the Bookshop

Blog posts, bestseller lists, reading guides and updates from the collective staff of the London Review Bookshop.

Speaking as a single entity isn't always straightforward; each of our booksellers takes pride in their eclectic reading tastes, their specific areas of expertise and their personal literary foibles. We've had some vehement disagreements about Dickens and nobody can agree on who should have won the Booker Prize. But there are some things on which we all agree and some things which just need to be said.

Posts by the

News on reopening...

There’s blossom on the trees, the daffodils are coming up, and the London Review Bookshop is tentatively looking forward to welcoming you, our beloved customers, back to the shop.

Ahead of full reopening on Monday 12 ...

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Lockdown Update: Skeleton Crew

Regrettably due to the worsening Covid situation, we will not be able to offer either click-and-collect or telephone orders until further notice. It’s our fervent hope that things will become more normal shortly, and ...

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Merry Christmas from everyone at the Bookshop

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting us through what has been a very hard year for everyone. It’s been wonderful to see so many of you in the shop when it’s been possible, and to hear ...

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Revised Christmas hours

It wouldn't feel like changing tiers without a fresh blogpost from the bookshop setting out our revised Christmas hours. We'll be open for collection on Sunday 20th until 6pm, Monday 21st until 5pm and Tuesday 22nd until ...

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The Bookshop Reopens Again!

After a busy lockdown – thank you so much to everyone who placed phone and online orders with us – we’re reopening on Wednesday 2 December, and moving back to our regular opening hours (Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. ...

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We’re here for you during Lockdown pt. 2

Due to the new lockdown, you won’t be able to browse in person at the Bookshop, but we don’t want you to go without reading matter, so we’ll be here for you throughout. Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Contactless ...

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Christmas is Coming

Christmas is officially on its way! (This has been the case for some time but it is now more on its way than ever.) We’re here to help with all your book-buying needs, even while we’re locked down. Here’s how you ...

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We’re Here, There and Everywhere

While the shop’s reopened, and we’re delighted to welcome you in again, we realise not everyone can make it here at the moment, so here’s a selection of books that everyone can get their hands on, whether in person ...

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Good news from the Bookshop!

We are delighted to announce that we’ll be opening our doors on Monday 6 July at 10 a.m.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you all back to the shop, but ask that you bear in mind the following:

  • In order to ...
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Poem of the Week: 'The Big Guns', by Robert Selby

Robert Selby's debut collection, The Coming-Down Time, has just been published by Shoestring Press. This is the eleventh poem from the book's long sequence about Selby's late grandfather, 'East of Ipswich'.

The Big Guns ...

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Poem of the Week: 'Wild Fig' by Ali Lewis

Ali Lewis's debut pamphlet, Hotel, is just out from Verve Poetry Press, and available here.

Wild Fig

Sometimes I feel I grew you, tended you,
in the same way I've raised seeds,

kidding myself I made it all happen,
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Lockdown Updates

Update on Tuesday 23 June

We are currently working to make sure the shop is safe for staff and customers when we reopen. It’ll take us a little while, but we aim to reopen in early July.

From Wednesday 24 June, ...

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An Appeal on Behalf of Nawal El Saadawi

Our Author of the Month for February is the Egyptian feminist, novelist, essayist, physician, psychiatrist and activist Nawal El Saadawi. We were very saddened to learn from our friends at Saqi Books that El Saadawi is ...

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January Sale 2019

Every year we select several hundred titles from our shelves to sell at a massive 50% off. Most of them are single copies, some of them might be old editions, but all of them will be unbeatable and unrepeatable bargains. ...

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Claire's Best Fiction Podcasts of 2018

It’s been another great year for events and we have launched some of the most exciting novels of 2018 here at the shop; it’s difficult to choose but here are six of the best fiction podcasts.

We welcomed old friends ...

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Our phones are out of order

Our phone system is on the blink. We hope to have it sorted on Monday morning, but in the meantime, if you need to contact us, please use email or Twitter.

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Christmas Opening Hours 2018

Many people have been asking us for our Christmas opening hours this year. They are:

Thursday 20th December - 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. (last late-night shopping
Sunday 23rd December - 12 noon - 6 p.m.

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Lessons from Lessing

Our Author of the Month for June is the 2007 Nobel Laureate in Literature Doris Lessing. Born in Iran to British parents, Lessing was brought up in Southern Rhodesia before moving to Britain in 1949. Her first novel The ...

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London, Meet China: a Sister Store in Sinan Books

On 23 April 2018, an outpost of the London Review Bookshop opened in Shanghai. Below, Shengyun, who orchestrated the new outlet’s selection of titles, explains how this exciting idea came into being.

Sinan Books is ...

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So many books, so little time — books to re-read

If there’s a key danger in bookselling – aside from pouring a potentially shameful amount of one’s salary back into the coffers of one’s employer thanks to the twin temptations of proximity to many, many books ...

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Penelope Fitzgerald: Greatest Hits

Our Author of the Month in March is the versatile Penelope Fitzgerald, one of the most distinctive and powerful voices in 20th-century English literature. As well as producing nine novels, two biographies and numerous ...

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Christmas Opening Hours 2017

For those wishing to visit us over the Christmas period, our opening hours are as follows:

Monday 18 to Saturday 23 December: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Thursday 21 December (final Christmas Late Shopping Evening): 10 a.m. – ...

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Prynne Cam

Clicking 'refresh' will bring up the latest picture from the PrynneCam.

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Celebrating the life and work of John Berger

It was with great sadness that we at the bookshop learned of the death of John Berger on 2 January this year.

John was one of our first and most loyal customers, and one whose occasional visits to the shop in person, ...

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Christmas 2016 at the London Review Bookshop

As we approach our fourteenth Christmas season, we're delighted to announce that the much-heralded 'death of the printed book' still hasn't happened, and doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon.

To ease yourself ...

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Carmen Callil on Sylvia Townsend Warner

Carmen Callil, the founder of Virago Press, reflects on her relationship with Sylvia Townsend Warner's work:

I started reading Sylvia Townsend Warner in 1976, forty years ago. And have read her constantly ever since. ...

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Turkey at the Crossroads

Here at the London Review Bookshop we are hosting an informal 'focus on Turkey' season to explore what's going on in Turkey today. There'll be a debate and two film screenings, along with a special display of

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Independent Bookshop Week 2016

Once again this year we’re celebrating Independent Bookshop Week in true London Review Bookshop style: with cocktails, music, books, cinema and food!

Independent Bookshop Week, between 18 and 25 June, aims to ...

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Levy & Gunn return

Deborah Levy and Kirsty Gunn are no strangers to the London Review Bookshop. They joined us towards the end of 2015 for a fascinating event exploring their respective collected short stories, the process of writing short ...

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Vodka, Caviar & Poetry

Our Author(s) of the Month for March will be the group of poets associated with the Stray Dog Café. Named as such because they saw themselves as "strays', excluded from mainstream society, the Stray Dog Café was a ...

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Sale Now On

Every year we select several hundred titles from every corner of the shop for a half-price bonanza. Some of them might be old editions; some of them might be slightly damaged; others will just have been overlooked by the ...

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We're closed bank holiday Monday

The Bookshop and Cake Shop will be closed Monday 31 August for the bank holiday, leaving you free to enjoy the weather. We'll be back as usual at 10 a.m. on Tuesday 1 September.

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Our new Crime Fiction section

In a strange literary twist on the classic locked room mystery, a Crime Fiction section has mysteriously appeared in Bury Place. NOW READ ON.

1.1. Int: London Review Bookshop (Upstairs). Day.

[It is early ...

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VIDEO: The Story of Alice

Professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst describes how Lewis Carroll's childhood family games influenced the writing of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', including 'The Mouse's Tale' and his later novel 'Sylvie and Bruno' at ...

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How to Bind a Book

We went behind the scenes at Shepherds bookbinders in London to learn how to bind a book, watching them putting together a special edition of Tom McCarthy's Satin Island for us. Details of the book, as well as ...

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Our Easter Opening Hours

On the 29th March we are closed all day for a stocktake.

Between Friday 3rd April and Monday 6th April inclusive, we're closed for our Easter break. We will return at 10am on Tuesday morning more or less invigorated.

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Little Books vs. Lager

'It is difficult to establish any relationship between the price of books and the value one gets out of them... There are books that one reads over and over again, books that become part of the furniture of one's mind ...

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Who's been scribbling in our books?

A bookshop without authors would be a sad thing: Sweep without Sooty, Wise without Morecambe, Lewis without Morse. And being where we are in London, surrounded by some of the country’s finest publishers, libraries and ...

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A Day in the Life of a Christmas Bookseller

Our festive workload was eased this year by Barney and Katy, our wonderful Christmas booksellers. We've sadly had to bid them farewell, for this year at least, but not before asking Barney to reflect on his ... ... Read more

Christmas Opening Hours

'Tis the season for us to abscond our bookseller-ly duties and go off in search of mince pies and sherry. For those wishing to visit us over the Christmas period, our opening hours are as follows:

Wednesday 24 December: ...

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Monday Afternoon Contemporary Art Quiz

In her latest book about the art world, Sarah Thornton speaks to contemporary artists about the ways they negotiate politics, kinship and craft in their work. She'll be talking with Turner prize-nominated artist Isaac ...

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Some Exciting News...

The range of titles available from our website is about to expand! From Thursday 3 July, we are partnering with Blackwells to fulfil our online orders. Up until now a frustrating number of books that we stock in the shop ...

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Another Great Day At Sea

Also: there is never a dull moment. But this is translated into: there is never a moment's peace, no guarantee of a good night's sleep. There is never a dull moment, and yet life is an endless succession of dull ...

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The Sounds of Europe

At a recent event, we had the wonderful opportunity to hear Nick Hunt talk about the journey from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul - and we also had the opportunity to listen to the sounds that he heard as he travelled. ...

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Spring Cleaning

The Bookshop will be closed over Easter and the Bank Holiday – we're having a refurbishment of the lower floor and our little office. There's going to be more space down there to read, with big comfortable chairs in ...

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London Review Bookshop: Relentlessly Thoughtful

If I think of a community around what reading, writing and publishing means, I think of the London Review Bookshop.

We cornered some of our regulars and asked them to tell us what they love about the London Review ...

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Chinese cakes and cookies from the Cake Shop

We're offering a glorious array of Chinese goodies at the Bookshop this evening. Here's our guide to what's what:

Cashew Cookies: Said to bring prosperity due to their resemblance to gold ingots, cashew cookies are ...

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Calling all translators!

It's no secret that we're keen on translated literature here at the London Review Bookshop. So it should come as no surprise that we love translators, those wonderful people who enable us to read books from all corners ...

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Merry Christmas from all at the Bookshop

'Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of ... ... Read more

Festive Goodies from the London Review Cake Shop

We've got goodies galore at the Cake Shop this Christmas. Tuck in...

'Bedecked with birds and pomegranates in the style of William Morris, this Christmas cornucopia is richly spiced and unabashedly boozy.'

Add some ...

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A Decade of Bestsellers: 1599

Michael Dobson in the LRB on our 2005 bestseller, James Shapiro's 1599:

1599 sells itself primarily as biography rather than criticism, a fresh attempt on the undergraduate-and-general-reader market tapped with ...

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A Decade of Bestsellers: Parallels and Paradoxes

Our bestselling book in 2004 was Parallels and Paradoxes, Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said's wide-ranging exchange of ideas. In the pages of the LRB, Marina Warner took their first meeting as the seed for her exploration ...

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