Fiction

Poetry & Language Books

  • PBHE
    Julie Blake
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00
    From Hardy to Heaney and Pope to Plath, this treasury of poems will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

    All great for reciting and reading out aloud, you'll find familiar and unknown poems and works covering the themes of love and war. There are poems that recreate the world we know and poems written about the dark side of the moon.

    Every poem has been chosen for its suitability for learning and reciting and they're all sure to appeal to language lovers of any age.
  • CRLS
    Andrew Gant
    • £3.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £6.00
    Everyone loves a good Christmas carol, and Christmas Carols: From Village Green to Church Choir by Andrew Gant is filled with 20 festive favourites alongside little-known histories, great anecdotes and heart-warming stories about each of the best-loved Christmas songs.

    Carols have the power to evoke a special kind of winter ambience - but how do they do it? In the book, Andrew Gant unravels the captivating - and sometimes surprising - tales of great musicians, thinkers, saints, monks and drunks, helping readers to discover the stories of how their favourite Christmas carols came to be.

    Brimming with expert knowledge, charming tales and all of the lyrics and melodic scores you will need to perform the best-loved yuletide classics, Christmas Carols is a fittingly festive and joyous account of the time-honoured tradition of Christmas caroling.
  • SHCM
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
    • Save £9.01
    Featuring summaries of the Bard's plays and characters, The Shakespeare Companion is the perfect read for anyone interested in his works, or those who are new to one of the most influential writers of all time.

    Complete with a foreword by Dame Judi Dench, this book will enlighten you about Shakespeare's writing and help you enjoy his plays even more. It provides synopses of plays and even a resume of each performance's history.

    There is also a look back at the history of Shakespearean theatre and those plays that he did not write that have been wrongly attributed to him.
  • CASP
    Mark Bryant
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £12.01
    Available for a purr-fect Book People price, this book is one that any feline lover will want to get their claws into. It features a hand-picked selection of works about cats from authors ranging from Aesop to Oscar Wilde.

    Going all the way from ancient Egypt to 20th century New York, this is a hardback that includes odes, fables, stories, limericks, songs, nursery rhymes and so much more. All highly evocative, the writings have been chosen especially by Mark Bryant.

    Sure to delight any cat lover, among the highlights of the book are a poem from Thomas Hardy, a laugh-out-loud piece by Lewis Carroll and odes to cats by Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain. Although every piece has a feline theme, the genres range from humour and fantasy to romance and horror and they come from all over the world.
  • CRPM
    Jane McMorland-Hunter
    (1)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £10.00
    Classic Readings & Poems for Weddings, Christenings, Funerals and All Occasions will help ensure you have the right words for every important life event.

    Hand-picked by Jane McMorland Hunter, the book features everything from familiar favourites to lesser-known, yet no less stunning, pieces that can mark anything from a birth to a death; an engagement to a retirement and a wedding to a memorial service.

    Among the poems and readings are works from the poets Longfellow, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson as well as famous writers like William Blake, Wordsworth and William Shakespeare. There are also Apache prayers and Irish blessings, as well as quotes from books and speeches that mark moments of new life, unions, loss and solitude.
  • MSCR
    Carol Ann Duffy
    (5)
    • £2.99
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £8.00
    Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy's modern retelling of Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol is the perfect festive read.

    On the coldest Christmas Eve on record, Mrs Scrooge finds herself outside the local supermarket, protesting against consumerism and waste. Just like her husband Ebenezer before her, Mrs Scrooge has a lot to learn from the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come...

    Filled with bright illustrations by the talented Posy Simmonds, this modern take the timeless story makes for a perfect Christmas gift that will be enjoyed time and time again.
  • DMTR
    Susie Dent
    • £4.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £10.00
    When a golfer hits a shot that's a bit thin, they refer to it as 'Kate Moss'; refuse collectors call maggots 'disco rice'; and when a flight attendant is carrying out the seatbelt check, they're almost certainly thinking about it as 'crotch watch'...

    Written by Countdown's Susie Dent, this book will help you decipher the different private languages that are used by people all around the country. Unique and witty, it reveals why every football manager speaks the same way, how ticket inspectors discreetly request back up and what a cabbie means when he says the Houses of Parliament.

    Describing how we are surrounded by hundreds of tribes who all speak their own 'slanguage', this is an idiosyncratic phrasebook that reveals why different groups speak in such different ways.
  • ABBUP
    Philip Larkin
    • £10.89
    • RRP £10.99
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    Larkin's final collection of poems shows, as does all his best work, his ability to adapt contemporary speech rhythms and everyday vocabulary to subtle metrical patterns and poetic forms. Many of the poems in the collection, which includes some of his best-known pieces ("The Old Fools", "This Be the Verse", "The Explosion", and the title poem) show the preoccupation with death and transience that is so typical of the poet. Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. - from "High Windows".
  • ACDIW 14 years +
    William Shakespeare
    14 years +
    • £10.39
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £2.60
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is acknowledged as the greatest dramatist of all time. He excels in plot, poetry and wit, and his talent encompasses the great tragedies of "Hamlet", "King Lear", "Othello", and "Macbeth" as well as the moving history plays and the comedies such as "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "The Taming of the Shrew" and "As You Like It" with their magical combination of humour, ribaldry and tenderness. This volume is a reprint of the Shakespeare Head Press edition, and it presents all the plays in chronological order in which they were written. It also includes Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as his longer poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece".
  • ACOXH
    Henry Hitchings
    • £10.89
    • RRP £10.99
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    The English language is a battlefield. Since the age of Shakespeare, arguments over correct usage have been acrimonious, and those involved have always really been contesting values - to do with morality, politics and class. THE LANGUAGE WARS examines the present state of the conflict, its history and its future. Above all, it uses the past as a way of illuminating the present. Moving chronologically, the book explores the most persistent issues to do with English and unpacks the history of 'proper' usage. Where did these ideas spring from? Which of today's bugbears and annoyances are actually venerable? Who has been on the front line in the language wars? THE LANGUAGE WARS examines grammar rules, regional accents, swearing, spelling, dictionaries, political correctness, and the role of electronic media in reshaping language. It also takes a look at such niggling concerns as the split infinitive, elocution and text messaging. Peopled with intriguing characters such as Jonathan Swift, H. W. Fowler and George Orwell as well as the more disparate figures of Lewis Carroll, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lenny Bruce, THE LANGUAGE WARS is an essential volume for anyone interested in the state of the English language today or intrigued about its future.
  • AFKGV
    Edgar Allan Poe
    • £12.99
    Twenty-seven grisly tales from the master of gothic fiction range from chilling horror to suspenseful mystery

    Few authors' names conjure up such an air of ghoulish terror as that of Edgar Allan Poe. Although best known for his classic gothic horror tales such as "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Fall of the House of Usher," or "The Premature Burial," he also wrote mystery thrillers like "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" or "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and curious stories like "The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether." The best of his chilling horror stories and other suspenseful tales are presented here in one fantastic volume, providing an ideal introduction to this master of the macabre for those unfamiliar with Poe's work, or a welcome return to Poe's dark and mysterious world for committed enthusiasts.

  • AAEEG
    John Milton
    • £7.59
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.40
    'Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world...Sing heavenly muse' From almost the moment of its first publication in 1667, Paradise Lost was considered a classic. It is difficult now to appreciate both how audacious an undertaking it represents, and how astonishing its immediate and continued success was. Over the course of twelve books Milton wrote an epic poem that would 'justify the ways of God to men', a mission that required a complex drama whose source is both historical and deeply personal. The struggle for ascendancy between God and Satan is played out across hell, heaven, and earth but the consequences of the Fall are all too humanly tragic - pride, ambition, and aspiration the motivating forces. In this new edition derived from their acclaimed Oxford Authors text, Stephen Orgel and Jonathan Goldberg discuss the complexity of Milton's poem in a new introduction, and on-page notes explain its language and allusions.
  • ADCZI
    Jon Stallworthy
    • £10.29
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £2.70
    There are almost as many definitions and different sorts of love as there are poets. Edited on the assumption that any poem which speaks of one human's desire for another is a qualifying factor, "The New Penguin Book of Love Poetry" is a rich and diverse anthology which ranges through time and fashion. Passion, urgency, simplicity, heartbreak and renunciation are all here in a volume that superbly represents 'man's changeless responses to the changeless changing seasons of his heart'.
  • ADCHP
    Matthew George Walter
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £0.10
    This anthology reflects the diversity of voices it contains: the poems are arranged thematically and the themes reflect the different experiences of war not just for the soldiers but for those left behind. This is what makes this volume more accessible and satisfying than others. In addition to the established canon, there are poems rarely anthologised and a selection of soldiers' songs to reflect the voices of the soldiers themselves.
  • AGDJC
    Emily Berry
    • £10.89
    • RRP £10.99
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    "Dear Boy" is the dramatic and inventive debut by Emily Berry. These characterful, intelligent and darkly witty poems explore lives lived strangely in unusual worlds, through a series of deft and seductive soliloquies. In a collection with a taste for ventriloquy and wickedness, and a flair for vocal cross-dressing, the balance of power is always shifting in an unexpected direction - an ingenue masquerades as a femme fatale, a doctor appears more disturbed than his patient, and parents seem more unruly than their children. Eccentric, intimate, arch, anxious, decadent and sometimes mournful, the book's confiding, conversational voices tell stories recognisable and refracted, carried along by the undercurrent on which the collection ebbs and rides: the anguish and energy brought about by a long-distance love affair, which propels and terrorises and ultimately unites the work. "Dear Boy" is an irresistible and enlivening collection by a new poet of startling and various gifts.
  • ADBUO
    WB Yeats
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
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    This selection of the works of W B Yeats, includes the final book from the unfairly neglected narrative poem "The Wanderings of Oisin" and a number of lyrics from Yeats' work as poetic dramatist. It breaks new ground by allowing the reader to engage with a dozen poems in alternative versions; in many other cases it provides significant variants, so that Yeats's struggle to revise his poetry can be experienced with unusual immediacy.
  • AEWPT
    Homer
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £0.10
    'War, the bringer of tears...' For 2,700 years the Iliad has gripped listeners and readers with the story of Achilles' anger and Hector's death. This tragic episode during the siege of Troy, sparked by a quarrel between the leader of the Greek army and its mightiest warrior, Achilles, is played out between mortals and gods, with devastating human consequences. It is a story of many truths, speaking of awesome emotions, the quest for fame and revenge, the plight of women, and the lighthearted laughter of the gods. Above all, it confronts us with war in all its brutality - and with fleeting images of peace, which punctuate the poem as distant memories, startling comparisons, and doomed aspirations. The Iliad's extraordinary power testifies to the commitment of its many readers, who have turned to it in their own struggles to understand life and death. This elegant and compelling new translation is accompanied by a full introduction and notes that guide the reader in understanding the poem and the many different contexts in which it was performed and read.
  • AHIRT
    William Blake
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
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    "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" is a rare and wonderful book, its seeming simplicity belying its visionary wisdom. Internationally recognised as a masterpiece of English literature, it also occupies a key position in the history of western art. This unique edition of the work allows Blake to communicate with his readers as he intended, reproducing Blake's own illumination and lettering from the finest existing example of the original work. In this way, readers can experience the mystery and beauty of Blake's poems as he first created them, discovering for themselves the intricate web of symbol and meaning that connects word and image. Each poem is accompanied by a literal transcription, and the volume is introduced by the renowned historian and critic, Richard Holmes. This beautiful edition of "The Songs of Innocence and Experience" will be essential for those familiar with Blake's work, but also offers an ideal way into his visionary world for those encountering Blake for the first time.
  • AAGMA
    Seamus Heaney
    • £9.89
    • RRP £10.99
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    Composed towards the end of the first millennium of our era, the Anglo-Saxon poem "Beowulf" is a Northern epic and a classic of European literature. In this new translation, Seamus Heaney has produced a work that is true, line by line, to the original poem.
  • AMKWR
    Virgil
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.80
    'Arms and the man I sing of Troy...' So begins one of the greatest works of literature in any language. Written by the Roman poet Virgil more than two thousand years ago, the story of Aeneas' seven-year journey from the ruins of Troy to Italy, where he becomes the founding ancestor of Rome, is a narrative on an epic scale: Aeneas and his companions contend not only with human enemies but with the whim of the gods. His destiny preordained by Jupiter, Aeneas is nevertheless assailed by dangers invoked by the goddess Juno, and by the torments of love, loyalty, and despair. Virgil's supreme achievement is not only to reveal Rome's imperial future for his patron Augustus, but to invest it with both passion and suffering for all those caught up in the fates of others. Frederick Ahl's new translation echoes the Virgilian hexameter in a thrillingly accurate and engaging style. An Introduction by Elaine Fantham, and Ahl's comprehensive notes and invaluable indexed glossary complement the translation. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
  • AADFH
    Laura Barber
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £2.00
    Taking its inspiration from Shakespeare's idea of the "seven ages" of a human life, this new anthology brings together the best-loved poems in English to inspire, comfort and delight readers for a lifetime. Beginning with babies, the book is divided into sections on childhood, growing up, making a living and making love, family life, getting older, and approaching death, ending with poems of mourning and commemoration. Ranging from Chaucer to Carol Ann Duffy, via Shakespeare, Keats, and Lemn Sissay, this book offers something for each of those moments in life - whether falling in love, finding your first grey hair or saying your final goodbyes - when only a poem will do.
  • AADFT
    Homer
    • £7.79
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £0.20
    The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon - Odysseus must test his bravery and native cunning to the full if he is to reach his homeland safely and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him.
  • AAGKT
    Griff Rhys Jones
    • £7.89
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.10
    In 1995 BBC Television's "Bookworm" programme conducted a poll amongst viewers to determine their favourite poems. The top 100 are presented in this book. They include the winner, Kipling's "If", and many other classics, as well as modern verse by writers such as Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes.
  • ALJUZ
    Kate Tempest
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £0.10
    Kate Tempest's first full-length collection for Picador is an ambitious, multi-voiced work based around the mythical figure of Tiresias. This four-part work follows him through his transformations from child, man and woman to blind prophet; through this structure, Tempest holds up a mirror to contemporary life in a direct and provocative way rarely associated with poetry. A vastly popular and accomplished performance poet, Tempest commands a huge and dedicated following on the performance and rap circuit. Brand New Ancients, also available from Picador, won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and has played to packed concert halls on both sides of the Atlantic.