10 books by UK comedians to tickle your funny bone

By | Literature, New Releases | No Comments
Comedians in the UK have always tried to test the boundaries of humour, shine a light on odd cultural norms, and have been instrumental in the evolution of comedy as we know it.

From Laurel and Hardy to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, from the alternative comedy of the 1980s (Ben Elton, Jennifer Saunders) to innovative comedy of the 1990s (Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson)- the UK has always been at the forefront of comedy as it evolves.

Many UK comedians currently have autobiographies or humorous non-fiction titles available in your local bookshop: here are our favourites from the most recent releases.

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Romance novels get a new, inclusive makeover

By | Arty, Literature | No Comments
Romantic fiction can be completely hit and miss. It treads the fine line between cheesy and romantic, crass and classy so carefully…

A while ago we shared the hilariously normal take on romantic book covers by Val Derbyshire much to everyone’s amusement. Romantic fiction is very popular to this day- even classic bodice-rippers from the likes of Mills & Boon can still be seen being slipped into someone’s bag after a trip to the library.

One woman fell in love with the intense and romantic imagery many romance fiction publishers use but noticed its distinct lack of inclusion for the LGBT community and non-white folk. Most models on the covers were white and heterosexual- which is not exactly representative of the world of romance.

Elizabeth Renstrom and photographer Jason Altaan came together to reimagine the classic covers with a more diverse crowd… Check them out below!

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Musicians and artists collaborate on an epic book of stories

By | Arty, Literature | One Comment

Musicians are no strangers to the literary world and a recent project has certainly shone light on this!

About a decade ago a man called Jeff Antebi, the founder of Waxploitation, had a dream of creating a book with his favourite musicians and artists. The idea was to have rock stars, illustrators, and actors collaborate on unique stories and artwork. Now 29 of those pairings make up the kooky, absorbing, and amazing project: Stories for Ways & Means.

Musicians and artists include Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Laura Marling, Alison Mosshart, Dan Baldwin, Swoon, Will Barras, Ronzo, Kai & Sunny, and many more.

Featured voices appear in short promo films from the likes of the great Danny Devito, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Offerman, King Krule, and Lauren Lapkus.

The stories are available in book form straight from the website- from $40 (£30) for the hardback to an exclusive signed edition for $490 (£374). Proceeds go to various charities including Room to Read and Pencils of Promise.

Check out the video below for an exciting look at this rockstar collaboration!

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Malfoy and Longbottom go head-to-head on Instagram

By | Literature, News | No Comments
Instagram was LIT with Pottermania this month with old cast members meeting up at LA bars, seeing The Cursed Child, and bringing their banter with them.

Most fans of the movie adaptations of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books dream of a big old Hogwarts reunion, complete with all their favourite characters (some of whom would have to be brought back to life *sniffsob*).

Two of our faves- Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy and Matthew Lewis AKA Neville Longbottom- got together in Los Angeles for their own mini reunion. Posting on Instagram, the young men posed together with a Slytherin backpack- Felton seemingly threatening Lewis until he gives in and joins the other Hogwarts house.

“See how close he was to converting” Felton boasts on the Instagram post, finishing with the hashtag “Gryffindork”.

Lewis, on the other hand, was having none of it. In his own Instagram post he quotes a film Felton was recently a part of- The Planet of the Apes (2011)- telling Felton to “Get off me, you damned, dirty ape!”

It doesn’t look like Lewis will be joining the Dark Lord any time soon! Always knew Neville Longbottom was a good egg.

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‘Hush, Hush’ adaptation coming soon!

By | Adaptations, Literature | No Comments
Young adult novels are popular with people of all ages, Twilight, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter have been read (and watched) by generations across the globe. The popularity of ‘young adult’ books means many are in the pipeline for adaptation either for movies or television.

The latest news is for Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush, a New York Times Bestseller for over 50 weeks which has sold five million-plus copies worldwide. In the driving seat for this adaption is Kellie Cyrus (Vampire Diaries) who will be directing from Peter Hutchings’ adaptation of the first instalment of the four-book series (all of which were NYT Bestsellers).

Two young actors will be playing the love-struck couple Nora and Patch: Liana Liberato (Banana Split) and Wolfgang Novogratz (Alice). When Nora meets Patch she is drawn to him, not realising his bad boy demeanour is actually darker than she thinks. It’s bad enough trying to survive the horrors of high school, let alone when you fancy the pants off a fallen angel who may just sacrifice you to save himself…

Keep an eye out for the release date announcement and a sneaky peek at the trailer when we have it!

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6 modern classics guaranteed to encourage children to read

By | Children's Literature, Literature | No Comments
Children can be reluctant readers sometimes and all it takes is one great title to spark their interest.

Some of the classics we read as children aren’t quite as inspiring to today’s generation as they once were so it is time to shake things up with a new list of exciting titles.

Inclusively covering ages 5-15 years, the following list should have a book recommendation perfect for any child you know.

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BAME Short Story Competition Shortlisters Announced

By | Competitions and Giveaways, Literary Awards, Literature | No Comments
The BAME Short Story Competition from The Guardian/Fourth Estate was announced back in April 2018 and six finalists have now been announced.

The competition was created to help promote the work of British Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) writers who have been vastly underrepresented in the publishing world.

The winner will receive a chance to win £1,000, an exclusive one‑day publishing workshop and a taste of online publication.

The six finalists for this year’s competition have been announced- with stories about pixies and changeling children, Grenfell Tower, grief and music, and more.

The overall winner will be announced on the 12th of September.

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FRA Readers’ Choice Top 20: August

By | Hit of the Lits!, Literature | No Comments
Those who have been around a while will remember our Hit of the Lits feature, a top 20 of the books you’ve loved in the previous month. Well on popular request we’re giving this feature a reboot with a new name and a new layout.

Last month we created a poll in our reading group The Cwts, and that poll has run all month giving you the chance to add your favourite read from the last thirty days. With July now over we have our top 20 for August and here it is, the readers’ choice top 20 for August.

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