Saturday, June 28, 2008

Some Books and Glasto, amongst other things


we read books sometimes. We loik books, we do. And here is some books wot we loik at the moment.

Julio Cortazar and Carol DunlopAutonauts of the Cosmoroute. Published by Telegram at £9.99 and well worth every p.
This is gorgeous to look at and lovely to read. I suppose it could be described as a French version of a Dave Gorman project, but 17 times better. This re-issue follows Juio and Carol's journey along the Paris-Marseilles motorway (or freeway, or auto route), but with rules. They weren't allowed to leave the route, and most amusingly, they had to visit each service station along the way. I think there are 65. It's a life affirming book and it's interspersed with some great photos and some delightful line drawings, and I thoroughly endorse it. The picture above is from the cover and I thnk captures things pretty much perfectly.
Cortazar is a fascinating fellow, and having wikipediaed him, I want to know more. But this is a great start.

Tim is ripping through the mighty Space Captain Smithby Toby Frost and reasonably priced at £7.99. I hear about his escapades and from what I gather, it's a mix of Douglas Adams, Flashman, and Grant Naylor. I'll no doubt be reading it very soon.

The Suicide Shopby Jean Teule is funny, in the way I like books to be funny. Here's the story then. The Tuvaches run a sucessful business where you can buy all your 'end it now' products. Nooses, sleeping pills, poison... They have a son (Alan) who horrifically to them is a cheerful soul whose positive outlook on life threatens the whole business...
Gallic Books are putting out loads of great stuff, and we're selling most of it. I don't know why, but this reminded me of Tim Burton, and also a book which I read years ago called Pig Tales by Marie Darrieussecq. I suspect (because the subject matter is completely different) that it's the writing style that's similar, but I don't know what i'm talking about half the time so who knows.

and now for Roy of the Rovers.
Melchester magic at only £9.99. This is selling like shitty Ronaldo replica tops, and at a fraction of the price. Relive the magic of Roy Race at his peak as he gets Melchester up the table with the help of Blackie Gray. He survived a shooting by Elton Blake, and signed Bob Wilson and Spandau Ballet in the 80's (although not all this is in the book, it's just stuff in my stupid head), and was quite rightly a national hero.
Welcome back Roy.

The new Dave Eggers is sellng very well. If Eggers was a cricket commentator, I wonder what his nickname would be ? Never mind.

Glasto's on at the moment, and it made me wonder what my ideal lineup would be.

Here's a suggestion

12.00 The Wurzels kick off with cider related mayhem

1.00 the sun shines brightly as the Rakes entertain the vast crowds

2.00 There's a reunion in the making as the Specials rip through an incredible back catlaogue

3.30 The Polyphonic Spree brighten up always

5.00 The Young Knives play spiky punk for an hour or so.

6.30 The evening kicks off with MC5

8.00 Queens of the Stone Age / Nirvana take it in turns with Dave Grohl

9.30 The Clash. Nuff Said

11.00 James Marshall Hendrix

I'd enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flash Bang Wallop...

My camera is at home, and my computer works. Which means I can download all those photos from the last week or so of the shop.

Here is a pretty window that I did of Crime Week. Isn't it pretty.....yes pretty.

Now here are some photos from the remnants of our facebook party in the shop on Saturday. As mentioned before we wanted to thank all those people who have supported us from the begining, especially those of you who helped us build the shop when we got the keys.
Well here is some of the debris from the evening.

THE MANAGEMENT. (god help us all)

Two of our loyal supporters, Mark Farley (bookseller to the stars, erotic fiction novelist, and all round good egg), and Kelly Arnstein (I don't think she writes erotic fiction, but she's definitely a good egg)

My good good friend Alister. Mark leave Alister's nipples alone

Lauren Ace, a legend in the world of childrens' publishing came along. Oh, hello Mark...

My lovely Katie was also there, 8 months and 24 days pregnant, and more gorgeous than ever. Here she is with the fab Heather

Friend and local legend Laurie Owen, who Wood Green owes a huge debt of gratitide for all his work and energy in keeping it a wonderful place. He's here holding 'The Wood Green Audit', which documents how Wood Green should be.

Trouble broke out between Phil and Tim about how to spell Nietzsche,, but the night was great fun.
Hurrah for everyone, thanks for coming.

We have just sorted out an event in August for this gentleman
Yes, it's Haruki Murakami

No it isn't is it. It's the magnificent Levi Roots and he'll be joining us on August 9th for a barbecue and a sing song. See you then Levi.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we have a first in Wood Green, as far as i'm aware. Tim Saunders is one of the most important figures in the modern revival of the Cornish language and the best-known poet writing in the language. He has also edited a number of anthologies of Cornish literature. Tim will be reading from his collection The High Tide, available on the night at only £9.99. He will also be reading poems in Cornish from the anthologies The Wheel and Nothing Broken.
It's going to be awesome, and I can't wait.

There was something I wanted to write about, but i've completely forgotten about it now. I must be tired, so I think i'll go to bed now.

I have a favour to ask soon, which I'll also be putting on facebook (almost 500 supporters now). It involve an A4 piece of paper, and your willingness to stick it in your window/photograph it etc, and there will be prizes galore, so stay tuned.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday is Tiswas Day...No wait


It's Party time at the Big Green bookshop.
For those of you who are on our Facebook Group, you know it baby.

We've been open now for 109 days, and we thought it was high time we thanked the people who have supported/helped/followed us through all this bookshop type shinanigans. So we're having a party tonight with cake and everything. We sent an invitation to Haruki, but I don't know if he can make it.
Also we're giving 10% off to our facebook group this weekend. All they have to do is say the words....well you'll have to join the group to find out.

Oh, by the way, sorry I've been a bit rubbish at posting recently. But to catch up

we had the very funny Clare Summerskill in the shop for an evening of stand up and a bit of sit down comedy. She's produced a book featuring some of her monologues and stories, and The Big Green Bookshop was lucky enough to host this very successful event.
I have pictures at home, but I'm at work, so i'll add 'em later.

I was also asked by Omnibus/Music sales limited to join them last week for a meeting to discuss possible future publications. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I gingerly entered their offices on Berner's street, I was escorted to the 6th Floor (a floor you couldn't get to without a special key!) I was introduced to a dozen people including Barry Miles (who I suspect knows more about music than Paul Gambachini), Barrie Edwards, the president of Music Sales Corp, and many more luminaries of the music industry. It was a pretty fascinating couple of hours, as people discussed the merits of 'a book about a roadie for an unnamed supergroup' and a reprint of a classic kate bush biography amongst other things. It was encouraging that a publisher had the foresight to ask a bookseller to a meeting like this, and also that they listened to my opinion. I'm no expert, but I suppose being on the frontline (so to speak) gives me an insight of what sells and doesn't, and I hope I was of some use. I'm hoping they'll ask me again.

I notice that this here blog has been mentioned in the Guardian today. That's the papery version aswell as the magic internet version. How marvellous is that.
If you've found us through the medium of newspaper, then hello, and welcome.

We've got an evening of Cornish Poetry on Thursday. Never before has Wood Green experienced such a thing, I think. This is what I've written on the advert for it.

Tim Saunders is one of the most important figures in the modern revival of the Cornish language and the best-known poet writing in the language. He has also edited a number of anthologies of Cornish literature. Tim will be reading from his collection The High Tide, available on the night at only £9.99. He will also be reading poems in Cornish from the anthologies The Wheel and Nothing Broken. He will be happy to answer questions about the language and the inspiration for his poetry. There are very few opportunities to experience evenings like this, and I must stress that there will be an english interpretation of Tim's poetry on the night. This is a free event, and there will be refreshments (no, not pasties).

By the response we've had so far, I reckon the shop might be jammed.

That is all for now, except to say that I'm not gambling on any more footie matches this week...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



It's great again.

France 3 Italy 1 (£3 at 25/1)
Holland 3 Romania 3 (£2 at 66/1)

Come on!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A week of events at the Big Green Bookshop


i've just finished my 12th day in a row. I love it at the Bookshop they call Big Green. I seem to have neglected taking photo's this week very much, despite having 10authors over 5 different events. So I may have to add some pictures that aren't exactly authentic to the events. We'll see how we go.

So, on Tuesday we had an evening called Gaslit Vices where 4 crime auth... actually you can read this poster.

a lovely evening with knowledgable and charming guests.

On Thursday it was the turn of L C Tyler, author of the Herring Sellers Apprentice and Alison Joseph, author of the Sister Agnes series of crime novels to join us. They read from and answered questions about their books and once again, the evening was great fun and very informative. I also found out that Alison used to have singing lessons from Tim's mum.

Friday was the final day of Crime Week in Wood Green, and we had the pleasure of Christopher Fowler's company. Chris was there to read from his brilliant Bryant and May detective series of books and Tim tells me he was superb and the evening was a veritable hit. I would write lots more wonderful things about the evening but such is the demand for The Big Green Bookshop, I was selling books at another event. This time Katie and I were in Regent's Park for the sort of launch of Mark Watson's book 'Crap at the Environment'. Hodder decided that they would have a kind of Fete in the park to celebrate the launch, and we were asked to sell the books there. I would say that it was more like a big picnic, with cake, cornflake cakes, gin, dandelion and burdock, and games.
There was a 3 legged race
Mark seemed to enjoy it. He's the one in pain on the left...

There was also a dangerous sack race, which thankfully ended without any permanent damage to the atheletes

the rain stayed away and we sold his book from our suitcase (you can just see a green and white balloon in the background of this picture. That was us..

as the sky bruised, we hurried off to the pub, for drinks and suchlike. A good day all in all, and the end of a busy and very fruitful week.
Thanks to all the authors who came along to the shop, it seems that the Wood Green residents are beginning to get used to the idea that there's now stuff to do in the area apart from going to the pub. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I haven't finished yet, because on Saturday, Karen McCombie came to visit the shop again to chat to our customers about her great kids books. I really should start using the camera again. I must thank Kirsy Lawrenz very very much for sending me the Mark Watson photos to put on the blog. They're great.

I'll save our battle with the council until next week.

And i've been asked to add our events programme to the blog, so i'll try and add a tab somewhere where you can read about what's going on.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

.......hello. Is there anybody still here


10 days since my last post. Jeez man, who the hell do I think I am?
Yeah, sorry about that, things have been a bit busy and that, what with stuff and other stuff.
June has been great so far, and there's lots to talk about. So here we go then.
Oh no, i've forgotten.

We had Lynne Featherstone come to see us. She's our local MP and she's lovely.
Here she is.............

Oh no, wait. Tim, she's not here yet.
Ah, that's better

She came in and bought a copy of Persepolis, and seemed to like the shop. I hope she recommends us on her blog

We've also started Crime Week in Wood Green. This is a week of events celebrating the best in Crime writing, and if i'm honest, it was very very hard to organise. Especially as i'm a bit of a 'let's just see how things go' kind of guy. But, also if i'm honest, it's brilliant!!
Yesterday (Monday) we had the wonderful talents of Cathi Unsworth and Danny King. For those of you who need to , Danny has written many novels, including The Burglar Diaries, the Hitman Diaries, of whom Maxim said 'the book’s hitman protagonist himself [is] a piece of work so nasty he makes Osama bin Laden look like Claire Rayner’(blimey) and his latest gem School for Scumbags, and Cathi is a wonderful journalist and writer, who's latest novel 'The Singer', Lydia Lunch describes as 'beautifully written, hard hitting and haunting. And respect always has to go to Lunch.
Well, i'll tell you something for nothing. They were both briliant. Here they are, flogging their books.

This crime week is going to be an annual affair, and in years to come the lucky punters who turned up to listen to Cathi and Danny read fromtheir books and the like, will be able to say 'I was there' at the first ever event at the biggest crime festival in Britain. You mark my words.

On the Murakami front, no more news.....

Other things that seem to be happening at the moment.

Graham Marks came to see us. He's brilliant in all the ways that authors who come to the shop can be brilliant. It was a small turnout, due to it being half term and the fact we're new and still need to get our marketing better, but Graham sat and chatted for an hour and was brilliant value. He even said lovely things about us in the local paper that week too.

If you haven't joined our facebook group yet, you've missed out big time.

My opinion on age ranging of children's books? Bollocks. This isn't opinion actually, it's fact. OK?

An orange fly has just landed on my computer screen

Karen McCombie is coming to visit us this weekend. She's brill and should be carried around North London and cheered at all day, although she'd probably get nothing done if that happened. Anyway, she's at the shop on saturday to entertain us and out customers. 1PM, so don't be late.

Life is good, and Katie and I are about 3 weeks away from having a small person who'll be weeing, puking, sleeping, and demanding food all day. Working with Tim for the last few months has been really good practice for me.

More stories soon, but thanks for coming back after my long break