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  • Welcome to Pitshanger Books

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  • 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 - Shortlist Announced

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The first Man Booker prize to admit novels from across the globe as long as they are written in English has published its shortlist. Following much discussion, the six judges chaired by philosopher Anthony Grayling chose the following six novels:-

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

J by Howard Jacobson

The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee

Us by David Nicholls

How to be Both by Ali Smith

 

The Winner will be announced on Tuesday 14th October.

Book of the Week

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

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On 31 March 1945, at The Playhouse Theatre on Forty-Eight Street the curtain rose on the opening night of The Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams, the show's thirty-four-year-old playwright, sat hunched in an aisle seat, looking, according to one paper, 'like a farm boy in his Sunday best'. The Broadway premiere, which had been heading for disaster, closed to an astonishing twenty-four curtain calls and became an instant sell-out. Beloved by an American public, Tennessee Williams's work - blood hot and personal - pioneered, as Arthur Miller declared, 'a revolution' in American theatre. Tracing Williams's turbulent moral and psychological shifts, acclaimed theatre critic John Lahr sheds new light on the man and his work, as well as the America his plays helped to define. Williams created characters so large that they have become part of American folklore: Blanche, Stanley, Big Daddy, Brick, Amanda and Laura transcend their stories, haunting us with their fierce, flawed lives.Similarly, Williams himself swung high and low in his single-minded pursuit of greatness. Lahr shows how Williams's late-blooming homosexual rebellion, his struggle against madness, his grief-struck relationships with his combustible father, prim and pious mother and 'mad' sister Rose, victim to one of the first lobotomies in America, became central themes in his drama. Including Williams's poems, stories, journals and private correspondence in his discussion of the work - posthumously Williams has been regarded as one of the best letter writers of his day - Lahr delivers an astoundingly sensitive and lively reassessment of one of America's greatest dramatists.


Book at Bedtime

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

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Metaphysical thriller, meditation on mortality and chronicle of our self-devouring times, this is the kaleidoscopic new novel from the author of Cloud Atlas. One drowsy summer's day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for 'asylum'. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking ...The Bone Clocks follows the twists and turns of Holly's life from a scarred adolescence in Gravesend to old age on Ireland's Atlantic coast as Europe's oil supply dries up - a life not so far out of the ordinary, yet punctuated by flashes of precognition, visits from people who emerge from thin air and brief lapses in the laws of reality.For Holly Sykes - daughter, sister, mother, guardian - is also an unwitting player in a murderous feud played out in the shadows and margins of our world, and may prove to be its decisive weapon.

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. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

2. Please Mister Postman by Alan Johnson

3. Awful Auntie by David Walliams

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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

6. Guinness World Records 2015

7. The Children Act by Ian McEwan

8. The Crocodile Under the Bed by Judith Kerr

9. Gus and Me by Keith Richards

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.

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Forthcoming events

  • Desert Island Books

Join us on Thursday 23 October to meet Steve Pound, Member of Parliament for Ealing North, and hear about the books he would choose to take with him if he were cast away on a desert island. The evening starts at 7pm and we will be serving light refreshments. Do let us know if you are interested as we have had a lot of interest in this event.