• 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?

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Book of the Week

The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair

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The Secret Lives of Colour tells the unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book Kassia St Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilisation. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tell the vivid story of our culture.


Book at Bedtime

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

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The first novel in 20 years from the Booker-prize winning author of The God of Small Things The Ministry of Utmost Happiness takes us on a journey of many years-the story spooling outwards from the cramped neighbourhoods of Old Delhi into the burgeoning new metropolis and beyond, to the Valley of Kashmir and the forests of Central India, where war is peace and peace is war, and where, from time to time, 'normalcy' is declared. Anjum, who used to be Aftab, unrolls a threadbare carpet in a city graveyard that she calls home. A baby appears quite suddenly on a pavement, a little after midnight, in a crib of litter. The enigmatic S. Tilottama is as much of a presence as she is an absence in the lives of the three men who loved her. 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.

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 Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble

2. Nutshell by Ian McEwan

3. The Power by Naomi Alderman

4. Vienna Spies by Alex Gerlis

5. A Dying Breed by Peter Hanington

6. A Divided Spy by Charles Cumming

7. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

8. Freya by Anthony Quinn

9. Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz

10. Holding by Graham Norton

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 in September to discuss and take questions about this important new book. Date to be confirmed - watch this space...