Friday, November 17, 2017

An Evening with Kate Young


After the shop had shut on a dark November evening, the team at Mostly Books cleared down the display tables in preparation for a books and food event with Kate Young. 

For one night, the fiction books were set aside to make space for some hungry guests and some gorgeous cookbooks.  As each guest arrived they were offered a glass of wine or a soft drink as they settled down around communal tables to wait for the event to start.  Conversation ensued with guests comparing book group experiences and chatting about their love of food and cooking.

At 7pm Sarah introduced everyone to Kate Young and the official event began. Kate chatted about her experiences of creating the Little Library Cookbook, the inspiration behind the idea and how she had made it happen.

Kate described how she had initially had aspirations of owning her own cafe and had never expected things to move in the direction that it had.  Through a series of unexpected events, she found herself making copious amounts of food for her close friends over a hot few days in June so that it could all be photographed for her new cookbook.

As the floor opened for questions, the group were clearly interested and engaged in Kate’s experiences.  There was a lot of discussion around the books that inspired the recipes in The Little Library Cookbook and what they meant to Kate.

During the discussion guests dug into some spice cookies from We Have Always Lived in the Castle and sausage rolls from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Halfway through the evening tasters of Chocolatl (inspired by Book of Dust by Philip Pullman) appeared much to everyone's delight.

As the event drew to a close, Kate answered the final questions and, after Sarah closed the official section of the event, guests rushed to grab their copy of the Cookbook and to get it signed by Kate.

Gradually the crowd dispersed and, as everyone left, all that could be heard were exclamations about how much they had enjoyed the event and what a pleasure it was to meet Kate.

A huge thanks to Kate for travelling to Abingdon from London. This was the first foodie related event at Mostly Books for quite some time and it definitely won’t be the last!

More pictures can be seen on our facebook page here.

Christmas Ideas: Adult Gift and Humour


Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred : A Collection of Time Lord Verse, James Goss - £9.99

RETIRING
On days I don't want to Doctor much
I worry that I shall lose my touch
All that running down those corridors
Thwartings of tyrants and dreadful bores
Brave rescues from the Foul Monster's Lair
And firm trouncing all the Demons There. 
Chaos never ends, oh that's the shame
So yes I tire of just one more game. 
Sometimes when the same old fight begins
I fear, just once, I'll let Evil win.
And then, on second thought, perhaps I won't
Because they're Monsters, and so I don't. 
On days like that I don't think at all
That being the Doctor's so bad after all.


How to Count to Infinity, Marcus du Sautoy - £9.99
Do something amazing and learn a new skill thanks to the Little Ways to Live a Big Life books! Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it... Not falling in love, but counting. Animals and humans have been using numbers to navigate their way through the jungle of life ever since we all evolved on this planet.

But this book will help you to do something that humans have only recently understood how to do: to count to regions that no animal has ever reached. By the end of this book you'll be able to count to infinity...and beyond. 

On our way to infinity we'll discover how the ancient Babylonians used their bodies to count to 60 (which gave us 60 minutes in the hour), how the number zero was only discovered in the 7th century by Indian mathematicians contemplating the void, why in China going into the red meant your numbers had gone negative and why numbers might be our best language for communicating with alien life. But for millennia contemplating infinity has sent even the greatest minds into a spin. Then at the end of the nineteenth century mathematicians discovered a way to think about infinity that revealed that it is a number that we can count.

Not only that. They found that there are an infinite number of infinities, some bigger than others. Just using the finite neurons in your brain and the finite pages in this book, you'll have your mind blown discovering the secret of how to count to infinity.

Also in the series:  How To Understand E =mc(2), How to Draw Anything and How to Land a Plane

More Letters of Note - £17.99
The follow-up to the phenomenal international bestseller, More Letters of Note includes letters from: Jane Austen, Richard Burton, Helen Keller, Alan Turing, Albus Dumbledore, Eleanor Roosevelt, Henry James, Sylvia Plath, John Lennon, Gerald Durrell, Janis Joplin, Mozart, Janis Joplin, Hunter S. Thompson, C. G. Jung, Katherine Mansfield, Marge Simpson, David Bowie, Dorothy Parker, Buckminster Fuller, Beatrix Potter, Che Guevara, Evelyn Waugh, Charlotte Bronte and many more.

Discover Richard Burton's farewell note to Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Keller's letter to The New York Symphony Orchestra about 'hearing' their concert through her fingers, the final missives from a doomed Japan Airlines flight in 1985, David Bowie's response to his first piece of fan mail from America and even Albus Dumbledore writing to a reader applying for the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts.

More Letters of Note is another rich and inspiring collection, which reminds us that much of what matters in our lives finds its way into our letters.

The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump, Robert Sears - £9.99
What if there's a hidden dimension to Donald Trump; a sensitive, poetic side? Driven by this question, Rob Sears began combing Trump's words for signs of poetry.  What he found was a revelation. 

By simply taking the 45th President of the United States' tweets and transcripts, cutting them up and reordering them, Sears unearthed a trove of beautiful verse that was just waiting to be discovered.

This groundbreaking collection will give readers a glimpse of Trump's innermost thoughts and feelings on everything from the nature of truth, to what he hates about Lord Sugar. And it will reveal a hitherto hidden Donald, who may surprise and delight both students and critics alike.  

This timely publication also includes Sears' scholarly footnotes and introduction, in which he excavates new critical angles and insights into the President's poetry which the casual reader might initially overlook. 

Bletchley Park Brainteasers, Sinclair McKay - £12.99
Would you love to master morse code? Could you have have outsmarted an enigma machine? Would your love of chess have seen you recruited into the history books?

When scouring the land for top-level code breakers, the Bletchley Park recruiters left no stone unturned. As well as approaching the country's finest mathematicians, they cast their nets much wider, interviewing sixth-form music students who could read orchestral scores, chess masters, poets, linguists, hieroglyphics experts and high society debutantes fresh from finishing school. 

To assess these individuals they devised various ingenious mind-twisters - hidden codes, cryptic crosswords, secret languages, complex riddles - and it is puzzles such as these, together with the fascinating recruitment stories that surround them, that make up the backbone of this book.

The code breakers of Bletchley Park were united in their love of a good puzzle. If you feel the same, why not dive in, put your mental agility to the test and discover: Would Bletchley Park have recruited YOU?

The Faber Book of Christmas, Simon Rae - £20
If the most wonderful time of year is enough to plunge you into a gloom, look no further. This collection of spirited stories and vibrant poetry will brighten your mood as it brings together Charles Dickens and Philip Larkin, W.H.Auden and Wendy Cope, Jilly Cooper and Dylan Thomas. From tales of carolling and snatched mistletoe kisses to 'The Worst Christmas Dinner, Ever', there's something here to amuse and interest Christmas lovers, grinches, and everyone in between.





To Read Aloud, Francesco Dimitri - £14.99
Reading a story to another person creates a bond between two people. It is often assumed that reading aloud is only for children, but the practice was once a common pleasure for adults too. The time has come to rediscover it.

This simple yet powerful action connects us with our friends, helps us centre ourselves in the present and lets us focus gently on what matters. To Read Aloud consists of 75 extracts of an average 1000 words each, from writers ranging from Cicero to Lewis Carroll to Robert Macfarlane (alongside less familiar names). It is arranged under ten thematic chapters: Love, Loss, Lightness, Pleasure, Work, Nature, Change, Chaos, Wonder, and Coda: Delicacies for Discussion. 

A literary toolbox for well-being, To Read Aloud invites you to take just ten minutes off, sit down with somebody you care about and share a passage of writing.

Christmas Ideas: Adult Fiction

Blue Dog, Louis de Bernieres - £7.99
When a family tragedy means Mick is sent to the outback to live with his Granpa, it looks as if he has a lonely life ahead of him. The cattle station is a tough place for a child, where nature is brutal and the men must work hard in the heat and dust. However, after a cyclone hits, things change for Mick.

Exploring the floodwaters, he finds a lost puppy covered in mud and half-drowned. Mick and his dog immediately become inseparable as they take on the adventures offered by their unusual home, and the business of growing up, together. In this charming prequel to the much-loved Red Dog, Louis de Bernieres tells the moving story of a young boy and his Granpa, and the charismatic and entertaining dog who so many readers hold close to their hearts.

The One, John Marrs - £7.99
How far would you go to find THE ONE? One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner - the one you're genetically made for. A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match.
But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking - and deadlier - than others...

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories, P.D. James - £7.99
P. D. James was frequently commissioned by newspapers and magazines to write a short story for Christmas, and four of the best have been drawn from the archives and published here together for the first time.

From the title story about a strained country-house Christmas party, to another about an illicit affair that ends in murder, plus two cases for detective Adam Dalgliesh, these are masterfully atmospheric stories by the acknowledged 'Queen of Crime'.

As A God Might Be, Neil Griffiths - £12.99
Proctor McCullough is 44 years old. When he decides to desert his comfortable, middle class life in London and build a church on a clifftop, nobody knows what to make of it; McCullough is not religious. Is it a midlife crisis? Has he gone mad? Is he a man who is suffering a spiritual crisis in a secular age, where identity is shaped by wealth and social media? Or has he really been chosen by God for a new revelation? 

McCullough finds himself torn between love for his family and group of local drifters who help him to build his church. When one of these drifters commits a shocking and devastating act to test his beliefs, McCullough finds himself pushed to the very limits of understanding and forgiveness.

The Furthest Station, Ben Aaronovitch - £12.99
There's something going bump on the Metropolitan line and Sergeant Jaget Kumar knows exactly who to call.It's PC Peter Grant's speciality . . .Only it's more than going 'bump'.

Traumatised travellers have been reporting strange encounters on their morning commute, with strangely dressed people trying to deliver an urgent message. Stranger still, despite calling the police themselves, within a few minutes the commuters have already forgotten the encounter - making the follow up interviews rather difficult. So with a little help from Abigail and Toby the ghost hunting dog, Peter and Jaget are heading out on a ghost hunting expedition. Because finding the ghost and deciphering their urgent message might just be a matter of life and death.

The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman - £16.99
Everyone needs a little magic in their lives... The Rules of Magic is the long-awaited prequel to Practical Magic. The Rules of Magic is a New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon's October Book Club pick! In this sparkling prequel we meet the Aunts from Practical Magic, sisters Frances and Jet and Vincent, their brother.

From the beginning their mother Susanna knew they were unique: Franny with her skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, who could commune with birds; Jet as shy as she is beautiful, who knows what others are thinking, and Vincent so charismatic that he was built for trouble. Susanna needed to set some rules of magic: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles and certainly, absolutely, no books about magic... But the Owens siblings are desperate to uncover who they really are.

Each heads down a life-altering course, filled with secrets and truths, devastation and joy, and magic and love. Despite the warning handed down through the family for centuries - Know that for our family, love is a curse - they will all strive to break the rules and find true love.

Munich, Robert Harris - £20
September 1938, Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.
The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there. Munich. As Chamberlain's plane judders over the Channel and the Fuhrer's train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own.
Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain's private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven't seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again.
When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood - £14.99
A stunning bespoke gift package featuring an iconic design from the prize-winning artist, Noma Bar, eye-catching sprayed edges and ribbon. The perfect present for those who like their beauty with a bit of bite. The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed.

If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Christmas Ideas: Children's Gift Books

Greatest Magical Stories by Michael Morpurgo - £14.99 

Award-winning children's writer and former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo has collected his greatest magical stories from all around the world and put them in one place. Here! From tiny heroes to talking frogs, and meddling fairies to mysterious sea creatures, this is a timeless collection to treasure forever. Beautiful colour illustrations bring the magical text to life.

There are lots of stories to choose from, including The Frog Prince, Sleeping Beauty, and a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk written by Michael Morpurgo. So whether you're looking for a quick read or a longer story to lose yourself in, something to read alone or a tale to share, there's a great magical story within for everyone to find. A sumptuous gift edition for young readers to treasure.

Harry Potter - A History of Magic : The Book of the Exhibition - £30 

Harry Potter: A History of Magic is the official book of the exhibition, a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Bloomsbury, J.K. Rowling and the brilliant
curators of the British Library. It promises to take readers on a fascinating journey through the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - from Alchemy and Potions classes through to Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures.

Each chapter showcases a treasure trove of artefacts from the British Library and other collections around the world, beside exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive. There's also a specially commissioned essay for each subject area by an expert, writer or cultural commentator, inspired by the contents of the exhibition.  

Absorbing, insightful and unexpected contributions from Steve Backshall, the Reverend Richard Coles, Owen Davies, Julia Eccleshare, Roger Highfield, Steve Kloves, Lucy Mangan, Anna Pavord and Tim Peake, who offer a personal perspective on their magical theme. Readers will be able to pore over ancient spell books, amazing illuminated scrolls that reveal the secret of the Elixir of Life, vials of dragon's blood, mandrake roots, painted centaurs and a genuine witch's broomstick, in a book that shows J.K.

Rowling's magical inventions alongside their cultural and historical forebears. This is the ultimate gift for Harry Potter fans, curious minds, big imaginations, bibliophiles and readers around the world who missed out on the chance to see the exhibition in person.

Beauty and the Beast by  Katie Haworth - £14.99 

When a merchant steals a rose from the garden of a terrifying beast, his daughter, Beauty, agrees to go to the beast's palace to save her father's life. The classic tale of Beauty and the Beast is retold here in a magnificent 'pop-up' format. 


Each page has three layers of paper, cut to give the impression of a 3D scene.  A triumph of paper engineering with wonderful illustrations by Dinara Mirtalipova. 


Dinosaurium by Lily Murray - £20

Welcome to the museum that is always open to explore... Step inside the pages of this beautiful book to discover galleries of dinosaurs, expertly curated to bring you the experience of a fascinating exhibition from the comfort of your own home.Dinosaurium features a wide range of dinosaurs from the most-loved Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex to lesser-known species such as Coelophysis and Tsintaosaurus. 

With stunning artwork from Chris Wormell (known for the cover of H is for Hawk and his picture books including George and the Dragon) and informative text with input from experts in palaeontology, Dinosaurium is the perfect gift for anyone with an interest in this fascinating field.Welcome to the Museum is a series of beautifully illustrated, stunningly curated, informative books for all ages.

From Animalium and Botanicum to Historium and Dinosaurium there is a book for everyone to discover and explore.

Untold Story of Father Christmas by Alison Battle & Mike Battle - £12.99

Have you ever wondered where Father Christmas came from? And how he ended up with a factory at the North Pole full of elves to help him make toys? A beautifully illustrated and timeless story about how a toymaker and his wife became Mother and Father Christmas for children all over the world.



The Snow Queen : A Pop-Up Adaption of a Classic Fairytale - £19.99



This new holiday book features amazing paper engineering and pop-ups from the same paper engineer that developed the best-selling "Snowflakes" title. This unique pop-up interpretation of a beloved Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is destined to be another classic to be enjoyed for years by the entire family. 

Search and Find A Christmas Carol - £12.99 

Discover the world of Charles Dickens with Search & Find A Christmas Carol. The popular, magical story is retold in beautifully illustrated search & find pages where you can find the characters on the busy pages and follow them through the story. Each page is full of characters to find and details to spot in the busy scenes, such as Scrooge in his counting house, the arrival of Jacob Marley's ghost, the Fezziwig Christmas party and the Cratchit family at home on Christmas Day and many more.

Beautiful illustrations are accompanied by abridged text, perfect for sharing with little ones and introducing them to Charles Dickens' stories. 

One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell - £14.99 

It's Christmas Eve and Theo - left at home with a babysitter - sees an odd-looking star out of his window and decides to make a wish.  He wishes that he had some friends to keep him company.  Moments later, the Christmas decorations begin to disentangle themselves from the tree behind him, ready to wreak a little havoc.....

Written with generous helpings of warmth and humour, this is a story about treasuring the people and values that really matter at this time of year from master storyteller and bestselling children's author Katherine Rundell. Emily Sutton's breathtaking illustrations perfectly capture the magic of Christmas in stunning detail.

Christmas Ideas: Children's Activity Books

Super Structures by Ian Graham - £14.99

From the Ancient Pyramids to the Eiffel Tower, get ready to take a close-up look at man-made structures. Super Structures is a unique interactive book that not only traces the history but also explores the science behind these incredible engineering feats. In addition, the book is accompanied by a model kit to make the different types of constructions and then conduct tests to see how they work!

The Kit includes a 48-page paperback book, pegboard and sturdy, card pieces, plus plastic nuts, bolts and string to make 10 structures.

I'm a Unicorn Hairdresser, illustrated by Karen Wolcott - £7.99

The first title in a unique new novelty series that features lovely hair that the reader can style! Create different hairstyles for your princess customer on every page by using the glittery plastic comb and hairbands. Will it be plaits or bunches today? A step-by-step guide will show you how to create the looks. 

A must-have interactive hairdresser novelty book that all aspiring little stylists will want, beautifully illustrated by Karen Wolcott.

Pirates Magnified by David Long, Harry Bloom - £14.99

Ahoy shipmate! Grab your magnifying glass and seek out history's most notorious pirates in this swashbuckling search-and-find adventure, packed with over 200 things to spot! 

Explore the lives of 10 real pirates and learn about life on the high seas, whilst using the free magnifying glass to spot more than 200 pirate-themed items in each eye-boggling illustration. Kids will have fun using the magnifying glass to search whilst learning about real life pirates in this seafaring adventure!


Nadiya's Bake Me a Festive Story by Nadiya Hussain - £14.99

Join Great British Bake Off sensation Nadiya Hussain for scrumptious stories and
delicious bakes that the family can enjoy together at Christmas. Christmas is a time when families come together. 

This unique combination of storybook and cookbook, with all recipes and stories devised and written by Nadiya herself, brings families into the kitchen to share this special time of year through cooking and stories.

  • Go on an adventure to the Snow Queen's palace, then make her treacle icecream
  • Make and decorate cheesy-feet biscuits, then read the story about where all the odd socks go at Christmas time
  • Meet some very confused elves in The Elves and the Chouxmaker, then bake your own lemon choux buns- 
  • Read Nadiya's version of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, then cook a scrumptious nut roast. 
Combining playful photography of Nadiya and her children with vibrant illustrations by Clair Rossiter, this glorious celebration of the joy of sharing food and stories is the perfect Christmas gift.