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.

are both suspended during the pandemic. We hope to start again as soon as it is safe to do so.

The bookshop started and runs Woodstock Poetry Festival, a completely independent festival that has now been running for 8 years.

The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.

Twitter: @WoodstockBooks

Monday, 14 June 2021

Summer Reading - Independent Booksellers' Week

Conversations in the bookshop have been few and far between this year, as we had to close our doors much of the time and are still wearing masks inside, which has a dampening effect on spontaneous and prolonged chat. As I begin to emerge from the curious state of lockdown-induced suspension it occurred to me I could email regular customers and bookgroups and ask what they had been reading during lockdowns and what they would recommend to other people. I wish now I had done it before - the suggestions have been varied and inspiring.

My own reading has been unusual, for me. Last March I found I could only read children's books - in particular, Arthur Ransome and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I  re-read them all and found I could still be totally immersed in their worlds. I also re-read James Rebanks, The Shepherd's Life, and loved it. Mostly I knitted and walked and gardened. I simply didn't have the energy to focus on reading and it has only recently returned.

Many regular customers felt the same way. Most were re-reading, as though by reading books we had read a long time ago we might be taken back to the time when we first read them, the pre-covid normality. Some people weren't reading at all. Some, quite the opposite, were reading more than ever and finding a huge solace in concentrating on something beyond the present.

Perhaps one day studies will be done on what people did during this pandemic to survive mentally. In the meantime, here is a list of books recommended by customers and bookgroups: I have starred the ones that were particular favourites or mentioned several times. Many people mentioned re-reading old favourites and classics, particularly Dickens, as well. No one but me mentioned children's books.

Elizabeth Von Arnim, Father*
Kate Atkinson, Big Sky
Sebastian Barry, Days Without End
Elizabeth Bowen, Collected Stories
William Boyd, Love is Blind
Clare Chambers, Small Pleasures
Tracy Chevalier, A Single Thread
Lee Child*, The Sentinel
Isabel Colegate, Orlando King
Carys Davies*, West; The Mission House
Anita Desai, The Artist of Disappearance (3 novellas)
Natasha Farrant, Voyage of the Sparrowhawk* (children's book)
J G Farrell, Empire trilogy
Amitav Ghosh, the Ibis trilogy
David Guterson, Snow Falling on Cedars
Tessa Hadley, Late in the Day; Clever Girl
Patrick Hamilton, Slaves of Solitude
Sophie Hardach, Confession with Blue Horses*
Natalie Haynes, Pandora's Jar*
Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin
Hiromi Kawakami, Strange Weather in Tokyo*
Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees
Nella Larsen, Passing
Charlie Mackesy, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse
Andrew Marvell* Poems
F M Mayor, The Rector's Daughter*
Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King*
Toni Morrisson, Jazz
Maggie O'Farrell, Hamnet*
Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club*
Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing*
K M Peyton, Flambards (children's book)
Katherine Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider - short stories
Barbara Pym*
James Rebanks, The Shepherd's Life*; English Pastoral
Kelly Reid, Such a Fun Age
R.C. Sherriff, The Fortnight in September*
Edward St Aubyn*
Nina Stibbe, Reasons to be Cheerful
Elizabeth Strout*, Olive, Again; Olive Kitteridge
Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain*
Graham Swift, Here We Are 
Elizabeth Taylor, A View of the Harbour
Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow*
Anthony Trollope*
Eudora Welty*, The Golden Apples - several readers have discovered Eudora Welty
Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

If there is anything you think should be added to the list, please email me. It is not exhaustive, just customers' responses to my asking what they would recommend. 

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