We carry a wide range of new titles for adults – customers are often surprised to find that something they’ve only just read about is already on display in the shop. We’re not only about new books though – we have an extensive selection of backlist titles across all genres. Whether you’re interested in fiction, history, biography, politics or science, you’ll find a good read on our shelves. And we cater for practical needs too – we’ve a very well-stocked travel section, a great collection of cookery books, and much more.
Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost …
In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.
Ask an Astronaut : My Guide to Life in Space
The awe-inspiring Sunday Times Bestseller from astronaut Tim Peake How does it feel to orbit the earth ten times faster than a speeding bullet?What’s it like to eat, sleep and go to the toilet in space?And where to next – the Moon, Mars or beyond?Ask an Astronaut is Tim’s personal guide to life in space, based on his historic Principia mission, and the thousands of questions he has been asked since his return to Earth. Accessible, in-depth, and written with his characteristic warmth, Tim shares his thoughts on every aspect of his mission. From training to launch, from his historic spacewalk to re-entry, he reveals for readers of all ages the cutting-edge science behind his ground-breaking experiments, and the wonders of day-to-day life on board the International Space Station.
The public were invited to submit questions using the hashtag #askanastronaut, and a selection are answered by Tim in the book, which will be accompanied with illustrations, diagrams and never-before-seen photos. Tim is pleased to announce that, as with his previous book, royalties received from the book will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.
FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF FATHERLAND, CONCLAVE AND AN OFFICER AND A SPY. September 1938Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace.
The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there. Munich. As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Fuhrer’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own.
Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries; Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now, as the future of Europe hangs in the balance, their paths are destined to cross again.
When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?
With River Cafe 30, Ruth Rogers and her head-chefs, Joseph Trivelli and Sian Wyn Owen, invite you to join them in marking 30 years of memories and good food at London’s The River Cafe. Since 1987, The River Cafe has championed simple, good quality Italian cooking and, along with Ruth and Rose’s cookbooks, it really did change the way we eat. Ruth, Joseph and Sian have revisited and updated the best dishes from the first blue cookbook and introduce 30 new favourites from the menus today – Panzanella, Ravioli with Ricotta, Raw Tomato and Basil, Risotto with Porcini and Girolles, Braised Beef Fillet and, of course, Chocolate Nemesis.
Including Ruth’s memories and unseen archive images, Rose’s careful tips and hand-drawn illustrations, new photography by Jean Pigozzi and Matthew Donaldson, bespoke menu artworks from the restaurant’s friends and 120 classic Italian recipes, River Cafe 30 encapsulates the essence of the restaurant and its food. This is a beautiful cookbook of recipes you’ll want to cook time and again – a must-have for all food lovers.
See What I Have Done
Haunting, gripping and gorgeously written, this is a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders. Sarah Schmidt opens the door to the Borden home and leads us into its murkiest corners, where jealousies, slow-brewed rivalries and the darkest of thoughts reside.
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death
This is a hugely personal memoir, if that’s not a contradiction in terms, this is a sort of Book of life told through near death experiences. As the reader, you feel Maggie is speaking directly to you and only you. She has the amazing ability to write as a friend, her warmth and compassion oozes from the pages and there are times when you want to stop reading, turn to her and hug her.
She talks about university, about revising and passing exams to get degrees that really don’t matter in the grand scale of life. Writes about a near death experience on a flight to Hong Kong when it hit turbulence resulting in some passengers being hospitalized afterwards. In all there are seventeen near death experiences and these provide the chapters of this brilliant memoir.
The book opens with a dramatic encounter with a murderer in a remote location from which she might never have escaped. This encounter is startling, frightening and deeply sad for the life wasted by the inaction of the police.
For me the most personal writing was about the miscarriages and her daughter’s Anaphylaxis. She writes about the miscarriages with pain and they are heart-breaking to read. I could not remember another writer describing the miscarriages in such a way, often it is a topic not discussed.
The title of the book, I Am, I Am, I Am is taken from The Bell Jar and whilst only just over 200 pages this is a book that will have a profound effect on you as she explores the fragility of life through her own near death experiences. The trick that Maggie pulls off with this hugely personal memoir is that it is not a sad book but a book when you finish it and you will stand back in awe at her, her life and think how lucky you are.
It begins with a painting won in a raffle: fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things.
And then there are two boys, Ellis and Michael,
who are inseparable.
And the boys become men,
and then Annie walks into their lives,
and it changes nothing and everything.
In some ways I don’t have enough words to tell you how brilliant this book is. I absolutely loved it. There’s not a word wasted as Sarah Winman tells the story of Ellis, Michael and Annie supported by the wonderful character of Mabel and not forgetting Mr Khan. This is the story of how you fall in love, in what is a love letter to human kindness and friendship, loss and living.
I’ve been a fan of Sarah’s since God Was A Rabbit and Tin Man is a triumph and a joy to read.
This is the story of The Music Shop, owned by Frank. Frank is set in his ways, appears to be settled and definitely never going to stock CD’s. His shop is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk – as long as it’s vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need. There are wonderful scenes of customers popping by, unhappy or lost and Frank shows them to the record booth, plays a track for them and they feel right again.
Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann. Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music…
The Music Shop is a story about good, ordinary people who take on forces too big for them. It’s about falling in love and how hard it can be. And it’s about music – how it can bring us together when we are divided and save us when all seems lost.
Rachel Joyce is a great storyteller and in The Music Shop she was written an hugely enjoyable and wonderful story.
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
Currently the bestselling books in Village Books, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is at once an aching love story and a decisive remonstration. It is told in a whisper, in a shout, through tears and sometimes with a laugh. Its heroes are people who have been broken by the world they live in and then rescued, mended by love-and by hope. For this reason, they are as steely as they are fragile, and they never surrender. This ravishing, magnificent book reinvents what a novel can do and can be. And it demonstrates on every page the miracle of Arundhati Roy’s storytelling gifts.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Hardback Special Price in Village Books £10
Hazel’s favourite book of 2017, this is a debut title that’s a powerful tale that highlights the loneliness of life and the power – and changes – a little kindness can bring.
A delightful tale that we’d highly recommend for a good read. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
The story slowly develops around Eleanor as you get to know her and Honeyman gently pulls you into the book. By telling little snippets of Eleanor’s life, how she lives you begin to form a warmth for her and an understanding of her. We know early that she is housed in social housing, with twice yearly visit to see how she is coping, we know that something terrible happened in her early life and that she is haunted by her relationship with her Mother.
There is delightful humour in Honeyman’s style for Eleanor, such as the tale of Eleanor getting a bikini wax. I loved the descriptions of Eleanor talking about “simple family meals” which included sourdough toast, manchego cheese and quince jelly. There’s a great description of a place when she calls it Spam Valley, or describing a person with “she wasn’t chewing gum but her demeanor was very much that of a gum chewer”.
The sinister and uncomfortable element comes through the Mother daughter relationship and Honeyman builds that into the story very well. The highlights for me were Eleanor’s conversations and relationship with Raymond. Here I thought the passages were at their strongest and most enjoyable.
With humour throughout the book makes this a highly readable novel of loneliness and isolation in cities.