Posted by: billpurdue | January 11, 2010

82 Deric, Gervase and more

It was last November when I dropped in on the Mansfield Woodhouse Library Readers’ Circle and this week  in the Chad(Wed. 13th Jan), I’ll be telling you all about my visit. At that particular meeting the Circle was discussing the book which they had just read over the previous month – Deric Longden’s Paws in the Proceedings, which is his latest book about life at home with a menagerie of cats [Corgi £7.99 9780552153119]. It was described as a “pleasant interlude between more serious reading “ by one of the members, though others (mainly cat lovers I suspect) quite enjoyed the book. The previous month they had read a book by D H Lawrence, so I suppose it was a bit like from the sublime to the ridiculous. Not that Deric Longden hasn’t written some more serious stuff: Lost for Words for example, about his mum in her declining years. The book was made into a play for Yorkshire TV in 1999.

I wonder what the Circle would think of books by Gervase Phinn.  Professor Gervase Phinn taught in a range of schools for fourteen years before becoming an education adviser and school inspector. He is now a freelance lecturer, broadcaster and writer as well as working in various capacities for three universities. He has been hailed as a born raconteur and writes a weekly column for the Yorkshire Post entitled “Yorkshire Life”. He now has a string of books to his name, the most recent being A Load of Old Tripe [Michael Joseph £10 9780718155513] about eleven year old Jimmy Johnson growing up in the industrial landscape of South Yorkshire.

His next book is Road to the Dales [Michael Joseph 978-0718149116 no price available) which will be out in March. This is about his early childhood. His series of five Dales books will be issued with new covers this Spring.

Out this month is a new novel from the pen of Neil Cross, an author I haven’t come across so far. In Captured [Simon and Schuster £12.99 9781847373977] Kenny, an artist, discovers he has a terminal illness and in the time he has left decides to find his childhood friend, Callie Barton, who was very kind to him at school. Callie, however, has disappeared, believed to have been murdered. Her husband was suspected of her murder, but no proof was found, so now he has remarried. Kenny decides to find out what happened and avenge Callie’s death.

The trial in Italy last year of Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher was headline news across the world. In Darkness Descending [Simon and Schuster £7.99 9781847398628] TV producer Paul Russell, crime writer Graham Johnson and Luciano Garofano, a forensics expert, claim to reveal the full truth behind this sensational murder and trial. Graham Johnson says there was no “smoking gun” evidence which might prove conclusively that those convicted were guilty, so we are likely to here more in the news about this in the next 12 months.

Finally one of the really nice books I got for Christmas; Memories of Steam – reliving the golden age of railways [ David and Charles, £25,9780715329566]. Yes, I know it’s full of nostalgia – reminiscences about railways and lots of lovely back and white (and some colour) photos, but it’s just the book to browse through sitting by the fire on a cold winter’s day when it’s snowing outside.

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