www.booksmonthly.co.uk  December 11th 2013 Supplement                                                                                                                  >>>>>Contact me

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Books always make the best Christmas gifts... there are another fourteen titles to choose from in this second of three weekly supplements...

More great books for Xmas!

Plenty of time to order copies of these fantastic books, or even pick them up in your local bookshop or supermarket... Final supplement will be uploaded Thursday 19th December - there will be more!


Daniel Falconer: The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug: Chronicles - Art and Design


Published by Harper Collins, Hardback


The ultimate celebration of the second Hobbit movie reveals the full creative vision of the art and design teams with more than 1,000 exclusive images and photos, including designs and concepts that never made it to the big screen. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles – Art & Design explores and celebrates the creative vision of the second film in Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. This lavish volume follows Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin’s Company of Dwarves eastward, through hitherto unseen regions of Middle-earth, on their quest to reclaim the lost realm of Erebor from the Dragon Smaug. Exploring the design and development of the environments, cultures, creatures and artefacts encountered by the characters, it is filled with more than 1,000 stunning images of conceptual art, supplementary photographs and detailed commentary provided by the film’s cast and crew. As a bonus feature, unique to this book, there is a special fold-out replica of the portrait of the Master of Lake-town, played by Stephen Fry, exactly as it appears in the film. Compiled by Weta Workshop senior concept designer Daniel Falconer, this is the third book in The Hobbit: Chronicles series and it has been created in full collaboration with key members of the production’s creative team to ensure the most comprehensive and authentic film companion possible.


Books Monthly says: This is the third of Daniel Falconer's superb "Chronicles" - It seems to me that the producers of the Hobbit movies have authorised far more commemorative books than was the case with Lord of the Rings - I'm not complaining, far from it! The three books so far published about the Desolation of Smaug are superb, and this third in the Chronicles is a magnificent addition to the collection of Hobbit books. I think the reason for the outpouring of technical and artistic material lies in the fact that there have been so many advances in the techniques that lie behind the enormous amount of prosthetic, make-up and costume work, and the producers (and authors) wish to share that with us. Of the three books so far, Chronicles is going to be the most collectable. It is another triumph for the publishers, and a brilliant collection of articles on how the second part of the Hobbit trilogy has come to fruition. More than anything, this book is a tribute to the concept artists who take on board Peter Jackson and the other directors' ideas and suggestions, and translate them into artworks that inspire and inform the production teams - it's a little like viewing at an exclusive art gallery of the superlative pencil sketches and full-colour paintings of the foremost artists in the world who have gathered together to produce the most amazing renderings of scenes, characters and artefacts from one of the world's best-loved fantasy stories. The film critics may sit in their ivory towers and proclaim that what they call "a slim volume" (389 pages in the latest paperback film tie-in version - hardly slim!) should not be made into over nine hours of film, but the answer to that is that the team have not just filmed THE HOBBIT, but also a huge part of the appendices to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, along with parts of Middle Earth history from Tolkien's prolific output. I don't believe any genuine LOTR and Hobbit fan will complain about the fact there are three films - I've just finished reading LOTR again, and have noticed some subtle differences and ommissions in the film versions, but they remain the finest films I have ever seen and for me, the finest films that have ever been made. I see the three Hobbit films as a bonus, as an added treat for fans of the greatest fantasy work ever written, and I see these magnificent books from Harper Collins as the kind of souvenirs we longed for when we went to watch such brilliant films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Zulu - this is a vast project, on an unimaginable scale, as is evinced by the credits that run at the end of each film; these books are like precious gifts that remind us, even though we don't need to be reminded, of the enormous amount of work that has gone into making these films. I can report that a fourth CHRONICLES book is on its way, entitled CLOAKS AND DAGGERS, but as yet I have no release date and no further information. This latest Chronicle from Daniel Falconer is by far the best so far, and the previous two were absolutely superb in every way, so you know what to expect. Millions of people will by now have seen the second film. A huge proportion of those people will want something to commemorate Peter Jackson's genius while they await the DVD release, probably some time in May of 2014. This third Chronicle is the perfect gift for anyone who has seen the film and loves the work of Jackson on Middle Earth. The perfect book...


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J R R Tolkien: The Hobbit (Film tie-in edition)


Published by Harper Collins, Paperback


The classic bestseller behind this year’s biggest movie, this film tie-in edition features the complete story of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures in Middle-earth as shown in the film trilogy, with a striking cover image from Peter Jackson’s film adaptation and drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again’. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon… The prelude to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies since its publication in 1937, establishing itself as one of the most beloved and influential books of the twentieth century.


Books Monthly says: There will undoubtedly be a third paperback version of The Hobbit when the time comes for the release of the third movie in the trilogy - there's absolutely nothing different about this book to the first, except for the front cover, which is one of the official scenes from the second film, The Desolation of Smaug, which is premiered around the world round about now. As I say, there will probably be a third, and it's a joy to collect them all...


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End of Days: The Assassination of John F Kennedy by James Swanson


Published by Harper Collins, Hardback


In End of Days, James L. Swanson, the New York Times bestselling author of Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer, brings to life the minute-by-minute details of the JFK assassination—from the Kennedys' arrival in Texas through the shooting in Dealey Plaza and the shocking aftermath that continues to reverberate in our national consciousness fifty years later. The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, has been the subject of enduring debate, speculation, and numerous conspiracy theories, but Swanson's absorbing and complete account follows the event hour-by-hour, from the moment Lee Harvey Oswald conceived of the crime three days before its execution, to his own murder two days later at a Dallas Police precinct at the hands of Jack Ruby, a two-bit nightclub owner. Based on sweeping research never before collected so powerfully in a single volume, and illustrated with photographs, End of Days distills Kennedy's assassination into a pulse-pounding thriller that is sure to become the definitive popular account of this historic crime for years to come.


Books Monthly says: Several books already exist on the shooting of President John F Kennedy, and although there are still plenty of people who believe he was not killed by a shot from Oswald's rifle, no official contradiction of the accepted sequence of events has ever been published. The vast majority of people still believe that Oswald was responsible, despite compelling evidence that the shot that eventually killed JFK came from a different direction. The latest documentary to examine the evidence concluded that an agent running behind JFK's car took a shot, either accidentally or at a suspected assassin in the crowd, and it was his shot that killed the president. Whatever you believe, the desire to read about the tragedy has never been greater, now that we've reached the incredible milestone of the fiftieth anniversary of the incident that rocked the world. Swanson treats the whole thing as though it were a work of fiction, and writes a hugely enjoyable and very well constructed thriller around the events, a version so compelling as to be totally oberwhelming. The power of his words and the weight of evidence are also compelling, his style is magnetic and mesmerising - this is one of the most enjoyable accounts of the death of JFK I have ever read. If you only read one account, make it END OF DAYS... You won't regret it...


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The Obsidian Pebble by Rhys A Jones


Published by Spencer Hill Press, Paperback


11-year old Oz Chambers lives in a haunted house (Penwurt). His mother wants to move, but Oz would rather do double algebra (yuck) every day for twelve months than leave. Where others see spooky, Oz sees wonder and mystery and aching reminders of his deceased dad. When he and his friends hear ghostly footsteps in the boarded-up dorm at Halloween, it leads to an exploration of the old place's eerie reputation. In his Dad's locked study, Oz finds a parcel addressed to him and posted  the day before his father died. Inside is the obsidian pebble, the link to all of Penwurt's astonishing secrets. Suddenly Oz begins to change; he goes from maths dunce to A student overnight and has to deal with suspicious teachers and jealous pupils. But the footsteps in the locked rooms don't go away and slowly, Oz begins to knit together the strands of lies and mystery that tie the obsidian pebble, his father and him together. What Oz hasn't bargained for is that he's not alone in that search for understanding and that solving Penwurt's puzzles lead to other, much darker secrets that will test his loyalty and his bravery to the limit.


Books Monthly says: A superb children's adventure that harks back to the golden era of children's adventure literature from the middle of the 20th century, with echoes of Malcolm Saville in the plot, and of Anthony Buckeridge in the characters and the superb dialogue. It's a fantasy that takes an ordinary young boy and plants him firmly at the centre of things as he sets out with his friends and family to solve the mystery of Penwurt with the aid of the Obsidian Pebble. Rhys Jones has created a brilliant story filled with compelling and reader-friendly children and adults - how cool, how gorgeous is Oz's Mum? I can picture her, and she's possibly the best character in the book for me. Hugely enjoyable story - beautiful cover artwork, brilliant.


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Vicious by V E Schwab


Published by Titan Books, paperback


Victor and Eli started out as college roommates - brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find-aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the arch nemeses have set a course for revenge-but who will be left alive at the end?


Books Monthly says:  Thrill-a-minute thriller that takes you by the throat and makes you pay attention - the dialogue is sharp and sassy, the characters are brilliant. I can't fault it - it's the kind of edge of the seat thriller that deserves a movie make-over.


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Sam North: Doc Martin - Mistletoe and Wine


Published by Ebury Press, Paperback


Meet the ultimate Scrooge... The festive season in the small Cornish village of Portwenn is going to be anything but easy for curmudgeonly Doc Martin. His idea of a perfect Christmas Day is to remain steadfastly alone and catch up with back issues of The Lancet. However, Portwenn is fighting off the cold and frost with a period of determined revelry before it heads into its deep winter sleep, and his patients are even more exasperating than usual. Not to mention his on-off relationship with local school teacher, Louisa. It will take all of Doc Martin's willpower to fend off the attentions of the Christmas spirit...


Books Monthly says: I reviewed the first book in this series a few months back - I understand from the publishers that there are no plans for any further stories in the Doc Martin series, which is a huge shame, because the author, Sam North, has captured the flavour of the show and the minutiae of the characters to stunning perfection - it's impossible to collect every boxed set of the various series, and you'd probably only watch them once - there are repeats from time to time on terrestrial TV, but to be perfectly honest, I love reading about the characters and the place, and Sam's words remind me perfectly of the brilliant TV series that we've all come to love. Time was you could watch a TV programme and the next day find a half dozen paperbacks based on it to read and remind during the lone winter months - in those days few programmes were repeated, and the books were a welcome addition. I love these books, and Mistletoe and Wine is as good if not better than the first Doc Martin book. It's gentle, harmless fun, the perfect read for any time of the year...


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Eliza Granville: Gretel and the Dark


Published by Hamish Hamilton, Paperback


Gretel and the Dark is Eliza Granville's dazzling novel of darkness, evil - and hope. Vienna, 1899. Josef Breuer - celebrated psychoanalyst - is about to encounter his strangest case yet. Found by the lunatic asylum, thin, head shaved, she claims to have no name, no feelings - to be, in fact, not even human. Intrigued, Breuer determines to fathom the roots of her disturbance. Years later, in Germany, we meet Krysta. Krysta's Papa is busy working in the infirmary with the 'animal people', so little Krysta plays alone, lost in the stories of Hansel and Gretel, the Pied Piper, and more. And when everything changes and the real world around her becomes as frightening as any fairy tale, Krysta finds that her imagination holds powers beyond what she could have ever guessed . . . Eliza Granville was born in Worcestershire and currently lives in Bath. She has had a life-long fascination with the enduring quality of fairytales and their symbolism, and the idea for Gretel and the Dark was sparked when she became interested in the emphasis placed on these stories during the Third Reich.


Books Monthly says: For me, this is mostly about the Dark - the dark recesses of the human mind and the powers that fester there and eventually come to the fore when prompted by someone or some event. The author's style is one of Gothic horror, with more than a soupcon of fairy tale - it's chilling, and above all, dark. A compelling read that will foster dark thoughts in you as you reac it. A fairy tale for adults...


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Jeff Vandermeer: Annihilation - Volume One of the Southern Reach Trilogy


Published by Hamish Hamilton, Paperback


If J.J. Abrams and Margaret Atwood collaborated on a novel, it might look something like ‘Annihilation’, the first in an extraordinary trilogy. For thirty years, Area X, monitored by the secret agency known as the Southern Reach, has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border– an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness. Eleven expeditions have been sent in to investigate; even for those that have made it out alive, there have been terrible consequences. ‘Annihilation’ is the story of the twelfth expedition and is told by its nameless biologist. Introverted but highly intelligent, the biologist brings her own secrets with her. She is accompanied by a psychologist, an anthropologist and a surveyor, their stated mission: to chart the land, take samples and expand the Southern Reach’s understanding of Area X. But they soon find out that they are being manipulated by forces both strange and all too familiar. An unmapped tunnel is not as it first appears. An inexplicable moaning calls in the distance at dusk. And while each member of the expedition has surrendered to the authority of the Southern Reach, the power of Area X is far more difficult to resist. ‘Annihilation’ is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, which will be published throughout 2014: volume two (’Authority’) in May, and volume three (’Acceptance’) in September 2014.


Books Monthly says: Reminiscent of the movie The Thing, starring Kurt Ruseell, in many ways - Area X is somewhere you just wouldn't visit, knowing that the first eleven excursions have had such dire consequences for the men and women who made the trips. A skillful blend of science fiction and horror - a truly compelling read.


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The Fat Lady Sang by Ray Evans


Published by Harper Collins, Paperback


The Kid Stays in the Picture is considered to be one of the best Hollywood memoirs ever, and now Robert Evans' sensational life story continues in his much anticipated follow-up, The Fat Lady Sang. Told with Bob's unmistakable voice and panache, The Fat Lady Sang is full of even more outrageous and unbelievable stories about one of the most turbulent times in Hollywood. Told in the same irresistible style that made The Kid Stays in the Picture one of the most acclaimed memoirs of our time, The Fat Lady Sang chronicles Evans' triumphant recovery from a devastating series of strokes, with the aid of neurologists, physical therapists and old friends like Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Sumner Redstone, and Beverly D'Angelo. Along the way, he shares new stories from throughout his career, with cameos by everyone from Jimmy Cagney, Tyrone Power, Darryl Zanuck, Ava Gardner, Errol Flynn, and Grace Kelly to President John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Ali MacGraw, John Wayne, Alain Delon, Henry Kissinger, President Reagan, and Pope John Paul II, to Dustin Hoffman, Roman Polanski, Helmut Newton, P. Diddy, Wes Craven, Slash, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, and more. The Fat Lady Sang finds The Kid as brazen as ever, refusing to slow down even as the fat lady opened her mouth to belt out those final notes.


Books Monthly says: I had no idea who Robert Evans is, and didn't recognise his picture from the front cover - he looks a little like Johnny Cash, but of course, he's not, he's Robert Evans. Having said all that, his life story is amazing, and people who do know him will lap this second chronicle right up, whilst people who simply like to read autobiographies will thrill to the mention of all those A-listers down through the second half of the 20th century. Having researched him and discovered that he is a film producer and director, and repsonsible for such blockbusters as Chinatown, Marathon Man and Popeye (well, I loved it, the music was by Harry Nilsson!), I can now see what all the fuss is about. This is an amazing chronicle of a man who's been married seven times, and seems a little larger than life - this is a truly engaging and very readable account of a glittering career and an even more mesmerising life.


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Robert Dallek: Camelot's Court


Published by Harper Collins, Paperback


Fifty years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, presidential historian Robert Dallek, whom The New York Times calls “Kennedy’s leading biographer,” delivers a riveting new portrait of this president and his inner circle of advisors—their rivalries, personality clashes, and political battles. In Camelot’s Court, Dallek analyzes the brain trust whose contributions to the successes and failures of Kennedy’s administration—including the Bay of Pigs, civil rights, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam—were indelible. Kennedy purposefully put together a dynamic team of advisors noted for their brilliance and acumen, including Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, and trusted aides Ted Sorensen and Arthur Schlesinger. Yet the very traits these men shared also created sharp divisions. Far from being unified, this was an uneasy band of rivals whose ambitions and clashing beliefs ignited fiery internal debates. Robert Dallek illuminates a president deeply determined to surround himself with the best and the brightest, who often found himself disappointed with their recommendations. The result, Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House, is a striking portrait of a leader whose wise resistance to pressure and adherence to principle offers a cautionary tale for our own time.


Books Monthly says: Books about JFK are coming thick and fast right now, and this terrific study of the men the president surrounded himself with for the purposes of advising and counselling him is brilliant - it was JFK's adoration of the legend of King Arthur and his court at Camelot that prompted the media to label his White House days as Camelot, and one can almost cast the various aides and advisors as members of the company of the Round Table in this superb account of how affairs were conduvcted during that fateful 1000 days of his presidency. A superb study of JFK and his entourage.


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Robin Morgan & Ariel Leve: 1963 - The Year of the Revolution - How Youth Changed the World with Music, Art, and Fashion


Published by Harper Collins, Hardback


It was the year that Cold War protagonists sought a truce, the race into space stepped up a gear, feminism and civil rights flexed their political muscles, and President Kennedy's assassination numbed the world. But as the front pages of history were being printed, the scoop of the century slipped by unnoticed. On January 13th 1963, two then largely unknown acts made their first appearances on nationwide television in Britain. Neither The Beatles nor Bob Dylan could have known it at the time, but by some strange alchemy the anthems of a social upheaval were being heard by a mass audience-and they were the catalyst. Within the year, their voices were commanding millions of ears around the world. The Beatles had become the poster boys of a revolution that still influences us to this day, and Dylan its prophet. 1963, in short, saw the birth of a global demographic power shift. Within that one year, youth, for the first time in history had become a commercial and cultural force that commanded the attention of government and religion and exercised the power to shape society. 1963 is the first book to recount the kinetic story of the emancipation of youth through music, fashion, and the arts - and in the voices of those who changed the world so radically, from Keith Richards to Eric Clapton, Mary Quant to Vidal Sassoon, Graham Nash to Peter Frampton, Alan Parker to Gay Talese, Stevie Nicks to Norma Kamali, and many more. It is an oral history that records, documentary-style, the incredible roller-coaster ride of that year when a group of otherwise obscure teenagers would become global superstars. It serves not only as a fast-paced historical eyewitness record but as an inspiration to anyone in search of a passion, an identity, and a dream.


Books Monthly says: I reviewed this a couple of issues ago, but another copy has landed on my table and I was reminded of how exquisitely detailed and brilliantly posed the paintings in this magnificent book are. If you've just read my comments on The Art of Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag above, you'll know that this is another fine collection of paintings that really do look like what they're meant to be - this is no time for impressionism, Troiani's paintings reflect the men who fought in the various conflicts in which America was involved in all their glory, their triumph, their disaster. The expressions on the mens' faces, the detail on their uniforms and in their weaponry, the sheer brilliance of the settings and the landscapes are truly beyond description. This is another book, the paintings in which would be at home in a fine art gallery. Superb, simply superb.


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George R R Martin & Gardener Dozois: Dangerous Women


Published by Harper Voyager, Hardback


George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have put together a towering anthology of specially-commissioned stories from the most stellar names in the genre, set in a number of readers' favourite fantasy worlds. George R.R. Martin is the bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. The collection will also feature a new and unpublished 100pp novella by George R.R. Martin set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire – now the award-winning HBO show, Game of Thrones. The novella, entitled 'The Princess and the Queen', will reveal the origins of the Targaryen Civil War, otherwise known as 'The Dance of the Dragons', a war that split a then-fledgling Westeros in two, pitting Targaryen against Targaryen and dragon against dragon. The Dangerous Women anthology also contains contributions from the following worldwide bestselling authors: “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie – A Red Country story; “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland; “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher – A Harry Dresden story; “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale; “Neighbours” by Megan Lindholm (who also writes as Robin Hobb); “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson; “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman; “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman – A Magicians story; "Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon – An Outlander story


Books Monthly says: I am looking forward to reading this over the holiday period - however, I was amazed to find no mention of Red Sonja in the introduction, surely the most well-known of all the warrior women in the world of fantasy? I wasn't expecting to find a story about her, after all, this anthology was commissioned, and Robert E Howard is long gone, of course... Having found fault with the intro, I'm more than happy with the content, but the minimalist cover doesn't really sell the book, does it? I'm being picky, a little like Craig Revill Horwood on Strictly Come Dancing, but there are plenty of brilliant fantasy artists out there who could have come up with a stunning painting for the front cover, I would have thought. I guess the publishers are hoping that the names on the front will be draw enough - I'm not sure they will. The book has come my way because I'm a reviewer; in the bookshops (it won't appear in the supermarkets that sell books, probably), it needs something rather special to sell it.


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Patrick Moon: Arrazat's Aubergines


Published by Matador, Paperback


In the sequel to Virgile's Vineyard, Patrick Moon explores the world of Languedoc food and cuisine. Returning to his challenging home in southern France, Patrick could easily fill the days protecting infant vines from marauding wild boar and hiding baby truffle oaks from unscrupulous neighbours. However, the local campsite café has just been transformed into an ambitious new restaurant and he is intrigued by the talented young chef's determination to achieve perfection on a shoestring. Patrick soon finds himself pitching in, sleeves rolled up, to spend a year 'backstage' and share the triumphs, disasters and sheer hard work in a small but serious French restaurant kitchen. But will the VIP diners guess that he has never made mayonnaise before? Or that he put the wrong sauce on the starter? Not content with all this, Patrick also embarks on a wider exploration of the Languedoc's finest produce for the table, from mighty household names to eccentric peasant smallholdings. Throughout the seasons, his quest uncovers the secrets of olive oil and salt production, the mysteries of Ricard and the Roquefort caves, and the miracle of the sparkling Perrier spring. He even finds time to visit some of the region s top chefs for more 'behind the scenes' discoveries. But there are always the vines and olives, not to mention aubergines, demanding attention at home. First published in 2005, Arrazat's Aubergines, Patrick's second book, is a great stand-alone read for any Francophile, food-lover or armchair chef, deploying a colourful cast of entertaining characters and a rich vein of humour to deliver a wealth of fascinating information. For fans of its predecessor, Virgile's Vineyard, it also continues the story of many favourite figures, including Virgile himself.


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Rachel Renée Russell: Dork Diaries - Holiday Heartbreak


Published by Simon and Schuster, Paperback


It's the biggest dance of the year and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn't want to go with her? Or worse - what if he ends up going with Mackenzie?!!
In the sixth book in the blockbuster Dork Diaries series-now with more than 8 million copies in print-join Nikki, Chloe and Zoey as they tackle the topic of love, Dork Diaries style!


Books Monthly says: Sixth in the Dork Diaries series, brilliantly conceived and written by Rachel Renée Russell, a terrific concept, because the kind of girls that will be reading this will all keep a diary, whether or not it's a physical one or an online or phone one - they'll keep notes about their lives, their loves, their trials and their tribulations. Even if they don't, it's always great fun, feels a little naughty, or mischievous, to get a peek into someone else's private thoughts and writings. A real winner, hilarious, touching, heart-warming and simply great fun.


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New titles in this Supplement...

The Hobbit: Chronicles

The Hobbit

End of Days: the Assassination of JFK

The Obsidian Pebble by Rhys A Jones

Vicious by V E Schwab

Doc Martin: Mistletoe and Wine

Gretel and the Dark

Jeff Vandermeer: Annihilation

Ray Evans: The Fat Lady Sang

Robert Dallek: Camelot's Court

1963: The Year of the Revolution

George R R Martin: Dangerous Women

Abrazat's Aubergines

Dork Diaries: 7

A plethora of captivating Crime novels awaits you on the Crime & Thrillers page, including a new Kathy Reichs, a new Lynda La Plante, a superb novel about Dr Watson as he solves his first case in the trenches of the Western Front, and two new editions of His Last Bow and The Return of Sherlock Holmes from BBC Books to mark the return of the Sherlock series...

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On the Nonfiction page in this Christmas gift special issue:

On the Children's page in this Christmas gift special issue:

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Celebrating 75 years of Lois Lane, Superman's girlfriend, on the Nostalgia page...

Celebrating 15 years on the web - a magnificat and splendy dexmas to one and all...

A note about the next issue of Books Monthly... In common with previous years, I shall continue to add to this issue until about a week before Christmas, so check back often - there will be extra pages and lots more excellent books to choose for Christmas gifts while there is still time to order them for Christmas... Then, the next issue of Books Monthly will appear towards the end of January, when I hope to have a review of the best books of 2013 and look forward to what's coming in the new year. In the meantime, if you're a publisher, my sincere and heartfelt thanks for helping me to celebrate fifteen years of Books Monthly in such spectacular style... if you're a reader, I hope you've managed to find something you didn't know about or weren't sure about, either for yourself or for someone in your family, or among your friends. And most of all, I wish you all a magnificat and splendy dexmas... Keep checking back, you never know what you'll find! Love and best wishes, Paul...


PS If you're an author, well, you're one of many thousands of people who've given me the very best job in the world - reading and commenting on your wonderful, wonderful books! One day soon, I hope to join your ranks... maybe 2014?


The last Christmas supplement will be uploaded on Thursday December 19th - keep coming back!


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