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  • 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.
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The Man Booker Prize 2014 - Longlist announced


The first Man Booker prize to admit novels from across the globe as long as hey are written in English has published its longlist. Following much discussion, the six judges chaired by philosopher Anthony Grayling chose 13 books by four Americans, six Britons, two Irish writers and one Australian.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris (Hardback, £16.99)

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Hardback, £16.99)

We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Paperback, £7.99)

The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt (Hardback, £18.99 - currently reprinting)

J by Howard Jacobson (Hardback, £18.99 - to be published on 14 August)

The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (Hardback, £16.99 - currently reprinting)

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Hardback, £20 - to be published on 2 September)

The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee (Hardback, £16.99)

Us by David Nicholls (Hardback, £20 - to be published on 30 September)

The Dog by Joseph O'Neill (Hardback, £16.99)

Orfeo by Richard Powers (Paperback, £8.99)

How to be Both by Ali Smith (Hardback, £16.99 - to be published on 4 September)

History of the Rain by Niall Williams (Hardback, £18.99 - currently reprinting)

Book of the Week

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love


Philip Larkin was that rare thing among poets: a household name in his own lifetime. Lines such as 'Never such innocence again' and 'Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three' made him one of the most popular poets of the last century. Larkin's reputation as a man, however, has been more controversial.A solitary librarian known for his pessimism, he disliked exposure and had no patience with the literary circus. And when, in 1992, the publication of his Selected Letters laid bare his compartmentalised personal life, accusations of duplicity, faithlessness, racism and misogyny were levelled against him. There is, of course, no requirement that poets should be likeable or virtuous, but James Booth asks whether art and life were really so deeply at odds with each other. Can the poet who composed the moving 'Love Songs in Age' have been such a cold-hearted man? Can he who uttered the playful, self-deprecating words 'Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth' really have been so boorish? A very different public image is offered by those who shared the poet's life: the women with whom he was romantically involved, his friends and his university colleagues. It is with their personal testimony, including access to previously unseen letters, that Booth reinstates a man misunderstood: not a gaunt, emotional failure, but a witty, provocative and entertaining presence, delightful company; an attentive son and a man devoted to the women he loved. Meticulously researched, unwaveringly frank and full of fresh material, Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love definitively reinterprets one of our greatest poets.

Book at Bedtime

The Thrill of it All by Joseph O'Connor


At college in 1980s Luton, Robbie Goulding, an Irish-born teenager, meets the elusive Fran Mulvey, an orphaned Vietnamese refugee. Together they form a band. Joined by cellist Sarah-Therese Sherlock and her twin brother Sean on drums, The Ships in the Night set out to chase fame. But the story of this makeshift family is haunted by ghosts from the past. Spanning 25 years, The Thrill of it All rewinds and fast-forwards through an evocative soundtrack of struggle and laughter. Infused with blues, ska, classic showtunes, New Wave and punk, using interviews, lyrics, memoirs and diaries, the tale stretches from suburban England to Manhattan's East Village, from Thatcher-era London to the Hollywood Bowl, from the meadows of the Glastonbury Festival to a wintry Long Island, culminating in a Dublin evening in July 2012, a night that changes everything.

Scottish Independence


If you are interested in reading up on this fascinating subject ahead of the referendum, here are a couple of books that might whet your appetite. In 'Scottish Independence Yes or No', two of the nation's leading political commentators address both sides of this historic debate. George Kerevan puts forward the case for voting Yes, and Alan Cochrane makes the case for voting No.Both authors present the distinctive arguments for both sides, fully preparing you to make up your own mind on a decision that will shape the future of Scotland and of Great Britain.

In 'Independence: An Argument for Home Rule' Alasdair Gray argues that a truly independent Scotland will only ever exist when people in every home, school, croft, farm, workshop, factory, island, glen, town and city feel that they too are at the centre of the world. Independence asks whether widespread social welfare is more possible in small nations such as Norway and New Zealand than in big ones like Britain and the U.S.A. It describes the many differences between Scotland and England.It examines the people who choose to live north of the border. It shows Scotland's relevance to the rest of the world. It attempts to conjure a vision of how a Scots parliament might benefit the people of this small but dynamic nation.

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


1. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Jay Fowler

2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

3. The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

4. He Wants by Alison Moore

5. Women of the World by Helen McCarthy

6. Summerhouse with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

7. Incomplete World of Dragons by Cressida Cowell

8. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

9. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

10.The Maze Runner by James Dashner

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 Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson


It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The mayor is going to be there.The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not...Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police.As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan's earlier life in which - remarkably - he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun, feel-good book for all ages. Now having sold over 3 million copies worldwide, this quirky novel has now been adapted into a major film.

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We are taking a break from our Events Programme over the summer period, as so many people are taking well-deserved breaks, but we are planning many more events for the autumn, 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.