• 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
  • What's new?
  • Bestsellers
  • On TV

In Search of Mary Shelley by Fiona Sampson


Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged sixteen, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe, as she coped with debt, infidelity and the deaths of three children, before early widowhood changed her life forever. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, creating two of our most enduring archetypes today. The life story is well-known. But who was the woman who lived it? She's left plenty of evidence, and in this fascinating dialogue with the past, Fiona Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story. She uncovers a complex, generous character - friend, intellectual, lover and mother - trying to fulfil her own passionate commitment to writing at a time when to be a woman writer was an extraordinary and costly anomaly. Published for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, this is a major new work of biography by a prize-winning writer and poet.

Book at Bedtime

A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark


When Mrs Hawkins tells Hector Bartlett he 'urinates frightful prose', little does she realise the repercussions. Holding that 'no life can be carried on satisfactorily unless people are honest' Mrs Hawkins refuses to retract her judgement, and as a consequence, loses not one, but two much-sought-after jobs in publishing. Now, years older, successful, and happily a far cry from Kensington, she looks back over the dark days that followed, in which she was embroiled in a mystery involving anonymous letters, quack remedies, blackmail and suicide.

The Costa Book Awards


The Costa Book Awards honour some of the most outstanding books of the year written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. There are five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book - with one of the five winners chosen as Book of the Year, announced at an awards ceremony in London every January. Launched in 1971 as the Whitbread Literary Awards, they became the Whitbread Book Awards in 1985, with Costa taking over in 2006.

On January 2nd 2018, this year's Category Winners were announced:-

First Novel: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Novel: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Biography: In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott

Poetry: Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore

Children's Book: The Explorer by Katherine Rundell


You can find out more about each of these books on the relevant category pages on our website.

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


1. Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

2. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

3. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

4. Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey

5. From the Heart by Susan Hill

6. In Therapy: The Unfolding Story by Susie Orbach

7. Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty

8. La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

9. Women and Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

10. Autumn by Ali Smith

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.

McMafia by Misha Glenny


Have you ever bought a pirate DVD? Taken drugs? Fallen for a phishing scam?Organised crime is part of all our worlds - often without us even knowing. McMafia is a journey through the new world of international organised crime, from gunrunners in Ukraine to money launderers in Dubai, by way of drug syndicates in Canada and cyber criminals in Brazil. During his investigation into the dark side Misha Glenny speaks to countless gangsters, policemen and victims of organized crime, and also explores the ferocious consumer demands for drugs, trafficked women, illegal labour and arms across five continents.

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, 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

  • Spies, Seduction, The SS and the Stasi: Berlin in Fiction


Authors David Young and Jane Thynne celebrate Germany's fascinating capital and its inspiration for their fiction as part of the promotional tour for David's new novel, A Darker State. David's female protagonist Karin Muller is a detective for East Germany's People's Police in his award-winning Cold War-era crime thrillers (which began with Stasi Child and Stasi Wolf), while Jane's bestselling Clara Vine series follows the fortunes of an Angle-German actress and British spy in pre-war and wartime Nazi Berlin. Their talk will include world exclusive photographs and a chance to volunteer for a communist v capitalist taste test.

Do let us know if you would like to join us. Booking essential!