• 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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  • What's new?
  • Bestsellers
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Book of the Week

'Cherry' Ingram by Naoko Abe

Image for 'Cherry' Ingram : The Englishman Who Saved Japan's Blossoms

The irresistible story of Japanese cherry blossoms, threatened by political ideology and saved by an unknown EnglishmanCollingwood Ingram, known as `Cherry' for his defining obsession, was born in 1880 and lived until he was a hundred, witnessing a fraught century of conflict and change. After visiting Japan in 1902 and 1907 and discovering two magnificent cherry trees in the garden of his family home in Kent in 1919, Ingram fell in love with cherry blossoms, or sakura, and dedicated much of his life to their cultivation and preservation. On a 1926 trip to Japan to search for new specimens, Ingram was shocked to see the loss of local cherry diversity, driven by modernisation, neglect and a dangerous and creeping ideology. A cloned cherry, the Somei-yoshino, was taking over the landscape and becoming the symbol of Japan's expansionist ambitions. The most striking absence from the Japanese cherry scene, for Ingram, was that of Taihaku, a brilliant `great white' cherry tree. A proud example of this tree grew in his English garden and he swore to return it to its native home. Multiple attempts to send Taihaku scions back to Japan ended in failure, but Ingram persisted. Over decades, Ingram became one of the world's leading cherry experts and shared the joy of sakura both nationally and internationally. Every spring we enjoy his legacy. `Cherry' Ingram is a portrait of this little-known Englishman, a story of Britain and Japan in the twentieth century and an exploration of the delicate blossoms whose beauty is admired around the world.


Book at Bedtime

A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen

Image for A Terrible Country

In the summer of 2008, Andrei Kaplan moves from New York to Moscow to look after his ageing grandmother, a woman who survived the dark days of communism and witnessed Russia's violent capitalist transformation, during which she lost her beloved dacha. She welcomes Andrei into her home, even if she can't always remember who he is. Andrei learns to navigate Putin's Moscow, still the city of his birth, but with more expensive coffee. He looks after his elderly - but surprisingly sharp! - grandmother, finds a place to play hockey, a cafe to send emails, and eventually some friends, including a beautiful young activist named Yulia. Capturing with a miniaturist's brush the unfolding demands of family, fortune, personal ambition, ideology, and desire, A TERRIBLE COUNTRY is a compelling novel about ageing, radical politics, Russia at a crossroads, and the difficulty - or impossibility - of actually changing one's life.

Costa Book Award 2019

Image for The Cut Out Girl : A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found

The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland.

This year's award, announced on January 29th, has been awarded to Bart van Es for his biography, The Cut Out Girl.

Little Lien wasn't taken from her Jewish parents - she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not. Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es - the grandson of Lien's foster parents - knew he needed to find out why. His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences - so crucial in defining us - can also be redefined. 'Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through' Philippe Sands, author of East West Street'Deeply moving. Writes with an almost Sebaldian simplicity and understatement' Guardian

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

Image for The Only Story

1.The Only Story by Julian Barnes

2. Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

3. Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne

4. War Doctor by David Nott

5. Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe

6. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kaye

7. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

8. Educated by Tara Westover

9. Fing by David Walliams

10. The Cut Out Girl by Bart Van Es

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.

The Favourite

This film starring Olivia Coleman is about Queen Anne and her close relationship with Sarah Churchill, all of which is covered in this excellent book by Joanne Limburg.

Image for A Want of Kindness : A Novel of Queen Anne

Every time I see the King and the Queen, I am reminded of what it is I have done, and then I am afraid, I am beyond all expression afraid. The wicked, bawdy Restoration court is no place for a child princess. Ten-year-old Anne cuts an odd figure: a sickly child, she is drawn towards improper pursuits. Cards, sweetmeats, scandal and gossip with her Ladies of the Bedchamber figure large in her life. But as King Charles's niece, Anne is also a political pawn, who will be forced to play her part in the troubled Stuart dynasty. As Anne grows to maturity, she is transformed from overlooked Princess to the heiress of England. Forced to overcome grief for her lost children, the political manoeuvrings of her sister and her closest friends and her own betrayal of her father, she becomes one of the most complex and fascinating figures of English history.

Coming up

  • Watch this Space
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We have several events coming up over the next few months but we are just firming up details.

More to follow.....