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What Matthew is Reading this Week

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

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!

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

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
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“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

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,…

New Website
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After almost ten years of faithful service, we’ve decided to create a new website for the English Bookshop. We’re going to be adding reviews of the books we are reading and news on upcoming events, as well as lists of great books you need to live in Switzerland, by local authors, for your one-on-one time with a book on the beach! Eventually, we’ll be adding a little shopping cart so you can support your local independent bookseller from the comfort of your own home. We hope you enjoy the new site and we look forward to seeing you at the shop. Enjoy!