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Storytime: Dragons

Saturday, January 30th 2010 at 11:00 AM


30 January 2010 @ 11am

Storytime: Dragons
With fiery breath, Dragons ruled the world. And today we will read dragon tales of wonder and amusement. Dragons weren’t always scary, some made great friends to young knights and daring princesses.


The Road to Absalom by Michael Gastrow

Thursday, January 28th 2010 at 5:30 PM


28 January 2010 @ 5.30 for 6pm

The Road to Absalom by Michael Gastrow
The Road to Absalom takes the reader on a wild ride through SA with David – a cynical, borderline nihilistic lawyer with a variety of bad habits. David’s employer has sent him on a quest to find Absalom, the missing heir to an Eastern Cape chieftancy. The Road to Absalom delves into some of the contemporary devils of South Africa – corporate greed in combination with bureaucratic corruption is not a pretty sight (but then neither is the coked-up Cape Town party scene) – while retaining some of the feel of a trippy road novel.
This is an extremely ambitious debut which shows Michael Gastrow to be a writer of immense promise.
Joining Michael at the launch for a discussion about the book as well as a broader look at contemporary South African writing are Moxyland author, Lauren Beukes, Zinaid Meeran, author of the EU award winner Saracen at the Gates, and award-winning theatre and opera writer and director, Matthew Wild.
There will be limited seating, but as we’re expecting a large crowd, please try to come a little early if you require a chair.


Storytime: Art

Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 11:00 AM


23 January 2010 @ 11am

Storytime: Art
But is it art? Today we will be reading stories about art and artists and of course we will be discovering the artist within ourselves too. Come inspired!


Storytime: Back to School

Saturday, January 16th 2010 at 11:00 AM


16 January 2010 @ 11am

Storytime: Back to School
For some of us school is starting for the first time next week. How exciting! For others it is back to school and time to see all the old friends and the new teacher. School stories are the order of the day.


Storytime: Little Golden Books

Saturday, January 9th 2010 at 11:00 AM

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09 January 2010 @ 11am

Storytime: Little Golden Books
Nearly 70 years ago, Little Golden Books saw the light of day and today, essentially, the little books with the golden spine are exactly the same as those you could buy then. We will be reading some of these old classics and making our own little golden books.


Costa Book Awards 2009 Category Winners Announced!

Wednesday, January 6th 2010 at 1:16 PM

The category winners for the 2009 Costa Book Awards are:

* Irish novelist Colm Tóibin, who beats Hilary Mantel, winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize, to take the Costa Novel Award for Brooklyn

* Raphael Selbourne, who wins the First Novel Award for Beauty, the story of a young Bangladeshi woman on the run from her family, inspired by his experiences of teaching in a deprived area of Wolverhampton

* Debut biographer Graham Farmelo who takes the Biography Award for his work on the pioneer of quantum mechanics, The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius, which the judges called “the most compelling biography of the year

* Christopher Reid who, having been nominated twice previously, finally claims the Poetry Award for A Scattering, a tribute to his wife following her death in 2005

* Patrick Ness, who wins the Children’s Book Award for The Ask and the Answer (Book Two of the Chaos Walking trilogy) which the judges acclaimed as “a major achievement in the making

Megan  06 January 2010

January 2010

Friday, January 1st 2010 at 12:00 AM


Fiction tends to kick off slowly in the New Year, but 2010 promises to have something for everyone…

Look out this year for new novels from Ian McEwan, Don DeLillo, David Mitchell, Thomas Keneally, Martin Amis, Peter Carey, David Foster Wallace, Yann Martel, Lionel Shriver, Jose Saramago, Roddy Doyls, Bret Easton Ellis and many more.

But at the Book Lounge we already have some treasures in…


The Original of Laura

by Vladimir Nabokov
This legendary novel has been the source of much anxiety and contention for Nabokov’s fans – and his family. The late Vladimir Nabokov requested that this unfinished work be destroyed, but his son, Dmitri, did not oblige, although neither did he allow the work to be published – until now. The Original of Laura is about a wonderfully large man called Philip Wild, married to a very promiscuous woman, and whose meditations concern the nature of death. The novel was complete in Nabokov’s mind, though he died before he could translate his vision on to paper. It is hard, however, to imagine any scholars, Nabokov enthusiasts or literature lovers being disappointed by even these fragments.
It’s like seeing an unfinished Michelangelo sculpture”one of those rough, half-formed giants straining to step out of its marble block. It’s even more powerful, to a different part of the brain, than the polish of a David or a Lolita.” New York

Laura will beckon and beguile Nabokov fans, who will find many of the author’s perennial themes and obsessions percolating.” The New York Times

What literary news could be more thrilling?” Observer


Your Face Tomorrow 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell

by Javier Marías
The last part of the trilogy which started with Fever and Spear and Dance and Dream.
Jacques Deza is back in London and once again working for the mysterious intelligence agency run by Bertram Tupra. Deza finds himself forced to watch Tupra’s collection of incriminating videotapes of important public figures. The recordings document unconventional private lives – and horrific acts. The scenes enter him like a poison, contaminating everything good, yet he is powerless to counteract them. Set against a background of brutality, Poison, Shadow and Farewell asks whether violence can ever be justified and completes the extraordinary journey that has led us on a descent into hell and a re-emergence, not entirely unscathed, into life. Javier Marias has been called ‘the most significant Spanish writer of his generation’.

The final, and the most powerful … together the three volumes constitute one of the great novels in modern European literature.”       Sunday Telegraph

Like so much of Marías’s extraordinary writing, it is unforgettable.”      TLS

This novel…crowns Marias’s trilogy and his translator’s lively English rendering of it with narrative honour”     Sunday Times

Your Face Tomorrow…deserves to be recognised as one of the finest novels of modern times”      Daily Telegraph

A tour de force, a novel of ideas, rich in allusions and allegory.”       The Economist

It is probably the most powerful and important novel to appear in European literature for some time”     Guardian

Marias is simply astonishing…even more gripping than its predecessors…Your Face Tomorrow seems to me unparalleled in literature”      TLS


Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia

edited by Mikhail Iossel
Few countries have undergone more radical transformations than Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. The stories in Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia present twenty-two depictions of the new Russia from its most talented young writers. Selected from the pages of the top Russian literary magazines and written by winners of the most prestigious literary awards, most of these stories appear here in English for the first time.
The current state of Russian identity”artistic, political, social and beyond”is vigorously examined in this anthology, offering readers a multifaceted portrait of the complex nation…This is a truly diverse series of revelations.”   Publishers Weekly

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A History of the World for Rebels and Somnambulists

by Jesús del Campo
From the beginning of the world, when God created Audrey Hepburn, the guilt complex and worker ants, to the end, broadcast live on a TV chat show, A History of the World for Rebels and Somnambulists whips through our tortuous past with the deftness of a surgeon’s scalpel. Jonah confronts a ship of Norwegian whalers; a medieval pilgrim points out the London Eye to his bored son on their way to Canterbury; Little Red Riding Hood gets drunk on cherry brandy with the wolf, and Bob Dylan loses his shadow. Death and destruction, cruelty to animals, boredom, overpopulation: enough is enough. A crowd gathers at the Vatican to protest against mortality, only to be distracted by the latest football scores…A history unlike any other – at once sinister, alarming and breathlessly funny.


Exposure: Queer Fiction

Shaun de Waal
Jane Austen said that her fiction concentrated on “two inches of ivory“. Shaun de Waal’s short fiction in this volume also focuses on a narrow segment of life – that of white gay men in urban South Africa – but what it lacks in social breadth it gains in clarity of perception and nuance of description. The complex negotiations of sex and sexuality are revealed in all their nakedness, in shifting, haunted voices; moments from these lives are exposed in prose that is subtle, dark, ironic and erotic. Shaun de Waal was the boks editor of the Mail & Guardian from 1991-2006, and is now its chief film critic.

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Gentleman’s Relish

by Patrick Gale
A wonderful new collection of stories by the author of bestseller Notes from an Exhibition, which combines wit and poignancy to illuminate experiences both common and uncommon. Love (& loathing) within families is dissected – a father makes an unexpected discovery about his son which is too hard for him to cope with. A son wreaks revenge through the power of cookery. Three generations of the same family gain freedom through the years in a once-despised caravan. A bored wife finds happiness when an old lag teaches her the art of angling. A dog-training lesson with a puppy who hasn’t grasped the meaning of obedience leads to the discovery of a murder. Here too are music and silence – the sweetness and sadness of Festivals, of the Church, and of the control exercised by those in charge in small communities. This tremendously enjoyable collection of stories has the same wit, tenderness and acute psychological observation as Gale’s novels. For Gale’s many fans, Gentleman’s Relish will be a real treat.
The short story form suits Gale’s ability to zoom in on the smallest nuances of a relationship.”     The Times
Provides further evidence of Gale’s stylistic deftness, insight and wonderfully eclectic range of interests…Even as rural life and perspectives dominate, other stories consistently tease out fresh territory… worth every penny.”       Independent

Vivid, believable characters…Gale has a light touch with social commentary but the undertones are often menacing.”        TLS


Some wonderfully eclectic titles to start the New Year…



by Eduardo Galeano
Eduardo Galeano is determined to forget that history is usually written by the victors. He favours the voiceless and the vulnerable. Mirrors is a narrative history of the world that condenses into its scintillating fragments radically altered visions of the landmark events on this earth, and of the landmark individuals who pass history from hand to hand in the official guidebooks. Yes, it is a book for the young provocateur, the young utopian, or the utopian remnant left in all of us, but it is so outrageously bold, skillfully dramatic and ingeniously clever, refracting as it does any number of memorable characters and events through Galeano’s red rose-tinted lens, that even the exhausted ex-communist or cardboard-conservative reader might be amused, challenged or overturned by it. It is another kind of history writing altogether, entirely reliant on the fireside storyteller’s skills, but grounded in an unimpeachably wide and broad reading and understanding of events.

Galeano’s book is pure delight – a cornucopia of wonderful stories. It should be by everyone’s bedside.”             Guardian

Galeano’s skill as a writer makes this book easy to read, funny and profound”   Scotland on Sunday

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Nothing But the Truth: Selected Dispatches

by Anna Politkovskaya
Until her murder in October 2006, Anna Politkovskaya wrote for the Russian newspaper Novaya gazeta. She won international fame for her reporting on the Chechen wars and, more generally, on Russian state corruption. Nothing But the Truth is a defining collection of Anna Politkovskaya’s best writing for Novaya gazeta, published between 1999 and 2006. Beginning with a brief introduction by the author about her pariah status, Nothing But the Truth demonstrates the great breadth and bravery of her reportage, from the Chechen wars to domestic Russian affairs, the Moscow theatre hostage-taking in which she became involved, the Beslan school siege, and pieces about politicians, oligarchs and ordinary citizens. Elsewhere are illuminating accounts of interviews and encounters with western leaders including Lionel Jospin, Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and exiled figures including Boris Berezovsky, Akhmed Zakaev, and Vladimir Bukovsky. Her non-political writing is also represented here, revealing her delightful personality, as are international reactions to her murder. Nothing But the Truth will also stand as a tribute to Anna Politkovskaya’s matter-of-fact personal courage, disclosing information glossed over or omitted completely about the dangers she faced and the threats she received in the course of her work. It is a lasting and inspiring book from one of the great reporters of our age.
Known to many as ‘Russia’s lost moral conscience’, Anna Politkovskaya was a special correspondent for the Russian newspaper Novaya gazeta and the recipient of many honours for her writing. She is the author of A Dirty War, Putin’s Russia and A Russian Diary.

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Tim Burton

by Ron Magliozzi
With a visual style inspired by the aesthetics of animation and silent comedy, Tim Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking over the past three decades, melding the exotic, the horrific and the comic, and manipulating expressionism and fantasy with the skill of a graphic novelist. Published to accompany a major retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, this volume considers Burtons career as an artist and filmmaker. It narrates the evolution of his creative practices, following the current of his visual imagination from his earliest childhood drawings through his mature oeuvre. Illustrated with works on paper, moving-image stills, drawn and painted concept art, puppets and maquettes, storyboards, and examples of his work as a graphic artist for his nonfilm projects, this exhibition catalogue sheds new light on Burton and presents previously unseen works from the artist’s personal archive.


1000 Ideas by 100 Architects

by Sergi Costa Duran and Mariana R. Eguaras
Architecture is an art form that provides both function and beauty. Each architect brings something uniquely distinct to his or her work. Learning what makes an architectural work or the body of an architect’s work unique is difficult to deconstruct. This book provides behind the scenes insight into the work of 100 top international designers through the deconstruction of 1000 architectural details and projects. An unrivaled sourcebook for ideas, this collection also provides detail and information that is not available on this level through any other source


Caroline van der Merwe

by Norman Smuts
A beautiful retrospective of the life of eminent local sculptress Caroline van der Merwe, written by her son in law Norman Smuts.
Caroline van der Merwe was born in Tanzania in 1932. She received her art education at the Michaelis School of Fine Art under Professor Lippy Lipschitz.
Subsequently she taught sculpture in Cape Town, including to the blind. She has had many exhibitions at home and internationally, and since 1983 lives and works in Pietrasanta, Italy.
She has received several awards, amongst these the Silver Medal from the University of Pretoria and first prize for sculpture from A.T.I.C.A Europremio in Pavia, Italy. In 1995 the University of Stellenbosch hosted a retrospective of her work at the Sasol Gallery.
As an artist I feel I must make sculptures and not talk too much about them. The sculptures must speak for themselves or else I have failed in my objective.”


Changing my Mind

by Zadie Smith
How did George Eliot’s love life affect her prose? Why did Kafka write at three in the morning? In what ways is Barack Obama like Eliza Doolittle? Can you be over-dressed for the Oscars? What is Italian Feminism? If Roland Barthes killed the Author, can Nabokov revive him? What does ˜soulful’ mean? Is Date Movie the worst film ever made?
Split into five sections – ˜Reading’, ˜Being’, ˜Seeing’, ˜Feeling’ and ˜Remembering’ – Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays – some published here for the first time – reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians and Italian divas. Whether writing of Obama, Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani or David Foster Wallace, she brings a practitioner’s care to the art of criticism, with a style as sympathetic as it is insightful. Changing My Mind is journalism at its most expansive, intelligent and funny – a gift to readers and writers both. Within its covers an essay is more than a column of opinions: it’s a space in which to think freely.


Tender Volume 1

by Nigel Slater
One New Year’s Eve, Nigel Slater stood watching fireworks, and decided that in the following year he would grow as much food as possible in his own garden.
I would like to think I know more now than I did before I picked up my trowel and dug that first furrow of red and white radishes. How to get the best out of a vegetable yes, but also what are the different ways to treat it in the kitchen, which seasonings will make it sing, what other ingredients is it most comfortable or most exciting with. What are the classic recipes not to be missed by a newcomer and what new ways are there which might be of interest to an old hand.”
With over 400 recipe ideas and many wonderful stories from the cook’s garden, Tender: Volume I – A cook and his vegetable patch, is the definitive guide to cooking with vegetables from Britain’s finest food writer. In his imitable, unpretentious style Nigel Slater elevates vegetables to the starring role in his latest cook book, whether that means enjoying vegetables for their own sake or on the same plate as a piece of meat or fish. From crab cakes and crushed peas to broccoli and lamb stir-fry, luxury cauliflower cheese to a delicious broad bean salad, Tender has everything a cook could want from a recipe book.

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The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy

by Raj Patel
Credit has crunched, debt has turned toxic, the gears of the world economy have ground to a halt. It’s now clear that the market doesn’t only get it wrong about sub-prime mortgages, it gets it wrong about everything. We need to ask again one of the most fundamental questions a society ever addresses, and one to which very few people know or understand the answer – why do things cost what they do? Radical, original, nimbly argued, The Value of Nothing uses some fundamental but forgotten economics and some cutting-edge neuroeconomics to show how the price we pay for everything from food, to handbags, to fridges, to entertainment, is systematically distorted. After reading this book, the question ‘How much?’ should never just be about the price on the sticker.
By the author of Stuffed and Starved.
A penetrating and admirably concise guide to the follies of market fundamentalism.”  John Gray, Observer
Patel reveals the distorted prices and compromised values at the heart of contemporary society.”  GQ
Patel combines sociology and neuroeconomics to ask the most fundamental question of the season: why do things cost what they do?” Prospect
A brilliant book.”    Naomi Klein

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The Letters of T.S. Eliot: Volumes 1 (1898-1922) and 2 (1923-1925)

edited by Valerie Eliot
Volume One of the Letters of T. S. Eliot, edited by Valerie Eliot in 1988, covered the period from Eliot’s childhood in St Louis, Missouri, to the end of 1922, by which time he had settled in England, married and published The Waste Land. Since 1988, Valerie Eliot has continued to gather materials from collections, libraries and private sources in Britain and America – among new letters to have come to light, a good many date from the years 1898-1922, which has necessitated this revised edition of Volume One, taking account of approximately two hundred newly discovered items of correspondence. The new letters fill crucial gaps in the record, notably enlarging our understanding of the genesis and publication of The Waste Land. Valuable, too, are letters from the earlier and less documented part of Eliot’s life, which have been supplemented by additional correspondence from family members in America.
Volume Two covers the early years of his editorship of The Criterion (the periodical that Eliot launched with Lady Rothermere’s backing in 1922), publication of The Hollow Men and the course of Eliot’s thinking about poetry and poetics after The Waste Land. The correspondence charts Eliot’s intellectual journey towards conversion to the Anglican faith in 1927, as well as his transformation from banker to publisher, ending with his appointment as a director of the new publishing house of Faber & Gwyer, in late 1925, and the appearance of Poems 1909-1925, Eliot’s first publication with the house with which he would be associated for the rest of his life. It was partly because of Eliot’s profoundly influential work as cultural commentator and editor that the correspondence is so prolific and so various, and Volume Two of the Letters fully demonstrates the emerging continuities between poet, essayist, editor and letter-writer.

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Notes from the Middle of the World

by Breyten Breytenbach
What is the place of the artist and writer in a globalised world? In dialogue with the voices of the dead and the living, internationally distinguished South African artist, activist, and writer Breyten Breytenbach’s new collection of essays traces the collisions between utopia and disaster, political trauma, and the renewal of hope. With deliberations on Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and others, Notes from the Middle World is a beautiful and heartwrenching book. These essays include a glimpse of a buried language created in the Hunan province by and for women, an open letter to Nelson Mandela reflecting on the perilous state of post-apartheid South Africa, and existential and linguistic explorations. Against the conformity of power, Breytenbach takes readers on a journey through the ˜Middle World’, an imagined space beyond borders and exile, toward an embracing vision of justice for the un-citizens post-modernity has dispossessed.


Glimmer: How Design can transform your Business, your Life and maybe even the World

by Warren Berger
Can great design transform people’s lives? For a new generation of designers, such as Bruce Mau and Yves Behar, the answer is, ‘Yes, it can’. To them, design is more than just a question of fashion or taste; it’s a way of asking fundamental questions in order to solve complex problems. In Glimmer, award-winning journalist Warren Berger shows how these visionary thinkers are taking design principles out of the studio and applying them to the tough issues of today, from making medicines safer to counteracting the threats of global warming. By approaching seemingly intractable problems with thought-processes that often seem counter-intuitive – ‘ask stupid questions’, ’embrace constraint’ – designers are creating ‘glimmer moments’ – the point when a life-changing idea crystallises in the mind – and coming up with breathtakingly innovative solutions, from a wheelchair that can climb stairs to a $100 laptop for the developing world, from a revolutionary anti-smoking campaign to a bank without queues and a company that makes money giving shoes away for free.
Warren Berger is an award-winning journalist and author who has written for The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQLos Angeles Times , Business 2.0, and New York Magazine.

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Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant

by Jeremy Musson
Country houses were reliant on an intricate hierarchy of servants, each of whom provided an essential skill. Up and Down Stairs brings to life this hierarchy and shows how large numbers of people lived together under strict segregation and how sometimes this segregation was broken, as with the famous marriage of a squire to his dairymaid at Uppark. Jeremy Musson captures the voices of the servants who ran these vast houses, and made them work. From unpublished memoirs to letters, wages, newspaper articles, he pieces together their daily lives from the Middle Ages through to the twentieth century. The story of domestic servants is inseparable from the story of the country house as an icon of power, civilisation and luxury. This is particularly true with the great estates such as Chatsworth, Hatfield, Burghley and Wilton. Jeremy Musson looks at how theses grand houses were, for centuries, admired and imitated around the world.


Contact! Brief Encounters in a Lifetime of Travel

by Jan Morris
In Contact! Jan Morris turns her beautifully observant eye to the human contacts she has made, across the globe and through the decades. As a series of vignettes, some only a few lines long, she records hundreds of brief glimpses and fleeting encounters, celebrating the people who helped spark her view of the world and mould her responses. A vast range of human experience is here: most are anonymous, everyday encounters – children playing, a homeless man in Manhattan, a lascivious taxi-driver – but she also remembers celebrated figures, from Yves San Laurent to King Hussein of Jordan, President Truman to Peter OToole. Contact! is a must for any fans of Jan’s writing. Her great sense of amusement, shrewd eye for detail and huge enthusiasm for her contacts makes these episodes incredibly enjoyable – and often profound.
A woman who has truly seen the world, and who lives in it with twice the intensity of most of us.”         Ursula Le Guin
What a neat idea: gather together all those apparently inconsequential conversations and meetings from your travels and offer them as a book. With 50 years scouring the globe for stories, the travel writer Jan Morris is surely just the person to satisfy with both volume and variety of experience…each tale deserves to be digested fully to enjoy the power of her writing. This is a book to savour.”       Independent on Sunday

Prose that’s rich, supple and full of precisely recalled details…These are charming moments, somewhere between vignettes and epiphanies.”       Independent


What’s Next?: A Preview of the Ideas You’re going to be Reading about in Ten Years

edited by Max Brockman
How does our sense of morality arise from the structure of the brain?
What does the latest research in language acquisition tell us about the role of culture in the way we think?
What does current neurological research tell us about the nature of time?
Will climate change force a massive human migration to the Northern Rim?
This wide-ranging collection of newly commissioned essays offers the very latest insights into the daunting scientific questions of our time. Its contributors – some of the most brilliant young scientists working today – provide not only an introduction to their cutting-edge research, but also discuss the social, ethical and philosophical ramifications of their work.
With essays covering fields as diverse as astrophysics, paleoanthropology, climatology, and neuroscience, What’s Next? is a lucid and informed guide to the new frontiers of science.

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Your Flying Car Awaits: Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twentieth Century

by Paul Milo
For centuries people have been making predictions about the future. Most of these are not only wrong, they are really, really wrong. Your Flying Car Awaits looks at the scientists, novelists, and social commentators who throughout the 20th century used their ‘expertise’ to make a host of terrible, inaccurate, overzealous predictions about what the future would bring. From underwater cities to talking dolphins to 200-year life spans, Your Flying Car Awaits covers them all. Examining the most outrageous predictions from the last 100 years, this entertaining read is organised by type (transportation, the human body). Its individual entries detail the technologies and philosophies of the times that led some great (and not so great) minds think the ridiculous was achievable. Sample Bad Predictions include: Space tourism will be ubiquitous by the year 2000; nuclear explosives will be used for commercial demolition; engineered and man-made oceans will cover the planet; and, weather will be controllable like a train schedule. Good Lord!


Monty Python Live

edited by Eric Idle

A Private Word to the Reader

“…what you are about to read – or have read to you – is a new book that is the first collaboration of the Monty Python chaps for many, many years. In fact the first book written and produced by the Pythons, themselves, since 1979. No, they are not all dead. Okay, some of them have been a bit quiet recently, and one or two have DNR notes by their bedsides, but the point is five of them are still technically alive and that, if not exactly a cause for rejoicing, may well be the cause for a new book. And this is it!”
A brilliant trip down ‘the bits we can remember’ lane – fully illustrated, very funny and very, very Python.

And something for the children too…


The Walrus and the Carpenter and other Favourite Poems in aid of the Children’s Trust

A collection of favourite poems chosen by well-know celebrities to celebrate twenty-five years of The Children’s Trust. Featuring poems by Spike Milligan, A.A. Milne, Edward Lear and many more. With a foreword by Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, and tips for writing poetry from popular children’s author, Colin West. The poems in this book are selected by: Michael Absalom, Quentin Blake, Andrew Castle, Carol Ann Duffy, Richard Hammond, Dani Harmer, Lorraine Kelly, McFly, Sienna Miller, Paul O’Grady, Elaine Paige, Vic Reeves, Rebecca Romero, Simon Shaw, Helen Skelton, Penny Smith, Nacy Sorrell, Lucy Speed, Phil Tufnell, Colin West, Jacqueline Wilson and Henry Winkler. Also features a poem by Francesca Major (aged 10), winner of The Children’s Trust Poetry Competition. A super collection, full of variety.


The Marshmallow Incident

by Judi and Ron Barrett
From the creators of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The town of Left and the town of Right are separated by a dotted yellow line that must never be crossed, though no-one can quite remember why. When an unlucky citizen takes a step too far, the Order of the Ambidextrous Knights who guard the border spring into action in the most unexpectedly delicious way.
So begins the Marshmallow Incident, a story of Left and Right, and Right and Wrong, topped with an incredibly silly but sweet serving of Marsh-Pillows and Cloud-Clumps. This treat of a tale will leave readers laughing out loud and begging for s’more!


The Annotated Wind in the Willows

by Kenneth Grahame
An instant bestseller on its initial publication in 1908, The Wind in the Willows is one of the best loved books in children’s literature. In this beautiful edition hundreds of illustrations illuminate the adventures of Mole, Mr Toad, Badger, Otter, Ratty and all the other favourite characters. In addition to notes on automobiles, picnics, gypsies, caravans, English mansions and peculiar dukes, scholar Annie Gauger has uncovered extraordinary new material on Grahame, his troubled family life and the origins of the story. Her preface puts Grahame’s work in historical and literary context and she provides biographies of all the illustrators. With a stirring introduction by best-selling author Brian Jacques, The Annotated Wind in the Willows is published in time for the 150th anniversary of the author’s birth.
Lavishly designed and elegantly laid-out, this edition includes all the original illustrations by Paul Bransom, Nancy Barnhart and Wyndham Payne, along with the three illustrations from the first Methuen edition by Grahame Robertson. Also included are illustrations by Arthur Rackham and works by E.H. Shepard, along with rare family photographs.

The Things They Said…

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.”         Oscar Wilde       

We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.”        B. F. Skinner