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

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Wales Book of the Year shortlist

Many congratulations to Carys Davies, Patrick McGuinness and Jonathan Edwards, all of whom are on the shortlist for different categories of this year's Wales Book of the Year - see here. Carys came and read here from her excellent short story collection earlier this year:

Image result for redemption galen pike

We have repeatedly enthused about Other People's Countries, just available in paperback:

Image result for Other People's Countries

and you will be able to hear Jonathan Edwards for yourselves if you come to his reading with Elaine Feinstein at our poetry festival in November:

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

James Patterson grant for The Woodstock Bookshop

The lovely James Patterson has been giving money to independent booksellers here and in the States, to promote children's reading and encourage booksellers to keep going in these times of ebooks and other difficulties. He is a great champion of books and reading - see here - and we have just heard that the bookshop is to receive a grant enabling us to continue and develop our schools visits and to have a new carpet for the shop's 7th birthday! We will post before and after pictures - the new carpet is being fitted this Friday. There are huge holes as you come in to the shop, a testimony to the number of feet that have walked here since we opened. We are very grateful for those feet, very grateful for the holes - without all the feet we wouldn't be here, about to start our eighth year of trading in Woodstock. Thank you all so much for visiting the shop and for buying your books here.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Frances Leviston and Helen Mort

Frances (left) and Helen after their reading in The Crown, Woodstock, held last night in conjunction with Tower Poetry.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Julia Blackburn talk on Threads: 24th June

We have rearranged Julia Blackburn's talk about Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske for Wednesday 24 June. It will start at 7pm and is being held upstairs in the splendid Assembly Room at Woodstock Town Hall.

Threads is a very special book - if you liked The Hare with Amber Eyes, The Music Room, H is for Hawk or Other People's Countries you may well love it. It's the sort of book, like those, that is beautifully written, quirky and slightly uncategorisable - and all the better for that. For some recent reviews see here, and here, and here and, finally, here

We are also celebrating the start of our eighth year so the talk will mark the continued existence of The Woodstock Bookshop - it is taking place during Independent Booksellers' Week, which seems appropriate. Do come and join us - entry is £5 and wine will be served...

The Town Hall itself is a particularly suitable venue for this talk as it has seventeen wall hangings recording the history of Woodstock from the tenth to the twentieth centuries, designed to fit the Assembly Room. They were made by the Woodstock Broderers. a community textile group. Each panel was created in the design, colours and needlework style of its own period - the one below shows the Town Hall itself, built in 1766. The three huge upstairs windows are in the Assembly Room.

Woodstock wall hangings

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Truth According to Us

I have just finished reading this - it is wonderful! Every second I wasn't reading it I was wishing I could - even went to bed early to finish it. Annie Barrows is the co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (she finished the book for her aunt who was dying of cancer) and I loved this book even more than that. She creates a family you want to be part of, in spite of all its dysfunctions, and characters you can believe in. Where better to spend part of your life than in these pages?

There seems to be a lot of fiction about to be published with a theme of finding friends and oneself in a small community. Or perhaps those are the proofs I have chosen to read, accidentally. The Truth... is the one I have loved most, but they are all excellent, charming, comforting - perfect books to curl up with and escape life. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is, again, a thoroughly American book set in a small town but written, oddly, by Katarina Bivald, a Swedish author who hadn't been to the States when she wrote the book. It has been a huge success in Sweden and it's easy to see why because it, too, while set in the present, harks back to an age and place where people know each other - rather like an American Archers. My third recent read is The Sunlit Night, a first novel by Rebecca Dinerstein who has previously published poetry - and it shows, too, because her prose is exquisite. In a reversal of The Readers, this novel takes the young American heroine and hero to the North of Norway and the midnight sun...

All three are published in June, in good time for the summer holidays.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Fiction in translation - PEN awards

Sixteen books 'displaying outstanding literary merit' have been awarded grants by English PEN - look out for them, and support the publishers (small publishers, in many cases) by buying them! The list is below. 

Following the poetry reading by Helen Mort and Frances Leviston on 20th April, our next talk is about translation.  Celia Hawkesworth is Emerita Senior Lecturer in Serbian and Croatian Studies, University College London. She has published numerous articles and several books on Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian literature and translated several novels including, most recently, Farewell, Cowboy by Olja Savicevic, one of Croatia's best-known writers. On Tuesday 28 April she will discuss the novel and the challenges of translation.

Farewell, Cowboy

PEN awards:
Whispering City by Sara Moliner (pseudonym), translated from Spanish by Mara Lethem 
Morning Sea by Margaret Mazzantini, translated from Italian by Ann Sarah Gagliardi 
Gone to Ground by Marie Jalowicz Simon, translated from German by Anthea Bell 
All Days Are Night by Peter Stamm, translated from German by Michael Hofmann
Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, translated from Chinese by Helen Wang 
What Became of the White Savage by Francois Garde translated from French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins
Syrian Notebooks by Jonathan Littell, translated from French by Charlotte Mandell
Reckless by Hasan Ali Toptas, translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely and John Angliss 
The Lights of Point-Noire by Alain Mabanckou, translated from French by Helen Stevenson Mann 
The All Saints’ Day Lovers by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from Spanish by Anne McLean 
Now and At the Hour of Our Death by Susana Moreira Marques, translated from Portuguese by Julia Sanches
The Low Voices by Manuel Rivas, translated from Gallegan by Jonathan Dunne
The End of Eddy Belleguele by Edouard Louis, translated from French by Sam Taylor
Horse Hands by Daniel Galera, translated from Portuguese by Alison Entrekin 
Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrique, translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer 
Selected Poems by Abdellatif Laâbi, translated from French by André Naffis-Sahely 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Threads - by Julia Blackburn

Have a look at these works by John Craske, a Norfolk fisherman who spent much of his life in a 'stuporous state'. During the periods when he could do a little, he painted and, when that became too tiring and difficult, made embroideries because he could do them lying down.

Julia Blackburn has written a wonderful, haunting book about Craske and her search for him. Her talk on May 18 has had to be postponed - we will let you know when we have another date.

For more information about Craske and the book see here.

Image result for john craske artist

Image result for john craske artist