A month of pretty extreme weather! It was also Independent Bookshop Week and we hosted our first Author events. Here’s what has sold well and our own picks of the month.
Thanks to his appearance in the shop, Douglas Jackson has moved a lot of books for us this month, including his new release The Barbarian. Alistair Moffat’s The Reivers also proved popular and our best- selling children’s book was Gecko & The Echo.
The Smiths were our artist of the month with a variety of records going, perhaps influenced by the passing of bassist Andy Rourke in late May.
Book of the month:
His Name Is George Floyd by Robert Samuels & Toluse Olorunnipa
This brilliant thoroughly researched book portrays the life of the man behind the name and includes extensive interviews with Floyd’s family, friends and acquaintances whilst painting a wider picture of systemic racism in the USA. It also sets out the harsh realities for Black people in America, the opportunities denied them, and the ceaseless targeting and brutality by the police. It traces Floyd’s family roots from slavery right through to the aftermath of the trial of the man who senselessly murdered him. It is an unsettling, deeply moving read and absolutely important. If you’re not angry yet, read this and get angry.
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Heartbreaking story of a young Black girl living in poverty in Oakland who turns to ‘nightcrawling’ to pay rent, and look after herself, her brother and her neglected nine year old neighbour. I found this a tough book to read and had to put it down often. An excellent first novel from a very promising young author.
Breaking Bad 101 by Alan Sepinwall
I read some pretty dark novels in June so kept dipping in and out of this book which breaks down each episode of the beloved series without giving away anything that comes next. A nice accompaniment to read alongside the show if you’re a first time viewer.
Book of the month:
Scattered All Over The Earth by Yoko Tawada
I’m interested to read more translations and we have a fair few in the shop. This is by a Japanese author and I see some connection to my only other real experience of this; Huruki Murakami. It’s a world where Japan ceased to exist and its cultural heritage has been subsumed, almost by accident. Chapters jump between characters through a fairly low stakes and gentle plot, but the background is a world where nationality, borders and languages are less defined and is telling its own story around identity that is reflective and thoughtful.
My easy read for the month was comedian / streamer Limmy’s autobiography. He’s a natural storyteller and it’s mainly slices of life from his pretty dark life, and the chance-luck that led him to get his own TV show. There’s an underlying theme of mental health and battling addiction too.
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 1. by Alan Moore
I decided to go back and start the classic Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel series again. It’s strange to go back to a series that ends up so huge in scope and it’s basically a bit of investigating around Victorian London. But the writing and characterisation is vivid and Kevin O’Neill’s artwork is wonderfully grotesque. A good place to start with graphic novels that aren’t DC / Marvel.
Trees by Kelsey Oseid
Mama bought this book and we’ve been looking through it. I’ve been learning words like deciduous and I like all the pictures, like the rainbow roots and the trees that look like people.