Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Playing to Win Released in Paperback

‘A bona fide football man…Whelan should be celebrated’ The Independent

Few figures in British business or sport have enjoyed Dave Whelan’s success. As a footballer he played in all four divisions. As a businessman he created one the country’s leading high street brands. And as chairman of Wigan Athletic he’s taken his club all the way from the Third Division to the Premiership.

Dave’s story is one of ambition, enterprise and tenacity – but also of a fierce loyalty. It begins in wartime Wigan with the Whelans’ desperate struggle to survive. Dave describes the terrifying wasp-like hum of the Luftwaffe; he remembers the deathly winter of 1942, peeing on his hands to stop his fingers from freezing; admits how hunger drove ordinary families to lie, cheat and steal; and relives a remarkable reunion with the father he’d never known – a returning soldier.

In peacetime a boyhood love affair with football leads him to sign with Blackburn Rovers and when national service calls he joins the Army football team, becoming close friends with ‘Busby Babes’ Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards.

Then, a vicious tackle in the 1960 FA Cup final spells the twilight of his playing career – but a new dawn in business. Starting as a market trader, he breaks the mould from day one: taking on Boots single-handedly in the Appeal Court; negotiating the sale of his supermarket chain to Ken Morrison – whilst stood at a urinal; and transforming a single tackle shop in Wigan into JJB Sports, the UK’s biggest sports retailer and a £1 billion PLC.

In 1995 he used his personal fortune to buy struggling, hometown Wigan Athletic, vowing to take the Latics all the way to the Premier League. At the time he was ridiculed, but ten years later, on the final day of the Championship, Dave watched, ecstatic, as his club beat Reading 3-1 to finally secure their place.

Sometimes tragic, frequently controversial and always heartfelt, Playing to Win lifts the lid on a life lived on the pitch and in the boardroom and tells how a hungry kid from Wigan’s backstreets became a national success and a local hero. Whelan's story was a great success in hardback, turning him into a local hero and now with the new release in paperback, Playing to Win offers football fans and general readers another chance to catch this engaging read.

Dave Whelan was the founder of retailer JJB Sports and is the chairman of Wigan Athletic Football Club. All the author’s profits will go to the new Wigan Boys and Girls Club

Playing to Win is available to buy in paperback now in local bookstores and online via the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dave-Whelan-Playing-Win-Autobiography/dp/1845135792/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284559060&sr=8-2

More Great New Releases

Bordeaux has long symbolised the peak of prestige for French wine. Yet despite its outstanding reputation, the region has remained relatively closed to consumers, as forbidding as the highest château gates or the most tannic of its young wines. However, in this highly approachable, beautifully illustrated guide, Master of Wine James Lawther draws on his insider’s knowledge to open up Bordeaux.

He has identified the 90 producers with the finest wines and the most interesting stories to tell, taking us inside their châteaux and offering intimate portraits of both the properties and the people who shape this fascinating region. Lawther uses language but also over 100 original colour photographs; beautifully designed maps; flap page-markers and silk ribbon to weave these hidden stories.

Published in conjunction with The World of Fine Wine Magazine, current holder of the coveted Gourmand award for The World’s Best Wine Magazine, this guide, the third in the acclaimed Finest Wines series, from Hugh Johnson’s award-winning team, brings the region to life more vividly than ever before.

The Finest Wines of Bordeaux is authoritative, bang up-to-date, and full of actionable information making it required reading for all wine lovers and the perfect present!

James Lawther MW passed the Master of Wine examination in 1993. He has been based in Bordeaux for the past 15 years, making the region his speciality and tasting widely. He is a contributing editor of Decanter magazine, a contributor to The World of Fine Wine, and author of The Heart of Bordeaux.

The Finest Wines of Bordeaux is available to pre-order now on http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finest-Wines-Bordeaux-James-Lawther/dp/1845136071/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284464612&sr=8-1

More Great New Releases

Admirers called it God’s Wonderful Railway' and detractors knew it as the 'Great Way Round' - but 175 years after its foundation, the Great Western Railway company is remembered with the most affection of any of Britain's great railways.

Published as part of the GWR's 175th anniversary - this new book by Andrew Roden is the first one-volume history of the railway in over 20 years.

It built and ran the great main line from London to the West Country and Cornwall and was engineered by the legendary Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who built wonders including Box Tunnel and the Saltash Bridge. Its locomotives were designed by great men like Gooch, Churchward and Collett and were complemented by stations from the soaring Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads to those idyllic country byways with little more than a pagoda shelter and a couple of milk churns awaiting collection. With its burnished green engines, chocolate and cream carriages, the 'Cornish Riviera' and that fabulous stretch of railway at Dawlish, the Great Western Railway has passed into legend.

In this celebratory book, railway journalist Andrew Roden offers a comprehensive insight into this remarkable railway's history but also reveals why all of us owe this great company a huge debt of thanks. A thrilling read, Great Western Railway will satisfy not only railway enthusiasts but the casual reader alike.

Great Western Railway is out now and is available to buy in local bookstores and online at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Western-Railway-Andrew-Roden/dp/1845135806/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284462255&sr=8-1

Monday, September 13, 2010

Exciting New Release

From the author of the definitive history of Dad's Army comes the first biography of one of Britain's best loved comed actors. Do You Think That's Wise tells the previously untold story of John Le Mesurier.

Best known for starring in Dad’s Army, where his Sergeant Wilson was the languid, rakish, distracted foil to Arthur Lowe’s pompous, chippy Captain Mainwaring, John Le Mesurier is one of our most loved character actors. ‘Do you think that’s wise, sir?’ and ‘Would you mind awfully…?' are just two of Sergeant Wilson’s expressions that sum up his unorthodox, unruffled approach to service life.

But, occasionally, life mirrors art and there was much of Sergeant Wilson in ‘Le Mez’, as he was known to friends and family. Just as Wilson appeared to enjoy a close – but unmarried – acquaintance with Private Pike’s mum, so Le Mesurier had three unconventional marriages, one with the comic actress Hattie Jacques. His third wife left him for an affair with Tony Hancock and he tended to prioritise an early-morning scan of the Racing Post above rehearsals. A phone call from Le Mez was often to suggest, ‘Playtime…?’ always delivered in his irresistible drawl.

This biography of Le Mesurier is fully authorised by his family, and provides a touchingm funny and insightful account into the man behind the much-loved Sergeant Wilson. The book will appeal not only to diehard Dad's Army fans but to everyone and anyone who still laughs at Dad’s Army when they catch it on BBC or UK Gold.

Graham McCann is already the author of a number of books inclduing biographies of Terry-Thomas, Frankie Howerd and Morecambe and Wise, and books on Fawlty Towers and Dad’s Army. He lives in Cambridge.

Do You Think That's Wise is out this month and is available to buy on www.amazon.co.uk

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Could Go On... Named Part of Top 12 for Christmas Catalogue

Independents have chosen 12 titles by authors including poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, John le Carré and Julia Donaldson as the highlights of the Christmas Books Catalogue 2010.

The 150-strong list is produced jointly by the Booksellers Association and Book Marketing Limited, and is the first marketing campaign for the new IndieBound initiative. The catalogue is also supported by Gardners. Christmas Books titles are chosen by independent booksellers for independent booksellers.

The catalogue will be supported by additional material available via the IndieBound website, including author interviews, sample chapters, recipes, competitions and signed books. Extra copies of counterpacks will be produced to encourage local independent retailers to display the catalogue.

The 12 titles:

Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy (Picador)

*I Could Go On: Unpublished Letters to the Daily Telegraph (Aurum Press)*

Map of A Nation: A Biography Of The Ordnance Survey Rachel Hewitt (Granta)

Our Kind of Traitor by John Le Carré (Viking)

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)

Tender: Volume II: A cook's guide to the fruit garden, Nigel Slater (Fourth Estate)

The Best Of Matt 2010 by Matthew Pritchett (Orion)

The Red Queen by Philippa Greogry (Simon & Schuster)

Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson (Macmillan Children's Books)

Quentin Blake's Magical Tales, John Yeoman, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Pavilion Children's)

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Zog by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler (Alison Green Books, Scholastic)

I Could Go On... Unpublished Letters to The Daily Telegraph is part of Aurum's Autumn collection and is the follow-up to the very successful Am I Alone in Thinking? I Could Go On... will be available in October.

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