Posted by: billpurdue | May 17, 2010

99 Aircraft wrecks, Robin Hood and Josephine Cox

Aircraft wrecks

In January 1945 two Lancaster bombers crashed in separate incidents near the village of Hoveringham in Nottinghamshire. Both crews lost their lives. Fast forward now to the 21st century and when Lady Helen Nall was trying out her new metal detector on her land, she came across what appeared to be an ordinary piece of scrap metal, but which her brother recognised as a part of an aircraft. It was from one of the planes that crashed all those years ago.

Lady Helen decided to research the series of events and has succeeded in tracking down the families of the aircrew. Now she has put all the results of her research into a book called The Courage of the Small Hours [£10.99 978-0956550002] which was published recently. There is to be a memorial service at the end of the month. Find out more from the “This is Nottingham” website.

May – Robin Hood Month in Notts

Last week saw the release of the new film about Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe.  The film tie-in book Robin Hood: the story behind the legend [Tor Books £6.99 978-0765366276]by David Coe was published earlier this month. Of course there are dozens of books about Robin Hood, but there’s another new title which is supposed to be the true story behind the legend: A Brief History of Robin Hood by Nigel Cawthorne [Robinson Publishing £8.99 978-1849013017] came out at the end of April. Mr Cawthorne is the author of about 80 books (so far) and has contributed to many more. One of his series of books is the “Sex Lives..” series – Sex Lives of the Popes; Sex Lives of the US Presidents etc etc.

Successor to Catherine Cookson?

When the last of Catherine Cookson’s many books had been published, everyone, particularly public librarians, began to speculate which author might succeed Catherine Cookson as the most popular author  as far as library issues were concerned. I remember that Josephine Cox was tipped to become the successor, but in my experience this didn’t happen. In fact no author seems to have truly taken her place.

Josephine Cox was at that time and still is extremely popular: her latest book is out in paperback this month: Divorced and Deadly [Harper £6.99 978-0007301430]. Josephine Cox began writing the “Divorced and Deadly” stories for signed up members on her website. They are all about Ben Buskin and his friend Dickie Manse. Ben is caught in bed with his wife’s best friend and gets the heave ho. Being totally unable to cope on his own, he eventually moves in with his best mate Dickie. Together they stagger from one disaster to another, including a holiday in Blackpool where things go totally haywire. Sounds like some kind of domestic disaster novel, but it appears to be Ms Cox trying to prove that a man can’t cope on his own. It’s supposed to be really funny.

National Family Week

From 31st May to 6th June it’s the National Family Week in Britain. What’s this got to do with reading? – well June 2nd has been set aside as the Family Week Story Time day when parents are being encouraged to spend a little time reading with their children. The National Literacy Trust says that when parents read with their children or encourage them to read in other ways, they do better at school . In fact, says the Trust “Without adequate literacy skills a child is less likely to succeed at school and to become a happy and confident young person”. Let’s hope the message gets through to as many parents as possible who will heed the advice and share stories and read with their children throughout the year.

For more information go to the NLT website

As the next posting will be my 100th, I’ll be looking back at some of the best books I have come across in the past 2 and a bit years. I’ll also have an interview with Jane Streeter who organises the annual Lowdham Book Festival. At the time of writing, the Lowdham Book Festival 2010 website is in preparation. In a few days’ time try


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