Posted by: billpurdue | July 11, 2011

Favourite author number 1

Last time I promised that I would write more about two authors whose novels I have enjoyed over the years, but first I need to alert you to some brand new blockbusters which Margaret at W H Smith, Mansfield was very excited about when I spoke to her earlier this week. First of all new paperback editions of some Stephen King novels were released last week. These include Full Dark, No Stars, Gerald’s Game and Misery. A new paperback of the latest Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan series called Spider Bones was also out on 7th July.  On the same day the new hardback by Karin Slaughter  Fallen. was released.


Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated new title at W H Smith Mansfield is the fifth book in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R R Martin: Dance with Dragons. There has been much publicity about this new title – hence all the enquiries.

My final new fiction title is not perhaps a blockbuster, but has been very well received none the less. A book signing was held at Scarthin Books recently for  local author Sue Hepworth. But I told you last Year that I Loved You [Delicately Nuanced £7.99 978-0956845702], is described as “a portrait of a mature marriage at a crossroads”. This is a self published book and Sue helpfully explains on her blog how self publishing works.

Favourite author number 1

If like me you can remember the hilarious TV series about Reginald Perrin, then I suppose you are showing your age, but I can still remember vividly some of the scenes from the small screen. I can also remember some of the favourite phrases used by some of the characters. I need only mention “I didn’t get where I am today by…..” for a start. The series of three books which make up The Reginald Perrin Omnibus [Arrow £16.99 978-0099436669] is still available and  consists of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, The Return of Reginald Perrin and The Better World of Reginald Perrin, by that master of humorous writing David Nobbs.

David Nobbs isn’t of course famous just for his Reggie Perrin series. I read Second from Last in the Sack Race many years ago and found it so funny and so true to the area of South Yorkshire, where the beginning of the novel is set. I had to have my own copy, so I splashed out on the hardback. This title is still widely available, though it appears to be out of print now. The novel is about the early life of Henry Pratt and was followed by Pratt of the Argus and finally The Cucumber Man – about Henry’s job at the “Cucumber Marketing Board”. I’ve read all three, but I think Second from last… is the funniest. You can still buy all three novels in one volume, called The Complete Pratt [Arrow £14.99 978-0099498353].

Of course those aren’t the only novels by David Nobbs and he is still bringing them out – his latest is It had to be You [Harper £7.99 978-0007286294] which has been described in The Guardian as  “painfully hilarious, wonderfully observed and slightly sour at the same time”.

David Nobbs grew up in the south of England, but worked as a journalist for a time at the Sheffield Star, where he met Peter Tinniswood, of whom more next time.

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