A Year in Books: Yale staff books of the year, part 1

As we approach the Christmas season, with a brand new year of books and reading just over the horizon, we asked some of Yale London’s staff to choose their favourite books of the year.

From monumental art books such as Eric Shanes’s Young Mr. Turner and The National Gallery London’s fabulous exhibition catalogue Beyond Caravaggio, to books by much-loved authors such as Terry Eagleton and Clive James, Yale has had a bumper year – but our staff selection may still surprise you…  So to prepare your holiday reading, or get gift inspiration for the book lover in your family, join the London office as we explore and celebrate selected titles from 2016.

books of the year

Simon Bradley, Editor & Author

Yale Book of the Year: Derbyshire by Clare Hartwell

books of the yearClare Hartwell’s revision of ‘Derbyshire’ is an outstanding addition to the Pevsner series. The territory is architecturally rich and surprising, the landscapes varied and frequently beautiful. Clara has made the best possible use of the old text, last revised in the 1970s, combining its strengths with the latest scholarly perspectives and discoveries. The county’s great houses – Chatsworth, Haddon, Hardwick, Kedleston, Bolsover – all come to life on the page, and the relationships between them are explored too. Repeatedly, she also shows that England’s most rewarding and distinctive places can be found just as much in industrial areas or neglected corners as in classic picture-postcard territory. One example: the David Mellor factory at Hathersage, a fine modern building by Sir Michael Hopkins, with an adjacent ‘sacred grove’ of working traffic lights to Mellor’s standard 1960s design.


Favourite book read in the last six months:

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Favourite author:

Charles Dickens

Rachael Lonsdale, Head of Editorial Development, Production & Design

Yale Book of the Year: A Little History of Religion by Richard Holloway

books of the yearThere have been so many favourites this year. But my book of 2016 has to be Richard Holloway’s A Little History of Religion – a superlative tour of the many means by which humankind has found meaning in life, delivered with warmth and sincerity and quite a bit of fun. Not only is Richard an editor’s dream, what really makes this my number 1 is the way it speaks to Yale’s excellences – closely collaborating with authors to deliver pitch-perfect scholarship that informs and entertains, all packaged together in a superbly designed, covetable object. Producing the Little Histories is by now a well-oiled, satisfyingly slick process, and it’s exceedingly gratifying to feel we are reaching out to new readerships with these books. Watch out for Niall’s Kishtainy’s excellent A Little History of Economics coming very soon – a must-read for those who, like me, could and really should know more.


Visit the Little Histories website

Favourite book read in the last six months:

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O’Toole

Favourite author:

James Joyce

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