January 31, 2017
Hardback, £12.99 – Out Now
The fifth novel from the woefully underappreciated young British genius Gwendoline Riley might be her best one yet. First Love is narrated by Neve, a thirty-something writer who lives in London with her older husband Edwyn. As she combs over her past – friendships, courtships, hateships, love – and the choices that have borne her here, Neve paints a sentence-perfect picture of a testing literary life and a relationship that lurches queasily from cloying tenderness to wince-inducing cruelty. It’s a short but perfectly measured book in which every line pops and buzzes and sings. “Considering one’s life requires a horribly delicate determination, doesn’t it?” begins the novel’s blistering third and final act; “To get to the truth, the heart of the trouble.” This is urgent, gorgeously stylish, devastating new fiction that does just that: gets to the truth, and cuts to the heart. It’s a masterpiece.
Review by Stuart
January 21, 2017
We are looking for a permanent part time bookseller to join our team.
You must have:
- Great customer service experience, ideally in a bookshop
- The flexibility to work Thursdays, Sundays and occasional extra days as cover, with some extra hours for holiday cover.
- A deep and abiding love of books!
To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to Suzanne Dean, by email or post or by hand, as soon as possible… If you’d like more information, please phone or drop into the shop.
December 14, 2016
Going fast, here they are:
Philippe Sands – East West Street
Alexandra Shulman – Inside Vogue
Alan Johnson – The Long and Winding Road
Sebastian Barry – Days Without End
Yuval Noah Hariri – Homo Deus
Thomas Hocknell – Life Assistance Agency
December 9, 2016
We are delighted with our new mural by the excellent Matt Sewell – our top floor is now graced by four gorgeous goldfinches.
Thanks to Matt, and good luck to him for his new book A Charm of Goldfinches and Other Collective Nouns (https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/matt-sewell/1069476/).
June 3, 2016
Hardback, £9.99, Egmont ‘Classics’
Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 children’s classic The Wind in the Willows was republished last year in a beautiful hardback edition by Egmont ‘Classics’, complete with an appendix of activities for children, a well-conceived glossary (as some of Grahame’s words are challenging) and E. H. Shepherd’s original and unforgettable pen illustrations. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The recommended reading age is 9 – 11 years but a confident reader of seven or eight could be enthralled either reading it themselves or having it read to them and indeed anyone from a five or six year-old to ninety or more could fall in love with this book and remain in love for life.
The unusual and wonderful thing about The Wind in the Willows is that it has references adults will appreciate (to Ulysses for instance, the politics of Grahame’s day, and other literary allusions), some moments of genuine profundity (the haunting chapter ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ is a case in point) – and abundant humour, warmth and excitement that will entertain children as well. Indeed every aspect of this novel is exceptional. The prose is exquisite, the atmosphere palpable, the descriptions of the natural world amongst some of the best in children’s literature and not a page goes by without some gentle humour. The characterisation deserves special notice and is unusually sophisticated for a children’s book; Mole, in particular, is a peculiar, humorous and endearing little creature but all of Grahame’s cast are marvellously realised.
Children’s classics of this period excel in their delicacy, beauty and strangeness. They seem to possess a quality difficult to describe but feels ‘strange’ to our 21st century ears. This quality might also be called ‘magic’. There is an ‘otherness’ to The Wind in the Willows (and several other bygone treasures such as Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, The Secret Garden, Charlotte’s Web…) that it is virtually non-existent in modern children’s literature and so enchanting that it is impossible not to feel that Grahame has written something resonant and timeless, and that while we are reading we are doing something very worthwhile.
Review by Emily
May 23, 2016
We will be open from 11am till 6pm on Monday 30 May. Happy Bank Holiday!
March 15, 2016
Happy Easter from all of us at Riverside Bookshop! Our holiday opening hours are:
Good Friday – 11am to 6pm
Saturday 26 March – 10am to 6pm
Easter Sunday – CLOSED
Easter Monday – 11am to 6pm
December 29, 2015
Thank you to all our customers for supporting us in our new home, and helping to make Christmas 2015 a real pleasure! We’ll look forward to seeing you in the New Year… and to help you plan your visits, our opening hours this week are:
Tuesday 29 December – 10am to 6pm
Wednesday 30 December – 9am to 6pm
Thursday 31 December – 9am to 4pm
New Year’s Day – CLOSED
Saturday 2 January – 10am to 6pm
Sunday 3 January – 11am to 6pm
From Monday 4 January onwards – normal opening hours
See you soon!
October 21, 2012
To echo this week’s triumphant Booker speech by Hilary Mantel, you wait years for a Riverside blog on foreign crime fiction and then two turn up at once. But Radio 4’s scrutiny of European literary detectives in the weeks ahead cannot go unmentioned, and the station’s dramatisation of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo’s series featuring detective Martin Beck is likely to create huge demand for these exemplary crime novels set in Stockholm. Between 1965 and 1975, the husband and wife writing duo published 10 captivating police procedurals that also held up a mirror to Swedish society and clearly influenced fellow Swede Henning Mankell.
The accompanying 15-part series Foreign Bodies is a typically ambitious Radio 4 project. It might have the alarmingly portentous subtitle ‘A History Of Modern Europe Through Literary Detectives’ but we should be in safe hands with presenter Mark Lawson, who regularly recommends continental crime writers on Front Row. The series will show how crime fiction reflects society’s tensions across Europe by focusing on popular detectives (Mankell’s Kurt Wallander, Nesbo’s Harry Hole and Camilleri’s Salvo Montalbano) and venerable literary creations such as Maigret and Poirot, as well as introducing genre-bending crime authors Friedrich Durrenmatt and Nicolas Freeling.
The Martin Beck series starts at 2.30pm on 27 October and Foreign Bodies begins on 22 October at 1.45pm (and available on iPlayer Radio).
October 6, 2012
The six titles up for the UK’s leading non-fiction prize include some popular and much admired books here at the Riverside Bookshop. The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert Macfarlane, is lyrical nature writing that draws deep on literature, myth and memory; a book for walkers or indeed anyone who’s felt their imagination stir as they put one foot in front of the other.
The other nominees are:
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Slum by Katherine Boo
Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis
The Better Angels of our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity by Steven Pinker
The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain by Paul Preston
Strindberg: A Life by Sue Prideaux
The winner will be announced on 12 November.
September 3, 2012
Long awaited new novel that pays attention to the class issues in working-class north London, comes signed by the Author! Only in the Riverside Bookshop.
July 7, 2010
New in Paperback!
This is the best novel by a writer-we’d-never-heard-of that we have come across in ages. Set in Lisbon at the tail end of the Spanish Civil War, it follows the story of Peirera; lonely widower, washed-up journalist, and reluctant participant in the resistance against his beloved country’s increasingly repressive regime. Beautifully written, dead educational and as thrilling as a proper thriller, this is a European masterpiece that deserves a wider audience.