No Better Gift Than a Great Book

Gift-Wrapped-Book

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-minicover

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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

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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

SFMF-180

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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

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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

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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

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: Paperback
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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

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: Hardback
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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

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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 Fice and Fire

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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

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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 Chaos 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-180

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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

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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

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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

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SpellboundWomen’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

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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.

For Route’s full book list, click here.

Route Music Books

A selection of our music titles
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judas-120

JUDAS!: From Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall
Clinton Heylin
In 1966 Bob Dylan and The Hawks found themselves at the epicentre of a storm of controversy. Their response? To unleash a cavalcade of ferocity from Melbourne to Manchester, from Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall.
‘The definitive written account of Dylan’s historic and pivotal 1965-66 world tours.’ – Bobdylan.com
‘British writer-historian Heylin is perhaps the world’s authority on all things Dylan.’ Rolling Stone
SIGNED EDITION
Kindle | Amazon
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AYZ120

Anarchy in the Year Zero: The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Class of 76
Clinton Heylin
Definitive account of Punk’s Year Zero, 1976, a youth cultural movement that changed the country for good.
‘For those who weren’t there, but swear they were, now you are.’ – Richard Boon, former Buzzcocks manager
‘Heylin has done a masterful job of mapping the when, where and who’s who in the Pistols pied piper saga.’ – Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth
SIGNED AND NUMBERED COLLECTORS EDITION
Kindle | Amazon
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youcandrum120

You Can Drum But You Can’t Hide
Simon Wolstencroft
Of all the iconic musicians and scenes that emanate from Manchester, Simon Wolstencroft is the one who joins up the dots: The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Fall and everywhere inbetween.
‘Wolstencroft’s book gives us a whole new perspective about Manchester’s music scene. A cracking read.’ — Louder Than War
‘Essential.’ — Vive le Rock!
SIGNED EDITION
Kindle
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Bringing It All Back Home

Bringing It All Back Home
Ian Clayton
Our bestseller, a breathtaking musical odyssey that reveals the secret that connects music to our heart.
‘One of the best books about popular music ever written.’ – Record Collector
‘Highly entertaining, full of wisdom and humanity.’ – Mojo
SIGNED EDITION
Kindle | Amazon
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TBMPB120  tbmhb120

The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall
Steve Hanley And Olivia Piekarski
Steve Hanley’s sublime story about his time in Britain’s most enigmatic band.
A Guardian Book of the Year, A Rough Trade Book of the Year, Reader’s Digest Music Book of the Year, A Dagsavisen Book of the Year
‘One of the more sincere and endearing band biographies available.’ – Los Angeles Review of Books
‘Whether you are a fan of the band or not, this is a fantastic rock’n’roll memoir. A wonderful reminder of what it once meant to be in a genuinely dangerous and groundbreaking group.’ – The Idler, Book of the Week
Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Amazon Hardback
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CARPET_BURNS_PB-SP

Carpet Burns: Life With Inspiral Carpets
Tom Hingley
A magic carpet ride through the heights of Madchester and the bumpy landing on the other side.
‘A cool as f**k memoir.’ – Record Collector
‘Often witty and at times poignant, it’s a must for all Inspirals fans and devotees to popular culture of the time. (Want to know where Noel Gallagher first cut his teeth?)’ – Eartwister
SIGNED EDITION
Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Amazon Hardback
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toiafpb120  toiaf-hb

The Train of Ice and Fire: Mano Negro in Colombia
Ramón Chao
A crazy rock and roll tour, with full circus entourage, through one of the most dangerous landscapes in the world. What could possibly go wrong?
‘Maybe it was the best adventure I ever had.’ – Manu Chao
‘Any band that ever moaned about the freshness of the backstage towels should read this book. Chao is an excellent chronicler, placing us right in the thick of the action.’ – Word
Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Amazon Hardback
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away-from-the-light-of-day

Away From the Light of Day
Amadou and Mariam
The inside track on the Blind Couple of Mali and their spectacular rise to global success through adversity, rich in Malian colour and atmosphere.
‘It’s Amadou who narrates the bulk of the tale, explaining Malian quirks and traditions with an amusing directness, and conveying his love for Mariam with the sort of heartwarming guilelessness that has become the couple’s trademark.’ – Songlines
‘As far from Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt as music biography gets.’ – Word
Kindle | Amazon
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Red Army Faction Blues

Red Army Faction Blues
Ada Wilson
What connects Peter Green to the Red Army Faction? Music and politics combine to provide a prescient exploration of what unravels when youthful idealism meets the full force of the state.
‘Peter Green provides the thematic thread drawing the novel’s diverse elements into focus, as though the Green God has the answers – the code to what happened, to why the urban guerrilla youthquake all went wrong. Brilliant stuff!’ – Rock n Reel
‘A magnificent book about the messy degeneration of high ideals and good music. Skilfully and almost breathlessly, the author reveals the confused interior life of Peter Urbach, the undercover agent, as well as that of ex-Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green.’ – Morning Star
Kindle | Amazon
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giftbook
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See our website for our full book list
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The Thought That Counts

Route Books

For some there is no better gift than a good book, where the thought really does count.  Here is a dozen gift recommendations from readers, Route’s bestselling titles of 2013. All independently produced to engage, inspire and to entertain, these books wont let you down.

Bringing It All Back Home

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Bringing It All Back Home by Ian Clayton – A modern classic music book. You don’t have to take our word for it, read the Amazon reviews. 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

Nothing Ever Happens in Wentbridge

Order on Kindle : Paperback
Trailer : Podcast: Website

Nothing Ever Happens in Wentbridge by Janet Watson – A vivid and moving story of a remarkable first love, friendship and coming of age fast in the 1980s. ‘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

Carpet Burns

Order on Kindle : Hardback
Trailer : Website

Carpet Burns – My Life With Inspiral Carpets by Tom Hingley – Get yourself close up and personal with the Madchester music scene. Tom Hingley recounts life inside the Inspiral Carpets – on stage, on the tour bus, in the studio – he 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. ‘A cool as f***k memoir.’ – Record Collector

Rites

Order on Kindle : Hardback
Trailer : More Details

Rites – by Sophie Coulombeau –  The outstanding winner of the Next Best Novelist Award. 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… A psychological thriller and moral maze. 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

Red Army Faction Blues

Order on Kindle : Paperback
TrailerWebsite

Red Army Faction Blues by Ada Wilson – An explosive mix of music and politics; and what happens when a new generation set out a path for a radically different future. A close look at the present political turmoil through the lens of the recent past. Bombs and acid. Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac, Baader, Meinhof 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

Everything Now

Order on Kindle : Paperback
TrailerPodcastWebsite

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.

Spellbound

Order on Kindle : Paperback
Trailer : Podcast : More Details

SpellboundWomen’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

The Train of Fice and Fire

Order on Kindle : Paperback : Hardback
TrailerMore Details

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

Order on Kindle : Paperback
Trailer More Details

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.

La Rochelle

Order on Kindle : Paperback
TrailerMore Details

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 described 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? Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction.  ‘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

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Red Laal by M Y Alam – If Mario Puzo was from Bradford. 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

Born in the 1980s

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The Route Book at Bedtime – Presenting twelve bedtime stories for adult reading. Featured authors include M Y Alam, Sarah Butler, Pippa Griffin, Michael Nath and Cally Taylor. Book at Bedtime is a title in the Route series of contemporary stories. ‘Adult bedtime books don’t come much better than this. The manner in which each story carries such bountiful emotion over only a few pages makes this an ideal bedtime companion.’ – The Big Issue in the North

For Route’s full book list, click here.