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Thursday 29 March 2012

A Load of Old Bones

A visit the other day by Suzette A Hill, author of the Francis Oughterard books, has led to us ordering one. Now, OK, I've not read A Load of Old Bones yet, only dipped into a few pages but I've not come across something so wittily amusing since The Discrete Interventions of Verdon James by Julian Roach (We'll have a few of those back in stock any day now!)

If the rest of the book reads as well, we'll have the rest of the series in soon.

Suzette lives not so very far away and if all is as expected, perhaps she'll come over for a signing later in the year.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Film to Book

If a good film makes the original book sell well, we should be in for a busy time.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or, as it was originally published, These Foolish Things, by Deborah Moggach is one I've made the effort to see and though the film was entertaining, I didn't think much of the cricket scenes. That pitch was far too short.

The other two are We Bought a Zoo by Benamin Mee and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which is the big hit.

There is one MORE but the book of John Carter of Mars (A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs) isn't so easily available and I understand the film made a huge loss. Shame. I quite enjoyed it. Perhaps because I first read it about 50 years ago. (The book was published in 1912!)

Anyway, the three pictured above are all in stock.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Homecoming - a second opinion

You know how great I think Jenny Wingfield's The Homecoming of Samuels Lake is.

Well, here's a link to a second (and more) opinion.

Not to be missed and perfect for a reading group.

Friday 23 March 2012

Jane Bailey Visit

We were very lucky today to receive a visit from a lovely author friend of ours, Jane Bailey. She is shown in the photo with close friend John.

Jane is the author of two books we have sold consistently since we took over the shop, Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven and Mad Joy.

They are also two of my favourite books.

There has not been a better war-time tale about a child evacuated into the countryside, since Goodnight Mr. Tom, than Tommy Glover's Sketch of Heaven and the mystery that is central to Mad Joy makes the pair of them equals.

If you've not tried either, be in touch soon as Jane was kind enough to sign a few copies of both books for us.

Jane has a site on which you can find a short video made here in the shop by Sky Arts.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Photos of the 'Signing'

In case you missed finding the excellent photos of the signing to be found on the Edith Appleton site, here's a direct link -

Thanks again Dick.

Monday 19 March 2012

School Visits

On World Book Day this year, Thursday 1st March, I toddled along to both Dormer House School and to Lower Swell C of E Primary to talk to the children. We chatted about books and bookshops, writing a book and publishing it and of course, I told them about some of my favourite books.

The children and many of the teachers were dressed as characters from books. Perhaps I should do that if I get asked again! I'd make a great Hobbit. As usual at this type of event, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Perhaps the children did too because I received lovely cards from them, as you can see here.

Thank you all very much!

Nurse at the Front - Link

A footnote to A Nurse at the Front.

Dick has kindly mailed me with a link to an address with lots more information on Edie and the diaries etc -

Sunday 18 March 2012

'Nurse' a great success

Wow! What a morning! Thank goodness we'd ordered an extra 20 copies of War Diaries - A Nurse at the Front.

Dick Robinson and his lovely wife Lisa came to chat about the book and he'd hardly put down the medals and diaries of his great aunt 'Edie' when he was rushed into a great line up of people wanting to ask him questions and, of course, to buy the book.

I wanted to grab a shot of both the medals and the diaries to show you but we were so busy at the till that I had no time to. (As they are off to the Imperial War Museum, I doubt I'll get another chance)

About 65 copies were sold between 10.30 and 1 pm. Apart from 7 books, set aside for customers, the only ones in stock by the end of the day were Dick's own copies in the window.
   We had posters up all around the town and beyond but I think we can thank Dick for the great turnout. His talk in Blockley was well attended and many of our customers must have been in that audience.

   Thank you Dick and Lisa and thanks to all those helping on the day.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Nurse has arrived

We now have over 65 copies of Nurse at the Front but they are already flying out.

Please give us a ring on 01608 652666 if you would like one reserved ready for Saturday.

If you come on the day of the 'signing' please let us know you have reserved one.

Don't forget, special price on the day or earlier.

Friday 9 March 2012

Dick Robinson TV Star

Hey! That was exciting wasn't it!

Dick Robinson on Midlands Today. Don't know if you can see it again on i-player but it was a very polished performance by Dick (and his wife who read the extract).

We doubled our order for A Nurse at the Front earlier today. After that, perhaps we should treble it!

We're looking forward to the books arriving. (They should have been with us a week ago)

Thursday 8 March 2012


We had some nice contacts today.

First a tweet from that excellent author, John O'Farrell. A short review of his latest, The Man who forgot his Wife, is in our latest Book News. Rather chuffed that he's following us on
 @cotswoldbooks  His contact @mrjohnofarrell

Then we had a call from The States from the lovely Diz White. If you don't remember her from her previous visit, check out her site - . She came over to sign Haunted Cotswolds and she and her husband were great entertainment. More of her later, when I get some images of her new book, Cotswolds Memoir.

Finally we had a visit from Dick Robinson too. He's been all over the country giving interviews about the forthcoming book War Diaries - A Nurse at the Front. He'll be here again, of course, when he comes to talk about the book and the diaries on 17th March but he was kind enough to break into a busy schedule to see if everything was ready for his visit. It is, but it would be nice to have some copies of the book.

That's Dick on the right (just in case you thought it was Diz)

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Our Games Workshop blog again exists (sort of) under

A hiccup, (well, more a mighty burp really) but we can go forward from here.

Monday 5 March 2012

Lost - One Blog

Just in case you are looking for our Games Workshop Blog - Sorry, I accidentally deleted it!

A sneeze when the mouse is hovering is all it takes!

Sunday 4 March 2012

Catch Me - Book News 44

Our latest 'Book News (number 44!) is now out. It contains our opinions on the following

The Man who Forgot his Wife by John O'Farrell
My Week with Marilyn by Colin Clark
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman
The Glovemaker by Stacia Brown
All the King's Men by Saul David
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield (now it's in paperback)

but there wasn't quite room for the following review.

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner
Paperback at £7.99

With a childhood as bad as ‘Charlene Grant's’, she might well be crazy. However, that is the challenge to Boston detective DD Warren  - is the young women who asks for help catching her killer, four days before the murder, mad, or is the death of her two friends, on the same date in the two previous years, the work of the same person.
   Charlene, herself, has been preparing for the date of her murder and can now shoot straight and fast and street fight with any gang of hoodies that come her way, but will it be enough? Neither of her friends put up the least struggle. Perhaps all that training has another purpose?
   Mixing this plot with another dealing with a vigilante who is out to rid the world of paedophiles makes for a complex read but sheer pace makes it difficult to put down. Both DD Warren and the young woman are strong, interesting characters and there are plenty of twists and turns to this gripping thriller.
   If you like your crime hard-boiled, this is for you and, if you like it, there are many other DD Warren books.

Saturday 3 March 2012

Homecoming in paperback

At this time in 2011 I read and raved about The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

I told everyone that I thought it likely to be my favourite adult read of the year even though it was only February.

By the end of the year, I'd not changed my mind and now it's in paperback with a new, and I think better, jacket.

I'm happy to repeat my review from that time -

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
by Jenny Wingfield
Paperback at £7.99

I received my proof copy of this debut novel in mid February and so, by the end of the second month of the year, I felt I had already read my favourite adult read of 2011.
   Samuel Lake is a preacher in need of a flock when, in 1956, he returns to the family farm in Arkansas. He has been set aside by his church for over-enthusiastic preaching and taking the Gospel as gospel when it came to treating all people equal. His family, comprising his three children and his devoted wife, Willadee,  fit right in to the unusual and unruly family home ruled by Calla Moses, Sam’s mother-in-law.
   With the front of the house run as a store and the rear as an all-night bar, the house ‘never closes’ and is often home to some of the more disreputable types from far and wide. The Moses family are honest, hardworking and kindly, and their conversations sparkle with homely wit and good sense. They are a joy to read about and this author brings them, and her minor characters, to life, in just a few words so that they soon become old friends.
   However, not all their neighbours are as decent and civil as the Moses clan and one in particular could have been created by that master of cruel, vindictive characters, Dickens himself. Raz Ballenger, horse beater, wife beater, child beater and far worse, would be a close companion of Jonas Chuzzlewit, Quilp, and Mr Squeers. He is so realistically portrayed, that Nina was seriously upset by the book because of him. That, in my mind, is the measure of Jenny Wingfield’s writing, for she has given us the good and the bad and made them both equally believable. She has produced a host of memorable characters and a plot that neatly dovetails them all together leaving nothing unsaid. It is mostly amusing, sometimes moving, always involving, briefly terrifying and, finally, completely satisfying.