Life in the bookshop is always filled with mind-blowing new books, gems of literature that you never knew you needed and a community of wit, knowledge and talent. It is only until you have a week like this, at the end of a grey and rather cold February, that you realise how truly incredible the people are behind the books and how much more wit, knowledge and, especially, talent there is in the literary world. We had the privilege of being joined by two men who need no introduction and their reputation alone got us all excited about their visit to the shop. Chris Riddell, award winning author and illustrator, political cartoonist for The Observer, illustrator of works by Neil Gaiman, cover artist for The Literary Review… the list goes on, arrived one perfectly ordinary Wednesday lunchtime, but from the moment he entered the shop there was something magical that happened. His pure and natural, rather astounding, talent as an illustrator was so much more than inspiring; it was infectious and quite simply left us all speechless… for once! Drawing our favourite characters from his series Goth Girl, and portraits from Ottoline, we felt as if he had brought our friends to play for the day. We were not the only ones to enjoy his company. Regular customers and young fans were able to meet the creator of such fond children stories. At 4pm he read, he drew, he made us laugh, and his scribbled his beautiful signature in our books. If you didn’t make it to the event please do come and buy a Chris Riddell book, signed and sealed, by the man himself.
From one genius to another, as we waved off Chris Riddell Matt Parker, the Stand-Up mathematician, joined us for a Friday night bookshop event. I know many of you will roll your eyes when you say that there are people out there who make mathematics a subject that is genuinely interesting, but please keep those eyes still and believe us when we say that Matt Parker has a gift at keeping you gripped when talking about maths. His adrenalin may be slightly off the wall but when you start understanding the patterns and algorithms that he sees in the everyday you soon are equally infected by such excitement. Even the most basic of things like tying your shoes laces was enhanced by a technique that still baffles Leanne and Patrick. And his style? How many people know of such an intelligent man with such unique clothing? A scarf, made by his mother, knitted with the binary code of ‘Maths is fun’. Now that alone makes you inquisitive. For those of you who are still not convinced, and even after hearing maths sceptics like Leanne talking about the joy of this event, I challenge you to watch Matt Parker online or in person, and we cannot recommend his book enough. Signed copies of Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension are available now.
I’m sure you have seen the endless stacks of diet books not only on your own bookshelves but in the shops too. Windows scattered with the easiest and fastest ways to lose weight, but we want to do it differently here. 2015 is a year of good HEALTH and, thanks to some great cookery authors, being healthy has never been so appealing and accessible. Anna Jones and the Hemsley sisters are just a few names who are promoting a beautiful lifestyle that will not only help you manage a balanced diet but will also leave your skin gleaming and your energy levels staying high so that you can enjoy all that life throws at you.
With attractive and wholesome recipes we can’t recommend A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones and The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley enough. Enjoy new ways to cook and love your food. Try intriguing ingredients and fun methods, such as using a spiraliser, to begin 2015 with a spring in your step. Both sets of authors have a true passion and belief in the recipes that they have compiled so buy their books in the shop today and change the way you feel for the better.
If you love the Hemsley sisters as much as we do there is the opportunity to meet them for yourselves as part of the Bite Festival 2015. On Monday 2nd February join Jasmine and Melissa for lunch and a talk at Three Ways House Hotel, Chipping Campden. For more information and to buy your ticket go to the Bite website here.
We had a truly wonderful 2014, filled with events, celebrations and lots of new books coming in (and out) of the shop. As we venture into 2015 take a step into the shop to pick a perfect read to start your year right whether you want a 2014 highlight or a book that will bring promise in the year to come. We also have a wide variety of events going on throughout the year so keep your eyes out for more information in the shop and on the website.
We have an amazing month ahead of us with a wide range of events to suit all. We start the month with a celebration of the Bookshop. Late night shopping and discounts on the night, we would like to invite you to an evening to enjoy books with a glass of fizz and some early Christmas shopping. As part of this exciting evening we will also have the privilege of hosting Clare Mackintosh for her first booksigning.
For the second year running we are having a very Bookish, Autumnal, Magical, Bookshop party here at the shop on Saturday 11th October as part of the Books Are My Bag (BAMB) campaign. We want to celebrate the wonders of bookshops; all that they stand for and all that they can bring to a community. The party will be going on all day with storytelling at 10.30-11am, 12-12.30pm and 2.30-3pm. There will be a special appearance of children’s author Sue Heap in the morning to read some of her much loved stories. We will also have a prize-draw for the limited edition BAMB bag by Tracey Emin, and a flurry of local authors joining us throughout the day. We would love to have you come and join us in the national love of bookshops.
For more information on the BAMB campaign take a look here
Veronica Henry has won Romantic Novel of the Year, presented last night with a trophy and a cheque for £5,000 by author and former ballerina Darcey Bussell.
Veronica’s novel A Night on the Orient Express is published by Orion, and was unanimously voted a winner by judges Sarah Broadhurst (The Bookseller), Alison Flood (Guardian.co.uk), Jane Mays (The Daily Mail), Karin Stoecker (former Editorial Director of Harlequin Books) and Chris White (Waterstones).
Winning their categories at last night’s award ceremony were Kate Hardy, for the RoNA Rose Award; Jennifer McVeigh, for Epic Category; Christina Courtenay, for Historical Cateogry; Milly Johnson, for Romantic Comedy; and Imogen Howson, for Young Adult Category.
Helen Fielding and Dr David Hessayon were both presented with outstanding achievement awards for their contribution to the genre.
Congratulations to all the winners!
To order any of the winning titles from last night’s awards, give us a call on 01608 641033 or email us.