Vital Little Plans launch


To mark the publication of ‘Vital Little Plans’, our anthology of Jane Jacobs’ shorter writings, Short Books and the Architecture Foundation are hosting an event at Hoxton Hall. Come along to hear two of our most perceptive and articulate commentators on the built environment, Will Self and Owen Hatherley discuss Jacobs’ lasting legacy as an urban theorist and activist.

When: 7pm-9pm Wednesday, 5th July 2017

Where: Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton St, N1 6SH

Cost: £24, tickets entitle purchasers to admission and a copy of “Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs”, which features an introductory essay by Will Self (regular retail price: £16.99).  Copies of the book can be picked up on the night.

Let’s Get Crinking!


Stop the clock.

We are proud to announce our first ever ‘Crinking’ evening – aka colouring & drinking- to celebrate the finest colouring book published this year, The Mindless Colouring Book by Molly Manners & Alex Worrall. Hosted at our local independent bookshop INK@84 on Thursday 10th November, 7-9pm

Lose yourself in this compendium of oddities with the authors Molly & Alex, and relax your frazzled mind with rainbow cocktails and colouring in to suit all levels. Colouring pencils will be provided.

Take a sneak preview of the hilarious oddities that are contained this delightful book:





Win a Weekend Away

Three Things web image“It was the most unexpected and enchanting sight – slated rooftops of different shapes and sizes stretched before me; the stones grey green and blue, each unique, filled with personality, age and a weather-beaten history. I was in sensory heaven. Everything was so beautiful, so clean, green and fresh…’You’re not in Kansas any more Dorothy,’ I said to myself again…”

Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets is out today coinciding with American Independence Day and what better way to celebrate than to launch the Short Books Summer Competition.

Intrigued by the extract above? Read on here, here and in an independent bookshop near you. And enter our summer competition to win a weekend away for 2* in Wigtown, Scotland aka Jessica’s sensory heaven.

How to enter? It’s easy. Whether it’s sitting on the bus as you commute to work, or curled up on an uncomfortable windowsill desperately trying to catch the last few rays of sunshine, we’d love to know: where’s your favourite place to read?

Just like Jessica has, send us a photo of you and your copy of Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets in your favourite place to read. The book is available on Amazon, at Waterstones or at an independent bookshop near you.

Fence web image

You can send in your photo in 1 of 3 ways:

Tweet us: @shortbooksUK

Facebook us: on the Short Books page


Email us:**

The quirkier and more inventive your picture, the better because the photo with the most likes or retweets WINS.

*Sneak peek of beautiful Lochancroft cottage here. The weekend can be booked between Oct 2013 and March 2014. The competition ends 31st July, 2013. Winner to be announced on that date.

**The photos that are submitted via email, will be posted on the Short Books twitter & facebook pages. Don’t forget to encourage your friends to retweet or like the photo -to increase your chances of winning!


Competition to be announced July 4th

Three Things web image

Stay tuned for an exciting competition that will be announced along with the mass market release of Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets by Jessica A Fox.

If you like reading, travelling and getting creative – this is the competition for you!

Check back next Thursday July 4th for full details.

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and sign up to our mailing list to cover all your bases and make sure you DON’T MISS OUT.

Top 100 Summer Reads

The Sunday Times published their Top 100 Summer Reads this weekend and we were thrilled to see The White Lie in there.


It has a fabulous new paperback jacket too and that will be in the shops on July 5th. What do you think?

(4 days later…) Oh, and I have now just seen that The White Lie has also been selected by the lovely Mumsnet as one of their Summer Reads too. It is so great to see this novel building a following as everyone who reads it raves about it and we love it here in the office.

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.



Day Two of the 3 Hungry Boys competition

Looks like there are a lot of people out there that haven’t bought all their Christmas presents yet judging by the level of frenzied activity!

But @Cotswold_Missy <>  who retweeted us on Twitter can breathe a sigh of relief because she now has a signed copy of the 3 Hungry Boys book for under her tree!

For the rest of you, don’t despair because each day this week there is another chance to win one of their books.

And that brings us neatly to today’s challenge. Over to them:

We’ve left their travel arrangements to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for our last trips and each time he has plumbed new depths in terms of a lack of preparation and research. Our first trip, no money, tiny little van, no sun, midges, not exactly the summer adventure we were expecting. Our second trip, again no money, a 3.5 ton electric van that didn’t like hills, no sun loungers or cocktails in fake pineapples and definitely no 5 star hotels.

He’s walking on thin ice at the moment and we are thinking of sacking him in favour of a new trip planner. If you were left in charge of our travel arrangements where would you send us and what would you have us do? Send us your ideas on Twitter (@3hungryboys) including the hashtag #3HB or Facebook ( <> ) and we’ll be picking our favourite suggestion as a winner. You have until 9pm to get your entries in and we will be announcing the winners tomorrow morning. Who knows if your suggestions are good enough you might well find yourself organizing our next trip!


Part 3: Thom’s Rabbit Ragu

Rabbit Ragu

Rabbit is one of the leanest, healthiest and most sustainable meats available in the UK. When you slow cook it until it falls off the bone in a healthy tomato based sauce (containing the excellent antioxidant Lycopene ) you have got yourself an all-round, cheap easy and amazingly healthy supper.


Ingredients (feeds 4/5 people)

1kg rabbit meat, on the bone
200g of streaky bacon, pancetta or minced pork
A few good glugs of olive oil or a couple of good knobs of butter
3 x 400g tins chopped tomato’s
1 x 200g tube of tomato puree
1-2 glasses of red wine, something full-bodied like rioja or cabinet sauvignon
2 medium onions
4 cloves garlic
Half a grated nutmeg
A good handful of fresh basil
1 tsp of dried basil or mixed herbs
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper (about 20g of salt will be right. It may seem a lot but there is nothing that brings out the flavour in tomato’s like salt)

The Method

The great thing about this recipe is that you only need to use 1 large stewing pot from start to finish, just make sure it will be big enough to fit everything in!

Melt the butter or oil in the bottom of your large pan and add the chopped onion and garlic to soften until golden brown, this will really give depth of flavour.

Next add the bacon/pork on top and brown, drawing out the fat in the pork. Rabbit has virtually no natural fat in it and the pork will add a little plus another great meaty dimension of flavour. Lastly add the rabbit joints for a few minutes before, quite simply, chucking all the other ingredients in apart from the fresh basil, popping the lid on and putting in the oven at 170-180 degrees for a minimum of 2 hours, stirring every 45 minutes to an hour. Young rabbits will be ready from one and a half to two hours, more mature rabbits may take up to 3 hours before the meat EASILY falls of the bone and is lovely and tender.

5 minutes before serving add plenty of chopped, fresh basil and 1-2 tbsp of crème fraiche or single cream if you fancy giving the sauce a slightly thicker, shiny glaze.

Come and join the Birdwatching with your Eyes Closed blog tour

Welcome to the new site!

Welcome, welcome, welcome to Short Books’ new website and this, our news and events blog. We are very pleased to see you and hope that our new-fangled website will mean that we can see and hear much more from all our visitors in the future. We love to know what our readers think of our books and if you would like to get in touch with us or our authors you can either email or go onto the Short Books Club Blog and leave us a comment – we promise to reply as quickly as we can.

To stay up to date with our latest catalogues and news, sign up on the ‘Trade’ page of the website. We won’t bombard you with emails but will make sure you know all the important bits of what we are getting up to. Meanwhile, The Short Books Club Blog, over on t’other page, is going great guns and we now have over 200 book clubs signed up and reviewing our books. Each month we offer ten free copies of one of our latest titles to ten book groups across the country – and they then come and review them with us and the other clubs who have read it. Author interviews, reading guides and free offers will all take place here. If you would like to receive notices and join the club just sign up on the Club page.

So we hope you enjoy our new site and please be forgiving of any small glitches that may rear their ugly faces in the teething stages – we will endeavour to make it plain sailing from here on but when did that plan ever work…?!

Best wishes

The Short Books Team



The Baskerville Legacy goes on the road

Well, after that spate of ridiculously summery weather, things seems to be reverting to type and autumn is setting in. It’s that time of year when you want to cosy in with a great, atmospheric read – none of that whimsy you’ve been reading over the summer. It just so happens that John O’Connell has written just the thing (fancy that!). Based on real events, The Baskerville Legacy is a real creeper of a novel that brings to life the much-debated story of the writing of The Hounds of the Baskervilles. Did Conan-Doyle really author the book or was it stolen from its inventor, Bertram Fletcher Robinson? Set on Dartmoor, it is not a tale to be read late at night…

AND for all you Sherlock Holmes fans, John O’Connell will be talking at Clapham Waterstones on Oct 20th. He is fascinating to listen to on the subject and there will no doubt be plenty of debate as to what really did happen between Conan-Doyle and Fletcher-Robinson…