Books

And Now, The Weather...

Alison Maloney

Along with the fine art of queuing and proper tea, talking about the weather is the essence of Britishness. We’re all a little bit obsessed by it. Will it snow this Christmas? Was this year really the warmest on record? And where on earth did ‘raining cats and dogs’ come from?

According to recent research, 94% of British people admit to having discussed the weather in the past six hours, while 38% say they have in the past 60 minutes. Since Records Began is an almanac, a miscellany, and a celebration of our most famous obsession. Including beautiful illustrations, maps and line drawings, Since Records Began is a perfect gift for the cloudspotter in your life.

Features include:
- The Lore of Weather – myths, legends and old wives tales about the weather.
- Lost in Translation – Colloquial names for weather around the country, from Custard Winds to Mizzle.
- Extreme Weather – Bizarre events in the history of British Weather including red rain and a downpour of frogs and fish.
- Plus tables showing record breaking sunshine, wind speed, rainfall, heat etc.

Woman's Hour: Words from Wise, Witty and Wonderful Women

Alison Maloney (and others)

For the last 70 years, the guests of Woman’s Hour have been entertaining listeners with their compelling combination of wit, warmth, insight and humour. Woman’s Hour has interviewed many of the biggest female names from entertainment, politics, the arts and beyond.

Words from Wise, Witty and Wonderful Women is a collection of quotes and extracts from 70 years of the Woman’s Hour archive, featuring some of the most memorable guests to appear on the programme, from Doris Lessing to Nora Ephron, Hilary Clinton to J.K. Rowling, and Bette Davis to Meryl Streep. Charting the social and political revolution that has taken place in women’s lives over the past 70 years, as well as the perennial aspects of female life, such as love, family, relationships, the workplace, sex, ageing, and food, this delightful book shares fascinating insights and sage advice from the wise and wonderful women that have graced the Woman’s Hour airwaves over the decades.

Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2017

Alison Maloney

Don your finest feather boa and be prepared to shimmy under the glitterball as series 14 of Strictly Come Dancing is back and more glamorous than ever. Let yourself be twirled around the dance floor by the 2017 annual, your perfect guide to divas, drama and dancing.

Get a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the legendary Blackpool Tower, learn how to decorate your own ballroom shoes and get the lowdown on all of the celebs and dancers. The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2017 is simply fabulous.

Featuring a sequin-studded cast of celebrities, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes exclusives this annual is your perfect partner for the glittering world of Strictly.

Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2016

Alison Maloney

Dust off your sequins as series 13 of Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens. Put your best foot forward with the 2016 annual, the perfect partner.

Take a sneak peak into Craig’s dressing room as he discusses his Strictly Saturday, eat like a dancer with our tasty recipes and take a tan-tastic tour of the tanning booths. The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2016 is as lively as a foxtrot!

Featuring a dazzling new cast of celebrities, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes stories this annual is a glittering companion to everything Strictly.

Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2015

Alison Maloney

The glamour, the glitz and the glitterball are back on our screens for series twelve of Strictly Come Dancing and the 2015 annual is your perfect partner to every step, spin and shimmy.

Throw your own Strictly scary halloween party, swot up an all the dances from the saucy samba to the cheeky charleston, find out just how many sequins it takes to make a Strictly costume sensation and follow a day-in-the-life of a professional dancer. The 2015 official Strictly Come Dancing Annual will have you prepped, stretched and prepared from the very first foray onto the floor to the spectacular final step.

Packed full of behind-the-scenes gossip, exclusive interviews, the essential lowdown on everything from make-up to costume as well as fun games and mind-boggling quizzes to test even the best ballroom brainiac, this is your essential guide to all the drama on the dancefloor.

No. 1 Mum

Alison Maloney

For No. 1 Mums everywhere, this is the perfect celebration of motherhood, filled with inventive ideas and clever tips and bubbling with joyful things. From chicken soup to Sunday roasts, bubble bath to balloons, No. 1 Mum pays tribute to the top 100 objects every mother will recognise, in a fun and handy book that promises to amuse and inspire in equal measure.

Along the way, Alison offers great ideas to complement the objects – top-ten ideas for travel games to play, a birthday cake recipe that will wow your child’s friends, the perfect solution to the thorny school play costume dilemma – in an entertaining and rewarding celebration of motherhood.

Bright Young Things

Alison Maloney

Bright Young Things is a thoroughly entertaining non-fiction account of 'the real Downton Abbey', which brings to life the historical backdrop of the series in an informative, fun and engaging book.

As one viewer told The New York Times: 'I'm just enjoying the show so much, I thought I needed to get a book about it. And I was watching [the historical scenes] and thinking, I don't know enough about this. So maybe I can learn something in the process.'

So step into a time of hot jazz and even hotter all-night dance halls, as Alison Maloney shares the gossip about life in the Roaring Twenties. Read all about it: high society’s scandalous exploits, fresh new fashions, the Charleston dance craze, costume parties, talking movies and, of course, the feisty flapper.

With chapters such as Makin' Whoopee, Cocktail Hour and Upstairs, Downstairs, Bright Young Things takes a sweeping look at the changing society of the Jazz Age, as life below stairs vanished forever, loose morals ran riot, and new inventions made it seem anything was possible. Peppered with first-person accounts that convey the spirit of the era in the words of those who lived it, Bright Young Things is a scintillating celebration of a truly iconic decade.

St George

Alison Maloney

Pope Gelasius, who canonized St George in 494, described him as one of those 'whose names are rightly reverenced among us, but whose actions are known only to God.' The story of England's Patron Saint is so encased in myth and legend that the truth of his remarkable life is unknown to the great majority of us.

In many ways the attitude of the English, reflects the many contradictions in the story of St George and the growth of his legend worldwide. A Christian martyr, murdered by a Roman emperor in Palestine, he is a legendary dragon-slayer who saved a virgin princess from sacrifice - but not before insisting her entire town converts to Christianity. Yet he is also the model for mythical Islamic hero Al Khidr. He is the Patron Saint of England but never set foot on English soil and the legend of his knightly deeds came from the imagination of a bishop in Italy.

In recent years, through national pride more than religious fervour, the popularity of St George's Day has risen sharply, with more parades, parties and pub get-togethers than we saw in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Biography

A multi-faceted and versatile writer, Alison Maloney is the author of several books, including The Mums' Book, The World of Mr Selfridge and The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual.