Monday, 13 December 2010

I Used to Know That

Now available from Michael O’Mara Books are the I Used to Know That series, as well as other reference books, which are in a similar vein to my own Match Wits with the Kids.

Christmas shopping sorted

If you're still finalising Christmas presents, remember it's not too late to buy your loved ones (or yourself!) something from my book store.

If it's steampunk action and adventure that they're into, try my Pax Britannia books.

If they love gamebooks and fantasy adventures, try my Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

If it's Doctor Who or Star Wars, try these, and remember that you can have a Clone Wars story, written by me, personalised.

If it's non-fiction they enjoy, try Match Wits with the Kids, or one of my Miscellanies.

And if its the grim darkness of the far future where there is only war, or the grim darkness of a quasi-Medieval world that gets them buzzing, then try one of my Black Library novels.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Literary Heroines - literally!

Could this be the way forward when it comes to teaching the classics of English literature?

Match Wits with the Kids - feeling the love

Match Wits with the Kids has been out for two and a half years now (can it really be that long?), but it's nice to know that it's still feeling the love. Here are just some of the reviews the book has received since publication:

Though based on the yawn-making "Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum", this jolly compendium will enlighten all who dip in. It defines the terms used by fancy-pants reviewers (denouement, oxymoron, Zeitgeist), encourages glee at algebraic equations ("Amazing, isn't it?"), explains why snot is green (the digestive enzymes that attack bacteria contain ferrous compounds), chants the list-of-monarchs rhyme quoted by Alan Bennett in Forty Years On: "Willie, Willie, Harry, Stee...", tells us what the Spanish is for "Where is the toilet?" and translates mea culpa: "'My fault' or 'Whoops!'" Green deserves 10/10. - The Independent

We don’t usually use Lovereading4kids to tell parents about a book that is perfect for you the parent this summer, but with this one we couldn’t resist. However, we also feel that kids who want to stay one step ahead of their parents will love this as well!! A fun and enjoyable way to catch up on your learning, relive your schooldays and gen up on the topics kids are learning. Packed full of fun facts and tests for all the family, it’s a great way to hone your general knowledge and keep one step ahead of those smart-alec children or those know-it-all grown-ups. -

Match Wits with the Kids is a book that’s as engaging as it is fun as it is imperative throughout those aforementioned weekends and really long, giddy car journeys. To be sure, it would even work a treat amid yer (not spelt correctly) average pub quiz. - David Marx

And of course the information contained within Match Wits with the Kids is still as relevant as it was when it was published, so if you need the Key Stage 3 curriculum explained - or just want to brush up on your general knowledge - then pick up a copy for you or a loved one today!

At the back of the book you'll find a number of tests to help you revise the information contained within. And you can download some additional tests, for free, from here.

Educationalists and politicians and anyone who has ever enjoyed a book, a play, a gallery exhibition or anything of any artistic value whatsoever...

.... take note!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Let's make Ebenezer's Carol No.1 this Christmas!

The plan:

To get Ebenezer's Carol, by The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, to No. 1 in time for Christmas. A proper steampunk Christmas song for Christmas No. 1!

What we need to do to achieve this:

1) For Ebenezer's Carol to chart it needs to sell roughly 8,000 copies. The single needs be downloaded as a single, and not as part of the A Very Steampunk Christmas EP. It's available now from iTunes, eMusic and Amazon.

2) So, forward this message to all your friends (be they steampunks or otherwise) but remind them that they must buy the song by itself for it to get into the singles chart.

3) Blog about this, post a link on your Facebook page, Tweet about it, but most importantly - buy the single Ebenezer's Carol!

4) Arrange events themed around this, call the local press, use your contacts - whatever you've got - and we could really make this happen!

This is a chance for steampunk fans to really make themselves heard and make a difference for the future of Christmas. The fate of Ebenezer's Carol and Christmas music itself is in your hands! Let's make Christmas 2010 a Very Merry Steampunk Christmas!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Match Wits with the Kids - new review

I was delighted to stumble across this review of Match Wits with the Kids on the Internet the other day. It's written by a Maths specialist and, as a result, I found what the reviewer had to say especially pleasing.

This book is subtitled “a little learning for all the family” which is an incredible understatement. This book is just packed with interesting information about a variety of subjects - not just Mathematics but also English, Science, History, Geography, MFL, Classics - and even some tests to keep the reader on their toes.

In just 50 pages of mathematics the reader is transported along a journey from numbers through tables, negatives, indices, fractions, decimals, percentages, Fibonacci, algebra, angles, symmetry, triangles, pythagoras, quadrilaterals, polygons, circles, 3D shapes, co-ordinates, statistics and finally probability. The style is gripping, fun and very informative. It is hard to put down - but also manages to be a book that a minutes reading leaves the reader bursting with new facts and information.

This is a wonderful reference book for all the family - perhaps especially useful for parents worried their children know more than they do! I can’t judge the other subjects (though I’m hooked and mesmerised by the other chapters) but mathematically I can find no fault - the material would cover most of the content of the Key Stage Three syllabus. This is an excellent book - one that no family should be without.

To read the review at the Association of Teachers of Mathematics website, click here.

And while we're at it there's also this one at

Experienced teacher and author Jonathon Green has written the perfect companion for parents who wish to brush up on their general knowledge. Match Wits with the Kids (Icon, 2008) contains 392 pages of charts, maps, formulae, diagrams, tables, information and practice tests to revise the important facts across nine subject areas...

In the years between attending school and parenting a school-aged child many facts and details well-known during school years go astray. Now is the perfect time to brush up on some basic general knowledge, if for no other reason than to assist children with their homework and improve results at the next trivia night or general knowledge quiz show.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Get in touch!

You can now email me direct with any queries or comments about my books or my blogs at

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Everything you learned at school was wrong

School, eh? In between all the smoking behind bike sheds, giving little Tommy a wedgie and kicking a football onto the roof, occasionally you had to learn a few things.

And some of these things even stay with you after you leave school and go out into the wider world. Trouble is, it turns out they were filling your head with some right old nonsense.

Here ten such myths - broken down into subject area - that have been drilled into generations of wide-eyed boys and girls are well and truly busted!

Of course, Match Wits with the Kids has already busted many of these myths. You can pick up your copy of this WHSmith bestseller here.

As long time followers of this blog (and my many others) will already know, I currently juggle about eight blogs, updating people on various aspects of my writing, and - to be honest - it was all getting a bit much, especially when there are effectively two blogs for the same book, only one of them for the American market and one for the UK.
So, I've decided to merge the two blogs for Christmas Miscellany and What is Myrrh Anyway? in one, easy to manage, dot com, called...

Click this link and check it out for yourself. In fact, why not bookmark the site and add it to your favourites today?

It's still a work in progress at the moment, but over the coming weeks I'll be adding more features and content all the time. And you can already email me all your Christmas questions direct at

I look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, 24 September 2010

I have a new website! Well, it's actually my other author's blog, but you can now access it by entering the much more straightforward:

So, set it as one of your favourites, along with the new which is the new official way to reach the PB blog.

See you round!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

One to watch... The Normans

The BBC's 'The Normans' series of programmes may have already begun, but it's worth playing catch up if you haven't been with the series since the start, if only because the wonderful Professor Robert Bartlett is back on our screens, with this.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Signed by the author

Family Green are on the move. As of a week on Friday, we're moving out of the house that we have lived in for the last half a decade - which means packing. And it's amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in five years.

So it's goodbye to all this...

And this - my writing shelf...

And I find myself needing to off load myself of a large number of books. And this is where you come in.

You can own an original, first edition copy of the Jonathan Green book of your choice (pretty much) and it will, of course, be signed by the author.

So, follow this link to my Ebay page - but don't hang around, the items are only up for 5 days!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Escape in Time

A new show for all you History buffs out there starts today on BBC2. It might be one to catch on iPlayer later or to set the Sky+ box to record as it's on at 4.30pm, but it looks intriguing.

Series presented by Ben Fogle in which families take up the challenge of becoming Victorian farmers on the Acton Scott Estate in Shropshire. For one week they step back in time to learn the traditional skills of our farming ancestors, competing against each other in daily and weekly challenges: from mucking out the pigs to making a perfect cottage loaf. A host of experts are on hand to judge their handiwork, and the family that wins the most challenges wins that day's prize.

Taking up the challenge are the Doige family from Essex - property developer Christian, office administrator Katherine, 15-year-old Olivia and 12-year-old Chloe - and the Mills family from Twickenham - catering consultant David, full-time mum Jo, 13-year-old Tilly and 10-year-old Jemima.

The children learn a vital part of Victorian farm life, keeping the pigs clean. The mums learn a Victorian bread recipe off by heart and the dads compete to see who can make the most clay bricks in 15 minutes.

You can find out more about the show here.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Story of Science

Did you catch Michael Mosley's recent BBC 2 series The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion? In it, Mosley took an informative and ambitious televisual journey, exploring how the evolution of scientific understanding is intimately interwoven with society's historical path.

If you missed it you can catch it again here, on BBC iPlayer. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in science, history, the world around us... basically anyone! There are six programmes in the series:

1) What is Out There?
2) What is the World Made of?
3) How Did We Get here?
4) Can We Have Unlimited Power?
5) What is the Secret of Life?
6) Who Are We?

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Win! Win! Win!

Just another reminder that I'm currently running a competition to Win a walk on part in Dark Side the next Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia novel. It's in support of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and you've got until next Sunday to enter.

So far, those people who have already entered have raised a fantastic £77. But wouldn't it be great if we could make the Pax Britannia contributions top £100?

Come on, you know you want to have your name immortalised in print! I mean, who wouldn't?

If you haven't entered the competition yet, don't be put off - any donation will do, no matter how small. After all, it is for charity. Just remember to tag your donation with the comment 'Jon Green sent me' to qualify.

To find out how to enter, click here.

Good luck and (if you've already entered) thank you.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Win a walk on part in Dark Side

It's great to see so many people getting behind the current Win a walk on part in Dark Side competition I'm running in support of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. Abaddon Books have been bigging it up as have the guys over at Pornokitsch. And there's been a fair bit of banter on Twitter and Facebook.

Even better than that is the fact that a number of people have already entered (and been very generous into the bargain). But if you haven't entered yet, don't be put off - any donation will do, no matter how small. After all, it is for charity. Just remember to tag your donation with the comment 'Jon Green sent me' to qualify.

Good luck and (if you've already entered) thank you.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Match Wits with the Kids

It's not that long until fifteen and sixteen year-olds up and down the country we be embarking upon their GCSE examinations. And if you're a parent of such a prospective examinee, what can you do to help?

Well you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of Match Wits with the Kids to refresh your own knowledge of subjects such as English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Modern Languages and even the Classics. But don't just take my word for it, check out David Marx's review over at his blog.

Here's a highlight:

If, as parents, you sometimes find yourselves climbing the collective walls of turmoil in search of something to entertain and calm the kids – especially during those elongated weekends that are filled with rain, tedium and nothing particularly groovy on telly – then this could well be the perfect book for you.

Match Wit with the Kids is, as it says on the front cover: ‘’a little learning for all the family.’’ Indeed, it’s one of those books that immediately grabs the attention of even the most innocent and innocuous by bystanders. It’s akin to a pub quiz, only more geared towards that which we all learnt at school...

Jonathan Green has compiled a more than compelling and magnetic wealth of interesting facts, figures and knowledge.

As such, Match Wits with the Kids is a book that’s as engaging as it is fun as it is imperative throughout those aforementioned weekends and really long, giddy car journeys.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

One to watch...

In Museum of Life, celebrity farmer Jimmy Doherty goes behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum to join the people who are uncovering secrets, solving mysteries and making discoveries among the historic collections.

Night of the Necromancer and Bloodbones redux

Look what arrived in the post this morning!

There are the same number of books in each pile, but Night of the Necromancer is substantially longer than Bloodbones

Those kind people at Fighting Fantasy Towers (a.k.a. Icon Books' Wizard imprint) sent them to me. Night of the Necromancer is the newest of the new Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and is released on 1 April, alongside the brand-spanking-and-really-quite-shiny-new FF format edition of Bloodbones (first published four years ago - can you believe it?).

In case you're not salivating at the prospect enough already, here are two teaser trailers I put together for the books.

Not long to wait now...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Night of the Necromancer

The following was intercepted by Brician spies operating in northern Ruddlestone. Make of it what you will...

Friday, 26 February 2010

Buried by books

So, this was my desk this morning...

What's on show here is just some of the books I've been using to research Scottish Miscellany. There's a whole pile not on display here because they've already gone back to the local library. (The eagle-eyed among you will noticed that I've even been using another book I wrote, Match Wits with the Kids, to help me write this one!)

Anyway, the book's coming on apace now, but before I can carry on this afternoon I think I'm going to have to tidy some of this lot up, if only so I can find my mouse again.


Thursday, 11 February 2010

To Infinity... and Beyond!

Do you know what this is?

No, it's not a drunken number 8, it is, in fact, the symbol for infinity.

Last night's Horizon (BBC 2, 9.00pm) dealt with the concept of infinity - and what a concept it is!

Infinity (symbolically represented by ∞) is a concept in mathematics and philosophy that refers to a quantity without bound or end. (The word comes from the Latin infinitas, meaning 'unboundedness'.) People have developed various ideas throughout history about the nature of infinity. In mathematics, infinity is defined in the context of set theory.

In mathematics, 'infinity' is often used in contexts where it is treated as if it were a number (i.e., it counts or measures things: 'an infinite number of terms'), even though it is not really a number. Oh and there's more than one kind of infinity.

Confused yet? Me too.

So you might want to sit back and watch Horizon's attempt to unravel the mysteries of the infinite. It's is older than time, bigger than the universe and stranger than fiction, and it's on BBC iPlayer here.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

How the Earth Made Us

If you have an interest in Geography, or Geology for that matter, and how our planet formed, then you should watch How the Earth Made Us.

In it Professor Iain Stewart tells the epic story of how the planet has shaped our history. With spectacular images, surprising stories and a compelling narrative, the series discovers the central role played in human history by four different planetary forces.

Part 4 (which focuses on Fire) is on BBC 2 tonight, at 9.00pm.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Chemistry - A Volatile History

If you have an interest in science, or chemistry, or simply very well produced factual TV, then you should watch Chemistry: A Volatile History, that's been on BBC 4 recently.

In this three-part series, professor of theoretical physics Jim Al-Khalili traces the extraordinary story of how the elements were discovered and mapped. He follows in the footsteps of the pioneers who cracked their secrets and created a new science, propelling us into the modern age.

Chemistry: A Volatile History is available through BBC iPlayer here.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Seven Ages of Britain - Age of Conquest

Starting tonight on BBC 1...

David Dimbleby tells the story of Britain through its art and treasure. The first part of the chronicle begins with the Roman invasion and ends with the Norman Conquest.

This may sound strangely familiar to readers of Match Wits with the Kids, as in the chapter on History I pick up from where David Dimbley will finish off tonight with '1066 And All That - From Conquest to Constitution (1066-1500)'.

It will be interesting to see what the second Age of Britain will be referred to as.

Anyway, if Seven Ages of Britain sounds like your kind of thing, it's on BBC 1 at 9.00pm tonight.