English Bookshop Logo
Rachel’s Summer-ish Reads: The Parasol Protectorate
Blog , What We're Reading / October 29, 2018

Genre: Fantasy/Steampunk As mentioned in my last post, my summer reading was dominated by Hugh Howey’s Wool Trilogy, and about a dozen books by Gail Carriger! I had read Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage in July (the first in her YA series), and in August quickly blew through the rest of The Finishing School series. These books were a blast – finishing school for intelligencers (spies) in a floating, steampunk school? Awesome. It didn’t take me long to move onto the next series, The Parasol Protectorate, of which Soulless is the first (and in fact the first book published by Carriger), set about 20 years after the Finishing School Series. Synopsis: Alexia Tarabotti is labouring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standard of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire – and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can…

10 Years of Books Books Books!
Blog , Event , Featured / October 20, 2018

Cast your mind back 10 years to when the global financial crisis hit, when America took North Korea off its list of terrorist countries, and Kim Kardashian chose a new dress. Lost amongst these headlines was the news that Lausanne had a new English bookshop. Situated in a converted fitness studio in the Globus building and stocking 6,000 new books, Books Books Books opened its doors on 13th October 2008. Feels to me like a good time for a drink! Two even! We’re so excited, we’re having two parties to celebrate!   Friday, November 2nd  The first party will feature Richard Williams, sometime founder of Holy Cow, now the owner of Blackbird and most recently author of Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave (Graffeg, 2018). While running his casual dining empire Richard found time to write his first novel, and it’s a good one.   Set in Little Emlyn, Pembrokeshire, it tells the story of how Mostyn, a farmer on the brink of bankruptcy, and Jethro, a young raver, decide to hold a rave to save Mostyn’s farm. But as young revellers begin to pour in from all corners of the county things do not go to plan; moneylenders, drug dealers, the county council and the…

Rachel’s Summer-ish Reads: Wool
Blog , What We're Reading / October 15, 2018

Genres: Sci-Fi/Dystopian Well booklovers, I meant to write about what I’d been reading this summer a long time ago, but somehow this autumn is flying by! In August, my list of books read was dominated by two authors: Hugh Howey and Gail Carriger (more on her later…). Hugh Howey’s Wool trilogy was a wonderful dystopian tale. The synopsis from the back of the book didn’t really grab me… but the book itself definitely did, and it’s hard to know what further to say without giving anything away:   In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies. To live, you must follow the rules. But some don’t. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.   Like any good dystopia, it gave some moments of thought-provoking terror about the possibility of a…

What Rachel’s Reading This Month: July
Blog , What We're Reading / July 26, 2018

Genres: Non-Fiction, Fantasy, YA, Sci-Fi One of my goals for this year had been to read more non-fiction, and another was to keep track of what I’d read – I’m curious to see how many books I actually read in a year! Well, Matthew asked me about non-fiction the other day, and I was sad to say that I’d read a grand total of two so far this year, one of which was The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris – a beautiful book of images and poems, but not quite what I had in mind when I told myself to read more non-fiction! So, I finally decided to sink my teeth into Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia by Peter Pomerantsev. This is a pretty fascinating look inside Russia, and reads kind of like a Jon Ronson book – the author isn’t trying to be exhaustive in his record, but paints a picture through the experiences he’s had, covering ground from a school where women learn how to marry a millionaire, to the mafia, to working for a television station in Russia, to supermodel sects. It’s a glimpse into a world where…

What Matthew is Reading this Week
Blog , What We're Reading / July 3, 2018

I never thought I’d love a zombie novel that my thirteen-year-old daughter recommended, but M.R. Carey’s The Girl with all the Gifts is so gripping that some bad words may have left my mouth when I had to put it down. It tells the story of Melanie who waits in her cell every morning to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. Melanie is a very special girl. I was carried away as the story developed as the author has that very special talent of giving you enough to keep turning the pages without giving you so much that you can guess what is going to happen next. The ending is satisfyingly surprising – if only because it relieves the tension you feel from the start of the book. Not a deep read, but a fun one and if you are looking for a summer page-turner then you need look no further.   I was delighted to be sent a copy of Monsieur Quincampoix…

What Rachel’s Reading This Week
Blog , What We're Reading / June 20, 2018

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Children’s, Thriller So. I wrote what was going to be this post yesterday at work, intending to post it today, which was as follows: The fantasy book I’m reading right now is The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. I’d read good things about it in reviews and the basic premise hooked me: Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever. The synopsis then of course has more about the plot (an evil magician and an adventure through the chambers of her teacher’s still-beating heart), but I like this little glimpse of an interesting magic system! As I’m only about twenty pages in at this point, you’ll have to bear with me to hear my thoughts on this one once I’m done.   Well, turns out it’s a pretty gripping read (and at 214 pages, shorter than many fantasy novels) and I finished the whole thing yesterday. Holmberg’s…

Second-hand Book Sale!
Blog , Featured / June 11, 2018

Alright booklovers, it’s that time of year again! The time where we try to make some space on the shelves in anticipation of la rentrée scolaire…. So from today (Monday, June 11) until mid-July or so, our second-hand books are all on sale 2 for 1. That’s 2 books for CHF 5! So come browse our overflowing shelves and pick up some summer reads. We look forward to seeing you in the shop!

What Rachel’s Reading This Week
Blog , What We're Reading / June 9, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, YA                     Happy Saturday, booklovers! I just finished reading Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff, the second book in an epic fantasy trilogy, with the first being Nevernight, which was recommended to me by a customer in the bookshop and I loved it! It ticks all the boxes for me – some fun world-building (triple suns, hello), an interesting magic system, and a very compelling protagonist and story. As it’s the second in a trilogy, I’m going to put the synopsis here for the first book, Nevernight, as you should definitely start there (synopsis from jaykristoff.com): In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family. Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined. Now, Mia…

The Joys of Independent Bookselling
Blog / June 5, 2018

“Every indie bookstore has a personality and every individual can find one whose character suits him. Not just the books themselves and the authors, but the very bookstore itself. It is, in a sense, finding oneself in a place where one can discover a community” Everyone needs a little bit of independent bookselling love in their lives, and Franck Bohbot  and Philippe Ungar provide it with their latest project We Are New York Indie Booksellers.  In a series of interviews with booksellers, Ungar notes: “No one is getting rich from indie bookselling, yet everyone… Everyone,” he stresses. “Every bookseller says: ‘I’m happy.’” You can find out more about this lovely project here. All images are copyright Frank Bohbot. 

The Essex Serpent
Blog , What We're Reading / June 5, 2018

As well as having the most beautiful cover in the world, The Essex Serpent caught my attention with its unique style and careful plot. Reviewers described it as a mix between Bram Stoker and Charles Dickens, and it does read like a Victorian gothic novel. When Cora Seaborne’s controlling husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Along with her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, in the hope that fresh air and open space will provide refuge. On arrival, rumours reach them that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for superstition, is enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a yet-undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar, who is also deeply suspicious of the rumours, but thinks they are a distraction from true faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, Will and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing,…