Archive for January, 2012

Imagine Children’s Festival – sponsored by the Book People!

The Book People are proud to sponsor 2012’s Imagine Children’s Festival. A prestigious event that takes place from 11-26 February at London’s Southbank Centre, it offers children the perfect chance to see their favourite writers in the flesh. With storytelling sessions from popular authors, one-off events, craft activities, comedy and music, it is an incredible and unique celebration of children’s books. We have managed to secure family tickets to some of the most exciting events, so keep an eye on the homepage for the chance to win one of these incredible prizes.

Children will be waiting to welcome guests to the festival and will also be featuring in many of the performances. From the Imagine Craft Pavilion to the Imagine Fringe stage, the festival promises fun and exciting opportunities for the whole day! With the likes of Francesca Simon, MacKenzie Crook and Michael Rosen all confirmed to appear, this is an event that looks like it is going to be spectacular.

The Red House Children’s Book Award ceremony will also be taking place during the two weeks, and is the only award voted for by children. Your children can vote for their favourite book here.

To buy tickets for any events during Imagine Children’s Festival, please visit Southbank Centre’s website.

A Guide to the Top UK Literary Festivals

The UK is literally packed with amazing literary festivals every year, and 2012 is set to be no different. If you’re interested in attending book readings, signings and workshops, as well as getting the chance to meet some of your favourite authors, the UK’s top literary festivals are the place to be.

Here at the Book People, we thought we would lend a hand and offer up some superb suggestions for literary festivals in 2012, and our top picks include:

Hay Festival (31 May – 10 June 2012)
Held in locations around Hay-on-Wye, Wales, for almost 25 years, the Hay Festival is without a doubt the best literary festival in the UK. The 2012 programme is yet to be released, but past attendees have included poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Stephen Fry, Iain Banks, Melvyn Bragg and David Nicholls.

Edinburgh International Book Festival (11 – 27 August 2012)
This massive literary festival is a must-see, with writers Frank Cottrell Boyce (The Unforgotten Coat), Vivian French (Polly’s Pink Pyjamas), Marcus Sedgwick (Revolver), and Garth Nix (The Ragwitch) all attending. Including well-known authors and new writers, this festival is one of the biggest events in Edinburgh’s festival calendar.

Oxford Literary Festival (24 March – 1 April 2012)
This festival is sponsored by The Sunday Times and will hold events from over 300 authors and public figures, including Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials series), Ian Rankin (The Impossible Dead) Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home) and many others.

Bath LitFest (2 March – 11 March 2012)
Sponsered by The Independent newspaper, Bath LitFest will have readings from Hisham Matar (In the Country of Men) and Sarah Dunant (Sacred Hearts), as well as an interview with the famous Charles Dickens biographer Claire Tomalin and much more.

The Telegraph Ways With Words Festival at Dartington Hall (6 – 16 July 2012)
One of the biggest lures for this festival is its amazing location – the enchanting Dartington Hall. It makes the ideal location to get to meet some of the best writers in the world right now and Alan Hollinghurst (The Stranger’s Child), Bettany Hughes (The Hemlock Cup), Stella Rimington (Dead Line), Robert Skidelsky (Keynes), Lucy Worsley (If Walls Could Talk), Penelope Lively (How it all Began) and Roy Hattersley (David Lloyd George) have all attended in the past.

January’s bestsellers

Isn’t this year going by so fast? We’re somehow already halfway through January and well into 2012, so we thought we’d have a look at some of the Book People’s bestselling titles so far. With the main focus on younger readers, adults have ensured they haven’t been left behind by purchasing the useful guide iPad2 in Easy Steps, perhaps a way of getting to grips with a Christmas present? The book offers advice on how to make the most of the powerful gadget for both business and leisure.

The ever-popular Roald Dahl collection is back and already flying out of our warehouses, no surprise either as it contains fifteen classic tales including the timeless Matilda, The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all for a bargain price that is 81% off the RRP. If you want one of these sets, you’d best act as quick as Fantastic Mr Fox. Michael Morpurgo’s inspiring War Horse has also been a big success, no doubt aided by the heavy promotion for the new Spielberg blockbuster. The film has been critically acclaimed and is being tipped for numerous awards, so there is no better time to bag a copy of the novel.

Other box sets have also been selling well, with the Shakespeare Story Collection bringing the great bard’s work to a new generation with its brilliant black and white illustrations and accessible language. Ideal for helping young children learn how to read, The Songbirds Phonics Collection is a big hit too. Written by Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo, the bite-size tales are ideal preparation for junior school. To grab yourself a copy of any of these books and lots more besides, visit the Book People homepage.

Read more books! – A great New Year’s resolution for 2012

At the Book People, we think a New Year’s resolution to read more books is just the ticket, especially if you’d like 2012 to be a bit more relaxed than 2011. With this in mind, here are some of our top picks to kick start your resolution:

Iain Banks Collection
Iain Banks is one of our favourite writers and he’s certainly written more than enough bestsellers to warrant being on your to-read list. Our Iain Banks collection comes with three of his books – Walking on Glass, The Steep Approach to Garbadale and The Wasp Factory, all of which showcase some of his best contemporary writing.

The Sister Brothers by Patrick deWitt
deWitt’s page-turning The Sister Brothers is guaranteed to keep you up at night – you just won’t be able to put it down! Recently chosen for Channel 4’s TV Book Club, it is set in 1851 during America’s gold rush, the plot follows murderous brothers Eli and Charlie on their way to kill Hermann Kermit Warm. Travelling from Oregon to California, the brothers bicker constantly and agree on nothing. When they finally reach Hermann they realise he’s an inventor and that his new magical formula could earn them all a huge amount of money.

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Set in 1940s Berlin during the Second World War, Hieronymous Frank disappears. This isn’t unexpected though, as Hieronymous is a black German citizen working on the cabaret scene. After the war is over, Sid, Hieronymous’ former bandmate, meets up with an old friend named Chip, who is in possession of a secret letter that contains mysterious details pertaining to Hieronymous’ disappearance.

We’d love to hear your New Year’s resolutions, and any great books you’d recommend to fellow readers!

The TV Book Club returns

The TV Book Club returns to Channel 4 on 29 January and you can pick up an incredible collection of novels that will feature on the show for a great price here. These are fantastic books from new authors that will be discussed by celebrities including Meera Syal, Dave Spikey and Laila Rouass. The ten-book set also provides you with the perfect opportunity to read along as this year, for the first time, viewers are invited to interact and submit their own reviews to the programme.

The Best Reads 2012 collection contains the likes of Before I Go to Sleep, S.J. Watson’s powerful psychological thriller about a woman with amnesia and Patrick deWitt’s darkly humorous The Sisters Brothers, a Western-based novel about murderers for hire. Kevin Wilson’s The Family Fang is an irreverent delight, while Girl Reading sees Katie Ward celebrate seven portraits of seven different women reading throughout the ages. Six other stunning and diverse novels are included, ensuring there will be something to suit you!

To find out more about The TV Book Club, please visit

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