twitter iconfacebook icon

  • Welcome to Pitshanger Books

    A warm welcome to our new website. Please feel free to explore the site and let us know what you think of it.
  • Your local independent bookshop

    Located on lovely, leafy Pitshanger Lane. We stock over 3000 titles. As well as books, we sell cards, wrapping paper, stationery and games.
  • Serving our community

    Everybody that works here lives locally. We all love the area and we all love books so please feel free to ask if there's anything you need.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

What's new

  • Latest News
  • Radio 4
  • In the news
  • Bestsellers
  • At the Cinema

Royal Society Best Science Book 2014

image

Winner of this year's prestigious Royal Society Best Science Book is Mark Miodwonki's 'Stuff Matters'.

Everything is made of something...From the everyday objects in our homes to the most extraordinary new materials that will shape our future, Stuff Matters reveals the inner workings of the man-made world, the miracles of craft, design, engineering and ingenuity that surround us every day. From the tea-cup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, from the ancient technologies of fabrics and ceramic to today's self-healing metals and bionic implants, this is a book to inspire amazement and delight at mankind's creativity.

Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL, scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain's Science Club (BBC2) and presenter of several documentaries, including The Genius of Invention (BBC2). In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast on BBC4. He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection.

Book of the Week

Stories in the Stars by Susanna Hislop

image

Look up: above us is a jet-black canvas pricked with white dots, and a carnival of animals, mythical creatures, gods and goddesses in its shining constellations. Here, Susanna Hislop - writer and stargazer - and Hannah Waldron - international artist - leap between centuries, cultures and traditions to present a whole universe of stories in all their blazing glory. Stories in the Stars is an imaginative and whimsical exploration of each of the night sky's 88 constellations: a playful and stunningly illustrated compendium.


Book at Bedtime

The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield

image

'January 22nd - Robert startles me at breakfast by asking if my cold - which he has hitherto ignored - is better. I reply that it has gone. Then why, he asks, do I look like that? Feel that life is wholly unendurable, and decide madly to get a new hat.' It's not easy being a Provincial Lady in Devonshire in the 1920s, juggling a grumpy husband, mischievous children and a host of domestic dilemmas - from rice mould to a petulant cook. But this Provincial Lady will not be defeated; not by wayward flower bulbs, not by unexpected houseguests, not even by the Blitz. She will continue to preside over the W.I., endure rain-drenched family picnics and succeed as a published author, all the while tending to her strawberries. The Diary of a Provincial Lady is a brilliantly observed comic novel, as funny and fresh today as when it was first written.Widely regarded as one of the funniest English authors and an heir to Jane Austen, E.M. Delafield was born in Sussex in 1890. She took the name Delafield to distinguish herself from her mother (De la Pasture), also a novelist, and wrote over 30 books which could be 'as laugh-out-loud funny as PG Wodehouse' before her death in 1943.

Afghanistan

image

If you are interested in Afghanistan, look out for this definitive book on the war there by award-winning journalist Christina Lamb, which will be published on January 1st 2015. How did the war in Afghanistan go so terribly wrong? This shocking account provides answers that will surprise even the experts. An unmissable account of the conflict that has dominated foreign affairs since 9/11. Crouched in a ditch in Helmand, with Taliban gunfire exploding around her, Christina Lamb found herself wondering what the British troops at her side were achieving.Twenty years earlier, she had cowered in a ditch in nearby Kandahar, only that time under Russian fire, and alongside Afghans who later became Taliban. Today, the war in Afghanistan - at one point hailed by the US as 'a breathtaking success' - has sucked in 140,000 troops. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of terror plots are believed to originate in neighbouring Pakistan.How did this happen? Lamb travels both countries seeking answers. She visits Hamid Karzai's palace in Kabul, where she finds him pacing a walled garden with snipers on the roof and two baby deer for company. In Herat, she meets a group of women writers who risked their lives under the Taliban, and are once again living in fear.In Peshawar, she discovers mosques openly raising money to fight Americans, while in Quetta she encounters Taliban ministers openly recruiting fighters. In Karachi, she spends days with Benazir Bhutto, whose dream of saving Pakistan would end in tragedy. Lamb's riveting account reveals a textbook case of how not to run a war. It is a tale of international confusion, competing military operations, civilian casualties and payoffs. But the real problem is Pakistan, whose dictator takes billions of dollars of US aid even as the country's intelligence agencies help to train enemies of the West. With unparalleled access to key players, from top officials in Washington, London, Islamabad and Kabul, to Taliban and Pakistani spies, Christina Lamb traces the Afghan conflict back to the 1980s, when the CIA decided to use Islam as a rallying cry against the Soviet invaders.Unflinching and insightful, this account of the West's involvement in Afghanistan is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the mistakes and misjudgements that cost so many lives.

These are the books that were most popular with our customers last week......

image

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

2. An American President in Ealing by Little Ealing History Group

3. Ealing: A Concise History by Jonathan Oates and Peter Hounsell

4. The Children Act by Ian McEwan

5. Awful Auntie by David Walliams

6. The Churchill Factor by Boris Johnson

7. A Christmas Mystery by J Jefferson Farjeon

8. My Life in Houses by Margaret Forster

9. Alan Turing by Andrew Hodges

10. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

If you would like to read any of these books, please send us a message from our contacts page, and we will reserve a copy for you.

image

It would be hard to miss the enormous publicity that there has been for the film release of 'Gone Girl' which stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, and is based on the novel by Gillian Flynn.

Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him.He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him.And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?

image

And another book which has recently been made in to a film, and is also attracting lots of attention is 'Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson.

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

Read More

Forthcoming events

  • Watch this Space!
image

We are taking a break from our Events Programme over the Christmas period, but we are planning many more events for 2015, so keep an eye on this page for more details. Also, if there are particular events which you would be keen to see us running, then do let us know.

Happy Christmas!