• Welcome to Pitshanger Books

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  • 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.
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Wellcome Book Prize

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The Wellcome Book Prize has been awarded to a study in psychosomatic illness, 'It's all in Your Head' by Dr Susan O'Sullivan. Judges praised the book for offering ''new insights into the relationship between the body and the mind''.

Pauline first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then life-threatening appendicitis. After a routine operation Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly afterwards, convulsions started. But Pauline's tests are normal: her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever. This may be an extreme case, but Pauline is not alone.

As many as a third of people visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected which is often the last thing a patient wants to hear and a doctor to say. We accept our hearts can flutter with excitement and our brows can sweat with nerves, but on this journey into the very real world of psychosomatic illness, Suzanne O'Sullivan finds the secrets we are all capable of keeping from ourselves.

Book of the Week

The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stempel

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This is from the Winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015. Traditional ploughland is disappearing. Seven cornfield flowers have become extinct in the last twenty years. Once abundant, the corn bunting and the lapwing are on the Red List. The corncrake is all but extinct in England. And the hare is running for its life. Written in exquisite prose, the Running Hare tells the story of the wild animals and plants that live in and under our ploughland, from the labouring microbes to the patrolling kestrel above the corn, from the linnet pecking at seeds to the seven-spot ladybird that eats the aphids that eat the crop. It recalls an era before open-roofed factories and silent, empty fields, recording the ongoing destruction of the unique, fragile, glorious ploughland that exists just down the village lane. But it is also the story of ploughland through the eyes of man who took on a field and husbanded it in a natural, traditional way, restoring its fertility and wildlife, bringing back the old farmland flowers and animals. John Lewis Stempel demonstrates that it is still possible to create a place where the hare can rest safe.


Book at Bedtime

Not Working by Lisa Owens

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Claire Flannery has quit her job in order to discover her true vocation - only to realize she has no idea how to go about finding it. Whilst everyone around her seems to have their lives entirely under control, Claire finds herself sinking under pressure and wondering where her own fell apart. 'It's fine,' her grandmother says. 'I remember what being your age was like - of course, I had four children under eight then, but modern life is different, you've got an awful lot on.' Sharp, tender and funny, Lisa Owen's brilliantly observed debut Not Working is the story of a life unravelling and a novel that asks the questions we've never dared to say out loud.

The EU Referendum

If you're still making up your mind about which way to vote, perhaps one of these two impartial guides could help.

Europe In or Out by David Charter

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Europe: vital for Britain's economy and global standing or a bureaucratic monster hell-bent on destroying our national sovereignty?

Addressing the real issues surrounding a potential exit from the EU - including jobs, travel, immigration, investment, sovereignty and justice - this book investigates the consequences both for the country and for the person on the street.A clear, comprehensive and compelling guide to the impact of the EU and the implications of a British exit, this objective and unbiased handbook, from an expert in the field, is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Britain's future.


EU Referendum 2016: A Guide for Voters

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Should the United Kingdom remain a part of the European Union or leave the European Union? This is the question we will have to answer on 23 June, when we head to the ballot boxes to cast our votes in the in/out referendum on EU membership. It's a complicated issue. What, exactly, would the much discussed 'Brexit' mean for the UK? With varied opinions on the EU from all over the political spectrum, do you know enough to make an informed decision? This non-partisan guide features chapters on the history of Britain in Europe, the 'Remain' and 'Leave' campaigns, and the likely timelines following both a 'In' and an 'Out' vote. With maps illustrating the EU and EEA membership and clear exposition of issues key to the debate by journalist and broadcaster David Torrance, author of guides to the 2015 General Election and the Scottish Independence Referendum, this is the only guide to 2016's referendum you will need.

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

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1.Sweet Caress by William Boyd (now in paperback)

2. BBC Proms 2016: The Official Guide

3. Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All by Jonas Jonasson

4. It's All in your Head by Suzanne O'Sullivan

5. EU Referendum: A Guide for Voters by David Torrence

6. Stasi Child by David Young

7. SPQR (now in paperback) by Mary Beard

8. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

9. Noonday by Pat Barker

10. !971 - Never a Dull Moment by David Hepworth

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.

The Night Manager by John Le Carre

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In The Night Manager, John le Carre's first post-Cold War novel, an ex-soldier helps British Intelligence penetrate the secret world of ruthless arms dealers.

"Le Carre is the equal of any novelist now writing in English." (Guardian). "A marvellously observed relentless tale." (Observer). At the start of it all, Jonathan Pine is merely the night manager at a luxury hotel. But when a single attempt to pass on information to the British authorities - about an international businessman at the hotel with suspicious dealings - backfires terribly, and people close to Pine begin to die, he commits himself to a battle against powerful forces he cannot begin to imagine. In a chilling tale of corrupt intelligence agencies, billion-dollar price tags and the truth of the brutal arms trade, John le Carre creates a claustrophobic world in which no one can be trusted. "Complex and intense...page-turning tension." (San Francisco Chronicle).

"When I was under house arrest I was helped by the books of John le Carre...they were a journey into the wider world...These were the journeys that made me feel that I was not really cut off from the rest of humankind." (Aung San Suu Kyi).

"One of those writers who will be read a century from now." (Robert Harris). "He can communicate emotion, from sweating fear to despairing love, with terse and compassionate conviction." (Sunday Times (on The Spy Who Came in from the Cold)). "Return of the master...Having plumbed the devious depths of the Cold War, le Carre has done it again for our nasty new age." (The Times (on Our Kind of Traitor)).

Coming up

  • Stasi Child
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If you are a fan of thrillers, we're sure you will be interested in meeting David Young, author of debut novel, Stasi Child. David is based fairly locally in Richmond and will be joining us on Thursday 21st April, when he will be interviewed about his book by Alex Gerlis, a fellow local author and accomplished thriller writer himself.

East Berlin, 1975. When Oberleutnant Karin Muller is called to investigate a teenage girl's body at the foot of the Wall, she imagines she's seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other. It seems the girl was trying to escape - but from the West. Muller is a member of the People's Police, but in East Germany her power only stretches so far. The Stasi want her to discover the identity of the girl, but assure her the case is otherwise closed - and strongly discourage her from asking questions. The evidence doesn't add up, and it soon becomes clear the crime scene has been staged. But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Muller doesn't realise that the trail she's following will lead her dangerously close to home ..

If you want to find out more, do contact us to book a place.