Book of the week – Gods of Gold by @ChrisNickson2

gog finalxGods of Gold is the new novel by the ever popular local author Chris Nickson.

Any fans of the novels about Richard Nottingham, Constable of Leeds in the 1700s,  will be looking forward to meeting Chris’s new detective and finding themselves transported to 19th century Leeds, with ‘its atmosphere of grittiness and extremes of power and powerlessness’.

Detective Inspector Tom Harper makes his debut and takes on the mantle of championing the law and seeking justice with all the challenges inherent in Victorian Leeds.

June, 1890. Leeds is close to breaking point. The gas workers are on strike. The supplies are dangerously low. Factories and businesses are closing; the lights are flickering at going out. Soon the place will be at a standstill.Chris Nickson at the Leeds LibraryDetective Inspector Tom Harper has more urgent matters on his mind. The beat constable claims eight-year-old Martha Parkinson has disappeared. Her father insists she’s visiting an aunt in Halifax – but Harper doesn’t believe him. And when Col Parkinson is found dead the following morning, the case takes on an increasing desperation.

But then Harper’s search for Martha is interrupted by the murder of a replacement gas worker, stabbed to death outside the Town Hall while surrounded by a hostile mob. Pushed to find a quick solution, he discovers that there’s more to this killing than meets the eye – and that there may be a connection to Martha’s disappearance.

The book launch for Gods of Gold will be at The Leeds Library, Commercial St. Leeds. 6.30 pmSeptember 11th.  Contact The Leeds Library to reserve a place.

Chris will be at Ardsley and Tingley Library on September 24 at 2pm. Free, all welcome.

Keep taking the tablets

More and more people are using tablets as their preferred digital reading device and they’re now overtaking e-readers .

According to the Bookseller, a Nielsen’s survey shows that 51% of book buyers in the first quarter of 2014 owned a tablet to use as a dedicated e-reader, compared to 25% who owned a device specifically made for books.

Last year in the same period, 33% owned a tablet and 25% an e-reader. Although the research shows that more people still buy books on e-readers than on tablets, the gap is now closing, with 37% buying books on tablets compared with 28% in 2013, and 46% buying books on e-readers this year, a fall from 61% in 2013.

To download eBooks and eAudio (link to the catalogue) on to your tablet, just download the Overdrive app

A Digitisation project and then some

Norway will have practically all of its culture in digital format accessible to the public by the mid 2020s!

Norway’s National Library plans to digitise all the hundreds of thousands of books in Norwegian in its archives, a huge project. 

The National Library has a copy of each item of content published in the country on deposit, regardless of the type of communications media: books, newspapers, other. Once completed language,  literature, philosophy, history or any other subject covered in a publication will be available in digital format, a formidable task but it will be an amazing achievement.

Norway has decided to implement a simple solution for copyright . All works published in the 20th century will be freely accessible, and titles that are not subject to copyright – whether from centuries ago or the day before yesterday – will be able to be downloaded free of charge to Norwegian IPs.

A new book celebrating young people with disabilities

The five of usSir Quentin Blake’s new book  (published September) The Five of Us celebrates young people with disabilities.

Most well known for his illustrations of the Roald Dahl books, this story is aimed at children aged five to seven and is about five friends, “each of whom has an unusual ability”, who save the day after disaster strikes on a day out in the countryside.

The book does not refer to their disabilities directly  – the author was inspired to write it after working on drawings for the disability charity Scope. “I have put some children with disabilities into my books on the margin and then two or three years ago, I thought: why can’t they be the main characters? He added: “It is a sensitive area; you don’t want a quota, but you want these characters to be represented because that’s what life is like.”


Better as books

World War Z: an oral history of the zombie warPerez Hilton lists the books that should never have been made into films, do you agree?

From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (not the best film ever) to The Time Traveller’s Wife and Dr Seuss, he gives these ten film versions of books the thumbs down. We’ve got all the books if you’d like to read them instead, linked below.

Read the reasons

The Great Gatsby F Scott Fitzgerald.

World War Z – Max Brooks. Doesn’t capture the real tone of the book.

The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger. How the Grinch stole Christmas!

How the Grinch stole Christmas – Dr Seuss

The Cat in the Hat – Dr Seuss.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De BernièreDunes

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

I am Legend – Richard Matheson

Dune – Frank Herbert



The word of the day. Librocubicularist. A person who reads in bed.



From French livre, Italian and Spanish libro, from Latin liber “book”. From Latin cubiculum (bedroom), from cubō (lie down)

1938, Chicago Dental Society, Bulletin (volume 19, p 28) ‘But to let you in on a little secret, Todd Dewel is a librocubicularist’.

1952, Hospital Book Guide (volumes 13-14, p 85) We can enjoy our journeys much more if we are librocubicularists and know the joys of reading in bed.

#FF Poem of the week

Blackberrypicking by Seamus Heaney (from Death of a Naturalist)

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.