Pick of the month
Each month we make our selection from new releases on DVD and CD and highlight the best new books or may select books on a theme.
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Some well loved characters return this month together with some books to read over Christmas.
Bertie Wooster, recently returned from a very pleasurable sojourn in Cannes, finds himself at the stately home of Sir Henry Hackwood in Dorset. Bertie is more than familiar with the country house set-up: he is a veteran of the cocktail hour and, thanks to Jeeves, his gentleman's personal gentleman, is never less than immaculately dressed. On this occasion, however, it is Jeeves who is to be seen in the drawing room while Bertie finds himself below stairs - and he doesn't care for it at all.
From minding your Ps and Qs to wondering why X should mark the spot, 'Alphabetical' is a book for everyone who loves words and language. Whether it's how letters are arranged on keyboards or Viking runes, textspeak or zip codes, this book will change the way you think about letters for ever. How on Earth did we fix upon our 26 letters, what do they really mean, and how did we come to write them down in the first place? Michael Rosen takes you on an unforgettable adventure through the history of the alphabet in 26 vivid chapters, fizzing with personal anecdotes and fascinating facts.
Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. A 30-year-old case is being reopened, and Rebus's team from back then is suspected of foul play. With Malcolm Fox as the investigating officer are the past and present about to collide in a shocking and murderous fashion? And does Rebus have anything to hide? His colleagues back then called themselves 'the Saints', and swore a bond on something called 'the Shadow Bible'. But times have changed and the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer, especially with a referendum on Scottish independence just around the corner. Who are the saints and who the sinners?
Noted down, stamped 'secret' and filed away for decades. This book reveals what really went on in the corridors of power. Stored in Whitehall's archives is everything from blood-chilling warnings of imminent nuclear attack to a miscellany of daily life in Downing Street.
It is the 1950s and as the Cazalets beloved matriarch, the Duchy, passes away, she takes with her the last remnants of a world of great houses and servants, of class and tradition in which the Cazalets have thrived. Louise, now divorced, becomes entangled in a painful affair, while Polly and Clary must balance marriage and motherhood with their own ideas and ambitions.
'This is the Story of a Happy Marriage' is a combination of literature and memoir revealing the big experiences and little moments that shaped Ann Patchett as a daughter, wife, friend and writer. Here she shares entertaining and moving stories about her tumultuous childhood, her painful early divorce, the excitement of selling her first book, driving a Winnebago from Montana to Yellowstone Park, her joyous discovery of opera, training for the LAPD, the gradual loss of her beloved grandmother, starting her own book shop in Nashville, her love for her very special dog and, of course, her eventual happy marriage.
Rosie Hopkins is looking forward to Christmas in the little Derbyshire village of Lipton, buried under a thick blanket of snow. Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, large tempting piles of Turkish delight, crinkling selection boxes and happy, sticky children. She's going to be spending it with her boyfriend, Stephen, and her family, flying in from Australia. She can't wait - but when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their little community and all of Rosie's plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she build a life in Lipton? And is what's best for the sweetshop also what's best for Rosie?
As a bookish child growing up on Merseyside in the 1980s, Matthew Baylis identified with the much-mocked Prince Philip as a fellow outsider. Years later, his Philip-worship long behind him, and now studying anthropology, Baylis discovered the existence of a Philip cult on the South Sea island of Tanna. Why was it there? Nobody had a convincing answer. Nobody even seemed to want to find one. His curiosity fatally piqued, Baylis travelled 10,000 miles to find a society both remote and slap-bang in the shipping-lanes of history.
eBook of the month
Debbie Macomber - 1225 Christmas Tree Lane
Like Grace and Olivia, Beth Morehouse expects this Christmas to be one of her best. But complications arise when someone leaves a basket of puppies on her doorstep and her daughters invite their dad, Beth's ex-husband, to Cedar Cove for Christmas.
Christmas books for children
Here is a selection of Christmas titles, all available to reserve or borrow from Hampshire Libraries.
Rebecca Patterson The Christmas Show
A wonderful new picture book, set amid the chaos of the Christmas nativity play.
Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter The Dinosaur that pooped Christmas
A less- than- reverential look at the Christmas season , with dinosaurs, gross happenings and lots of laughs.
Mark Sperring How many sleeps till Christmas?
Little Pip is desperate for Christmas to come…but it seems that he has to wait a very long time…
Raymond Briggs with Hilary Audus and Joanna Harrison. The Snowman and the Snowdog
Raymond Briggs classic Snowman is forever associated with Christmas. In this sequel he flies again, with a new companion.
Holly Webb The Reindeer Girl
A story for older children about a Christmas holiday in Norway… and a reindeer in trouble.
Gaby Morgan Christmas Poems
A new illustrated edition of this classic collection of poems and carols for the festive season.
May Eliot The Nativity
A newly illustrated edition of the Christmas story, with sumptuous illustrations by Richard Johnson.
December Music Picks
Tales Of Us has been two years in the crafting and is their most narrative, cinematic and intimate recording so far. Nothing in their accomplished back catalogue has hinted at the new lyrical breadth that the band have introduced to Tales Of Us. All the songs bar one are named in the first person with a cast list of evocative character sketches.
The brand-new, two-CD, 24-track Rarities, offers a comprehensive selection of alternate versions, non-LP singles, B-sides, studio outtakes and BBC Radio One performances and covers of songs by The Who, Bob Dylan, Gerry Goffin and Carole King. The collection also spotlights alternative takes on such Stewart classics as “Maggie May” and “Country Comfort”
AM is the fifth studio album by Arctic Monkeys. It was produced by James Ford and co-produced by Ross Orton at Sage & Sound Recording, LA and Rancho De La Luna, Joshua Tree. The album was engineered by Ian Shea and mixed by Tchad Blake. Josh Homme, Pete Thomas and Bill Ryder-Jones all make guest appearances on AM--as do the words of John Cooper Clarke, on the track "I Wanna Be Yours". Includes the single "Do I Wanna Know".
December Film Choice
A story that follows a New York woman (who doesn't really have an apartment), apprentices for a dance company (though she's not really a dancer), and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles
Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick (Vin Diesel) fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies' right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance.
Set against the sexy and glamorous golden age of racing, Rush portrays the exhilarating true story of the charismatic James Hunt and the methodically brilliant Lauda, two of the greatest rivals the world of sports has ever witnessed. Taking us into their personal lives and clashes on and off the Grand Prix racetrack, Rush follows the two drivers as they push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there is no shortcut to victory and no margin for error.