time of the year, and this richly illustrated
treasury celebrates everything there is to love about the holiday
season! It’s filled with favorite Christmas stories, such as “ ’Twas
the Night Before Christmas” and “Little Women, A Merry Christmas,” and
songs as well as original poems from Lee Bennett Hopkins, Naomi Shihab
Nye, and others; original recipes from Erin Gleeson, Yvette van Boven,
and Yotam Ottolenghi; and other holiday trappings. All the artwork is
from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collection, ranging from
religious paintings depicting the Nativity, to 20th-century
illustrations showing Santa Claus, to wintry scenes of snowy landscapes
and ice skaters. With beautiful art and joyful text, this is a
wonderful book for the entire family to share.
The Metropolitan Museum, this Christmas treasury of stories, poems,
recipes, and songs is sure to light up the holiday season.
certainly not too early to be thinking about Christmas, and this issue
of Books Monthly is crammed with brilliant suggestions for Christmas
book gifts, including this one from publisher Abrams and Chronicle,
which showcases Christmas in a way that used to be the norm. Utterly
charming, crammed with stories, poems, carols (including the piano
music) and essays, and the most brilliant set of illustrations I've
seen celebrating Christmas for ages.
Dorling Kindersley: Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
Published by Dorling Kindersley 17th September 2019
and authoritative, this book is an unprecedented survey of millions of
years of life on planet Earth. Featuring an incredible mix of 3-D
reconstructions, extraordinary skeletons, and amazingly intricate
fossils, it uses the latest scientific research to recreate a wealth of
ancient species, from the earliest primitive life forms to great
dinosaurs, early mammals, and even the first humans.
richly illustrated catalogue starts with the first Precambrian microbes
and traces the evolution of life through mass extinctions and ice ages.
As well as dinosaurs, it features extinct plants, invertebrates,
amphibians, fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals, conjuring up a series
of past worlds. The book also explores geological time and examines how
fossils preserve the story of evolution.
This abridged edition of DK's Prehistoric (2009) features updated information on hundreds of life forms, with a scattering of new entries - including the jellyfish Haootia, and the early Cretaceous mammal Ambolestes.
Artists' impressions of the living, breathing animals have also been
updated according to the latest findings about colouring, feathers, and
Combining stunning visuals and clear text, Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life is
a fascinating encyclopedia for the whole family - as well as anyone
enthralled by T-Rex, or the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous and Jurassic
stunning books from Dorling Kindersley this month - the first is a
brilliant book about dinosaurs and prehistoric life, and the content is
absolutely amazing! Page after page about the formation of the Earth
and the continents, arranged by the ages by which our prehistory is
defined, with explanations about how fossils form and what fossils tell
us; and that's just for starters. When we finally get to the age when
the dinosaurs start to appear, the content becomes simply magical, with
stunning illustrations and explanatory text. This fabulous book
contains everything you need to know about how life evolved on Earth
and the age of the dinosaurs. It's a coffee table book, but it's also
much more than that - it's educational, entertaining and simply
Dorling Kindersley: The Complete Classical Music Guide
Published by Dorling Kindersley 7th November 2019
makes Mozart's music so great? Why does a minor chord sound sad and a
major chord sound happy? What's the difference between opera and
operetta? From Bach to Bernstein, this definitive guide offers a
complete survey of the history of classical music.
Whether you already love classical music or you're just beginning to explore it, The Complete Classical Music Guide invites you to discover the spirituality of Byrd's masses, the awesome power of Handel's Messiah,
and the wonders of Wagner's operas, as well as hundreds more composers
and their masterpieces. This guide takes you on a journey through more
than 1,000 years, charting the evolution of musical instruments,
styles, and genres. Biographies of major and lesser-known composers
offer rich insights into their music and the historical and cultural
contexts that influenced their genius.
book explores the features that defined each musical era - from the
ornate brilliance of the Baroque, through the drama of Romantic music,
to contemporary genres such as minimalism and electronic music.
Timelines, quotes, and colour photographs give a voice to this music
and the exceptionally gifted individuals who created it. Covering both
music history and the fundamental building blocks of music theory, The Complete Classical Music Guide explains not just the who, what, and where of classical music, but the how and why.
is a republishing of a book DK first published earlier this century,
and it is a brilliant companion to the music that simply won't go away.
Page after page about the various stages of classical music, through
the baroque, the romantic and the modern periods, with profiles of
composers and the instruments they composed for. If you're just
beginning your appreciation of classical music, this one's for you; if
you're already a committed classical music listener, this wonderful
book will be the perfect companion. Absolutely outstanding!
Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
by Dorling Kindersley 3rd October 2019
the right plants for your garden and find all the inspiration and
guidance you need with the new edition of this best-selling illustrated
reference book organised by plant colour, size, and type.
on expert advice from the RHS, the book features an illustrated
catalogue of more than 4,000 plants and flowers. Organised by colour,
size, and type, rather than as an A-Z directory, and accompanied by
beautiful, full-colour images, it will help you select the right
varieties for your outdoor space. Browse the photographic catalogue to
find at-a-glance plant choice inspiration, or use the extensive plant
dictionary to look up more than 8,000 plant varieties and the best
growing conditions for them.
new edition features the latest and most popular cultivars, with more
than 1,400 new plants added, as well as updated photography, hardiness
ratings, and a brand-new introduction. Fully comprehensive yet easy to
use, the RHS
Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers is the
inspirational, informative guide every gardener needs on their
is the most comprehensive book about plants and flowers you will ever
need. The illustrations are out of this world and the way the book is
arranged is superlative. I can't think of a better Christmas gift for
the gardener in your family - it's a book you can sit and pore over for
hours on end and still not entirely satisfy yourself. Dorling
Kindersley at its very finest!
small print: Books
Monthly, now well into its 22nd
year on the web,
is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by Paul
Norman. You can contact me here.
If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me
remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from this
publication. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll let you know where to send it.
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Bloomsbury Children's Books
Pen and Sword Books
There is still time to get your hands on these great Christmas gifts! Don't forget: there are more nonfiction
books on the Pen
and Sword page...