Friday, 27 February 2009

'Book of the Day': 1948 A Soldiers Tale

Today's last but by no means least 'Book of the Day', is Uri Avnery's '1948 A Soldier's Tale - The bloody road to Jerusalem'

This is the second title in the selection published by Oneworld Publications, by Uri Avnery, recipient of the Alternative Nobel Piece Prize.

Joining the Isreali army at the outbreak of war, and later volunteering for the legendary commando unit, "Samson's Foxes", Uri Avnery took part in almost all the major battles on the Jerusalem and southern fronts. Writing from the battlefield, from the back of jeeps, in deserted billages and, at the very end, from a military hospital bed, Avnery captured the taste and texture of life on the front line: of adrenaline-fueled battles and day-to-day brutalities, as well as the bravery, camaraderie, and off-duty exploits of young men and women thrust into the horror and inhumanity of war.

Gripping, sensitive, and at times deeply poignant, this is one man's unforgettable story of a year that affected all those who lived, fought, and died in one of the most significant wars of our time.

Uri Avnery, journalist, writer, and politician, has fought for peace for over fifty years, co-founding the peace organisation Gush Shalom. He has received numerous awards for his extensive humanitarian work.

Written from the trenches, this moving memoir of a young Isreali soldier is the first eyewitness account of the Isreali war of Independence, and is widely recognized as the outstanding book of that war - the Middle East's 'All Quiet on the Western Front'.

'First English edition of a bestselling book published in 1949 - gripping eye witness account written from the trenches' - Debby Wale, Reader Development Librarian


Thursday, 26 February 2009

'Book of the Day': What's Wrong With Eating People?

Today's 'Book of the Day' is Peter Caves' 'What's Wrong With Eating People?'

Published by Oneworld Publications in September 2008, Peter Cave's work poses philosphical questions about life, in a humourous way, supported by 16 original illustrations. From the bestselling author of 'Can a Robot be Human?'

Peter's second volume of puzzling paradoxes, logical loopholes, and classic conundrums carves up life's most important questions with clarity, sparkle, and humour. Served with generous helpings of tall stories and quirky cartoons, 'What's Wrong With Eating People?' boasts a menu ranging from politics to love, ethics to art. A feast of fun for all ages - expecially those who loved the brilliantly successful 'Can a Robot be Human?'

'Britain's wittiest philosopher on top form' - Raymond Tallis, author of 'The Kingdom of Infinate Space'

'Bound to spark lively debates around the dinner table' - Rick Lewis, editor of 'Philosophy Now'

Peter teaches philosophy at City University, London. He has lectured around the world, often writes for Philosophy Now, and has written and presented philosophy programmes for the BBC. He lives in Soho.

This book is witty, energetic, and thought provoking. These philosophical puzzles will challenge, and entertain you at the same time.


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

'Book of the Day': Earth Inc.

Today's 'Book of the Day' is Michael Bollen's 'Earth Inc.'

Published by Picnic Publishing, Michael Bollen lives in Brigton as a librarian, and recording and perorming music under the name Casetteboy. 'Earth Inc' is his first novel.

Its 2052, corporations have taken over the world, and George just wants to go to bed. But a conspiracy of killer robots, cyber-terrorists, a mad scientist, a brain in a jar, and THE END OF THE WORLD prevent this from happening. Again, and again, and again...

'Earth inc.' is a wonderfully funny and surreal, satirical sci-fi novel. Just what one would expect from a brilliant new writer, and pioneering underground techno musician who moonlights as a librarian.

'A funny, charming, inventive comic novel. Michael Bollen's warmth, sharp wit and eye for satirical detail reminded me of Douglas Adams.

Quite possibly the best work of fiction since The Bible.' - Stephen Merchant, The Office, Extras

'Funny and very silly, like a particularly manic Douglas Adams - a world entirely taken over by corporations, a reluctant hero, killer robots...Good stuff!' - Roy, Dulwich Bookshop


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Exclusively Independent in shops!

Flying-books It doesn't feel like that long ago, that I was announcing this the first time around on the Legend Press website...But yes, it's been eight weeks, and now the new selection of Independent talent are in shops- and libraries!

You can visit Dulwich Bookshop, Eastside, Bookseller Crow on the Hill, Housmans, Bolingbroke and Peckham Review to see the 'Exclusively Independent' selection on display.

Hammersmith and Fulham Libraries will also be showcasing the project this month, and keep an eye out for what additional shops and libraries will be taking part next month.


'Book of the Day': Tru

Today's Book of the Day is Eric Melbye's 'Tru'

'Tru' has been published by Flame books, 'Tru' is an "utterly tragic memoir and offers a fragile prayer for us all."

'Tru' is the story of Gertrude Hayes, a lifelong social outcast living out her final days in a residential home. When Tru's only genuine friend gives her a journal, the restless ghosts of her past close in on her, demanding that she confront the memories she so desparately wants to leave behind. Deeply afraid, Tru begins to write.

Interweaving imagination and observation, Tru journeys through recollections of loss, longing, love, and isolation, as she attempts to rediscover hope and forge a new sense of self. With humour and grace, her startling narratives and poignant meditations explore patterns of life and destiny, and the role of stories in our consciousness, forming an exquisite account of a unique woman's experience of the world.

Eric Melbye is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Miami University- Middletown, and Editor of Segue online literary journal. His fiction and poetry have been published in a number of magazines and online journals. He co-edited, with Michelle Lawrence Under Our Skin: Literature of Breast Cancer (The Illuminati Press, 2006). A Wisconsin native, Eric currently lives in Ohio, with his wife and two children. 'Tru' is his first novel.

‘A poignant and beautifully crafted memoir’ - Irene, Bookgroup Info


Monday, 23 February 2009

Exclusively Independent Event!

Hammersmith Library
Wednesday 18th March 2009

We are hosting our very first 'Exclusively Independent' event at the Hammersmith Library to celebrate the projects' success. This is a great chance to come and listen to Authors read from their books, and discuss their own experiences in the Publishing Industry.

Featured Authors are:

Michael Marr
Stephen Clayton
Shanta Everington
Megan Taylor
Peter Cave
Michael Bollen

Representatives from each Publishing Company will also be attending, so come along and bring your friends and family, for what should be an extremely enjoyable evening.

Tickets are free, however you must have a ticket to enter. These are available from Hammersmith Library 020 8753 3820

See you there!

'Book of the Day': A Week at Waterloo

'Today's Book of the Day is Magdalene De Lancey's 'A Week at Waterloo'

Published by Reportage in June 2008, Magdalene De Lancey has come to symbolize all the women who have ever waited for their men to return from war.

Magdalene and William de Lancey were married after a whirlwind romance just months before the cataclysmic battle of Waterloo.

William, one of the first professional officers in the British army, was immediately called by the Duke of Wellington to serve as his Chief-of-Staff.

When hostilities erupted Magdalene fled to Antwerp for safety, where she hid in her room in a vain attempt to escape the sound of the guns. Late in the afternoon while talking with Wellington, de Lancey was hit in the back by a canon ball. Magdalene de Lancey’s is a real life Amelia from Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. Her honest and heart rending account of her struggle to nurse her husband back to health was originally written as a letter to her brother, and it is impossible not to empathise with Magdalene fears, hopes and sorrow. She was widowed ten days after the battle.

Magdalene wrote this heart-rending account of her experiences in 1815. It lay unpublished for more than eighty years. This new edition has an introduction by the historian Andrew Roberts, author of Waterloo: Napoleon’s Last Gamble (2005) and a preface by Magdalene’s great-great-great-great niece Ruth Full-Sessions.

'It was published in full in an American magazine in 1906 and, more than a century later, a fine new edition has been published that will delight cognoscenti of early-19th-century prose, as well as readers with a feeling for true romance and tragedy.' - Daily Telegraph

A percentage of profits will be donated to the Army Families Federation, which supports the families of British servicemen.

This is a truly beautiful book, a heart rending account following the hope and sorrow of one woman and the man she loved.


Friday, 20 February 2009

'Book of the Day': Rumblestrip

'Today's Book of the Day is Woodrow Phoenix's 'Rumblestrip'

A powerful and darkly humorous polemic by a leading British cartoonist that investigates our increasingly dangerous relationship with cars.

Rumble Strip surprises, challenges, asks us questions that badly need answers and makes us think about things we may prefer to ignore. Woodrow Phoenix’s dry, sometimes painfully mordant wit, backed up by accident statistics, personal observations and case histories, offers a trenchant analysis of the problems of road users everywhere and the risks we all take every day. With sharp, densely inked graphics, he immerses us in the narrative as if we are driving those cars or walking along those streets. He personalises the experience of the commuter, the driver, the pedestrian, the accident victim...because any one of them could be us.

'Drawn in crystal-clear black and white, this polemic ...weighs the cost of our automobile dependency to the last penny, literal and metaphorical. It is an angry essay on latecapitalist culture, an alarm bell, a long, hypnotic visual poem and a rigorous argument all rolled into one utterly original work of genius. It should be made mandatory reading for everyone, everywhere.' - The Times

''Every so often a book like this comes along, one which allows fresh vision, even a change of mindset. Brilliant... Rumble Strip is a crucial revelation.' - Ali Smith

'Brilliant. Angry, articulate, bewildered, and beautifully drawn; a visceral blast of truth-telling against the cult of the road. They should be giving it away with new driving licences.' - Jon McGregor

'For a graphic work that doesn't show a single human being, this is an extraordinarily human book. Its ideas and questions about how the car impacts on your life will echo in your mind long after you've finished reading it, whether you're a driver, or a pedestrian, or both.' - Paul Gravett

Adding some great variety to the selection, Rumblestrip is a powerful graphic novel. A book to open our eyes and realise the dangers of the road, while at the same time, be packed with beautiful illustrations.


Thursday, 19 February 2009

'Book of the Day': White Man Falling

Today's Book of the Day is Mike Stocks' 'White Man Falling'

Published by Alma in May 2007, this is Mike's first novel, that won the Goss first Novel Award in 2006. Mike has also published poems and childrens stories.

Police Sub-Inspector (retired) R.M. Swaminathan has suffered a stroke while beating up a Very Guilty Suspect in the lock-up of Mullaipuram Police Station. He can no longer talk properly, command the respect of his community, or give his six daughters the bankrupting dowries they deserve. Is it any wonder that Swami has lost his pride and wants to kill himself using only a puncture-repair kit? Surely a man in these circumstances has good reason to feel cursed when a white man falls out of the sky, dying at his feet and making him a laughing stock. But as further strange incidents occur, Swami’s hometown starts to believe he is walking with God, and life changes for ever…

Mike Stocks’s tale of domestic catastrophe, accidental crime-busting, deluded matchmaking and mystical absurdity brilliantly exemplifies how sometimes in life meaningless events can produce meaningful effects.

'A warm-hearted comedy… Stocks’s poetic background… manifests itself in beautiful turns of phrase… and in the interweaving of Indian English throughout the text. There is a vogue in contemporary fiction for leaping between characters and timeframes like a flea seeking a tasty host. White Man Falling is a reminder that a single location and perspective, and linear chronology, can be deeply satisfying.' - The Times

'A witty and occasionally lyrical novel.' - The Melbourne Age

This is a great book, its humurous and keeps you intrigued the whole way through. Steve from The Book Depository describes it as 'A great book, at times surreal, at times humorous, a definite yes.'


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

'Book of the Day': The Art of Being Dead

Today's 'Book of the Day' is Stephen Clayton's 'The Art of Being Dead'

Published in September 2008, this is Stephen's first published novel, although he has some short stories an poems published.

It is the late 1960’s and in a bleak Northern English town, a young man attempts to live his life without love, pain, or commitment, unaware that in his desire to avoid action he will eventually be drawn into a world of chaos, degradation and death.

Here are Stephen's thoughts on his inlcusion in Exclusively Independent: "As a recently signed writer to a small publishing house I am only too aware of the importance that small publishers play in bringing to the attention of the reading public works of originality and value that, otherwise, would probably never see the light of day. I am delighted that Legend Press has understood this and is determined to prove that excellence exists outside the confines of the mainstream publishing industry. There are many first time authors, myself included, who can only congratulate Legend Press in giving us the opportunity for our voices to reach a wider public. Hurrah!"

'The art of being dead is a brilliant book. Stephen Clayton is a significant new writer and should be hailed as such.' - Scott Pack. Read his full review on

Steve has appeared on local TV and Radio. BBC Radio Bradford, Leeds ,Manchester, Carlisle.
His book has been reviewed in The Yorkshire Post and The Northen Echo. There is a link to a podcast on The Yorkshire Post where you can hear Steve talk about his book and musical career.

He has been touring northern libraries doing readings and Q and A's about his book and publishing in general, and also talked about how difficult it is these days for new writers to get published.

This is a great book, and has had a positive reaction from the panel, " Provative, bleak, cold, and uncompromising" says Irend, Bookgroup Info. A novel to get you thinking.


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

'Book of the Day'

Today's 'Book of the Day' is Gary Davison's 'Fat Tuesday'

Published by Paperbooks in September 2008 'Fat Tuesday' is a fast paced, thriling and highly entertaining read.

Determined not to follow in his late father's footsteps, Spencer Hargreaves turns his back on a multi-million pound inheritance and takes off backpacking. Three months later, he makes Australia's Ten Most Wanted. Hiding out on the gold coast, amid the madness of Mardi Gras, Spencer and his friends experiment with everything they can get their hands on, leaving Spencer struggling to hold onto reality...

"In a book that sets a cracking pace from the very beginning and spares little time for long bouts of introspection, the description of Fat Tuesday shows Gary Davison at his most dynamic. He paints a vibrant picture of the masquerade, of the exuberance of the crowds and the wildness of the festivities, which I found infectious and made me wish it might have been sustained a little longer, before Spencer's past begins to catch up with im in the final third of the novel...part of the charm of Fat Tuesday is that it's a fast-paced story about a rapid journey and that neither lingers over-long in any one place. Gary Davison has achieved a startling sharpness in his writing. It's fast and dizzying and wonderfully wild, and I'm looking forward to the publication of his second book." - The View From Here

"Not every book can be great literature, but it doesn't mean they can't be good fun. I whizzed through Fat Tuesday in two quick sitting. It is short, fast paced and a thoroughly enjoyable romp.

Spencer inherits a fortune from his arsehole of a father but turns his back on it and buggers off to Australia. There he falls in with a bunch of lovable slackers. They all work at the local supermarket and, more out of boredom than anything else, decide to rob it.

It isn't spoiling anything to let you know that all doesn't quite go to plan. Where would be the fun in that?

I reckon that if I was still in my teens or twenties then I would have loved this. It has a sort of young Bukowski feel to it. I am a bit older and wiser now, so enjoyed it more as a bystander." - Scott Pack's blog Me and My Big Mouth

Fat Tuesday'
mixes thriller with intrigue, a great combination that will appeal to those who are interested in stories about con artists. Set in Australia, we get to follow the challenges that Spencer faces. A troubled yet likeable character.


Monday, 16 February 2009

'Book of the Day'

Today's 'Book of the Day' is Candi Miller's 'Salt & Honey'

Published by Legend Press in 2006, 'Salt & Honey' offers a rare glimpse into an endangered culture, providing an epic, moving and fascinating story of endurance and understanding

In a southern Africa violently split during Apartheid, Koba is taken away from her Kalahari desert-tribe after witnessing her parents being murdered by a party of white hunters. She slowly learns to adapt and survive in a dangerous but beautiful environment. However, she is plagued by the knowledge that unless she leaves those who have grown to love her, she faces exile from her own people. The only answer may be to risk all through the brutal laws that condemn her.

A bit of publicity for the book:
Borders Book Group of the Month – March 2008
2008 World Book Day Top 10 books website Book of the Month

'An evocative and intriguing read.' - Heat Magazine

'If you only buy one book this autumn, I strongly recommend you make it Salt & Honey.'

'I was completely and willingly emotionally captivated by this book. There are moments of excruciating agony and sadness, at times almost overwhelming but also moments of great wisdom, clarity and hope as Candi Miller focuses on the bigger picture… a book to have and to hold and to savour’ - Dovegreyreader, top UK book-blogger

I'd have to say that 'Salt & Honey' is one of my personal favourites from Legend Press and Paperbooks. The plot is exciting, heart-warming and intriguing with this inspiring African influence running through it. I highly recommend this one, if I do say so myself!


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Legend Press, in conjunction with the Arts council England, launched an innovative scheme at Christmas last year entitled ‘Exclusively Independent’ aimed at bringing independent bookshops and independent publishers together. Initially based in London bookshops, the reaction has been overwhelming, and the scheme is now featured in a selection of London Libraries.

To highlight independent talent, we have created a shelf-size display of the best books from independent publishers, selected on a monthly basis by an industry panel; the initiative offers POS, promotional discount and high-profile marketing support to the bookshops.

This month’s selection consists of Salt & Honey by Candi Miller (Legend Press), Fat Tuesday by Gary Davison (Paperbooks Publishing), What’s Wrong with Eating People? by Peter Cave (One World Trade), 1948 A Soldiers Tale by Uri Avnery (One World Trade), White Man Falling by Mike Stocks (Alma), Tru by Eric Melbye (Flame Books), The Art of Being Dead by Stephen Clayton (Bluemoose), A Week at Waterloo by Magdalene De Lancey (Reportage Press), and Rumblestrip by Woodrow Phoenix (Myriad Editions).

The scheme will be featured in Hammersmith and Fulham Libraries initially followed by Westfields Centre in the following months. The following Independent Bookshops will also be taking part: Dulwich Bookshop, Bookseller Crow on the Hill, Bolingbroke Bookshop, Eastside Bookshop, Primrose Hill, Housmans and Peckham Review.

To promote the project further, we will be arranging book readings and signings at both the shops and libraries within the next few weeks to help publicise the titles and showcase independent talent.

I'll be updating the blog hopefully on a daily basis, so keep an eye out for all the recent news, and events, from whats happening on and around the project!

For further details, contact Lauren Parsons at