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6 Nottingham Books to Curl Up with this November

1 November 16 words: Write Lion

If you don’t have time to read these books, visit Karlsruhe Friendship Bridge, Station Street, and read Jo Fairfax's selection of one-line poems for the Line of Light exhibition...

We Bleed the Same
David Wilkinson
£8.99 (Inspired Quill Publishing)

Fans of science fiction will be pleased to hear that David Wilkinson’s sci-fi epic harks back to the classics. Reminiscent of the works of Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov, We Bleed the Same follows the exploits of government official Danniter Parque. Upon being embroiled up in a potential act of terrorism, Danny is forced into an adventure that leads from one military faction to the next, encountering a host of engaging characters along the way. The exposition is heavy, and at times the detail-laden prose seems straight from an instruction manual. Once you get past this, however, it’s an entertaining, pleasantly bulky intro to Wilkinson’s Anjelican Saga, blending elements of realism and spirituality to science fiction with relative ease. Not the easiest of reads, but certainly a worthwhile one. This feels like the beginning of a trilogy, so keep an eye out for this physicist-turned-author. Liam Mills

Rob Williams & D’Israeli
£14.99 (Titan Comics

In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In the kingdom of superheroes, the one man who remains ordinary is, well, still kind of a schmuck. Plumber, divorcee and all-purpose loser Michael Fisher wakes up one day to find every other human being on the planet is the star of their very own superhero origin story. His best friend turns into a talking bear, people take flight in the street, the loan shark who lent him money grows another head, and generally, the world goes nuts. Aside from being a balding failure, Fisher might actually turn out to be the key to getting the world back to normal – something certain people who’ve grown fond of their new-found abilities are understandably keen to avoid. A fantastic concept, the story is funny, touching and beautifully illustrated by D’Israeli, who packs a giddying array of original superheroes into every panel. A treat. Robin Lewis

Bendigo – The Right Fist of God
Alan Dance and David Field
£4.99 (Arundel Books

A few years ago ‘Brian Clough’ appeared at Nottingham Playhouse as the lead character in the play Old Big ‘Ead in the Spirit of the Man, which brought loads of football fans to the theatre. Now, another Nottingham sporting legend, Bendigo, is being honoured. This time in the written word. Primarily a novel, the story about the nineteenth-century prize-fighter and boxing pioneer has been well researched and covers his whole life from poverty stricken childhood, to his remarkable career and then his notoriety in retirement. Boxing fans will appreciate that the personalities in the fight game have not changed that much. Photography and voice recording may not have existed in Bendigo’s time; but this story brings to life the same egos and characters who travelled the country in their thousands to watch and gamble on the outcome of a pugilistic encounter. Alan Dawson



Secret Nottingham
Joe and Frank Earp
£14.99 (Amberley Books

If you’ve read our regular Street Tales feature, you’ll be familiar with the work of Joe Earp. Here, he and his father, Frank E Earp, give us a proper Nottingham history lesson, taking us through the ages with stories about the different areas and streets, and the nooks and crannies you may have walked by time and again without knowing what you were actually passing. Well researched, the easily digestible chapters are punctuated with little ‘Did You Know That…?’ boxes as well as photos and illustrations; ideal for reading in one go or dipping in and out at your leisure. Suited to locals and tourists alike, the final chapter is a detailed walking guide that could make you see Nottingham with fresh eyes or, if you’re visiting, find out stuff that a lot of Nottinghamians aren’t aware of. I won’t spill any of their ‘secrets’, but you’re bound to go “Oooh, I never knew that” a few times while reading this. Ali Emm

Trying To Be So Quiet
James Everington
£10 (Boo Books)

Appearing small at first sight, this novella packs in incredible emotion. A hauntingly beautiful account of a man coping with the loss of his wife, Trying To Be So Quiet will have you in for a heart-warming night. Despite its delicate subject, the story’s handling is not romanticised with elevated constructions of love; it is honest and doesn’t shy away from the ugly sides of heartbreak. This story is about real people, with base thoughts and imperfections who can live without each other. Reading it is like coming to terms with your own losses and accepting that the road is bumpy but necessary. The novella’s ghostly element will also be popular with supernatural fans out there. Whatever fiction you like, Trying To Be So Quiet will either leave you feeling uplifted, ready for a good cry or wanting to give your loved ones a big squeeze. A book that’s truly good for the soul. Stacey Wylie

Knowing Home
Kelly Vero
Free (Kindle) 

Perhaps the most you can ask of a story is that it stays with you. And tonight, driving down Gregory Boulevard as BBC Radio Nottingham plays Uptown Top Ranking by Donna and Althea, I smile recalling one of the stories in Kelly Vero’s Knowing Home. A slim, free volume of short stories centred largely on themes of home and displacement, it has settings as diverse as Nottingham, Newcastle and Italy. The stories act as separate but connected interrogations of home as an idea: what it means to run away from everything you’ve ever known, how to establish yourself in a new place, and what to do when your home won’t accept you. The best of these stories, Heels and Ting, (the Donna and Althea connection) takes the 1981 Hyson Green riots as its backdrop and explores the racial tensions flaring up at that time. Well worth a read. Joshua Judson

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