The Bible

For the last Christmas Week post, a tiny book that reminds me what Christmas is all about. Not just its important religious aspect, but love, family and the people we miss at Christmas. This little Bible belonged to my Nanny Turner, but, as the inscription shows, it originally belonged to her little sister Pat, who died…

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)

Today’s ‘Christmas Week’ selection is a veritable Christmas institution. A Christmas Carol  was founded on the emerging Victorian festive traditions of trees, cards and carols to become the literary embodiment of Christmas. We all know the redemption-laden tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser transformed into a much nicer bloke via some ghostly Yuletide visitations. This…

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie (1938)

Next up as part of Christmas Week here at Brontë’s Page Turners, an Agatha Christie classic that will make you very grateful for the relative uneventfulness of your Christmas family gathering, whatever its other challenges! Christmas is a mega family affair, but I’m sure we all struggle at some point with enforced family assemblies during…

Talking Turkeys – Benjamin Zephaniah

Yesterday as part of Christmas Week at Brontë’s Page Turners,  we pondered on the peculiar nature of Christmas traditions through the ages. For me, the most peculiar tradition is our obsession with turkey. Beef? Yes. Lamb? Go on. More pigs in blankets  please mother. But turkey – nah mate. In Talking Turkeys, Benjamin Zephaniah makes…

Christmas Entertainments: 1740

This week at Brontë’s Page Turners we’ll be getting in the festive mood with a selection of Yuletide-themed literary treats. Christmas Entertainment 1740 is a reproduction of an 18th century tract about all things festive. It is published by the excellent Pryor Publications who specialize in facsimile reproductions of old books. It may be almost…

366 Days: Compelling Stories From World History by Scott Allsop

So, my old University mucker Scott  – Mr Allsop to you and I – has written a book. Scott has dedicated his career as an award-winning history teacher to engaging the young ‘uns in history, to spread the nerdy joy of history (so much nerdy joy!) and equip the next generation with the historian’s ability…

Les Tres Riches Heures Du Duc De Berry (1416)

This week’s Random Book of the Week was a beautiful bargain find at one of the legendary basement sales at Any Amount of Books in Charing Cross Road. These basement sales tend to turn London bibliophiles into madder versions of their already mad bibliophile selves. I once got chatting to a very old man who,…

Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas

‘All wars are full of stories that sound like fiction.’ Soldiers of Salamis is the tale of an author searching for the truth in one of those stories, and questioning why we obsess about war stories in the first place. The story in dispute is a real-life Nationalist general’s escape from a Republican firing squad…