Bookworm: February & March 16

Bookworm: February & March 16

All I Ever Wanted
by Stan Bagwell, compiled and edited by Christine Hardy

This highly readable book is not only an account, in his own words, of a Devon fisherman’s life, but an accessible, entertaining and moving piece of social history. Stan Bagwell is widely known in and around East Devon and as a young boy, watched his father struggle to earn a living, fishing from Ladram Bay.  He was determined to buy his own boat and build a successful fishing business. Even in his earliest memories, Stan’s strength, determination and humour are immediately evident and make for an absorbing and often moving read. His story brings the difficulties and challenges of the fishing community to life, through one family.  His recollections of an East Devon childhood spent trapping and fishing with his uncles are particularly well observed and beautifully illustrated with many original photos, maps and diagrams. Stan’s memories span from 1940 to the present day and have been sensitively edited and compiled by award winning playwright and local author Christine Hardy.

The book is sold entirely in aid of The Fishermen’s Mission charity £12.00 and is available online – (search for) ‘All I Ever Wanted’  or or The Lantern Shop and Paragon Books, Sidmouth.

ISBN – none

Revenge Ritual
by C J Browne

This is a psychological crime thriller is set in our own East Devon.  The heroine of the story is the highly attractive Dr Kate Trevelyan, a  successful career girl, who is surrounded by murder and intrigue when she is assigned to her company’s South west office, based here in Sidmouth.  Some locations have had their names changed slightly but are still highly recognisable  from the author’s description other places are completely fictional.

The book plunges us into the author’s imaginary, nightmarish East Devon where immigrant towns become the focus of violence, demonstrations and murder.   Although completely fictional, the book reminds us of very current issues; including new developments on AONB,  local  councillors’ involvement in this and there are also comments on the workings of the rural local police.  For local readers, the characters visit a number of actual businesses during the book and this add some interest to the story.  Maybe readers further afield might be tempted to seek them out and enjoy the beauty of the Jurassic coast.

ISBN 9781517052799

by Ted Gosling and June Richards

Brixham has a long and interesting history, particularly relating to its fishing heritage, at one time being a highly productive and important fishing port.   The choir was reputedly one of the finest in the west of England and it remains a picturesque and interesting place to visit and live today.  Ted, author of over some forty books, takes us on a pictorial tour of Brixham with predominantly early 20th century photographs, along with co writer, June Richards.

The book contains a range of unique images of Brixham, some wartime showing bomb damage, many early photographs of fishermen and their catches on the quay alongside their boats.  If you’re keen on local history, the book is a ‘must have’ for your library, a compelling, engaging publication that allows you to time-travel back to Brixham’s golden years.

ISBN 9780750947923

The Jack Cook Book
by The Jack in the Green

The Jack in the Green is one of Devon’s best-loved restaurants. It’s transformation from a near-bankrupt, dilapidated roadside pub into somewhere consistently recognised by the AA, The Good Food Guide and Michelin is a remarkable tale of drive and determination spanning nearly 24 years. This journey has been overseen by proprietor Paul Parnell and head chef Matthew Mason who between them have now spent a staggering £5.2 million on local food alone.

This 168-page book is their story and features a supporting cast of suppliers, customers and friends.  For the enthusiastic home cook there are 42 easy-to-follow recipes spanning 8 different chapters. Staying true to their roots as a country pub there is also a section on bar snacks featuring their own classic fish pie and a South American inspired chilli pork belly.

As part of their ongoing support for the local community £5 from every book will be given to FORCE Cancer in Exeter. To order a copy please visit or call 01404 822240 for details on local stockists.

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