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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
Please note: the bookshop will be closed from midday on December 24th and will reopen at 9am on Monday, 3rd January. Veuillez noter que la librairie sera fermée à partir de midi le 24 décembre et rouvrira à 9 heures le lundi 3 janvier. Happy reading! See you in 2022!
Genre: Fantasy I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I love magic school type books, and I think this one might be my favourite yet. A school with no teachers, where the school is trying to kill you, and the protagonist has a talent for destruction? Yes please! Well okay, not the school exactly, so much as the creatures that reside within it, but still. I tend to love everything written by Naomi Novik, but this is definitely my favourite (so far). Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered. There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal. Once you’re inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate or you die. El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school’s many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions – never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school. Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying her hardest not to use it… that is, unless she has no other choice. This is book 1…
Hey booklovers, it’s the annual book festival Le Livre Sur Les Quais in Morges this weekend! There are some big names on the English Program this year, and our very own Matthew Wake will be animating several events, including (but not limited to) events with Amitav Ghosh and John Boyne! Check out the program below! https://www.lelivresurlesquais.ch/programme/
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 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.