Archive January 2014

Today we publish Where Memories Go, the terrific new memoir by Sally Magnusson about her mother and her struggle with dementia.

The publicity around the book has been phenomenal with an extract in the Guardian, an interview in the Telegraph, reviews in The Sunday Times and Metro, and other mentions or features in The Sunday Post, Radio Times and Psychologies. Sally also appeared on BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 4 Midweek, and contributed to a live webchat on Mumsnet.

More press is still to

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come and we have a full schedule of events lined up: visit Facebook/WhereMemoriesGo to find out more.

And if you have a story about how dementia has touched your life that you’d like to share, drop us a line at

Sally Magnusson WHERE MEMORIES GO pub date

Last weekend the Guardian published an extract from Where Memories Go, the forthcoming memoir by Sally Magnusson about her mother’s dementia. It immediately generated a lot of discussion, was shared on Facebook over 4000 times and retweeted hundreds of times. We have also received an amazing amount of feedback on the book’s Facebook page and on our other social media channels.

On Tuesday one of Fede’s Instagram followers from the US, Michael Lombardo, got in touch with him after seeing a video about the book on the app and reading the extract: he immediately pre-ordered a copy of the book and wrote to share his family’s experience of dementia. He inspired us to reach out to those people whose life has been changed by this sad disease, so if you have a story you’d like to share email us at We’ve asked Michael to share his story and he very kindly agreed:

Our Mother is 92 and we feel quite fortunate that she was very sharp until a few years ago. We are also lucky that we have full time, very capable, live-in help and Mom is able to stay in the home she has lived in for 40 years.

Her memories are so jumbled now: she’s quite clear on her childhood, but now she sometimes refers to my sister as my aunt and so on. She often asks “Why did you move my house here?”

Mom was (and is) such a beautiful, intelligent, vibrant woman, always smiling and charming, curious about the world. She was a Navy WAVE in WW2, met my father while serving and was married over 60 years. She still recognizes everyone close to her, but we all know those days are numbered. Her personality hasn’t changed, she’s still sweet and kind and on “good days” has a fairly decent grasp of the world around her.

My family cherishes the good days with her and we have some wonderful laughs with all her childhood memories we are now learning of. One day, I was driving with her and she sang me the most beautiful song her sister used to sing to her when she was a little girl, she knew it word for word even though it happened 87 years ago. I could barely keep the car on the road I was so choked up.

My sister and I look forward to your book and gaining some first hand insight, we both know the toughest days are ahead.’

Michael Lombardo (New Jersey, USA)



Our last day of festive celebrations belongs to Nancy Horan, whose book Under the Wide and Starry Sky is our first 2014 title. We hope you enjoyed spending time with us during the holidays: we most certainly did!


New York Times, 1902

“It is utterly insufficient (to eat pie only twice a week), as anyone who knows the secret of our strength as a nation and the foundation of our industrial supremacy must admit. Pie is the American synonym of prosperity, and its varying contents the calendar of the changing seasons. Pie is the food of the heroic. No pie-eating people can ever be permanently vanquished.”

In response to an Englishman’s suggestion that Americans should reduce their daily pie eating to two days per week.

A friend sent me the above quote, knowing I am the pie baker in our family. It made me wonder: has American pie consumption dropped right along with our industrial supremacy? If so, my extended family rallies during holidays to help improve those statistics. We are a pie-eating people. I suited up at Thanksgiving in a white apron and my rolling-pin pin (a gift from a pie-loving sister-in-law) to turn out pumpkin and pecan pies – the standards, nothing heroic. But I’m craving something special for Christmas and find myself surfing the baking blogs. Maybe Lattice-topped Cranberry-Blueberry Pie. Mmmm. Here’s the link:

Nancy Horan is the author of the international bestseller Loving Frank and of the forthcoming Under the Wide and Starry Sky, the story of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny, published in January 2014. Find out more at





















New year, new books! Time for another one of our staff-selected picks… Here comes Kate Craigie’s favourite:

For me, Christmas, as invented by Charles Dickens and Prince Albert, is about nostalgia and indulgence, and so returning each year to my parents’ house where most of my books still reside, I find myself drawn to old favourites. Whilst there is nothing especially Christmassy, or even wintery about Virginia Woolf’s Collected Short Stories, her lyrical, vivid prose – at its most experimental in her short stories, always draws me in, mince pie or mulled wine in-hand. There is both a stylistic and emotional richness to Woolf’s short stories, which at times veers towards the tragic, that seems to compliment the festive palette. Most of the stories are extremely short – ‘Blue’ and ‘Green’ only a few lines long, like small, poetic stocking-fillers, which are perfect to fit in amongst a packed schedule of family parties and Christmas television.

Kate is Editorial Assistant at John Murray Press.

Kate Craigie's Christmas read










On the first day of the New Year, we bring you the words of Two Roads author Lea Carpenter about family, loss and hope. Have a great 2014, filled with love and light.

Christmas is about family; this is my little one, looking like a snowflake.

Christmas is also about loss. Mark Strand’s poem catches family and loss and hope, too. It has been on my desk through many blizzards.


A Piece Of The Storm

From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,

A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room

And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up

From your book, saw it the moment it landed.

That’s all There was to it. No more than a solemn waking

To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly,

A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than that

Except for the feeling that this piece of the storm,

Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back,

That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say:

“It’s time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening.”

Lea Carpenter’s debut novel, Eleven Days, was published this year and will be available in paperback in spring 2014.

Lea Carpenter's Christmas






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celebrating all year round, with some wonderful new books 🙂













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