• Welcome to Pitshanger Books

    A warm welcome to our 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.
> <
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

What's new?

  • Radio 4
  • What's new?
  • Bestsellers
  • At the Cinema

Book at Bedtime

Eleanor Oliphant is is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

image

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live.

She leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than... fine?

Man Booker Prize 2017

image

The American short story writer George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.

The book is based around a real event: the night in 1862 when Abraham Lincoln buried his 11-year-old son Willie in a Washington cemetery. Imagining the boy trapped in the Bardo – a Tibetan Buddhist term for a kind of limbo – Saunders’ novel follows the fellow dead, also trapped in the graveyard and unwilling to accept death, who observe the boy as he desperately waits for his father to return.

Written almost entirely in dialogue, the novel also includes snippets of historical texts, biographies and letters.

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

image

1. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

2. Bad Dad by David Walliams

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway by Jeff Kinney

4. Murder on Christmas Eve

5. Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

6. Autumn by Ali Smith

7. The Mistletoe Murder and other Stories by P D James

8. The Secret Life of the Owl by John Lewis-Stempel

9. The Robin: A Biography by Stephen Moss

10.An English Christmas by John Julius Norwich

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 Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

image

Now a major motion picture starring Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents. At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane, middle class existence' she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by 'a portrait of someone else's ancestor' she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents.

Book tokens

We participate in the National Book Tokens scheme so you can buy or redeem your Gift Cards with us. Gift cards are the same size and shape as a credit card and can be loaded with any value from £1 to £250. They can also be topped up to the maximum value. They can be redeemed in any high street book shop including all the major chain booksellers. They make perfect gifts and prizes, and the recipient can spend the value in part or in full, so there is plenty flexibility. You can't go wrong!

In addition, we have our own Gift Vouchers which, unlike National Book Tokens, can be used to buy anything we stock - not just books.

Signed copies

Books which are signed by the author themselves are a little bit special and make wonderful gifts. We have the following signed copies in stock, so do contact us if you would like us to reserve one for you. 

image
image

Forthcoming books

If you would like to pre-order any of these forthcoming titles, please send us a message from our contact page, and we will reserve a copy for you.

Magna Carta by Dan Jones

Publication Date: 14 December

Price: £9.99

image

On a summer's day in 1215 a beleaguered English monarch met a group of disgruntled barons in a meadow by the river Thames named Runnymede. Beset by foreign crisis and domestic rebellion, King John was fast running out of options. On 15 June he reluctantly agreed to fix his regal seal to a document that would change the world. A milestone in the development of constitutional politics and the rule of law, the 'Great Charter' established an Englishman's right to Habeas Corpus and set limits to the exercise of royal power. For the first time a group of subjects had forced an English king to agree to a document that limited his powers by law and protected their rights. Dan Jones's elegant and authoritative narrative of the making and legacy of Magna Carta is amplified by profiles of the barons who secured it and a full text of the charter in both Latin and English.


C'est la Vie by Fabrice Midal

Publication Date: 28 December

Price: £12.99

image

Be calm... Stop stressing... Embrace the universe... Try yoga... Be fulfilled... We're overwhelmed with these sorts of commands, and we often torture ourselves to "try harder," yet somehow we never feel we've done quite enough. It's about time we stop pushing ourselves to do what we think we're supposed to do, and instead simply allow ourselves to be angry, be tired, be silly, be passionate - to give yourself a break, and just be. Fabrice Midal, one of the world's leading teachers of meditation explains why the key to true mindfulness is freeing ourselves from social and often self-imposed stresses - and highlights how we can embrace life more fully by giving ourselves a break. He gives readers permission to:Stop obeying -- you are intelligentStop being calm -- be at peaceStop wanting to be perfect -- accept life's stormsStop rationalizing -- let things beStop comparing -- be youStop being ashamed -- be vulnerableStop tormenting yourself -- become your own best friendStop wanting to love -- be benevolentIn C'est La Vie, Midal offers us a new solution to the perennial problem of our too much, too fast modern life. It's OK, he urges us, to say no. It's fine to quit the things that don't make you happy. It's necessary, in fact, to give yourself a break if things don't go your way and say, simply, C'est la vie. Midal gives each of us permission to stop doing the things that don't make us happy...so we have room in our lives for the things that do.


The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Publication Date: 28 December

Price: £16.99

image

A revolutionary, yet simple guide to better health from the star of BBC1's Doctor in the House.In The Four Pillar Plan, Dr Rangan Chatterjee presents an easily accessible plan for taking control of your health and your life.Everyday health revolves around Dr Chatterjee's four pillars: relaxation, food, sleep and movement. By making small, achievable changes in each of these key areas you can create and maintain good health - and avoid illness.It's not about excelling at any one pillar - what matters is the balance across all the things you do, including:* an electronic 'sabbath' once a week* aiming for 12 hours every day without food* exposure to sunlight first thing each morningBased on cutting edge research and his own experiences as a doctor, this book contains fascinating case studies from real patients. Practical and potentially life-changing, The Four Pillar Plan is an inspiring and easy-to-follow guide to better health and happiness.


Exile by James Swallow

Publication Date: 28 December

Price: £7.99

image

A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons.

A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing.

A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he'd let the world burn.A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him.

Only one man sees what's coming.

And even he might not be able to prevent it . . .

Racing breathlessly from uncharted CIA prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from stormbeaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in the incredible new action thriller from the internationally bestselling author of NOMAD.


Istanbul by Bettany Hughes

Publication Date: 28 December

Price: £10.99

image

Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu'ran to Shakespeare, this city with three names - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - resonates as an idea and a place, and overspills its boundaries - real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between the East and West, it has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was known simply as The City, but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a story. In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey through the many incarnations of one of the world's greatest cities. As the longest-lived political entity in Europe, over the last 6,000 years Istanbul has absorbed a mosaic of micro-cities and cultures all gathering around the core. At the latest count archaeologists have measured forty-two human habitation layers. Phoenicians, Genoese, Venetians, Jews, Vikings, Azeris all called a patch of this earth their home. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate and scholarly narrative history at its finest.


The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

Publication Date: 4 January

Price: £7.99

image

My name is Ruby.

I live with Barbara and Mick.

They're not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say.

But there are things I won't say.

I won't tell them I'm going to hunt for my real parents.

I don't say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw.

Or that I'm a hunter for lost souls.

I'm going to be with my real family.

And I won't let anyone stop me.


Nothing but a Circus by Daniel Levin

Publication Date: 4 January

Price: £9.99

image

In this eye-opening exploration of the human weakness for power, Daniel Levin takes us on a hilarious journey through the absurd world of our global elites, drawing unforgettable sketches of some of the puppets who stand guard. and the jugglers and conjurers employed within. Most spectacular of all, however, are the astonishing contortions performed by those closest to the top in order to maintain the illusion of integrity, decency, and public service. Based on the author's first-hand experiences of dealing with governments and political institutions around the world, Nothing but a Circus offers a rare glimpse of the conversations that happen behind closed doors, observing the appalling lengths that people go to in order to justify their unscrupulous choices, from Dubai to Luanda, Moscow to Beijing, and at the heart of the UN and the US government.


From the Heart by Susan Hill

Publication Date: 4 January

Price: £7.99

image

Everyone likes Olive Piper.

A happy, open-hearted child growing up in the 1950s, her life is contented.

When her passion for reading gets her into university she feels sure the world is waiting for her.

But then she makes a mistake - the kind any one of us could make - and faces an impossible choice.

'A shattering coming-of-age story' Daily Telegraph


Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Publication date: 11 January

Price: £7.99

image

What do you do when the life you've carefully built for yourself comes apart?

Lydia Smith lives a quiet life, spent in the company of her colleagues and customers at the bookstore where she works.

But when Joey Molina, a young and mysterious regular, hangs himself in the bookstore and leaves Lydia secret messages hidden in the pages of his books, her world starts to unravel.

Why did Joey do it?

What did he know?

And what does it have to do with Lydia?


Writer's Luck: A Memoir:1976-1991 by David Lodge

Publication Date: 11 January

Price: £25

image

David Lodge's frank and illuminating memoir about the years where he found great success as a novelist and critic. Luck plays an important part in the careers of writers. In this book David Lodge explores how his work was inspired and affected by unpredictable events in his life. In 1976 Lodge was pursuing a `twin-track career' as novelist and academic. As a literary critic, he made serious contributions to the subject, before carnivalising it in his comic-satiric novel Small World. The balancing act between his two professions was increasingly difficult to maintain, and he became a full-time writer just before he published his bestselling novel Nice Work. Both books were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, in which he was later involved as Chairman of the judges. Readers of Lodge's novels will be fascinated by the insights this book gives - not only into his professional career but also more personal experience. The main focus, however, is on writing as a vocation. Anyone who is interested in learning about the creative process, about the dual nature of the novel as both work of art and commodity, will find Writer's Luck a candid and entertaining guide.


Hearts and Minds by Jane Robinson

Publication date: 11 January

Price: £20

image

Set against the colourful background of the entire campaign for women to win the vote, Hearts and Minds tells the remarkable and inspiring story of the suffragists' march on London. 1913: the last long summer before the war. The country is gripped by suffragette fever. These impassioned crusaders have their admirers; some agree with their aims if not their forceful methods, while others are aghast at the thought of giving any female a vote. Meanwhile, hundreds of women are stepping out on to the streets of Britain. They are the suffragists: non-militant campaigners for the vote, on an astonishing six-week protest march they call the Great Pilgrimage. Rich and poor, young and old, they defy convention, risking jobs, family relationships and even their lives to persuade the country to listen to them. This is a story of ordinary people effecting extraordinary change. By turns dangerous, exhausting and exhilarating, the Great Pilgrimage transformed the personal and political lives of women in Britain for ever. Jane Robinson has drawn from diaries, letters and unpublished accounts to tell the inside story of the march, against the colourful background of the entire suffrage campaign. Fresh and original, full of vivid detail and moments of high drama, Hearts and Minds is both funny and incredibly moving, important and wonderfully entertaining.


Charlie and Me by Mary Lowery

Publication Date: 11 January

Price: £5.99

image

Thirteen-year-old Martin and his younger brother Charlie are on a very special journey. They're going to be travelling 421 miles all the way from Preston to the very tip of Cornwall. By train, bus and taxi, they are determined to get there in the end; and they're hoping to catch a glimpse of the dolphin that regularly visits the harbour there. But is that the only reason they are going? It's a journey that's full of challenges and surprises.

Martin adores his brother Charlie but he's not like ordinary kids. He's one in a million. He was born far too early, and ought to have died. And cheeky, irrepressible, utterly unique Charlie is always keeping Martin on his toes - especially on this crazy trip they are now on. Martin is doing his best to be a good big brother, but it's hard when there's something so huge coming once they get to Cornwall ... An unforgettable novel that is by turns funny and heartbreaking.


Radio Boy and the Revenge of Grandad by Christian O'Connell

Publication Date: 11 January

Price: £6.99

image

Debut sensation Christian O'Connell is back with more hilarious adventures of Spike, super-star radio DJ... and trouble-prone ordinary kid. The World's youngest DJ is still the talk of the town. A town that's about to turn against him. Radio Boy and his team, Artie and Holly, are back and continue to broadcast live to the world from Spike's garden shed. Then, following a shock split from Nan, Grandad Ray comes to stay. Spike decides to cheer him up by inviting him onto the show. He becomes an instant hit with the listeners and Spike keeps him on as a new team member. But things get really awkward when Spike realises Grandad Ray only has three stories and keeps telling them over and over again. Spike is forced to sack his own Grandad, who swears vengeance on his own grandson. Grandad Ray is the world's most competitive man and he always plays to win - at any cost...


The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr

Publication date: 11 January

Price: £7.99

image

Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . .

Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro.

Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things. And realises her life has been a lie. Her mother and father aren't hers at all.

Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they'll never think to look - the favelas.

But there she learns a terrible secret - the truth about her real parents and their past.

And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .


Women in Sport by Rachel Ignotofsky

Publication Date: 11 January

Price: £12.99

image

Women in Sport celebrates the success of the tough, bold and fearless women who paved the way for today's athletes. The sportswomen featured include well-known figures like tennis player Serena Williams and broadcaster Clare Balding, as well as lesser-known pioneers like Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel, and Keiko Fukuda, the highest-ranked female judoka in history.

From the creator of the bestselling Women in Science, this richly illustrated book highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable sportswomen from the 1800s to today, including trailblazers, Olympians and record-breakers in more than forty sports. It also contains infographics on topics such as muscle anatomy, pay and media statistics for female athletes, and influential women's teams.


Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer by T S Eliot

Publication Date: 18 January

Price: £6.99

image

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very notorious couple of cats.

As knockabout clowns, quick-change comedians, tight-rope walkers and acrobats.

And when you heard a dining-room smash.

Then the family would say: 'It's that horrible cat! It was Mungojerrie! and Rumpelteazer!' - And there's nothing at all to be done about that!

Join the cat-burglars Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer in the fifth picture-book pairing from Arthur Robins and T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's cats, as they steal meat from the oven and pearls from the drawers.


Edith and Oliver by Michele Forbes

Publication Date: 25 January

Price: £8.99

image

Edith and Oliver fell in love after meeting in the glitzy world of the music hall in its Edwardian heyday.

Edith is a spirited young woman who plays the piano by night; Oliver is an illusionist who dreams of touring the world, of pioneering ground-breaking illusions that will bring him fame and fortune.

But their children arrive as the world begins to change, as cinemas crowd the high street and the draw of the music hall wanes.

Oliver - drinking too much and haunted by the death of his mother - becomes desperate for one final illusion that will put his name in lights.

As he loses his grip on reality, will his family pay the ultimate price?


Also Human by Caroline Elton

Publication date: 25 January

Price: £16.99

image

Doctors are the people we turn to when we fall ill. They are the people we trust with our lives, and with the lives of those we love. Yet who can doctors turn to at moments of stress, or when their own lives break down? Doctors are no different from everybody else, but their job is like no other. What does it take to confront death, disease, distress and suffering every day? To carry the `awesome responsibility' of care? To make decisions that can irrevocably change someone's life, or possibly end it? And how do doctors cope with their own questions and fears, when they are expected to have all the answers? Caroline Elton is a psychologist who specialises in helping medical doctors. Drawing upon hundreds of extraordinary case studies and decades of pioneering work in the UK and overseas, Also Human presents a provocative, perceptive and deeply humane examination of the modern medical profession.


How to be Human by Ruby Wax

Publication Date: 25 January

Price: £14.99

image

It took us 4 billion years to evolve to where we are now. No question, anyone reading this has won the evolutionary Hunger Games by the fact you're on all 2's and not some fossil. This should make us all the happiest species alive - most of us aren't, what's gone wrong? We've started treating ourselves like machines and less like humans. We're so used to upgrading things like our iPhones; as soon as the new one comes out, we don't think twice, we dump it. (Many people I know are now on iWife4 or iHusband8, the motto being, if it's new, it's better.) We can't stop the future from arriving, no matter what drugs we're on. But even if nearly every part of us becomes robotic, we'll still, fingers crossed, have our minds, which, hopefully, we'll be able use for things like compassion, rather than chasing what's 'better' and if we can do that we're on the yellow brick road to happiness. I wrote this book with a little help from a monk, who explains how the mind works, also gives some mindfulness exercises, and a neuroscientist who explains where everything that makes us can be found in the brain. We answer every question you've ever had about: evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. How to be Human is extremely funny, true and the only manual you'll need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you've upgraded your iPhone.


Yorkshire by Richard Morris

Publication Date: 25 January

Price: £25

image

Yorkshire, it has been said, is 'a continent unto itself', a region where mountain, plain, coast, downs, fen and heath lie close. By weaving history, family stories, travelogue and ecology, Richard Morris reveals how Yorkshire took shape as a landscape and in literature, legend and popular regard.We descend into the county's netherworld of caves and mines, and face episodes at once brave and dark, such as the part played by Whitby and Hull in emptying Arctic waters of whales, or the re-routing of rivers and destruction of Yorkshire's fens.

We are introduced to discoverers and inventions, meet the people who came and went, encounter real and fabled heroes, and discover why, from the Iron Age to the Cold War, Yorkshire has been such a key place in times of tension and struggle.In a wide-ranging and lyrical narrative, Richard Morris shows that for as far back as we can look Yorkshire has been a region of unique presence with links around the world.


Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller

Publication Date: 1 February

Price: £8.99

image

The second novel from the author of Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick.

Gil Coleman looked down from the window and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.

Gil's wife, Ingrid has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years.

A possible sighting brings their children, Nan and Flora, home. Together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother.

Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave?

And do the letters hidden within Gil's books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children?


Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik

Publication Date: 1 February

Price: £8.99

image

One day in 1940 Rene Hargreaves walks out on her family and the city to take a position as a Land Girl at the remote Starlight farm.

There she will live with and help lonely farmer Elsie Boston.At first Elsie and Rene are unsure of one another - strangers from different worlds.

But over time they each come to depend on the other.

They become inseparable.

Until the day a visitor from Rene's past arrives and their careful, secluded life is thrown into confusion.

Suddenly, all they have built together is threatened. What will they do to protect themselves? And are they prepared for the consequences?


Bad Romance by Emily Hill

Publication Date: 8 February

Price: £12.99

image

Tales from the happily never after!.

At a wedding, one woman's revenge comes in the shape of her heavily pregnant belly.

As a career girl attempts to climb the ladder she slides down into ever more grotesque flatshares.

A single woman who always attends parties alone realises that the truth might not always be the best answer.

And one Londoner learns her most important lesson since moving to the city - never act friendly towards a stranger.

Bad Romance is dark, hilarious and moving by turn as Emily Hill's acid wit gives life to the women whose tales never normally make it into the storybooks.


Murder Most Unladylike Book 6 (still untitled) by Robin Stevens

Publication Date: 8 February

Price: £6.99

image

When Hazel Wong's beloved grandfather passes away, Daisy Wells is all too happy to accompany her friend (and Detective Society Vice President) to Hazel's family estate in beautiful, bustling Hong Kong.

But when they arrive they discover something they didn't expect: there's a new member of the Wong family. Daisy and Hazel think baby Teddy is enough to deal with, but as always the girls are never far from a mystery.

Tragedy strikes very close to home, and this time Hazel isn't just the detective. She's been framed for murder!

The girls must work together like never before, confronting dangerous gangs, mysterious suspects and sinister private detectives to solve the murder and clear Hazel's name - before it's too late . .


The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May

Publication Date: 8 February

Price: £7.99

image

Join Debs and Maisie and the high tide swimmers as they make waves in life, love and friendship. Only the truly devoted manage to swim every day at Whitstable, because the sea's only deep enough at high tide. So when Deb (ageing bikini, sunglasses) and Maisie (black wetsuit, swimming shoes, goggles) keep meeting on Reeves Beach, they strike up an unlikely friendship based on their love of swimming and their recent divorces. They swim early in the morning and late at night; through sea-fogs, rain and glorious sunny days. Soon, they are joined by other high tide swimmers, each with a crisis of their own to weather. Ann, a bossy organiser, is caring for her elderly mother at home; Julie has somehow (although she's not quite sure how) managed to produce three children under school age; and Chloe, a bright, brittle girl of fifteen, finds calmness in the water. Quiet, anxious Bill is initially thought to be a peeping Tom, before being welcomed into the heart of the club.When the swimmers discover plans for their beach to be paved over for a leisure complex, they find a higher purpose that bonds them together, and exposes their fragile worlds to public scrutiny.

This is a book about the power of female friendship, that never loses sight of the complicated truths behind the lives of women who - from the outside - seem to take everything in their stride. It's also a song to the author's home town of Whitstable, where the sea is smooth, the shingle is painful on bare feet, and the air is full of possibilities.


Cultural Dementia by David Andress

Publication Date: 8 February

Price: £14.99

image

The author, professor of modern history at the University of Portsmouth, argues that we are suffering from an attack of social and cultural confusion and amnesia. The former great powers of the historic 'West' - especially Britain, the USA and France - seem to be abandoning the wisdom of maturity for senescent daydreams of recovered youth. Along the way they are stirring up old hatreds, giving disturbing voice to destructive rage, and risking the collapse of their capacity for decisive, effective, and just governance.

At the core of this is an abandonment of political attention to history, understood as a clear empirical grounding in how we reached our present condition. Historical stories are deployed in public debate as little more than dangerous fantasies.


How to Garden When You're New to Gardening by Dorling Kindersley

Publication Date: 22 February

Price: £25

image

Let the RHS guide you through the surprisingly simple steps to creating a garden you can enjoy with your friends, and even show off to them.

Are you surrounded by weeds? Is your lawn forlorn? Are the bushes deceased?

Fear not!

How To Garden When You're New To Gardening shows you the basics to get your green space under control and keep it that way. With the expertise of the RHS, this book gives simple step by step instructions, with clear images to help you build your dream garden, no matter the size and scale.

Take the pain out of planting, potting, and pruning and enjoy your precious patch of land.


Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Talib

Publication date: 27 February

Price: £20

image

The bestselling author of The Black Swan is back with a book challenging many of our long-held beliefsWhy should we never listen to people who explain rather than do? Why do companies go bust? How is it that we have more slaves today than in Roman times? Why does imposing democracy on other countries never work? The answer: too many people running the world don't have skin in the game. In this provocative book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows that skin in the game, which is usually seen as the foundation of risk management, in fact applies to all aspects of our lives. It's about having something to lose and taking a risk. Citizens, lab experimenters, artisans, political activists and hedge fund traders all have skin in the game. Policy wonks, corporate executives, theoreticians, bankers and most journalists don't. In his inimitable, pugnacious style, Taleb draws on everything from Antaeus the Giant to Hammurabi to Donald Trump, from ethics to used car salesmen, to create a jaw-dropping framework for understanding this idea. Along the way, he offers key rules to live by: do not do to others what you don't want them to do to you; never trust anyone who gives advice for a living.Just as The Black Swan did during the 2007 financial crisis, Skin in the Game comes at precisely the right moment to challenge our long-held beliefs about risk, reward, politics, religion and finance - and make us rethink everything we thought we knew.


The Bookworm by Lucy Mangan

Publication Date: 1 March

Price: £14.99

image

When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up new worlds and cast light on all the complexities she encountered in this one. She was whisked away to Narnia - and Kirrin Island - and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. She wandered the countryside with Milly-Molly-Mandy, and played by the tracks with the Railway Children. With Charlotte's Web she discovered Death and with Judy Blume it was Boys. No wonder she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library or to spend her pocket money on amassing her own at home. In Bookworm, Lucy revisits her childhood reading with wit, love and gratitude. She relives our best-beloved books, their extraordinary creators, and looks at the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. She also disinters a few forgotten treasures to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way. Lucy brings the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life - prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate - and brilliantly uses them to tell her own story, that of a born, and unrepentant, bookworm.


Living with the Gods by Neil MacGregor

Publication Date: 1 March

Price: £30

image

A panoramic exploration of peoples, objects and beliefs over 40,000 years from the celebrated author of A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany, following the new BBC Radio 4 documentary and British Museum exhibition. Available for pre-order now. No society on Earth lacks beliefs about where it has come from, its place in the world, and the connection of individuals to the eternal. Neil MacGregor's dazzling new book traces how different societies have understood and articulated their place in the cosmic scheme. He brilliantly turns his kaleidoscope of objects, monuments and ideas to examining mankind's beliefs - not from the perspective of institutional religions, but by focusing on the shared narratives that have shaped our societies, and our relationships with each other.


Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Publication Date: 1 March

Price: £8.99

image

An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss from the No. 1 New York Times bestselling and Man Booker long-listed author of My Name is Lucy Barton Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.

Anything is Possible tells the story of the inhabitants of rural, dusty Amgash, Illinois, the hometown of Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer who finally returns, after seventeen years of absence, to visit the siblings she left behind. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout's place as one of America's most respected and cherished authors


Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

Publication Date: 1 March

Price: £12.99

image

Featuring 40 trailblazing black women in the world's history, this book educates and inspires as it relates true stories of women who broke boundaries and exceeded all expectations.

Debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison pairs captivating text with stunning illustrations as she tells the stories of both iconic and lesser-known female figures of black history - from nurse Mary Seacole, to politician Diane Abbott, mathematician Katherine Johnson and singer Shirley Bassey.Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models and everyday women who did extraordinary things.


Do You Know about Science by Dorling Kindersley

Publication Date: 1 March

Price: 1 March

image

Over 200 intriguing science questions - answered. This is the ideal science encyclopedia to help budding Einsteins ages 6 and up with their school and homework projects - as well as for parents who need to answer those tricky science questions. Do You Know About Science? brings subjects such as the living world, human body, the material world, energy, forces and movement, and our planet to life, with colourful pages and a fun question and answer format. Where does light come from? Can I feel forces? What is my body made of? Why is lemon juice sour? Do You Know About Science? focuses on the subjects that kids really want to know about and the questions they ask, helping them easily learn new information. From everyday questions such as what makes the light turn on, to the bigger questions like what is in space, Do You Know About Science? will satisfy even the most curious minds with an amazing collection of facts.


The Missing Ingredient by Jenny Linford

Publication Date: 8 March

Price: £18.99

image

The Missing Ingredient is about what makes good food, and the first book to consider the intrinsic yet often forgotten role of time in creating flavour. Written through a series of encounters with ingredients, producers, cooks, shopkeepers and chefs, exploring everything from the brief period in which sugar caramelises, the days required in the crucial process of fermentation in so many foods we love, to the months of slow ripening and close attention that make a great cheddar, or the years needed for certain wines to reach their peak, Jenny Linford shows how, time and again, time itself is the invisible ingredient. Linford shows how paying attention to time in the kitchen and elsewhere improves our food, from the patient browning of meat to the long investment of many food producers in fields and storehouses around the world. The result is a joyful account of the vital role of time in our culinary lives, and a book to savour.


The Incendium Plot by A D Swanston

Publication Date: 8 March

Price: £8.99

image

England, 1572. A powder keg of rumour, fanaticism, treachery and dissent. All it would take is a single spark . . . In the England of Elizabeth I, the fear of plague, invasion and the threat of insurrection are constant. As the Earl of Leicester's chief intelligencer, lawyer Dr Christopher Radcliff is tasked with investigating rumours of treachery at home and the ever-present papist threat from abroad. And with heresy and religious unrest simmering beneath the surface of a country on the brink, Radcliff is under pressure to get results. Then two brutal and seemingly motiveless killings point alert Radcliff to the whisper of a new plot against the queen. There are precious few clues and it seems that all he and his network of agents have to go on is a single word: incendium. But what does it mean - and who lies behind it? Christopher Radcliff must find out before it's too late . .


Gimson's Prime Ministers by Andrew Gimson

Publication Date: 15 March

Price: £10.99

image

A concise, sharp-witted and illuminating account of the lives of Britain's prime ministers from Walpole to May, illustrated by Martin Rowson. For the reader who has heard of such giants as Gladstone and Disraeli, and has drunk in a pub called the Palmerston, but has only the haziest idea of who these people were, Gimson's Prime Ministers offers a short account of them all which can be read for pleasure, and not just for edification.

With Gimson's wonderful prose once again complemented by Martin Rowson's inimitable illustrations, this lively and entertaining aide-memoire and work of satirical genius brings our parliamentary history to life as never before.


The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Publication Date: 22 March

Price: £8.99

image

From the author of the world-wide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: ' A beautiful novel, a tonic for the soul and a complete joy to read.' - Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep.

1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk - as long as it's vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need. Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann. Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl.

But Ilse is not what she seems.

And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind .


Beyond Weird by Philip Ball

Publication Date: 22 March

Price: £17.99

image

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.'Richard Feynman wrote this in 1965 - the year he was awarded the Nobel prize in physics for his work on quantum mechanics. Quantum physics is regarded as one of the most obscure and impenetrable subjects in all of science. But when Feynman said he didn't understand quantum mechanics, he didn't mean that he couldn't do it - he meant that's all he could do. He didn't understand what the maths was saying: what quantum mechanics tells us about reality. Over the past decade or so, the enigma of quantum mechanics has come into sharper focus. We now realise that quantum mechanics is less about particles and waves, uncertainty and fuzziness, than a theory about information: about what can be known and how. This is more disturbing than our bad habit of describing the quantum world as `things behaving weirdly' suggests. It calls into question the meanings and limits of space and time, cause and effect, and knowledge itself. The quantum world isn't a different world: it is our world, and if anything deserves to be called `weird', it's us. This exhilarating book is about what quantum maths really means - and what it doesn't mean.


Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Mario Benedetti

Publication date: 29 March

Price: £10.99

image

An extraordinary story of love and exile, from one of the great masters of the Latin American novel, translated into English for the first timeSantiago is trapped. Taken political prisoner in Montevideo after a brutal military coup, he can do nothing but write letters to his family, and try to stay sane. Far away, his nine-year-old daughter Beatrice wonders at the marvels of 1970s Buenos Aires, but her grandpa and mother - Santiago's beautiful, careworn wife, Graciela - struggle to adjust to a life in exile. Graciela fights to retain the fiery passion that suffused her marriage, her politics, her whole life, as day by day Santiago edges closer to freedom. But Santiago's rakish, reckless best friend is a constant, brooding presence in the exiles' lives, and Graciela finds herself drawn irresistibly towards him. A lucid, heart-wrenching saga of a family torn apart by the forces of history, Springtime in a Broken Mirror tells with tenderness and fury of the indelible imprint politics leaves on individual lives. Generous and unflinching, it asks whether the broken bonds of family and history can ever truly be mended.


Zoo of the New edited by Don Paterson and Nick Laird

Publication Date: 29 March

Price: £12.99

image

In The Zoo of the New, poets Don Paterson and Nick Laird have cast a fresh eye over more than five centuries of verse, from the English language and beyond. Above all, they have sought poetry that retains, in one way or another, a powerful timelessness: words with the thrilling capacity to make the time and place in which they were written, however distant and however foreign they may be, feel utterly here and now in the 21st Century.This book is the condensed result of that search. It stretches as far back as Sappho and as far forward as the recent award-winning work of Denise Riley, taking in poets as varied as Thomas Wyatt, William Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, Frank O'Hara, Sylvia Plath and Gwendolyn Brooks along the way. Here, the mournful rubs shoulders with the celebratory; the skulduggerous and the foolish with the highfalutin; and tales of love, loss and war with a menagerie of animals and objects, from bee boxes to rubber boots, a suit of armour and a microscope.Teeming with old favourites and surprising discoveries, this lovingly selected compendium is sure to win lifelong readers.

Books by local authors

There are many talented authors in the neighbourhood who have written books on all sorts of subjects. This eclectic list includes:-

Faye Bird

My Second Life

What I Couldn't Tell You?


Lil Chase

Boys for Beginners

Secrets, Lies and Locker 62

Lara's Secret

Abby's Shadow

Obi's Secret


Kevin Clarke

Off Beam Off Side Off Menu


Harald J Copenhagen

Trust Me, I'm a Doctor


Sherard Cowper-Coles

Cables from Kabul

Ever the Diplomat


Robin Duval

Bear in the Woods

Below the Thunder

Not Single Spies


Sue Elliott

The Children who Fought Hitler

Love Child

Britain's Greatest Generation


Richard Fawkes

Don Bouciault

The Classical Music Map of Britain


Christine Eborall

Stitch-up in Ealing


Alex Gerlis

The Best of our Spies

The Swiss Spy

Vienna Spies


Daphne Gloag

A Compression of Distances

Beginnings


Giles Goodland

Capital

The Dumb Messengers


Anne Harvey

Remembering Christmas

Party Pieces

Like Sorrow or a Tune


Veronica Heley

False Money

False Picture

Murder by Mistake

Murder in Mind


Mahmud Kianush

Through the Window of the Taj Mahal

The Songs of Man

The Amber Shell of Self


Jennifer C. Kelsey

A Voice of Discontent

Changing the Rules


Rory Kilalea

Colours


Sean Magee

Desert Island Discs


Jeffrey Pack

The Enigma of 13 Sandown Road: a Botanical Mystery

Love is the Air

This House


Ian D Richardson

The Mortal Maze


George Szlachetko

Wira of Warsaw


David Young

Stasi Child

Coming up

  • Light up the Lane!
image

Join us on Sunday 26 November for celebrations all along Pitshanger Lane.

We will be open from 4pm until 8pm and will have refreshments and nibbles to sustain you.

If you are aiming to do some Christmas shopping we can show you all the latest books, as well as Christmas cards, Advent Calendars and Candles, Wrapping Paper, games and lots more.

See you there!