A stunningly provocative and thought-provoking book viewing England from a different perspective, one where: “magic and rebellion and destruction are the horses to which the country is hitched. On these fabled shores we are all castaways, whether our family has lived here for four thousand years or four”. Stephen Ellcock’s books are particular favourites of mine, I regularly dip into All Good Things, and The Book of Change. Here he has joined forces with Mat Osman, whose short texts sit as an introduction to each chapter where the images chosen are allowed to sing. I love Mat’s introduction! He perfectly describes Stephen’s talent for choosing images and picking up on the thoughts and feelings of the moment. He also brings England to life: “Like a teenager sulking in their room, England is in one of its periodic spasms of insularity - but no matter, we’ve been here before”. Look deeper, explore roots that are bound to the ancient and to wilderness, join protests and anti-fascist marches, adore our absurdity while remaining aware of our capacity for division and discord. While our dark times are explored, hope springs in the form of a new breed of artists, the images chosen here matter, they speak of and to our deepest emotions. This book has helped me to feel connected again with the country in which I live, my eyes opened in a new awareness. A LoveReading Star book, England on Fire is truly beautiful, it’s astute, inclusive, and absolutely magical.
From the award-winning creators Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran comes a stunning new graphic novel. An elderly widow buys what turns out to be the Holy Grail from a second-hand shop, setting her off on an epic journey with an ancient knight who lures her with ancient relics in the hope of winning the cup. From the Eisner and Bram Stoker-award winning team of Snow, Glass, Apples comes a beautiful, brand-new graphic novel adaptation.
Fascinating and utterly bewitching, if you love fairy tales, in fact stories of any kind, then this is the book for you. Nicholas Jubber examines the history of the fairy tellers, those who started the fairy tales that have twisted and reformed and are still alive today. I have to say that this book is so ‘right up my street’ that it’s parked on double yellows, thrown its doors open and invited everyone to gather round and listen, so of course we declare it a LoveReading Star Book. The book itself is completely engaging, from the choice of cover to the accompanying map, and chart detailing the legacies of the story tellers, through to the explanations and decisions taken over the content. Nicholas Jubber has with great love and attention chosen a core selection of tellers, highlighting the oral culture that dwells in their past: “Their collective life stories trace the development of the fairy tale from oral community tales to the mass production lines of the modern children’s literature industry”. Nicholas Jubber himself is a teller and with vibrant, vivid eloquence explains the background to our much beloved tales. I recognised iconic and less well known writers and stories, travelled to far flung places and through time, and ended up thinking about fairy tales in a completely different way. The author advises that: “These are precious stories, beautiful stories, carved out of terrible suffering in some cases, and in others moulded from moments of ecstatic joy”. So, don’t begin expecting a happily ever after, like the traditional stories this comes with bite, but there is also joy waiting to be discovered. I highly recommend stepping into The Fairy Tellers and spending quality time within the pages as it’s an absolute beast of a beautiful read.