Short Books Club

September Book Giveaway!

The seasons they are a-changing, bringing with them our latest release…

 

9781780721835 Web image smallerOnce again, the time-honoured premise of parodying history books is employed with gusto in Sarah Burton’s The Complete and Utter History of the World According to Samuel Stewart Aged 9. Simon Schama this isn’t, nevertheless, the original historical puns and malapropisms (notably Nell Gywn being described as the “Royal Mattress”) compel you to laugh out loud at the turn of every page. Samuel Stewart, the precocious “author”, charmingly comments on key events with deadpan details from his own life e.g. likening Hitler’s unfortunate hairstyle to that of his father. A Nigel Molesworth for the 21st century, his self-assured “flair” for history is counterpointed by a comic weakness for accuracy – meaning that the more of a history buff you are, the funnier it is! All in all, if you’re looking for an up-to-date version of 1066 and All That or Horrible Histories with more mistakes and less gore; then this is the book for you!

So, this month we’re doing a slightly more interactive giveaway than previously. But, in the words of Douglas Adams, DON’T PANIC! It’s easy. Just send in a paragraph saying which historical era you think defines your book club OR send in a picture of any of your members in fancy dress as their favourite historical figure e.g. Shakespeare.

Shakespeare

Send your entries to us at bookclub@shortbooks.co.uk to claim your free copy. Don’t forget to cite the name of your book club and your mailing address. The deadline for this is Friday 18th October. We look forward to hearing from you!  

Web Image (Author)

 

Sarah Burton is currently director of the Creative Writing MSt Programme and Tutor in Writing for Children and Short Story Writing at the University of Cambridge.

Her biography of Charles and Mary Lamb, shortlisted for the 2003 Mind Book of the Year, was published by Penguin Books, as was Impostors: A True Study of Deception.

We’re back!

All has been rather quiet on the blog front for quite some time, but luckily this means time is passing and summer must be creeping towards us; although, for any Londoners checking in, you may have a hard time believing it. What better way to delude ourselves that warm days will eventually be here to stay than by escaping to the streets of Barcelona in Jordi Puntí’s Lost Luggage? This remarkable and at times downright hilarious novel, recounts the story of four brothers -sons of one enigmatic father and four very different mothers- who grow up separately. When the brothers meet for the first time, they determine to piece together the intriguingly elusive life of their father, Gabriel Delacruz, whom Puntí aptly describes as a ‘passive Don Juan’.

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As a welcome back to the Short Books Club, we’re thrilled to be giving out up to five free copies of Lost Luggage to the first five book clubs to get in touch. We hope you’ll enjoy this thrilling read! Write to us at bookclub@shortbooks.co.uk to claim your free copy and don’t forget to cite the name of your book club and your mailing address.

 

 

The House on Paradise Street is shooting up the charts…

Move aside Fifty Shades!

Congratulations – 5000 followers!

The JM Barrie Ladies Swimming Society hits 5000 followers on Facebook! To celebrate this and the 4th of July – we are giving away copies of The JM Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society book, notepads, bookmarks and some fabulous vintage bathing caps! ‘Share’ this photo on The JM Barrie Ladies Facebook page and tell us who you would recommend the book to and why… we will be giving prizes away to the best answers. And just in case you need reminding how gorgeous those bathing caps are here’s a brilliant picture…

 

Not just any old pond…

The brilliant Barbara Zitwer talks about the importance of wild swimming and why the Hampstead Ladies Pond is so important to her in particular. If you want to follow Barbara’s progress with The JM Barrie Ladies Swimming Society, you can visit her excellent Facebook page that is gathering followers quicker than Micheal Phelps can swim a length…

 

Stylish…

The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Club has been gathering much deserved attention in the press in that past couple of weeks, not least due to the remarkable story behind the writing of the novel. Inspiration can come from the unlikeliest places as Barbara recounted in this week’s Sunday Times Style magazine.

 

 

 

 

Launching into the cold!

Adverse weather conditions never stopped the members of the J.M. Ladies’ Swimming Society from taking a dip and so it was at the fantastic launch of Barbara J. Zitwer’s novel at the Hampstead Heath Ladies Pond today. Wind, rain, freezing temperatures? They were simply mild irritants to the wonderful collection of friends, fans, journalists and the members of the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association, who met at the pond this morning to toast the publication of Barbara’s novel and to take a dip themselves. It was a great celebration of the restorative, invigorating and rather chilly pursuit of wild swimming and a very fitting launch for The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society

 

They took to it like ducks to water…

Will she, won’t she. Barbara tests the water…

And she is in! A unique way to celebrate the publication of your novel…

 

Hot tea and cakes await the swimmers. many thanks to the brilliant High Tea of Highgate for the fantastic cakes and sandwiches – truly delicious!

Barbara (left) warms up with a well-deserved cup of tea.

 

 

Calling all Londoners… tea, cakes and a touch of frostbite?

A lovely review of  Barbara J. Zitwer’s The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society in the Daily Mail today. As they so rightly point out with a combination of Peter Pan, wild swimming and a group of feisty octogenarians, what’s not to love? And for those of you that do enjoy dipping your toes into icy waters, the author Barbara is going to be launching her novel at, yes, you guessed it, Hampstead Ladies Pond on April 19th. There will be tea, cakes, a bookshop and surprise surprise a quick dip for those that feel they are made of steely stuff. If you would like to come and join us please email clemmie@shortbooks.co.uk. In the true spirit of The J.M. Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society – everyone is welcome.

Leap to it… free books on offer

We never need much of an excuse to celebrate and we thought the leap year would be as good as any…

So we have ten free copies of The House on Paradise Street by Sofka Zinovieff up for grabs. All you have to do is leave a comment – first ten to do so get a copy!

Sofka’s debut novel is garnering some serious attention at the moment and it hasn’t yet published. Out on March 1st – it is set to get wide coverage over the national press in coming weeks. After all, Greece is quite topical these days…

For all those of you who are members of book clubs – this is a title you should be recommending to your groups – it has something for everyone from history, to romance, to politics and family feuds. It will definitely lead to some great discussions and everyone will thank you for helping them understand a tiny bit more exactly what has happened in Greece and how it’s past has played such a strong role in today’s crisis.

 

Ready steady…

Just a little heads up… free copies of The House on Paradise Street by Sofka Zinovieff will be up for grabs on Wednesday. Only ten copies available so get ready to LEAP to it…!