Posts tagged ‘Julian Barnes’

July 2, 2015

Top 10 Fiction and Non-Fiction: July 2015

by Team Riverside

Ali Smith HOW TO BE BOTHGiulia Enders GUT

Readers are clearly in search of summer reads at the Riverside this month, and the big names – Smith, McEwan, Mitchell, Waters, Mantel – are moving fast. As always, non-fiction is where the more unexpected bestsellers crop up. Who’d have thought an illustrated exploration of the gut would be leading the pack? German microbiologist Giulia Enders explains how the gut is one of the most complex parts of our anatomy. It’s a sort of scientific toilet book that makes the case for digestive health. Nick Robinson’s election diary is also proving popular – the BBC man’s previous book was one of our political picks of 2013.

Top 10 Fiction

1 How to Be Both – Ali Smith
2 Us – David Nicholls
3 The Children Act – Ian McEwan
4 The Bees – Laline Paull
5 The Paying Guests – Sarah Waters
6 The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
7 The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – Hilary Mantel
8 The Monogram Murders – Sophie Hannah
9 Emma – Alexander McCall Smith
10 The Sunrise – Victoria Hislop

Bubbling under: 10:04 – Ben Lerner

Top 10 Non-Fiction

1 Gut: The Inside Story of our Body’s Most Underrated Organ – Giulia Enders
2 Yes Please – Amy Poehler
3 How We Learn – Benedict Carey
4 Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble – Antony Beevor
5 Election Notebook – Nick Robinson
6 Etape: The Untold Stories of the Tour de France’s Defining Stages – Richard Moore
7 Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art – Julian Barnes
8 Please, Mister Postman – Alan Johnson
9 Black Sea: Coasts and Conquests – From Pericles to Putin – Neal Ascherson
10 Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories: From Lady Chatterley’s Lover to Howard Marks – Thomas Grant

Bubbling under: Trigger Warning: Is the Fear of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech? – Mick Hume

Advertisements
May 24, 2015

Top 10 Fiction and Non-Fiction: May 2015

by Team Riverside

HOW TO USE YOUR ENEMIES David Nicholls US
The Penguin Little Black Classics series is still going gangbusters here at the Riverside, although it’s the non-fiction titles that are the big sellers. The most popular of the 80 books is How to Use Your Enemies (no 12 in the series), a 17th century Spanish priest’s guide to exploiting your foes (and friends too). If you’re not minded to be Machiavellian, there’s plenty more literary inspiration among our bestsellers this spring…

Top 10 Fiction

1 Us – David Nicholls
2 The Bees – Laline Paull
3 The Children Act – Ian McEwan
4 How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran
5 A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson
6 The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – Joel Dicker
7 Outline – Rachel Cusk
8 The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
9 Family Life – Akhil Sharma
10 The Ballad of a Small Player – Lawrence Osborne

Bubbling under: Wake Up, Sir! – Jonathan Ames

Top 10 Non-Fiction

1 Penguin Little Black Classics (80th anniversary)
2 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
3 H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald
4 Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art – Julian Barnes
5 Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble – Antony Beevor
6 On Palestine – Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappe
7 Flash Boys – Michael Lewis
8 The Year of Reading Dangerously – Andy Miller
9 A Buzz in the Meadow – Dave Goulson
10 The Establishment – Owen Jones

Bubbling under: On the Move: A Life – Oliver Sacks

October 13, 2013

The Testament of Mary: Colm Tóibín

by Andre

Colm Toibin TESTAMENT OF MARYNovels that are barely novels have sometimes managed to win over the Booker Prize judges: Julian Barnes won for The Sense of an Ending a couple of years ago and Penelope Fitzgerald’s Offshore was triumphant in 1979. (Both are excellent, slender novels that are suited to reading in a single sitting.) So perhaps The Testament of Mary, in which Colm Tóibín enters the mind of the aged mother of Christ over 100 lyrical, heart-wrenching pages, will be named the best novel of the year this week at the 15 October prize ceremony, which takes place just the other side of London Bridge at the Guildhall. The Irish author would certainly be a deserving winner.

The Testament of Mary is such a rich work of the imagination, you’d have to be Richard Dawkins not to be moved by this depiction of Mary’s memories of her sanctified son and the violence, cruelty and duplicity that encroached upon her daily existence. This is a subtly daring work of fiction, in which Jesus (though his name is never uttered) and his followers are portrayed with a degree of ambivalence by his mother, as she recalls the world-changing incidents that sent her into exile. The Son of God is serenely powerful yet distant with her, and preoccupied during the wedding banquet where his followers claim he has turned water into wine. In the months and years after his murder, these early Christians busily fashion myths about his life, death and rise that confound his mother. His death may have redeemed the world, but for Mary it was the tragedy of losing a son.

As she tries to make sense of it all in later life, her account swells with a sadness that is, at times, overwhelming. ‘Memory fills my body as much as blood and bones,’ says Mary. Read this remarkable book in one sitting and Tóibín’s insistent, poignant prose will have a similar effect.

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 18, 2013

Granta: Best of Young British Novelists

by Andre

The once-a-decade edition of Granta that names the 20 best British writers under 40 has been all over the media, as you’d expect from a list which launched in 1983 and has previously featured Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters and Zadie Smith (who gets a second nod in 2013, along with Adam Thirlwell.) Congratulations to this year’s anointed authors (particularly fellow south London bookseller Evie Wyld) in the fourth edition of this literary landmark. We’ve got the new Granta (issue 123) in stock as well as a selection of novels by the 2013 intake – click on the book covers below to view the gallery.