Saturday, August 31, 2013

"145 Days in Space" with Linda Grant

Following on from my recent blogpost "145 Days in Space", we've asked some fantastic authors to let us know what six books they'd take with them if (like astronaut Chris Hadfield) they were sent into space for 145 days. 

To kick off, the brilliant Booker shortlisted, Orange Prize winning Linda Grant has cheekily sneaked in an extra book without anyone noticing.  

"145 days isn't that long, and I assume I would have duties of various kinds 
on the space station, or maybe I am lost in space and using literature to 
save myself from going mad. There's nothing to look at in space.

So here's my choice." 

  • Lampedusa, The Leopard;  Haven't re-read this since I was in Sicily in the late 80s 
  • Dickens, Bleak House; for the umpteenth time 
  • Proust A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. in the hopes that finally I will finish it 
  • Dodie Smith I Capture the Castle; Pleasure 
  • Jean Rhys Good Morning Midnight; (to work out how she manages to do what she does with a sentence) 
  • Amos Oz A Tale of Love and Darkness; Longing for a re-read of this 
  • Claudia Rosen The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarakand and Vilna to the Present Day The history of the Jews through eating

Thanks to Linda for sharing this with us. 

Linda will be appearing with novelist Charlotte Mendelson at the Wood Green Literary Festival on Sunday October 13th in conversation with journalist Alex Clarke. 

More information can be found HERE

Friday, August 02, 2013

145 Days in Space

I'm starting a promotion in the bookshop called "145 days in space". 
The idea comes from amazing Astronaut Chris Hadfield, who spent 145 day in space on his last mission from December 19th 2012 until May 13th 2013. 

145 days.

During that time, he chatted to William Shatner .
 He took some very pretty photos, like this one. 
Chris Hadfield's images: The Isle of Wight looks like a jigsaw piece
The Isle of Wight
And he played his guitar. 

He probably also did some important space stuff too.

Did he read any books?? I don't know, but I'm asking authors which six books they'd take to space with them if they had to go there for 145 days (You can only fit six books into your space suitcase and Ereaders don't work in space).
It can be anything at all. Books they've read already, books they've always wanted the time to read. It could even be their own books.
Yes, it's like Desert Island Discs for the 21st Century. 

I'm sending out requests to authors today, but I also want you to let me know your choices. If you can send short reasons why you chose the books as well, that'd be even better. The best will be featured on a dedicated bookcase in the shop, so I hope you can help. 


You can email them to if it's easier. 

Thursday, August 01, 2013

EBooks for Independent Bookshops - another quick update.

Earlier this year, I put something up on here about a possible option for Indie Bookshops to be able to sell EBooks, and actually make some money doing it. 
It's an Australian company called Readcloud. 

  • the bookshop gets around 35% of the download price.
  • bookshops don't have to do anything to process the sales, it's all done for you.
  • You can decide the books that are highlighted on the website. 
  • The prices of the books on sale are negotiable (not necessarily r.r.p.)
  • There are over 100,000 books available to download (all major publishers are included, and many smaller imprints) and the number of publishers signing up to it is increasing all the time.
Anyway, here's the latest update. Readcloud are still in negotiation with a Big Publisher to get the rights to sell their EBooks in the UK. It's a bit of a struggle, but they think they're pretty close to sorting it out. 
Once that's done, then, in theory, it's good to go. 

To the 30 or so Bookshops who've expressed an interest, we are almost there.