The Railways Series: 10 Facts about Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank Engine books collection

Everyone’s favourite Really Useful Engine – Thomas – turned 70 years old last year and he’s more popular than ever. He even has his very own theme park in Japan (as well as Thomas Land in Drayton Manor)! At Book People, we have an incredible 26-book collection of Rev W Awdry’s original Railway Series for only £20. Displayed in an incredible engine shed box, it features all the classic stories that inspired the worldwide phenomenon and works out at a bargain 77p a book!

Before you buy this amazing collection that will keep your children’s early reading skills ‘on track’, why not read the following facts about all that goes on around the Isle of Sodor. How many do you know?

Rev W Awdry Thomas the Tank Engine author Railway Series booksRev W Awdry was inspired to write the stories after his son (and later, author) Christopher caught measles and was cheered up by a train-themed rhyme.

The Three Railway Engines book collection Rev W Awdry Thomas

The original story in The Railway Series – The Three Railway Engines – was published in 1945. It didn’t feature Thomas and was based around Edward, Gordon and Henry.

The Railway Series books Rev W Awdry Thomas the Tank Engine collection

There were 26 books in The Railway Series published between 1945 and 1972 – and they’re all featured in our collection!

Thomas the Tank Engine original book Rev W Awdry

For their time, the books were unusually published in full colour and in an unusual landscape format.

Ringo Starr Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends Railway Series TV show narrator

The first TV series premiered in October 1984 and featured Beatles drummer Ringo Starr as the storyteller.

George Carlin Rufus Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends The Railway Series books

Celebrated stand-up comedian (and Rufus in the Bill and Ted films) George Carlin replaced Ringo as storyteller and as the voice of Mr. Controller in the United States.

Alec Baldwin Jack Donaghy Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends Railway Series books facts

Alec Baldwin has also played the role of Mr. Controller.

Billington E2-Class 0-6-0T locomotive Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends The Railway Series books collection Rev W Awdry

Thomas is based on a Billington E2-Class 0-6-0T locomotive.

The Railway Series books Rev W Awdry book collection Thomas the Tank Engine Watercress Line Alresford

You can meet Thomas in ‘real life’ on the Watercress Line in Alresford, Hampshire.

Thomas the Tank Engine The Railway Series Rev W Awdry books Marvel Ant-Man Marvel Cinematic Universe Paul Rudd

After his appearance in Ant-Man, Thomas could officially be considered part of the all-conquering Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Best book-to-film adaptations arriving in cinemas in 2016

2016 The BFG film by Steven Spielberg, Roald Dahl and Walt Disney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combining the mighty talents of Roald Dahl, Disney and Steven Spielberg, the new poster for this summer’s adaptation of The BFG was recently revealed. With these master storytellers working together, we cannot wait for the release of the film in July. However, it got us thinking about just how many more film adaptations we’ll be able to see of our beloved books this year. It turns out there are loads!

Below, we’ll list our favourites – but are there any that you’re particularly looking forward to?

 Winter

 January

 The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave film 2016 book Rick Yancey

Chloe Grace Moretz heads a stellar cast in this adaptation of Rick Yancey’s alien invasion/dystopian YA bestseller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Big Short

The Big Short film Oscars 2016 film book  Michael Lewis

Already surrounded by Oscar buzz, this star-studded film looks back over the recent bankers’ crisis and is based on a non-fiction novel that covered the disaster in its ghastly detail.

 

 

 

February

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies 2016 film based on cult book

If you’ve ever read Jane Austen’s classic and thought ‘What this could do with is more of the undead…’ then February is your lucky month. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 parody novel, it promises equal amounts of romance and gore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadpool

Deadpool film 2016 Marvel Comic Book

A foul-mouthed, fourth-wall-breaking Marvel comic book character who seems only too aware of how ridiculous some superhero storylines can get, this R-rated film has been eagerly awaited by fans of X-Men and comic books in general. Ryan Reynolds takes the lead role.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

March

Allegiant

Veronica Roth Allegiant Divergent book film 2016

The third in the series based on Veronica Roth’s bestsellers, this film will find Shailene Woodley’s Tris leaving the ‘safety’ of her hometown Chicago – the only place she’s ever known – in search of a peaceful solution for all its inhabitants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v Superman book 2016 film Henry Cavill Ben Affleck

Do we really need to introduce these two caped heroes? A follow-up to Man of Steel that follows the fall-out of Metropolis, this film will take inspiration from some of the crossover comics and promises to be spectacular. Henry Cavill once again wears the red-and-blue of Superman while Ben Affleck promises to bring something different to the Dark Knight. Jesse Eisenberg also appears as Lex Luthor.

 

April

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book Jon Favreau Disney film 2016 new film live action CGI book

Rudyard Kipling’s animal fable is fondly remembered in the classic animated Disney form – who hasn’t found themselves humming along to Bear Necessities or chuckling back at the antics of the scouse vultures? This year, Disney have given it the live-action/CGI treatment and brought some of Hollywood’s top players in to add their voices. Among the inspired pieces of casting are Scarlett Johannson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan (is it too much to ask that he does his Luther voice?) and Bill Murray as Baloo.

 

 

Summer

May

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America Civil War comic book new film 2016

The Marvel juggernaut continues to gain full steam but this is the film that promises to change everything. Based on a very popular series of comic books, hopes are very high and who doesn’t want to see beloved heroes going face-to-face amidst a backdrop of very shady politics?

 

 

 

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll James Bobin Disney Alice Through the Looking Glass 2016 film book

An ever-so-slightly belated follow-up to the Tim Burton film of 2010, this adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland finds Alice (Mia Wasikowska) travelling back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).

 

 

 

 

June

Me Before You

Me Before You book film adaptation 2016

If you’re not excited about the feast of football that will make up Euro 2016, this version of Jojo Moyes romantic novel may offer the perfect alternative. Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin star in the story of a wealthy London man whose life changes forever when he’s paralyzed and falls under the care of a small town girl…

 

 

 

July

The BFG

Steven Spielberg Disney Roald Dahl 2016 The BFG film book adaptation

We’ve said about the team behind this eagerly awaited adaptation, but how about the fact Wolf Hall and Bridge of Spies actor Mark Rylance is taking the title role? We’re expecting this to make use feel like children again and just be simply, phizz-whizzingly magical.

 

 

 

Autumn

October

The Girl On the Train

The Girl On the Train Emily Blunt 2016 film

Debut author Paula Hawkins’ psychological thriller was one of the most talked-about books of last year and we expect the film to invoke similar heated discussions this year. With The Help and Get On Up director in charge of a talented cast including Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson, things are looking good.

 

 

 

 

 

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls film 2016 Patrick Ness Siobhan Dowd book adaptation

Have you read Patrick Ness’ novel based on one of Siobhan Dowd’s final ideas before her death from cancer? If not, you really must. It’s touching, poignant and heartbreaking. A monster comes to visit a young boy in the nights when his mum is gravely ill – but he’s not the monster that was expected… Liam Neeson will voice the monster and Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver also star.

 

 

 

Winter

November

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Newt Scamander Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2016 book adaptation JK Rowling David Yates Harry Potter Wizarding World

A return to the Wizarding World with original book author J.K. Rowling on scriptwriting duty and David Yates back behind the camera as director, this book takes place 70 years before Harry Potter’s battle with Voldemort and follows Magizoologist Newt Scamander as he heads to New York in the ‘Roaring ‘20s’ and gets much more than he bargained for.


Romantic fiction from Book People for Valentine’s Day

Romantic books Valentine's Day 2016 collection

We’re now fully into the swing of things in 2016 and payday is merely a week away… It really does feel like the New Year is in earnest. As we approach February, thoughts will inevitably turn towards romance and what to get your significant other for Valentine’s Day. Coming on 14 February – as if you need reminding – we have a hand-picked selection of books that celebrate romance in style.

If you want to hear your heart flutter and romantic feelings swoon, then we have an incredible special offer. You can enjoy a bundle of three collections of romantic fiction for just £10! The collections include a special Valentine’s Day collection that is full of escapist reading, a collection of stories from Nora Roberts and Mary Balogh’s Regency Romance stories based around The Survivors’ Club.

We also have some beautiful hardbacks on offer. Maybe these could make perfect gifts for your loved one? The Boy I Love by the late Lynda Bellingham will tug at your heartstrings; Adele Parks’ If You Go Away is set during the First World War and will break your heart while her Spare Brides tells the story of four damaged and beautiful women from the same era; and Santa Montefiore’s Songs of Love and War is a sublime read about love and secrets.

Other collections on offer include three books from Freya North, three stories starring Daisy Dalrymple from Carola Dunn and if you want something a bit saucier, how about Jackie Collins’ The Santangelos? A scandalous story full of sex, violence and revenge.


Oscars 2016: Academy Award-nominated films based on books

The nominations are in, and this year, like every year, the 2016 Oscars ceremony will be abuzz with award chatter: winners, losers, snubs and controversies. And, like every year, the Academy will have selected a shortlist of Oscar nominees based in the realm of books. So, to save you the hard work of trawling the internet to find out for yourself, we have collected the complete list of Oscar 2016 nominees inspired by books. Take a look…

oscar-films-based-on-books

The Big Short
The Big Short BookWith an all-star cast including the likes of Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, The Big Short is sure to be a hit in the cinemas if not on the night of the Oscars ceremony. Based on Michael Lewis’s 2010 non-fiction work of the same name, The Big Short tells the story of four men who foresaw the collapse of the global economy and bet against the banks who had no idea it was coming. But their gamble leads the characters into the dark underbelly of modern banking, media and politics.

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing

The Martian
The Martian BookThe buzz surrounding Andy Weir’s The Martian was pretty difficult to avoid. The film, directed by none other than Ridley Scott, stays true to the 2011 novel and follows Matt Damon as Astronaut Mark Watney, as he battles to survive on Mars after being left behind by his crewmates. Realising that his only chance of rescue is a crew scheduled to arrive on Mars in four years, Watney is forced to improvise with his provisions to ensure his survival. Meanwhile, on Earth, teams from NASA and the CNSA work together to get to Watney before his time runs out.

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

Room
Room BookMany will find the subject matter of Emma Donoghue’s Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Room difficult to digest. Based very closely on two similar cases in Austria – those of Natascha Kampusch and Elisabeth Fritzl – Room tells the tragic story of five-year-old Jack and his Ma, who are kept as prisoners in a single-room outbuilding by their captor Old Nick. What Jack doesn’t know is that the things he sees on the TV are real, and that Jack is the product of Old Nick’s rape of Ma. Starring Brie Larson as Ma and introducing Jacob Tremblay as Jack, Room is both entirely heart-breaking and thoroughly uplifting in equal measure.

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Adapted Screenplay

The Revenant
The Revenant BookMany will not have heard of Michael Punke’s 2002 non-fiction novel The Revenant, which tells the story of American frontiersman Hugh Glass. Left for dead by his comrades after being brutally attacked by a bear, Glass is forced to fix his wounds – including setting his own broken bones and tending to deep lacerations – and begins a 200-mile journey to take revenge on those who left him to die. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson, and directed by Oscar-winning director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant is a gripping tale of survival and vengeance.

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design

Brooklyn
Brooklyn BookAdapted from Colm Tóibín’s 2009 novel of the same name by none other than the wonderful Nick Hornby, Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young woman who is unable to find work in 1950s Ireland and emigrates to New York. While there she falls in love and marries, but when her sister dies back in Ireland, she returns to Ireland and meets an old flame… Starring a hugely talented cast including Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters, Brooklyn is a story about the past catching up with you… wherever you are.

Nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Adapted Screenplay

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared BookAllan Karlsson is about to celebrate his hundredth birthday with a party his family have organised for him. But he doesn’t want a party, and he doesn’t want to celebrate. Alert despite his age, Allan climbs out of the window in just his slippers and makes his way to the bus station to travel as far as the money in his pocket will allow. When at the bus station he steals another passenger’s suitcase, which is filled with drug money, and Allan finds himself pursued by both the police and drug dealers.

Nominated for: Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey BookWe’re sure that everyone on the planet has at least heard of E.L. James’s 2011 erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey, and many are probably more than a little acquainted with the book’s content. College senior Ana attends a newspaper interview with wealthy entrepreneur Christian Grey. Finding him attractive and intimidating, the two begin a sexual relationship. The film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, and is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Nominated for: Best Music (Original Song)

Spectre
Spectre BookOriginally stylised in Ian Flemming’s 1961 James Bond novel Thunderball, Spectre marks the first time that the organisation have appeared in a James Bond film since 1971’s Diamonds are Forever, starring Sean Connery. Though not really based on a book at all, but starring a character and themes that have been well represented in literature, Spectre reintroduces audiences to a number of key James Bond characters, including M, Q and Eve Moneypenny. Spectre stars Daniel Craig in his fourth outing as agent 007, and is directed by Sam Mendes.

Nominated for: Best Music (Original Song)

The Danish Girl
The Danish Girl BookA fictionalized account of one of the first identifiable people to undergo sex reassignment surgery in the 1930s, David Ebershoff’s 2000 novel The Danish Girl tells the true story of Lili Elbe and the struggles she went through to transition from a man to a woman during the early 20th century. Starring last year’s Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Testament of Youth actress Alicia Vikander, this year’s film has already won numerous awards, particularly for Vikander’s turn as portrait artist Gerda Wegener.

Nominated for: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design

Carol
Carol BookBased on Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley author Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, Carol chronicles the story of a young aspiring photographer and her romantic relationship with an older woman going through a difficult divorce after a chance encounter with each other in a shop – and details the difficulties of living as a homosexual in the 1950s. The film stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, and Kyle Chandler.

Nominated for: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Music (Original Score), Best Adapted Screenplay

Cinderella
We’re sure that no one on the planet would require an introduction to this classic fairy tale, brought to life once again by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on Charles Perrault’s eponymous folk tale and borrowing elements from the 1950 animated picture, Cinderella introduces us once again to a girl who is abused by her stepmother and stepsisters, who has a wish granted by her fairy godmother to attend the ball – where she meets a handsome prince. The film stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, and Helena Bonham Carter.

Nominated for: Best Costume Design


New book trailer for Life of Pi author Yann Martel’s The High Mountains of Portugal

The High Mountains of Portugal, the eagerly awaited new novel from Yann Martel – the author of Life of Pi – is on its way and here at Book People, we’re all very excited. In fact, we’re so thrilled that our videographer Ollie has put together a very special exclusive book trailer for the novel:

Part-quest, part-ghost story and part contemporary fable, the book offers a haunting exploration of great love and great loss. It’s filled with tenderness, humour and endless surprise as it takes readers on a road trip through Portugal in the last century – and right through the human soul.

As always, we will be selling this novel at a truly unbelievable price. One of our hand-picked favourites, the book will be available to order from 2 February and will have a saving of at least 75% off RRP.

We’re also offering review copies to any book bloggers interested in reading the novel in exchange for posting a link to the video and website. If you’re interested, please contact Oliver Trimble: oliver.trimble@thebookpeople.co.uk

 


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