Slightly Foxed Bookshop of the Quarter

We are thrilled to be chosen for Slightly Foxed’s ‘Bookshop of the Quarter’ feature. Here is the text: Bookshop of the Quarter: John Sandoe Books Few bookshops in London have the density of books, informed staff or seductive atmosphere to compare with John Sandoe’s. It opened in Chelsea in 1957, and has recently expanded into the third of the Georgian cottages that make up its shop front. The intimate premises retain their striking atmosphere of bibliographic profusion:…

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Divine Pleasures and the John Sandoe’s Summer Catalogue

After a fortnight of trying – and so far failing – to come to terms with the sense that the known world has suffered an economic and political earthquake that has left us all in a very different position, we hope that our summer list may bring our customers some relief, even consolation. (Click here to view). With this in mind, a title that slipped the net of our list is the exquisitely named Divine…

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Teffi, Piper, et alia: Spring 2016 catalogue

We’ve just published our ‘Spring 2016’ list on our website – please have a look at our ‘Browse catalogues’ page: http://johnsandoe.samsara.us.positive-dedicated.net/…/John-Sandoe-Books-Spring-2016-List.… As always, it has been hard to keep it short – the length is not unreasonably determined by what can fit into an A5 envelope and still count as letter post. The list covers books that will be published over the next three months – in this case April to late June. The list…

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Javier Marias

We have just had the pleasure of a visit by the great Spanish novelist Javier Marias, King of Redonda, who has a very long association with Sandoe’s. A stack of ‘Thus Bad Begins’ has been signed, for which we are extremely grateful. On being emailed just now that his inscribed copy awaits him, a customer wrote back as follows: ” That’s wonderful. Thank you. I have been lying in the shade by the sea in…

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John Saumarez-Smith et alia

We’re delighted to announce that we have provided a desk here for John Saumarez-Smith. Since retiring from Heywood Hill after 40+ years, this celebrated bookdealer has been operating from Maggs Bros in Berkeley Square. As the long lease on their premises comes to an end, John has had to move out. It gives us great pleasure to welcome him here. His extraordinary bibliographic knowledge will be an asset for us (and perhaps a caution), and…

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Doppelgängers

A delicious moment in the shop when Johnny and I were fielding a Mr Henderson apiece. The two Hendersons eventually stood next to one another in front of the two computers, where the till is. Johnny addressed his Mr Henderson, who was ordering a book, “… and you’re Mr Henderson…?” to be answered in jet-lagged, old-fashioned colonial tones by my Mr Henderson, as well as his own. There followed a gorgeous Spartacus moment with double-takes….

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Elena Ferrante special edition – work in progress

A happy chunk of yesterday afternoon was spent watching Nicky Oliver and her colleague, Manuel Mazzotti, working on our Elena Ferrante limited edition, at the Black Fox bindery in Stoke Newington. The edition is truly hand-made – even the labour-intensive sewing of the pages – a week’s work for 2 people for just half the edition – has been painstakingly done by hand. Most binderies doing commissioned work use a machine for the sewing, which…

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Carnal

Our Marzena has been positively bricking up her light under a bushel… But she has inadvertently let a glimmer through by plugging a new book by Kevin Jackson which, she was kind enough to let slip, has a mention of her. That ‘mention’ is, in fact, a 4-page article about her photographic work. It is a reprint of a piece that Kevin wrote about an exhibition of Marzena’s some years ago, with a postscript about…

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Duel

An exceeding strange thing happened here yesterday, just after taking delivery of our copies of “1864: The Forgotten War That Shaped Modern Europe” by Tom Buk-Swienty. It is a book about the Schleswig-Holstein war, which is now more famous for Lord Palmerston’s quip than for the events themselves. (“Only three people have ever really understood the Schleswig-Holstein business—the Prince Consort, who is dead—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about…

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Our Best Sellers 2014

A quietish Sunday afternoon gives the rare breathing-space to exercise the software and look at what really sold last year. The answers are: The Land Where Lemons Grow (Helena Attlee) Those of you who have followed our peculiar Facebook utterances closely won’t be surprised that this terrific book should be in first place because it’s been there since shortly after its publication. But instead of slipping during the Christmas period in favour of, say, Stephen…

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