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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Carson McCullers (Author) , Kasia Boddy (Introducer)

'She has examined the heart of man with an understanding ... that no other writer can hope to surpass' Tennessee Williams

Often cited as one of the great novels of twentieth-century American fiction, Carson McCullers' prodigious first novel was published to instant acclaim when she was just twenty-three. Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature. The owner of the café where Singer eats every day, a young girl desperate to grow up, an angry socialist drunkard, a frustrated black doctor: each pours their heart out to Singer, their silent confidant, and he in turn changes their disenchanted lives in ways the could never imagine. Moving, sensitive and deeply humane, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter explores loneliness, the human need for understanding and the search for love.

Boys in Zinc

Svetlana Alexievich (Author) , Andrew Bromfield (Translator)

'The least well-known wonderful writer I've ever come across' - Jenni Murray, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour

'Alexievich's artistry has raised oral history to a totally different dimension' - Antony Beevor

Haunting stories from the Soviet-Afghan War from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

- A new translation based on the revised text -

From 1979 to 1989 Soviet troops engaged in a devastating war in Afghanistan that claimed thousands of casualties on both sides. While the Soviet Union talked about a 'peace-keeping' mission, the dead were shipped back in sealed zinc coffins. Boys in Zinc presents the honest testimonies of soldiers, doctors and nurses, mothers, wives and siblings who describe the lasting effects of war.

Weaving together their stories, Svetlana Alexievich shows us the truth of the Soviet-Afghan conflict: the killing and the beauty of small everyday moments, the shame of returned veterans, the worries of all those left behind. When it was first published in the USSR in 1991, Boys in Zinc sparked huge controversy for its unflinching, harrowing insight into the realities of war.

Topsy and Tim: Go to Hospital

Jean Adamson (Author) , Belinda Worsley (Illustrator)

Topsy and Tim find fun and adventure in the real world. Their engaging stories are reassuring for young children having first experiences of their own. In Topsy and Tim: Go to Hospital, Tim has fallen out of a tree and bumped his head. He's a little nervous about going to hospital, but he soon finds out how nice the Doctors and Nurses are, and there are lots of other children on the ward to play with too. The only problem now is making sure Topsy doesn't feel left out!

A trusted and well-loved pair who can help guide parents and children through 'first experiences', Topsy and Tim books have been beautifully updated with contemporary artwork. Topsy & Tim remain instantly recognisable to parents while in a fresh style that will appeal to a new generation of fans. These wonderful books deserve a place on every child's bookshelves.

A Wayne in a Manger

Gervase Phinn (Author)

A Wayne in a Manger is the hilarious compilation of nativity stories by Gervase Phinn.

Discover some wonderfully funny and touching nativity play anecdotes, including children forgetting their lines, ad-libbing, falling of the stage, picking their noses and showing their knickers.

One brilliant anecdote tells of an innkeeper who generously says there's plenty of room for Mary and Joseph, while another child, jealous of Joseph's starring role, allows Mary to come in but not Joseph, who can 'push off' ... There's the baby Jesus who suddenly pipes up with 'My name is Tammy, are you my Mommy?' and funniest of all, Mary who tells Joseph, 'I'm having a baby - oh and it's not yours'.

Gervase Phinn's A Wayne in a Manger is the perfect gift this Christmas.


'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph


Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

How to Murder Your Life

Cat Marnell (Author)


'I was twenty-six years old and an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America. That’s all that most people knew about me. But beneath the surface, I was full of secrets: I was a drug addict, for one. A pillhead. I was also an alcoholic-in-training who guzzled warm Veuve Clicquot after work alone in my boss’s office with the door closed; a conniving and manipulative uptown doctor-shopper; a salami-and-provolone-puking bulimic who spent a hundred dollars a day on binge foods when things got bad (and they got bad often); a weepy, wobbly, wildly hallucination-prone insomniac; a tweaky self-mutilator; a slutty and self-loathing downtown party girl; and – perhaps most of all – a lonely weirdo. But, you know, I had access to some really fantastic self-tanner.'

By the age of 15, Cat Marnell longed to work in the glamorous world of women's magazines - but was also addicted to the ADHD meds prescribed by her father. Within 10 years she was living it up in New York as a beauty editor at Condé Nast, with a talent for 'doctor-shopping' that secured her a never-ending supply of prescribed amphetamines. Her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, while she struggled to hold down her high-profile job during the day.

Witty, magnetic and penetrating - prompting comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski - Cat Marnell reveals essential truths about her generation, brilliantly uncovering the many aspects of being an addict with pin-sharp humour and beguiling style.


'New York's enfant terrible...Her talent has resided in her uncanny ability to write about addiction from the untidy, unsafe, unhappy epicentre of the disease, rather than from some writerly remove.' Telegraph

'I LOVE this book' Catriona Innes, Cosmopolitan Magazine UK

'An unputdownable, brilliantly written rollercoaster' Shappi Khorsandi

'Brilliantly written and harrowing and funny and honest' Louise France, The Times Magazine

'Easily one of the most anticipated memoirs of the year...[Marnell's] got an inimitable style (and oh my god, so many have tried) and a level of talent so high, it's impossible not to be rooting for her.' NYLON

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

Lorna Landvik (Author)

Sometimes life is like a bad waiter - it serves you exactly what you don't want. The women of Freesia Court have come together at life's table, fully convinced that there is nothing that good coffee, delectable desserts and a strong shoulder can't fix. Laughter is the glue that holds them together - the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons) - an unofficial club that becomes a lifeline.

The five women each have a story to tell. There's Faith, the newcomer, a housewife and mother who harbours a terrible secret; big, beautiful Audrey, the resident sex queen who knows that with good posture and attitude you can get away with anything; Merit, the shy doctor's wife with the face of an angel and the private hell of an abusive husband; Kari, a wise woman with a wonderful laugh who knows that the greatest gifts appear after life's fiercest storms; and finally, Slip, activist and adventurer, a tiny spitfire who looks trouble straight in the eye and challenges it to arm wrestle.

Holding on through forty eventful years - through the swinging Sixties, the turbulent Seventies, the anything-goes Eighties, the nothing's-impossible Nineties, to the present day - they take the plunge into the chaos that inevitably comes to those with the temerity to stay alive and kicking.

King Solomon's Carpet

Barbara Vine (Author)

King Solomon's Carpet is a prize-winning crime classic from bestselling author Barbara Vine

Winner of the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award

'The tension grows ... an overwhelming sense of foreboding ... when the unravelling takes place, it is brilliantly unexpected and original' The Times

Jarvis Stringer lives in a crumbling schoolhouse overlooking a tube line, compiling his obsessive, secret history of London's Underground. His presence and his strange house draw a band of misfits into his orbit: young Alice, who has run away from her husband and baby; Tom, the busker who rescues her; truant Jasper who gets his kicks on the tube; and mysterious Axel, whose dark secret later casts a shadow over all of their lives.

Dispossessed and outcast, those who come to inhabit Jarvis's schoolhouse are gradually brought closer together in violent and unforeseen ways by London's forbidding and dangerous Undergound . . .

'I longed to know what would happen next. Towards the end the tension fairly gets you by the throat' Sunday Express

'Vine arouses a genuine fear that all that is normal is in danger of being lost' Sunday Times

King Solomon's Carpet is a modern masterpiece of the crime genre and will leave you gripped from the first page to the last. If you enjoy the novels of P.D. James, Ian Rankin and Scott Turow, you will love this book.

Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fifteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet which both won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Her other books include: A Dark Adapted Eye; The House of Stairs; Gallowglass; Asta's Book; No Night Is Too Long; In the Time of His Prosperity; The Brimstone Wedding; The Chimney Sweeper's Boy; Grasshopper; The Blood Doctor; The Minotaur; The Birthday Present and The Child's Child.

Shades of Greene

Jeremy Lewis (Author)

In the early years of the last century, two brothers, Charles and Edward Greene, settled in Berkhamsted, a small country town thirty miles from London. There they were to found a remarkable dynasty - fathering twelve children between then - each of whom were to lead varied, well-documented and extraordinary lives.

This book explores for the first time this generation of the Greene family in colourful detail - their relationships and shared history, and their lives - as explorers, writers, doctors, spies, politicians and much more. There is Graham, one of the greatest English writers of the twentieth century; Hugh, the Daily Telegraph's Berlin corespondent in the years leading up to WW2, and later Director-General of the BBC; Raymond, a brilliant mountaineer and medical man who took part in the 1933 Everest expedition; their sister Elisabeth, MI6 agent, enlisting family and friends into the secret service; cousin Ben, a pacifist and Labour Party activist who was interned in 1940 at the same time as Oswald Mosley; his sister, Barbara, who spent the war in Germany; and their younger brother Felix, a pioneer of radio journalism and apologist for Communist China, who moved to a commune in California with his cousin Christopher Isherwood and Aldous Huxley; and Herbert, the black sheep of the family, fantasist and amateur spy.

Interlacing biography, history, high adventure and scenes from literary life, Shades of Greene provides a riveting insight into the self-confident, enterprising, upper middle-class English world that flourished between the 1920s and the 1970s: and into a truly remarkable tribe.

The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

Thomas Morris (Author)

· A mysterious epidemic of dental explosions…
· A teenage boy who got his wick stuck in a candlestick...
· A remarkable woman who, like a human fountain, spurted urine from virtually every orifice...

These are just a few of the anecdotal gems that have until now lain undiscovered in medical journals for centuries. This fascinating collection of historical curiosities explores some of the strangest cases that have perplexed doctors across the world.

From seventeenth-century Holland to Tsarist Russia, from rural Canada to a whaler in the Pacific, many are monuments to human stupidity – such as the sailor who swallowed dozens of penknives to amuse his shipmates, or the chemistry student who in 1850 arrived at a hospital in New York with his penis trapped inside a bottle, having unwisely decided to relieve himself into a vessel containing highly reactive potassium. Others demonstrate exceptional surgical ingenuity long before the advent of anaesthesia – such as a daring nineteenth-century operation to remove a metal fragment from beneath a conscious patient’s heart. We also hear of the weird, often hilarious remedies employed by physicians of yore – from crow’s vomit to port-wine enemas – the hazards of such everyday objects as cucumbers and false teeth, and miraculous recovery from apparently terminal injuries.

Blending fascinating history with lacerating wit, The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth will take you on a tour of some of the funniest, strangest and most wince-inducing corners of medical history.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars

Gervase Phinn (Author)

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars is the second delightful collection of stories and poems from Gervase Phinn.

Following on from the terrific success of A Wayne in a Manger, Gervase Phinn has collected together from his bestselling Dales books his favourite stories about children, and included some poems from his popular Puffin poetry books.

In this humorously illustrated book, the stories have one thing in common - the wonderfully funny (and usually innocent) things that children say. What makes Naomi's granny wobble? What's the secret ingredient in Richard's jam tarts? What is Billy's unconventional method for making babies?

Whether they are stories about children who cannot read very well but know the names of many breeds of sheep or children who are more privileged (coming to school in a Wolls-Woyce), they are simply delightful. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars is a heart-warming book will enchant you, as Gervase Phinn helps you look at life through a child's eyes - and that's quite a special thing.


'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph

Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Let There Be Lite

Rupert Morgan (Author)

On a planet remarkably similar to our own, in the voraciously capitalist United States of Atlantis, the most powerful (i.e. richest) man in the world is media and IT tycoon John Lockes who made his fortune by copyrighting the Return Key on computer keyboards. An elusive figure and man of many secrets, Lockes is also a philanthropist and has, through his company Infologix, invented a system that will effectively end all crime - a satellite trackeding device known as 'Rectag'.
Lockes is the man of the moment, and the time is right for a wart 'n' all biography and the man to write it is Macauley Connor, an embittered investigative journalist-turned-tabloid hack who knows he's reached rock bottom when he's sent to investigate a farmer who claims his chickens have been abducted by aliens. Meanwhile, a beautiful astronaut and an Infologix employee fall in love in orbit, a presidential candidate discovers he will stop at nothing to get elected and a bank heist goes horribly wrong when two rival gangs hit the same place at the same time.
Anarchic, outrageous and ebullient, Let There Be Lite takes some laceratingly funny swipes at American politics, presidential elections, spin doctors, tabloid journalism, software billionaires, the fashion industry, fast food and food fads, chat shows (here hosted by the asinine Lola Colaco) and the very nature of celebrity itself.

'Rupert Morgan's satire of modern life is brilliant. He is like Ben Elton at his wittiest...his writing is fast and his characterization superb...Definitely one to watch' Express

'Takes you up to the edge of libellous - and gets away with it...As a story it rattles along with the pace of a thriller. As an inventive swipe at the Establishment, it will make you laugh while you wince' Daily Mail

'The match of the madder moments of John Irving or Tom Sharpe...this is a promisingly entertaining "lite" read' The Times

Planet Word

J. P. Davidson (Author) , Stephen Fry (Introducer)

Unravel the mysteries of language with J.P. Davidson's remarkable Planet Word.

'The way you speak is who you are and the tones of your voice and the tricks of your emailing and tweeting and letter-writing, can be recognised unmistakably in the minds of those who know and love you.' Stephen Fry

From feral children to fairy-tale princesses, secrets codes, invented languages - even a language that was eaten! - Planet Word uncovers everything you didn't know you needed to know about how language evolves. Learn the tricks to political propaganda, why we can talk but animals can't, discover 3,000-year-old clay tablets that discussed beer and impotence and test yourself at textese - do you know your RMEs from your LOLs? Meet the 105-year-old man who invented modern-day Chinese and all but eradicated illiteracy, and find out why language caused the go-light in Japan to be blue. From the dusty scrolls of the past to the unknown digital future, and with (heart) the first graphic to enter the OED, are we already well on our way to a language without words?

In a round-the-world trip of a lifetime, discover all this and more as J. P. Davidson travels across our gloriously, endlessly intriguing multilingual Planet Word.


John Paul Davidson is a film and television director and producer. After studying at Bristol University and completing his doctoral field work in The University of Malysia, he joined the BBC's Travel and Exploration Unit as their resident anthropologist.

Stephen Fry's film, stage, radio and television credits are numerous and wide-ranging. He has written, produced, directed, acted in or presented productions as varied as Wilde, Blackadder, Jeeves and Wooster, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Fry's English Delight and QI. After writing many successful books, his recent memoir The Fry Chronicles was a number one bestseller.

Man Walks into a Room

Nicole Krauss (Author)

Award-winning American novelist Nicole Krauss first captivated readers with her groundbreaking debut novel Man Walks into a Room, a novel in which Krauss explores what it is to lose one's identity and what it is to discover what makes us human.

Samson Greene has been missing for eight days when he is discovered wandering through the Nevada desert, 'ragged as a crow' and with no idea who he is. He is rushed to hospital where doctors save his life, but all his memories after the age of twelve have been permanently lost. Now, as he looks around the beautiful apartment he apparently shares with his wife and which is filed with all the souvenirs of a life well lived, Samson feels nothing more than a vague admiration.

In her first novel Nicole Krauss tells the story of a man suddenly liberated from the life he has made, disconnected from the people who have defined him. Withdrawing from a wife he has no memory of loving, Samson plunges weightless into the future. But when he agrees to participate in a revolutionary experiment, what he experiences a revelation of what it means to be human.

'Krauss celebrates the anything-but-simple art of human connection' San Francisco Chronicle

'You'll savour the last page - and be hungry for future work from this talented author' The Washington Post Book World

Nicole Krauss is an American bestselling author who has received international critical acclaim for her first three novels: Great House (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2011), The History of Love (Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006 and winner of the 2006 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger) and Man Walks into a Room all of which are available in Penguin paperback.

Brainstorm

Suzanne O'Sullivan (Author)

From the Wellcome Prize-winning author of It's All in Your Head

Brainstorm examines the stories of people whose symptoms are so strange even their doctor struggles to know how to solve them. A man who sees cartoon characters running across the room; a teenager who one day arrives home with inexplicably torn clothes; a girl whose world turns all Alice in Wonderland; another who transforms into a ragdoll whenever she even thinks about moving.

The brain is the most complex structure in the universe, and neurologists must puzzle out life-changing diagnoses from the tiniest of clues – it’s the ultimate in medical detective work. In this riveting book, one of the UK’s leading neurologists takes you with her as she follows the trail of her patients’ symptoms: feelings of déjà vu lead us to a damaged hippocampus; spitting and fidgeting to the right temporal lobe; fear of movement to a brain tumour; a missed heart beat to the limbic system.

It’s a journey that will open your eyes to the unfathomable intricacies of the brain, and the infinite variety of human capacity and experience.

Praise for It's All in Your Head

‘As addictive as a great box set, makes you rethink some of your closest relationships and wonder about some of the people you know best; and above all, like all truly great books, it is about love and compassion’ Satnam Sanghera, The Times

‘Remarkable… It should be on the reading list of every medical student’ P.D. Smith, Guardian

‘An extraordinary book... an important one too’ Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

‘Read this book’ British Medical Journal

Ring of Fire

Rick Broadbent (Author)

MotoGP is enjoying a period of unprecedented popularity and Ring of Fire details the acclaim, the heroism and the pressures of riding motorbikes at speeds of more than 200mph. This is a world where manufacturers invest millions and the world champion celebrates by staging mock jail breaks and giving pillion rides to a blow-up doll. One rider warms up for major races by singing Hank Marvin songs on his karaoke machine and a rising Italian star sees the world in terms of black and white energy tubes. Another sees nothing strange in racing with two broken ankles.

Ring of Fire covers the recent history of MotoGP, from American Nicky Hayden spectacularly overturning established champion Valentino Rossi in 2006, through the emergence of wild young Australian Casey Stoner as the new champion in 2007, to the fierce rivalry between them and Spaniards Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo in what would prove to be one of the most closely-contested years of racing in 2008. It gives a behind the scenes look at World Superbike Champion James Toseland's attempts to break into this elite, and looks back at the tradition of reprobates, romance and debauchery in the paddock dating back to the 60s and stars like Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostino.

Rick Broadbent introduces us not just to the stars and the multi-million pound contracts, but also to the officals, mechanics, doctors, team owners and fans who make up this white-knuckle ride of a sport. By turns funny, sad, shocking and uplifting, Ring of Fire brings us face to face with those who battle to emerge unscathed, or who just ignore the pain and ride to win against all odds.

Over Hill and Dale

Gervase Phinn (Author)

Over Hill and Dale is the second volume in Gervase Phinn's bestselling Dales series.

'Miss, who's that funny man at the back of the classroom?

So begins school-inspector Gervase Phinn's second year among the frankly spoken pupils and teachers of North Yorkshire - the sight of Gervase with his notebook and pen provokes unexpected reactions from the children and adults alike.

But Gervase is far from daunted - he is ready to brave the steely glare of the officious Mrs Savage, and even feels up to helping Dr Gore organize a gathering of the Feofees - just as soon as someone tells him what they are! He is still in pursuit of the lovely headteacher Christine Bentley, but will she feel the same?

This is a delectable second helping of hilarious tales from the man who has been dubbed 'the James Herriot of schools'. In Over Hill and Dale, Gervase Phinn will have you laughing out loud.


'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph

Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Che Guevara

Jon Lee Anderson (Author)

He became a myth in his own lifetime and an international martyr-figure upon his death; he was a revolutionary fighter, a military strategist, a social philosopher, an economist, a medical doctor, and a friend and confidant of Fidel Castro. Che Guevara's dream was an epic one - to unite Latin America and the rest of the developing world through armed revolution, and to end once and for all the poverty, injustice and petty nationalisms that had bled it for centuries. In the end Che failed in his quest but he is recognized as that one-in-a-million personality who just might have pulled it off.
Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life shuttles between the revolutionary capitals of Havana and Algiers to the battlegrounds of Bolivia and the Congo; from the halls of power in Moscow and Washington to the exile havens of Miami, Mexico and Guatemala, in a gripping tale of revolution, international intrigue and covert operations. It has an epic sweep as it evokes an era of tumultuous change, describing major events like the Bay of Pigs invasion, the October Missile crisis and Kennedy's assassination. Among its cast of characters are scores of historic personalities including Castro, Kennedy, Kruschev, Mao Tse-tung, Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, to name but a few.
Jon Lee Anderson has been given unprecedented access to the Cuban Government's archives and has had total co-operation from Che's widow, Aleida March, who has never previously spoken for publication about her late husband. He has obtained hitherto unpublished documents, including several of Che's personal diaries and, in the course of his research, broke open a twenty-eight-year-old mystery - the whereabouts of Che's body in Bolivia. There is no doubt that this monumental work will stand as the definitive portrait of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating, yet largely unexplored, historical figures.

Rules of Deception

Christopher Reich (Author)

Doctor Jonathan Ransom thought he knew everything about his wife Emma until she was killed in a tragic skiing accident in the Swiss Alps. They had been married for eight years, eight blissful years in which they had travelled the world together. But the day after her death a mysterious letter addressed to her arrives at their hotel. When he opens it, his beliefs begin to unravel -- fast. .

In the envelope is a railway baggage check to a suitcase that reveals an Emma far removed from the down-to-earth nurse who has been his constant and loyal companion all those years. In it he discovers the clues to a double life. Was she having an affair? When is your wife not your wife? And when she is not your wife, who is she?

The answers begin right outside the train station where two policeman are waiting - to kill him. There are more answers as Jonathan escapes and the action sweeps him through Switzerland on a quest to discover the truth abut Emma. He is pursued by ruthless killers, entangled in an international conspiracy that touches all the world's Security Services and which will end in a denouement which is as breathtaking as it is totally unexpected.

The Heart of the Dales

Gervase Phinn (Author)

The Heart of the Dales is the fifth volume in Gervase Phinn's bestselling Dales series.

A teacher was reprimanding a child who had drawn a very wobbly line freehand across his exercise book.
'Don't you know what the word "straight" means?' the teacher asked crossly.'
'Yes, miss,' came the reply, ' "without water".'

Awkward teachers, pompous school governors and fearsome lollipop ladies occasionally make Gervase Phinn's hectic job as a school inspector more than difficult. But, for Gervase, the main challenge remains the frankly spoken children.

The new school year doesn't get off to a good start after a teacher suggests that Gervase has let him and his school down. Called up in front of his new boss, the formidable Miss de la Mare, Gervase fears he is going to be in hot water. To add to his woes, he is given another 'little job' by the Chief Education Officer, which inevitably means liaising with the infuriating and interfering Mrs Savage!

Meanwhile, away from the pressures of school, Gervase's life with his wife Christine and their baby son is blissful - until noises in the attic start to disturb their nights. . .

The Heart of the Dales is Gervase Phinn at his story-telling best.


'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph

Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Up and Down in the Dales

Gervase Phinn (Author)

Up and Down in the Dales is the fourth volume in Gervase Phinn's bestselling Dales Series

What's your name? I asked the child.
'Tequila,' she replied. I'm named after a drink.'
'Tequila Sunrise,' I murmured.
'No,' pouted the child. 'Tequila Braithwaite.'

Now in his fourth year as an Inspector for English in the Yorkshire Dales, Gervase Phinn still relishes visiting the schools - whether an inner-city comprehensive fraught with difficulties or a small Dales Primary school where the main danger is one of closure. With endless good humour, he copes with the little surprises that occur round every corner.

Some things never change: Mrs Savage roars, Connie rants, and Gervase's colleague in the office play verbal ping-pong. But all this can be put behind him each day when he returns home to his lovely wife, Christine, who is expecting their first baby.

Up and Down in the Dales is charming montage of Gervase Phinn's experiences will keep you amused and will win a place in your heart.


'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph

Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

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