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The world in a town….

Lausanne is certainly one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe with almost one person in two hailing for other shores. To celebrate it’s 50th anniversary the Bureau Lausannois pour les immigrés has published Lausanne, une ville, un monde, featuring 50 interviews with non-Swiss residents. From restauranteurs to travellers, from teachers to dancers – by the way of a certain English bookshop – the book highlights their dramas and successes in our lakeside town. Each interview is about a page long a features a portrait of the subject. Reading like a kind of tourist brochure to a town many of us are familiar with, it reveals a side of Lausanne that few of us have considered before. What is striking is the myriad ways these immigrants have found a place in the city. The Romanian bus driver/publisher, the Eastern-European broadcaster and journalist who writes, “We are mosaics composed of pieces with different provenances”, the LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers. It seems that the world really is on our doorstep. While the reality of daily life as an immigrant may not be as vibrant as the beautiful photos show, it’s a measure of Lausanne’s attitude towards immigrants that they have published this book…

Just like Me by Louise Goodings

Just Like Me by Louise Gooding is a collection of the true stories of 40 inspirational figures from around the world, all of whom are physically or neurologically diverse.  It features the people you might immediately think of, such as Greta Thunberg and Stephen Hawking and many others, such as Usain Bolt and Simone Biles, who might surprise you. Louise lives in Zurich and is a neurodivergent author, with neurodivergent children and family members. She wanted to offer a way to allow parents to inform themselves and their children about physical and neurological diversity and demonstrate that the world is full of people who are a little different in one way or another. Each biography is beautifully illustrated and contains a description of what makes that person ‘different; not less’. I caught up with Louise and she told told me all about the fascinating adventuue she has been on, both as an author and a neurodivergent parent. The book is available to Books Books Books. It costs CHF 19.50 (+CHF 5 postage). Please contact us to reserve your copy.

Rachel’s New Arrival Picks (Non-SF/F)

Well booklovers, I’ve done it again, and keep ordering more books that just look too interesting! Here are some of the top books on my TBR list that aren’t science fiction or fantasy! It’s a mix of older and new titles that I’ve come across various different places. So, in no particular order, here are some of the books I’ve recently ordered in:   Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener   Non-Fiction/Memoir:  A customer ordered a copy of this book, which has just come out in paperback, and it reminded me that I had read about it when it first came out, and it sounded very interesting. It’s one woman’s story of her experience working in the San Francisco start-up scene, and the sexism and disillusionment that came along with it.   At twenty-five years old, Anna Wiener was beginning to tire of her assistant job in New York publishing. There was no room to grow, and the voyeuristic thrill of answering someone else’s phone had worn thin. Within a year she had moved to Silicon Valley to take up a job at a data analytics startup in San Francisco. Leaving her business casual skirts and shirts in the wardrobe, she…

Rachel Recommends

Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi   Well booklovers, following my posts about my top unread books of last year, it made me really want to dive right in, so I started with The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda Hall. It was a beautiful book (not to mention a gorgeous cover!) and felt like a fairy tale. It’s classed as YA, but I whole-heartedly recommend it, no matter what your age. Sometimes YA books can feel a bit too… YA, but this one didn’t at all – it was just a wonderful story. It’s also LGBTQ+ friendly! This is a standalone book.   In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas. Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is headed to an arranged marriage she dreads. Flora…

New SF/F Arrivals

Genres: Science Fiction and Fantasy   Hey booklovers, while the bookshop is closed for browsing, that hasn’t stopped me from ordering in new and exciting books for our stock (and more than a little bit for me, as our sci-fi/fantasy section is basically my glorified TBR list)! These new books are a mix of new releases, and newly-recommended-to-me titles.   Fantasy   The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood  I’m apparently very excited about this book, as I managed to preorder a paperback copy whenever I first heard about it, and then also ordered a copy last week in anticipation of its publication next week! Guess this one is moving to the top of by TBR list…  Does she owe her life to those planning her death . . . Csorwe was raised by a death cult steeped in old magic. And on her fourteenth birthday, she’ll be sacrificed to their god. But as she waits for the end, she’s offered a chance to escape her fate. A sorcerer wants her as his assistant, sword-hand and assassin. As this involves her not dying that day, she accepts. Csorwe spends years living on a knife-edge, helping her master hunt an artefact which…

Rachel’s Top Unread Fantasy Books 2020

Continuing on from last week’s post about the top science fiction picks from last year that I haven’t managed to read yet, here’s my list of top fantasy books that I haven’t gotten to! There are two YA fantasy titles at the end that also look like excellent general fantasy books. In no particular order:   The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso One woman will either save an entire continent or completely destroy it in a captivating epic fantasy bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic.  ‘Guard the tower, ward the stone. Find your answers writ in bone.Keep your trust through wits or war–nothing must unseal the door.’ Deep within Gloamingard Castle lies a black tower. Sealed by magic, it guards a dangerous secret that has been contained for thousands of years. As Warden, Ryxander knows the warning passed down through generations: nothing must unreal the Door. But one impetuous decision will leave her with blood on her hands–and unleash a threat that could doom the world to fall to darkness. Book One of The Gate of Secrets CHF 14     Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Morenoo-Garcia The Jazz Age is in full swing,…

Rachel’s Top Unread Sci-Fi Books 2020

Well, once again we come to the start of a new year, and there are many books that I discovered last year, but didn’t find the time to read! This list is some of the top books that I haven’t found time to read yet. They’re not necessarily all books that were published last year, but they’re books that I stumbled across and ordered for the bookshop in the past year, and am excited about reading! While the bookshop will be closed to the general public from next week, we are still open for orders, and are happy to send books to you by post, or you can come to the bookshop to collect orders that have been made in advance (Click and Collect – for further information, click here).   Without further ado, in no particular order, here are some of my top unread sci-fi picks of 2020:   Planetfall by Emma Newman Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to…

What Rachel’s Reading

Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Superhero   Well booklovers, I finally got my most-anticipated book of 2020 this month, Brandon Sanderson’s Rhythm of War, book 4 of the Stormlight Archive. This is my favourite epic book series, and this volume didn’t disappoint! I’ve been restraining myself from rereading it again immediately – I’m saving that for Christmas! If you like epic fantasy and haven’t heard of Brandon Sanderson, you probably haven’t ever talked to me about books (I may be known to recommend his books often). I opted for the US cover, with the beautiful commissioned Michael Whelan cover. Email us if you’d like to order in a copy – they take around a week to arrive.   After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage, and the threat of a betrayal by Dalinar’s crafty ally Taravangian looms over every strategic move. Now, as new technological discoveries by Navani Kholin’s scholars begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of…

Rachel Recommends: YA

Genres: Fantasy/alt history, Sci-fi   I haven’t been reading very much Young Adult lately, but two of the titles that I have read recently have really been standouts. The first, Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, just sounded cool.   Trained at Miss Preston’s School of Combat for Negro Girls in both weaponry and etiquette, Jane McKeene is poised for a successful career protecting the wealthy from the encroaching plague of walking dead. But when families begin to go missing, Jane uncovers a conspiracy that pits her against some powerful enemies. Sent far from home, Jane will need all her resourcefulness, wit and strength of character to survive.   I mean, I loved Gail Carriger’s Finishing School Series, and this one sounded similar – weapons and etiquette? Yes, please! It’s a fantastic zombie book, set in a post-Civil War alternative history, that deftly explores racial oppression throughout the action and tension of the story. This was a fun, engaging read that kept me hooked and interested the whole way through, and I highly recommend it. There’s also an excellent review of the book over at Tor. The sequel, Deathless Divide, is also out.      The other YA book that really…

What Rachel’s Reading: Sci-Fi Trilogies

Genres: science-fantasy, science fiction    Well booklovers, it’s been quite some time since I posted some recommendations, and I’ve read a number of very good books in the past few months! It had been awhile since I read much new science fiction, so I set about ticking a few of the books off of that list – although most of them were more science-fantasy than strictly science fiction.   One of the books that had been on my list for ages was Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsin Muir, as it was nominated for a bunch of awards. This was a very fun read (exploring a haunted gothic castle in space? yes please!), and was adjective-tastic. Gideon is a great snarky protagonist, and I highly recommend this quirky science fantasy book. This is the first in a trilogy, the first two of which are out. The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense. The first in The Locked Tomb Trilogy, this book unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants….