This is the time of year when newspapers publish endless lists of top sellers and best books and it's interesting to see how our top 20 books for the past year compare with national lists.
1. Other People's Countries, Patrick McGuinness
2.Americanah, Chimomanda Ngozi Adichie
3. The Glass Bird Girl, Esme Kerr
4. Doughnuts for a Dragon, Adam & Charlotte Guillain
5 Rooftoppers, Katherine Rundell
6. Marshmallows for Martians, Adam & Charlotte Guillain
7. H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald
8. The Stairwell, Michael Longley
9. Iron and Rust, Harry Sidebottom
10. Larkswood, Valerie Mendes
11. A Soldier's Friend, Megan Rix
12. Black Country, Liz Berry
13. The Christmas Wren, Gillian Clarke
14. Cuckoos Calling, Robert Galbraith
15. The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
16. Stonor, John Williams
17. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
18. The Examined Life, Stephen Grosz
19. Last Friends, Jane Gardam
20. Hog in the Fog, Julia Copus
These mainly reflect the events we have had - though I think we would say that Other People's Countries is, by any reckoning, far and away our book of the year. Janie and I both love it and no one who we have sold it to has returned with anything other than huge praise and enjoyment of the book (perhaps those who don't like it don't dare say anything in the face of our enthusiasm!).
We had school events for books 3, 4, 5, 6 and 11 and shop events for 1, 7, 8, 9 (Harry's annual launch party) and 12.
If we look at our top selling titles of the past month, the list looks a little different though there is obviously some overlap:
1. The Stairwell, Michael Longley
2. On Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti
3. Black Country, Liz Berry
4. The Christmas Wren, Gillian Clarke
5. Bedouin of the London Evening: Collected Poems by Rosemary Tonks
6. Lila, Marilynne Robinson
7. H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald
8. The Twelve Poems of Christmas, Vol 6 (Candlestick Press)
9. Playing to the Gallery, Grayson Perry
10. Dorothy Wordsworth's Christmas Birthday, Carol Ann Duffy
11. The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan
12. Six Poets, Hardy to Larkin, Alan Bennet - CD
13. Germany, Memories of a Nation, Neil MacGregor
14. Balancing Act, Joanna Trollope
15. Politics and the English |Language, George Orwell
16. Selected Poems, Bernard O'Donoghue
17. Winter Moorings, Andrew McNeillie
18. When Marnie Was There, Joan G Robinson (reprinted after many years)
19. Do No Harm, Henry Marsh
20. By Night the Mountain Burns, Juan LAuren Avila
Not quite so many event titles this time, though there can't be many independent bookshops whose top-selling Christmas title is a book of poems!
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
This year (November 9-11) is the 7th Woodstock Poetry Festival - organised entirely by the bookshop. Full details soon.
The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.