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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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What's new

  • Latest News
  • Radio 4
  • In the news
  • Bestsellers
  • At the Cinema

The Man Booker Prize 2014 - Winner Announced

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Forever after, there were for them only two sorts of men: the men who were on the Line, and the rest of humanity, who were not. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier.Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. Hailed as a masterpiece, Richard Flanagan's epic novel tells the unforgettable story of one man's reckoning with the truth.

Start the Week

Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts

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This is the definitive modern biography of Napoleon. It has become all too common for Napoleon Bonaparte's biographers to approach him as a figure to be reviled, bent on world domination, practically a proto-Hitler. Here, after years of study extending even to visits paid to St Helena and 53 of Napoleon's 56 battlefields, Andrew Roberts has created a true portrait of the mind, the life, and the military and above all political genius of a fundamentally constructive ruler. This is the Napoleon, Roberts reminds us, whose peacetime activity produced countless indispensable civic innovations - and whose Napoleonic Code provided the blueprint for civil law systems still in use around the world today. It is one of the greatest lives in world history, which here has found its ideal biographer. The sheer enjoyment which this book will give anyone who loves history is enormous.


Book at Bedtime

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

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Nora Webster is the heartbreaking new novel from one of the greatest novelists writing today. It is the late 1960s in Ireland. Nora Webster is living in a small town, looking after her four children, trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband.She is fiercely intelligent, at times difficult and impatient, at times kind, but she is trapped by her circumstances, and waiting for any chance which will lift her beyond them. Slowly, through the gift of music and the power of friendship, she finds a glimmer of hope and a way of starting again. As the dynamic of the family changes, she seems both fiercely self-possessed but also a figure of great moral ambiguity, making her one of the most memorable heroines in contemporary fiction.

Afghanistan

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If you are interested in Afghanistan, look out for this definitive book on the war there by award-winning journalist Christina Lamb, which will be published on January 1st 2015. How did the war in Afghanistan go so terribly wrong? This shocking account provides answers that will surprise even the experts. An unmissable account of the conflict that has dominated foreign affairs since 9/11. Crouched in a ditch in Helmand, with Taliban gunfire exploding around her, Christina Lamb found herself wondering what the British troops at her side were achieving.Twenty years earlier, she had cowered in a ditch in nearby Kandahar, only that time under Russian fire, and alongside Afghans who later became Taliban. Today, the war in Afghanistan - at one point hailed by the US as 'a breathtaking success' - has sucked in 140,000 troops. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of terror plots are believed to originate in neighbouring Pakistan.How did this happen? Lamb travels both countries seeking answers. She visits Hamid Karzai's palace in Kabul, where she finds him pacing a walled garden with snipers on the roof and two baby deer for company. In Herat, she meets a group of women writers who risked their lives under the Taliban, and are once again living in fear.In Peshawar, she discovers mosques openly raising money to fight Americans, while in Quetta she encounters Taliban ministers openly recruiting fighters. In Karachi, she spends days with Benazir Bhutto, whose dream of saving Pakistan would end in tragedy. Lamb's riveting account reveals a textbook case of how not to run a war. It is a tale of international confusion, competing military operations, civilian casualties and payoffs. But the real problem is Pakistan, whose dictator takes billions of dollars of US aid even as the country's intelligence agencies help to train enemies of the West. With unparalleled access to key players, from top officials in Washington, London, Islamabad and Kabul, to Taliban and Pakistani spies, Christina Lamb traces the Afghan conflict back to the 1980s, when the CIA decided to use Islam as a rallying cry against the Soviet invaders.Unflinching and insightful, this account of the West's involvement in Afghanistan is vital reading for anyone who wants to understand the mistakes and misjudgements that cost so many lives.

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

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1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

3. The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson

4. Minecraft Construction Handbook

5. Awful Auntie by David Walliams

6. The News is Read by Charlotte Green

7. The Undertaking by Audrey Magee

8. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce

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

10. Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi

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.

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It would be hard to miss the enormous publicity that there has been for the film release of 'Gone Girl' which stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, and is based on the novel by Gillian Flynn.

Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him.He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they weren't made by him.And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife?

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And another book which has recently been made in to a film, and is also attracting lots of attention is 'Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson.

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.

Read More

Forthcoming events

  • Light up the Lane!
  • Charlotte Green
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Sunday 30th November is the date for this year's popular Light up the Lane event. Most of the shops on Pitshanger Lane will be open during the afternoon and evening, the Lane will be closed to traffic, and there will be a programme of entertainment culminating in the switching on of the Christmas lights. In the bookshop, we will be open until 8pm, and we'll be serving drinks and canapes. It's a great way to do some Christmas shopping, or if you spot something you'd like for yourself, register a Gift List with us and your friends and family can shop from it. We look forward to seeing you.

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We are very excited that Charlotte Green who was born in Ealing and still lives here, will be coming to the bookshop on Wednesday 3rd December to discuss and read extracts from her book 'The News is Read'. For twenty-seven years Charlotte Green was one of the most iconic newsreaders on Radio 4. Her rich, velvety voice was a staple on the radio and a treat for millions of listeners. Charlotte joined the BBC in 1978 and became one of the regular readers on the Today programme, where her voice proved to be a reassuring constant in the midst of momentous occasions and terrible tragedies alike - her bulletins have covered everything from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to the 7/7 London bombings in 2005.

The evening starts at 7pm and if you would like to join us, do let us know, as places are limited.