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TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

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DAY 12: FINAL DAY! – Feat. Ross Fraser, Two Roads’ marketing champion.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 12Reading at Christmas is a chore.

It’s not because I’m too busy drinking with good cheer, or because I’m watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the millionth time or even because I’ve fallen asleep surrounded by the crumbs of many a fallen mince pie. Deary me no…

The reason is because the choice of exactly what to read can be too daunting. How do I choose between my personal seasonal favourites like A Child’s Christmas in Wales or Ethel and Ernest, and the new ‘good’uns’ like The Fox and the Star or The Explorer’s Guild? It’s tricky…

My solution though is simple: read them all and consume excessive amounts of Turkey and festive Toblerone to keep going – it’s the only way through!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 8 – Feat. Lyndsey Ng, one third of Two Roads’ formidable Publicity team.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 8We don’t really do the whole turkey, crackers and carol singing at Christmas in the Ng household, so this year we’ve chosen to have a vegetarian Christmas with recipes from Prashad at Home: Everyday Indian Cooking from our Vegetarian Kitchen by Kaushy Patel.

They’re easy to make recipes with everyday ingredients, so there’ll be no slaving over a hot stove or basting a turkey at 6am in the morning, just delicious, spicy food that’ll warm the soul as well as our kitchen.

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 3 – Feat. Sally Magnusson, author of Two Roads bestseller Where Memories Go (find out more at http://bit.ly/sallymagnusson)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 3I only want comfy books at Christmas, so I’ve just taken delivery of these two in the consoling certainty that I’ll be able to slip into their worlds and entirely disappear.

Robert Harris is the king of historical novelists and I’ve been waiting for Dictator, the third in his Cicero trilogy, for ages.

Christmas also requires at least one new crime book. Under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym J.K. Rowling has brought such a light touch, dark plotting and clever characterisation to her Cormoran Strike novels that I have high hopes for this third one, Career of Evil.

Off to put on the slippers and fill my glass. Cheers!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 2 – Feat. Two Roads publisher Lisa Highton

The Penguin Book of the British Short Story edited by Phillip Hensher

Volume 1 from Daniel Defoe to John Buchan

Volume 2 from P G Wodehouse to Zadie Smith  

 

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 2This is my Christmas present to me.  It comes with a gift tag which says:

I hereby give you permission to put your feet up and read other people’s books over the Christmas holidays, much love etc

I have a passion for short stories and have a huge collection. They’re so marvellously liberating, allowing you to dip in and out – they are the cocktail party of literature.

There’s a publishing myth that short stories don’t sell, which is probably utter nonsense (along with green books not selling – though that one may actually be true). Whatever, the truth is that they are one of the most enjoyable forms of reading.

This incredibly handsome and well curated collection is so tantalising it’s almost edible. It includes some favourites such as Muriel Spark’s Bang-Bang You’re Dead, the old masters such as Saki and Maugham, and some new discoveries for me such as Margaret Oliphant, who wrote prolifically all her life to support her family. I can’t wait.

Happy book break to everyone.

Lisa

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 1 – Feat. Guinevere Glasfurd, author of the forthcoming The Words In My Hand (find out more at http://bit.ly/thewordsinmyhand)


Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 1I was lucky to see Edna O’Brien in conversation twice this year – first, in early February, when she read from the final draft of her latest novel (still a sheaf of loose papers) and then again in November when those papers had become a book: her seventeenth novel, The Little Red Chairs.

The Little Red Chairs deals with the horror of the Bosnian war and brings that horror home – in this case to an unwitting, but in some ways complicit, village community in Ireland. Writing the novel, O’Brien said, was a way to confront the evil of the war, to face down the unrepentant swagger of the men who perpetrated it; to bear witness through language and literature.

Many of us remember the Bosnian war, the nightly reports on the news. It was awful, horrific, but we were largely safe from it. O’Brien’s novel breaks this down absolutely. There is no safe distance, she seems to be saying; the war is ours, it was then and is now. If we do not confront it, (or are simply complacent), then we are within reach and liable to its harm, to its consequences.

I saw The Little Red Chairs first as a bundle of papers and then as a book. As my first novel makes its way towards being published, I’m aware of the work needed to bring a book to print. I’m aware too of how hard it is, as a woman, to write, and how few women make a living as writers and sustain that over many years.

So, read The Little Red Chairs because it is a great work, and read it for it is: an astonishingly rare thing: a seventeenth novel – one woman’s writing life.

 

#IBW2015 Two Roads Indie TourINDIE BOOKSHOP WEEK – Day 5

#IBW2015 #GIVEABOOK

Day 5 of our Indie Tour is upon us and we’ve got a treat for you: follow our Publicist Yassine as he pays a visit to Brick Lane Bookshop

Pungent smells of turmeric and spiced onions mingle in the air over the lower end of Brick Lane as I walk up from Aldgate East tube station. Dancing past the curry-house waiters who try to tempt you in with promises of 25% off your bill, a much more tempting mainstay of Brick Lane can be found up ahead – Brick Lane Bookshop. Located at 166 Brick Lane, this is a small bookshop in terms of space but its bookshelves have a pulsating array of texts – ranging from children’s books to classic texts to London history to contemporary fiction. The time I spent scanning the shelves and tables and speaking to the owner Denise Jones found me feeling that this is a bookshop that is assured in its identity and proud of its history.

Brick Lane Bookshop was originally known as the Tower Hamlets Arts Project (THAP), later to be known as Eastside, with Brick Lane Bookshop being the latest incarnation. The shop started out in the early 1970s when there was not a single bookshop in Tower Hamlets. As the owner Denise Jones has said, ‘There was a group of local people who were not prepared to put up with this we realised that we would have to start one – but start small.’ This determination to put right a visible wrong has clearly stuck and fuels the bookshop’s ethos to take books out into the community. This is evident in the bookshop supplying books to local schools, having stalls at school author events as well as having author events at the bookshop and conducting its own reading group every month.

I walked away with three titles that were recommended to me by Denise. The first was Rebel Footprints: A Guide to Uncovering London’s Radical History by David Rosenberg (Pluto Press) which is a book that looks at periods in London history where dissenters have tried to usurp the Establishment. Each historical episode is then followed up by a map and route that you can walk in the footsteps of past heroes. I was also handed the sublimely designed pamphlet for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay We Should All Be Feminists (Fourth Estate) – a well-crafted treatise on gender inequality in society and how he can set about curing such disparity through an increase in awareness and inclusion. Probably my favourite of Denise’s recommendations was The Diary of Edward the Hamster, 1990 to 1990 (Boxtree) by Miriam Elia and Ezra Elia – a tragic, comic, and stirring read of poet/philosopher Edward the Hamster’s journals during his days in caged confinement. Existential angst pours out of each entry, replete with beautiful monochromatic illustrations – a diary that make you laugh and think in equal measure. Each of these recommendations echoed the identity of Brick Lane Bookshop – one that believes in the power of words and books in making us more socially conscious. For a bookshop that is such a part of its immediate community, I hope those further afield will flock to visit.

Brick Lane Bookshop - Two Roads IBW indie tour day 2

Brick Lane Bookshop - Two Roads IBW indie tour day 2Brick Lane Bookshop - Two Roads IBW indie tour day 2

Brick Lane Bookshop - Two Roads IBW indie tour day 2

Come back tomorrow for our next stop and find out more about Independent Bookshop Week at indiebookshopweek.com.

Slightly Foxed - Two Roads IBW indie tour day 1

 

Day 5 of our #Road2Christmas campaign is here!

Have you picked your favourite books of 2014? We most certainly have and over the next couple of weeks we’ll share with you the books that we think deserve a special place under the tree (in other words: stocking-filler alert!)
Here’s Lisa’s eclectic fiction selection:

Road2Christmas-Day5(version 2)

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THE ROAD TO CHRISTMAS

#Road2Christmas

Every day we’ll share a piece of festive news to keep you going in these cold, dark, often madly-busy pre-Christmas days, may that be a list of our favourite books from 2014 or authors and ideas we’re excited to be publishing in the new year; or even our authors and colleagues’ favourite holiday reads.

Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/TwoRoadsBooks) and follow us on Twitter (Lisa as @TwoRoadsBooks, Fede as @Due_Strade) to get involved!

Day 4 of our #Road2Christmas campaign and it’s time for something sweet!

So, why not get in the festive spirit with Two Roads author Carrie Snyder? She’s baking different types of biscuits with her family every Sunday until Christmas, starting with these delicious Zimtsterne (aka lemon cinnamon stars).

Find the recipe below (with UK measurements). For the American version head over to Carrie’s blog (just click here).

And look out for Carrie’s debut novel Girl Runner, coming in February 2015. Find out more here.

Road2Christmas-Day4

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon stars) – Carrie Snyder’s version

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice, plus zest 1 lemon
  • 200g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

Heat oven to 200C.

Grate the zest from one lemon into a small bowl. Sift 200g icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add 250g ground almonds, the lemon zest and lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix together.

In a separate bowl, beat two egg whites until stiff. Fold the beaten egg whites into the almond mixture, and stir until the batter comes together. It will make a stiff dough. If it’s sticky, add more ground almonds.

Divide the dough in two to make it easier to roll out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies (we used a tiny star cookie cutter for ours), and lay onto baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5 minutes. Use up all the scraps by gathering and re-rolling.

Let cool on rack. Ice with a lemon glaze made from 1 and 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with 40g of icing sugar (or more). We used three batches of glaze to ice our cookies.

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THE ROAD TO CHRISTMAS

#Road2Christmas

Every day we’ll share a piece of festive news to keep you going in these cold, dark, often madly-busy pre-Christmas days, may that be a list of our favourite books from 2014 or authors and ideas we’re excited to be publishing in the new year; or even our authors and colleagues’ favourite holiday reads.

Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/TwoRoadsBooks) and follow us on Twitter (Lisa as @TwoRoadsBooks, Fede as @Due_Strade) to get involved!

Road2Christmas-Day3

It’s day 3 of our #Road2Christmas campaign and once again we’re looking at an upcoming 2015 Two Roads title.

Coming in March next year, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives is the perfect guide to living a more fulfilled life.

Let Gretchen RubinNew York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier At Home, show you how you can harness the extraordinary power of habits to revolutionise your daily life.

Find out more here on our website, or visit Gretchen’s website at gretchenrubin.com.

Snowflake

THE ROAD TO CHRISTMAS

#Road2Christmas

Every day we’ll share a piece of festive news to keep you going in these cold, dark, often madly-busy pre-Christmas days, may that be a list of our favourite books from 2014 or authors and ideas we’re excited to be publishing in the new year; or even our authors and colleagues’ favourite holiday reads.

Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/TwoRoadsBooks) and follow us on Twitter (Lisa as @TwoRoadsBooks, Fede as @Due_Strade) to get involved!

Christmas signature 2014As of yesterday Two Roads has launched it’s official Christmas 2014 campaign, #Road2Christmas.

Every day we’ll share a piece of festive news to keep you going in these cold, dark, often madly-busy pre-Christmas days, may that be a list of our favourite books from 2014 or authors and ideas we’re excited to be publishing in the new year; or even our authors and colleagues’ favourite holiday reads.

Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/TwoRoadsBooks) and follow us on Twitter (Lisa as @TwoRoadsBooks, Fede as @Due_Strade) to get involved!

WBN 2015 logo

Today we’re happy to celebrate a modern classic we look forward to rediscovering in 2015: Sara Gruen’s #1 bestseller Water For Elephants, which has just been announced as one of World Book Night’s 2015 titles.

You can find out more about this brilliant novel, recently made into a film starring Reese Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz, here on our website, and you can apply to become a WBN book giver here: worldbooknight.org

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