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The Interview: Megan Hunter on The End We Start From

In an exclusive interview, Megan Hunter, author of our Fiction Book of the Month for May, The End We Start From, discusses with Martha Greengrass myths, motherhood and life beginning at the end of the world.

Alex Bell Recommends the Best Children's Adventure Stories

Our Children’s Book of the Month for November, The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club has ushered in the winter season perfectly, taking readers on a trip of a lifetime across the frozen wilds of the Icelands, a land brimming with wonders, monsters and snow pirates. Here the intrepid explorer behind the story, author Alex Bell, recommends the adventure stories that have inspired her.

An Exclusive Waterstones Q & A with Rose Tremain

An Exclusive Waterstones Q & A with Rose Tremain

Posted on 13th Feb, 2017 by Sally Campbell & Martha Greengrass

Our Fiction Book of the Month for February is The Gustav Sonata, Rose Tremain's finely-tuned and expertly measured account of the indelible impact of a lifelong friendship built in the aftermath of war. Two young boys, Gustav and Anton, form a lasting bond; coloured by social, religious and family division and the legacy of personal and national neutrality. Writing for The Observer, Hannah Beckerman described the boys’ relationship as ‘a powerful, profound and unexpected love story', and the book itself as 'a masterful, meditative novel'. Waterstones Online's Martha Greengrass caught up with Tremain to discuss some of the many themes underpinning the novel: the wide-ranging cost of reticence, the music of fiction and the vital importance of friendship.

Teaching Myself a Lesson: Maz Evans on writing Who Let The Gods Out?

Our Children's Book of the Month for February combines Greek mythology with the author's own sharp wit to create a high-octane adventure story that is absolutely perfect for that sometimes tricky 9-12 audience. Maz Evans’ Who Let The Gods Out? is a whirlwind of entombed demons and wild gods with feet of clay, written with all the gusto and energy that is spot-on for young minds. Although this is indeed her debut, Maz Evans has very much cut her teeth teaching the art of story to many, many others: for Waterstones, this spectacular new talent fills us in on how teaching writing transformed her own game.

A Question of Time: The Temporal Art of Julian Barnes

Waterstones Online’s Martha Greengrass considers the legacy of Julian Barnes’ writing and how his novel, The Noise of Time, continues to challenge our concepts of time, art and what it is to be human.

A Day in the Life of Children's Author Lisa Thompson

The Goldfish Boy is our Children’s Book of the Month for January. Perhaps described best as a Rear Window for younger readers, Lisa Thompson’s debut is a deft combination of thriller and a heartfelt portrayal of a young boy overcoming sky-high hurdles. Although it takes real writing chops to create something this assured, Thompson unveils some writing tips to the aspirant, including the most effective ways to battle that most terrible of demons – procrastination.

Exclusive Extract: Angela Carter's The Snow Child

If you have yet to read our Rediscovered Classic for November, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, you are in for a savage and wonderful treat. Carter's irreverant, feminist reinterpretation of traditional fairy-tales, full of gallows humour and magical realist touches, are a marvel and a joy to read. Her writing is passionate, intelligent, rich with oddity and utterly original.In the 25 years between the publication of her first novel, Shadow Dance and her last, Wise Children, she transformed the British literary landscape: it became more political, more risky, more teeth, and more claws. In the words of Ali Smith, "Go out tomorrow and get Carter. Get all her fiction, all her fact, read it from its beginning all the way to its glorious open end."

It is both an honour and a delight for us to present to you one of stories from the collection, The Snow Child.

Lucy Strange: From Stage to Page

Lucy Strange: From Stage to Page

Posted on 30th Sep, 2016 by Sally Campbell

Our Children's Book of the Month for October is The Secret of Nightingale Wood, Lucy Strange's eerily luminous debut that evokes memories of classics such as I Capture The Castle or The Children of Green Knowe. Set in England just after World War One, it tells the story of Henrietta, a solitary girl trying to recover from the devastating loss of her brother. Drawing deep on her love for storybook tales and her belief in her brother's spirit, Henry is taken deep into the woods beyond her home to meet with the only figure who just may be able to save her entire family. Here, the author explores how her training as an actor enriched the writing of the book.

No Picnic on Mount Kenya: Felice Benuzzi's Daughter Reflects on her Father's Adventure

In 1943, three Italian prisoners of war escaped from their prison camp and climbed Mount Kenya with homemade climbing equipment and no maps or proper rations. The story has since passed into climbing legend and is preserved in the mountaineering classic, our Non-fiction Book of the Month for October No Picnic on Mount Kenya written by the escapees’ ringleader, Felice Benuzzi. Here, his daughter, Silvia Benuzzi, shares the story of her father’s remarkable adventure on Mount Kenya, and discusses the guiding philosophy that motivated him both during his years of captivity and his life after the war.

Occupational Hazards

Occupational Hazards

Posted on 14th Sep, 2016 by Sally Campbell

Together with John le Carré, Len Deighton stands as our greatest living thriller writer. A colourful background – including stints in the RAF as photographer and working as an illustrator in both London and New York – gradually led to his genre-defining debut The IPCRESS File in 1962, the ‘antidote to Bond’ that was later immortalised by the film of the same name starring Michael Caine. Well over two dozen superb novels followed, accompanied by a clutch of non-fiction titles including the acclaimed Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain.

Rob Mallows’ Deighton Dossier has long-served as the ultimate online Len Deighton resource. With the author’s 1978 slice of counter-factual history SS-GB now happily installed as our Thriller of the Month, we turned to Rob to unearth something of the novel’s background.

So Much Noise

So Much Noise

Posted on 1st Sep, 2016 by Sally Campbell

Our Waterstones Loves title for September is Annabel Pitcher's Silence is Goldfish, her hilarious and deeply moving follow-up to Waterstones Children's Prize-winning Ketchup Clouds. In the novel, protagonist Tessa chooses to stop speaking. Here, in an article written for Waterstones Online, Pitcher explains where she got the idea and why teenager Tessa chooses silence over noise.

A Text From The Wilderness

A Text From The Wilderness

Posted on 1st Sep, 2016 by Sally Campbell

Our Non-fiction Book of the Month for September is Amy Liptrot's searing, candid, Wainright Prize-winning debut The Outrun. Here, she further explores one of the elements touched on in the book: the idea that technology can in fact bring us closer to nature even in a place as remote as Papay, Orkney

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