The Force Awakens!

In true #ThrowbackThursday fashion, we have a real treat for you today! (We promise that there are no spoilers here)

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in some other galaxy, you’ll probably know that the new Star Wars movie is out today in the UK.

BUT….did you know that Souvenir Press published the first hardcover Star Wars book? Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by George Lucas was published back in 1977 – the year that Episode IV: A New Hope, the first film in the franchise, was released.

star wars

This was followed in 1978 by Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, from the further adventures of Luke Skywalker, based on the characters and situations created by George Lucas.

splinter of the mind's eye

We’ll see you at the cinema!


Lift Off!

What have you done today? Maybe a little Christmas shopping? Some household chores?

Well, for Time Peake, the first official British Astronaut, today marked the launch of his mission to the International Space Station, where he’ll be based for six months.

His rocket, the Soyuz space capsule, departed from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan – the same place where Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space in 1961.

In 1958, Souvenir Press published the first book on Sputnik and the race into space.

Sputnik into Space

Sputnik into Space by M Vassiliev, with Prof. V.V. Dobronravov, included interviews with all the people involved in the project, including Soviet scientists and their views on Sputniks and construction problems.

A truly fascinating read for a historic day in British space travel!


Souvenir Press to the Rescue!

Christmas Gift Ideas

From Souvenir Press

We firmly believe that a book is just about the best gift you can get someone for Christmas. It won’t leave you square-eyed from staring at a screen, it won’t make you look fat, it won’t make you fat, and, best of all, it’s not another pair of socks. Hurrah!

So to make things easy for you, we’ve put together a list of our top gift ideas, no matter who you’re buying for.

Books for all!

The Musical Gift

Whether they’re David Bowie’s biggest fan, or simply enjoy spending more time with their guitar than with you, treat them to a musical gift this Christmas…

More Musical Reads

The Sporty Gift

New year’s resolution to get fitter? Need inspiration from some of the world’s biggest sports stars? Then look no further…

More Sporty Reads

The Boozy Gift

Get them Harry’s ABC of Mixing Cocktails now, and they’ll have plenty of time to get some practice in before NYE!

More Boozy Reads

The Nature Gift

Perfect for bird-lovers, animal fans and green-fingered folk.

More Nature Reads

The Little Gift

Something small to make them smile.

More Little Reads

Our Favourites

And, just in case you need any more inspiration, from history to self-help, here are some of our favourite reads…

Click to go to the Souvenir Press website

Wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

World AIDS Day – Think Positive: Rethink HIV

Think Postive: Rethink HIV

Today (Tuesday 1st December) is World AIDS Day, the annual global health day dedicated to raising awareness about the virus, supporting the people who live with it and remembering those who have died.

According to the World AIDS Day website, around 100,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK – and 18,000 of those are unaware or undiagnosed. Across the world, an estimated 34 million people have HIV. Since it was first identified in 1984, over 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, which makes it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

Charlie Sheen’s recent interview on NBC’s Today programme reminded us that the virus hasn’t gone away. Still, progress is being made; 15 million people were receiving ART, or antiretroviral therapy, at the start of 2015, compared to one million in 2001.

Randy Shilts is the author of Stonewall Book Award-winning And the Band Played On. This definitive history charts the spread of the AIDS epidemic from the very beginning in 1976 to 1985, with a briefer look at the events after 1985 that brought this disease to international attention. A masterpiece of investigative journalism, it weaves together over 1000 personal stories of those in the gay community and medical and political establishments. Together with his social and political reporting, Shilts also exposes how AIDS was ignored, or denied, by many national institutions.

Though he was tested for HIV whilst working on And the Band Played On, he refused to find out his diagnosis until after he’d finished writing. In 1987, Shilts learned that he was HIV+. The year before his death in 1994, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists’ Association.


And the Band Played On is part of Souvenir Press’ Independent Voices Series, dedicated to publishing writers who provide alternative viewpoints and challenge conventional wisdom, making available work that has been unavailable in the UK although it is as relevant today as on its original publication.

And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts is available in paperback (ISBN: 9780285640191) and eBook (ISBN: 9780285640764), £18.

For further reading, see UNAIDSWorld AIDS Day and WHO.