Monday, 25 March 2013

Book of the Week - The Secret Museum

This week's book of the week is The Secret Museum, by Molly Oldfield.

The Secret Museum is a unique treasure trove of the most intriguing artifacts hidden away in museum archives from all over the world - curated, brought to light, and brought to life by Molly Oldfield in a beautifully illustrated collection. Who knows what's hidden from view? Locked away in cabinets, secure storage and aircraft hangars. Most of a museum's collection never gets seen.

It sits in the quiet dark of an archive waiting for a treasure hunter or obsessive researcher to root out its very existence. Under the streets of Manhattan priceless books are shelved; brick outbuildings in London's East End house drawers of Victorian embroidery remembering foundlings long ago dead; body bags in Washington clothe space suits covered in real moon dust and in an unvisited aircraft hangar sits Auguste Piccard's extraordinary invention, the balloon gondola...This and many other extraordinary inventions, legacies, discoveries and artefacts have been visited and curated by Molly Oldfield into a Secret Museum. Rich in atmosphere and anecdote, suffused with the surprising emotion of a personal discovery, but grounded in fascinating factual detail, this is a unique and beautifully illustrated book.

The Secret Museum reveals sixty unknown artefacts and stories from all five continents, from Rome to Rio and Boston to Berlin. And like the very best mornings spent at a museum it promises to be idiosyncratic, surprising and enormously good fun. The Artefacts in the book include: An original Gutenberg Bible printed on vellum, Harrison Schmitt's Space Suit, A piece of Newton's Apple Tree, Van Gogh's Sketchbooks, The original drawings of Wimbledon's Centre Court, Dickens' letter opener,Three pieces of Mars, and much more...

Monday, 18 March 2013

Book of the Week - The Last Runaway

Our book of the week this time is The Last Runaway, by Tracy Chevalier.

When modest Quaker Honor Bright sails from Bristol with her sister, she is fleeing heartache for a new life in America, far from home. But tragedy leaves her alone and vulnerable, torn between two worlds and dependent on the kindness of strangers.

Life in 1850s Ohio is precarious and unsentimental. The sun is too hot, the thunderstorms too violent, the snow too deep. The roads are spattered with mud and spit.

The woods are home to skunks and porcupines and raccoons. They also shelter slaves escaping north to freedom. Should Honor hide runaways from the ruthless men who hunt them down? The Quaker community she has joined may oppose slavery in principle, but does it have the courage to help her defy the law? As she struggles to find her place and her voice, Honor must decide what she is willing to risk for her beliefs.

Set in the tangled forests and sunlit cornfields of Ohio, Tracy Chevalier's vivid novel is the story of bad men and spirited women, surprising marriages and unlikely friendships, and the remarkable power of defiance.

We've got a big week in store, being fitted out for magazines tomorrow and stock scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.  We're really excited about the new path we're taking, and even more so because this is just one step along the way.  Don't forget we are open all day, 9 'til 5, Monday to Saturday so why not come down and visit us?  We look forward to meeting you soon.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Book of the Week - F1

It's Monday, it's cold, but it's sunny and we have a new book of the week.  As we start a new Formula One season this weekend (Karen is beside herself with excitement), our book of the week is the Official BBC Sport Guide to Formula One 2013.  It's the world's best-selling Grand Prix handbook, with details of all the circuits and a run down of every race last season.  We'd love to be able to bring you a picture of the cover, but the publicity shots are all of an earlier version, depicting Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren overalls, and that was designed at a time when the publishers were obviously anticipating Fernando Alonso winning the drivers' championship.  The cover of the actual book is more accurate, and nicer.

We're ready for many books coming out later this week, including new novels by Jeffrey Archer and Andrea Camilleri, amongst others.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Book of the Week - Great Curries

Yes, those Hairy Bikers are back - this time with a fantastic collection of their favourite curries.  As well as curries from around the world, this book contains recipes for starters, pickles and chutneys - everything you can think of for a spicy feast.  We're delighted to have chosen this for our book of the week.

Don't forget, this Sunday is Mothering Sunday, so why not come down and find a nice book (or poster ... or mug ... or book token) that your mum will love.  We're open 9-5, Monday to Saturday.

Until next time!