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IBW 2016INDIE BOOKSHOP WEEK – Day 3

#IBW2016

Another day, another bookshop.

This time Kate pops in her new local indie, Burley Fisher Books in Haggerston:

 

A few months ago, a little bookshop opened just over the road from where I live in Hackney. Hooray! Books on my doorstep! Over the last few months I’ve dipped into Burley Fisher frequently, but, alas, I’ve just moved and they’re no longer my local, so I thought I’d pick them as my IBW2016 in a slightly gloomy, farewell-to-Hackney-are-there-any-bookshops-in-Wandsworth sort of a way.

Nestled between a kebab shop and a corner shop (of course!), Burley Fisher is an eclectic, bespoke bookshop, with some fabulous and unique displays. They also have a lovely, quiet café with some great coffee on offer – the perfect place for perusing your purchases. Run by Jason Burley and Sam Fisher of Camden Lock Books, this is a bookshop with a great pedigree, but with a really fresh feel.

I came away with two entirely unrelated, entirely unplanned purchases – Edward Gorey’s THE DOUBTFUL GUEST, a darkly absurd illustrated book about a distinctly penguin-ish creature that moves in with an aristocratic family, and EVERY GRAIN OF RICE by Fuchsia Dunlop, a primer on Chinese (particularly Sichuan) cooking, simply because the illustrated/cookery table at Burley Fisher looked SO good.

Find out more about Independent Bookshop Week here. And get in touch with Pages of Hackney directly to buy/order a book and support independent retailers: http://burleyfisherbooks.com/shop/

IBW2016 - Burley Fisher

 

IBW2016 - Burley Fisher

 

IBW2016 - Burley Fisher

 

IBW2016 - Burley Fisher

 

IBW2016 - Burley Fisher

IBW 2016INDIE BOOKSHOP WEEK – Day 2

#IBW2016

Our Independent Bookshop Tour continues with a visit to Hackney indie bookshop Pages of Hackney.

Ruby, part of the Two Roads publicity team, went to explore the shop:

 

 

Pages of Hackney is sandwiched between Spice & Grill and a newsagent on Lower Clapton Road, a busy street in North East London. It’s my local, a ten min stroll from my house and a great place for a bookstore; there are two lovely parks within walking distance or if you like beer with your books, the Windsor Castle, a good pub just across the road. I have spent many a day in all.

I popped in on a Saturday, and Manon recommended three books to me. It was a nice surprise to meet Manon, a fellow Antipodean also from Auckland. She used to work at Time Out Bookstore, which is a fantastic independent bookstore sitting under the shadow of a mountain in Mt Eden Village. So while we bonded over people we knew, and our experiences of living in London, I squeezed in a request for recommendations of books to buy. And I came away with some good ones:

THE GIRLS by Emma Cline – a book very recently published, and described by the Telegraph as a ‘trance-like portrait of the Manson family’. I am resisting reading this right now so I can save it for my holiday next month.

THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson – a genre-bending memoir, Nelson tells a love story and channels public intellectuals such as Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes.

10: 04 by Ben Lerner – the second novel by this author and recommended to me for its fractured narrative.

The shop has an intimate event space downstairs which also sells vinyl and second hand books and truly felt like someone’s living room (see pic of comfy couches). Their larger events are held down the road at Sutton House and it’s clear when you check out their events schedule that they have incredibly thoughtful programming (find out more here: http://pagesofhackney.co.uk/?page_id=165). There are many events which include local authors on topical themes as well as talks which showcase new releases.
By the time I left with a laden bag, Pages of Hackney was brimming with people of Hackney (and beyond) and I was squeezing between books and bodies to get out.

Find out more about Independent Bookshop Week here. And get in touch with Pages of Hackney directly to buy/order a book and support independent retailers: http://pagesofhackney.co.uk/?page_id=946

IBW2016 - Pages of Hackney

IBW2016 - Pages of Hackney

IBW2016 - Pages of Hackney

IBW2016 - Pages of Hackney

IBW2016 - Pages of Hackney

 

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 12: FINAL DAY! – Feat. Ross Fraser, Two Roads’ marketing champion.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 12Reading at Christmas is a chore.

It’s not because I’m too busy drinking with good cheer, or because I’m watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the millionth time or even because I’ve fallen asleep surrounded by the crumbs of many a fallen mince pie. Deary me no…

The reason is because the choice of exactly what to read can be too daunting. How do I choose between my personal seasonal favourites like A Child’s Christmas in Wales or Ethel and Ernest, and the new ‘good’uns’ like The Fox and the Star or The Explorer’s Guild? It’s tricky…

My solution though is simple: read them all and consume excessive amounts of Turkey and festive Toblerone to keep going – it’s the only way through!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 11 – Feat. Gretchen Rubin, Two Roads author of international bestseller Better Than Before (find out more at http://bit.ly/betterthanbefore)

Gretchen Rubin (credit Elena Seibert) Two Roads BooksI run a monthly bookclub on my website gretchenrubin.com (you can sign up to the bookclub newsletter here) and here are my December recommendations:

An outstanding book about happiness, good habits, or human nature: Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I find Thoreau maddening; I also find myself quoting him constantly. Whether or not you agree with his ideas (and I often don’t), his work is relentlessly thought-provoking.

An outstanding children’s book: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Don’t worry about whether you liked the movies, or even saw the movies, it doesn’t matter. This is a great book. If you like dystopia, and boy I sure do love dystopia.

An eccentric pick: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Well, maybe it’s not so eccentric, given that this book has been wildly popular for more than 150 years. I was just re-reading it, for the millionth time, because I was trying to figure out if Jane Eyre is a classic Questioner (read Better Than Before and you’ll see what I mean!) – and I remembered how much I love this novel!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 10 – Feat. Kate Miles, Editor and friend from our sister imprint Saltyard Books.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 10I always loved colouring in as a child and I’ve enjoyed reliving the joy and satisfaction of colouring since colouring books became all the rage this year.

Parisian Street Style is the perfect book for relaxing on the sofa with a glass of wine while you watch some Christmas classics.

That is why I’m giving a copy to lots of my friends this Christmas: they’ll be able to unwind, switch off and the only challenge will be working out which colours to choose…

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 9 – Feat.Two Roads author Ruth Hogan, whose début novel The Keeper of Lost Things will be published in early 2017.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 9I’m always dreaming of a white Christmas, but as the English climate rarely obliges, I’ll turn to The Snow Queen. This wonderful edition of Stories from Hans Christian Anderson has magical illustrations by Edmund Dulac and was given to my mum as a Christmas present in 1942. I remember it from my own childhood and I still love it today.

I’ll also be reading A Christmas Carol (again!): Charles Dickens’ prose is as rich and satisfying as a dollop of Christmas pudding and who can resist a ghost story at Christmas?

John Betjeman is my literary comfort blanket and I’ll be snuggling up with his poetry, lighting the log burner and drinking a Banana Blush cocktail. I think he would approve.

Finally, A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale is a treat I’m saving for after Christmas, when the guests have gone, the house is peaceful and the sofa beckons.

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 8 – Feat. Lyndsey Ng, one third of Two Roads’ formidable Publicity team.

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 8We don’t really do the whole turkey, crackers and carol singing at Christmas in the Ng household, so this year we’ve chosen to have a vegetarian Christmas with recipes from Prashad at Home: Everyday Indian Cooking from our Vegetarian Kitchen by Kaushy Patel.

They’re easy to make recipes with everyday ingredients, so there’ll be no slaving over a hot stove or basting a turkey at 6am in the morning, just delicious, spicy food that’ll warm the soul as well as our kitchen.

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 7 – Feat. Kirsty Wark, author of Two Roads’ classic The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle (find out more at http://bit.ly/kirstywark)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 7There’s nowhere quite like a bookshop in the run up to Christmas.

Enticing tables of best sellers, design books, and fabulous stationery – among my purchases: The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell for Caitlin, Cicero by Robert Harris for Alan, and for James the reissued play by Gregory Burke, Blackwatch.

But my local Waterstones is too damn tempting, so I had to buy for myself too! I chose The Witches, Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff, and I shall also be dipping into Poems by Elizabeth Bishop.

I will light the fire, put on candles (from ANTA) and immerse myself for a stolen hour on Christmas Eve.

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 6 – Feat. Two Roads’ Senior Editor Kate Hewson

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 6For me, Christmas is usually a time for rereading old children’s classics – partly for the nostalgia factor, but also partly because, let’s face it, by Christmas my brain has usually packed up for the year, and anything more complicated is a bit beyond me.

This year, however, I’m pushing out the boat with two children’s classics I have never read before –Black Beauty and Ballet Shoes. Apparently having not read these basically disbars me from working in publishing, so Publisher Lisa got me these two beautiful Puffin Classics editions for Christmas, and I’m going to have to read them while I’m off if I’m to be allowed back in January.
I’m very much looking forward to it though, and who knows, they might even be added to the list for future Christmas rereads.

Happy Bookmas everybody!

TWO ROADS’ 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

Bringing you festive, bookish cheer from our authors and the Two Roads team!

Snowflake
DAY 5 – Feat. Janet Ellis, author of the forthcoming The Butcher’s Hook (find out more at http://bit.ly/thebutchershook)

Two Roads 12 Days of Christmas Day 5The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith is the perfect Christmas book.

It’s like a selection box, full of delicious treats – and with no odd fudge-ey thing no one wants. Every diary entry is funny, every character recognisable and Mr Pooter’s pompous bossiness is a salient reminder to any control freaks (moi?) that sometimes it’s best just to let things happen.

The Pooter Christmas is a masterclass in all the expected friction and disarray and the unexpected moments of happiness and love during the Festive Season. It’s also written with great kindness.

Some sort of New Year Resolution in that, I think…

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