Friday, August 16, 2013

3 4 Friday - The Oxford Connection: Britain past, really past, and future

For today's 3 4 Friday #fridayreads we have three books, recently published, and all by authors who studied in Oxford.
The Bone Season’ has been generating a lot of interest in the shop, with its gripping storyline, big concept, and (future) Oxford setting.

The first in a planned seven-part series by debut author Samantha Shannon, it’s the story of Paige Mahoney, a ‘voyant’ who breaks into people’s minds to steal information. The year is 2059 and when Paige is kidnapped and taken to an Oxford hidden for 200 years, she must play a long game – and learn much - to escape...

Something completely different is ‘Longbourn’ by Jo Baker – the story of 'Pride and Prejudice' from the point of view of the maids and servants ‘below stairs’.

What might have been just a gimmick, or a piece of flimsy fan-fiction, is transformed by an author who creates a series of extremely memorable characters whose world you can lose yourself in even as the more familiar story progresses up top.

And finally, if Roman Britain is your thing, ‘Under Another Sky’ is a wonderful – and surprising - new collection of stories and experiences which powerfully conjure up life in Britain under Roman occupation.

Journalist and classics scholar Charlotte Higgins has written a book that is part travelogue, part history book, and in travelling round the country in the company of some of our most eminent archaeologists, she examines both the myths and often surprising realities of what was always an artificial construction: the idea of ‘Roman Britain’. We think this book will be winning awards, and a television series must surely follow...

Friday, August 09, 2013

Conspiracy and crackpot adventurers - some summer reading recommendations

We’ve got a few picks for summer reading suggestions for you today – just in case you haven’t yet got the perfect book between your deckchair and the Pimms.

First of all, we are big fans of Sophie Hannah, and her latest thriller out in paperback has all the hallmarks of her ability to lead the reader in totally the wrong direction. ‘The Carrier’ is a taut, psychological thriller, where an overnight plane delay leads to suspicion and revelation for Gaby Struthers, who discovers that an old flame of hers has just murdered his wife. But why would an innocent man frame himself for murder? If you like clever compelling page-turners, get your hands on this one.

Growing Old Outrageously’ is a fun and inspiring memoir about how adventurous travel should not simply be for the young. Two people who have not seen each other since school bump into each other once retired and become travelling companions. But they don’t just stick to package holidays and cruises. From the Atlas Mountains to the tranquillity of Iona, Hilary Linstead and Elisabeth Davies embark on a series of adventures that take in quad biking and Namibia and an expedition in Australia. Great for armchair travellers and might just make those with itchy feet and a lack of confidence feel that they can do it too.

If you like your thrillers of the conspiracy variety Mark recommends ‘Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore’ by Robin Sloan. Take one ancient, secret society on a centuries-long quest to crack a code dating back to the time of Gutenberg. Add into this mysterious mix an energetic young computer nerd who brings the power of Google to bare on the problem…and all sorts of powerful organisations feel threatened. Imagine Douglas Copeland's 'Microserfs' reimagined as a conspiracy thriller and you are almost there...

As always, come in for some other great reading recommendations this Summer...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Poetry in the Garden: George Chopping


George Chopping is a poet who works in a pub and lives on a boat with his wife and cat.
He makes wry observations on life through poetry – as well as making us laugh. He is best-known as a performance poet and appears and hosts poetry events in Oxford.

We are delighted that George will be performing his poetry in the Mostly Books courtyard garden (weather permitting) on Wednesday, August 7 at 7.30pm.

He published his debut collection, ‘Smoking With Crohn's’ in August of last year.

Here are a few reviews of his work:

"Had the audience in hysterics" THE SUNDAY TIMES

"A perfectly balanced mixture of sweet- natured observation and steel melting bile" NIGHTSHIFT

"Droll and witty poetry delivered in amusingly deadpan style" THE OXFORD TIMES

"One of Unbound's raw talents, and as quickly becomes obvious, a true performance poet" MANCHESTER LITERATURE FESTIVAL BLOG

"The cream of Devon poets" JOHN HEGLEY

George was a huge hit at the 5x15 event earlier this year at Radley, and for anyone who enjoyed our event with John Hegley in 2011 - you will not be disappointed!

Tickets are £3, redeemable against a purchase of George's book on the night. Email us to reserve your place!