• 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 of the Week

Michael Tippett: the Biography by Oliver Soden

Image for Michael Tippett : The Biography

The music of the British composer Michael Tippett - including the oratorio A Child of Our Time, five operas, and four symphonies - is among the most visionary of the twentieth century. But little has been written about his extraordinary life. In this long-awaited first biography, Oliver Soden weaves a century-spanning narrative of epic scope and penetrating insight. Soden has discovered troves of unpublished letters and manuscripts, and recorded moving interviews with Tippett's friends and colleagues. He paints a portrait of a powerful intellect and infectious personality: charming, stubborn, and great fun. But he also uncovers the sorrows and secrets that Tippett stowed away beneath his cheerfulness, not least the darker reaches of some tempestuous and often tragic love affairs. Soden's achievement is to have enriched our understanding not only of Tippett but of his times. Figures such as T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Barbara Hepworth, and W.H. Auden jostle in the cast list. An Edwardian world of gaslight and empire cedes to turmoil and warfare; one startling revelation is the extent of Tippett's involvement in the fiery left-wing politics of the 1930s. The narrative roves from the mining villages of the north, blighted by unemployment, to a cell at Wormwood Scrubs, where Tippett was imprisoned as a conscientious objector. Later chapters uncover his operas' game-changing attitudes to gay and civil rights, against a backdrop of the Cold War and the Space Race. And singing from the page comes the music, through which Soden charts an exquisitely written course, offering lucid readings of Tippett's most famous works while resuscitating forgotten masterpieces. The result is a landmark in the study of twentieth-century culture, simultaneously an astonishing feat of scholarship and a story as enthralling as in any great novel.


Book at Bedtime

Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend

Image for Adrian Mole and The Weapons of Mass Destruction

Wednesday April 2nd My birthday. I am thirty-five today. I am officially middle-aged.

It is all downhill from now. A pathetic slide towards gum disease, wheelchair ramps and death.

Adrian Mole is middle-aged but still scribbling. Working as a bookseller and living in Leicester's Rat Wharf; finding time to write letters of advice to Tim Henman and Tony Blair; locked in mortal combat with a vicious swan called Gielgud; measuring his expanding bald spot; and trying to win-over the voluptuous Daisy . . . Adrian yearns for a better more meaningful world.

But he's not ready to surrender his pen yet...

Bestselling author Sue Townsend was Britain's favourite comic writer for over three decades.

Pitzhanger Manor

Image for Pitzhanger Manor : John Soane's Country Home

The story of this remarkable house and of its creator, whose influence is as strong today as ever. Sir John Soane was one of Britain's most influential architects when he designed and built Pitzhanger Manor between 1800 and 1804.

He intended this country estate to reflect his new-found social status and to showcase both his skills as an architect and his eclectic collection of art and antiquities.

Newly conserved and returned to his original design, Pitzhanger is a rare London example of a spectacular Soane building.

This guide tells the story of this remarkable house and of its creator, whose influence is as strong today as ever.

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

Image for Transcription

 

1. Transcription by Kate Atkinson

2. Pitzhanger Manor: John Soane's Country Home

3. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

4. Kind by Alison Green

5. A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

6. Take Nothing with You by Patrick Gale

7. The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley

8. Wilding by Isabella Tree

9. Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell

10.The Only Story by Julian Barnes

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 Favourite

This film starring Olivia Coleman is about Queen Anne and her close relationship with Sarah Churchill, all of which is covered in this excellent book by Joanne Limburg.

Image for A Want of Kindness : A Novel of Queen Anne

Every time I see the King and the Queen, I am reminded of what it is I have done, and then I am afraid, I am beyond all expression afraid. The wicked, bawdy Restoration court is no place for a child princess. Ten-year-old Anne cuts an odd figure: a sickly child, she is drawn towards improper pursuits. Cards, sweetmeats, scandal and gossip with her Ladies of the Bedchamber figure large in her life. But as King Charles's niece, Anne is also a political pawn, who will be forced to play her part in the troubled Stuart dynasty. As Anne grows to maturity, she is transformed from overlooked Princess to the heiress of England. Forced to overcome grief for her lost children, the political manoeuvrings of her sister and her closest friends and her own betrayal of her father, she becomes one of the most complex and fascinating figures of English history.

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 4 of us working here at various times: myself, Hazel, Ruth and Vanda. 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.

Coming up

  • Watch this Space
Image result for book event pitshanger bookshop

We have several events coming up over the next few months but we are just firming up details.

More to follow.....