July Recommendations

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Summer has arrived. At least, according to the calendar. But it has been lovely to see lots more visitors to the town and we’ve been adding new sections to the shop. 



Scotland – Take The Slow Road by Martin Dorey has proven popular this month, probably due to the increase in visitors passing through, or folks planning their holidays. It’s a great book we had before opening the shop. The Reivers by Alistair Moffat has sold well too, with visitors and locals alike interested to learn more about that period of our local history. Finally, Ye Cannae Shove Yer Grannie Off A Bus is a consistent winner in the kids section!


Miles Davis is our best selling artist this month, from his more trad work such as Kind Of Blue and Sketches Of Spain, to the spiralling madness of Bitches Brew. 

Our Reading


Book of the month: 

Taste by Stanley Tucci

After fan-girling Tucci for a short while since watching his Searching For Italy series (which is glorious) I decided to give his memoir a shot. It is his life told through the food he has eaten along the way. Honestly, I usually find books like this rather tedious, but this is nothing short of charming. Tucci’s voice shines through and his story-telling is highly engaging and funny, and there are some yummy recipes sprinkled throughout. This book was such an absolute pleasure to read I didn’t want it to end, instead I just wanted to keep on living in his delicious world. Super!

Retrospective by Juan Gabriel Vasquez

This is a semi-fictionalised biography of Colombian film director, Sergio Cabrera. The author tells the story of Cabrera’s family background through to the subject’s early twenties via Cabrera’s reminiscences with his son at a retrospective showing of his films in his later years. It focuses on his time spent as a Red Guard during China’s Cultural Revolution, and his years as a Guerilla in the Colombian jungle. This is a fascinating story which is beautifully told and kept me engaged throughout.

Fire Rush by Jacqueline Crooks

A profoundly haunting story which follows Yamaye’s journey in the late 1970s from dancing to dub music with her two friends through to her discovering who she really is by searching her heritage in Jamaica. There is so much heartbreak, suspense, grief and dub sounds packed in to these pages and I loved it. A truly great and quietly uplifting novel.


Book of the month: 

Study For Obedience by Sarah Bernstein

This was the first H&W book club read. It was a really illusive read for me, so hard to pin down as an experience. I don’t rate it as an all time great read but it claims top spot due to the book club experience of discussing and pulling it apart. As a result, it stuck with me and has been bouncing around my brain alot. In terms of plot, it’s about a woman moving to ‘the north’ of some unnamed country, to look after her brother. But there’s alot more going on. A bit of a love it or hate it book. 

Notable mentions:

Rizzio by Denise Mina

Historical fiction is not my jam. But this was recommended by a visiting publisher rep. It’s about a very short period in Mary Queen Of Scots life, and the book is fast-paced and short. I couldn’t weigh up how ‘good’ it was, but I came away thinking that it had ‘brought history to life’ in an engaging way that has stuck with me, so I think it’s a winner. 

The Manhattan Projects Vol1. by Jonathan Hickman

Thanks to Oppenheimer being in the cinemas, I’ve revisited this brilliant graphic novel series that blew me away some years back. It’s an increasingly weird version of reality, built around real-life, brilliant scientists like Oppenheimer, Fermi and Einstein and what they were really up to when people thought they were making the bomb. It’s the kind of story where they will take a huge idea and then burn through to its logical conclusion in one issue and move on, when it was good enough to sustain a whole series – I like that.


Blobfish by Olaf Falafel

We got lots of new books in the shop this month that I really liked. Blobfish is a really funny book. I liked drawing Blobfish and then there was a Blobfish on Octonauts too! 

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