Book Club

Top 10 1980s kids’ books

In among the yuppies, space hoppers and Spectrum Sinclairs, the 1980s also brought the world some of the most gnarly children’s books. Below you can watch our totally bodacious video about these books. It’s rad!

Janet and Allan AhlbergPeepo

Published in 1981, this book from the married couple was the winner of the Parents Magazine Best Book for Babies Award and is still enjoyed by thousands of families today.

Roald Dahl – The Witches

A fantasy novel from the master storyteller that was deliciously dark, this was adapted into a 1990 film starring Anjelica Houston that did not impress Roald Dahl; he called it ‘utterly appalling’.

Francine PascalSweet Valley High

Blending elements of soap opera, romance and even fantasy and thrillers, this worldwide-bestselling series consisted of a fresh 603 books. It also inspired a TV series that ran from 1994 to 1997.

Rod CampbellDear Zoo

One of the most recognisable picture books that remains a bestseller to this day, the lift-the-flap elements made Dear Zoo a hugely interactive treat for toddlers and it’s just perfect for sharing.

Sue TownsendThe Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾

Including the likes of J.K. Rowling and David Walliams among its fans, Sue Townsend’s classic coming-of-age tale spawned seven sequels. Did you know he was very almost called Nigel?

Joanna Cole and Bruce DegenMagic School Bus

A series of fantastical books about science, the Magic School Bus series followed the antics of Ms. Valerie Frizzle and her class as it changed into a spaceship, a submarine and much, much more.

Jill MurphyPeace at Last

A tale that resonates with many parents and guardians, this book was published in 1980 and followed the story of the Near family and Mr. Bear – who just wants some sleep. The picture book was written by Jill Murphy, who is also the author of The Worst Witch.

Judy BlumeTiger Eyes

A young adult novel that tackles important subjects, this book always ranks highly in polls of Judy Blume’s most popular books. It was adapted into a film directed by Lawrence Blume – Judy’s son – in 2012.

Janet and Allan AhlbergThe Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters

Since first being published in 1986, this innovative book from the Ahlbergs has sold over six million copies. With envelopes including letters, cards, games and a tiny book, it took five years from the book’s conception before it hit the bookshelves.

Roald DahlThe BFG

An expansion of a short story first seen in Danny, the Champion of the World, The BFG was published in 1982 and dedicated to Roald Dahl’s late daughter, Olivia, who died in 1962. It was adapted into an iconic animated film featuring the vocal talents of David Jason and Amanda Root. Later this year, the Steven Spielberg-directed live-action film starring Mark Rylance will arrive in cinemas all over the world.

Book People’s bestselling book collections for 2016

Many of you would have made New Year’s Resolutions to read more books (or to encourage your children to…), but we know that January is tight for money. However, as part of our commitment to providing you with products you love at prices you won’t believe, Book People has some incredible value collections that will save you money and keep you reading throughout the first few months of 2016.

In our hand-picked selection, you’ll find children’s classics and contemporary reads for adults we’re sure you’ll love. Below, we offer a quick look at some of our favourites, but you can find even more in our Collections category.


Thomas Classic 70th Anniversary Edition

Twenty-six books for £20! You will not find a better bargain than this… Featuring all of the Rev W. Awdry’s original stories in one beautiful box, each little hardback book has a traditional tale about Thomas and all his engine friends.


Roald Dahl Collection – 15 Books

Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG… The list of Roald Dahl’s children’s novels is bursting full of phizz-whizzing classics – and you can own them all in our brilliant slipcase for just £21.99.


Julia Donaldson Picture Book Collection – 10 Books

With her flowing, rhyming text accompanied by bright and bold artwork from the country’s top illustrators, Julia Donaldson’s stories are a sheer delight for toddlers. This collection contains ten of her best!


Beasts of Olympus Collection – 3 Books

These three books provide children with an entertaining insight into the world of Ancient Greek mythology. As well as the quirky stories about a boy named Demon and his new role as Official Beastkeeper to the Gods, the books are full of illustrations.


Valentine’s Day Collection – 3 Books

Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is coming around quickly – what better way to mark the occasion than with some novels that will make your heart swoon? These three hand-picked books are full of relationships, romance and escapism.


The Little Village School Collection – 3 Books

Gervase Phinn is a big favourite with Book People customers and this collection brings together three of the perennially popular Little Village School books. Charming and funny, they’re warming reads for the cold nights ahead.


School of Life: How to… Collection – 3 Books

These three self-help books are packed with advice that could prove itself very useful over the course of 2016. There’s a handbook full of hints on how to increase your creativity; a book about whether the digital age is a good thing; and an examination of just how much meaning we attach to money.


Man Booker Prize 2015 Collection – 6 Books


Including Marlon James’ winning entry A Brief History of Seven Killings, this collection brings together the six books that made up last year’s Man Booker Prize Shortlist – and they’re all in beautiful, keepsake hardback format!

Top 10 famous detectives from books

With Tennison being our October Book Club pick (save an extra 10% by using code Jane10), we thought now was the perfect time to take a look at ten of our favourite detectives from the world of fiction.


Cracking cases and constantly in peril, being a crime detective is a job laced with danger. This list finds some of those that we’ve fallen in love with over the years while reading about the crimes they try so hard to solve.


Jane Tennison

Prime Suspect Books DCI Jane Tennison Helen Mirren

Lynda La Plante’s books have long been favourites with readers all over the world. Inspiring the TV series adaptation of Prime Suspect, one of the great British crime dramas, her books focused on DCI Jane Tennison – one of the most tenacious and inspiring detectives to have been put to page.


Agatha Raisin

M. C. Beaton books Agatha Raisin detective books cosy crime

You may have seen the recent TV adaptation of Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death, but Book People customers have long been fans of the detective’s charms. M. C. Beaton’s books are big favourites and Agatha may be unlucky in love but she has enough wits to solve all the murders that build up in her quaint town.


Dr. Brennan

Temperance Brennan Kathy Reichs Books detective Emily Deschanel

Dr. Temperance Brennan is the lead character in Kathy Reichs’ books that inspired the hit US crime drama Bones. Played by Emily Deschanel in the show, Dr. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist who values the importance of setting up crime scenes correctly.


Kurt Wallander

Detective Kurt Wallander books

Solving mysteries in and around the town of Ystad near Malmo in Sweden, Kurt Wallander is a troubled and socially awkward policeman who eats junk food, drinks too much alcohol and has anger issues – but has an incredible intellect. Written quite brilliantly by the late Henning Mankell, you follow Wallander as he becomes disillusioned with his career throughout these gripping books.


Detective Lindsay Boxer

James Patterson Maxine Paetro Detective Lindsay Boxer Women's Murder Club books

The lead character in James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series, Lindsay Boxer is quite brilliant at her job. Based in San Francisco, she succeeds even when circumstances conspire against her.


Richard Castle

Richard Castle books fiction crime detective

Starting as a TV character expertly played by cult favourite Nathan Fillion, Richard Castle is not only an expert at cracking complex crime cases but also a bestselling author in his own right! His books are based around Derrick Storm and Nikki Heat – and their adventures might just be inspired by some of his own experiences…


Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot best detective Agatha Christie books short stories play

One of the most beloved characters in fiction, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot was the star of 33 Agatha Christie Books, one play and over 50 short stories. Brought to the screen by the likes of Albert Finney, Alfred Molina and, perhaps most famously, David Suchet, Poirot was famed for his twirly moustache and eccentricities.


Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes detective inspector Sherlock Holmes Robert Downey Jr books Sir Arhtur Conan Doyle

Where do we start with Sherlock Holmes? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation is surely one of the most famous detectives and has long been regarded as a classic character. With a recent resurgence inspired by the films starring Robert Downey Jr. and the worldwide phenomenon with Benedict Cumberbatch, the consulting detective continues to wow. The way he uses logical reasoning and the laws of science makes him stand out from the crowd.


Detective Inspector Jack Frost

Detective Inspector Jack Frost books David Jason fiction

He may be arrogant, unorganised and terrible when it comes to paperwork, but Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a master at solving mysteries. Created by R. D. Wingfield, Frost was memorably brought to life by David Jason in the ITV series, A Touch of Frost.


Harry Hole

Jo Nesbo Harry Hole The Snowman Norway Oslo Police detective inspector

One of the stars of Nordic crime fiction, Harry Hole is an unorthodox yet brilliant detective in the Oslo Crime Squad of the Norwegian police force. A loose cannon, he is brilliantly brought to life by the bestselling author Jo Nesbo – especially in the unforgettable The Snowman.

Book People Book Club September Pick: The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory

We hope you enjoyed Paper Towns last month and know that many of you are looking forward to our next Book Club pick. We’re delighted to now announce that Philippa Gregory’s latest bestseller The Taming of the Queen is the book we’ll be discussing with you all throughout September.

Philippa Gregory author The Taming of the Queen Book People Book Club Cousins War

Firstly, our edition of this book is simply beautiful. Hardback and with gorgeous designs and maps included, it tells the story of King Henry VIII’s final wife Kateryn Parr and asks just who she really was. Was she a loyal royal wife and stately queen or a disloyal citizen who just longed for passion and power?

She knows marrying Henry is laced with danger but just can’t resist the temptation… As their relationship grows and Henry shows compassion for her, Kateryn (and it is spelt this way) finds herself drawn to the tyrant king. But can she keep safe?

Full of the historical accuracy that we have come to expect from Philippa after her Cousins War series, this is a book you’ll be keen to devour over the next month. Available for only £4.99, you can save a further 10% with code KING10.

Book People Book Club

*Terms and Conditions apply. Code can be applied a maximum of five times per customer. Offer code valid from 4 September 2015 and expires midnight on 30 September 2015. Book People reserves the right to amend and/or withdraw this offer at any time.

Book People Book Club – August Pick: Paper Towns by John Green

With excitement building around the release of the Paper Towns movie, we thought it would be a wonderful time to choose this superb novel, one of our favourite John Green books, as our Book Club selection for August. By now you may have seen the Paper Towns trailer and you’re probably chomping at the bit to see the film – particularly if you enjoyed the last John Green book adaptation, last year’s The Fault in Our Stars – but with 10% off the price of the book at with code PAPER10*, there has never been a better time to read this absorbing, exhilarating and sensitive story.

John Green Paper Towns


The tale begins with childhood neighbours Quentin (or ‘Q’) and Margot finding the body of local man Robert Joyner, who has committed suicide in the local park. The book then fast-forwards to the present day, where Q and Margot are now just distant acquaintances in high school… That is, until Margot enters Q’s room late one night and summons him for a one-night campaign of ingenious revenge. The next day, Margot is missing. And Q is the last person to have seen her alive. But he soon finds clues that she has left for him – clues that reveal who Margot really is…

Passionate, funny, bold and thoroughly engrossing, we cannot think of a better book to enjoy this summer. The writing is flawless and Q and Margot’s mystery tale is as timeless as it is current – and it’s as sure to entertain adults as it is teen and young adult readers. Join the discussion about Paper Towns as we mull it over in our free online Book Club on our Facebook page…

For those who want to see the film as well as read the book, Paper Towns’ release date is 17 August in the UK.

*Terms and Conditions apply. Code can be applied a maximum of five times per customer. Offer code valid from 1 August 2015 and expires midnight on 31 August 2015. The Book People reserves the right to amend and/or withdraw this offer at any time.

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