The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Books

£110 books to giveaway today; plus a new winner

15 Dec 2016

New day, new prize! Today on my Christmas bumper giveaway it’s the turn of the bookworms for some pleasure. I have two sets of beautiful hardback books from high-end publishers Prestel worth a collective £110.

I’ve worked with Prestel for a couple of years because I find their books are just so beautiful and thought-provoking. Great Pubs of London, The Monet Cookbook and It’s A London Thing will be one bundle giveaway (£67)  and Oskar, Great Works: Encounters with Art and Before I Wake Up will be a second literary lot (£42.50).

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Top 10 Xmas books for kids ages 8-12

12 Dec 2016

Here you go, the second of the Muddy book guides to help you decide the best tomes for Christmas. As usual we’ve deployed the local experts, this time picking Sam’s brain at Books & Ink on her Top 10 fiction picks for kids 8-12.

Star Wars Galactic Atlas

This is the must have Christmas present for Star Wars fans of all ages.

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Read all about it: Top 10 Fiction reads for Xmas

6 Dec 2016

I love a good book, don’t you? Often Christmas and my summer hols are the only time I get to read, and my mum always comes up trumps on the stocking fillers with a decent read.

If you’re looking for a bit of guidance and inspiration, here is the first of the Muddy book guides to help you decide the best tomes for Christmas. As usual we’ve deployed the local experts, starting with Rachel at The Woodstock Bookshop on her Top 10 fiction picks.

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‘Houses’, by Peter Adlington

24 Jun 2016

If you love modern buildings like I do, Peter Adlington’s newly released book The Houses is required reading. Adlington, who lives in Haddenham, Bucks, only built 9 full houses as an architect, but in a remarkable achievement they are all Grade II listed – more than any other architect in the UK – and this book shows them all, from original sketches and hand-drawn plans through to the original Sixties and Seventies photos from the properties.

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Read me: The Top 10 Chapter Books for kids

4 Apr 2016

Did you realise it was Children’s Book Day on Saturday? I was too busy giving my youngest mudlet a garguantuan birthday sugar rush to really clock it – though thinking back, he did read about 6 pages of a an intricate waffle and crepe menu, does that count? Fortunately the lovely, cultured Amber at Muddy Surrey was on it like a rat up a rope and created this Top 10 Chapter Book list for kids with the help of the staff from her local indie bookshop – some classics, some newbies, and a whole lot of page turning.

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Joanne Harris: My Favourite Places

12 Mar 2016

Joanne Harris is the acclaimed author of Chocolat made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. Since then, she has written 15 more novels, two collections of short stories and three cookbooks. Her books are now published in over 50 countries. She appears at the Oxford Literary Festival in three separate events from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 April 2016. In the meantie, here are her favourite places in Bucks/Oxon and beyond and they’re brilliant – offering ghosts, neolithic folklore and tips on writing.

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Flash Fiction: read this 250 word classic in under 30 seconds

28 Feb 2016

My lovely Muddy editorial assistant Sarah Taylor, who helps me bring out The Muddy Guide every week, happens to be an awesome creative writer in her non-Muddy time. She specialises in flash fiction and just won a Highly Commended prize at the Bridport Prize 2015 competition with her story Good at Crisps. That’s a big win, let me tell you – the Bridport is a serious prize to snaffle. But in fact Sarah has previous in this competition, having aso been Highly Commended in 2014 as well, with the brilliant Popping Your Cherry.

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The Top 10 Young Adult Reads

22 Feb 2016

Lovely Books and Ink in Banbury. Such a great local bookshop and I felt bad because illness befell the owner Sam in December and she couldn’t get her picks of Top 10 Young Adult Reads to me before Christmas for me to run as a feature.

But – hey – a book is for life, not just the holidays, so if you’re despairing of young fingers prodding phones and want to redirect their energies, have a gander at these books and fire up their imaginations.

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Top 10 Children’s Books for Xmas (7-11yrs)

17 Dec 2015

The second of our expert book guides to help you buy the perfect gifts for Crimbo. For the 7-11 year category – always a toughie – we’ve enlisted the help of the brilliant indie Mostly Books in Abingdon. Thanks for the tips MB!

Meet at the Ark at Eight! by Ulrich Hub

Snow and ice all around, and nothing for three penguins to do but fight with each other and smell slightly of fish.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition