Archive for November, 2013

Black Friday… it’s here!

You may be forgiven for thinking that Black Friday is a new horror film, a Financial Times headline or heavy metal band, but for those who don’t know, it’s actually the Friday following Thanksgiving, and in the world of retail it signals the start of the Christmas shopping season. So grab your shopping bags, coat, scarf, and umbrella and prepare to face the masses on the high street today… alternatively (as we all know how unappealing that reality is), you could make a cuppa and visit to get that Christmas shopping well underway. Oh, and if the home comforts and quiet weren’t enough, we have a massive prize draw happening that you’re not going to want to miss either.

Just to say thank you for shopping with us this Christmas time, for today and tomorrow only (Friday 29 and Saturday 30 November), the Book People is giving customers the chance to enter the biggest ever prize draw in our history, and as a result you could be taking home one of a selection of prizes that together total over £2,000!

For these two days only, every single customer who places an order of £10 or over will not only be entitled to free Standard Delivery, but will also automatically be entered into the draw. By entering, you stand a chance of winning anything from a huge book bundle worth over £750 RRP, a metre of signed books from the likes of Gino D’Acampo and David Walliams, and gorgeous signed prints from bestselling children’s illustrators to an iPad mini loaded with Book People eBooks for you to enjoy and even afternoon tea with The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Just click here to view details of the draw and see what else is up for grabs.

So head to to place your order over £10 now to be in with a chance of winning one of these money-can’t-buy festive treats. With our selection of children’s books, stunning novels, beautiful hardbacks and great value stocking fillers, now, more than ever, really is the only place to shop. What are you waiting for, your chance to be in the draw ends at midnight Saturday 30 December!

Our favourite books from across the pond

Happy Thanksgiving! Now we know this isn’t a holiday that’s all that celebrated in the UK (although I wish it was and I had more of an excuse to tuck into marshmallow-covered sweet potato and spiced pumpkin pie!) but to mark the occasion at the Book People manor, we have been discussing which great American book we are most thankful for.

The homeland to many notable, talked-about, bestselling and memorable authors, whether you’ve studied a novel like Moby-Dick from cover to cover, settled down with The Very Hungry Caterpillar so many times you’ve lost count, or you’ve recently discovered a stunning new American writer you can’t imagine not being on your bookshelf, we have plenty to thank our American pals for when it comes to literature we love.

Here are just a few of our favourites…

Ryan’s choice: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

“The story of farm hand George Milton and his best friend Lennie Small is a touching, observational and ultimately tragic look at life in the United States during the 1930s. The duo share a dream of owning their own piece of land, where Lennie will tend to rabbits all day long. A dream that keeps them going, but always seems so far away. With the special bond between George and Lennie and a supporting cast of characters also all making an impact, this is Steinbeck at his heart-wrenching best.”

John Steinbeck Collection

Claire’s choice: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“Dystopian fiction at its absolute best, Suzanne Collins has created real modern classics with this hit trilogy. The characters are believable and brilliantly constructed, the plot is pacy and the action is incredible right from the off. Collins has created a dark and realistic post-apocalyptic world in Panem and her talent lies in being able to keep you on edge with the turn of every page. Certainly not just for teens, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t loved these books.”

Oliver’s choice: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“This is a great American novel that everyone must read. I don’t think leading characters get much better than tomboyish and lovable young Scout, and father figures like Atticus Finch are few and far between. Brilliantly combining a true-to-life picture of the American South during the Great Depression and a touching coming-of-age tale, this book is eye-opening, moving and has a unique touch of humour that makes it a joy to read.”

To Kill a Mockingbird

Rachael’s choice: Collective Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe

“It may seem like an odd choice, because let’s face it, Poe’s stories are pretty bleak and disturbing, but I’m thankful for his work because they introduced me to the Gothic genre while I was still at school, and it opened my world to a whole host of books I would never have encountered otherwise. I went on to study the American Gothic South for my degree and dissertation, which I loved (despite the desperate late-night library sessions!). I’ll never forget the first time I read stories like The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum and the infamous poem The Raven. I don’t think a writer since Poe has shown a side to the Gothic quite like his…”

Emma’s choice: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

“Nicholas Sparks’ talent as a novelist and screenwriter is amazing. I don’t normally go for romance novels, but Dear John really struck a chord with me and I’m thankful for it because it got me to try books I would have otherwise let pass me by. Contemporary and realistic, the book cleverly weaves in events that are relevant to many people. It’s beautifully sad, like much of Sparks’ writing, but it actually makes for a really heartwarming read.”

Zoe’s choice: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

“Although the premise for this storyline didn’t initially seem like one I’d want to read about (a young girl murdered by a sinister neighbour), Alice Sebold has created a really readable and enlightening novel in The Lovely Bones. The perspectives in which it is written is so clever as Susie watches and speaks from her ‘Heaven’ and helps her family, her dad in particular, come to terms with what’s happened. The bond between Susie and her father is beautifully displayed in the book, and characters like Grandma Lynn and Mr Harvey are unforgettable too.”

The Lovely Bones

Costa Book Awards 2013 Shortlist announced

The shortlist for the Costa Book Awards 2013 has been announced – and we’re delighted to see some Book People favourites included. A prestigious literary prize that was launched in 1971, the award acknowledges some of the year’s best novels, debuts, biographies, poetry titles and children’s books, before the overall winner from the categories, the Costa Book of the Year, is announced at a glittering ceremony in London on 28 January 2014. All the category winners will be announced shortly before, on 6 January 2014.

Previous winners of the award include Hilary Mantel, Mark Haddon and Philip Pullman and hoping to follow in their footsteps this year will be Nathan Filer and Elizabeth Wein, as well as many other talented authors and poets. Filer is the author of Book People Debut Fiction Choice The Shock of the Fall, a brave novel which followed one man’s descent into the mental illness. A registered mental health nurse, Filer’s experiences really added depth to his lyrical prose and the poignant book has been nominated for the 2013 Costa First Novel Award. We’re so happy to see a book that we’ve supported from its publication receive such an accolade.

A long-time favourite with the Book People, Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave is shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award and this book was one that had our office’s book club moved, intrigued and laughing throughout. More humorous than her previous psychological storylines, there was no drop in quality as the book followed the story of a family of individuals drawn together in a time of need.

Elizabeth Wein is a Carnegie-shortlisted author and Rose Under Fire is a gripping, exciting and heartbreaking read that was a bestseller for Red House this year. Shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Children’s Book Award, this coming-of-age story based around the RAF in 1944 is inspirational and touching as it follows budding pilot and poet Rose Justice as she confronts some of the most fearsome aspects of war. We hope with this Costa Award nomination, this Young Adult novel will find its way into the hands of even more book lovers over the coming months.

All of us at the Book People congratulate all the nominees on their achievement sand wish them the best of luck. To find out more about the Costa Book Awards, visit

The Book People’s latest special offer – 3 gift books for £20!

The Book People has always brought you brilliant books for all ages, and right now we have a very special offer on, which means you can pick up three beautiful gift books for the price of just £20. Ideal for Christmas presents or for just treating yourself, the books included in this deal are sure to keep you entertained for a long time to come. From coffee table books to superheroes and music and science, there’s a book for all tastes.

We’ve discussed 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die in detail before but this must-have for any film enthusiast is included in this offer and will help you plan your viewing habits for the year (or years) ahead. A fitting companion, 1,001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die will soundtrack your life. Including brilliant albums from the likes of Joy Division, The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Elbow, the book is one to return to again and again and features insight and comments from some of music’s leading journalists. Rock Chronicles will also appeal to any muso, providing a guide to 250 of the world’s most popular – and most important – rock acts of all time.

music albums book

Nature lovers are also spoilt for choice with The RSPB Complete Birds of Britain and Europe providing all the information needed to become an expert birdwatcher. With a CD included to help identify birdsongs and calls, the book profiles 800 different species. A popular BBC documentary, The Great British Year showcases just why Britain’s wildlife is so awe-inspiring. The RHS What Plant Where Encyclopedia will help anyone make the most of their garden with its advice on planting all year round.

birdwatching book

Marvel: Year-By-Year – A Visual Chronicle reveals the colourful histories of some of the world’s most popular superheroes – and the team behind them, while The Quentin Blake Treasury contains some of the much-loved illustrator’s most famous creations including Mister Magnolia and Angelina Sprockett. LEGO Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle not only comes with 3 Minifigures embedded in its front cover, it also takes a look back at every single iconic Minifigure the world-famous brand has released since 1978, including characters from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Star Wars, as well as their own bestselling brands like Chima and Ninjago.

LEGO book

Other books featured in the 3 for £20 cover topics varying from antiques to outer space and bicycles to wine and cooking. Head over to the special offer page now to make your selection, but remember stock is limited, so place your order today.

Christmas gifts for… the sports fan in your life

With the latest series of the Ashes now in full swing Down Under, the sports fans in your life are sure to be glued to their televisions throughout December, especially with the traditionally busy festive season of football coming up and the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist due to be announced any day now. What better way to divert their eyes from the glare of these HD screens than by buying them the Christmas present of a highly informative and gripping book about the athletes and events they idolise so much? The Book People has all your needs covered.

Autobiographies from the great personalities of the sporting world are traditionally bestsellers at Christmas time and this year is no exception. Former Manchester United number 7, England captain and one of the most popular Englishmen on the planet, David Beckham, reveals all about his trophy-laden career in his new autobiography. Covering his time at Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson, his big-money move to Real Madrid in Spain and his quest to bring soccer to the majorities in the United States, this is a lavishly illustrated book that works as a keepsake of a tremendous career. Man Utd fans will also enjoy reading through The Official Manchester United Players’ A-Z, a book that covers over 840 top-class players that have donned the famous red shirt since the club’s formation in 1886. For a more general view of the sport, The Vision Book of Football Records 2014 is packed with information about the world’s greatest clubs and countries, alongside some mind-boggling and quirky facts, including the boss who was appointed due to his record on the PC game Football Manager and the goalkeeper who really did eat all the pies. There are plenty of photographs to pore over too.

David Beckham autobiography

Cricket fans have plenty to cheer about too, with Simon Hughes’ Cricket’s Greatest Rivalry taking a look at ten of the matches that helped establish the fierce rivalry between England and Australia in the Ashes. Full of detailed analysis and technical insights, the book recalls vivid memories from the tournament’s eventful history. Former England cricketer and popular I’m A Celebrity contestant Phil Tufnell is also in the Ashes mood, but he’s offering an alternative guide, where he focuses on some of the bonkers selections, dubious tactics and nail-biting finishes that have left their mark on the sport. Cricket fans also love keeping records of the sport and the long-running Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack (150 years and still going strong!) contains coverage of every first-class game in every cricket nation, while remaining as comprehensive and opinionated as ever.

Cricket book

Andy Murray has enjoyed a couple of very successful years, and 2013 will forever be remembered as the year a Brit finally won the men’s singles tournament at Wimbledon after Fred Perry’s victory 77 years before. Seventy-seven is Murray’s latest autobiography and is a celebratory read that finds the Scot sharing his thoughts and observations on all the key moments of his career to date, while also introducing his team and how he prepares both mentally and physically for his next important match. Another Gold winner at last year’s London was the perennially popular Usain Bolt and the likeable Jamaican sprinter has also described the secrets of his success in Catch Me If You Can.

Andy Murray Seventy-seven

Rugby fans are well catered for with Matt Dawson’s very entertaining Lion Tales offering a satisfying dose of anecdotes revolving around the British Lions and their clashes against the All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks. Cycling is also building ever more in popularity and the most famous event of all is the Tour de France. We have two great books for any fan – Vive Le Tour! is a stocking filler-style read that showcases the wealth of trivia and tales from the famous tournament, including the triumphs, cheats and tragedies, while the 100th anniversary edition of Tour De France commemorates this landmark occasion in style with rider profiles, statistics and sumptuous photography.

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