Broadcast from Biscuit Land

It’s certainly a busy time for Jess Thom, author of the best-selling Welcome to Biscuitland, at the moment!

Just last week, Jess appeared on the Russell Howard Show to discuss all things Tourette’s Syndrome and her popular show, ‘Backstage in Biscuit Land’.

And this Sunday (15th November), Jess will make her television debut, starring in ‘Broadcast from Biscuit Land’, a special version of ‘Backstage in Biscuit Land’.

It’s being filmed as part of a two-hour live broadcast, named ‘Live from Television Centre’, in association with Battersea Arts Centre and Arts Council England.

You can also read an interview with Jess about the broadcast on Disability Arts Online here.

In 2010, Jess set up Touretteshero, an organisation that celebrates the humour and creativity of Tourette’s without mocking or self-pity – it’s about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood syndrome on the planet and changing the world one tic at a time.

Welcome to Biscuit Land follows a year in Jess’s life with all the ups and downs that go with having Tourette’s Syndrome. Educational and hugely entertaining, these excerpts from Jess’s personal blog show the whole spectrum of her experiences.

Moving, funny, shocking, tender, and inspiring, Jess’s words are courageous and optimistic in the face of the major challenges she faces.

“A role model for people across the country struggling to come to terms with the condition… Welcome to Biscuit Land has become an invaluable resource for families coping with Tourette’s.”
‘Evening Standard’

Welcome to Biscuit Land

Don’t forget to tune into BBC4 at 9pm on Sunday!

Jess is also now taking ‘Backstage in Biscuit Land’ across the pond in 2016! Learn more here.

Welcome to Biscuit Land by Jess Thom (ISBN: 9780285641273, £12, available in eBook and paperback)

Jess Thom on the Future of Disability Arts at the Fringe

Author of the bestselling Welcome to Biscuit Land, Jess Thom, was featured in The Guardian this week, sharing her thoughts on access and representation at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Jess, who’s currently performing at the Festival in her award-winning show Backstage in Biscuitland, has Tourette’s Syndrome. This means she makes sounds and movements over which she has no control. Jess swears – she’s one of about ten percent of people with Tourettes who do. She also says ‘biscuit’ a lot, up to 16,000 times per day, in fact.

On disability arts at the Fringe, Jess told The Guardian:

Last year was my first Edinburgh festival fringe and I saw more theatre in three weeks than in my whole life. I have Tourettes syndrome, a neurological condition that means I make movements and noises that I can’t control, called tics. In addition to saying “biscuit” thousands of times a day, having Tourettes affects my mobility, so I use a wheelchair to get around.

In the past I’ve found it difficult to access live performances because of my tics. Three years ago I vowed never to go to the theatre again after being asked to move from the auditorium to a sound booth halfway through a show.

Thankfully, this was a promise I wouldn’t keep. Instead it sparked the start of my journey to the stage (the only seat in the house I knew I wouldn’t be asked to leave) and led to my show, Backstage In Biscuit Land.

I was warned that Edinburgh’s steep hills, cobbled streets and old buildings made wheelchair access tricky. More frustrating was the lack of cohesive access information and some thoughtless planning. When collecting tickets at one accessible venue, for example, I discovered the temporary ticket hut had been built with steps!

Encouragingly, improving access is something the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is taking seriously, highlighted by chief executive Kath Mainland’s comments earlier this year. But this is about more than physical access. Last year I was disappointed that disabled artists weren’t better represented. Audiences were missing out on the vibrant, high quality and gloriously diverse work the disability arts scene offers.

This year, with an increasing number of disabled performers, talks and events supported by Unlimited and initiatives such as the iF Platform, things are improving.

But there’s no time to be complacent. Disability isn’t a niche issue, with almost one-fifth of the UK population identifying as disabled, and the fringe sets an international arts agenda, so it’s vital that it become a world leader in showcasing disability arts and inclusivity.

Difference is brilliant, and I can’t wait to be part of a fringe where it’s visible, audible and celebrated in all its forms. It’s time for disability arts to take centre stage at the fringe.

You can read the full article, also featuring Jack Thorne and Cian Binchy, here.

In 2010, Jess set up Touretteshero, an organisation that celebrates the humour and creativity of Tourette’s without mocking or self-pity – it’s about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood syndrome on the planet and changing the world one tic at a time.

Welcome to Biscuit Land follows a year in Jess’s life with all the ups and downs that go with having Tourette’s Syndrome. Educational and hugely entertaining, these excerpts from Jess’s personal blog show the whole spectrum of her experiences.

Moving, funny, shocking, tender, and inspiring, Jess’s words are courageous and optimistic in the face of the major challenges she faces.

“A role model for people across the country struggling to come to terms with the condition… Welcome to Biscuit Land has become an invaluable resource for families coping with Tourette’s.”
‘Evening Standard’

Welcome to Biscuit Land

Backstage in Biscuit Land is at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe between 24th-30th August. Tickets are available here.

Welcome to Biscuit Land by Jess Thom (ISBN: 9780285641273, £12, available in eBook and paperback)

#SPgiveaway – Souvenir Press Celebrates World Book Day 2015

As we all know, it was World Book Day yesterday, and to live up to our independent name, we decided to do something a little bit different…

WBD2015_yellow_rightup

Lucky visitors to SP HQ were treated to free books of their own choice in our World Book Day giveaway on Thursday.

Our marketing team, Amy and Claire, curated the list of books from a variety of different genres, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

A wide range of readers expressed their pleasure in receiving a book gift, either for themselves or their family. See below for some of the lucky readers!

gang

Marco, Roberta and Thomas chose Cecil Aldin’s Puppy Dogs’ Tales for Marco’s daughter.

Jay

Jay opted for Sol Yurick’s The Warriors, after recognising the title from the 1979 cult movie.

Mike

Mike chose Jess Thom’s Welcome to Biscuitland for his teenage daughter.

Luca

As a visitor to the UK, Luca chose cartoonist Rupert Besley’s Terribly English.

See the full list of recipents on our Pinterest page

And Happy World Book Day!

Touretteshero at TEDxAlbertopolis

On 23rd September (Monday!) Jessica Thom, author of Welcome to Biscuit Land: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero will be speaking at TEDxAlbertopolis, an independently organised TED event, at the Royal Albert Hall.

The event runs from 2pm-7pm, and will be “an afternoon of inspiring, thought-provoking and entertaining talks exploring how art and science fit together in the modern world”, according to the TEDx website. Take a look at the full list of speakers who will be taking to the stage over the course of what promises to be a fascinating afternoon.

Take a look at Jessica Thom’s recent blog post giving a little more information on what she will be talking about on the day. Her talk, entitled ‘The Alchemy of Chaos’, begins the second session of the day: Making Things Happen.

Book tickets now, before it’s too late! Priced at £25.00 or £15.00 depending on where you’re seated, there is an unreserved seating system in place, encouraging visitors to move around during the breaks to discuss the talks they have been watching.

A video of the talk will be made available online via the TED website after the event.

Welcome to Biscuit Land

Souvenir Press latest reviews

It is always wonderful to hear what readers think of our books, and there’s nothing we love more than being able to pass on some glowing reviews to our authors. So if you’ve written a review of any Souvenir Press book and want to share it with us, send it to us on Facebook, tweet us, or email me via our contact page and we’ll share it here on our blog. Or if you hear about one of our forthcoming titles and would like to review it on publication, get in touch too!

For now, though, take a look at what people have been saying about some great Souvenir Press titles around the web:

Welcome to Biscuit Land by Jessica Thom

Welcome to Biscuitland left me feeling both grateful and protective all at once: grateful for brave women like Thom who aren’t afraid to fearlessly write about their experiences with severe T.S., but also protective of parents who are new to the confusing syndrome of this disorder… I adored this book – not just for Thom’s honesty, but for her humor.” – Happily Ticked Off blog

“Special Needs Book Review has an amazing book to recommend, Welcome to Biscuit Land by Jessica Thom… The witty but stirring memoir… will educate readers who know nothing about Tourette syndrome and will empower and encourage those with the condition.” – Special Needs Book Review

Where the Ghosts Walk by Peter Underwood

Where the Ghosts Walk: The Gazetteer of Haunted Britain is testament to the amount of work carried out by Peter Underwood, one of the world’s longest serving paranormal researchers… This is the book that anyone with an interest in ghosts need to read.” – Hayley Is a Ghost blog

“In his ongoing search for the truth about ghosts… Peter Underwood has put together the ultimate book on where to go… The definitive handbook for the amateur ghost hunter.” – Drumbeat

“His definitive guide to the haunted places of Britain.” – Western Daily Press

HypnoBirthing by Marie Mongan

“Marie Mongan is one of the leading voices in the HypnoBirthing movement… HypnoBirthing offers an alternate perspective that may encourage you to look at childbirth with new eyes.” – Another Goldfish blog

Think Like a Maths Genius by Michael Shermer and Arthur Benjamin

“By the end of the first chapter I was doing additions and subtractions with three and four digit numbers with little effort. After you’ve read this book, you’ll wonder why their technique of doing sums isn’t taught at school… Keep adding up the reasons for buying this book. It’s an easy sum.” – SFcrowsnest

Latest reviews

What better way to end the working week than with a round-up of all the latest wonderful reviews and media attention that Souvenir Press titles have been attracting over the last week or so?

Have a read of the most recent reviews, and please do let us know if you see any on the web that we’ve missed!

Welcome to Biscuit Land by Jessica Thom

“Jess writes openly and honestly about living with Tourettes and about the ways in which it can and does affect her daily life. I found this an informative, honest and very moving account and found I learned a lot about Tourettes… I’m really glad to have read this book, to have had the opportunity to get to know Jess Thom a little through her words and to have discovered more about what Tourettes is like through her open, moving and brave first-hand account.” – The Little Reader Library blog (read the full review)

“Teaching the world about Tourette’s… celebrate the creativity and humour.” – The Daily Express (read the full article)

Telling Tales in Latin by Lorna Robinson

” I live in perpetual search of the perfect Latin textbook, and this book is very close indeed! … An excellent choice of text to teach children aged 9 and upwards the rudiments of Latin, and as the book has all the vocabulary needed for the OCR exam, it is a very versatile text.” – The Garden Window blog (read the full review)

She Comes First by Ian Kerner

“Before you give up on oral sex… if you yourself don’t know what the options are… get yourself a copy of Ian Kerner’s manifesto She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman and make sure your boyfriend reads it too… It is a veritable paean to the art of good oral sex, packed with instructive sentences… I cannot recommend it highly enough.” – Suzi Godson, The Times

Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? by Jena Pincott

“In-depth, yet accessible, this is a great read for any info-craving mother (or father)-to-be.” – BBC Focus

“Pregnancy is a weird and wonderful time for your body… Jena Pincott reveals some of the quirkiest secrets of this fascinating experience.” – Prima Baby

Where the Ghosts Walk by Peter Underwood

“Britain’s number one ghost hunter… A monumental volume, destined to become one of the very best in the landscape of paranormal literature.” – Cornish Guardian

The FitMama Method by Marie Behenna

“So informative and written in such warm, friendly manor. It’s full of useful information on diet and fitness during pregnancy, breathing techniques and birthing positions.” – EverythingIsRosy blog (read the full blog post)

Have you written a review of a Souvenir Press title and want it to be included in our next review round-up here on the blog? Leave me a message in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email using the address in the Contact Us page.

Reviews round-up

This week has got off to a flying start here at Souvenir Press as we arrived in to the office this gloomy Monday morning to a selection of wonderful reviews of our new and recent titles. Have you written a review of a Souvenir Press title and want it to be included in our next review round-up here on the blog? Send me a message in the comments, on Facebook, on Twitter, or by email using the address in the Contact Us page.

Telling Tales in Latin by Lorna Robinson

“Each chapter tells a story and draws the reader straight into Latin with stories, exercises and suggestions, cleverly set out to give the reader confidence that he can read and understand Latin. The colourful illustrations add greatly to the enjoyment of the book. It’s a very interesting approach which shows that Latin is still relevant and enjoyable today.” – Parents In Touch (read the full review)

Telling Tales in Latin is an inviting, absorbing, and embracing learning experience. Young students new to the language will enjoy themselves, and love their learning, both of Latin and classical mythology, and be inspired to learn more. It’s a beautiful beginners’ book, the like of which most of us never had in the past, and I look forward to its success and the love that its students will have for it in years to come.” – The Classics Library (read the full review)

Where the Ghosts Walk by Peter Underwood

“‘Where the Ghosts Walk’ is set to become the handbook and must-read for every seasoned and every would-be paranormal investigator. … If I could give this book 12 out of 10 then I would. Excellent work Mr Underwood….excellent, excellent work.” – Ghost Investigators blog (read the full review)

Welcome to Biscuit Land by Jessica Thom

“An honest, moving account… This book is a valuable one for anyone who lives with Tourettes or knows someone who does. …  Jessica Thom is inspirational and her story will help, encourage and amuse millions of people around the globe who understand or want to learn what it’s like living with Tourettes.” – Blogcritics (read the full review)

Code Name Caesar by Jerome Preisler and Kenneth Sewell

“The only submarine in history to sink another submarine in underwater combat.” – Britain at War

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

“The standard work for artists, teachers and millions of students and amateur artists… It should be on every artist’s bookshelf.” – The Artist, June 2013 issue

Tintin in the New World by Frederic Tuten

“A playful and imaginative expansion of the boy reporter’s life experience; he loses his virginity and receives instruction from the main characters in Thomas Mann’s cerebral door-stopper The Magic Mountain.” – Times Literary Supplement (read the full blog)