Title: Diary of a Bookseller

Author: Shaun Bythell

Page: 320 Pages

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail

The Blurb

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost … In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

The Review

Like a lot of book lovers, my dream would be to own a bookshop, have a bookshop cat and be able to read all day. That sounds like heaven.

In Shaun Bythell’s The Diary of a Bookseller we get to see that the reality of owning a bookshop isn’t always as idyllic as the dream. Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop – like Ronseal – the name of the store does what it says on the tin. It is located in Scotland and is a firm favourite among book lovers who annually pilgrimage to Scotland in September for the book festival.

Bythell’s book lets you know a daily account of all the humorous comings and goings of the shop along with the bizarre and rude customers who frequent the shop often choosing not to buy anything.

And whilst reading The Diary of a Bookseller I was reminded of the difficulties faced in the book-selling world I still really, really want to own a bookshop.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is available now.

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Title: After Me Comes the Flood

Author: Sarah Perry

Pages: 240 Pages

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail

The Blurb

One hot summer’s day, John Cole decides to leave his life behind.

He shuts up the bookshop no one ever comes to and drives out of London. When his car breaks down and he becomes lost on an isolated road, he goes looking for help, and stumbles into the grounds of a grand but dilapidated house.

Its residents welcome him with open arms – but there’s more to this strange community than meets the eye. They all know him by name, they’ve prepared a room for him, and claim to have been waiting for him all along.

As nights and days pass John finds himself drawn into a baffling menagerie. There is Hester, their matriarchal, controlling host; Alex and Claire, siblings full of child-like wonder and delusions; the mercurial Eve; Elijah – a faithless former preacher haunted by the Bible; and chain-smoking Walker, wreathed in smoke and hostility. Who are these people? And what do they intend for John?

Elegant, gently sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes The Flood is a haunting and hypnotic debut novel by a brilliant new voice.

The Review

I cannot tell you what After Me Comes the Flood is about. I genuinely have no idea. The story made no sense to me and it got to the point where I was just reading the words and not even taking them in. I’m sure that there was a bigger message, an allegory or extended metaphor but I could not see it.

After Me Comes the Flood was not the best book I have read.

After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry is available now.

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