Category Archives: Elliott & Thompson

Under the Rock – Benjamin Myers

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Under the Rock – Benjamin Myers

Under the Rock is about badgers, balsam, history, nettles, mythology, moorlands, mosses, poetry, bats, wild swimming, slugs, recession, floods, logging, peacocks, community, apples, asbestos, quarries, geology, industrial music, owls, stone walls, farming, anxiety, relocation, the North, woodpiles, folklore, landslides, ruins, terriers, woodlands, ravens, dales, valleys, walking, animal skulls, trespassing, crows, factories, maps, rain – lots of rain – and a great big rock.

From the author of the awarding winning The Gallows Pole, Benjamin Myers now turns to non-fiction with his stunning Under the Rock. (Elliott & Thompson).


I was so looking forward to reading Under the Rock, the thought of the astonishing writing of Benjamin Myers now turning to the landscape and in particular a step craggy rock called Scout Rock, which overlooks Mytholmroyd near The Upper Calder Valley in West Yorkshire.

It is here that Myers spent a decade exploring the ten acres of woodland that has inspired this beautiful book. And oh that cover design. It is a thin g of real beauty.

This is a book of such incredible prose. In four parts: Wood, Earth, Water and Rock. The writer conjures up words that have been ‘Stories carved from the land’. Each of the four parts are very much in the form of poetry. After all this the part of the country were the poet Ted Hughes grew up.

This is a place that Ben and his wife have now made their home after leaving the noise of the big city behind them. This place is a land that was left and forgotten, scarred by the past and described as once being a toxic dump after asbestos was buried here. Now a place that wants to be explored and in a series of field notes that is poetry and also there are photographs through the book. I love this style of nature writing, maybe for someone like me who loves the writing by Helen Mcdonald, Amy Liptrot and Robert Mcfarlane to name a few and that this will also appeal to those who will really enjoy Under the Rock. This is an exceptional book, both compelling and elegant and one of my highlights of the year. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

384 Pages.

Thank you to Elliott & Thompson for the review copy of Under the Rock by Benjamin Myers

Under the Rock by Benjamin Myers was published by Elliott & Thompson and was published on 25th April 2019 in paperback and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshops.

The Blog Tour – Under the Rock by Benjamin Myers

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The Pull of the River by Matt Gaw

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The Pull of the River by Matt Gaw

What an absolute gem The Pull of the River by Matt Gaw (Elliott & Thompson) really is. Imagine two friends Matt and James decide to paddle their way through the waterways of the heart of Britain. This is exactly what they both do. Not only that but they build the canoe themselves.


The red canoe is christened ‘Pipe’ for reasons that become clear early in the book and after putting the canoe through some trials off they both set to explore the rivers and not only that but explore and discover nature.

The real beauty is that you can imagine the two in their red canoe silently paddling the waterways of Britain which gives them both the perfect way to get back to nature and to pause real life in their year long quest to examine our rivers and the wildlife that makes this their home.

Not in any way was this an easy relaxed year long quest there was at times real life drama and peril. Examining the rivers from The Waveney and The Stour and Alde, through to the Upper and Lower Thames to the River Severn.

At times you can almost hear the birdsong as they paddle gently through the rivers but at times you sense their real fear. The beauty of knowing that both become at one with our watery arteries of Britain but also at one with nature even glimpse of wild Beavers. There are Kingfishers, Otters and Damselflies to name a few that the reader discovers on the journey with Matt Gaw and James Treadaway.

I for one would not even dream of paddling some the extreme rivers and Lochs this is not for the faint hearted but the message that comes across to anyone reading this is simple. Life is for living and live in the now. Beautifully written and told but I would have loved a few photos as this would have made this book. Definitely one I would really recommend reading sat by a river when the sun shines listening to the birdsong.

288 Pages.

Thank you to Alison Menzies for the review copy of The Pull of the River by Matt Gaw.

The Pull of the River by Matt Gaw was published by Elliott & Thompson and was published in Paperback on 21st February 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal – Horatio Clare

Light in the Dark Cover

The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal – Horatio Clare

I am becoming quite a fan of Horatio Clare’s writing this is my second book in a matter of a few weeks. Released on 1st November is The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal (Elliott & Thompson) is a book written in the form of a diary that starts in October and works its way through from autumn through the winter months.

Horatio Clare Author Picture

I am someone who loves the outdoors and all things nature, the dark winter months trapped in an office has often left me feeling tired and exhausted and then come the weekend I cherish every moment of the hours of daylight.

Here in Horatio Clare’s excellent diary, he talks openly of how he to suffers as we move from kicking our way through the autumn leaves and then as the days grow shorter and then into November one of the darkest months of the year. I really found Horatio’s open and honest account to be very reassuring. Many of us suffer in silence especially in the workplace.

The excitement of Christmas comes to Horatio Clare and his family, with memories of childhood and now with his own family. But silently he suffers knowing that there is a tax bill and other debts to be paid and how he is going to find the money to pay all this. It is during the winter months he becomes more or less withdrawn to save money. At times there is a little tension in the household.

Seasonal depression is not something anyone should suffer in silence with (all except me apparently). Nature too shuts down but there is joy to be found in nature during the darkest months. The joy of chilly frosty morning walks at the weekend. There is so much we can enjoy about winter but we have to appreciate its beauty. The Light in the Dark is a moving and poetic look at this time of year and one book I rejoice in. This is a torch to guide us through the dark winter days until Spring’s first rays of light warm us. I am delighted to highly recommend The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal.

208 Pages.

#TheLightInTheDark   @HoratioClare

@annecater #RandomThingsTours

Thank you to Elliott & Thompson for the review copy of The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal by Horatio Clare. Also my thanks to Anne Cater for arranging the Blog Tour via Random Things Tours.

The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal by Horatio Clare was published by Elliott & Thompson and was published on 1st November 2018 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.

The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal – Blog Tour

Final Light in the Dark Blog Tour Poster

Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd


Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd

I am incredibly honoured to be a blogging partner to the 2018 Jewish Book Week that takes place between 3-11th March 2018. I will be there in person for two events and can honestly say that it is going to be an incredible week of great talks and discussions.

I will also be talking about some of the books and author interviews that will be coming up during the week and to start I am going to introduce Julia Boyd and her latest book that was released in August 2017. Travellers in the Third Reich – The Rise of Fascism Through the Eyes of Everyday People. (Elliott & Thompson) Julia Boyd will be in discussion Anna Sebba on Thursday 8th March at 7pm and tickets are still available.


Travellers in the Third Reich is a look through the eyes of those who visited what is in a sense Hitler’s Germany between the 1920’s and 1930’s. With Germany on her knees after the First World War and then the rise of fascism and the then rise of Adolf Hitler those who visited Germany got a real first-hand look and a real glimpse of what was coming. Through this outstanding and well researched book Julia Boyd takes British, French and a few Americans and even a Chinese scholar notes and diary entries to give a real outsiders view to a Germany that was rebuilding and also rebuilding its armed forces. Subdued but now strong under Hitler these notes and diary entries make powerful reading.

Some of these notes and accounts comes from well-known sources such as Neville Chamberlain Unity Mitford and even the poet W.H. Auden. These accounts as seen by these and just the ordinary traveller give a real insight to the day to day life of Nazi Germany.

During the 1930’s it is easy to try and figure out what people in Britain thought about the Nazi regime and especially Hitler but what Boyd has done with this book is give a real insight to what people really thought their inside Germany especially when they came face to face. Sometimes honest and sometimes really quite shocking. But life was carrying as normal in Germany cultural visits to the country were common and even children were sent their as part of cultural educational visits. Then even as Europe was just moments away from WWII Thomas Cook was still advertising German holidays.

It is important to note that without these travellers who visited and even stayed in Germany for a while and those who kept diaries and wrote letters and journals these historical notes would never come to light. These are an important and also fascinating to read. This book covers just about everything that went on in Germany whether that is how popular Germany was with American tourists to fascists burning books and also concentration camps. This is well written and also an easy to read book that really does give a very real look at what Germany was like through those that went to visit Germany.

Reading Travellers in the Third Reich has given me a new look at how people viewed Germany between the wars which is somewhat different to how I was always told or read in other books. Boyd has written what I think in time will become a valuable research tool for those wishing to learn more of Nazi Germany. Virginia Wolf herself thought German was “pretentious” while author of Tarka the Otter Henry Williamson spoke on Desert Island Discs about nature loving Germans. There is so much to learn through these pages and even now I am going through and finding fascinating accounts. These notes, letters and accounts are voices from the past recounting visits that are historically important now as they were when they were first written. Future generations will read this outstanding book and learn. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

464 Pages

My thanks to Rebecca Fincham and also Elliott & Thompson for the review copy of Travellers in the Third Reich.

Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd is published by Elliott & Thompson and was published on 10th August 2017 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.

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To learn more of the 2018 Jewish Book Week and view the ‘What’s On’ pages and even book tickets to the events taking place at Kings Place visit the website.

Jewish Book Week you can also book tickets by telephone on 020 7520 1490

You can also keep up to date with the Jewish Book Week on their Twitter page: Join the discussion @jewishbookweek I hope to see you there.

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