News

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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Cello case

How lovely. We’ve been brought biscuits and other treats by doting customers; one veteran has made her annual donation of fudge, daintily served in an elegant Smythson’s box… How Adventitious and Delightful! We’ve also just been informed, by just about the cleverest customer of the shop, who chews Derrida for breakfast and Thucydides for XIses, that the Paddington Bear film is glorious, He, like us, also adores Katherine Rundell’s ‘Rooftoppers’ – pure joy for any…

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