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Competitions, General Chatter, WoB News

“Get Lost in a Book” Competition 2017 | Our Winners.

By Rebecca Reed

You may remember that we launched our biggest competition yet for primary schools across Sussex at the beginning of March for World Book Day.

We received over 350 entries from many schools across East and West Sussex, and we have whittled it down to our 10 winners. We loved everyone’s drawings and stories and were very pleased to see the magic of reading across all of the entries we received. We can definitely tell who the popular authors are!

The 10 winners won 500 books for their school library and a goodie bag just for themselves containing many surprises. We would like to give huge congratulations to our 10 winners listed below: –

Samira Yasmin’s Hobbit, Gemma Appleton with Horton, Jonah Corbishley in Wizardology, Teejay Holland in The Magic Faraway Tree and Carmina Anna Rands with Mary Poppins

1. Teejay Holland (Churchwood Primary Academy, East Sussex) who produced a brilliant drawing of himself in The Magic Faraway Tree.
2. Ashley Reynolds (Holy Cross CoE, East Sussex) who wrote himself into a Star Wars story featuring himself and Luke Skywalker.
3. Jonah Corbishley (West Rise Junior School, East Sussex) who drew himself into Wizardology as a wizard’s apprentice.
4. Wilf Jenkins (Balfour Primary, East Sussex) who wrote himself into The Midnight Gang.
5. Carmina Anna Rands (Beckley CofE Primary School, East Sussex) who drew herself into Mary Poppins with the West Wind.
6. Caleb Rhys Walker (St Margarets CofE Primary School, West Sussex) who wrote himself wonderfully into Swallows and Amazons.
7. Gemma Appleton (Birdham CE Primary, West Sussex) who drew herself on top of Horton from Dr Seuss’ Horton hears a Who.
8. Brooke Ellen Watts (Thakeham First School, West Sussex) who wrote herself seamlessly into meeting Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake as the iconic duo wrote and illustrated Matilda.
9. Samira Yasmin (Oakwood Primary School, East Sussex) who drew herself into The Hobbit with Bilbo Baggins.
10. Shannon Neylan (Langney Primary School, East Sussex) who wrote herself into Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the Knight Bus.

Wilf Jenkins in The Midnight Gang, Caleb Rhys Walker in Swallows and Amazons, Shannon Neylan on The Knight Bus, Brooke Ellen Watts meeting Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake and Ashley Roberts in The Return of the Jedi.

We would also like to thank all the entries and schools that entered our “Get Lost in a Book” competition and we look forward to doing something like this again in the future.

Author of the Week, Competitions

Greatest Authors | Roald Dahl 100

Greatest Authors | Roald Dahl

By Admin

Happy Roald Dahl Day Human Beans!

Today is a day we look forward to every year without fail, as it gives us the perfect excuse to shout about one of our all-time favourite authors, Roald Dahl.

And today marks 100 years of the wonderful man himself. What better way to celebrate than with an opportunity to win a phizz-whizzing prize?

We’re on a mission to find out which Roald Dahl character is loved the most by our World of Books customers, so tell us who your favourite is and why – for your chance to win two tickets to the matinee performance Matilda the Musical on 3rd December 2016.

You can tell us who your favourite character is and why in any of the following ways:

  • Head over to our Facebook page and comment on our wall – or our competition post.
  • Tell us on Twitter but be sure to include @worldofbooksltd
  • Comment on the blog post below
  • Email us your entry at

Good luck to you all! We look forward to reading your gloriumptious entries.

Please only enter if you’re able to attend on that day as tickets are not transferable. Also make sure you have a read of the fine print below.

WORLD OF BOOKS 2016 Competitions Terms & Conditions:

Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully prior to participating in World of Books Prize Draw (the “Prize Draw”). By participating in the Prize Draw each participant fully and unconditionally agrees to and accepts these Terms and Conditions.

1. Eligibility for Participation: The Contest is only open to individuals (referred to as “Participants”) Participants must be (i) a resident of the United Kingdom and (ii) over 18 years of age. Participants will only be entered into the contest once and are only allowed to win a prize of two tickets to see Matilda the Musical. World of Books employees and their immediate family are not permitted to enter the Prize Draw.

2. Access to Contest: The Participants enter the Contest by telling us, who their favourite Roald Dahl character is and why. Entries can be made on the World of Books Facebook ( Twitter ( – these entries must include @worldofbooksltd) and blog ( pages as well as emailed to A purchase or transaction is not required to participate or win. World of Books does not accept responsibility for network, computer, hardware or software failures of any kind, which may restrict or delay the sending or receipt of your entry. Entries must not be sent through agents or third parties. Late or incomplete entries will not be accepted. Any entries made by a person found to be using multiple Facebook/email accounts to enter the Prize Draws will be ineligible. Entries must be made by 23.59 GMT on 18/09/2016.

3. Winner is announced: Those selected to win the prize will be informed on 20/09/2016. Winners of all prizes will be notified via the channel they entered through. If the winner cannot be contacted within 48 hours of the terms of the notification, another entry will be selected and the original winner will forfeit any prize.

4. The Prize: 2 x tickets to see Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London on 3rd Dec ‘16. This prize cannot be transferred, exchanged and no cash alternative is available. The Prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and non-negotiable. The prize does not include travel or accommodation. There are no cash alternatives and the promoter’s decision is final. World of Books reserves the right to amend the prize or offer an alternative of equal or greater value.

5. Selecting winners: The winner will be selected at random by the World of Books Jury. The Jury’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to this decision.

6. Contest organizer: The Contest is organized by World of Books Ltd.

7. World of Books is not responsible for any lost, late, misdirected, stolen, illegible or incomplete entries. If, for any reason, the Prize Draw is not capable of running as planned, as a result of any causes beyond the control of World of Books which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Prize Draw, World of Books reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Prize Draw and/or select winners from all eligible entries received prior to the cancellation.

8. World of Books reserves the right to (i) withdraw the competition (ii) cancel or change the promotion, (iii) cancel or refuse any individual’s entry and (iv) amend these terms and conditions at any time if circumstances make this necessary.

9. World of Books reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any Participant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Prize Draw; to be acting in violation of these Terms and Conditions; or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person or contestant.

10. World of Books is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Prize Draw or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of submissions in the Prize Draw. World of Books is not responsible for any injury or damage to any Participant or to any computer related to or resulting from participating or downloading materials in connection with this Prize Draw.

11. Copyright: Upon submission, contest entries become the property of World of Books and each Participant relinquishes any claims of ownership or rights therein upon submission of their entry into the Contest. Entries may be shared on the World of Books social and email channels as part of the competition.

12. This Prize Draw shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts

Competitions, General Chatter, WoB News

The Gilmour Girls: Celebrating Female Writers

By Admin

As you may have read yesterday, the acclaimed Canadian Author and Lecturer David Gilmour (not the one in Pink Floyd) ruffled a fair few feathers when he declared that he would not use books written by women as course material. He made a solitary exception, Virginia Woolf, but his insistence that female authors were somehow inferior wasn’t particularly well received.

And with good reason too. Sure, we aren’t here to judge his opinions or the merits of his arguments – you can make your own minds up about that – but maybe there is a slight generalisation in all of this. After all books, authors and styles are generally a very personal thing. Much like music, films and pretty much anything else that is remotely creative.

Therefore, without adding another oar to an argument brimming with superfluous oars, it is difficult to discard a whole genre, let alone an entire gender or race. So, in the interest of fairness, here are just a few adequate books written by ladies over the last few centuries.

The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
White Teeth – Zadie Smith 
Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Middlemarch – George Eliot
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 
Bring up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Hotel Du Lac – Anita Brooker
The Talented Mr Ripley – Patricia Highsmith
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf 
The Shipping News – Annie Proulx 
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg 
The God of Small Things – Arundhatri Roy 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling

Of course, these are just a few of many, many more. But we’d love for you to share your favourite book written by a lady, or indeed a Chinese author (another one of the groups Gilmour disparaged) with us at World of Books.

Competition Time

To make it interesting, we will be giving away a choice of 5 of the above books, plus your favourite as a prize. The Gilmour Girls competition will run until midday on Monday, when the winner will be announced. So that’s six great books for just telling us your favourite book by a female author, what could be better?

Enter on Facebook, by leaving a comment on the blog below or on Twittter using the hashtag #gilmourgirls and sending to @worldofbooksltd.

You can also choose to buy any of the above books (or any others for that matter, including extremely masculine tomes) with a cheeky 20% discount, just use the code TYPT249 to take advantage (yes, it’s the same as the one from Tuesday).

Remember, this is just a bit of fun. We would of course love your opinions on female authors and Gilmour’s comments, but are remaining staunchly on the fence with this one. Opinions are opinions after all.



Author Interviews, Competitions

C.J. Sansom taks to World of / Win a copy of Heartstone!

By Admin

Christopher John Sansom, British crime writer and author of the much-acclaimed Shardlake detective series, was born in 1952 in Edinburgh. An only child, C.J Sansom grew up “in a very conservative household, with a small and capital C”,  so his interest in politics in his teens, leading him to a “radical, independent socialist position” was unexpected, but something that he has retained ever since. C. J Sansom graduated with a PhD on the British Labour Party’s policy towards South Africa between the two world wars, from Birmingham University. After working in a variety of jobs, he trained as a solicitor, practising in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged. It was this part of his career and the knowledge it built up, that ultimately informs the Shardlake series, the main character being the hunch-backed lawyer Matthew Shardlake, set in the reign of Henry VIII. Since writing this series, C.J Sansom has won the 2005 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award (awarded by the Crime Writer’s Association CWA) for Dark Fire, the USA Today Best Book of the Year award in 2009 for Revelation, and was “Very highly commended” in the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library awards. The author’s seperate novel, Winter in Madrid, is a thriller set in Spain in 1940 after the Spanish Civil War, a step away from Henry VIII, but one that received as much interest and praise as the Shardlake series. C.J Sansom now lives in Brighton, East Sussex.

C.J. Sansom

C.J. Sansom

Hi C.J Sansom,

Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview today, the most recent book in the Shardlake series, Heartstone, is being released in paperback in February 2012 by Penguin, so you must be rather busy!

Q: We’ll start by just asking simply, why crime fiction? Would you ever venture into another genre?

– There is nothing I like better than a good crime story, it can be a great way of exploring character and also of showing all aspects of society from top to bottom, if you want to take this very flexible genre in that direction.  I have written a non-crime book; Winter in Madrid is a spy novel and so is the book I am writing at the moment, which is an alternate history novel set in a fictional 1950s Britain, after the Germans won the Second World War.  It is a whole new challenge to think about how history would have turned out if just a few important things – in my book Churchill never becomes Prime Minister had been different.

Q: What is the average day in the life of C.J Sansom?

– I always write in the mornings, because I have always been a “morning” person.  In the afternoon I will usually go over what I have been writing in the morning, and then the evenings are mine.

Q: In previous interviews you’ve mentioned that some of your decision to make Shardlake a detective turned barrister was down to the fact that you yourself had studied law so therefore understood it firsthand,  and also because “it existed then and now, so it provides a point of contact for readers”. Obviously a huge amount has changed since the 16th century in terms of the law, and being a model citizen. Are there any surprising similarities you’ve noticed whilst writing the books? And has it been difficult to separate your modern outlook on Law from how it would have been back in the Tudor period?

It is impossible for any historical writer to completely separate themselves from their modern outlook on Law, or anything else.  But that is the great challenge, to try so far as one is able to get into the mindset of people living in an age where so many daily realities, and religion and ideology, were quite different from ours.  However some basic structures of English law – the adversarial common law system, many of the rules of evidence, the process of bringing a civil (less so with a criminal) action to trial – have continued down the centuries although the laws themselves have of course completely changed and simplified.  In Heartstone I have a brief conversation between Shardlake and the young girl who one day will be Queen Elizabeth I, about what justice is and whether it can be found using the law, which I think encapsulates some eternal dilemmas.

Q: Your stand-alone novel, Winter in Madrid (published 2006), can safely be said to be rather different to the Shardlake series, albeit all of them being set at changeable times in history. How different was the writing process for this novel? And did you find it more difficult or easier to write?

The main difference in the writing process was that the story is told through three different third-person narratives – from the very different points of view of the characters Harry, Barbara and Bernie.  That was more difficult in that I had to jump backwards and forwards between the minds of three people, one a woman.  But it also meant I could get a wider range of views and characters in. With the novel I am writing at the moment, I’m telling the story from the point of view of four characters, which adds a further level of complexity. However I find it an enjoyable change from always pursuing murderers to having main characters who are pursued, or in hiding.

Q: What three pieces of advice would you offer to any aspiring writers?

– First and foremost, Bottom on seat and keep practising.  Second – Be ready, even eager, for constructive criticism, because there are always rough edges to be shaved.  Third, don’t start by writing autobiographically – try to keep an edge of distance from your subject.

Q: What top 5 things would be in your Room 101?

The TV series “The Tudors.”

Firmly in Room 101

Firmly in Room 101




The Tea Party

Q: What is the most bizarre criticism you’ve ever received?

– That my books are cruel to horses.  The Tudors often were, but that’s history and I won’t prettify it.

Q: The most recent installment of the Shardlake series, Heartstone, was published in March this year, and is due out in paperback in Februrary 2012 (published by Penguin), and for those World of Books customers who haven’t caught up on the series yet, we can strongly recommend it! The novel relays events in the summer of 1545 when Henry VIII dragged England to war with France, and in doing so debased the currency and caused inflation to soar. Matthew Shardlake and sidekick Jack Barak, commisioned by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr (Henry’s final, surviving spouse), journey to Portsmouth to investigate claims of “monstrous wrongs” that have been inflicted upon a young ward at court.

At a time when life was incredibly cheap, and people lived shortly and roughly, why do you feel a murder investigation is such a powerful storyline?

– Life was indeed very cheap in Tudor times – from disease most of all, but also violence, from the state (punishments were ferocious) and from fellow citizens.  And there were years of bad harvests when people starved.  However it was a strongly religious age, and murder is always looked upon as the worst crime, while the very fragility of the state meant that it was important for it to investigate and punish crime to keep control and credibility.  But murder being the worst crime, then as now, when it happened it would be investigated as thoroughly as the resources of the times allowed.  That could be difficult, especially in a sizeable city with an ever-changing population like London.

Q: What can your fans expect for future C.J Sansom books? Will you write any other stand-alone novels set in different eras?

– As mentioned above, I am now writing an “alternate history” novel set in 1950s Britain.  Then I have two more Shardlakes planned, one set in 1546 against the background of Henry VIII’s last illness, and another set in 1549, during the short reign of his son Edward VI, against the setting of Kett’s rebellion, a massive social revolt that shook the country.  One day, if Shardlake and I last that long, I would like to take him on into the reign of that extraordinary woman, Henry’s daughter Elizabeth I.

Q: And finally, here at World of Books we are dedicated to providing good-quality second-hand books to the public. In a world with an ever-growing digital media base, and increasing environmental concerns, do you believe in the importance of giving each physical book the chance of a new home?

– Of course the more books that are saved from landfill sites the better.  I do worry about the rapid growth of electronic books, because it will damage the whole publishing industry, but I think it will find a natural limits and there will always be a place for books – new and second-hand.

A fan of C.J Sansom and fancy re-reading his work? Not quite caught up on the Shardlake series? A newcomer altogether and been intrigued by this interview? Make sure you pick up a copy of Heartstone when it comes out in paperback in February, and why not visit our site and have a browse?

World of also has a copy of the brilliant ‘Heartstone’ in paperback up for grabs, to enter just leave a comment on this blog or ask to be entered on Facebook or Twitter.


Melvin Burgess and Hallie Rubenhold winners announced!

Thanks to all who entered the World of Books big book giveaway, we have chosen the winners out of a hat and we are happy to announce the winners!

Winners of ‘Junk’ by Melvin Burgess:

  • Liza Wiemer (WhoRuBlog)
  • Alice (notestoalice)
  • Irene (irenesophia1968)
Winners of a signed copy of ‘Mistress of my Fate’ by Hallie Rubenhold:
  • Rebecca Turton (beckyturton22)
  • Arielle Kaplan (akaplan)
  • Pam Harrison (the_tenth_muse)
Congratulations to the lucky winners!

Sorry for those who entered and didn’t win, we will have plenty of competitions in the future so keep an eye on the blog! Thank you to Melvin Burgess and Hallie Rubenhold, who were great to interview and generously gave us these copies to give away. Please bear in mind we are in the UK, so if you are a winner in the USA allow time for delivery.