Lockdown Reading

From 5th January 2021 Lockdown we’re giving you daily recommendations – on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram (links aboven @PlackittBooth) please follow us!

Don’t forget we do FREE Lytham delivery (ask in ‘Order Notes’ box on ordering), we are in the shop 9am-3pm Mon to Sat for telephone orders and Click & Collect and we post out too!

Daily Picks Gallery below – scroll down to read why it’s been picked.

Day 1

To kick off our daily reading suggestions we have the super selling Christmas No 1 ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ by Richard Osman. If you haven’t already read or been gifted it, this is a fantastic start to your lockdown reading. A rollicking great plot, a brilliant cast of characters and a who-dunnit into the bargain. With movie rights snapped up by Spielberg you can also have the fun of second guessing casting!

Day 2

One of our favourite picture books of all time is the fantastic ‘Dr Dog’ by Babette Cole. This is a hilarious look at basic hygiene. It contains the immortal advice ‘Never scratch your bum and suck your thumb’! Dr Dog is the Gumboyle’s pet dog and the only sensible family member. When he jets off to Brazil for a conference the family all get ill and have to bring him back to treat their nits, dizziness and worms….ew! Irreverently funny it ends with Grandpa farting the roof off after too many beans and beer!

Day 3

We’re turning to crime on Day 3. For a properly thrilling psychological thriller we are recommending ‘The Catch’ by TM Logan. Brilliantly written with a well structured and satisfying plot, this is a gripping read which will have you on the edge of your seat for a good couple of days! His bestselling novel ‘The Holiday’ is also due to be on TV with production starting early 2021.

Day 4

We love ‘Pages & Co’ by Anna James for young readers (6-10 years). A super imaginative tale celebrating the adventures to be had with books and featuring 11 year old Tilly who discovers the art of ‘book wandering’ – where characters cross from the page into real life.

Best of all, there are 3 in the series!

Day 5

At a time when we are apparently all cooking like mad, what better way to pass the time than with ‘Hungry’ by Grace Dent. A fantastic memoir about food, class & family and the journey from a terraced house in Carlisle to multimillion-pound London restaurants that quake at your arrival. Deliciously nostalgic, poignant and laugh out loud funny.

Day 6

As we all try to relax and stay sane, who better to help us learn than the Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh, with his classic republished ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’.  Beautifully written with warmth and clarity, this is the essential guide to welcoming presence in your life and truly living in the moment from the Zen master and father of mindfulness himself.

Day 7

Our History pick for today is ‘Harrier 809’ by Rowland White. Written with the pace and energy of a thriller, it charts the formation of 809 Naval Air Squadron against the might of the Argentinian air force. Not since WWII had so much been expected of such a small band of pilots. Meticulously researched it shows how the little jump jet became an icon of British aviation, alongside the Spitfire and the Hurricane.

Day 8

‘The 24 Hour Cafe’ by Libby Page is written beautifully with a deceptively light touch – this novel has really stayed with us. Set in the cafe of the title, it’s primarily a story of two friends, and the customers and staff who move in and out of their lives. It has a timely central theme of kindness.

Day 9

Everything that Allan Ahlberg creates is complete genius and The Pencil is no exception. Our hero, the Pencil, draws first a world and then a paintbrush to colour it .. soon everyone starts complaining and, oh oh, he draws a rubber! You can buy The Pencil and get another picture book for free in our Walker Books Promotion here – Promotions.

Day 10

Today’s pick is the brand new thriller from Peter May ‘A Silent Death’. May is the international bestseller of ‘Lockdown’, the thriller which predicted a world in quarantine, and ‘The Lewis Man’. Here he serves up a strong, independent Spaniard with a socially inept Scotsman, a senseless vendetta with a sense-deprived victim, all in 2020 Costa Del Sol.

Day 11

If the thought of a novel that feels like a combination of The Hunting Party, Twilight and Lord of the Flies floats your boat I have the perfect book. I devoured ‘Winterwood’ by Shea Ernshaw in one sitting. Fantastically written (I’ve never met a scarier wood), it features a rumoured witch, a school for Wayward Boys, a frozen valley locked in by a snowstorm, a boy missing, a boy dead and a possible killer on the loose. What more could you want?

Good for anyone 14 years+ and adult fans too!

Day 12

9 years ago, Dr Michael Mosley made the BBC Horizon documentary East, Fast & Live Longer and started the 5.2 Fast Diet, showing the incredible power of intermittent fasting. Dr Clare Bailey (his GP wife) helped write the reciepe book and here the two work together again on ‘The Fast 800 Easy’, bringing together all the latest science with a new approach: Time Restricted Eating. 800 calories is the magic number – an amount high enough to be manageable but low enough to speed weight loss and trigger metabolic changes. An effective way to help you lose weight, improve mood, reduce blood pressure, inflammation & blood sugars.

 

Day 13

As Bridgerton-mania reaches it’s peak thanks to Netflix, delve into life in Georgian (Regency) Britian with bestselling historian Ian Mortimer and ‘The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain’.

A bestselling series, this is written as a brilliant guide should you ever find yourself visiting the 1790s; what people eat, drink & wear; where they shop and how they amuse themselves; what they believe in and what they were afraid of. (He is also the author of a very fine novel (The Outcasts of Time).

Day 14

The new edition of the ‘RSPB Birds of Britain and Europe’ by Rob Hume is a beautifully photographed and authoratitive guide to our bird life, including fascinating background information about different behaviours and habits of over 500 species.

As we all, myself included, become much more focused on the birds around us, treat yourself or a loved one to a brilliant guide to identifying what’s outside the window! (Personal new fav is the Long-tailed Tit).

Day 15

Back in the heady days of Literary Lunches in 2018 we were delighted to welcome Kate Mosse with The Burning Chambers. Now the sequel ‘The City of Tears’ has just been published and we have signed copies available. We can’t wait to welcome her back to Lytham – here’s hoping for a Book 3 in the series event! Meanwhile escape in her amazing historical novel following Minou Joubert and her family in 1572 France.

Day 16

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz is a fantastic read for all crime fans, brilliantly written with a nod to  Jack Reacher via James Bond. This is the first in the series – we’ve read them all and they’re ace –  No 7 is due out in February. As one of our favourite Literary Lunch guests David Baldacci said ‘Read this book. You will thank me later’.

 

Day 17

‘Kind’ endorsed by Axel Scheffler is a truely lovely, profound and thoughtful book for children featuring the gorgeous work of the world’s best illustrators. They gave their work for free and £1 from each sale goes to the Three Peas charity, which gives vital help to refugees from war-torn countries. As Scheffler says ‘It’s good to remind ourselves that even the smallest acts of kindness really can make an impact’.

 

Day 18

Light relief for 6-10 year olds home schooling- enter ‘Stick Dog’ by Tom Watson! First in a fun series that follows Stick Dog and his gang of dog pals on their various adventures to get their paws on food! Not too heavy on the text and with fun illustrations this is a light hearted series that will fill kids with confidence that they’ve made their way through a chapter book easily.

Day 19 

‘RHS Gardening Through the Year’ by Ian Spence is the authoritative guide to your garden and what you should be doing month by month – a great resource for beginners & experienced Gardner’s alike. Perfect to get stuck into at this time of the year!

Day 20

‘The Moth and the Mountain’ by Ed Caesar is an incredible true story full of derring-do – one man’s plan to fly a Gipsy Moth aeroplane from England to Everest, crash land on the lower slopes and climb the mountain alone. A fantastic book that rights the wrongs of a character written out of history.

Day 21

‘Any Human Heart’ by William Boyd is one of our favourite and most recommended books. Following the fictional life of Logan Mountstuart across every decade of the twentieth century this novel is an absolute stunner. The Duchess of Cornwall may have chosen ‘Restless’, but this is the novel which will make you love Boyd forever.

Day 22

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay is a great read for late teens and early twenties. Recommended as a positive, thoughtful, and uplifting read by our eldest, this is a practical guide to making the most of your twenties – a decade which is now recognised to be one of the most defining of adulthood.

Day 23

Congratulations to Monique Roffey for winning the Costa Book of The Year Award 2020 for ‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’. A long-time favourite author of Pat’s, we are delighted for her – buy her fantastic novel now before it goes out of stock!

Day 24

We’ve read an advance copy of ‘Exit’ by Belinda Bauer and it is fantastic. If you’ve not yet read this award winning bestselling author, know that her debut won her the CWA Gold Dagger Award and her last novel was on the Man Booker Prize longlist. You will love her!

Day 25

‘The Good Thieves’ is by one of our favourite writers for age 10+, the brilliant Katherine Rundell. Her breakout book was 2014’s award winning ‘Rooftoppers’, and you really should read all of her five books! She specialises in great adventure stories, told with wit and sparkle. This story is a heist – a group of kids who will do anything to right a wrong.

Day 26

‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell is the quintessential ‘crossover’ book, charming children, teenagers and adults alike (I originally read it as an 11 year old). If you’ve enjoyed the TV adaptation you will be charmed by the book: even more bonkers, witty, funny and escapist than the telly! For those new to it – this is the bewitching account of a rare & magical childhood on the island of Corfu by treasured British conservationist Gerald Durrell.

 

Day 27

Brace yourselves for ‘The Wim Hof Method’ by Hof, the IceMan himself. Best known for trying to scale Mount Everest in only a pair of shorts and hiking boots, Hof has broken more world records than even he can count. His feats include a near-fatal 57-metre swim under ice during which he went temporarily blind, and a barefoot half-marathon in the Arctic. Scientists have now begun studying his methods to evaluate if they can offer universal benefits. Cold exposure, breathing and an uplifting read!

Day 28

Crime pick today is The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths, bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries.

A 90 year old woman with a heart condition dies – nothing suspicious. But Peggy Smith was a ‘murder consultant’ plotting deaths for authors … and DS Harbinder Kaur finds suspicions building with every passing day in this brilliant literary mystery. We have one signed copy left!

Day 29

Axel Scheffler’s 'Flip Flap Minibeasts' is a bonkers book of mixed-up minibeasts from the bestselling, award-winning illustrator of The Gruffalo. What do you get if you cross a ladybird with a grasshopper? It's a ladybopper, of course!  Create your own silly combinations by turning the split pages.
Great for pre-schoolers learning all about the minibeasts in our gardens and parks as we head into Spring.

Day 30

The Madman’s Library by Edward Brooke-Hitching is one of our favourite books from 2020. As The Sunday Times say ‘Quite simply the best gift for any book lover this year, or perhaps ever’ – the most gorgeous book about books you’ll every buy – and it’s in our Winter Sale!

Day 31

Fans of The Crown will love ‘Murder on Mustique’ by Anne Glendower, bestselling author of the fabulously gossipy ‘Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown’. Her late husband Lord Glenconner, was the owner of Mustique and together they turned it into a paradise for the rich and famous. This is fiction and a great ‘closed room’ mystery on an island isolated by storm, but it is fun to guess who some of the characters may be inspired by.

Day 32

‘Amari and the Night Brothers’ by BB Alston is the first in a newly published supernatural adventure series for 8+ years, and is soon to be a major film. Featuring a big brother gone missing, a Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, and a new school where mermaids, aliens, magicians & weredragons are real, this book pushes all the right buttons!

Day 33

Clean & Green by Nancy Birtwhistle is proving super popular! If you’re looking to reduce your use of plastic, throwaway products and chemicals this great little book comes up with 101 tips. Every little swap and recipe does it’s bit for the planet.

Day 34

The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair is the intriguing and suprising story behind 75 colours. Encompassing fashion, politics, art and war this is a brilliant read for anyone interested in colour – whether it’s painting your hallway or daubing a canvas. Fascinating to read cover to cover or perfect to pick up and put down, walking away with a thought provoking gem.

Day 35

Go on, treat yourself to a giant helping of Marian Keyes bestselling Grown Ups! A brilliant, hilarious & tender novel. The glamorous Casey family are just about keeping everything under control, until Ed’s wife Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all the secrets.

Day 36

If you’re looking for arty activity for kids try Draw with Rob by Rob Biddulph. Joyous, fun and great for all ages this is a fantastic book from a prizewinning author. Rob has become the ‘Joe Wicks’ of pen & pencils – you can join in on social media and YouTube. In May 2020 he broke the Guinness World Record for the largest online art lesson when 45,611 participants drew a whale with him!

Day 37

Jane Harper exploded on to the thriller scene with her debut The Dry, The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year 2017, now the Queen of outback noir is back with her 4th The Survivors.

A body on the beach, a sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that never washed away… hold on to your seats!

 

Day 38

Empireland by Sathnam Sanghera is a fascinating attempt to understand why the modern British appear to display such amnesia about their forebears’ vast, world-changing project and it’s lasting legacy. A voyage of discovery for the author himself, this reads as a genuine attempt to undersand how our past is impacting the present, and how we can only truly understand who we are by knowing who we were.

Day 39 

As we approach lockdown half term, today’s recommendation is for the genius board game Carcassone. Our household is currently obsessed! For players 7+ years, 2-5 players and each game is approx 30 minutes.

Lay tiles to build your fort, roads and monasteries – lay ‘meeples’ (your people) to claim territory and score points. Somewhere between a giant every-changing jigsaw & chess, you can play collaboratively or (in our house) fiendishly strategically to block others path! Lovely illustrated tiles, wooden meeples – endless hours of fun and well worth the money.

Day 40

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow it’s got to be Love Poems today – and who better than Chris Riddell ‘Poems to Fall in Love With’, a beautifully illustrated selection of classic and contemporary poems. Celebrating Love in all it’s guises and perfect as a gift for just about everyone! We are open to 3pm today if you want to grab a copy from the bookshop.

Day 41

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. One of the greatest romantic novels and possibly my most re-read book of all time. Superb in every way, revolutionary in its time and inspiring endless reinterpretations and adaptations. If you’ve never read it, treat yourself!

 

Day 42

With half term holidays ahead have some fun with ‘Dad Lab’ by Sergei Urban – great activities and experiments with everyday kitchen cupboard ingredients using the fields of Science, Technology, engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Day 43

For all those Lockdown Puppies out there we have ‘Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy’ by Steve Mann. This is the UK’s No 1 bestselling book on puppy training by the man who has transformed the lives of over 100,000 dogs and their families. Perfect reading for happy owners and well mannered dogs!

Day 44

If you’re in a book group and want a novel to inspire debate look no further than ‘The Push’ by Ashley Audrain – this bestselling debut is being touted as 2021’s ‘We Need to talk about Kevin’. A gripping thriller that delves into the darker side of motherhood and our deepest fears – everyone who reads it says they can’t stop thinking about it!

Day 45

An old favourite today – ‘The Perfume Collector’ by Kathleen Tessaro. A beautifully written novel moving between 1950s London and 1920s Paris, set in the world of of perfumers and their muses. Wonderfully atmospheric, escapist and doubly fascinating if you love perfume.

 

Day 46

Youngest has reminded me of the brilliance of ‘Half Bad’ by Sally Green, by reading it in record time and late into the night! First in a bestselling trilogy that saw the Lytham born and raised Green break the GWR for most translated book by a debut author prepublication. Absolutely addictive, thought provoking and great for confident readers 12 years +

Day 47

‘SPQR’ by international bestselling classicist Mary Beard is a fascinating new look at Roman history. Its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual are eerily pertinent and still influence the debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is the Romans’ own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, ‘the Senate and People of Rome’.

 

Day 48

‘Tall Tales and Wee Stories’ by the incomparable Billy Connolly has been in the charts constantly in hardback and paperback since its publication – and rightly so. A rare talent combining riotuous hilarity, exquisite observation, and the brilliance to say even the most shocking of insights whilst making us laugh uproariously, he has now surely reached the status of national icon. This is a superb collection of his most famous routines.

Day 50

‘Man With A Van’ is the story of Drew Pritchard, star of TV’s Salvage Hunters. Full of remarkable stories of the business of finding and restoring lost treasures, including how Pritchard made a million, lost it and made it again. This is the man who discovered the casts Lord Elgin made of his infamous marbles in a school garage; Pritchard is the Indiana Jones of factories, schools and pubs, bringing lost relics back to life.

 

Day 51

‘American Dirt’ by Jeanine Cummins is a breathtaking page turner of a read. Stirring lots of controversy as it walks the fine line between an action packed plot and the humane desire to illuminate the Mexican migrant story. The journey starts with a bookshop owner in Acapulco and her investigative journalist husband who incurrs the wrath of a narcotics cartel, forcing her and her son to flee North.

Day 51

Liz Pichon, creator of the brilliant Tom Gates, is back with No 18 in the series, ‘Tremendous Tales’. The multi-million copy selling author and illustrator is a god send for reluctant readers aged 6-10 years (with lots of older fans too!). Laugh-out-loud funny and fully illustrated, this collection of stories stars Tom Gates, his friends, family and foes!