Out today: Stephen King's Bazaar of Bad Dreams...
My Showcasing the unique costumes featured in the Star Trek franchise, from Mr.
Spock's Starfleet uniform to Uhura's mirror universe ensemble. The book features
a wardrobe gallery that explores beautiful and innovative fashions from the
various film and television versions of Star Trek, including different
iterations of the Starfleet uniform, exquisitely designed alien garb, and much,
accompanied by exclusive interviews with costume designers and experts. Drawing on the entire franchise, including all twelve films and six TV series, STAR TREK COSTUMES explores the creation of some of the most memorable garb in the galaxy...
More about STAR TREK COSTUMES on the nonfiction page...
Back to normal for the bumper December Christmas issue, which will be published on the 1st December - chock-full of brilliant book suggestions for stunning Christmas gifts... some of the titles in this issue will probably be held over for the Christmas issue, but there will be a whole new set of books of the month, many of which I already have in my possession! See you in December!
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What a line-up for November!
Daniel Wallace: Ghostbusters - The Ultimate Visual History
Published by Titan Books, hardback, on 22nd October 2015
WHO YOU GONNA CALL? The Ghostbusters saga has been thrilling fans around the
world for over three decades, from the original movies to the animated shows,
comics, video games, toys, and other collectibles. For the first time,
"Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History "takes a comprehensive look at the
entire franchise, telling the complete story behind the creation of a true pop
culture phenomenon. Beginning with an in-depth look at the original film,
"Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History "delves into the archives to showcase
a wealth of never-before-seen concept art and photography that will take fans
into the production of a true classic. Also featuring a large section on
"Ghostbusters II," the book brings together exclusive interviews with the key
players from both films, including director Ivan Reitman; stars Dan Aykroyd,
Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver; and producers Michael C. Gross and Joe
Medjuck. More on the Nonfiction page...
Lynda La Plante: Tennison
Published by Simon and Schuster, hardback, on 24th September 2015
From the creator of the award-winning ITV series Prime Suspect,
starring Helen Mirren, comes the fascinating back story of the iconic DCI Jane
In 1973 Jane Tennison, aged 22, leaves the Metropolitan Police
Training Academy to be placed on probationary exercise in Hackney where
criminality thrives. We witness her struggle to cope in a male-dominated,
chauvinistic environment, learning fast to deal with shocking situations with no
help or sympathy from her superiors. Then comes her involvement in her first
murder case. More on the Crime page...
Stephen King: The Bazaar of Bad Dreams
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, hardback, on 3rd November 2015
A thrilling collection of twenty stories - some brand new, some published in
magazines, all entirely brilliant and assembled in one book for the first time -
with a wonderful bonus: in addition to his introduction to the whole collection,
King gives readers a fascinating introduction to each story with
autobiographical comments on their origins and motivation...The No. 1
bestselling writer has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of novellas
and short story fiction since his first collection NIGHT SHIFT was published. He
describes the nature of the form in his introduction to the book: 'There's
something to be said for a shorter, more intense experience. It can be
invigorating, sometimes even shocking, like...a beautiful curio for sale laid
out on a cheap blanket at a street bazaar.' More on the Fantasy & SF page...
Thoughts about books... and people...
Late last month I was in our local branch of W H Smith buying a lottery ticket and just happened to glance at the bottom shelf of the end display facing us as we entered the shop. There, right next to each other, were new books by: Bruce Forsyth, Alan Sugar, Jeremy Clarkson, and finally the new book about Cameron, Call Me Dave, and I thought what a strange coincidence it was that the people who worked in the shop had managed to put together books by the four people I hate more than any others, with the exception of the entire Conservative and LibDem parties (for what they've done to the ordinary people of this country, with more and worse to come). It isn't nice to hate people, but they've brought it upon themselves, I'm afraid. The only books missing from the display would have been by Matt Lucas and Johnny Vegas... and possibly the arch-evil Margaret Thatcher... for someone who's burning in Hell, she's starting to look more saintly by the day!
You might be tempted to argue that Alan Sugar is a Labour peer (I think he may have crossed the floor - he certainly voted with the tories on the tax credit defeat for poor George Osborne) and a philanthropist. I would argue that he has made millions from selling not very good products to ordinary people (I remember once buying an Amstrad amplifier and getting rid of it as quickly as I could, replacing it with a better, more established and trustworthy brand, such as Rotel, or Toshiba), and in recent weeks has revealed himself as little more than a badly advised Londoner, living off the back of those not very good products and now dominating primetime BBC1 television with a series of programmes about a group of attention-seeking losers. I'm proud to say that I have never ever been tempted to watch The Apprentice and never will. It isn't entertaining, it isn't educational, it isn't informative, and shouldn't be on our television. After his ill-judged comments about poor people in Cameron's Britain, I really hope viewers will shun his programme and get it shoved back to the early hours of the morning when no one watches TV, and eventually cancelled and taken off altogether.
You might even argue that Bruce Forsyth is an entertainer. He's also an extremely right-wing tory supporter, and not a very nice person at all. He ruined Strictly Come Dancing for several years, should never have been given the job of compering it in the first place, and has never, ever, entertained me in any way whatsoever. A nasty, big-headed right-wing piece of nastiness.
As for Jeremy Clarkson - I have nothing to say except that he is a monster and the BBC is well rid of him and his nastiness. I'm fortunate enough not to subscribe to Amazon Prime or Sky, I prefer to pay nothing for my TV programmes other than the initial payment for an excellent Humax Freesat box, so I can't be tempted by anything on Murdoch TV, Netflix or Prime...
As for Cameron - I have nothing to say other than that in my opinion, he (and his cabinet) should be arrested and charged with crimes against the state, humanity, and the British people. I'm a Christian, we're supposed to forgive people, but that only works if they recant their evil ways and ask for forgiveness. The problem with these "people" is that they don't think they're doing anything wrong, and until they do, they cannot be forgiven. The sooner we're rid of any politician to the right of Jeremy Corbyn, the better, in my opinion.
I shan't be watching QI ever again while Stephen Fry is in charge...
Although - as far as I'm aware - there are no books out this year by Matt Lucas and Johnny Vegas, I can't help commenting on their contributions to QI, once one of the funniest panel game shows on British TV, now reduced to a vehicle for toilet humour, embarrassing sexual innuendo and unnecessary bad language. Let's start with Johnny Vegas - a totally talentless individual who commandeers QI whenever he's on it, with his loud, strident voice and his proclamations about nothing other than himself. Nothing interesting there except to Johnny Vegas. What, exactly, is his claim to fame? Matt Lucas made his first appearance (I won't say hopefully his last, because I really couldn't care less, I shan't be watching it again) on the very first programme in the new series a couple of weeks ago. Another talentless person, with nothing to say except to use language that's totally unnecessary even after the watershed, on a programme that decent families used to be able to watch comfortably without cringeing at the overt sexual references and childish toilet humour. QI used to be funny and informative - now it's simply unwatchable television, and Stephen Fry has carried over his appallingly self-indulgent and explicitly bad taste from his memoirs and his novels into a show that used to be really quite interesting... I would say I'm glad he's not going to be presenting it any more, but again, I don't really care, I'll stick to Pointless and University Challenge - safe to watch, as ever.
As for those books on the W H Smith display - I'm extremely proud to be able to say that they will never be reviewed in Books Monthly. Maybe the person who arranged them like that was putting them there as some kind of rogues' gallery - for me none of them has any redeeming features. (Saw three of the same titles together on the bottom row in the foyer in Morrisons the following day - can't be a coincidence, surely?)
Finally, this month, which is a decidely Christian month, a word about the woman on Question Time who said she'd voted Tory but now says she would vote for Jeremy Corbyn - sorry, I can't have any sympathy for her - she would have been quite happy for the Tory cuts to bite deeper and deeper, as long as they didn't affect her and her family... there has been some talk of her being a tory plant in the Question Time audience, put there to prompt a suitable reply from the tory woman on the panel - I don't know if that's true or not, nor do I care. The whole thing looked staged to me, and I simply can't feel sorry for her, she brought it on herself.
Next month is my special Christmas edition, and it will be crammed with fantastic titles you'll want to buy for yourself and your loved ones - books always make the perfect Christmas present, and this year there are some superb titles coming along... Also, my four books of the year are revealed... see you 1st December!
Editor, publisher and author...
The small print: Books Monthly, now in its eighteenth year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by me, Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from it, it's free. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email and I'll let you know where to send it.
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