Life would be pretty dull if it was all black and white. Even on a dreary day, which England is very much prone to, a book can bring splashes of colour back into your everyday life. As part of our celebration of Penguin’s Little Black Classics we have taken a step into a world without colour in our display. At glance you may merely see black and white but here’s your challenge: pick from an 80p Penguin Classic or choose from a selection of our recommended books to experience the vibrancy of colour and depth in reading.
Find out more about the 80th Anniversary of Penguin Books here
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
“H is for Hawk” by Helen Macdonald £16.99 (9780224097000)
As an act of homage to her father Helen Macdonald decided to train a Goshawk. She became entranced by this beautiful creature. “H is for Hawk” is her record of this task and a beautiful description of these raptors. This book is crammed with wonderful nature writing and even has a biography of the amazing T H White, author of “The Goshawk” and “The Once and Future King”.
“Paying Guests” Sarah Waters Little Brown £20.00 (9780349004365)
A mother and daughter have to take in lodgers after the death of their husband/father a tragic tale follows. Sarah Waters writes a truly captivating story of class, family, love and murder.
A bookshop can only sell books as long as there are authors to write them. We are delighted to have a guest post for you today from author Claire Dyer, about her love of browsing bookshops. If you’d like to write a guest post for our blog, please do get in touch.
To have time to browse a bookshop’s shelves is like eating a bar of chocolate very slowly, very deliberately, each mouthful a burst of flavour and comfort; a reminder of childhood and watching the afternoon film on TV with someone you love.
So when I can and instead of eating chocolate or watching the afternoon film I go to a book shop and browse. I always start with the fiction displays and look for people I know and admire but, being perverse, I start with the Z’s and work my way back to the A’s. I let the covers beguile me and the shout lines tempt me into worlds I know have been hewn from a profound love of place and time and which are packed with characters who are bright and shining people and who have amazing stories to tell.
I pick up books at random and read the first paragraph, imagining the careful crafting and re-crafting of that vital first sentence. I flick to the back to read the Acknowledgements to where the author thanks those who have given them the love and support they’ve needed to write the book. Finally, I trace my fingers over the author’s name, imagine the journey they’ve been on from writing that first sentence to having me holding a copy of their book in my hands and find myself thanking the owners and staff of whichever bookshop I’m in for giving me the chance to be there.
However, now and for me at least, there’s also the view from behind the bookshelf …
Recently I was lucky enough to be asked to run a workshop at Chipping Norton Literary Festival with fellow author and poet, Kate Rhodes. Before the session I visited the lovely, coffee-and-cake-filled Jaffe & Neale Bookshop and there on the shelf were my novels The Moment and The Perfect Affair next to Joanna Trollope’s latest release, Balancing Act. It was both awesome and strange seeing them there; almost like seeing your children alone out there in the big wide world for the first time!
Photographs were taken which were tweeted and put on Facebook and, as I picked up the copies of my books, re-read the first sentences, flicked through to the Acknowledgements and traced my fingers over my own name on the cover, I remembered those moments of searing joy when my characters told me exactly what to write next, the sentences in each novel of which I am especially proud, the careful editing and worrying over punctuation and syntax, the texture and colour of the scenes I saw in my head and the music, how my books seem to have a musical score to them. I also remembered the ideas that seemed to come to me in my sleep; the highs and lows in my characters’ lives, the day I let myself know how each book was going to end and the awful awful moment when I had to let tragedy in …
So, for this I’d like to thank Jaffe & Neale Bookshop and hope that whenever and wherever a book is picked off a shelf, whoever is looking at it knows that the author is also there, looking on, feeling grateful and immensely lucky.
The Perfect Affair, by Claire Dyer, is out now, and available at Jaffé & Neale! To buy a copy, just drop us a line, pop in, or call us on 01608 641033.
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.
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