Archive for September, 2013

Start your Christmas shopping early and pick up some great books

So the summer’s finally drawing to a close, and we’re all bracing ourselves for the cold weather and long nights to start drawing in. Of course, no sooner does the summer end than we all start making our preparations for the all-important Christmas period – which means it’s time to start planning your Christmas shopping. Making an early start is always a good idea; after all, the sooner get started, the sooner you’ll finish. With that in mind, then, now could be the perfect time to pick up some great books for friends and family – and here at the Book People, we have a whole host of fascinating and entertaining titles for you to choose from.

David Peace

David Peace’s Red or Dead – now available in a limited hardcover slipbox edition from the Book People for £34.99 – tells the dramatised story of Bill Shankly’s reign as Liverpool manager. With Liverpool languishing in the second tier of English football upon Shankly’s appointment in 1959, the Scotsman guided them to domestic domination and European triumph before shocking English football by resigning in 1974. Red or Dead also explores how Shankly’s working-class background and staunchly socialist political outlook shaped his remarkable footballing philosophy.

Roald Dahl

Also now available at the Book People is the Roald Dahl Collection – priced at just £15.99 – which brings together 15 of the renowned author’s greatest works in a single box set. Including such landmark children’s favourites as Matilda, The BFG and the Witches, the books compiled here are presented in new jackets and a new slipcase, with the stories embellished by longtime Dahl collaborator Quentin Blake’s unforgettable illustrations. If you’re looking to introduce children – or young-at-heart adults – to Dahl’s back catalogue, this amazing collection is well worth picking up.

You can find even more ideas for great gifts in the Book People’s Christmas Shop.

Review your latest purchase from the Book People!

At the Book People, we really appreciate our customer’s feedback, especially when it comes to their views on our hand-picked range of books. We passionately select the books that we believe are the best on the market for our core range and nothing delights us more than when our customers feel the same way.

Whether it’s an established classic, a new children’s favourite or one of our Debut Fiction Choices, we want to know what you think. After reading your latest book, just go to the product page on and tell us your thoughts, as well as a rating out of 5 stars. Your opinion could influence thousands of book buyers’ decisions across the nation.

Here is just a selection of quotes from our customers’ opinions on some of our bestsellers:

Roald Dahl Collection
‘Excellent quality and protected in the slipcase… My daughters love Roald Dahl and now they have them all in one place!!!’

The Complete Thomas Library
Thomas the Tank Engine book
‘It was the best £35 we have ever spent. Well worth the money & more. A must have!’

The Hunger Games Collection
Hunger Games trilogy
‘Absolutely brilliant and gripping, so hard to put down! It’s also a bargain at £4.99 for all three books.’

Gollancz 50th Anniversary Collection
I Am Legend
‘A fantastic set of books and at this price, a no brainer. For under a tenner I got to re-read some classics and discover some new (to me) authors.’

Ann Cleeves Collection
‘Thank you Book People for putting such a great collection together. I thoroughly enjoyed both the Vera and the Shetland series.’

Michael Morpurgo Collection
Michael Morpurgo
‘I think it is a great price and really does make a wonderful luxury gift for someone. Books are so expensive but the Book People really do make reading accessible to all with these amazing offers.’

Cousins’ War Quartet
White Queen
‘I loved the TV show and when I saw the collection pack on the Book People, I had to buy it. So far I have almost finished the first book of the series and I can’t put it down!’

The Hairy Dieters: Eat for Life
Hairy Bikers Si and Dave
‘Loads of brilliantly easy and delicious new recipes’

Ian Rankin fiction collection
Ian Rankin collection John Rebus
‘Ian Rankin certainly does his homework. His books are a joy to read. This has made my day! Thank you so much Book People!’

The Universe Versus Alex WoodsBook People Debut Fiction Choice
Gavin Extence
‘I bought this novel on the basis of the summary here and I found it a gripping read. The novel covers some challenging issues, whilst still keeping the reader’s interest and provides many thought-provoking moments.’

SchroderBook People Debut Fiction Choice
Amity Gaige
‘Thought-provoking, touching and very clever – the only disappointment was it not lasting long enough, simply because I couldn’t put it down!’

Red House interview: Sophie McKenzie

Split Second is the compelling new Young Adult novel from Sophie McKenzie, the author of Girl, Missing and the brilliant Medusa Project series. It tells the story of Nat and Charlie, who are drawn together during the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market. As the two get closer, Charlie begins to wonder if Nat knows more about the attack than he’s letting on…

We were lucky enough to have the chance to speak to Sophie, the three-times winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award, about her new book, Mr Darcy, contemporary Young Adult novels and more.

What did it mean to win the Red House Children’s Book Award in 2013?

It was a huge honour. The Red House Children’s Book Award means such a lot because it is a national award voted for by the actual readers of the books.

If you could step into the world of any novel and become a character in that book, who would you be?

I definitely wouldn’t want to be a character in one of my own books, they go through far too much trauma during the course of the stories! Maybe Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice – she’s such a great character and of course she does end up with Darcy. Having said that, I’d hate to give up all the comforts and conveniences of modern life.

Your novels always have strong opening scenes, what’s your favourite opening passage from a book?

I don’t have a single favourite, but one of the most impressive openings I’ve read in the past few years was the first chapter of The Hunger Games. This manages to do several things at once: establish the main characters and their relationship to each other, set up a brilliant and compelling moral dilemma and create a complete fantasy world from the ground up. The power and the economy of the writing really hook the reader in, right from the start.

Split Second is a perfect read for Young Adults. Growing up, which teen read is most memorable for you?

When I was a teenager there were no books (that I was aware of, at least) which featured teenage characters and concerns. This meant that I basically stopped reading between the ages of thirteen and sixteen – and went from children’s books to older reads such as the Agatha Christie mysteries or the classic novels we studied at school. There are far more options for YA readers today, thank goodness!

Are you going to write a sequel to Split Second or do you see it as a stand-alone story?

When I started writing Split Second, I thought it would be a stand-alone book but as I got closer to finishing the story I realised there was a lot more to say about Charlie and Nat and I began planning a sequel which is now getting close to completion. It’s called Every Second Counts and will be published in autumn 2014.

Split Second

You can buy Split Second from Red House at the Book People for just £6.49.

Find out more about Sophie McKenzie:
With thanks to Simon & Schuster.

It’s Roald Dahl Day! Here are our staff picks…

13 September marks the annual Roald Dahl Day. A celebration of one of the most popular children’s authors of all time, and one whose 15-book collection remains a bestseller with the Book People, the day gives us the chance to reminisce about some of the brilliant characters, absurd situations and heart-warming stories he gave us. From eccentric confectionery connoisseurs to schoolchildren with out-of-this-world powers and much more, Roald Dahl created some of the most celebrated characters in literature.

Here are just some of our Marketing team’s favourite books by Roald Dahl, and we’re sure you’ll agree that every single one is a classic.

“My favourite story growing up was Fantastic Mr Fox – as a girl who lived in the country side where foxes get a very bad rap indeed, I always found the story a great comfort – the fact that the fox could outwit man is perhaps nothing new, but I loved the way Dahl attributed loving family values to a species most maligned – nevertheless I did feel sorry for all the poor old poultry…”
Emma, Ecommerce

Danny, the Champion of the World is my favourite. It presented a remarkable portrait of a child’s indestructible relationship with their father.”
Ollie, Marketing

“My favourite tale is Matilda. For a large part of my childhood I think I truly believed that I actually was Matilda and that Roald Dahl had somehow written a story about me, without me knowing. Matilda made being clever and being an utter bookworm acceptable – which in hindsight, was a rather masterful way for Dahl to reassure his avid readers. Matilda, as with all of Dahl’s stories, touched the realms of magic and mischief without becoming a fairy tale. It is a book which most definitely inspired my long (and continuing) interest in reading.”
Claire, Online Acquisition

“It was tough choosing just one Roald Dahl book as they are all fantastic, but one I return to again and again is The BFG. A magical story with giants, dreams and even a meeting with the Queen, it’s also a touching tribute to the strength of friendship and family.”
Ryan, Editor

“I’m not sure you could imagine a more despicable couple than The Twits. Their entertaining and gross practical jokes, such as the worm spaghetti, will stay with you forever! A great read for young and old, a Roald Dahl classic.”
Gavin, Designer

Fantastic Mr Fox will forever remain my favourite Roald Dahl story. Not just for its memorable characters; the cunning Mr Fox and the delightfully idiotic Boggis, Bunce, and Bean, and it’s equally absurd storyline, but because it’s a book I remember my whole family being gripped by and more than happy to pick up at bedtime time and time again – and that goes for the parents and the children! As I read it as an adult (which is pretty often, I’m not ashamed to admit), I still love Dahl’s smart and appealing, if a little dark and mischievous, humour, his wacky words, and his imagination that never fails to impress. But then again, we really wouldn’t expect anything less from the legendary writer now, would we? Happy Roald Dahl Day!”
Rachael, Editor

Roald Dahl Day

Red House’s new books for September

We’re now approaching mid-September and Red House has plenty of books to keep your youngsters reading and entertained right through to the much-awaited October half-term – and beyond. A children’s book specialist with over 35 years’ experience in the industry, you will find Red House situated within the Book People, so visit the site at today!

Any child who has seen the recent film at the cinema, or owns the DVD of the same name, will absolutely adore reading through the Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway Movie Storybook. In the book, everyone’s favourite blue tank engine Thomas has to help Stephen feel that he is of use and find a job for him when the Earl of Sodor comes to visit the island, and plans on reopening Ulfstead Castle.

The Gruffalo is one of the most popular children’s characters around at the moment and the My First Gruffalo: Gruffalo, What Can You See? Buggy Book will introduce an even younger generation to Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved creation. A tough board book format that even the most determined toddler will have trouble ripping or chewing through, the book also comes with a carry grip so it doesn’t get lost and features bright artwork of all the characters who are sure to become favourites in the not-too-distant future.

Oliver Jeffers’ eye-catching illustrations combine perfectly with Drew Daywalt’s humorous take on the working life of a crayon in The Day the Crayons Quit. Fed up with the daily grind of being Duncan’s artwork tools, the crayons have had enough. Blue is just worn out from drawing the sky and sea, Yellow and Orange are barely speaking and as for Beige, well, he’s fed up of being second-choice to Brown. This is an absolutely fantastic, laugh-out-loud story that will appeal to parents almost as much as it does children and also has a message about not leaving anyone out. Highly recommended! Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant is a classic fairy tale that has been given a new lease of life with Alexis Deacon’s new illustrations. The giant’s selfishness means it’s always winter in his garden, but can he open his heart and bring in the season of spring?

A collection of T.S. Eliot’s poems that inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Cats, the stunning Faber book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats features Axel Scheffler’s illustrations and is just purr-fect for any feline fan! From the curious Rum Tum Tugger to the elusive Macavity, it features a number of famous and much-loved cats.

The penultimate entry in Derek Landy’s bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series, Last Stand of Dead Men finds Skulduggery and Valkyrie having no choice but to team up with the dead men to ensure their own survival. To add to this, Valkyrie is also struggling to stop her own dark side rising to the fore… On the eve of the film adaptation release of How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff has also released a captivating new coming-of-age novel. Picture Me Gone finds Mila having to unearth the mystery of her best friend’s disappearance, but the search reveals more than the discovery itself…

Fans of John Green and Patrick Ness will love Every Day, a highly respected slice of Young Adult fiction from David Levithan. Every day, A wakes up in a different body and there’s no rhyme or reason to who it will be. But when he awakes in Justin’s body and meets his girlfriend Rhiannon, A realises he has just come across the one person he wants to spend the rest of his life with.

Red House Children's Books

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