We are thrilled that award-winning novelist Claire Fuller is going to join us for a virtual event on Wednesday April 21st, to discuss her latest amazing novel ‘Unsettled Ground’. This will be a kind of ‘Open Book Group’ style event – we invite you to read the book first and then join our 3 book groups online, where after a short interview, Claire will be happy to take questions and respond to your observations.
Claire Fuller is a firm favourite of all our staff and book group members here at the Steyning Bookshop. She came to Steyning to discuss her gripping, unsettling debut novel ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ with our book group, and then returned to tell us about ‘Swimming Lessons’, her beautifully written second novel. We sadly missed a visit for ‘Bitter Orange’ her darkly simmering third novel (which I adored!) so we are really looking forward to welcoming Claire back, albeit virtually, to talk about her new novel ‘Unsettled Ground’, published on March 25th.
‘Unsettled Ground’ is a beautifully-observed portrait of lives lived at the fringe of society, and what happens when those edges fray. The central characters, 51 year-old twins, Julius and Jeanie, have lived a sheltered rural existence with their mother, Dot, surviving hand-to-mouth on what they can earn from their garden produce and odd farming jobs. When Dot dies suddenly, the twins are forced to confront the outside world, and long-kept secrets begin to surface, casting doubt on family truths and shattering their precarious existence.
Claire Fuller was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1967. She gained a degree in sculpture from Winchester School of Art, but went on to have a long career in marketing and didn’t start writing until she was forty. She has written three previous novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, which won the Desmond Elliott Prize, Swimming Lessons, which was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award, and Bitter Orange. She has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester and lives in Hampshire with her librarian husband. You can visit Claire’s website here!
Call us on 01903 812062 to purchase your copy of ‘Unsettled Ground’ and register to join the event, OR buy online via our website here!
A moving and exciting story of brotherhood, friendship & the power of dreams!
Imagine having the ability to step inside your dreams, to consciously control the action and the setting, and even meet your friends there! When 11-year-old Malky accidentally steals a strange device, the ‘Dreaminator’, he and his younger brother Seb begin sharing wild dream adventures…. But the device is unstable, and soon things take a nightmarish turn, with Seb lying in a coma, trapped in his dream, and Malky awake and unable to reach him. With the help of his friend Tenzin, her mystical Tibetan grandma, and a dying old man, Malky must face his darkest unconscious fears and take a leap into the void.
This is an absolutely BRILLIANT rollercoaster adventure, fast-paced, funny, inventive and heartfelt. Ross Welford’s cast of quirky and lovable characters and warm humour manage to make an unbelievable story completely plausible. I have adored ALL Ross Welford’s books, but I think this one just may be my favourite!
For readers aged 8-12 (ish!) Paperback coming soon, apparently. Click HERE to buy on our website
On March 25th we will welcome novelist & biographer Lucy Jago, who’ll be discussing her wonderful new historical novel ‘A Net for Small Fishes’ live online via Zoom. All 3 of our bookgroups are reading ‘A Net for Small Fishes’ but we are keen for this to be an open event for interested readers far and wide! Entry to this event is FREE with purchase of ‘A Net for Small Fishes’ from the Steyning Bookshop. This will be a book-group style discussion, whereby most participants will have read the book already, so we suggest buying and reading the book prior to the event, to avoid spoilers! You can buy the book via our online store here (be sure to include your email address for the Zoom link!) or ring us on 01903 812062 to pay & collect from our porch collection box.
‘A Net for Small Fishes’ is a richly-imagined historical novel set at the Jacobean court, loosely based on a true scandal that rocked the court of James the First. It is already attracting rave reviews such as this, in the Guardian, which calls the novel ‘gloriously immersive’.
Lucy Jago is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction, and a former documentary producer for Channel 4 and the BBC. Her first book, The Northern Lights, won the National Biography prize and has been translated into eight languages; her YA novel, Montacute House, met with critical acclaim in the US and the UK.
Lucy was awarded a Double First Class Honours Degree from King’s College, University of Cambridge, and a master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute, London. Lucy is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Society and lives in Somerset.
Elly will chat to fellow crime-writer William Shaw about her thrilling new novel ‘Night Hawks’ in a live online Zoom event. Elly Griffiths is a firm local favourite with readers here in Steyning, as she is based in Brighton, although ‘Night Hawks’ is set amongst the windswept landscapes of North Norfolk. It is Elly’s 13th novel featuring lovable forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. We can’t wait to hear more about Elly’s inspiration for this story, which is rich in twisty intrigue, and layered with folk-myths and ancient superstitions. A group of metal detectorists called The Night Hawks stumble upon a body while searching for buried treasures on a Norfolk beach….A double murder-suicide on an isolated farm… The body of a giant dog excavated in the farm grounds… Strange rumours of a spectral hound…What is the connection, and why do Ruth and DCI Nelson find all their avenues of enquiry lead them back to Black Dog Farm?
Tickets are £5, your booking entitles you to £5 off your copy of ‘Night Hawks’ (RRP £20, our price £17, price with event ticket £12!) Call us to reserve and pay for your copy, mention you are a ticket holder to get your discount! Or order the book via our website here (mention you are a ticket holder in the ORDER NOTES to claim your £5 off) Lockdown permitting, we hope we will have signed copies!
Poet Kathleen Jamie’s latest collection of luminous, clear-eyed essays is a profound meditation on humans’ place in history and within the natural world. From a 500 year old Inuit village being gradually revealed by warming summers in Alaska, to the shifting sand dunes uncovering the minutiae of domestic Neolithic life in Scotland, to a small Tibetan dog in the town of Xiahe and a diagnosis of cancer, worlds shift and reveal themselves as Jamie considers our connections to the past, the nature of memory and forgetting, the tethers that bind us and the ways in which we cut loose. A good counterpoint to Robert Macfarlane’s immersive and occasionally terrifying Underland. Really wonderful!
There have been some fabulous natural history books published this year, and this is one of my favourites. Dave Goulson, professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, takes us through the ways in which the average garden can support the myriad of creatures that dwell within it, delving deep into the private lives of hoverflies, ants, ladybirds, worms, and far more. Entrancing, polemical and very entertaining, this is a book for anyone with even the tiniest garden, window box, or passing interest in the natural world.
This is a lovely exploration of the complicated natural history of the eel, and of those entangled in its slimy coils, from Aristotle and Freud, to the author and his father. After nearly two and a half thousand years of study, we now know the rough outline of the eels’ lifecycle. It is born as a willow-leaf shaped larva in the Sargasso Sea, drifts across the Atlantic to the rivers of Europe, becoming a glass eel, and then a yellow eel, spending decades in murky freshwater, before undergoing its final transformation to a silver eel and travelling four thousand miles back across the Atlantic to breed in its birthplace. However, no-one has ever seen an eel reproduce, or been able to give a complete account of their metamorphoses, or even seen a mature eel in the Sargasso Sea. And no-one really knows why they are disappearing. This is a beautiful and fascinating book, its gentle melancholy coming from the fact that it is in fact an elegy, to Svensson’s father, and their relationship – conducted largely through eel-fishing – and perhaps to the eel itself, whose catastrophic declines may never recover.
Join award-winning author Maggie O’Farrell, and the incredibly talented illustrator Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini at 6pm on Thursday 5th November to celebrate the launch of their gorgeous new book, Where Snow Angels Go; an extraordinary and compelling modern fairy tale about the bravery of a little girl and the miracle of a snowy day. Chaired by Katherine Woodfine, this virtual event will feature an enchanting reading and mesmerising live drawing from Maggie & Daniela, as well as an opportunity for you to ask the duo questions. It’ll be a magical event not to be missed!
Event suitable for ages 5+
Event format: Zoom
Book + Ticket price £14.99 ( your copy of Where the Snow Angels Go will be reserved at the Steyning Bookshop as soon as we receive your booking) OR Event-only price £2. We will contact you by email with the Zoom Meeting ID after your booking and again the day before the event.
Praise for Where Snow Angels Go, publishing Thursday 5th November
“As perfect as a snowflake. As magical as snow.” – M. G. Leonard
“[It] has all the tell-tale signs of a future classic. A perfect, magical Christmas story.” – Sarah Crossan
“An enchanting, emotive and magical piece of work that transported me” – Laura Dockrill
“Where Snow Angels Go is a tender and magical story, told in O’Farrell’s characteristically beautiful, witty prose which is matched perfectly by Daniela Terrazzini’s sweepingly lovely artwork.” – Anna James
After the lockdown months of semi-hibernation (in fact we were very busy sending signed Julia Donaldson books out all over the country!) , we re-opened our doors in mid-June with a host of COVID-safe measures – a second till-point in the children’s area, plastic shields around the 2 tills, hand-sanitiser stations, and masks for those who have forgotten theirs! It was truly wonderful to be back chatting to our lovely customers again, and we were very busy through July and August, with lots of visitors to the village excited to find a real bookshop!
We have bravely ventured into the new world of Zoom online events – our first was a children’s story and drawing Zoom event with illustrator of Giraffes Can’t Dance Guy Parker-Rees for his sweet new picture book Elephant Me. As a first foray into Zoom events with authors rather than book group meetings we were pleased and relieved that all went pretty well – just a short blip at Guy’s end at the finish. It was his first online event too! Guy also decorated our childrens window, here he is in action-painting mode!
This was followed by an interesting book group Zoom meeting with Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater, published by Macmillan, a fascinating novel which curiously, although written well before Covid, had striking resonances to our current preoccupations – featuring small family units confined in a remote Scottish cabin site and the tensions this isolation created. We felt very fortunate having Sarah to ourselves to quiz about the book, from her new home in Southern Ireland where she is taking up a post at University College Dublin teaching creative writing.
We were very sad not to be able to have a big boozy launch party for local poet Simon Zec’s second volume of poetry, ‘In the Downtime’ which was published at the end of September by Steyning-based publisher, The Real Press. Instead, we had a ‘virtual’ launch online – Simon read a few verses, and participants were able to raise a glass from their own comfy armchairs! Still fun, but sadly lacking Sara’s delicious book-launch canapes! We have signed copies of ‘In the Downtime’ available at the shop and online, and a few of the print+book packages which include the two beautiful and eminently frame-able prints by talented local artists Rob Winterson and Benita Hibberts which feature on the cover and inside the book.
All through October we are continuing our VIRTUAL SIGNING for Julia Donaldson’s brilliant new picture book, The Hospital Dog! This is an even lovelier rhyming story than ever (especially if you are a dog-lover like me!) The illustrator is Sara Ogilvie who also illustrated the very sweet The Detective Dog and captures the movement and expressions of children (and of dogs!) beautifully. Here Julia returns to the theme of a helpful dog saving the day, this time in an amusing and touching story of Dot, a delightful Dalmation who visits children in hospital to cheer them up. Your children aged 2- 6 should LOVE it and you will too we’re sure! You can request a signed and name dedicated copy at the shop or order via our online store, adding the dedication names in the ‘order notes’ section at checkout.
Saturday October 3rd was ‘Books are My Bag’ day – or ‘Bookshop Day’ as it is now called. Usually we celebrate with author signings, lashings of tea and Sara’s home-made cake distributed to the throngs of chatty customers picking out bargains in our annual sale, but due to COVID we can have neither crowds nor cake! But we DID have our sale with some great bargains still to be found, and the wonderful ELLY GRIFFITHS kindly popped by to sign copies of her very entertaining new murder mystery ‘The Postscript Murders’. It was lovely to catch up with Elly, who, like her characters, is always very upbeat and full of fun! We have plenty of signed copies of The Postscript Murders and Elly’s other books in store now, and are eagerly looking forward to hearing Elly chat with fellow authors William Shaw and Lesley Thompson at our Zoom online event on October 15th.
Looking into the Autumn, we are very excited to have sold lots of tickets for our event ‘A Criminal Conversation’ on Thursday 15th October at 7.30pm, which will see Sussex-based thriller writers William Shaw, Elly Griffiths, and Lesley Thompson discussing their craft. The silver lining to Zoom online events is that readers from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD can join, and we were very excited to see that we have readers from as far away as Australia and the U.S.A joining this event! Also of course, if it is a dark and stormy night, you can stay home in your own comfy chair with your favourite tipple and still be ‘in the room’! Do get your questions ready as there will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions at the end. Ticket holders are entitled to £5 off the latest hardback by any of the 3 authors, do mention this when purchasing whether it be online or in the shop so we can deduct your £5!
In 2019, as part of our ‘Book Lovers’ literary festival, author, archaeologist and broadcaster Mary Ann Ochota came to Steyning and treated us to a fascinating guided walk around Chanctonbury Ring (along with her dog and her very well-behaved little baby son on her back!) and a brilliant talk with slides at the atmospheric Gluck Studio. Mary Ann specialises in the human history of our landscape, and is bursting with knowledge and enthusiasm for her subject! We are very excited to be part of the virtual bookshop tour for Mary Ann’s new book ‘Secret Britain; Unearthing our Mysterious Past’, on Thursday October 22nd at 7.30pm. This is an absolutely splendid book, beautifully-produced, chockful of photos and featuring a host of both famous and lesser-known artefacts, and historical sites, from notable treasures like the Sutton Hoo helmet, to prehistoric wooden goddesses and the compelling evidence for ancient British mummification… complete with handy maps and visitor tips! I am really looking forward to joining Mary Ann’s online talk – tickets are available via Ticketsource or ask at the shop, for either the ticket-only price of £6 or ticket-with-book price of £20.
Steyning’s own Poet Laureate, Simon Zec, has a new collection of poetry coming out with Steyning’s own publisher, Real Press (run by the lovely David Boyle). We are so sad we cannot have a big, boozy book launch party at the shop, but do join us virtually via Zoom to hear Simon talk about his book and hopefully recite a few pieces. (BYOB!) Sorry, you’ll miss out on Sara’s incredible canapes though…!
Simon describes the collection as ‘Trying to find the cracks in the darkness where the light can shine through.’ Click HERE to buy the book from us.
The book features beautiful cover art by two talented local artists, Benita Hibbert and Rob Winterson, and these are available as limited-edition prints. The first 20 prints are being offered at a bargain price as part of a book+print bundle – for £28.99 you can get a signed book and 1 of each limited-edition, signed print . Click HERE to buy.
To join Simon’s virtual launch party, simply email us at info@steyningbookshop to express your interest, you will then receive the Zoom link.
Join best-selling thriller writers Elly Griffiths, William Shaw, and Lesley Thomson for a live-stream online event at 7.30pm on Thursday 15th October. Tickets cost £5 which can be refunded against a book purchase – all 3 authors are happy to sign & dedicate their books for event participants. Tickets can be booked online, by phone, or in person at the bookshop. Attendees will receive a Zoom Invitation link via email. Click HERE to book online.
Brighton-based writer Elly Griffiths‘ new novel The Postscript Murders (out 1st October in hardback) is a sequel to The Stranger Diaries, likewise featuring the gay, Sikh DS Harbinder Kaur. An ingenious literary mystery set amongst the crime writers’ community – a world of literary agents, murder consultants and publishers. DS Kaur is asked to investigate the death of 90 year-old Peggy Smith, who just happened to be a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors. The investigation takes her from the sleepy Sussex seaside town of Shoreham-by-Sea to the granite streets of Aberdeen, encountering a cast of quirky characters, as the clock ticks and crime writers are bumped off one by one! Elly’s lively, engaging characters and gentle humour complement her brilliantly twisty plotting.
William Shaw‘s riveting and atmospheric new novel Grave’s End is the third in his DS Alexandra Cupidi series, and dives deep into the corruption and power games of property developers …. When an unidentified cadaver is found in a freezer in an unoccupied luxury house, no-one seems to know or care who it is or who placed it there. The case is handed to DS Alexandra Cupidi and leads her to a series of murderous cover-ups and buried secrets, tracing back to the disappearance of a public-school boy 25 years earlier. Grave’s End zings with William’s characteristic razor-sharp observation, iron-clad plotting, and also delivers a powerful environmental message.
Lesley Thomson‘s latest novel Death of a Mermaid, set largely in Newhaven, is the darkly simmering story of a family reunion…. Freddy Powers walked away from her family 20 years ago, swearing she’d never return, after her father couldn’t accept her sexuality. But after the death of her mother, she finds herself back in Newhaven, helping run the family’s fishery business. The sudden disappearance of Freddy’s first love, Mags, ignites old passions and reveals long-hidden secrets. Freddy finds herself embroiled in the hunt for Mags and must confront her past and face the truth about her family. Death of A Mermaid is a thrilling story, peopled with well-crafted characters, suffused with menace and a vivid sense of place.
We can’t wait to hear these 3 writers chatting about their books, their research and their inspirations! There will be a chance for attendees to ask questions. Don’t forget your ticket gives £5 off the price of a book, and all 3 authors have offered to sign & dedicate books for event attendees! You can order your signed book in store, or, if you are not local, shortly we will add the books to our online store.
We are beyond thrilled that lovely Mary Ann Ochota (who visited Steyning for a fascinating walk/talk and event in June last year) is going to discuss her new book ‘Secret Britain’ LIVE ONLINE on Thursday 22nd October at 7.30pm.
‘Secret Britain’ takes a curious tour of the strange items and intriguing history of ancient Britain, ranging from the far Northern Isles to the Cornish coast. From famous treasures like the Sutton Hoo helmet, to little-known curiosities like Viking-inscribed spinning weights, prehistoric wooden goddesses and the compelling evidence for ancient British mummification, Mary-Ann reveals the way these ancient sites and objects still resonate today, with her characteristic enthusiasm and eye for curious detail.
‘Secret Britain’ is a beautiful hardback book to treasure, for intrepid explorers and armchair travellers alike, packed with full-colour photographs, detailed descriptions, and handy visitor tips.
A signed copy of the book will be yours to pick up from the Steyning Bookshop / have posted to you, if you choose the BOOK + EVENT TICKET PRICE of £20. Alternatively, if you’d just like to join the online event, you can get an event-only ticket for £6 – if you later decide to buy the book, we will give you £5 off the book price of £20.
ONLINE EVENT- ADVANCE BOOKING ESSENTIAL. You can book via TICKETSOURCE here
Once registered you will receive an email with access codes to the event. You will also receive a reminder a day before and an hour before the event
For those who haven’t yet dipped their toes into the waters of an Online Event, do not fear! You will need to install Zoom onto your pc / laptop / tablet, of course, and you will need to tell us the email address you used for your Zoom registration… then, just click on the link we will send by email and you’ll be ‘in the room’!
October 1st sees the publication of ‘Hospital Dog’, Julia Donaldson’s gorgeous new picture book, charmingly illustrated by Sara Ogilvie (who was the star artist behind ‘Detective Dog’).
Since we still can’t gather in person for a big book launch, we are celebrating the release with a ‘virtual signing’ – Julia Donaldson is happy to name dedicate and sign all copies of the book pre-ordered via our online store. Just order here and add the dedication names in the ‘order notes’ box at checkout. Book costs £12.99 plus P&P. No extra charge for the signing! Julia is kindly continuing to add dedications to all copies of ‘Hospital Dog’ purchased via our website for all October and November 2020!
From Emma Donoghue, the international bestselling author of Room, comes Akin, a brilliant tale of love, loss and family, enjoyed by our evening book group in August.
A retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes his great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother’s wartime secrets.
Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France. This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak hache to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael’s ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past, both of them come to grasp the risks that people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.
Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room a huge bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together.
‘If Room forced home truths on us, about parenthood, responsibility and love, Akin deals with similar subject matter more subtly, but in the end just as compellingly‘ – Guardian
Sussex-based author and illustrator Sophy Henn is a firm local favourite having wowed local primary schools with her highly entertaining author visits for her previous series, the hilarious Bad Nana books. Her young fans will be delighted that she’s now back with the first in a new series for readers aged 7-10.
‘Pizazz’ is a 9 year old girl who just happens to have … SUPER POWERS!
If you think being born into a family of super-heroes sounds cool, think again! Pizazz has to wear the same flappy-caped outfit EVERY DAY, it’s a PAIN always having to go off to save the world at inconvenient times, sometimes she doesn’t want to ALWAYS be the good guy, and try explaining your WEIRD super-hero family to friends at your new school….! And don’t even ASK about Pizazz’s superpower… Snappy, fast and funny, with absolutely BRILLIANT illustrations, Pizazz is a highly entertaining read for children aged 7+.
Emily St John Mandel’s previous novel, the best-selling cult hit ‘Station Eleven’ uncomfortably imagined a post-pandemic world, ravaged by a lethal swine-flu. Fans of ‘Station Eleven’ will spot familiar characters and settings in her poignant, evocative new novel, ‘The Glass Hotel’, which hovers in a parallel universe, just before the pandemic, and centres on the 2008 financial crash and the spectacular toppling of a Ponzi scheme.
This is an exquisitely other-worldly novel, which, like the Glass Hotel of its title, is somehow crystalline and prismatic, with multiple threads of narrative interweaving through time. The story centres on Vincent, a directionless young woman working as a bartender at the Glass Hotel in a remote Vancouver island location, who is picked up by a wealthy financier, and, chameleon-like, adapts to a new life as a trophy-wife.
She drifts through this life, oddly untouched by the trappings of immense wealth, until it all comes crashing down after her husband’s unscrupulous financial dealings come back to bite him. The narrative glitches back and forth in time, before and after the Ponzi scheme collapse, snap-shotting its victims and perpetrators, returning again and again to Vincent, her childhood on the remote island, her troubled, drug-addicted brother, beginning and ending with the eventual mystery of her disappearance while working on board a cargo ship. Cleverly constructed with intricate layers, sensitive characterisations, and writing which is both precise and dream-like, this will appeal to fans of writers such as David Mitchell.
A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, set in the fascinating, unforgettable world of the formidable female pearl divers of Jeju, a small Korean island.
Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village.
The Island of Sea Women is an epic set over many decades, beginning during the period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, through World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, right up to the modern era of cell phones and wetsuits for the women divers. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point. This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a fascinating upside-down world, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. ‘No one writes about female friendship… with more insight and depth than Lisa See‘ Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees
What happened to the women we were supposed to become?
Hannah, Cate and Lissa are young, vibrant and inseparable. Living on the edge of a common in East London, their shared world is ablaze with art and activism, romance and revelry – and the promise of everything to come. They are electric. They are the best of friends.
Ten years on, they are not where they hoped to be. Amidst flailing careers and faltering marriages, each hungers for what the others have. And each wrestles with the same question: what does it take to lead a meaningful life? The most razor-sharp and heartbreaking novel of the year, EXPECTATION is a novel about finding your way: as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a rebel. ‘Profoundly intelligent and humane. Deserves to feature on many a prize shortlist‘ GUARDIAN 99% of women will identify with this, apparently!
In the small town of Crozon in Brittany, a library houses manuscripts that were rejected for publication: the faded dreams of aspiring writers. Visiting while on holiday, young editor Delphine Despero is thrilled to discover a novel so powerful that she feels compelled to bring it back to Paris to publish it. The book is a sensation, prompting fevered interest in the identity of its author – apparently one Henri Pick, a now-deceased pizza chef from Crozon. Sceptics cry that the whole thing is a hoax: how could this man have written such a masterpiece? An obstinate journalist, Jean-Michel Rouche, heads to Brittany to investigate. By turns farcical and moving, The Mystery of Henri Pick is a fast-paced comic mystery enriched by a deep love of books – and of the authors who write them. Quaint and very French. From the Walter Presents series.
On Saturday 12th September at 11am, fabulous illustrator GUY PARKER-REES will GO LIVE on ZOOM with a lovely story-telling and drawing event, perfect for 3-8 year olds. To join in the fun, all you need to do is pre-order a copy of Guy’s brilliant new picture book ‘Elephant Me’ – either via our website, by popping into the shop, or calling us on 01903 812062. Make sure you give us your email address so we can send you the Zoom Link!
‘Elephant Me’ is available as a paperback at £6.99 and hardback at £12.99.
Blake Crouch may just have invented something totally new – his genre-bending novel ‘Recursion’, is a mash-up of mind-blowing sci-fi and suspenseful thriller, embedded within a deeply emotional love story.
The novel is a fresh take on the core themes Crouch explored in his previous thriller ‘Dark Matter’ – temporal reality, memory, and what it means to be human. The story opens with what appears to be an epidemic of false memory syndrome, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. Detective Barry Sutton and neuroscientist Helena Smith’s paths cross while investigating the phenomenon, and Helena is on the verge of a stunning discovery. They embark on a looping mission through time and alternate realities to confront their enemy and prevent the world being trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos.
A brilliantly inventive, thoughtful, and surprising thriller, which was gulped down in 2 days!
Just out in March 2020 in paperback, this spell-binding fantasy novel by the supremely talented Frances Hardinge will suck you in and hold you in its grasp you like one of the many-tentacled sea-Gods who inhabit the story.
Frances Hardinge is the Costa-award-winning author of The Lie Tree and Skinful of Shadows. Deeplight, like those novels, is categorised as Children’s or YA fiction, but, like Philip Pullman’s, her books transcend age limits and I heartily recommend this book to anyone who wants to be transported on an adventure to the darkest ocean depths.
The story is set in the Myriad Isles, a scattering of islands peopled by sea-faring folk, many of whom make their living by scavenging the ocean depths for traces of ‘God-ware’ – powerful, magical fragments of the underwater Gods who once terrorised the isles.
When scavenger boy Hark and his best friend Jalt happen upon one such relic, they realise its’ value, but have no idea of the dark power it will exert… until it is too late, and Hark must face up to the fact that he has compromised not just who Jelt is, but what he is . . .
A dark, bewitching tale, which raises big questions about faith, friendship, loyalty, and what it means to be human.
I wolfed this astonishing, heart-rending novel down in a couple of days! An entrancing and beautifully-written novel by an author who has hitherto written for teenagers.
‘The Mercies’ is based on the real-life drama of a storm near the fishing village of Vardo in Northern Norway in 1617, which wiped out the male population of the small village, leaving the heart-broken women to fend for themselves, which they do, quite ably, until a Scottish Commissioner is sent North to tame their unseemly ways. The growing friendship between the Commissioner’s young wife, Ursa, and Maren, a feisty village woman, forms the centre-piece of the novel, which gathers pace as the full horror of the Commissioner’s mission becomes clear. An incredible glimpse into the havoc wreaked in a God-fearing fishing village by superstition and prejudice at the time of the Witch Trials.
‘Beautiful and chilling’ – Madeline Miller, author of Circe
A familiar face on our TV screens, Sally received great acclaim for her debut novel, The Sealwoman’s Gift, in 2018. Now we are pleased to introduce her second novel, The Ninth Child, a spellbinding tale which blends fact with fiction, history with folklore, and science with superstition, as it draws together the story of 17th Century minister Robert Kirke and Sally’s own great-grandmother. Set on the banks of Loch Katrine, where a huge engineering project is underway to deliver clean water to disease-ridden Victorian Glasgow and the hills echo with explosive blasts, The Ninth Child follows Isabel Aird, coming to terms with childlessness and attempting to start a new life with her engineer husband in this bleak but striking environment. When Isabel encounters a mysterious stranger who watches her every move, the foundations of her life grow increasingly less sure. Set in a pivotal era when engineering innovation flourished but women’s role was still muted, The Ninth Child blends folklore with historical realism in a masterly narrative. ‘An extraordinarily immersive read’ Guardian ‘Richly imagined and energetically told’ Sunday Times