Welcome to The Woodstock Bookshop

The shop opened in May 2008 and is on the main road in Woodstock, just next to the bus stop. We can supply most books to order by the next day and have several thousand books in stock: to order books ring or email the shop. We have a large selection of children's books and are happy to advise and recommend. We can also supply second-hand and out-of-print titles. We offer discounts for school orders and for book clubs and have a free local delivery service.

We were on the regional shortlist for Independent Bookseller of the Year in 2008 and 2013, and listed in the recent Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.

We hold a series of informal talks and readings throughout the year. If you buy any book at the talk the cost of the ticket will be deducted. Please ring or email to book a place - early booking advisable.

The Woodstock Literature Society and Wootton Village Hall also hold excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their websites for further details.

Twitter: @WoodstockBooks

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lila - Marilynne Robinson

I am surprised that Lila, the latest novel by Marilynne Robinson, is not on the Booker list this year. It comes out here in October and is a wonderful novel, every bit as good as Gilead and Home, or even better. It is so beautifully written and Lila herself is such an extraordinary character. I love the way the relationship between her and Ames is shown, the way the narrative weaves her life into being, backwards and forwards in time but, like a shuttle, always adding something slightly different and new, never repetitive. Look out for it!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

H is for Hawk

Helen Macdonald is coming to the Methodist Church in Woodstock on Thursday 26 September at 6pm to talk about her new book as part of the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival. This event is a Woodstock Bookshop event but tickets must be booked through the festival, see here. If you have any difficulty booking tickets please ring us.

H is for Hawk is a beautifully written account of Helen's taming of the goshawk she calls Mabel, interwoven with fascinating comments on TH White's The Goshawk and descriptions of her grief after the sudden death of her father

More than any other writer I know, including her beloved White, Macdonald is able to summon the mental world of a bird of prey - Mark Cocker, Guardian

H is for Hawk is a dazzling piece of work: deeply affecting, utterly fascinating and blazing with love and intelligence...a deeply human work shot through, like cloth of gold, with intelligence and compassion – an exemplar of the mysterious alchemy by which suffering can be transmuted into beauty. I will be surprised if a better book than H is for Hawk is published this year - Melissa Harrison, Financial Times (see here for the full review)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Independent Booksellers' Week 2014

A very nice piece here about the bookshop in yesterday's Oxford Mail for Independent Booksellers' Week. We've had a sale all week which has been fun and brought new people in to the shop - and on Thursday Tim Butcher came and gave an excellent talk about The Trigger, his book about the young assassin whose actions were the pretext for the start of the First World War. He had some great photographs - I particularly loved the ones of the vast landscape of mountains and valleys he crossed following Princip's steps through Bosnia to Belgrade and Sarajevo. He brought Princip alive for us.

The evening owed more than usual to the support of our customers, as one of them had popped in to the shop a few weeks ago and suggested we invite Tim who is a friend of her son's. She offered to contact him for me and she sent out encouraging emails to all her friends, and the result was Tim Butcher, a full church, a very attentive and interested audience, and a hugely enjoyable evening. Thank you, Ros!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Emma Chapman's Indie Bookshop Crawl comes to Woodstock

This summer author Emma Chapman is visiting as many independent bookshops as she can manage in a month, travelling from Land's End to St Andrews to promote her new book How to Be a Good Wife ('Brilliantly convincing...darkly fascinating' - Financial Times):

'I’m not ready to lose bookshops from our high streets. If we really think about it, I don’t think many of us are. It’s easy to shake our heads as yet another indie closes its doors, but are we really doing anything to prevent it? We continue to buy from online retailers, despite the fact that many indies offer next-day delivery. Amazon is able to discount books, often taking a loss which it makes up on other products. So perhaps we are saving one or two pounds on our book purchases—is that saving worth the loss of our local indies?
'I’m calling it #IndieBookCrawl. I’ll be tweeting (@emmajchapman) and “Facebooking” the journey and I’d love it if readers came along for the ride. You can pop down to a bookshop in person, or tweet your indie purchases during the month using the hashtag #indieBookCrawl. I’ll also be asking booksellers for their messages to readers.
'We make the purchasing decisions and hold the power to do something. Let’s make a stand and help out indies before it’s too late'
Emma will be calling in on The Woodstock Bookshop on Saturday 12 July - if you'd like to follow her progress, have a look at her blog here .

Monday, 9 June 2014

Independent Booksellers Week 2014 - Tim Butcher

We are holding a sale during during this year's Independent Booksellers' Week - and are also giving away a free proof of your choice with any full-price book you buy!

Tim Butcher is giving an illustrated talk about The Trigger on Thursday 3 July at 7pm in Woodstock Methodist Church, tickets £5.

Tim Butcher is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of Blood River and Chasing the Devil, accounts of his journeys in Africa. The Trigger tells the story of Gavrilo Princip, the teenage assassin who killed Archduke Ferdinand and started the First World War - born penniless, he trekked through Bosnia and Serbia to attend school. As he crossed lines of faith, nationalism and empire he gradually became radicalised. Tim Butcher uncovers new details about Princip and the book has been widely praised:
William Boyd: ‘A fascinating study of one of those rare individuals whose act of violence changed the history of the world. An incisive, shrewd, wholly compelling investigation’
Norman Stone: ‘A splendid book. It takes its place among classics of Balkan history’
Andrew Roberts: ‘This is first class history and in a year swamped with First World War centenary books it’s the one you should read first’
The talk by Barbara Trapido planned for June 28 has been postponed.

Marshmallows for Martians launch

Charlotte and Adam Guillain, (above, with Rachel, and below, with the book), during the launch of their latest book Marshmallows for Martians at The Woodstock Bookshop yesterday afternoon - photos by author Jo Cotterill - thank you Jo!)

Children bearing books and cushions - and parents bearing children bearing books and cushions - came to the bookshop yesterday afternoon to join in the celebration of Marshmallows for Martians.There was plenty of audience participation - Adam played the guitar and sang, while Charlotte read and we all joined in with choruses and kazoos. People shared their favourite books afterwards, and we handed round unbelievably large marshmallows (you can find them in Hampers) and free copies of Super Duck, the National Bookstart Week book.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Nell Gifford in Woodstock

Nell spoke for almost an hour last night about how she came to start Giffords Circus. She stood in front of us, with no notes, and told her story. 'I held the jewel of my childhood up to my eye, and through it I saw ponies and a dressing up box and a tent, and that was Giffords Circus.' Not everyone has the courage or tenacity or luck to make their dream a reality. Nell has those and more. She is touring the Cotswolds with Giffords Circus all summer till 14th September and if you haven't seen it yet do go - dreams such as hers need supporting. 

In the picture below, she's signing books following her Woodstock talk.