• Welcome to Pitshanger Books

    A warm welcome to our website. Please feel free to explore the site and let us know what you think of it.
  • Your local independent bookshop

    Located on lovely, leafy Pitshanger Lane. We stock over 3000 titles. As well as books, we sell cards, wrapping paper, stationery and games.
  • Serving our community

    Everybody that works here lives locally. We all love the area and we all love books so please feel free to ask if there's anything you need.
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What's new?

  • Radio 4
  • In the news
  • Bestsellers
  • At the Cinema

Book of the Week

Shark Drunk by Morten Stroknes

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In the great depths surrounding the remote Lofoten islands in Norway lives the Greenland shark. Twenty-six feet in length and weighing more than a tonne, it can live for 200 years. Its fluorescent green, parasite-covered eyes are said to hypnotise its prey, and its meat is so riddled with poison that, when consumed, it sends people into a hallucinatory trance. Armed with little more than their wits and a tiny rubber boat, Morten Stroksnes and his friend Hugo set out in pursuit of this enigmatic creature. Drawing on science, poetry, history, ecology and mythology, Shark Drunk is the story of their quixotic quest. Together, they tackle existential questions, experience the best and worst nature can throw at them, and explore the astonishing life teeming at the ocean's depths. Shark Drunk is, in part, the tale of two men in a very small boat on the trail of a very big fish. It is also a story of obsession, enchantment and adventure. Above all, it is a love song to the sea, in all its mystery, hardship, wonder and life-giving majesty.


Book at Bedtime

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

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From the author of the world-wide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a new novel about learning how to listen and how to feel; and about second chances and choosing to be brave despite the odds. Because in the end, music can save us all ... 1988. Frank owns a music shop. It 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. Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann. Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind ... LISTEN WHILE YOU READ! The Music Shop is BBC Radio 4's BOOK AT BEDTIME. And you can follow these links for specially collated The Music Shop playlists:The Music Shop playlist: bit.ly/TheMusicShopPlaylist Father Anthony: bit.ly/FatherAnthonyPlaylist Kit: bit.ly/KitsPlaylist Maud: bit.ly/MaudsPlaylist Hector: bit.ly/HectorsPlaylist NB This hardback edition is beautifully produced, with stunning decorated insides.

Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction

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Naomi Alderman’s The Power has become the first science fiction novel to scoop the Baileys prize for women’s fiction. The thriller, set in a dystopian future where women and girls can kill men with a single touch, was the favourite on a shortlist that included former winner Linda Grant and Man Booker-shortlisted Madeleine Thien.

 

What if the power to hurt were in women's hands? Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.

These are the books that were most popular with our customers last week......

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1. The Power by Naomi Alderman

2. Nutshell by Ian McEwan

3. Holding by Graham Norton

4. The Hours before Dawn by Celia Fremlin

5. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

6. The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

7. How to Measure a Cow by Margaret Forster

8. The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble

9. Swing Time by Zadie Smith

10. The Whistler by John Grisham

If you would like to read any of these books, please send us a message from our contacts page, and we will reserve a copy for you.

Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

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Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But Philip's world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and then dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances. Before long, the new widow - Philip's cousin Rachel - arrives in England. Despite himself, Philip is drawn to this beautiful, mysterious woman. But could she have masterminded Ambrose's death?

Pitshanger Bookshop has been a feature on Pitshanger Lane for nearly 20 years. My name is Fiona Kennedy and I've owned the shop since August 2011.

There are 5 of us working here at various times: myself, Hazel, Carole, Ruth and Vanda. We all live locally and love the neighbourhood. And of course we all love books too! You can see what we're reading at the moment on the right hand side of this home page. We love chatting about books, making recommendations, and hearing what our customers recommend too. We offer a friendly service so please feel free to approach any of us if you need help or advice when you're in the shop. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Coming up

  • Sue Elliott and Steve Humphries discuss 'Not Guilty'
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Only fifty years ago, sex between men was a crime. The 1967 Sexual Offences Act changed that in part, but it was only the beginning of the long fight for equality in the eyes of the law, in society and in millions of private lives. This vital new oral history - to accompany a Channel 4 documentary of the same title - tells that story through the lives of gay men who lived through those years.
Built around the intimate testimonies of some exceptional but largely unknown characters, it tells previously untold stories of denial, deceit and subterfuge, public pain and secret pleasure through the ten tumultuous decades before and since that watershed Act. The human variety of gay experience is all here: lives lived in joyous defiance of the law and a repressive society; others always in fear of a prurient tabloid press. Those committed to love and others to licence: lifelong affairs alongside casual sex. Young gay men may now take for granted the equal treatment denied those who went before.
This anniversary year is a good time to record the past, celebrate achievements and remember that hard-won freedoms can so easily be eroded in uncertain times.
 
Sue and Steve will be here at the Bookshop on Wednesday 27th September to discuss and take questions about this important new book.