Just to whet your appetite for Saturday's talk, some of the glowing reviews of The Old Ways.
'Macfarlane's first two books, Mountains of the Mind (2003) and The Wild Places (2007), were published to huge acclaim and have achieved the status of modern classics. The Old Waysjoins up with them to form what Macfarlane calls "a loose trilogy about landscape and the human heart". That definition is striking. It takes some courage for a writer to say that his subject is "the human heart". It sounds a little old-fashioned, a little out-of-step with modern detachment. But that is part of what makes Macfarlane's voice significant. He willingly declares his love of things..The chief guiding spirit of The Old Ways is Edward Thomas, walker, nature-writer and poet, who left the "South Country" he loved and followed the chalk across the channel to northern France, where he died on the first day of the Battle of Arras. In a sense The Old Ways is an experiment in geographical biography, asking how much we can understand of another's life by inhabiting their places and following their tracks...' Alexandra Harris, the Guardian
'in The Old Ways the roads are shown to be almost indestructible, as if existing in geological rather than in human time, binding man to his past...Macfarlane brings to his books his love and knowledge of the natural world, and so cross-fertilises the rich till of his travel writing with the loam of another very English tradition of observational literature: nature writing. Macfarlane is read above all for the beauty of his prose and his wonderfully innovative and inventive way with language...he stoops with unerring accuracy on his prey – the perfect image, the most elusive metaphor – and he can write exquisitely about anywhere, even Royston. This book is as perfect as his now classic Wild Places. Maybe it is even better than that. Either way, in Macfarlane, British travel writing has a formidable new champion...' William Dalrymple, the Guardian
'...a stack of drawers, to be pulled out at random if you like, but constituting, in their immense store of memories and reflections, a grand cohesive whole, and a true link in themselves between the walker and the walk, reality and imagination...after a week’s immersion in its influence. It has made me feel that I myself am always walking some eternal track, sharing its pleasures and hardships with uncountable others, treading its immemorial footprints, linking me with all the generations of man and beast, and connecting in particular the visionary author of the book, as he unrolls his sleeping bag beneath the stars, with this bemused reviewer beside the fire at Llanystumdwy.' Jan Morris, Telegraph
'Macfarlane writes superbly' Frances Spalding, Independent
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 Bookshop of the Year in 2009, 2013 and 2017, and listed in the Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.
Two monthly book groups take place at the bookshop - a poetry group, initially formed to read collections submitted for the annual T S Eliot Prize and now following a slightly wider brief; and a book group focusing more on fiction. Both are open to everyone but occasionally space is limited - please contact us for details.
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.
WOODSTOCK POETRY FESTIVAL
The bookshop started and runs Woodstock Poetry Festival, a completely independent festival that has now been running for 7 years.
The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.