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Fri, 07 Oct 2011 15:33
The man who brought us Think of a Number back in the day (and played a big part in the young life of boys and girls of a certain age) has a new book out full of puzzles and amazing facts called Ball of Confusion. Here's a little video of Johnny introducing the book. Out now!
Fri, 07 Oct 2011 13:46
Surely no one is more qualified to help than Book Wizard, Barry Cunningham - the original publisher of Harry Potter. He has worked with some of the greatest names in children's books past and present - from J.K. Rowling to Roald Dahl and Cornelia Funke. And now, as the highly successful publisher of Chicken House, he is busy finding outstanding new fiction.
Every month he'll talk book magic: pick a favourite story - and link it to another lesser-known book that keen young readers will also enjoy!
This month - Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
When I was working with J.K. Rowling on editing HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, I could never really understand the rules of Quidditch. We agreed that it was too complicated, but, as no one would ever try and play it, we'd leave it as it stood. Years later it caused Hollywood untold agony! But of course it's just this kind of detail, and the creation of a complete world, that entrances the fans of the books. Fantasy lovers looking to continue the spell in another, very different but equally thrilling, way should look no further than Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams' brilliant TUNNELS series, an underground world that just gets more and more involving and exciting as the series progresses! Can you spot the character that mysteriously comes back from the dead? Let me know! For ages 9+
'Does it live up to the hype? Yes.' DAILY EXPRESS
'It's well paced, exciting and - in places - frightening and bloody.' Philip Ardagh, GUARDIAN
Mon, 03 Oct 2011 14:14
Those nice people at Open University Press have put together a mini Ultimate Survival Guide for University Students. Top tips on writing the perfect essay, finding part-time work, dealing with stress and much more including some puzzles to beef up your brain. You can also win £50 worth of books from our good selves if you solve one particularly fiendish puzzle (hint: it's on page 9). [Email your answer to email@example.com]
So download below for all the essentials for the coming academic year.
Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:56
Thames and Hudson have just published the wonderful The Empire of Death - A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses - "Takes the reader on an international tour of macabre and devotional architectural masterpieces in nearly 20 countries. This book brings together some of the world's most important charnel sites, ranging from the crypts of the Capuchin monasteries in Italy, to the strange tomb of a 1960s wealthy Peruvian nobleman."
So what better time to revisit the wonderful Svankmajer film from 1970, The Ossuary, filmed in the old chapel of Sedlec, Czech Republic...
Fri, 16 Sep 2011 15:02
My parents live in a very idyllic thatched cottage in Dorset on England's south coast. Recently, and at great expense and bother the thatch needed to be replaced, and a very professional job was done by the local thatchers.
Only some days later did things start crawling from the roof. Actually just one type of thing - just thousands and thousands of them. Distressed by not being able to see much through the windows due to the bodies of crawling mites and concerned by the thought that they were devouring the new thatch, my father wrote to (as you would) the Science Advisor to the National Society of Master Thatchers. Some correspondence ensued and with some examples of dead mites sent through the post, the culprits were identified as booklice (Liposcelis bostrychophila). The science advisor reassured that they were not eating the thatch, indeed it was somewhat of a mystery as to how they got in the reed at all.
He also supplied some fantastic pictures of the sample sent through - which I thought, given the name of the beast, might be of interest!
(With many thanks to Dr Roger Angold)
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