3 Books Weekly #11: feat. Hachette’s George Walkley
09.00, Friday 13 May 2016 Link to this post
The following was first posted on the 3 Books Weekly email newsletter and has since been archived here.
Today’s picks are by George Walkley, who is head of digital for Hachette UK – Hachette is one of the “big five” book publishers. So in addition to being three cracking picks, these are all very relevant to an Internet of Things bookshop in a vending machine :) Find George on Twitter as @walkley.
Hachette is also currently hosting the bookshop. It’s Friday today, so that means there’s a new selection of 12 books for the week. If you’re near Hachette’s HQ on the Thames by Blackfriars, do pop in. George’s picks are stocked there right now! Check out the whole list of books and get a map to the location… here.
Okay, on with the show. Happy Friday, all.
#1. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Vintage Children’s Classics), by Joan Aiken
There’s something particularly lovely about rediscovering a childhood favourite through your own children reading it, as happened recently with this. Set in an alternate Britain where Jacobites rule instead of Hanoverians, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is a spendidly atmospheric, creepy story of two children discovering that the danger of the world at large is as nothing next to danger close to hand. If you drew a line from Dickens to Philip Pullman, this would be on it. Incidentally, I also love the slightly Edward Gorey-ish cover on this reissue.
#2. How to Lie with Statistics (Penguin Business), by Darrell Huff
A splendid and highly practical book for the lay reader on how statistical data can be twisted to mislead the unwary. It shows its age in some of the language and examples, but overall it’s written in a highly accessible style. Hopefully no one reading this recommendation will use it to deceive, but buy it and you’ll be forewarned against others doing so. It’s a book that changes forever the way you look at newspapers, politicians’ statements, market research and other data.
#3. The Art of the Publisher, by Roberto Calasso
I’m currently very taken with short form non-fiction: 25-30,000 words is the perfect length to be able to commit to a book, read it in an evening and have a sense of closure – as opposed to the uncompleted thousand page books that reproach me from the shelf. This is a lovely example of the form, a collection of essays by the Italian publisher Roberto Calasso on the history and meaning of his trade from Aldus Manutius to Google: in the Renaissance origins of the business, Calasso sees how it can remain relevant in an era of abundant content.