Archive for ‘Special Stuff’

May 9, 2017

New signed copies in!

by Team Riverside

Laline Paull – The Ice

Paula Hawkins – Into the Water

Jon McGregor – Reservoir 13

Elizabeth Strout – Anything is Possible

Gwendoline Riley – First Love

Tom Fletcher – Naked Diplomat

… get ’em before they’re gone!

Advertisements
November 1, 2016

New signed copies in!

by Team Riverside

New in – catch them before they go:

Susan Hill, The Travelling Bag

Eimear McBride, The Bohemians

Sebastian Barry, Days without End

Yuval Noah Hariri, Homo Deus

Paddy Ashdown, Game of Spies

Alan Johnson, The Long and Winding Road

Johnny Marr, Set the Boy Free

Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down

July 12, 2016

Neil Gaiman/Chris Riddell signed copies now in store!

by Team Riverside

Signed copies of the gorgeous new edition of Gaiman’s classic Neverwhere, now in.  Get yours before they go…Neil Gaiman NEVERWHERE

We also have the small book How the Marquis Got His Coat Back, also set in the Neverwhere universe, if you need a little extra fix too.

April 16, 2016

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte

by Team Riverside

tenant of wild

Paperback, Vintage, 7.99

Ashamed of not having read anything by Anne Bronte but only her sisters I recently began reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and was astonished (though perhaps should not have been) firstly by how psychologically convincing the characters are, and secondly by the strangely addictive quality the writing possesses; considering its length (it is nearly 600 pages in the recent, extremely beautiful Vintage editions illustrated by the gifted Sarah Gillespie) I was amazed at how quickly I was half, then three-quarters, then all of the way through it, and wishing it was not over and that I could read more.

The main reason to recommend The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, however, is that Anne Bronte has created a strongly – even radically – feminist heroine in Helen Huntingdon; one who shuns the institution of marriage when circumstances call for it (an act most nineteenth century novelists – especially early nineteenth century novelists like Anne – shied away from; as they shied away from depictions of male depravity that Anne is utterly fearless in recounting) despite paying a price that at some points seems impossibly high, refusing to be swayed from following a path her own integrity marks out for her. This strength of character is common to all the Bronte’s work, of course, but Anne’s portrayals of women are by far the most revolutionary and only recently beginning to attract the recognition they deserve. It is also worth noting that her male characters possess a far more convincing inner terrain than either Emily or Charlotte’s; Heathcliff may be iconic and overwhelming, but iconic and overwhelming characters are not usually noted for their plausibility, relatability or tendency to inspire empathy. All these aspects make it both extremely sad and surprising that Charlotte Bronte herself dismissed her younger sister’s literary efforts and had so little insight into just how progressive they were.

For all these reasons, I would encourage anyone whose interest in the Brontes has been sparked by the recent TV program or who is simply wishing to embark upon a worthy, provoking and highly enjoyable Victorian novel, to invest their time in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; high-quality literature and effortlessly involving, it is the perfect marriage on many fronts.

Review by Emily

Tags:
April 1, 2016

Being a Beast, Charles Foster

by Team Riverside

BeingaBeastcover

Hardback, Profile Books, £14.99, out now

If the belated but welcome Spring sunshine has you feeling newly mindful of our wildlife and hankering for all things natural then I couldn’t recommend anything better than Charles Foster’s latest book, Being a Beast ( – short of actually departing for the country and taking up residence in a badger set, that is; which Foster has helpfully done for us), which is a breath of fresh, heady – and slightly crazed – air. Foster, amongst many other things (he is a vet, philosopher, anthropologist, acupuncturist, academic, Oxford Fellow…the list apparently continues), is an ardent natural historian; he used to hunt animals for sport, he confesses, but is now intent on hunting them in an entirely different way: placing himself, as much as a human being can, in their skins in an attempt to know what it is like to ‘be’ them. To that end, and for prolonged periods, he lived in their physical environments, deprived of human comforts, reporting his intimate and thought-provoking experiences back to us. In Being a Beast he takes on the challenge of finding out what it is like to be a badger, an otter, a city fox, red deer and swift, combining neuroscience, psychology, natural history and memoir in a quest which takes him the length, breadth and depth of the British Isles.

As well as being a dauntless explorer (could you lie in a freezing highland stream for hours or sit in a river in Namibia watching leeches looping up your ankles en route to your groin?) Foster is also an erudite, witty, humble and entertaining writer. Take this passage, for instance, in which he reminisces about the days when shamanic ritual could transport performers into other states of consciousness:

‘You had to dance to the drum around a fire until you were so dehydrated that blood spouted out of your ruptured nasal capillaries, or stand in an icy river and chant until you could feel your soul rising like vomit into your mouth, or eat fly agaric mushrooms and watch yourself floating into the forest canopy. Then you could pass through the thin membrane that separates this world from others, and your species from other species. As you pushed through, in an epiphanic labour, the membrane enveloped you, like the amniotic sac in which you issued from your mother.’

Foster’s attempts to experience animals’ consciousness by immersing himself in their phenomenal worlds stem from a similarly impassioned desire to ‘be’ a beast (apparently he has been obsessed with birds and animals since he was a child), involves a similarly intense ‘labour’, as well as the odd moment or two that really could be described as epiphanic.

Even for those usually uninterested in nature writing Being a Beast is a winner: who can resist discovering what earthworms taste like, for instance (the terroir varies, apparently, according to region, like wine)? This is vital, dynamic, exhilarating writing that uncovers deadened senses, invokes empathy, fosters compassion and the all-important feeling of oneness. In delving into the ‘being’ of various ‘beasts’, Foster does something else too: he allows us to see ourselves more clearly – human or otherwise.

Review by Emily

November 24, 2015

Fabulous advent calendars now in!

by Team Riverside

We have many excellent advent calendars now in store – get yours now!  Father Christmas, Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, 3D, wild animals… We also have a huge range of unusual Christmas cards, gift bags and wrap, and ribbons.Father xmas advent calendar 151124

July 12, 2015

Go Set a Watchman – free cloth bag!

by Team Riverside

harper-lee
To mark the publication of Go Set a Watchman this summer, we’re giving away a free cloth bag (while stocks last) with every purchase of Harper Lee’s new novel!
We won’t be doing any of that midnight opening that some shops think is a good idea. But we will be selling this much-anticipated sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird (although it was written before the first book) on publication day – Tuesday, 14 July. These totes are exclusive to independent booksellers. So if you want to carry this hardback home in its own book bag, head to the Riverside without delay.

May 13, 2013

Hilary Mantel – prices chopped

by Andre

Get £2 off the Booker winner’s backlist

To mark the paperback of Bring Up The Bodies (£9.99), the sequel to Wolf Hall (both of them Booker Prize winners), we’re offering £2 off the author’s earlier books. So it’s a chance to explore her epic take on the French Revolution, A Place of Greater Safety, the haunting novel of life in Saudi Arabia, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, and the remarkable memoir Giving Up the Ghost while you wait for Mantel’s next Tudor novel, The Mirror and the Light.
Hilary Mantel GIVING UP THE GHOST (2013)Hilary Mantel THE GIANT, O'BRIEN (2013)Hilary Mantel BEYOND BLACK (2013)
Hilary Mantel BRING UP THE BODIES (2013)Hilary Mantel WOLF HALLHilary Mantel VACANT POSSESSION
Hilary Mantel EVERY DAY IS MOTHER'S DAY (2013)Hilary Mantel EIGHT MONTHS ON GHAZZAH STREET (2013)Hilary Mantel A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY (2013)
Hilary Mantel LEARNING TO TALK (SHORT STORIES)Hilary Mantel FLUDDHilary Mantel CHANGE OF CLIMATE

April 20, 2013

Signed Copies at the Riverside

by Andre

Get a signed Julian Barnes memoir – while stocks last

At the Riverside, we do our best to get signed copies of the best new books – see below for our current selection, including Levels of Life by Julian Barnes. As Barnes said in his Booker acceptance speech for The Sense of an Ending, the physical book “has to look like something worth buying and worth keeping” in this digital age – and an author’s signature only accentuates the pleasing form of a beautiful new hardback.

Julian Barnes LEVELS OF LIFENeil MacGregor SHAKESPEARE'S RESTLESS WORLD

Taiye Selasi GHANA MUST GOEoin Colfer W.A.R.P The Reluctant Assassin
Henry Hitchings SORRY - THE ENGLISH AND THEIR MANNERSDerek Landy THE MALEFICENT SEVEN

Travis Elborough LONDON BRIDGE IN AMERICAGraeme Simsion THE ROSIE PROJECT

April 14, 2013

Wisden: 150 not out

by Andre

WISDEN 150th edition Robert Winder THE LITTLE WONDER
It’s set to be a thrilling summer of cricket with Test matches against New Zealand, the ICC Champions Trophy and the Ashes Test series against Australia. There’s also a publishing landmark with the 150th edition of Wisden, the cricketers’ almanack, available now priced £50. The annual reference book was first published in 1864 by John Wisden, the 5ft 4ins Sussex fast bowler known as the ‘Little Wonder’, at the price of a shilling for 112 pages (the latest edition weighs in at 1,584 pages).

In 1889, it began compiling what would become its famous cricketers of the year list, so by 2000 it was well placed to come up with five cricketers of the century, headed by Don Bradman. Even though it’s a venerable volume, Wisden’s never been too fusty: it made Claire Taylor one of its cricketers of the year in 2009, while the latest issue considers Kevin Pietersen and Twitter and features Steve Davies on being the first openly gay international cricketer. It even broke with tradition in 2003 and put a photograph on the front – Michael Vaughan was the cover star – but the Eric Ravilious woodcut of Victorian gentlemen was soon back where it belonged, having graced the cover since the 75th edition in 1938 (that was also the year it became bright yellow).

Wisden readers will also be fascinated by The Little Wonder: The Remarkable History  of Wisden by Robert Winder, as well as a host of new cricketing volumes including The Promise of Endless Summer, a book of cricket lives from the Daily Telegraph; 80 Not Out: My Favourite Cricket Memories by Dickie Bird; and We’ll Get ‘Em in Sequins by Max Davidson, a unique look at the changing nature of masculinity, told through the lens of a series of Yorkshire County Cricket Club player portraits through the ages.

March 28, 2013

Celebrate 150 years of the Tube

by Andre

Since 1863, vast, silent crowds of people have been heading underground every day to read a book (and maybe go to work). So the 150th anniversary of the London Underground – and the 80th anniversary of Harry Beck’s iconic map – is a good opportunity to pick up some top Tube books here at the Riverside for your Jubilee or Northern Line journey over the road. The Penguin Underground Lines series deserves its own platform announcement: 12 short books for each Underground line from authors ranging from John O’Farrell to John Lanchester, Lucy Wadham to Peter York. They’re just £4.99 each and there’s also a box set for real Tube buffs. We’ve also got new books about the history and the design of London Underground, as well as the poems and 150 years of odd facts. Click on the images above for our gallery of Tube-related titles for the birthday celebrations.

March 24, 2013

David Bowie Is: V&A exhibition catalogue

by Andre

DAVID BOWIE ISMuseum exhibition catalogues are probably purchased more out of a sense of self-improving duty rather than pure pleasure, but the accompanying volume to the V&A’s blockbuster Bowie exhibition (until 11 August) is essential reading for fans – and it seems everyone’s a fan since the surprise comeback – of the man who defined an era with his avant-garde refashioning of pop. Far more than mere nostalgia, the exhibition is a visual and aural celebration of the Starman – the 1972 Top of the Pops costume is framed by footage of that memorable performance – as well as an exploration of the concept of ‘inner space’ (JG Ballard’s Atrocity Exhibition from 1970 is one element that gives the exhibition its wider cultural context). Bowie soaked up so many influences it’s almost worth an exhibition in itself: at the V&A we get to see the cut-up lyrics inspired by William Burroughs (there’s a photo of their meeting), the Diamond Dogs tour designs based on 1984 (Sonia Orwell refused permission for an official 1984 show) and the photo of Little Richard he kept from a young age (an early clue to Bowie’s flamboyant theatricality).

The hype surrounding this exhibition is justified by its bold, non-chronological design and the access the curators had to Bowie’s extraordinary archive: the book and the museum show allow us to gaze at such items as his Berlin house keys, the legal letter changing his name from David Jones and the singer’s sketches and hand-written lyrics, as well as an array of outlandish costumes that provoked family arguments during 1970s editions of Top of the Pops. The book is a lavish, visually stunning companion to an exhaustive, eye-popping exhibition that chronicles Bowie’s reinvention over five decades and definitively captures this alien pop icon’s pioneering performances and his enduring influence on contemporary culture.

November 5, 2012

Charles Dickens: Dickens at Christmas

by Andre

If you devoured the works of Dickens with an eye on the seasons, you wouldn’t necessarily single out a festive theme.  The Old Curiosity Shop opens with the narrator describing early morning summer roaming through fields and lanes; the journey that begins The Pickwick Papers starts quite specifically at sunrise on 13 May; Dickens’s Night Walks describe his insomnia-induced roaming  of London in damp March.

Yet it is Christmas that has partly defined Dickens, not least because many believe he invented our modern idea of the festive season, whether depicting the gleaming shop windows, piles of food and notions of charity and goodwill, or inflicting a ghostly tale on readers on a wintry night.

This handsome Vintage Classics edition (price £15.00) is a perfect festive treat, including ‘The Christmas Books’ – A Christmas Carol,  The Chimes  and The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain – as well as several other seasonal tales. It begins with The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton, a  magical, creepy tale originally published as part of The Pickwick Papers in serial form.

October 27, 2012

London Hidden Interiors

by Andre

Special Price: £35

THIS time last year we began excitedly exploring Panoramas of Lost London (still available at the special discount price of £25) and now we’re revelling in London Hidden Interiors. This sumptuous volume will appeal to anyone who loves London and feels a frisson of excitement at the idea of entering a hidden door and marvelling at the conserved architectural heritage inside.

Historian and heritage expert Philip Davies invites you on a tour of 180 of the capital’s best conserved interiors that are either rarely seen or little known. Unusual, odd and eccentric locations are featured in a stunning collection of 1,700 contemporary colour photographs that capture both the architectural detail and the unique sense of each of these conserved interiors. They range from the Speaker’s House and Lord Chancellor’s Residence, Lambeth Palace and 10 Downing Street to the Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Aldwych Underground Station (closed in 1994) and the Sherlock Holmes pub. Of course, architect Sir John Soane has a number of impressive Georgian interiors in this volume, including his maze of a home (now a marvellous museum) in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

London Hidden Interiors is available at the special price of £35 – £5 off the RRP. Click below for a gallery of pages from the book.

August 9, 2012

John Banville: Ancient Light

by Team Riverside

New hardback from the Man Booker Prize winner comes nicely signed, only at our little shop of horrors.

August 9, 2012

Juliet Nicholson: Abdication

by Team Riverside

We still have couple of signed copies in stock but that won’t last long so hurry up and pay us a visit!

August 9, 2012

José Pizarro: Spanish Flavours

by Team Riverside

£3 Special Discount

Something special from our favourite local culinary genius: book of delicious recipes comes with a delicious discount of £3, whilst stock lasts! For details about the restaurant visit: http://www.josepizarro.com/

May 24, 2012

Puffin Classics

by Team Riverside

It has been said here before and it will doubtless be said again, but it is nice when books look nice, when a real effort is made with their appearance.  Penguin, who like their reissues, seem to be keen on this idea too (also as we have said here before), and have of late been sending out to bookshops everywhere some rather smart and dinky Puffin Classics.  Its all the old standards – Little Princess, Huckleberry Finn, etc – but beautifully packaged, all pocket-sized and cloth-bound.  So far there 12 in the series priced £12.99.

 

May 11, 2012

The What on Earth Wallbook? of Sport…

by Team Riverside

 

It’s big.

It’s clever.

It’s filled with colourful pictures.

It’s about all things sport.

What more could you want?

Except for it being only £15.

And also except for the other two wallbooks – The What on Earth? Wallbook (about everything) and The What on Earth? Wallbook of Natural History (about natural history).  Also for £15.

 

 

 

May 3, 2012

The Penguin English Library

by Team Riverside

Not that it is acceptable to judge a book by its cover (although in the literal sense it is, because that is kind of the point of book jackets), but it helps.  Especially if the cover is nice.  And Penguin, who are reissuing some of their classics (not for the first time), are taking thorough advantage of this with their rather splendid Penguin English Library,

There will be one hundred titles in total, released in batches for the next six months, drawn from their extensive list of classics, all originally published in English, all issued and reissued many times over (and not just by Penguin), and yet somehow made all the more pleasing merely by a splash of colour, a move away from drab spines and resetting the type.  As well as that matte, rubbery finish that is cropping up on more and more books these days (which probably has a technical term and also a good reason other than it feels pleasant) So, cosmetic, yes.  But then there’s the price – £5.99, except because we are nice you can get them from us at £3.99 – and the simple fact that it makes them all look far more interesting and covetable and necessary.  It even makes Thomas Hardy appear enjoyable to read, which is surely an achievement.

Tags: