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/

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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!

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

 

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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!

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

To Dublin, with love.

 

To Dublin with love, this week’s #BookstoreOfTheWeek is Hodges Figgis!

Hodges Figgis is the largest and oldest bookstore in Ireland, founded in 1768. It’s noteriety is such that it even got a mention in James Joyce’s Ulysses:

”She, she, she. What she? The virgin at Hodges Figgis’ window on Monday looking in for one of the alphabet books you were going to write.”

If it’s good enough for James Joyce and all that.

The green and gold front is enough to excite any booklover who finds themselves outside it’s beautiful Dawson Street windows. Inside, there is a vast array of books, events and lovely staff who will lead you to your book if you can’t find it amongst the shelves. The store has everything you could ask for (and, if they don’t have it, the staff will usually order what you’re looking for just for you!) Once you visit once you’ll be yearning to visit again so be sure to sign up to the Hodges Figgis loyalty card for super savings! They used to have a coffee shop but closed it to make room for more books. MORE BOOKS. Hodges Figgis are a bookstore after our own heart.

A literary and cultural delight, the three floors are filled with packed bookshelves marked as Gaelige and a wide range of books from Irish authors who they consistently champion. Beyond Dawson Street, the Hodges Figgis Dublin City University store provides literary procrastination (and actual university textbooks) to students including our own Emma (but we’re not biased we swear, see for yourself!)

-https://abramsandchronicle.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

56-58 Dawson Street
Dublin 2

+353 (0)1 6774754

Opening Hours:

9am-7pm Mon-Wed, Fri

9am-8pm Thur

9am-6pm Sat

noon-6pm Sun

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hodges-Figgis/381680888618026

https://twitter.com/hodges_figgis

Five Questions Monday

Image ©Bogie Uram

Star of today’s Five Question Monday is Andrea Beaty, the wonderful author behind Rosie Revere, Engineer; Iggy Peck architect and the brand new Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau!

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

At a diner booth watching the drizzly world go by as I sip hot coffee and riddle over a storyline.

2. What’s your favourite joke?  

The Reverse Knock Knock Joke. You start …

3. What film character are you most like?

The Cowardly Lion. If I only had the noive.

4. What is the first book you ever read?

Dick and Jane. I am old.

5. Would you rather have to greet everyone with a high five or a fist bump for the rest of your life? (imagine fist bumping in an interview!?)  

I would prefer to greet everyone with interpretive dance.

Thank you Andrea, we would LOVE to great everyone with interpretive dance!

Top Five Tips for surviving National Novel Writing Month

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National Novel Writing Month was born on the 1st July 1999 when Chris Baty and 21 friends each set out to write a novel, in ONE month. It sounds daft and frankly terrifying! But bear with me, it’s been going since we partied like it was 1999, in 1999, so there has to be something to it.

The first month is laid out in the introduction of Chris’s guide to participating in National Novel Writing Month; No Plot? No Problem! so I wont divulge to much here, but in Chris’s own words…

“The short version is that our novels, despite our questionable motives and pitiful experience, came out okay. Not great. But not horrible, either. And, more surprising than that, the writing process had been really, really fun.

And after the noveling ended on August 1, my sense of what was possible for myself, and those around me, was forever changed. If my friends and I could write passable novels in a month, I knew, anyone could do it.

Which is how the whole thing really got rolling.”

The years went by with, as you would expect, successes and failures but also “overly complicated T-shirt schemes” and Tony Danza…all leading us to the present day and the 16th year of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

You can read more about the history of Novel Writing Month on the website…http://nanowrimo.org/history

On this 16th Year chroniclebooks have brought out a revised, updated and expanded edition of No Plot? No Problem! complete with new tips, tricks and advice from 15 years of experience. We have pulled out our Top Five here to get you started.

Notebooks at the ready…

1. Find the time…

It is the reason those of us who dream of writing a novel don’t…

“I don’t have the time”

Chris lay’s out how to find the time with a beautifully simple system (there are even treats involved!) Finding Your Forgo-able with the Time Finder

Here is how it works: Before bed every night sit down and write down everything you did that day, i.e;

7.30-8.00 Got ready for work

8.00 – 8.45 Commute

8.45 – 9.00 Brought coffee

9.05 – 10.00 Breakfast & e-mails at my desk

etc…

Once you have completed your daily log reward yourself with a treat, go to sleep and repeat for one week. Once you have your week schedule underline every REQUIRED activity in red; basic hygiene requirements, what you need to do to keep your job, eating. Next mark the HIGHLY DESIRED in a different colour. If push came to shove you could do without these for a month, but would cause major stress or hardship, like getting your daily caffeine fix and attending birthday parties. Finally mark all the FORGO-ABLE activities that you can give up for a month. Like Facebook stalking, online shopping, TV watching and even recreational reading. Add-up how many hours you spend on average doing these FORGO-ABLE activities (be honest!) These are the hours you will over the next 30 days dedicate to your novel…

Now that you have the time and still have a job, a life, friends…

2. Turning Close Friends into Obligations…

A friendly pat on the back wont keep you writing…but fear is your new best friend.

Without a certain amount of terror pushing you towards your goal you will lost momentum and quit. But your friends and family can terrify you in  ways you never imagined…

i. Bragging; the more you brag about you novel the more expectation from friends and family.

ii. Put a bet on it; this could be money for forfeits . Think Ross in Friends encouraging Joey to write his play…

3. Don’t write withing view of a bed…

The lure of a nap is simply too great!

4. The Power of Headphones.

Headphones with or without music create a social buffer around you. They also dampen the outside world.

5. Keeping Beth from Bertha.

As you christen each of your characters write their names down on an easily accessed piece of paper or computer file. You will be amazed how easily the names “drift” and Mick becomes Mike…

So there are, your five tips to get you started! Chris has plenty more advice, sure to get your ready for your 30 day challenge, in his book and online on the National Novel Writing Month website.

Ready? Set, NOVEL!

Feel like joining in? There is still time to sign-up!

http://nanowrimo.org/

No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty £9.99 – Paperback – OUT NOW.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…

It is that time again…

It’s time for Bookstore of the Week! 

This week we are celebrating a little North London gem; Picked Pepper Books.

A specialist children’s bookshop,cafe and events space in the the village like Crouch End, they host daily pre-school events and after school groups; like their Young Illustrators and creative writing groups.They also have a a fantastic book group!

This little store is the place to be for little readers this half-term they even have a Halloween special Once Upon a Story Time! *Spooky*

We think that Pickled Pepper Books deserves a huge round of applause for the work they do to encourage and create young-readers. They go above and beyond the scope of such a little space. So for being small but mighty Picked Pepper we are giving you a massive HIGH FIVE!

SO grab your grown-up and take a stroll to discover storytelling, make and do, film screenings, author/illustrator events (psst…Mum & Dad they also do great recommendations…)

But if you can’t make it there be sure to sign-up to their newsletter and follow them on twitter! They can also be found on Facebook.

Find them at 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End, London, N8 8PL

http://pickledpepperbooks.co.uk/

Five Questions Monday

We asked the lovely Molly Idle to take our little Five Questions Monday Quiz, we laughed maybe a little too hard at the joke…

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

Scrambled or sunny side up! Come to think of it, those two terms describe the two most common states of my mornings too…

2.       What’s your favorite joke?

A man walks into a bar… Ouch.

3.       What film character are you most like?

Hmm…. I’ve frequently been called Mollyanna, because I’m an eternal optimist. So, I’d say I’m most like Hailey Mills portrayal of, Pollyanna… ever playing the Glad Game.

4.       What is the first book you ever read?

All by myself? I believe it was Cinderella. My mom still tells the story of how dramatic and distressed my recitation became when the stepsisters shredded the dress the mice made for Cinderella.  “They tore off the trimmings and ripped off the sash and her dress was RUINED!”

5.       Would you rather dance with a Penguin or a Flamingo?

I would rather see a Penguin dance with a Flamingo!

Thank you Molly! We would also like to see a Penguin dance with a Flamingo, we reckon it would look akin to a ballroom dance competition.*

*Penguins look like they wear tuxedos & flamingo pink is a great colour for a ballgown….