Posted by: billpurdue | December 10, 2008

34 My personal choice for 2008

Pinxton’s Heroes

That’s the title of the book launched at Pinxton Parish Hall (Derbyshire) on Saturday last (Dec 6th) and a very successful occasion it was too. Unfortunately I arrived a little too late to hear Dennis Skinner MP who, I’m told, gave a very good speech. I did manage a photo of all four of the authors of this well researched and well presented book [ Pinxton’s Heroes £10 9780956094506 ]

Stanley Berrill, Jennie Taylor, Donald Pryor and John Meredith

from left to right: Stanley Berrill, Jennie Taylor, Donald Pryor and John Meredith

Pinxton’s Heroes is available from two Pinxton locations – Tilly’s Greengrocery and Florist, Wharf Road and Pinxton Pharmacy, Victoria Road as well as from The French House at the East Midlands Designer Outlet. I’ve got my copy already!

More on faster reading

Following last week’s posting about speeding up your reading, I received a comment from Abby Marks Beale, who is the author of The Complete Idiot’s guide to Speed Reading [Alpha Books £16.95 978-1592577781 ], pointing out that there is a new online course on speed reading at as well as a YouTube introduction by the lady herself and a sample of what the course is like. That is certainly more in my line, though of course it is aimed at business professionals – after all you wouldn’t make much money by designing a course for those who just read for pleasure. I checked both Notts and Derbyshire libraries online catalogues, but it doesn’t appear to be in stock at the moment. I should also point out that Tony Buzan has also written a number of books on speed reading and general “mind improvement” matters.

My choice for 2008

To some people this will be a very strange choice, but if you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you will no doubt remember some of the titles in this list. However, I’ve included a few other books that I’ve come across, which can’t be left out.


The Great Western Beach [ Bloomsbury, £14.99, 9780747595915] by Emma Smith – a good page turner

That’s Another Story: the Autobiography by Julie Walters
[ Wieidenfeld £18.99 978-0297852063]

Fiction – 5 of my best reads of the year (though not necessarily published in 2008)

The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer [Faber £12.99 9780571240982 ]

The Big Easy by Jasper Fforde [ Hodder £7.99 9780340897102 ] Weird and wacky, but absorbing.

One Big Damn Puzzler by John Harding [Black Swan £7.99 9780552999809]

Gone with the Windsors by Laurie Graham. Harper Perennial £6.99. 9780007146765

The last Family in England by Matt Haig Vintage 9780099468455 – that’s the “doggie” story, if you remember.

Non fiction

True crime

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes. Vintage £7.99 9780099492733

Sport – no question about this one: it has to be – John Lomas Mansfield Town: the end of an Era [ atHeart, £12.99 9781845472153 ]

Railways – more indulgence!

Derbyshire Times Railway Album by Clive Hardy [ atHeart £14.99 9781845472009 ].


Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food [ Michael Joseph £25 –9780718148621] – These recipes are easy enough for me to attempt and the ingredients are on the whole easily available !

Maw Broon’s Cookbook Waverley Books £9.95 9781902407456 – cookery with Scottish humour


Books by Carol Klein: Grow Your Own Veg £16.99 9781845332938 ; Cook Your Own Veg 9781845334079 £16.99 and now Grow your own Fruit to be published in January 9781845334345. All titles published by Mitchell Beazley. Look out for the two “veg” books as a 2 volume set


Charles McKean, Battle for the North [Granta £9.99 9781862079403] – it’s not just about railway history, honest!

Local History

Picture the past: Mansfield by the Old Mansfield Society [Breedon Books £14.99 9781859836491]. There’s also Picture the Past: Nottingham by Geoffrey Oldfield 978-1859835777 and Picture the past: The Peak District by Neil Bettridge 9781859836422 , both at £14.99 – all are good quality photographic albums



  1. Whoa, nice choices, I do like One Big Damn Puzzler by John Harding a lot, been re-reading it for like a week…

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