Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Christmas from Mostly Books

For eleven and a half months of the year, we try to make Mostly Books a haven of calm, tranquility - and bookish recommends. We ask after customers, their friends and family - and find out which books have been read and enjoyed.

In the last couple of weeks of the year this becomes much, much harder.

Before the festive season spins out of control (which it often threatens to do) we just wanted to take this opportunity - from the heart - to say a big 'thank you' to all of you - customers, blog readers, family, friends and supporters in the book trade. Some of you pop in once a year, others come several times a week. Many we consider friends and together you give us incredible support that allows us to continue to run Mostly Books in one of the most challenging business environments: the High Street.

So, if you still have gifts to buy - or just want to pop in for bookish delights over the holiday period - we thought you might appreciate our opening hours between now and the New Year:

  • Sat, Dec 20 (9am - 6pm)
  • Sun, Dec 21 (11am - 3pm)
  • Mon, Dec 22 (9am - 6pm)
  • Tue, Dec 23 (9am - 6pm)
  • Christmas Eve (9am - 3pm)
  • Christmas Day / Boxing Day (closed)
  • Sat, Dec 27 (9am - 5pm)
  • Sun / Mon, Dec 28 / 29 (closed)
  • Tue, Dec 30 (10am - 4pm)
  • Wed, Dec 31 (10am - 3pm)
  • Thur, Jan 1 (closed)
  • Fri, Jan 2 (10am - 4pm)
  • Sat, Jan 3 (9am - 5pm)

Wherever you are spending Christmas this year, we hope you get a chance to relax, celebrate - and enjoy one of two good books.

Happy Christmas from Mostly Books!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Books and gifts for Christmas Part 11: Games, jigsaws and books that are more than books...for kids!

Sometimes (just sometimes) you may want something a bit more than a simple book. It might be a game, or a jigsaw, but best of all it might be something that's a book plus a bit more. So we decided to walk around the Christmassy shop last night, whip out the Mostly Books polaroid and showcase a few gifts sitting on the shelves awaiting a good home and some wrapping paper...

Minecraft Blockopedia - £30
We have a whole shelf of Minecraft goodies, but this year along with books to show you how to make a 'Steve' cardboard head (we kid you not) there is the rather splendid 'Minecraft Blockopedia'. It's a beautifully-produced, reality-defying bookish rendering of a Minecraft block (you have to see it to get your head round it), fully illustrated and packed with essential information about each Minecraft block and its uses.

From basic plants and ores to enchantment tables and End stone, you'll find every single block in here. Blockopedia contains everything you need to know to make the most of the blocks that make up your world - it is the only Minecraft reference you'll ever need and is a wonderful gift for a Minecraft fan!

Periodic Table - Gill Arbuthnott - £8.99
A Beginners Guide to the Periodic Table is a mind-blowing guide to the elements that make up the periodic table. By linking each element to a story, wacky science analogy or fascinating fact, Gill creates a unique first reference to the periodic table. From smelly sulphur and exploding hydrogen to why Stevie Wonder is blind and everything in between, Gill seamlessly explains the mind-boggling 92 elements which will make you look at the periodic table in a whole new light!??Packed full of eye-catching illustrations and fantastic explanatory diagrams, prepare to be amazed by the most wacky and informative first introductory to the periodic table ever! Packed full of eye-catching illustrations and fantastic explanatory diagrams, prepare to be amazed by the most wacky and informative first introductory to the periodic table ever!

Knowledge Encyclopedia Dinosaur!
Dorling Kindersley - £16.99

The dinosaur world as you've never seen it before. Knowledge Encyclopedia Dinosaur! reveals jaw-dropping 3D dinosaur images which show each awe-inspiring creature in greater detail than ever before and bring the wonders of the dinosaur world to life. This is the only dinosaur encyclopedia you'll ever need, packed full of facts, charts, timelines and illustrations, bringing these prehistoric animals back to life.

Animation Studio - Helen Piercy - £12.99
This was on last year's Christmas recommends, but we still think it's brilliant! This little book and box gives you everything you need to create stop-motion videos on your mobile phone or digital camera. You can learn how to make stop-motion videos like a professional. Using tips and tricks from the experts, discover 2-D and 3-D techniques with puppets, clay-modelling, morphing and pixilation.

Pop To The Shops - Orchard Toys - £10
This year we started to stock a range of Orchard toys, and the response has been amazing. Designed and manufactured in the UK, Orchard games are both fun and educational, and our pick is 'Pop To The Shops'. Combining lotto with a race to get the items on your list, this teaches counting, money, giving change (and possibly entrepreneurial skills!)

Pop & Slot Christmas Decorations
Pop & Slots are cardboard punch-out-and-build scenes for kids to construct and play with. We've got Christmas trees, animal scenes - all from the hand of incredible embroidery illustrator, Clare Beaton.

The Fairytale Hairdresser: Playbox -
Abie Longstaff - £12.99

We love the Fairytale Hairdresser books - clever, witty, great fun and bags of appeal for anyone who loves fairytales. So we invite you to join Kittie Lacey, the fairytale hairdresser, in this wonderfully imaginative playset. Watch as she tames the wildest of locks, deals with the most demanding and unusual of customers, ultimately foils the Witch's evil plan and plays cupid to the newly coiffed Rapunzel. (A decent haircut really can work wonders!). Featuring a host of favourite fairytale characters including Red Riding Hood, the Wicked Witch, Goldilocks and many more, this magical playbox contains the bestselling picture book, sparkly hair clips and hair ties, a full-size hairbrush and a giant unfolding playmat game.

Computer Coding for Kids - Carol Vorderman - £12.99
You want to get your kids coding, but where do you start? One of the Mostly Books staff members has been running a computer coding club at a local primary school - and this is the book we recommend! It uses the freely available graphical programming language 'Scratch' as the starting point to learn how to write increasingly complex games that are fun, challenging and teach all the rudiments of great coding. You can literally write your first computer game in about 20 minutes - so put the xbox controller down and get creative!

Thames Valley and London Underground -
Pomegranate Artpiece Puzzles

We have started to stock a small range of jigsaw puzzles from Pomegranate Artpiece Puzzles - and these two 500 piece puzzles for children are definitely favourites. An artistic rendering of the London Underground, and 'To the Thames Valley by Motor Bus' based on a 1924 London Transport poster by Katherine Ritchie and Thomas Derrick.

A day trip from London to the River Thames in one of the cherry-red, double-decker motor buses of the 1920s promised an escape from city living—tranquility, history, greenery. That's exactly what London Transport advertised in its fascinatingly detailed poster To the Thames Valley by Motor Bus, with routes from the city and its outer reaches to attractions stretching from Kingston to Windsor. Thoughtfully conceived and engagingly intricate.

Come and take a look at these and other jigsaws we have in the children's room.

Nail Style Studio - Eva Steele-Staccio - £14.99
Klutz have long been a favourite a Mostly Books, attractively priced, fabulously creative craft sets for everything from paper aeroplanes to fashion studios. In 'Nail Style Studio' children of all ages are supplied with the techniques, tips and tools of the trade to create 25 tween approved nail designs that range from elaborate to quirky. With fully illustrated instructions and everything they need included, everyone can create beautiful nails.

The Awesome book of Awesomeness -
Adam Frost - £6.99

If one vampire bit one person and they turned into a vampire, how long would it take before the whole world filled up with vampires? How much snot do you drink in a year? If you unravelled a mummy, how long would the bandage be? And much more! Pick up this book to fill your mind with funny, weird, random and above all, AWESOME facts.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Books for Christmas Part 10: The Science of the Absurd, the Music of Nick Cave and the History of Mankind - Science, Nature and Music books for Christmas

The Naming of the Shrew - John Wright - £14.99
Latin names - frequently unpronounceable, all too often wrong and always a tiny puzzle to unravel - have been annoying the layman since they first became formalised as scientific terms in the eighteenth century. Why on earth has the entirely land-loving Eastern Mole been named Scalopus aquaticus, or the Oxford Ragwort been called Senecio squalidus - 'dirty old man'? With wonderfully witty style and captivating narrative, this book will make you see Latin names in a whole new light.

You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes - Chris Hadfield - £20.00
Hadfield’s 'An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth' became a bestseller in the wake of his photos and educational videos from the International Space Station, not to mention his TED talk, and his much-viewed zero gravity rendition of “Space Oddity”. This is his collection of breathtaking photos taken from the ISS, arranged continent by continent, and representing one (idealized) orbit of the Earth. The photos are accompanied by a commentary from Hadfield, whose expert eye sees more in the images than we ever could.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari - £25.00
As far as themes go, they don’t get much bigger than the entire history of our species. Yuval Harari’s ‘Sapiens’ is one of those monumental works that gives a dizzying perspective on how we came to rule – and threaten – the entire planet. It starts with the changes in our brain that allowed us to tell stories, imagine alternative scenarios, and out-manoeuvre other species (notably Neanderthals). From there we become farmers, develop religion, invent money, harness technology and threaten widespread extinction – including our own. The writing is superb – never dry, occasionally brazen, at times almost sardonic – and never afraid to come off the fence in areas that are controversial: did we domesticate wheat, or did it domesticate us? Did stockpiling food lay the psychological seeds for consumerism? Are we happier now than *any* of our ancestors? And what is going to replace our species, as surely as we replaced earlier species?

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe - £14.99 
When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T-Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day? Munroe - ex NASA roboticist and creator of ur-science web cartoon xkcd - answers the absurd questions with responses that are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity - but based on serious science! (Signed copies available whilst stocks last)

Simpsons & Their Mathematical Secrets - Simon Singh - £8.99
Brilliant writers have smuggled in mathematical jokes throughout the cartoon's twenty-five year history, exploring everything from to Mersenne primes, from Euler's equation to the unsolved riddle of P vs. NP, Singh offers an entirely new insight into the most successful show in television history.

The Wisdom of Tees - Max Adams - £12.99
Trees are marvels of nature, still-standing giants of extraordinary longevity. In a beautifully written sequence of essays, anecdotes and profiles of Britain's best-loved species (from yew to scots pine), Max Adams explores both the amazing biology of trees and humanity's relationship with wood and forest across the centuries. Embellished with images from John Evelyn's classic SYLVA (1664), this is a passionate and informative celebration of trees and of man's ingenuity in exploiting their resources: the perfect gift for anyone who cares about the natural world. 

Live At The Brixton Academy - Simon Parkes and JS Rafaeli - £9.99
In 1982, aged twenty-three, Simon Parkes paid GBP1 for a virtually derelict building in Brixton. Over the next fifteen years he turned it into Britain's most iconic music venue. And now he's telling his story: full of fond - and wild - reminiscences of the famous musicians who played at the venue, including Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Lou Reed, The Ramones, New Order, the Beastie Boys and The Smiths.

A Little History: Photographs of Nick Cave and Cohorts 1981-2013 - Bleddyn Butcher - £18.99
When Bleddyn Butcher first saw The Birthday Party play, back in 1981, he was astonished. And then enthralled. He set about trying to catch their lightning in his Nikon F2AS. That quixotic impulse became a lifelong quest. A little history got made on the way.

Collected here for the first time are the fruits of his labour. A Little History is an extraordinary document, tracking Nick Cave's creative career from the apoplectic extravagance of The Birthday Party to the calmer disquiet of 2013's Push The Sky Away via snapshots, spotlit visions and sumptuous, theatrical portraits. It mixes the candid and uncanny, the spontaneous and the patiently staged, and includes eyeball encounters with Cave's baddest lieutenants, men for the most part who long since burned their own bridges down.

Books for Christmas Part 9: To Heal, Inspire, Calm and help you Think - our poetry picks for Christmas

Poetry is one of those areas in which - we believe - independent bookshops excel. Everyone should read poetry, many people are intimidated by it, but there are all kinds of people out there who can provide a reliable guide to help you discover the power of poetry to heal the soul, inspire the spirit, calm the troubled mind and create a space in which you can think. Here are a few of our favourite companions to make the journey with.

Creating space to think is increasingly difficult in the modern world - but seeking out a good independent bookshop is a great first step...

Dorothy Wordsworth's Christmas Birthday - Carol Ann Duffy - £6.99
The Poet Laureate offers us another delightful and original Christmas poem, following Bethlehem, Wenceslas, The Christmas Truce and Another Night Before Christmas and Mrs Scrooge. Fully illustrated, this covetable little hardback will be a perfect stocking-filler - copies on display on the counter in the shop - come in and have a look!

100 Poems to See You Through - Daisy Goodwin - £10.00
When times are tough - whether because of illness, bereavement or receiving bad news - it can be hard to find the right words. Help comes in the form of this beautifully packaged gift book, comprising 100 life-affirming poems handpicked by an expert on poetry. Grouping the poems by theme - from 'Hearing Bad News' to 'How To Carry On' - this gem of a book features contributions from classical poets such as John Keats, Emily Bronte, W.H. Auden and Christina Rossetti alongside lines from more contemporary poets such as Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Jennings, Raymond Carver, Carol Ann Duffy and Wendy Cope. The combination is a wonderfully uplifting book - a self-administered pick-me-up guaranteed to make a dark day brighter and act as a great lyrical crutch.

Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin: An Anthology - Alan Bennett - £14.99
Poets like to elude their public, lead them a bit of a dance. They take them down untrodden paths, land them in unknown country where they have to ask for directions. Alan Bennett's selection of English verse by his favourite poets is accompanied by his own enlivening commentary. In this personal anthology, Alan Bennett has chosen more than seventy poems by six well-loved poets, discussing the writers and their verse in his customary conversational style through anecdote, shrewd appraisal and spare but telling biographical detail.

(and you can also listed to Alan Bennett speaking - with extremely personal candour - about his own reactions to the work on this accompanying Audio CD for £10.99)

Paper Aeroplane : Selected Poems 1989-2014 - Simon Armitage - £14.99
Simon Armitage has a reputation as one of the nation's most original, most respected and best-loved contemporary poets. In 'Paper Aeroplane' he selects his own favourite poems from across a quarter-century of work, from his debut to the latest, uncollected work. The selection includes favourites such as Kid, Book of Matches, The Universal Home Doctor and Seeing Stars.

The Christmas Wren - Gillian Clarke - £4.95
Since it was founded in 2008, Candlestick Press has gone from strength to strength on the back of something simple yet utterly unique - collections of poems to send by post in place of a card. We have quite a collection at Mostly Books - whether poems about tea, bicycles, gardens, teachers - and this year, to mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth, Candlestick Press were commissioned by The Dylan Thomas Centre to publish Gillian Clarke’s story The Christmas Wren, written in response to Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales. It's a story for adults and children, a magical tale of the Christmases of a Welsh childhood populated by aunts and uncles, snow and starlight, boxes and baubles. Gillian Clarke was appointed National Poet for Wales in 2008.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Books for Christmas Part 8: Inspiration and Laughter - humour and gift books

"I need a gift for someone who doesn't read". It's actually a really common question at this time of the year, because if you are a book lover, you want to give a book - but what if that person doesn't read a lot? How about a book of spectacular photographs, a quiz book or ideas to inspire parents?

So here are our picks for what we like to call 'humour and gift books' - short or smart, gorgeous or funny, these are books they can dip into when they want - for everyone to enjoy!

50 Years of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year - Rosamund Kidman Cox - £35.00
This special collection is a celebration of fifty years of the world-famous Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and of wildlife photography itself. Featuring many of the greatest nature photographs of all time, it charts the development of nature photography, from the first hand-held cameras and the colour film revolution of the 1960s, to the increasingly sophisticated photographs of wild animals and unexplored places that are taken today. An incredible variety of styles, skills and approaches are on show, reflecting the great advances in technology and the many and varied ways of viewing and interpreting the natural world.

Lonely Planet the World: A Traveller's Guide to the Planet - Lonely Planet - £22.99
The ultimate travel guide to Earth. This user-friendly A-Z gives a flavour of each country in the world, including a map, travel highlights, info on where to go and how to get around, as well as some quirkier details to bring each place to life.

Dive: The World's Best Diving Destinations - Lawson Wood - £16.99
Want to know where you can swim with turtles? The best time of year to dive with sharks in the Bahamas? Well, you can find out here. Packed with stunning pictures of marine life and ancient wrecks, insightful information about local geography and first-hand advice on unmissable dive locations, Dive fully describes over 250 sites spanning the globe - from Maria La Gorda in Cuba, to the atolls of French Polynesia.

Great British Walks: Short Walks in Beautiful Places - Jilly Macleod - £12.99
From Stonehenge to Sutton Hoo, from spooks in East England to shipwrecks in Cornwall, and from mountains to the best British beaches, this is an inspirational guide to get you outdoors and exploring the glories of the English landscape.

The Dress: 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion Forever - Marnie Fogg - £30.00
Through 100 groundbreaking dresses author and fashion historian Marnie Fogg tells the story of 'The Dress', from beaded and bias-cut to frou-frou to corseted, Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent, laced to bustled. Each dress tells a fashion story through anecdotes and analysis, with historic and cross-cultural references, beautiful imagery, and immaculate referencing.

Good Ideas: How to be Your Child's (and Your Own) Best Teacher - Michael Rosen - £16.99
Learning should be much more fun and former children's laureate, million-selling author, broadcaster, father of five and all-round national treasure, Michael Rosen wants to show you how. Forget lists, passing tests and ticking boxes, the world outside the classroom can't be contained within the limits of any kind of curriculum - and it's all the better for it. Long car journeys, poems about farting, cake baking, even shouting at the TV can teach lessons that will last a lifetime. Packed with tips, stories and games this is both inspirational and reassuring for parents who need confidence in the face of league tables, baffling technology and homework meltdowns.

I Don't Believe it! Outraged Letters from Middle England - Nigel Cawthorne - £9.99
A little book of the art of Britain's favourite pastime, grumbling. This new collection boasts the best and most amusing letters of British grouses and shows us why it is so much fun for us to complain about, well, just about everything...

Thinking About it Only Makes it Worse: And Other Lessons from Modern Life - David Mitchell - £18.99
After his recent visit to Abingdon, this is of course one of our top recommends of the year. David's collected and curated columns from six years of writing for the Guardian and Observer take many of the baffling, maddening and just plain wrong aspects of modern life. In David's hands, nobody is safe from his scrutiny as he ponders the lessons that can be learned from bankers, UKIP, Madame Tussauds and Ryanair amongst many other things. By turns  

Would they Lie To You? - Robert S. Hutton - £9.99
How do you apologise when you're not sorry? Where can you make a fortune out of pretending to know the future? What's the best way to steal credit and avoid blame? These are the vital life skills that people need if they're going to make their way in the world. And they all involve one ingredient: flannel, the art of not saying what you mean. It's not exactly lying, but it's definitely not telling the truth.

The Very Pointless Quiz Book - Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman - £14.99
A collection of 100 of the finest Pointless questions from the hugely popular ratings-winning TV show Pointless - described as "the greatest show in the history of television" by none other than Stephen Fry! Let hosts Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman guide you through the rounds with their trademark warmth and humour and battle it out against your friends and family for Pointless glory. 

Brick Flicks - Warren Elsmore - £10.00
From Ghostbusters to The Godfather, and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz to Norman Bates in Psycho, here is a collection of the most iconic film moments and characters of all time...expertly built from LEGO! The full-colour illustrations are accompanied by commentary on how they were made and interesting facts about the movies themselves. There are also instructions on how to replicate many of the scenes at home from your own LEGO collection!

(And if you are still looking for inspiration, take a look at our 'books throughout the year' gifts!)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Stert Street late-night shopping event with Carols and Choirs

On Tuesday 9 December we're having a late-night shopping event at Mostly Books - and to make it even more special we're welcoming composer and Andrew Gant, author of 'Christmas Carols : From Village Green to Church Choir'. He'll be signing copies of his book - and he'll be backed by a choir on the night!

Everyone loves a Christmas carol - in the end, even Scrooge. They have the power to summon up a special kind of midwinter mood, like the aroma of mince pies and mulled wine and the twinkle of lights on a tree. It's a kind of magic.

But how did they get that magic? In 'Christmas Carols' Andrew Gant tells the story of some twenty carols, each accompanied by lyrics and music, unravelling a captivating - and often surprising - tale of great musicians and thinkers, saints and pagans, shepherd boys, choirboys, monks and drunks. We delve into the history of such favourites as 'Good King Wenceslas', 'Away in a Manger' and 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', discovering along the way how 'Hark, the Herald angels sing' came to replace 'Hark, how all the welkin ring' and how Ralph Vaughan Williams bolted the tune of an English folk song about a dead ox to a poem by a nineteenth-century American pilgrim to make 'O little town of Bethlehem'. Christmas Carols brims with anecdote, expert knowledge and Christmas spirit.

The event starts at 6.30pm - the choir is courtesy of ACCord, the Abingdon Community Choir from Abingdon Music Centre - learn more about them here.

There will be shops all along Stert Street open until 8pm, including:

Wine tasting at Added Ingredients

A special Christmas market at Mod 31

New shop on the block Dapper Street will also be open, showing off their range of contemporary streetwear.

Other shops will be open too - so why not come along?

Monday, December 01, 2014

Books for Christmas Part 7: No category required - the best new fiction of 2014

Whilst the run-up to Christmas can be frenetic like nothing else, that period between Christmas into New Year can be just the time to carve out some space, and make time to tackle something a bit more weighty than at other times of the year. So our recommends for the best fiction of the year - typically newly published hardbacks from some of our biggest authors - may not just be as gifts for others, but an indulgence for yourself.

This year many of our favourite books refuse to be categorised in narrow terms of crime, science fiction, fantasy or contemporary fiction. So we'll leave it up to you to decide which category they fall into, we just commend them to you!

The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell - £20.00
Holly Sykes’ life seems ordinary when we meet her in 1984. But her life has been punctuated by inexplicable precognition and it will take her a lifetime (and us the whole book) to understand the significance of seemingly unimportant events in her teenage years. As we follow her to the present day, and into a near oil-starved future, The Bone Clocks works brilliantly as metaphysical thriller, meditation on mortality and chronicle of our self-devouring times, with brief lapses in the laws of reality making this kaleidoscopic novel one of the most original, exciting and inventive chronicles of the way our world might be heading. It crackles with the invention and wit that have made David Mitchell one of the most celebrated writers of his generation.

(You should also take a look at the beautiful cover! We reviewed this book in more depth back in the Autumn - and we still have a few signed copies which you can email us to reserve).

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher - Hilary Mantel - £16.99
A brilliant - and rather transgressive - collection of short stories from the double Man Booker Prize-winning author of 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies'. Hilary Mantel is one of Britain's most accomplished and acclaimed writers. In these ten bracingly subversive tales, all her gifts of characterisation and observation are fully engaged, summoning forth the horrors so often concealed behind everyday facades.

The Children Act - Ian McEwan - £16.99
A respected high court judge known for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity, hides the fact that professional success belies private sorrow – lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try the case of a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, who is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. With his devout parents sharing his wishes, time is running out and her judgment - both professional and personal - has momentous consequences for them both. A modern-day parable of the power of - and limits to - logic and faith.

Lamentation - C J Sansom - £20.00
It's been a four-year wait (yes, Heartstone was published in 2010) but Matthew Shardlake finally returns, as an ageing Henry VIII nears the end of his reign. Summoned to Whitehall Palace by Catherine Parr, he learns that a secret book has inexplicably vanished, the only page having been found clutched in the hand of a murdered London printer. It is the Queen’s confessional and Shardlake's investigations take him into the labyrinthine world of the politics of the royal court; a world he had sworn never to enter again. The theft of Queen Catherine's book proves to be connected to a recent terrible death, while his involvement threatens to bring Shardlake himself to the stake. Sansom keeps up the form that have made the Shardlake books one of the bestselling - and best loved - historically series of recent years.

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy - Rachel Joyce - £14.99
When Queenie Hennessy discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, and all she has to do is wait, she is shocked. Her note to him had explained she was dying from cancer. How can she wait? Told in simple, emotionally-honest prose, with a mischievous bite, this is a novel about the journey we all must take to learn who we are; it is about loving and letting go. And most of all it is about finding joy in unexpected places and at times we least expect. Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was just the beginning...

The Paying Guests - Sarah Waters - £20.00
It is 1922, and in South London, impoverished widow Mrs Wray takes in lodgers. The routines of the house will be shaken in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be. This is vintage Sarah Waters: beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises.

The Secret Place - Tana French - £14.99
When a schoolboy was murdered a year ago, the police got nowhere in the exclusive boarding school, in the graceful golden world that Stephen Moran has always longed for. To solve it, he will have to find a way into the strange, charged, mysterious world that Holly and her three closest friends inhabit and disentangle the truth from their knot of secrets, even as he starts to suspect that the truth might be something he doesn't want to hear. One of Nicki's favourites of the year.

Moriarty - Anthony Horowitz - £19.99
With pitch-perfect characterisation and breath-taking pace, Horowitz weaves his second relentlessly thrilling new Sherlock Holmes tale which teases and delights by the turn of each page. The game is afoot...

The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simsion - £14.99
The Rosie Project was a hugely enjoyable, word-of-mouth treat of a book: intelligent, beguiling and unashamedly romantic. The Rosie Effect is the charming and hilarious sequel to Simsion's bestselling debut novel, and confirms Don Tillman as one of the most original and endearing literary characters of recent years. With his typically awkward and confused take, he narrates his life as it spins off in unplanned directions. This is pure, wonderful escapism.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter - Kate Mosse - £18.99
Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to be seen. As the last notes fade into the dark, a woman lies dead. Connie Gifford struggles to discover who is responsible, but finds herself under suspicion. What is the secret that lies at the heart of Gifford House, decaying home of the once world-famous museum of taxidermy and what sinister forces are at work?

Stone Mattress - Margaret Atwood - £18.99
In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle - and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

Us - David Nicholls - £20.00
A disintegrating family booked on the trip of a lifetime around Europe gives a brilliant backdrop to explore the bittersweet heart of this family’s failed relationships. David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced One Day. A novel about love and family, husbands and wives, parents and children.

Foxglove Summer - Ben Aaronovitch - £16.99
In the fifth of this bestselling series Peter Grant heads to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops, local gods..and some carnivorous unicorns. The Peter Grant series has been a huge hit with readers at Mostly Books, and Aaronovitch serves up another hugely satisfying dose of quirky magical weirdness to his rapidly increasing and loyal fans.

Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook Terry Pratchett 12.99
Authorised by Mr Lipwig of the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway himself, Mrs Georgina Bradshaw's invaluable guide to the destinations and diversions of the railway deserves a place in the luggage of any traveller, or indeed armchair traveller, upon the Disc. Sample the delights of Dimmuck, the pleasures of Little Swelling , the charm of Shankydoodle, and enough cabbage in all its many guises to satisfy the keenest brassica connoisseur.

Miss Carter’s War - Shelia Hancock - £12.99
It is 1948 and for Miss Carter - one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge - it is a time to fight social injustice, to prevent war and to educate her girls. Through deep friendships and love lost and found, from the peace marches of the fifties and the flowering of the Swinging Sixties, to the rise of Thatcher and the battle for gay rights, to the spectre of a new war, Sheila Hancock has created a powerful, panoramic portrait of Britain through the life of one very singular woman.

Ghost Girl - Lesley Thomson - £7.99
Ten-year-old Mary Thornton is taking her little brother home from school. It is 1966,. But that afternoon will change Mary's life forever. She is about to become the only witness to her brother's murder. Only a year after the death of her father Stella discovers unlabelled photographs of deserted streets amongst her father's possessions. And the first photograph in this odd collection dates back to 1966...

Ancillary Sword - Ann Leckie - £8.99
Breq - the soldier who used to be a spaceship is serving the emperor she swore to destroy. She's been given her own warship, her own crew and ordered to the only place in the galaxy she would agree to go: to Athoek Station, to protect the family of the lieutenant she murdered in cold blood. But everything is not as tranquil as it appears. The sequel to Ancillary Justice - which swept all before it scooping many of the major SF awards in 2013 - this is intelligent, satisfying science fiction in the tradition of Iain M Banks and Ursula Le Guin.

Treachery - S J Parris - £7.99
Giordano Bruno, a heretic fleeing the Inquisition, finds a new life working as a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham. Along with his friend, Sir Philip Sidney, Bruno travels to Plymouth and join Sir Francis Drake on his daring expedition against the Spanish. When a murder occurs aboard Drake's own ship, fear and suspicion grip the fleet and threaten to abort the expedition before it begins. Bruno starts to uncover some very dark secrets...and if he fails to find the murderer, it will not just be Bruno who pays the price, but all of England...

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - Claire North - £7.99
Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. 'I nearly missed you, Doctor August,' she says. 'I need to send a message.' This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow. Blisteringly original speculative fiction from a talentd new author.

Trust In Me - Sophie Mckenzie - £7.99
Julia has always been the friend that Livy turns to when life is difficult.When Julia is found dead in her home, Livy cannot come to terms with the news that she chose to end her own life. The Julia that Livy knew was vibrant and vivacious, a far cry from the selfish neurotic that her family seem determined to paint her as. Troubled by doubt but alone in her suspicions, Livy sets out to prove that Julia was in fact murdered. But little does she realise that digging into her best friend's private life will cause her to question everything she thought she knew about Julia. And the truth that Livy discovers will tear the very fabric of her own life apart.