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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

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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

Hopeful by Omid Djalili

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Omid Djalili's fascinating story begins with an unconventional childhood spent at his family's London guesthouse for visiting Iranians. At school he is kept busy with the beginnings of a passionate love affair with football but he hopes one day to live a more intellectually fulfilled life. For one wonderful summer in California it seems that maybe he will find his spiritual home at UCLA.Sadly his exam results don't quite hit the mark (it's difficult to study astrophysics at one of the world's top universities without O-level maths) and so, ever hopeful, Omid returns home to spend the next three years sitting his A-levels again, and again, and again. Eventually, in a moment of madness, he concludes that the best way to achieve the desired A-level results is to 'improve' his certificates. Travelling to the university of Ulster he finds true connection and relaxing solitude despite the backdrop of Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles and nearly being killed by paramillitaries.Here he decides that a life in show business is the only secure option he has left, and what follows is a hilarious and captivating insight into the life of a young performer who embraces his cultural identity, works harder than anyone else, and doesn't give up until he has hung out with Brad Pitt in Morocco, injured himself severely while showing off in front of Kate Winslet, and shared an 'intimate moment' with Oliver Reed in Gladiator. Full of the warmth and intelligence that makes Omid such a successful comedian and sought-after actor, this memoir takes us on a joyously vivid journey through an unusually British life.


Book at Bedtime

The Thrill of it All by Joseph O'Connor

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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

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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......

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1. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

2. Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

3. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulkes

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

5. We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

7. Everyday by David Leviathan

8. The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

9. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

10. The Slightly Annoying Elephant by David Walliams

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

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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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Forthcoming events

  • Watch this Space!
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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.