Book lovers love the gift of a good book. Route is the home of quality, independently produced books. To help you with gift hunting, we’ve pulled together a selection of books that we highly recommend. There’s something here for all tastes, and they wont let you down. (Cheapest option is to buy direct)
The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall by Steve Hanley & Olivia Piekarski – An unprecedented insight into the inner workings of the UK’s most mysterious and sublime outsider band. A Guardian Book of the Year, a Rough Trade Book of the Year, Readers Digest Editor’s Choice, this is the first insider’s account of life inside The Fall. Steve Hanley’s story unfolds like a novel; from 1979 when he joined his schoolmates Marc Riley and Craig Scanlon in The Fall, he puts us right in the heart of the action: on stage, on the tour bus, in the recording studio, and up close and personal with an eccentric cast of band mates. ‘Steve Hanley has seen one of British music’s most perplexing and brilliant institutions from the inside and lived to tell the tale. This is the absorbing, eye-popping, hilarious story of growing up in the feverish heart of The Mighty Fall.’ – Stuart Maconie
Nothing Ever Happens in Wentbridge by Janet Watson – A vivid and moving story of a remarkable first love, friendship and the emotional consequences of teenage pregnancy. ‘This is a luminous book about real life: about love, loss, motherhood, daughterhood, about sex, longing and fear, regret and the terrible pain of hindsight. And it’s a fabulous story, whose last third I had to read in one sitting into the small hours. I loved it.’ – Mumsnet
Song For My Father by Ian Clayton – What happens when you only know your dad when you’re a young boy and then, one day, when you are middle-aged, he phones to say he’d like to see you again before he dies? ‘Ian Clayton has an unshakeable belief in the power of stories to bring people together, coming as he does from that great tradition of storytellers that includes the likes of Stan Barstow, Alan Sillitoe and his hero Barry Hines. Song For My Father reverberates with warmth, humour and joy and it’s a story people can relate to.’ – Yorkshire Post
Bringing It All Back Home by Ian Clayton – A modern classic. If you love music books, and haven’t read this one yet, it’s time to put that right. When you hear a certain song, where does it take you? What is the secret that connects music to our lives? Heart warming, moving and laugh out loud funny, Bringing It All Back Home is the truest book you will ever read about music and the things that really matter. ‘Ian Clayton has written not just a masterpiece about music but a beautiful and important work of social history. This is a literary triumph of irrepressible humour, touching humility and downright humanity. At the end of this book, you’ll believe Ian Clayton is your best mate.’ – Andy Kershaw
Rites – by Sophie Coulombeau – This sizzling novel is the perfect summer read. Four teenagers make a pact to lose their virginity away from the watchful eyes of parents and priest. Fifteen years later, they reflect on the past and unravel how it all went so horribly wrong… There is no objective truth when it comes to different people’s memories of the same experience, it’s up to you to pick your way through the ambiguity. ‘Terrific. A story that’s intriguing, puzzling and entirely gripping.’ – Philip Pullman
Everything Now by Steve McKevitt – If you like a good grumble about how the modern world is heading to hell in a handcart, this book holds a mine of ammunition for you. Written by an expert in the field, this is a shocking and funny whistle-blowing account of the techniques that are employed to mould public opinion, shape how we behave and control what we think. ‘Read this before you shell out for a new, ever-so slightly shinier mobile phone or pay a premium for anything that goes out of its way to convince you how ‘ethical’ it is.’ – Time Out, Book of the Week.
Carpet Burns – My Life With Inspiral Carpets by Tom Hingley – Get yourself close up and personal with Inspiral Carpets as Tom charts the ups and downs of life inside a pop hurricane with wit and plenty of insight. Anyone interested in music life and the impact of Manchester’s music scene will quickly devour every word. ‘Oh my God! Every band is the same. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Peter Hook
Red Army Faction Blues by Ada Wilson – Music and politics. Bombs and acid. Peter Green and the Red Army Faction. All is seen through the eyes of an agent provocateur, as the peace and love generation of the 1960s gives way to violent terrorism of the 1970s. ‘Wilson brings the tumult of 1967 West Berlin vividly to life in this intriguing period thriller. Resonances with the Occupy Wall Street movement make this novel’s themes timely.’ – Publishers Weekly
The Train of Ice and Fire by Ramon Chao – Quite simply, a chronical of one of the craziest rock tours ever attempted. Colombia, November 1993: a reconstructed old passenger train is carrying one hundred musicians, acrobats and artists on a daring adventure through the heart of a country soaked in violence. Leading this crusade of hope is Manu Chao with his band Mano Negra. Manu’s father Ramon Chao is on board to chronicle the journey. ‘The real joy is in the detail, be it Chao Senior overheating in a polar bear costume until he loses consciousness or going so native that he gets himself tattooed as his son tuts disapprovingly. By the end you’re rooting for the cast of dysentery ridden, ceaselessly optimistic ne’er-do-wells and entranced by the madness of their undertaking.’ – Q Magazine.
Because Cuba is You by Ramon Chao – An exotic and historical romp through Galicia and Cuba, this magical realist story is an account of Ramon Chao’ s own family saga and the political maelstrom into which he was born, tracing a personal and political line from the Spanish-American War to the Spanish Civil War. ‘A historical narrative focused on the relations between Galicia and Cuba. Well written and full of entertaining anecdotes, Chao brings an imaginative dimension to the story of emigration.’ – El Mundo.
British Story by Michael Nath – Hitch a ride an oddball group of characters as they call up the lost spirit of resistance in this literary romp through British history. Philosophical, frightening and hilarious, British Story is an adventure in imagination and a rallying cry for wonder. A Morning Star Book of the Year. ‘This frequently surreal tale follows an academic’s entanglement with an oddball group, led by the Falstaffian Arthur Mountain, who share a strange extended tale stretching back to wartime Swansea via Doncaster and Edinburgh. Reminiscent of the work of Kurt Vonnegut, this is a really engaging and entertaining yarn with plenty of knowing literary allusions.’ – Times Higher Education Supplement
La Rochelle by Michael Nath – The writing is the star of the show in this literary novel. Darkly comic, sharp and erudite, it’s been desribed as Proust in Peckham or Hamlet in Holborn. The disappearance of his friend’s woman stirs up the life of a doctor, placing him in the power of a subtle enchanter. Will it make or break him? ‘Stylish, very funny, discreetly surprising, this remarkable novel reads at times like a fable of England under New Labour, where nothing is quite what it seems and not much is worth what it costs.’ – Michael Wood
Red Laal by M Y Alam – A bold slice of organised-crime fiction, M Y Alam’s novel is a compelling tale of survival, honour and family values. In Kilo and Red Laal, Alam has created characters beyond compare in contemporary British fiction. ‘Red Laal is a smart, tough and authentic revenge thriller best served cold, and marks out M Y Alam as a major name in gritty, contemporary gangster-culture crime writing.‘ – Telegraph and Argus
Spellbound – Women’s Magic Over Men by Joel Willans – Ever since men painted on cave walls, they’ve been making art out of their feelings for women. Joel Willans’s prize-winning stories feature men battling for women’s hearts with weapons as diverse as chocolates and chairs. A spellbinding summer read with a slice of magic. ‘The thinking lad’s book for a busy life. Funny, cool, excellent prose, effortless to read… a heartwarming read for us girls too!’ – Alice Bragg
Born in the 1980s – These stories from ‘our so called generation’ are as vital as fresh air. Through love and lust, broken dreams and heartbreak, we see a generation finding its feet and carving out its place in the world. ‘If you were born in the 1980s and want to reminisce about “growing up”, are twentysomething and want to show your feelings instead of telling them, or not twentysomething and just want to learn something about the “next wave”, this is the book for you. It definitely captures the spirit of a generation up and coming.’ – The Bloomsbury Review.