#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.

Five Questions Monday

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With the countdown to Ensnared leaving us impatient for all things Splintered we asked the amazing A.G Howard to take our Five Questions Monday Quiz…

1.How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I’m not picky, as long as the egg doesn’t sit on a brick wall where he can easily fall off. I don’t have any king’s men or horses around to help me put him together again.

2.What’s your favourite joke?

Q: What did one eye say to the other eye?

A: Don’t look now, but something between us smells.

3.What film character are you most like?

Well, a really awesome blogger that I know once did a post on authors who were secretly animated characters. I was Astrid from How to Train Your Dragon, so let’s go with that.

4.What is the first book you ever read?

The first book I ever read by myself as a child was Dr. Suess’s The Cat in the Hat.

5.Would you rather live in Wonderland or in the Human Realm?

Both.

I’m a Gemini, and although I’m not a close follower of astrology, since I unofficially have a twin side, I will choose the human realm, and she can choose Wonderland. 😉

Ensnared is out in January, pre-order your copy now!

#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.

 

Show Us Your Shelves!

A life lived orderly is something we dream of here at A&CB, with our shelves bowing with books. So, we are taking steps forward with inspiration from Fritz Karch and Rebecca Robertson; experts in the world of styling, collecting and decorating. Their new book Collected: Living with the Things You Love in chock full of thoughtful style demonstrating both the beauty and the whimsy at the heart of collecting.

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Pg. 91 Image credit: © Vivian Pickles

Collected runs through 15 styles; THE Modest-ist, THE Exceptionalist, THE Minimalist, THE Maximalist, THE Miniaturist, THE Colourist, THE Neutralist, THE Machinist, THE Zooloogist, THE Containerist, THE Artificialist, THE Naturalist, THE Seasonalist, THE Pragmatist and THE Fantasist. Separated into chapters, Karch & Robertson delve into the psyche of these categories and illustrate each with beautiful photographs of prized collections. We, of course, were drawn to the gratifying displays of books.

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Pg. 90 Image credit: © Dana Gallagher

We are pretty sure our shelves are erring on the MAXIMALIST end of the spectrum, they are definitely full of books of all shapes, sizes and genres. So we took inspiration from Karch & Robertson and found new beauty on our shelves. What do you think?

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Got your own beautiful collection of books? Share your #shelfies with us on Twitter & Instagram.

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

Secret Sidekicks

 

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The Who, The What and, The When -A love letter to the unsung heroes of history. Including some literary geniuses…

Ever wondered who inspired Roald Dahl’s stories?

SOFIE MAGDALENE (HESSELBERG) DAHL 1885 – 1967

ROALD DAHL’S MOTHER

An old, wrinkled grandmother fills out every inch of an armchair, chewing with relish on a foul-smelling black cigar, in the Witches, one of the many popular children’s stories written by Roald Dahl. Smoke encircles her large body as she tells the young main character the “gospel truth” about how to identify witches. “She was a wonderful story-teller and I was enthralled by everything she told me,” the character narrates.

The description purposefully echoes how Roald thought of his own mother, Sofie. He based the grandmother’s character on her in a tribute to “undoubtedly the absolute primary influence on my own life,” Roald says in More About Boy, an expanded version of his memoir of his earlier years.

The Norwegian Sofie married Roald’s father, Harald, in 1911, and she moved to Wales to be with him and his two children from a previous marriage. She had three children of her own, two girls and Roald, before her seven-year-old daughter, Astri, died from appendicitis in 1920. Only three weeks later, Harald also passed away from pneumonia, leaving a pregnant Sofie alone to raise her soon-to-be five children.

Rather than return to Norway to live with her parents, she respected her late husband’s wishes that she stay in Wales and have her children educated in British schools. And despite her children’s mischievous activities while growing up, she was “a rock, a real rock, always on your side whatever you’d done,” Roald noted. “It gave me the most tremendous feeling of security.” Roald was her favourite child, and although the family called him “Boy,” she also called him “Apple.”

To entertain the children, Sofie told tales, pulling creative inspiration from folklore from her home country. “When we were young, she told us stories about Norwegian trolls and all the other mythical Norwegian creatures that lived in the dark pine forests, for she was a great teller of tales,” Roald wrote in More About Boy. “Her memory was prodigious and nothing that ever happened to her in her life was forgotten.”

Roald reciprocated this creative storytelling when Sofie enrolled him into boarding school when he was nine years old. He started writing letters to Sofie, telling stories about his life that meant to entertain and amuse.

In one letter in 1929, after Sofie gave him a pair of roller skates for his birthday, Roald tells his mother about skating in his school’s yard. “At one time I had eight chaps pulling me with a long rope, at a terrific lick, and I sat down in the middle of it,” Roald wrote. “My bottom is all blue now!”

From those very first letters until Sofie died thirty-two years later in 1967, he wrote her at least once a week whenever he was not home, including his time in school, when he worked with the Shell Oil company in Africa, and when he flew with the Royal Air Force in the Mediterranean during World War II.

Sofie secretly collected every single letter, amounting to more than six hundred from 1925 until 1945, into neat bundles with green tape, according to Roald. Only one term’s worth of letters are missing: the fall of 1928, which were damaged in a bombing in 1940. At the bottom of each letter, he signed his love with his given name—all except his first semester at boarding school, when he simply wrote “love from Boy.”

written by JACKI E LEAVITT

www.jackie-leavitt.com

illustrated by J ENSINE ECKWALL

www.jensineeckwall.com

The Who, The What and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History, reveals 65 people you’ve probably never heard of, but who helped shape the word as we know it. Muses and neighbours, friends and relatives, accomplices and benefactors, such as Michael and Joy Brown, who gifted Harper Lee a year’s worth of wages to help her write To Kill a Mockingbird. Or John Ordway, the colleague who walked with Lewis and Clark every step of the way. Each eye-opening story of these unsung heroes is written by a notable historian and illustrated by a top indie artist, making The Who, the What, and the When a treasure trove of word and image for history buffs, art lovers and anyone who rejoices in unexpected discovery.

Want to find out more? Follow the #SecretSidekicks hashtag!