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Christmas Opening Times – Horaires de Noël

Thank you for all your support this year. Please note the shop will be closed from noon, 24th December until 9am, 3rd January. Rachel and I will be catching up on our reading. Merci pour tout votre soutien cette année. Veuillez noter que la boutique sera fermée du 24 décembre à midi au 3 janvier à 9 heures. Rachel et moi allons rattraper nos lectures.

Rachel Recommends: The Space Between Worlds

Genre: Sci-fi This book is a soft sci-fi story about multiverse travel – but you can only travel to universes where you’re dead. It’s also a dystopian novel, and explores themes of class and privilege – because only the poor, from outside the walled city of the wealthy, are likely to be dead in other realities and therefore able to travel to them.  My mother used to say I was born reaching, which is true. She also used to say it would get me killed, which it hasn’t. Not yet, anyway.’Born in the dirt of the wasteland, Cara has fought her entire life just to survive. Now she has done the impossible, and landed herself a comfortable life on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, she’s on a sure path to citizenship and security – on this world, at least. Of the 380 realities that have been unlocked, Cara is dead in all but 8. Cara’s parallel selves are exceptionally good at dying – from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun – which makes Cara wary, and valuable. Because while multiverse travel…

Rachel Recommends: A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Genre: Solarpunk / Sci-fi   This little novella packs a punch for its size, and it was a refreshing and hopeful read. Tor Books commissioned Becky Chambers to write a two book novella series in the solarpunk genre, which looks forward to a sustainable future, where humanity has managed to solve the major contemporary challenges, particularly climate change. It won a Hugo award this year.   It’s been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend. One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honour the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of ‘what do people need?’ is answered.   The dedication of this book reads “For anybody who could use a break.”, and this book is that. It is a philosophical look at the purpose and meaning of life, and a comforting slice of life, and hope for the future we might have. I highly recommend it.   In stock, CHF 22.50

Zoe Perrenoud Book Signing — Saturday, July 30th
Blog , Event /

Zoe Perrenoud will be in the bookshop on Saturday, July 30th from 2-4pm to sign copies of her new book, Bloodlender! Zoe came into the bookshop ten years ago, when we were back on Rue de la Mercerie. She was just finishing up a writing course, and said that she would write a book and hold an event in the bookshop. We are thrilled that the event is finally coming to fruition with BLOODLENDER! An ancient magic. A secret garden. A deadly curse. Haunted by her father’s unsolved murder, all sixteen-year-old Sophie wants is to keep a low profile. Instead, there’s a dangerous magic stirring in her veins… and she has no idea how to stop it. After she accidentally puts her mother in a coma, Sophie is forced to move in with the elusive Delville family, whose historic French manor holds secrets even darker than hers. Their son, Gauthier, is dying from a mysterious illness, while deep in the abandoned garden, old ghosts are stirring.  As she struggles to control her powers, Sophie learns that she is Gauthier’s last hope. But when new evidence about her father’s death threatens to shatter their growing bond, she faces the ultimate dilemma: get revenge or save the…

Paul Scraton at the bookshop – Friday, 24th June

A while ago I got a subscription to an independent publisher in the UK called Influx Press. I read the quietly brilliant The Country Will Bring Us No Peace (Matthieu Simard), then Steve Hollyman’s Lairies, which seemed to be my life in the 90’s reflected back to me. Then I got in the post a slim book with a strange black and white photograph on the cover… . This was In the Pines by Paul Scraton and I was an instant convert. It is a collection stories that take place in an unnamed town surrounded by pines and infused with burning nostalgia. Reading it made me feel as if my favourite characters from the books I read in my twenties had grown into slightly damaged yet nuanced adults who could not help but pick at the scars of their younger selves. The black and white photograph on the cover was taken in collaboration with Eymelt Sehmer, using a 170-year-old technique of collodion wet plate photography and there are more photographs within. One of the delights of this book is the way the narrative of the text and the medium of the photos speak to each other, as if to highlight…

Paul Lynch at the Bookshop – 20th May

I first interviewed Paul Lynch around seven years ago when his novel Black Snow was a finalist for the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger. I loved the book, his so-called Irish farm story from the author who had promised himself that he’d never write an Irish farm story; complex, dark, atmospheric, with hints Manly Hopkins. After Black Snow I couldn’t wait to read his next books, Grace – which the Washington Post described as, “a moving work of lyrical and at times hallucinatory beauty” – and Beyond the Sea, his story of two fisherman washed out to sea which, on recent reading, felt like the perfect book for our pandemic times with its theme of forced isolation and its aftermath. Paul will be at the bookshop on Friday, 20th May to talk about his writing. Doors open at 7pm. This is an event not to be missed, and not just for the free booze. Paul’s a talented and thoughtful writer and a great speaker. Message us if you plan to come!

Bibliotopia 2022

The annual Bibliotopia literature festival at the Jan Michalski Foundation is almost upon us. Between the weekend of 13th – 15th May writers from around world will be at the Foundation talking about their work under the theme of  ‘Care’.  The programme is now online and tickets tend to sell out quite quickly. The events are multilingual with simultaneous translations. Perhaps most striking is the event on Saturday evening with Ukrainian writers Serhiy Zhadan and Andrey Kurkov, the former speaking directly from Kharkiv, and the latter from New York.

Rachel Recommends: The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

Genre: Science Fiction This is the fourth and final instalment in Becky Chamber’s Wayfarers series, and like the books before it, this one too is an absolutely beautiful book about interpersonal relationships, with the characters stranded at a truck stop equivalent in outer space. I’ve loved each of these books, and this one was no different, despite being much lighter on plot than many space opera novels. This book is about prejudice and xenophobia, and how people are different and strange to one another, and how people communicate and connect, and I highly recommend it. When a freak technological failure halts traffic to and from the planet Gora, three strangers are thrown together unexpectedly, with seemingly nothing to do but wait. Pei is a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, torn between her duty to her people, and her duty to herself. Roveg is an exiled artist, with a deeply urgent, and longed for, family appointment to keep. Speaker has never been far from her twin but now must endure the unendurable: separation. Under the care of Ouloo, an enterprising alien, and Tupo, her occasionally helpful child, the trio are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go,…

Book Event: Jo Ann Hansen Rasch’s New Collection of Poetry

Jo Ann Hansen Rasch was one of the first – if not the first – writer we had at the bookshop, so it’s a great pleasure to have her back some 12 years later for the launch of her second poetry collection Dancing Light Sings. Born during the dramas of the last two or three years, the poems span a lifetime, revealing not only lighter moments, but darker legacies too. Jo Ann’s poetry is personal and written in simple confident language. Born in New Zealand, but living most of her adult life in Lutry, she has published a memoir, a book of poetry and many essays, short stories and poems. The event is taking place on Saturday, 9th April. We will serve light refreshments from 18.30 and the reading will start at 19.00. Please sign up here if you wish to attend.

What Rachel Read Over Christmas

Well booklovers, it’s been a year! I have struggled with the attention span for reading during the pandemic, and I haven’t read nearly as many books this year as I usually do. I ended up cancelling my travel plans for Christmas, and used some of that free time to catch up on some of the books at the top of my TBR list, and they did not disappoint – they were all excellent reads. The first book I read was The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop (I was lucky enough to get my hands on a preview copy), and it was fantastic – it was a great book to pull me out of my slump, as the way Caroline writes is incredibly engaging. I finished the whole book in two days, and it would have been less if I hadn’t needed to do some Christmas meal prepping! This book is out of my regular Sci-Fi/Fantasy genres, and it was a fantastic read about female friendship and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone! 1957, France. Florence and Lilli meet at finishing school in Lyon. Despite some differences, they forge a firm friendship that promises to last a lifetime. But a…