• Welcome to Pitshanger Books

    A warm welcome to our 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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What's new?

  • Latest news
  • Radio 4
  • In the news
  • Bestsellers
  • At the cinema

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

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At last, this long-awaited and much publicised book is here! The discovery of the novel was announced in February and hailed as the literary sensation of the decade.One of the revelations in the new book is that the much-loved character of Atticus Finch is painted a racist "bigot".

The novel is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

In The Guardian, Mark Lawson said of the novel: 'Teachers of American literature have been handed a fascinating potential course comparing and contrasting the pair, while there is clearly opportunity for a new movie of To Kill a Mockingbird combining the two genres most beloved by modern Hollywood - remake and sequel - within a structure of interlocking flashbacks that are the most fashionable form of movie narrative. Until then, Go Set a Watchman shakes the settled view of both an author and her novel. And, unless another surprise for readers lies somewhere in her files, this publication intensifies the regret that Harper Lee published so little.'

Book of the Week

Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux

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For the past fifty years, Paul Theroux has travelled to the far corners of the earth - to China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, South America, Russia, and elsewhere - and brought them to life in his cool, exacting prose. In Deep South he turns his gaze to a region much closer to his home. Travelling through North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas he writes of the stunning landscapes he discovers - the deserts, the mountains, the Mississippi - and above all, the lives of the people he meets


Book at Bedtime

Tightrope by Simon Mawer

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Marian Sutro has survived Ravensbruck and is back in dreary 1950s London trying to pick up the pieces of her pre-war life. Returned to an England she barely knows and a post-war world she doesn't understand Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her and a young RAF officer attempts to bring her the normalities of love and affection but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the development of the Atom Bomb. Where, in the complexities of peacetime, does her loyalty lie? When a mysterious Russian diplomat emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War she sees a way to make amends for the past and to renew the excitement of her double life. Simon Mawer's sense of time and place is perfect: Tightrope is a compelling novel about identity and deception which constantly surprises the reader.

Migrants

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Award-winning reporter Emily Dugan's Finding Home follows the tumultuous lives of a group of immigrants, all facing intense challenges in their quest to live in the UK. Syrian refugee Emad set up the Free Syrian League and worked illegally in the UK to pay for his mother to be smuggled across the Mediterranean on a perilous trip from Turkey. Even if she survives the journey, Emad knows it will be an uphill struggle to get her into Britain. Australian therapist Harley risks deportation despite serving the NHS for ten years and being told by the Home Office she could stay. Teaching assistant Klaudia is one of thousands of Polish people now living in Boston, Lincolnshire - a microcosm of poorly managed migration. Aderonke, a leading Manchester LGBT activist, lives in a tiny B&B room in Salford with her girlfriend, Happiness, and faces deportation and persecution. Dugan's timely and acutely observed book reveals the intense personal dramas of ordinary men and women as they struggle to find somewhere to call home. It shows that migration is not about numbers, votes or opinions: it is about people.

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

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1.Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent

2. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

3. The Children Act by Ian McEwan

4. Head of State by Andrew Marr

5. Village of Secrets by Caroline Moorhead

6. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

7. Us by David Nicholls

8. The Swiss Spy by Alex Gerlis

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

10. Not Single Spies by Robin Duval

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.

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

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'I shall do one thing in this life - one thing for certain - that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die.' Gabriel Oak is only one of three suitors for the hand of the beautiful and spirited Bathsheba Everdene. He must compete with the dashing young soldier Sergeant Troy and respectable, middle-aged Farmer Boldwood. And while their fates depend upon the choice Bathsheba makes, she discovers the terrible consequences of an inconstant heart. Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to give the name of Wessex to the landscape of south-west England, and the first to gain him widespread popularity as a novelist. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the story both upholds and questions rural values with a startlingly modern sensibility.

Coming up

  • Nessie and Me
  • I Heard my Country Calling by Sue Elliott
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The lovely Samia Rida, author of Nessie and Me, will be here on Saturday 19th September from 2pm, signing copies of her wonderful novel.It's the story of Lisa, a girl with special needs, and her journey into empowerment. We loved this book and defy you to read it without getting a lump in your throat.

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Local author Sue Elliott has written a biography of Elaine Madden, an SOE agent from Belgium who was recruited in London and parachuted back to the country of her birth to undertake  a top secret mission and speed its liberation from Nazi oppression. 

Sue will be here in the shop to talk about the book, read passages from it and answer questions, on Wednesday 4th November, from 7pm. Do join us for what will be a fascinating evening.