10 great Yorkshire themed books selected by Kemps in Malton

A book lovers' paradise, Kemps in Malton 

A book lovers' paradise, Kemps in Malton - Credit: Olivia Brabbs Photography

Books and Christmas go together likes pigs and blankets and it's always great to give a book with a Yorkshire spin. Liz Kemp, of Kemps in Malton offers up a selection to suit all.

Everyone Sang

Everyone Sang

Everyone Sang - Credit: Kemps

York-based artist Emily Sutton adds her signature style to this beautiful collection of poetry bringing William Sieghart’s poetry prescription service to younger readers. Sieghart’s Everyone Sang is a ‘hug in a book’ for children.  The poems are organised into four sections each containing classic and favourite children’s poem including pieces from A. A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Maya Angelou and T.S. Eliot. 
Emily Sutton’s beautiful illustrations and these thoughtfully curated poems work hand in hand to make this a delightful anthology that stands to become a well-loved companion. £20. 

Walking The Invisible 

Walking The Invisible by Michael Stewart (HQ) is available from June 24. Also available in eBook and audio. 

Walking The Invisible by Michael Stewart (HQ) is available from June 24. Also available in eBook and audio. - Credit: HQ books

Delving into the rich connection between the Brontes, their landscape and their writing, award-winning writer, Michael Stewart follows this literary family, across moorland, countryside, coast and city to give us a thoroughly enjoyable book which is a literary study, nature writing, memoir and walking guide all rolled into one.  Stewart’s love of the Bronte oeuvre, and the area in which they lived, shines through as the book. An authoritative, inspirational and often humorous companion to a great Yorkshire family and the landscape that shaped them - and many others - throughout history. £16.99    

A Tree A Day

A Tree A Day

A Tree A Day - Credit: Kemps

Based in rural North Yorkshire, Dr Amy-Jane Beer nature-writer and Guardian columnist, gifts us the pleasure of learning about one tree every day of the year.  Spanning all seven continents and many centuries, A Tree A Day brings together folklore, poetry, botany and geography to give an erudite yet eminently accessible account of well-loved, familiar and unknown trees alike.  
Adorned with fascinating images from photography, art and illustration the visual qualities of the book help to highlight just how intertwined human life and the life of trees can be.  This is a practical and beautiful book that serves as both a manual for all those interested in the life of trees and a timely reminder of the important place they hold within human life, history and culture. £20

Hot Stew

Hot Stew

Hot Stew - Credit: Kemps

Fiona Mozley’s first novel Elmet, written when she was just 29, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2017.  Born in London and brought up in York, she attended Fulford School and is now completing a PhD in Medieval Studies at York University. Set in the heart of Soho, Hot Stew couldn’t be further from the Yorkshire woodland location of Elmet yet it shares themes of property, wealth and ownership, all are political issues close to Mozley’s heart.  When Agatha inherits a Soho building from her criminal father, she intends to capitalise on the creeping gentrification of the area and sets about evicting its residents.  However, sex workers Precious and Tabitha, two of the building’s residents, are not ready to leave without a fight and the battle over property takes an unusual female turn.£8.99

Too Many Reasons to Live

Too Many Reasons to Live 

Too Many Reasons to Live - Credit: Kemps

As a youngster, Rob Burrow defied the laws of Rugby League to become one of the sport’s most celebrated players.  Standing at just 5’5’’ tall, he was well-known for being the smallest player in the league yet he represented Leeds Rhinos for all 16 years of his entire professional career and spent ten years in the England squad.  Now, at the age of 39 and living with motor-neurone disease, the positivity and determination to succeed now spurs him on to make the most of every moment of life. 
In this moving memoir, Rob Burrow tells the story of his extraordinary life in rugby and of his MND diagnosis afterwards.  Rob’s positivity shines through the pages, as does the unending love of his family. Whether or not you are a Leeds Rhinos fan, this is a truly inspirational book that celebrates a life lived with purpose, good-humour and courage. £20

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Black Gold

Black Gold book cover

Black Gold - Credit: Kemps

The history of coal may seem an unusual subject to want to visit so soon after the decline of the industry in the UK and the controversial continued reliance upon the fuel in developing countries around the globe.  However, it is precisely this uncomfortable relationship between humanity and its polluting yet modernising fuel that holds such interest for Leeds-born Jeremy Paxman. Coal, he reminds us, created the Britain we know today and it has defined so many of our historic events from the birth of steam through the wars and on to the industrial action of the miners’ strikes.
Written in Paxman’s trademark acerbic style, the book is well-researched and laden with information to give a full picture of the good, the bad and the plain ugly aspects of coal and coal mining in Britain.  Industrialists, inventors and entrepreneurs are all represented here but Paxman’s narrative is perhaps at its best when describing those whose lives were spent at the coal-face. £25

The Misadventures of Evie Epworth

The Misadventures of Evie Epworth

The Misadventures of Evie Epworth - Credit: Kemps

In this genuinely heart-warming debut novel, Matson Taylor has created one of the most lovable characters of the year.  The story is set against the backdrop of Taylor’s East Yorkshire childhood home in the 1960s and casts all manner of characters that anyone with a knowledge of the time and place could readily identify.  
There is much fun to be had in this novel but it is also one with a heart centred around the naïve but intelligent Evie and the loss of a mother she never knew.  A Radio 2 bookclub pick, The Misadventures of Evie Epworth is an uplifting first novel which leaves those who read it keenly anticipating the second. £8.99

The Heeding

The Heeding book cover

The Heeding - Credit: Kemps

In The Heeding, Rob Cowen draws upon his keen awareness of historical moments to document our year under lockdown.  Here, we are asked to ‘heed’: to take notice of the natural world and perhaps find within it a different understanding of time and place.  The poems take us through the four seasons of the natural world and work together to build up the many layers of human experience within a second, a year, a lifetime.  Stunning linocuts from Nick Hayes (author of the Book of Trespass) illuminate the pages of this poignant memorial to a year in crisis. £12.99

The Barn

The Barn book cover

The Barn - Credit: Kemps

Based in the Howardian Hills of North Yorkshire, Sally Coulthard is a best-selling nature writer and Country Living columnist.  In her latest book, The Barn: The Lives, Landscape and Lost Ways of an Old Yorkshire Farm, Sally unearths a myriad of hidden histories concealed within the four walls of an eighteenth-century stone barn that stands on her smallholding.  From the last days of Enclosure in the eighteenth century, through the boom and bust years of Victorian high farming, to the radical developments of the Second World War, Sally follows the remarkable journey of the barn, and the resourceful people who worked and lived in its shadow.  £20. 

When the Sky Falls

When The Sky Falls cover

When The Sky Falls - Credit: Kemps

Award winning novelist for children and young adults, Phil Earle confesses that his ambition as a child was not to write but to play for his beloved home team, Hull City Football Club.  Had he done so, the world of children’s fiction would have missed out on this extraordinary story of the moving connection between an angry young boy and a captive gorilla who are both caught up within man’s inhumanity to man.   
When the Sky Falls is set in London amid the Blitz of World War Two.  However, as Joseph, a close-to abandoned boy, makes his way into London as other children leave, it quickly becomes apparent that this is a story about the war like no other.  The climax of this book is utterly gripping and it is a story that will resonate with young and old alike long past the last page. £7.99
 

Book-loving Liz Kemp has created a gorgeous space for bookworms in her Malton store 

Book-loving Liz Kemp has created a gorgeous space for bookworms in her Malton store - Credit: Olivia Brabbs Photography

Kemps General Store was founded in 2017 by Liz Kemp, a shopkeeper's daughter and passionate supporter of the North Yorkshire market town of Malton. Between lockdowns in October 2020, Kemps General Store moved to a larger space on Market Place, adding Kemps Books - 'a proper bookshop under the same roof'. Kemps Books also provides a programme of authors' events and book signings. Visit kempsgeneralstore.co.uk.