Category Archives: Characters

Three anti-social skills to improve your writing

You need social skills to have a conversation in real life but they’re quite different from the skills you need to write good dialogue. Educator Nadia Kalman suggests a few “anti-social skills,” like eavesdropping and muttering to yourself, that can help you write an effective dialogue for your next story in this animated Ted Ed lesson. Click to watch.

Top picks from the global best seller lists

Christmas is inching closer and we’ve begun to think about presents for friends and family so we thought we would explore the best seller lists that are making waves around the world. Books are a great present, not only are they super easy to wrap but they also give the receiver a reason to step away from the, sometimes bonkers, festive celebrations to loose themselves in a new novel. 

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing the Christmas postage times (in case you are sending parcels overseas), books that we are eagerly awaiting the launch of and then we’ll share an even bigger raft of present ideas to satisfy the whole family. We will also be sending out our Christmas email with a ton of tips and tricks for having a smooth festive shopping season. Make sure you have subscribed here to receive the email. 

Here are our favourites from the best seller lists around the world.

My Life in Red and White by Arsene Wenger

For the very first time, world-renowned and revolutionary football manager Arsene Wenger tells his own story. He opens up about his life, sharing principles for success on and off the field with lessons on leadership, and vivid tales of his 22 years managing Arsenal to unprecedented success. There, Wenger won multiple Premier League championships and a record number of FA Cups, and his teams included the Invincibles of 2003-2004 and a record-breaking undefeated 49-match run. He popularised an attacking approach and belief that the game should be entertaining but he also changed the attitudes of British football fans towards players’ diet, fitness and coaching methods and towards foreign managers too. In My Life in Red and White, Wenger charts his extraordinary career, including his rise in France and Japan where he managed Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight (clubs that also play in red-and-white, like Arsenal!) to his 22 years at the helm of an internationally renowned club from 1996 onwards. He describes the unrest that led to his resignation in 2018, and his current role as Chief of Global Football Development for FIFA. He offers studious reflections on the game and his groundbreaking approach to motivation, mindset, fitness and football that was often beautiful to watch. This book is a must-read for not only Arsenal fans but football fans everywhere, for management and business leaders, and anyone seeking the tools for success in work and life. It will illuminate the mystique surrounding one of the most revered and successful manager’s life story, strategy and vision in the world’s most popular sport.

Life’s What you Make It by Phillip Schofield

We love the blurb for this book so much that we are just going to let Phillip Schofield’s tell you about his book himself

For a long time, I felt that I couldn’t write this book. At first, I didn’t think I’d lived enough, then life got busy and filled with distractions. In more recent years, there was always a very painful consideration – I knew where it would eventually have to go. I have recently decided that the truth is the only thing that can set me free. The truth has taken a long time to make itself clear to me, but now is the right time to share it, all of it. Television and broadcasting has been a part of my DNA for as long as I can remember. As a young boy I would make model TV sets out of cardboard boxes, while spending long summers at home, barefoot on Cornwall’s golden beaches. Landing a job at the ice-cream kiosk, I would enviously look on as my presenting heroes took to the stage of Radio 1’s Roadshow, an unforgettable event when it came to town. In Life’s What You Make It I look back with nostalgic delight on my life, from being a young boy endlessly writing letters to the BBC in pursuit of a job in broadcasting, to making it on to the Broom Cupboard, with my infamous sidekick Gordon the Gopher, to being on Going Live and starring as the lead in Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. It has taken four decades to get here but I feel lucky to have called the sets of Talking Telephone Numbers, The Cube, Dancing on Ice and of course, This Morning, home. I’m going to take you behind the scenes of my television home at ITV, into my career and my dangerously funny relationship with Holly Willoughby. I’m going to introduce you to my loving and remarkable family, and I hope most of all to tell you that life, it seems, is what you make it. Take it from someone who has sat on the very edge and looked over, it’s all about the people that love you, and after that anything is possible. So, finally, here we go, this is the real me.

War Lord by Bernard Cornwell

This is the epic conclusion to the globally bestselling historical series; The Last Kingdom. In the middle years of the ninth century, the fierce Danes stormed onto British soil, hungry for spoils and conquest. Kingdom after kingdom fell to the ruthless invaders until but one realm remained. And suddenly the fate of all England, and the course of history, depended upon one man, one king. Bernard Cornwell writes a rousing epic adventure of courage, treachery, duty, devotion, majesty, love, and battle as seen through the eyes of a young warrior who straddled two worlds.

England is under attack. Chaos reigns. Northumbria, the last kingdom, is threatened by armies from all sides, by land and sea and only one man stands in their way. Torn between loyalty and sworn oaths, the warrior king Lord Uhtred of Bebbanburg faces his greatest ever battle and prepares for his ultimate fate. You can view the 12 other books in the series here

Violet Bent Backward Over The Grass by Lana Del Rey

”Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass is the title poem of the book and the first poem I wrote of many. Some of which came to me in their entirety, which I dictated and then typed out, and some that I worked laboriously picking apart each word to make the perfect poem. They are eclectic and honest and not trying to be anything other than what they are and for that reason I’m proud of them, especially because the spirit in which they were written was very authentic.” – Lana Del Rey 

Lana Del Ray’s breathtaking first book solidifies her further as the essential writer of her times. This is a collection of more than thirty poems, many exclusive to the book: Never to Heaven, The Land of 1,000 Fires, Past the Bushes Cypress Thriving, LA Who Am I to Love You?, Tessa DiPietro, Happy, Paradise Is Very Fragile, Bare Feet on Linoleum and many more. This beautiful hardcover edition showcases Lana’s typewritten manuscript pages alongside her original photography. The result is an extraordinary poetic landscape that reflects the unguarded spirit of its creator.

All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton

The bestselling author of Boy Swallows Universe, Trent Dalton, returns with All Our Shimmering Skies; a glorious novel destined to become another Australian classic. Darwin, 1942, and as Japanese bombs rain overhead, motherless Molly Hook, the gravedigger’s daughter, turns once again to the sky for guidance. She carries a stone heart inside a duffel bag next to the map that leads to Longcoat Bob, the deep country sorcerer who put a curse on her family. By her side are the most unlikely travelling companions: a razor-tongued actress named Greta and a fallen Japanese fighter pilot named Yukio. All Our Shimmering Skies is a story about gifts that fall from the sky, curses we dig from the earth and the secrets we bury inside ourselves. It is an odyssey of true love and grave danger; of the darkness and the light; of bones and blue skies. A buoyant, beautiful and magical novel abrim with warmth, wit and wonder, a love letter to Australia and the art of looking up.

The Survivors by Jane Harper

This is the compelling new novel from Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry. Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away.

Enjoy!