The Twelve Days of Christmas: #Middle Class Problems by Benjamin Lee

It’s the final day of Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway and we’re ending with a fantastic humour book that’s sure to keep the lucky recipient laughing through the holidays.  Just visit our @CBBookGroup Twitter page for your chance to win.

Middle Class Problems

#Middle Class Problems by Benjamin Lee, chosen by Norah Perkins of Curtis Brown

Norah Perkins“I mentioned on this blog last week that I liked two sorts of books for the Christmas holidays, the funny and the sublime. #Middle Class Problems is both funny and sublime. It’s the kind of book that gets passed around the family and all your visitors over the holidays; snippets are read aloud and dads are teased and it all ends up inspiring a kind of family joke meme. Plus, it’s a very classy looking little book.

Here’s a tasting menu:

‘A swan just spat in our salsa’

‘It’s so annoying when you order a flat white and get a cappuccino’

‘No quinoa. Weekend ruined.

‘My cyclone vacuum is still clogged with Nordic pine needles – will the stress of Christmas never end?! #middleclassproblems’

And so on…

Based on the frankly addiction forming @middleclassprob Twitter feed, curated by the incomparable Benjamin Lee (the man who brought us @michael_haneke – go look that up, you’ll thank me), #Middle Class Problems is damn funny – because it holds a mirror up to our selves. Our quinoa-scorching, pug-loving, WhatsApping, ceviche-guzzling, Aeropress-plunging, iPhone-addicted selves.

Read it and weep – with laughter.”

For your chance to win a copy of this book – for yourself or to giveaway – just vist our @CBBookGroup Twitter page on Tuesday 16th December and retweet or favourite one of our tweets about the book.  We will be announcing one lucky winner on our Twitter page on Wednesday 17th December, so stay tuned.

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The Twelve Days of Christmas: We’re Going on a Bar Hunt and The Very Hungover Caterpillar by Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees

We’re nearing the end of our Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway and today Emma Herdman has chosen some perfect Christmas books to give away.  Just visit our @CBBookGroup Twitter page for your chance to win.

                                       

The Very Hungover Caterpillar and We’re Going on a Bar Hunt, chosen by Emma Herdman from Curtis Brown

Emma“Picture it. It’s the day after the Christmas party. You’ve drunk- well, you’ve had a ‘good time’. You’re sitting at your desk, a litre bottle of water and a takeaway breakfast of epic proportions. Emails need answering and you’re trying to perk yourself up. What do you need? Well, two of the funniest parody books around, of course! Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees, a husband and wife team, have penned these clever takes on two classics of children’s literature. Let the familiar illustrations and gentle rhymes lull you whilst laughing your head off, and we guarantee you’ll feel better. And if you don’t want to take our word for it, read Buzzfeed’s take on The Very Hungover Caterpillar here.”

For your chance to win a copy of these two books – for yourself or to giveaway – just vist our @CBBookGroup Twitter page on Monday 15th December and retweet or favourite one of our tweets about the book.  We will be announcing one lucky winner on our Twitter page on Tuesday 16th December, so stay tuned.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Stanley Middleton

We’re nearing the end of our Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway and today Norah Perkins has chosen her perfect Christmas book(s!) to give away.  Just visit our @CBBookGroup Twitter page for your chance to win.

Assorted titles by Stanley Middleton, chosen by Norah Perkins from Curtis Brown.

norah“I always want two sorts of books for Christmas – the first something ultra fun and very funny (watch this space…) and the second something that reflects the better part of me, the serious reader, who over a rare few quiet days in front of a fire can discover a writer I’ve long been meaning to read.

Stanley Middleton, aptly described as ‘the Chekhov of suburbia’, is just such a writer, and Windmill has recently republished a selection of his backlist in a very pretty set of paperbacks. You’ve probably heard of his Booker Prize winning novel HOLIDAY (or not; I hadn’t until very recently – it was back in 1974, and he shared the prize with Nadine Gordimer that year). But Middleton is a writer’s writer, not a national literary hero, though he ought to be, for in his fiction he documents with exacting clarity the moment to momentness that make up our lives. He is an observer of the everyday; like Chekhov, attuned to the small tragedies.

A.S. Byatt wrote that ‘the excellence of art, for Middleton, is an exact vision of real things as they are. And because he is himself so exact an observer, his world at third glance can seem strange and disturbing or newly and brilliantly lit with colour.’ And so in his novels we are allowed to see ourselves as Middleton sees us, and his vision is sharp, unnerving, humane.

Stanley Middleton wrote over forty novels in his lifetime – in this collection are five of his best. ‘He wrote a calm, whispering prose, full of unspoken suggestion between ordinary acts of daily living,’ wrote Jenni Diski. This is fiction that carries us closer to our selves. Nothing could be better for firelit reflection upon our own lives, at the close of the old year, before we step into the new.”

For your chance to win a selection of Middleton novels – for yourself or to giveaway – just vist our @CBBookGroup Twitter page on Friday 12th December and retweet or favourite one of our tweets about the book.  We will be announcing one lucky winner on our Twitter page on Monday 15th December, so stay tuned.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

It’s day nine of our Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway and today Sheila Crowley has chosen her perfect book for Christmas and beyond.  Just visit our @CBBookGroup Twitter page for your chance to win.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, chosen by Sheila Crowley, Literary Agent at Curtis Brown

Sheila Crowley“The perfect book to give and receive is Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.

Let’s face it, Christmas is usually great fun but can also be a very stressful time of year. Do you ever wake up thinking how life is relentless, frantic and exhausting?  It doesn’t have to be that way and with the UK’s biggest selling mindfulness title, you really can change all that.  This book reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into your daily life to help break the cycle of stress, unhappiness and/or exhaustion.  How useful would that be as you embark on your Christmas shopping trip or start planning a ‘New You’ for next year?

This book really can change lives and is endorsed by by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-based stress reduction; and Ruby Wax, who says ‘If you want to free yourself from anxiety and stress, then read this book’.

You can be mindful with your chocolate too and Mark’s short meditation will help you connect with your senses, whilst also appreciating delicious treats. Here is a link to the free Chocolate Meditation (and others) on the Frantic World website.  By investing just a few minutes each day, you can learn the simple mindfulness meditations at the heart of MBCT, with this inspirational book.

For those who have been battling with pain and illness this year, Danny Penman and Vidyamala Burch’s Mindfulness for Health reveals a set of simple practices that you can incorporate into daily life to relieve chronic pain.”

For your chance to win a copy of Mindfulness – for yourself or to giveaway – just vist our @CBBookGroup Twitter page on Thursday 11th December and retweet or favourite one of our promotional tweets about the book.  We will be announcing one lucky winner on our Twitter page on Friday 12th December, so stay tuned.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick (Young Readers Edition)

We’re already up to day eight of our Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway and today Karolina Sutton has chosen her perfect Christmas book for young readers.  Just visit our @CBBookGroup Twitter page for your chance to win.

Malala

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick (Young Readers Edition), chosen by Karolina Sutton, Literary Agent at Curtis Brown

Karolina Sutton“From the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, written specially for the younger audience, the bestselling I Am Malala (published in the UK as Malala) tells the captivating tale of Malala’s childhood in the Swat Valley, her campaign for education, the shooting that made headlines in 2012, and finally her recovery and new life in Birmingham.

I Am Malala is a testament to the courage of one girl and her family and their fight for the right to an education – something often taken for granted by children in the western world. Malala started campaigning when she was just 10 years old. She began with interviews for local news channels and then went on to write a blog for the BBC about life under Taliban rule and the promotion of a children’s education.

We love this book because it shows the importance of standing up for your rights. I Am Malala is a truly inspirational and unforgettable story which encourages young people to stand up for what they believe in.

Don’t take it from us though. Here is a review by a teenage blogger:

‘I would like to start off by saying that this was the most inspiring autobiography I have ever read. It was unlike any other autobiographies where the writer shows off about their glamorous lives and such. Instead this book was about a young girl’s journey to achieve her one and only goal: For every child to get an education.’

http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2014/oct/08/review-malala-malala-yousafzai-patricia-mccormick

For your chance to win a copy of I Am Malala – for yourself or to giveaway – just vist our @CBBookGroup Twitter page on Wednesday 10th December and retweet or favourite one of our promotional tweets about the book.  We will be announcing one lucky winner on our Twitter page on Thursday 11th December, so stay tuned.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Naming of the Shrew by John Wright

It’s day seven of our Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway and today Gordon Wise has chosen his perfect Christmas book to give away.  Just visit our @CBBookGroup Twitter page for your chance to win.

The Naming of the Shrew

The Naming of the Shrew by John Wright, chosen by Gordon Wise, Senior Literary Agent at Curtis Brown

Gordon Wise“Who knew that Latin could be fun? In this beautiful hardback River Cottage forager and natural historian John Wright reveals the true and amazing stories of how and why some of the world’s most interesting flora and fauna got their strange Latin names, from the first dinosaur in the phone book to the beetle that shares its name with an Oscar winning film star.

John Wright proves that Latin can be enjoyable after all – intimidating, incomprehensible, unmemorable and unpronounceable maybe, but familiarity with just a few examples can open up a world of historical, personal, etymological and scientific interest and intrigue. This is the first book to lead you through the astonishing and labyrinthine world of taxonomy to an understanding of its arcane methods, its eccentric perpetrators and the fascinating organisms it describes.

Written with wit and charm, this is ideal Boxing Day fodder for lazing with in front of the fire, or it could even be your secret weapon in advance of the annual dusting off of the Trivial Pursuit box. You never know where this joyful compendium might lead you, one moment you’ll be taken to classical Greece, the next exploring the Enlightenment – and that, for me, is why John Wright’s The Naming of the Shrew is the perfect Christmas gift.”

For your chance to win a copy of The Naming of the Shrew – for yourself or to giveaway – just vist our @CBBookGroup Twitter page on Tuesday 9th December and retweet or favourite one of our promotional tweets about the book.  We will be announcing one lucky winner on our Twitter page on Wednesday 10th December, so stay tuned.

The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher

We’re into week two of our Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway and today Vivienne Schuster has chosen her perfect Christmas book to give away.  Just visit our @CBBookGroup Twitter page for your chance to win.

A Little IN Love
A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher, chosen by Vivienne Schuster, Literary Agent at Curtis Brown.
Viv Schuster (c) Toby Amies“If you’re planning on snuggling up and watching Les Miserables while it snows outside- or even if you’re just a huge Les Mis fan- then you’ve found THE book for you this Christmas.

Susan Fletcher is well known for being a wonderful author of adult novels, but she’s branched out into the Young Adult genre with this novel. However, this isn’t just a book for teenagers. It appeals to fans young and old who want to find out more about the story of the feisty, doomed waif, Eponine. Based on Victor Hugo’s novel (though musical interludes I’m sure can be provided by family and friends after a few sherries), Susan has created a moving portrait of Eponine- from being brought up in an Inn with parents teaching her how to thieve from their guests, to her unrequited love for the brave Marius. Beautiful, atmospheric, vivid, sad- check, check, check, check. This gorgeous book really does make the perfect Christmas present.”

For your chance to win a copy of A Little In Love – for yourself or to giveaway – just vist our @CBBookGroup Twitter page today and retweet or favourite one of our promotional tweets about the book.  We will be announcing one lucky winner on our Twitter page on Tuesday 9th December, so stay tuned.