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A Fantastic Event, Some Excellent Summer Paperbacks, Incompetent Buffoons, Plus Werner Herzog’s First Novel!

Hello Readers,

Welcome to our second newsletter, featuring our last literary event before the summer break kicks in (we’ll pick up again in September), some excellent new releases and oodles of new paperbacks.

On Friday 15th July we will be welcoming Mona Arshi & Preti Taneja to the Gloucester Road to talk about two of my favourite books of the last couple of years. There will be much for these writers to discuss (with Noreen Masud, from Bristol University) so it promises to be a fascinating evening. None of our events will require having read the book/s beforehand – the authors will be discussing the themes broadly so even if you have never heard of either writer or book, there will still be plenty for you to take from the evening. Tickets are £5 from Eventbrite, via the link below, where there is more info about the books and the writers. Tickets are also available in store.

Rarely has the timing of a paperback release so perfectly correlated with a real world exemplar of its importance. If you want to know why our outgoing Prime Minister is wired the way he is, then Richard Beard’s Sad Little Men is the place to look. If you have, by this point, reached and exceeded your threshold for musings on the greased piglet of British politics, then I entirely sympathise. However, the chances are very good that the person who replaces Johnson will also be a product of a system that so often produces humans entirely incapable of doing justice to the priviledged positions they acquire.

Also well timed, and on a far more positive note, is the release of A Woman’s Game, to coincide with start of Euro 2022. A fascinating history of the rocky progress of women’s football from the Victorian era to present day.

This week has seen an absolute deluge of excellent new paperback releases. This is a modest selection of the paperback fiction that has appeared on our shelves and table in the last few days. There’s a good spectrum represented too, from pure storytelling to stranger & more challenging tales.

There’s plenty of good new non-fiction coming into paperback in time for summer reading too, if that’s the way your beach/tent/park reading is inclined:

Lastly, this week also saw the release of Werner Herzog’s first novel, The Twilight World. I’m not necessarily always convinced by forays made into writing by people who have made their names in other media (though the 254,565,343,692,954,267,219,040,012 people who have read Richard Osman’s books to date show I’m clearly on the wrong side of that one) but I’ve read both of Herzog’s non-fiction books, and they are totally brilliant, so I’m very much looking forward to reading this. It tells the story of a Japanese solider abandoned, toward the end of WWII, on a small island in the Philippines. He is given orders to defend the island at all costs, using whatever guerrilla tactics he can, which he duly does… for the next 29 years despite the war being long over. Those familiar with Herzog’s film making will recognise precisely this kind of premise; epic and absurd. I can’t wait.

Happy reading everyone,

x Tom