A Year in Books: Yale staff books of the year, part 2

‘I love the Dolce and Gabana dress that is featured – if it wasn’t worth thousands of pounds, I’d buy it tomorrow!’

In this, the second of our Christmas staff selection blogs, we celebrate two dramatic books that couldn’t be more different. Our publicist for art can’t resist the nostalgia of the magical Fairy Tale Fashion, whilst our sales and marketing director ventures into the world of French revolutionary politics – escapism of sorts! They also reveal other favourite books and authors, all of which you’ll find in your local bookshop. Happy bookshopping!

books of the year

Noel Murphy, Sales and Marketing Director

Yale Book of the Year: Liberty or Death by Peter McPhee

Liberty or DeathAs you may have noticed, 2016 has been somewhat turbulent. I spent the first part of the year burying my head in books to avoid the news but for whatever reason books about political turmoil seemed to dominate. Having last year devoured Hilary Mantel’s books on the Tudor court this year I ventured into the world of the French Revolution through her A Place of Greater Safety. The vivid fictional world she created provoked a need to understand the events of 1789 through the eyes of a historian and our own Peter McPhee through his magisterial Liberty or Death was a very fitting companion and guide. McPhee illuminates not just the people and politics of Paris but also stories and experiences from the rest of France and indeed how the Revolution was viewed on a global level. McPhee brings serious scholarship alongside a strong sense of the tragedy and violence of a revolution whose effects still resonate today.

Favourite book read in the last six months:

The Silk Road by Peter Frankopan. I loved this book for its highly original take on global history. By shifting our traditional map projection to the East we suddenly see the world and even histories we felt were familiar in an entirely different light.

Favourite author:

Too many choices on this and too many reasons to like too many authors really. But when pressed I always find it difficult to resist F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby is still my favourite novel and every time I read I find some new insight I hadn’t realised was there. And still the best written ending ever.


Imogen Towner, Publicist

Yale Book of the Year: Fairy Tale Fashion by Colleen Hill

Fairy Tale FashionLike a lot of small children, I was obsessed with Fairy Tales when I was younger, and now that I’m an adult I am obsessed with fashion, so imagine my delight when Fairy Tale Fashion by Colleen Hill dropped on my desk earlier this year! This is by far my favourite book that Yale has published this year as it embodies everything that a good art book can be – a cool concept, informative text and stunning photography. Hill does an excellent job of taking her reader on a journey through each fairy tale, discussing the story and how depictions over time have developed the definitive styles that have now influenced the fashion world. My favourite section is Alice in Wonderland, as I love the Dolce and Gabana dress that is featured – if it wasn’t worth thousands of pounds, I’d buy it tomorrow! If you have ever thought about buying a pair of ruby red slippers or a fish tail dress, then I would recommend reading this book as an insight as to how much our fashion choices are inspired by our favourite fairy tales.

Favourite book read in the last six months:

Who’s That Girl by Mhairi McFarlane

Favourite author:

J.D. Salinger

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