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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 Baileys Womens Prize for Fiction 2014

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Baileys is the new sponsor for the most prestigious book award for fiction written by a woman (previously the Orange Prize) and the 2014 shortlist has just been announced. This list of six has been selected from 159 novels which were originally submitted, and was decided by a Panel which includes the classicist Mary Beard, writer Denise Mina, newspaper columnist and writer Caitlin Moran and BBC Broadcaster Sophie Raworth. Critics have praised the diversity and international reach of this year's shortlist.The Winner will be announced on 4th June. William Hill has made Donna Tartt 2-1 favourite followed by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

The Lowland by Lahiri Jhumpa

The Undertaking by Audrey Magee

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Book of the Week

B is for Bauhaus by Deyan Sudjic 

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This book is not a dictionary, though it tells you all you need know about everything from Authenticity to Zips. It's not an autobiography, though it does offer a revealing and highly personal inside view of contemporary culture. It's an essential tool kit for understanding the world around us.It's about what makes a Warhol a genuine fake; the creation of national identities; the mania to collect. It's also about the city as seen from the rear view mirror of Grand Theft Auto V; digital ornament and why we value imperfection. It's about drinking a bruisingly dry martini in Adolf Loo's American bar in Vienna, and about Hitchcock's film sets.It's about the modern world of fashion, technology, design and art. Born in London, Deyan Sudjic studied architecture in Edinburgh, edited Domus in Milan, was the director of the Venice architecture biennale, and a curator in Glasgow, Istanbul and Copenhagen. The author of The Language of Things and The Edifice Complex, Deyan Sudjic is now Director of the Design Museum, London.


Book at Bedtime

History of the Rain by Niall Williams

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We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. In Faha, County Clare, everyone is a long story...Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, in the margin between this world and the next, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father.To find him, enfolded in the mystery of ancestors, Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to grandfather Abraham, to her father, Virgil - via pole-vaulting, leaping salmon, poetry and the three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight books piled high beneath the two skylights in her room, beneath the rain. The stories - of her golden twin brother Aeney, their closeness even as he slips away; of their dogged pursuit of the Swains' Impossible Standard and forever falling just short; of the wild, rain-sodden history of fourteen acres of the worst farming land in Ireland - pour forth in Ruthie's still, small, strong, hopeful voice. A celebration of books, love and the healing power of the imagination, this is an exquisite, funny, moving novel in which every sentence sings.

North Korea

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If you have been following the news items about North Korea, you might be interested in either or both of these gripping books. The Orphan Master's Son is a novel which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 and evokes a powerful sense of what it must be like to live in North Korea, while telling an absolutley gripping tale. Escape from Camp 14 is the true story of Shin Dong-hyuk who was born inside the Camp, one of five sprawling political prisons in the mountains of North Korea. Located about 55 miles north of Pyongyang, the labor camp is a 'complete control district,' a no-exit prison where the only sentence is life. No one born in Camp 14 or in any North Korean political prison camp has escaped.No one except Shin.

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

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1. All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard

2. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

3. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

4. A Delicate Truth by John le Carre

5. Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

6. Change of Appetite by Diana Henry

7. Little Book of Mindfulness

8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

9. Last Friends by Jane Gardam

10. A Spy among Friends by Ben Macintyre

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.

British Gardens in Time

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Tying in with a four part BBC TV series, British Gardens in Time which is now takes four iconic gardens, each a product of its age, and provides a fascinating window into the creators and events that shaped them. The stories of their creation include obsession, escape, social ambition, political intrigue, heartbreak, bankruptcy and disaster. In unravelling these remarkable stories we reach back over the centuries to see these great gardens through fresh eyes.From the magnificent landscape garden at Stowe created by Bridgeman, Kent and Lancelot 'Capability' Brown; the Victorian masterpiece of Biddulph Grange; the romantic Arts & Crafts retreat at Nymans; and Christopher Lloyd's plantsman's paradise at Great Dixter, you will hear of adventure, innovation and visionary individuals who changed the way we create our gardens and the plants we grow. Author Katie Campbell weaves the stories of these four exemplary gardens into a history of British gardening from the earliest cultivated spaces to the present day, exploring trends, influences and pioneers. Fascinating historic detail and atmospheric storytelling make this a compelling read.British Gardens in Time includes a foreword by CHRIS BEARDSHAW, specially commissioned photography by NATHAN HARRISON, and extensive archive illustrations. Author KATIE CAMPBELL lectures widely, leads garden tours and writes on the social history of gardening. Her other books published by Frances Lincoln are Icons of Twentieth-Century Landscape Design and Paradise of Exiles.

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Forthcoming events

  • Dylan Thomas
  • The Sword of Kuromori
  • Keepin' the Beat

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This year marks the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas so we think he deserves some special attention. On Wednesday June 25th, we have the pleasure of being joined by Nicholas Friend, who is not only a lovely customer but also Director of Inscape Cultural Study Society (www.inscapestudytours.co.uk)and a professional speaker on a wide range of cultural topics. Nicholas will talk about Dylan Thomas' life with illustrations, and will read a few of his shorter poems. Nicholas is a joy to listen to and talks about his subjects with infectious energy and enthusiasm; this promises to be a very special evening. Do let us know if you are planning to join us as places are limited.

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This is the first novel in a trilogy aimed at 9-11 year olds, from author Jason Rohan who grew up in this area and attended Perivale School. This talented author has landed a three book deal with children's publisher Egmont, and this first book is due to be published on Thursday 8th May, when we will celebrate with a launch party starting at 6.30pm. It's an action-packed adventure set in modern Japan. Kenny Blackwood arrives in Tokyo to spend the summer with his father and is stunned to discover a destiny he had never dreamed of when he finds himself in the middle of a hidden war that is about to explode. Racing against an impossible deadline, Kenny must find the fabled Sword of Heaven and use it to prevent the disaster.If you want to find out more, do join us and meet Jason in person. It's going to be lots of fun and the theme is Japanese!

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Local author Lewis Hill recently completed his third volume of poetry and will be here to celebrate its publication on Wednesday 21st May. Lewis's own experiences have inspired many of the poems, such as Scooters at Dawn which was written after he completed a 26 mile fundraising walk in aid of Cancer Research. Lewis will be reading some poems as well as some extracts from his previously published book of short stories, 'Clasped in Prayer'. The evening starts at 7pm and if you would like to join us, do let us know.