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Up Beat and Down Dale: Life and Crimes in the Yorkshire Countryside
Up Beat and Down Dale: Life and Crimes in the Yorkshire Countryside
by Mike Pannett
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The easy wit of James Herriot, with a more contemporary setting, 12 Nov 2013
Mike Pannett is back and fans will not be disappointed. Often compared to James Herriott, Pannett's stories share the easy wit demonstrated so well by the country vet but they are more contemporary, containing a healthy dose of gritty realism. This latest offering - the fifth in the series - is based once again on actual cases: a series of burglaries on remote farmhouses, a winter search for a missing dog walker and the harrowing business of taking three children into care. These stories are all skilfully knitted together with snippets of family life at Keeper's Cottage. Hard to beat.


The Barefoot Shepherdess: and Women of the Dales
The Barefoot Shepherdess: and Women of the Dales
by Walter Swan
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome celebration of women living and working in the Yorkshire Dales, 12 Nov 2013
This welcome celebration of women living and working in the Yorkshire Dales profiles a selection of fascinating characters, from vets to publicans and from vicars to artists.

The Barefoot Shepherdess of the title is Alison O'Neill from Shacklabank Farm, near Sedbergh, who guides barefoot walks in the fells surrounding her home. "Walking barefoot is something I have always done," she says. "I've always been a bit of a free spirit and I've always done what I wanted to."

The authors have interviewed each of their subjects in depth, uncovering stories packed with warmth and wit. Although those profiled are very different, they are connected by their affinity with the landscapes and communities of the Dales.

An inspiring read.


Trouble at the Little Village School: A Little Village School Novel (The Little Village School Series)
Trouble at the Little Village School: A Little Village School Novel (The Little Village School Series)
by Gervase Phinn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A witty, warmhearted and wise novel from this master storyteller., 16 Oct 2013
This second instalment of Gervase's Barton-in-the-Dale series focuses once again on the fiesty Elisabeth Devine, newly appointed head teacher at the village primary school.

She has only just cemented her popularity amongst pupils, fellow teachers and villagers, than she encounters fresh challenges. There's a move to amalgamate two local schools and Elisabeth has to fight for the new headship with a ruthless rival; and just as Elisabeth and the local doctor are falling for each other, the arrival of Elisabeth's ex-husband and a new female curate proves that the course of true love never did run smooth.

Gervase has the rare ability of making initially dislikeable figures (an embitttered former headmistress, an estranged grandmother who disrupts an adoption) into sympathetic characters, and he intersperses his readable narrative with acute observations of village life.

A witty, warmhearted and wise novel from this master storyteller.


Traditional Building Materials (Shire Library)
Traditional Building Materials (Shire Library)
by Matthew Slocombe
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

5.0 out of 5 stars An informative, well-illustrated account of the architectural heritage of Britain's vernacular buildings., 14 Oct 2013
Most old buildings were constructed from materials close to hand, and so display a colourful palette that echoes the local landscape, from the pinky-grey granite of Aberdeen to the honey-coloured limestone of the Cotswolds.

Building historian Matthew Slocombe explains what traditional building materials were used, where, why and how. "These materials help illustrate the lives and aspirations of people of the past," argues Slocombe.

An informative, well-illustrated account of the architectural heritage of Britain's vernacular buildings.


Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters
Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters
by Simon Heffer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A trenchantly argued style guide to better English, 8 Oct 2013
Do you wince when you hear the phrase 'almost unique'? Are you enraged by reading 'reach a crescendo'? Fear not, you are not alone. And Simon Heffer, former deputy editor of the Spectator, is here to fight the never-ending battle against grammatical mistakes and stylistic slips, in this trenchantly argued style guide to better English.

"If English is worth speaking or writing", Heffer argues, "then it is worth speaking or writing well." He is in turns informative, proscriptive, impassioned and exasperated. He is witheringly funny about the recent rise of 'like' as a kind of verbal pause, "the filler of choice for current youth, which is its most abominable usage"; and the modern trend for 'mockney' English in such phrases as 'sorted' and 'well tasty', because "For some generations it has been a popular pastime of the more affluent classes to imitate the speech of their supposed social inferiors").

Heffer he shows how better written and spoken English can be achieved by mastering a few simple rules, in a book for anyone who cares about the beauty of the English language.


The Arts and Crafts Garden (Shire Library)
The Arts and Crafts Garden (Shire Library)
by Sarah Rutherford
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

4.0 out of 5 stars A compact yet informative guide, 8 Oct 2013
A compact yet informative guide to how the Arts and Crafts Movement, and its values of simplicity, craftsmanship and beauty, influenced garden design, particularly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, guided by such luminaries as William Morris, Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens.


Birds and People
Birds and People
by Mark Cocker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 24.80

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A world without birds would lay waste to the human heart.", 2 Oct 2013
This review is from: Birds and People (Hardcover)
There are 10,500 species of bird worldwide, and throughout history wherever birds and humans coexist we have marvelled at their beautiful plumage and been entranced by their haunting songs, so much so that birds are embedded in our religions, folklore and arts (one species even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, thanks to Woody Woodpecker).

But birds have also served a more practical purpose, whether for food or using their feathers for decoration. Author and naturalist Mark Cocker has undertaken the mammoth task of documenting this relationship between birds and humankind. His authoritative yet readable text is interspersed with contributions from more than 650 individuals (ranging from university professors to tribal peoples) in over eighty countries, and is accompanied by David Tipling's stunning photographs, in what must be the definitive book on the subject.

This is a bird book where the focus is on birds' wider historical and cultural significance ("a source book on why we cherish birds," Mark calls it), and shows why humankind needs to concern itself with the conservation of other species: "A world without birds would lay waste to the human heart."


Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain
Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain
by Charlotte Higgins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.40

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars readable and informative, 30 Sep 2013
Setting off in a temperamental 1974 VW campervan, Classics scholar and journalist Charlotte Higgins explores Britain in search of its Roman past. She discovers ruins and remains, sometimes in the most unlikely of places -- fragments of a basilica in a city centre hairdresser's, for example, or the remains of a Roman wall in a London car park.

Always readable and informative, Charlotte's narrative seeks to uncover the legacies of four centuries of Roman occupation:
"I wanted to discover the ways in which the idea of Roman Britain has resonated in British culture," she writes, "and still forms part of the texture of its landscape."


The Nature Magpie: A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World (Icon Magpie)
The Nature Magpie: A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World (Icon Magpie)
by Daniel Allen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.09

4.0 out of 5 stars Anecdotes, facts and figures, folklore and literature from the natural world, 17 Sep 2013
A collection of anecdotes, facts and figures, folklore and literature from the natural world. Find out the likelihood of sharing your name with a hurricane, learn to dance the Hippopotamus Polka, or where are the planet's most biodiverse places - and much much more.


Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers
Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables and Flowers
by Joseph Tychonievich
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful advice for any aspiring plant breeder, 17 Sep 2013
It's the holy grail of gardening: a plant that perfectly matches your tastes and the conditions in your garden. Trouble is, you're not likely to find it in your local garden centre. However, help is now at hand from expert horticulturalist and plant geneticist Joseph Tychonievich.

Here he offers helpful advice for any aspiring plant breeder who wants to create their own unique hybrid vegetables and ornamentals, including: the basics of genetics; the technique of cross-pollination; and how to harvest and store seeds.

He also delves into the specifics of breeding some popular vegetables and flowers, from cabbages to columbines.

Joseph's message is simple: "If you garden, you can breed plants."


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