#BookstoreoftheWeek – Winstone’s of Sherborne and Sidmouth

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Three year old Winstone’s has already made it’s mark as a must visit for all booklovers in Dorset, Devon and beyond. Owner Wayne Winstone and Helen Stickland, supported by family, bring a wealth of experience in making their bookshops as welcoming and enjoyable as the books inside.

The first Winstone’s bookshop opened in Sherborne and is home to over 9,000 titles covering all the popular genres with a particular strength in children’s books.

Wayne Winstone says, “As a bookseller there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a child engrossed in a book……we want to develop in children a life long love of books and reading.”

We hear you, Wayne!

In two years, Winstone’s has been twice named the South-West Independent Bookseller of the Year at the Bookseller Industry Awards. Last summer, the lucky town of Sidmouth got a Winstone’s to call their own. Both shops enjoy Winstone’s continuous effort to engage with the community through a strong local events programme, support for schools and events with writers and artists. Just this month, the Sherborne shop is hosting an event with the Antiques Roadshow’s, Marc Allum!

Winstone’s is also a venue for book clubs and societies or those who just want to curl up with a good book, a locally-sourced cake and a great cup of coffee.

“Our coffee is a blend of South American Arabica beans from carefully selected farms in Costa Rica and Brazil (which gives the coffee a hint of hazelnut). To these we add some Arabica from Ethiopia which helps give your coffee a fully rounded taste. We also blend in a small amount of the best Robusta beans from Uganda. This gives the coffee a great “crema” as well as an earthy red wine type of flavour.”

We need some now!

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The staff of both stores have a background in book-selling, coming from Waterstones, Blackwells, Booklore and Ottakar. They know a good book when they see one and will be happy to recommend if you find yourself a bit overwhelmed with their wonderful selection! Make sure to take a look at their We Are Currently Loving… on their website. If you have something in mind, you’re sure to find it but if not, they will order it and usually have it to store for you within 24 hours.

Winstone’s – bringing together communities and their favourite books since 2012.

Winstone’s Sherborne

8 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset DT93PX

01935 816128

winstonebooks1@gmail.com

Winstone’s Sidmouth

10 High Street, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 8EL

01395 579969

winstonebooks2@gmail.com

Twitter @winstoneSid

Opening Times

9.00-5.30 – Monday to Saturday

Bookstore of the Week – Salts Mill Gallery & Bookshop

Happy New Year ladies and Gentlemen!

We would like to introduce you to our first Bookstore of the Week of 2015…

*Drum roll Please* 

Salts Mill Gallery & Bookshop in West Yorkshire.

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Salts Mill Gallery & Bookshop is set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saltaire, in a Grade II Listed historic mill building built in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt. Home to four galleries (the Mill is home to a permanent exhibition on David Hockney’s work), a selection of places to eat and drink, and spaces to rent Salts Mill creates a hive of culture truly underpinned by history.

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The main bookshop is upstairs and has an eclectic mix of books on all subjects. Housed in a beautiful and spacious stone hall, it retains clear traces of its industrial past; the stone floor, cast iron columns, metal pulley and huge windows.

Little history trivia for you, the quality of light was important to the cloth-manufacturing processes in the mill.

Occupying half of one of the huge galleries on the second floor of the West Mill, the bookstore has the luxury of displaying a significant number of titles on tables rather than shelves. Exposing the eye to a rainbow of covers and encouraging even the most prudent to pick-up a book (or two).

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It can be quite a busy place, especially at weekends, so there is a satisfying buzz about it, but it’s also a space made for quiet browsing. The shop is enhanced by all the artwork on the walls; many are Hockney prints but some are the work of other artists.

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Salts Mill Bookshop is the kind of shop you could linger in all day, the placement of everything is designed so that book covers and spines sit in intriguing harmony. We couldn’t recommend visiting more highly, but we do suggest taking someone with you, party to share the love, partly to make sure you don’t buy one of everything…

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Planning a Visit?

Salts Mill,
Shipley,
Saltaire,
West Yorkshire
BD18 3LA,
UK

Tel: 01274 531163 (General Enquiries, Galleries, Cafe in to the Opera, Salts Diner)

Fax: 01274 531184


Email : post@saltsmill.org.uk

Find out more at http://www.saltsmill.org.uk/

Merry Christmas from Abrams and Chronicle Books

We hope your day is filled with festive fun and charm.

We wanted to share our own festive cheer with a glance at the 1914 Christmas Truce, that started on Christmas Eve 100 years ago, through John Hendrix’s book Shooting At The Stars.

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Shooting at the Stars is the moving story of a young British soldier on the front lines during World War I in 1914, writing a letter home to his mother describing his unforgettable Christmas Eve.

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Despite fierce fighting from both sides, both German and Allied soldiers ceased firing and came together on the battle field to celebrate the holiday. They sang Christmas carols, exchanged gifts and played football. But as the sun began to rise, they returned to their separate trenches and waited for the battle to begin again.

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Interweaving beautiful illustrations with hand-lettered text, author and illustrator John Hendrix tells a story that celebrates the humanity and kindness that can persist even during the darkest periods of our history.

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Very Merry Christmas one and all.

#BookstoreoftheWeek – X Marks the Bökship

Our #BookstoreoftheWeek is, in their own words, ‘like a bookshop, but not’, it’s X Marks the Bökship!

X Marks the Bökship is a bookshop and project space for independent publishers in London. Born and raised sharing a space with Donlon Books, X Marks the Bökship grew up and moved to Cambridge Heath Road from 2008 – 2014 before finding it’s current home at Matt’s Gallery in Mile End.

They specialise in works by indie publishers,works and projects by artists and designers, journals and discourse. They promote contemporary publishing activity through book launches, events and production resources that bring together individual practitioners to create a local publishing community. A treasure trove for the rare, the beautiful and the ‘I don’t know how I ever lived without this book’ book. All of which you can buy on their online shop.

The bookshop host I’VE NEVER READ HER, an amazing bookshop focusing on short fiction & essays by women, every second Wednesday of the month. Everybody welcome, just bring a bottle (or not) and your thoughts. This incredible club also host screenings and events around the texts that they read.

Interesting alternative bookshop, with a lot on offer. Give them a visit!

X Marks the Bökship

^ Matt’s Gallery

42 – 44 Copperfield Road
Mile End
London E3 4RR

https://twitter.com/MattsGallery

https://twitter.com/Bokship

Bookstore of the Week – London Review Bookshop

This week we are celebrating a gem in the heart of London; the London Review Bookshop.

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Nestled in Bloomsbury, a (Rosetta) stones throw from The British Museum it is a peaceful place for book lovers to meet, browse a multitude of titles and snack on delicious tea and cake. Oh, the cakes! When you visit make sure you leave time for a cup of tea and room for a slice of their Flourless Chocolate Cake.

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This store may be but a baby by London standards, opening it’s doors in 2003, but it’s all the better for not fitting the Dickensian mould. London Review Bookshop was included in the Independent’s Ten Best Bookshops in the world for providing endless nourishment for London’s minds and waistlines. Founded by the magazine of the same name, the London Review Bookshop fills its two floors with fiction, non-fiction and rare edition books; a treasure trove for book lovers. The lovely staff can not be faulted and will help you find your way around characters, clothbounds, criticism and cake. The London Review Bookshop is your best bet for books that can’t be found elsewhere, their sections are comprehensive and crammed with diverse and interesting subjects and titles. It really is all about the books and you’ll feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast as you can grab a stepladder to reach something wonderful from the top shelves. The café and bookshop atmosphere is great for studying, catching up on emails or writing the next great British novel. Although, if you write it in the London Review Bookshop, the next great British novel will be about carrot cake.

Whether they come for the books and stay for the cake, or come for the cake and stay for the books, the London Review Bookshop have built up a loyal customer base, who can tell you why it is more than worthy to be our #BookstoreoftheWeek much better than we can:

Now that you are convinced, take a look for yourself, find them at:

And on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

Secret Sidekicks – D.James’s Personal Assistant

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The Who, The What, and The When; and illustrated love letter to the people (and pets!) behind some of histories most legendary figures.

Meet, JOYCE MCLENNAN 1943 – D. JAMES’S PERSONAL ASSISTANT

When Joyce McLennan takes a London bus to work, the slender woman with patrician features arrives at the Holland Park home of multi-award-winning English writer P. D. James, the queen of British mystery, creator of detective and poet Adam Dalgliesh. She is also known as Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, recipient of seven honorary doctorates and four honorary fellowships, and a life peer in the House of Lords; but, after thirty-seven years of working together, to McLennan the esteemed author is simply “Phyllis.” McLennan was hired after the publication of James’s seventh novel.

McLennan’s intelligence and organisation complement her natural kindness. James notes in her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest, that McLennan is “unfailingly good-tempered,” a quality James could count on as her popularity rose and, with it, the demands on her time: “She is high among the small group of friends on whom I can rely to keep me sane.” Their process evolved from McLennan’s original job as part-time typist, working from home and raising two young children. Then, James would dictate a tape from her handwritten notes. McLennan or her husband, Mike, who worked for James’s publisher, Faber & Faber, would often pick up the tape, sometimes hidden at James’s side gate in a large china pig. Today, McLennan transcribes into a computer and prints pages for James to edit, leaving the famed mystery author to concentrate on research, plotting, and writing.

The increasing time needed to attend to the business side of being a successful author found James and McLennan tackling the mail together, which soon spread to modern e-mails and includes requests for photos, autographs, signed books for charity auctions, interviews and advice. When James travelled, McLennan would deal with incoming mail and day-to-day matters in her absence, leading James to say: “What would I ever do without her?” In recent years she has taken to accompanying James on longer trips.

Working alongside a popular figure serving on various committees, McLennan’s support sees the baroness through all of these activities, from chairing the Booker Prize panel of judges to a sixteen-year tenancy as president of the Society of Authors. After James’s appointment to the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission, McLennan’s humour showed in her response to its bulging paperwork. She created a file labelled “God.”

McLennan has remained an unobtrusive ally to James, someone UK journalist Kate Kellaway terms “secretary, friend and all-round prop.” James hints at the closeness of their relationship in her Author’s Note from 2001’s Death in Holy Orders: “I am particularly grateful to my secretary, Mrs. Joyce McLennan, whose help with this novel went far beyond her skill with a computer.”

Both genteel women appear most unlikely a duo to be so steeped in murder and betrayal. Yet the work ethic to produce complex mysteries persists, and when James recuperated from cardiac issues in a private Oxford hospital, McLennan travelled from London twice a week to help finish work on the most recent Dalgleish novel, The Private Patient. James is known for her sense of setting and the psychological depths she brings to her mysteries, as well as her strong descriptions, as in this excerpt from that same novel: “There was only the crack of the smashed bottle, like a pistol shot, the stink of whisky, a moment of searing pain which passed almost as soon as she felt it and the warm blood flowing from her check, dripping onto the seat of the chair, her mother’s anguished cry.”

McLennan’s calm, steadfast backing has allowed the author to continue writing into her nineties, yet she is rarely photographed or interviewed. A native of Pinner in the Middlesex area, McLennan is now a widow, and with her boys grown and out on their own, she shares her home in the west London suburb of Ealing with two cats, Tyler and Rafferty.

After decades of Joyce McLennan’s service as James’s trusted aide, it should come as no surprise that when James combined her two lifelong enthusiasms—writing detective fiction and the novels of Jane Austen—to create her sequel to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, she chose this fitting dedication for 2011’s Death Comes to Pemberley:

To Joyce McLennan

Friend and personal assistant who has typed

my novels for thirty-five years

With affection and gratitude

written by MARNI GRAFF

www.auntiemwrites.com

illustrated by JULIA ROTHMAN

www.juliarothman.com

Secret Sidekicks – EDGAR ALLAN POE’S FOSTER FATHER

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Partners and Spouses,

Muses and Lovers,

Relatives and Assistnats,

Neighbours and Friends…

These are the unsung heroes of history.

Discover another literary #SecretSidekicks from The Who, The What, and the When:

JOHN ALLAN 1779 – 1834EDGAR ALLAN POE’S FOSTER FATHER

John and Frances Allan of Richmond, Virginia, brought Edgar Poe to live with them in 1811, when he was two years old. Edgar was an orphan. His father, David Poe, had died sometime during the preceding year, his mother, Eliza, early that December. At first, the informal adoption by an affluent businessman without children of his own seemed like a happy one: Frances

Allan and her maiden sister, who resided with the Allan’s, doted on the boy. Household accounts show that Edgar was well provided with books and toys, and in his correspondence John mentions Edgar often and with pride. In surviving early letters, Edgar addresses Allan as “My dear Pa.”

But by the time that Edgar Allan Poe was a student at the new University of Virginia in 1826, something in this relationship had gone wrong. The evidence is incomplete and conflicting, so it is hard to tell exactly what transpired. Poe claimed that Allan, having agreed to support him in his studies, left him without sufficient funds to pay his tuition, room and board. He was forced to turn to gambling, he said, as a last resort to pay his bills, and he ended up in debt. For his part, Allan seems to have formed a bad opinion of Poe’s character during the boy’s adolescence, calling him miserable, sulky, ill-tempered and without gratitude. He claimed that he had come to Charlottesville to pay all of Poe’s debts, apart from those incurred through gambling. It’s not clear whether he indeed did this, or whether he did or did not help Poe find employment later on that year.

What caused the rift? There is no satisfying answer to this question, though Allan’s own biography offers some clues. During Poe’s childhood, Allan suffered financial losses when his attempt to establish his trading business, Ellis & Allan, in London failed. Could this have made him feel less generous, or act less patiently toward his foster son? After the Allan family returned to Richmond, Allan was unfaithful to his wife. Poe, who was devoted to Frances, may have known about this, disapproved, and treated Allan coldly. Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that what started as a warm, supportive relationship devolved into fractiousness and mutual dislike, such that Allan in his “recommendation” for Poe to West Point wrote: “Frankly, sir, do I declare he is no relation to me whatever.” When Poe’s foster father was dying, he went to visit him. (John Allan was remarried by then and had a legitimate heir). Edgar had to physically push aside John’s second wife to get to him. As he approached, Allan raised his cane to strike Poe if he came closer and ordered him out of the room. This was the last time that they met.

Allan’s influence on Poe, then, is complicated, to say the least. He was the reason that Poe gained an education. He took Poe abroad, his first and only journey outside the United States. This encounter with the Old World, with the long settled, storied landscapes of England and Scotland, fed the settings of Poe’s fiction. But what about Allan’s rejection of Poe, whether justifiable or not? Allan was one of a list of parental figures to abandon Poe during his young life. So many of Poe’s stories center on houses and families that have turned from noble and grand to unfamiliar, decadent and broken, and on people who at first appear to be one thing but are actually something else entirely. The uncanny, the unheimlich, is most fundamentally a feeling that the skin may slip off the world at any moment, that what is familiar, homey, and welcoming may turn strange and hostile without warning. Clearly, Poe’s early experiences could have engendered such a sense of things. This cannot be attributed entirely to John Allan. But Allan’s apparent inconsistency, his inexplicably altered affections for his foster son, can’t have done anything to dispel this frightening outlook that so permeates Poe’s fiction.

written by EMILY MITCHELL

sites.google.com/site/lastsummeroftheworldbook

illustrated by BYRON EGGENSCHWILER

www.byronegg.com

The Cure For Dreaming

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“The Metropolitan Theater simmered with the heat of more than a thousand bodies packed together in red velvet chairs. My nose itched from the lingering scent of cigarette smoke wafting off the gentlemen’s coats—a burning odor that added to the sensation that we were all seated inside a beautiful oven, waiting to be broiled. Even the cloud of warring perfumes hanging over the audience smelled overcooked, like toast gone crisp and black.”

Cat Winters returns with another spectacular novel; The Cure For Dreaming. Just like In the Shadow of Blackbirds (now out in paperback) the evocative story is offset by archival images dotted throughout the chapters.These images give tangible context to the story and they add to the general splendor of the package. When you remove the printed jacket to reveal a deep purple and silver leather-esq hardcover you know you are in for something special. Even the font, on creamy white pages, draws you in.

Image Credit:<br /><br />
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.<br /><br />
pp.78-79

Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. pp.78-79

The Cure For Dreaming seamlessly stitches together history, vivid characters and a story you can’t put-down. In this case, Cat seamlessly blends the struggles of the women’s suffrage movement with hypnotism, Dracula and a vivacious protagonist.This is a book not to be missed.

Image Credit:<br /><br />
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.<br /><br />
pp.164Image Credit:<br /><br />
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.<br /><br />
pp.40Image Credit:<br /><br />
Courtesy U.S. National Library of Medicine.<br /><br />
pp.90

i. Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. pp.164

ii. Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. pp.40

iii. Image Credit: Courtesy U.S. National Library of Medicine. pp.90

But don’t take our word for it…

“I feel like you should all read and love The Cure for Dreaming. Because it was honestly a perfect book. The writing is gorgeous. Which I knew it would be. And the story is full of heart and so perfect. And the characters. Sigh. Cat is amazing at writing characters that I fall in love with. So yes. You should all go pre-order this book right away. Because you will need to read it when it comes out in October. It will be worth it.” Five Star review from Carina Olsen.

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“The ending was bittersweet, it made me feel both sad and hopeful. All in all, The Cure for Dreaming was a deliciously compelling read full of atmosphere and allure.” Five Star review from The Page Turner

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“For those of you wanting to fall in love with reading again, this is certainly the book for you. There is nothing that keeps you glued to the pages quite so strongly as injustice and a small group of people who rally against it, which this book has in spades. Try as I might to find fault with the story, I was unable to, so it would be completely unfair to judge this book to be anything other than a five out of five and a must-read.” 5* review on The Bookbag

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The Cure for Dreaming proves the potential, relevance, and importance of YA fiction. It’s entertaining, educational and mystical. YA naysayers may have just met their match.” Starburst Magazine

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“With great imagination, an interesting twist, historical photographs, and a fresh voice, Cat Winters is a true talent to be celebrated. Whatever this author writes, I want!” Kate Ormand

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“After this, there is no more doubt: Cat Winters is an unstoppable literary force. She does her research, she combines fact with simply marvelous fiction, she touches our hearts and somehow teaches us all a valuable lesson in the process. What more could we possibly want?” – The Nocturnal Library

Image Credit:<br /><br />
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.<br /><br />
pp.344-345

Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. pp.344-345

Stepping out of London and into Bookstore Of The Week…

Stepping out of London for this week’s #BookstoreOfTheWeek and venturing all the way to literary Bath into the wonderful Topping and Company Booksellers!

They have a seemingly unending range, a selection of carefully wrapped signed copies and an atmosphere that is entirely unique to Topping & Company Booksellers.

The shelves are packed with books, none of which you’ll be able to put down. We’re a fan of any bookshop that understands our simple equation; cup of tea + good book = happiness, and with complimentary tea and books galore you’ll spend an ecstatic afternoon in Topping & Company. And when you finally emerge from a chapter and into the world, this treasure trove will undoubtedly have a gap or two in it’s many stacks and you’ll take a little bit of Topping and Company happiness home with you.

They have events galore with Will Self, Michael Rosen and Margaret Atwood making appearances in the book-lined walls over the next month! The staff are nothing shy of amazing, each one is well-read and delightful.Topping & Company also regularly feature their own themed selections offering something a little different. Currently, they’re celebrating The Topping Alternative Booker – 12 of their favourite novels that WEREN’T on The Man Booker list. It’s original, it’s enticing, it’s Topping & Company!

Don’t worry if you’re not near Bath, Toppings & Company Booksellers can also be found in Ely and are coming soon to St Andrews!

Find out more and hear from Topping & Company Booksellers here:

http://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/ToppingsBath

https://www.facebook.com/ToppingsBath

The BEST Little bookshop we know.

We are throwing in a bit of a curve ball with this week’s Bookstore of the Week!

Today we are celebrating the online bookstore, Best Little Bookshop. This beautiful website may not be a bookshop you can walk into but it has the passion and heart of it’s more tangible companions.

Starting with the vision & passion to do something different with bookselling online & adding in the wish to recapture some of the magic & essence of professional bookselling Best Little Bookshop was born.

The idea is a simple one & we love it because it is driven by the simplest of things; a love of books, real books, real pages, that real book smell. AND not just a love of traditional fiction, but of the unique, the creative, the totally wacky (all things A&CB!). We were delighted to see Jim Curious, Lines For All Occasions, Hide & Eek AND Literary Listography on the home page. Each of these titles is an example of why bookstores (both online & on the high street) are so important. They are books that only work as tangible products. They are objects people WANT in their homes, that people WANT to share, that people WANT to give as gifts. They are the reason we love what we do!

So Best Little Bookshop we raise our glasses to you – THREE CHEERS to beautiful books! To books you can still write notes in the margins of & to books you can share with friends.

For amazing bookish gifts (one for you and one for someone you love) and to read all about their story visit them at http://www.bestlittlebookshop.com/

P.S – Send them a note if you can think of a great way to spread the Best Little Bookshop love & they’ll handpick a book just for you! E-mail them your ideas at mememe@bestlittlebookshop.com,