Welcome to Pitshanger BooksA 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 bookshopLocated on lovely, leafy Pitshanger Lane. We stock over 3000 titles. As well as books, we sell cards, wrapping paper, stationery and games.
Serving our communityEverybody 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
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
The Land where Lemons Grow: the Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit by Helena Atlee
Travellers have always been thrilled by the sight of citrus in Italy, where dark leaves and bright fruit seem to charge the landscape, making the trees symbols of a sun-soaked, poetic vision of the country. Citrus also holds a special place in the Italian imagination, and in The Land Where Lemons Grow, Helena Attlee sets out to explore its curious past and its enduring resonance in Italian culture. Building on a life of travel and work in Italy, she undertakes a journey encompassing the sticky streets of Ivrea during the Battle of Oranges, the comfortable gardens of Tuscany's villas and a magic triangle of land in Sicily, where the best blood oranges in the world grow in the shadow of a volcano.
Book at Bedtime
History of the Rain by Niall Williams
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.
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......
1. A Delicate Truth by John le Carre
2. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson
3. The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor
4. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend
5. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
6. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
7. The Infatuations by Javier Marias
8. Last Friends by Jane Gardam
9. A Spy among Friends by Ben Macintyre
10. This Boy by Alan Johnson
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
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.Read More
Your local bookshop
Pitshanger Bookshop has been a feature on Pitshanger Lane for nearly 20 years. My name is Fiona Kennedy and I've owned the shop since August 2011.
There are 5 of us working here at various times: myself, Hazel, Carole, Ruth and Beatrice. We all live locally and love the neighbourhood. And of course we all love books too! You can see what we're reading at the moment on the right hand side of this home page. We love chatting about books, making recommendations, and hearing what our customers recommend too. We offer a friendly service so please feel free to approach any of us if you need help or advice when you're in the shop. We look forward to seeing you soon.