Monday, 7 June 2021

Booka Bookshop, Oswestry - Summer newsletter

Dear Blogger

Booka Bookshop Summer Newsletter

Summer Vibes at Booka

The sun is out, the sky is blue and we have both our doors wide open to welcome all our reading community.  The last couple of weeks have been a little surreal after months of operating behind closed doors.  There are no words to describe our collective delight at being able to welcome 'real-life customers'.  It is such a thrill to have conversations, recommend books, catch up with people we haven't seen for a long time.  
The shop feels fresh and vibrant and we have had lots of heartwarming feedback from customers who are enjoying the new paintwork, book and gift selection.
If you haven't yet had chance to pop in, we hope that we will see you in the next couple of weeks.  There is a lot going on in June: we are celebrating Pride Month throughout June so pop in to view the rich and vibrant selection of LGBT+ writers we are showcasing for adults and children.
>From Saturday 19th June to Saturday 26th June we will be celebrating 'Independent Bookshop Week'.  We will have lots of offers, a bookmark competition and a virtual event for children with Julia Donaldson.
Read on to find out more.

Independent Bookshop Week - 19th to 26th June 2021

We love this time of year - not just for the better weather and longer days, but because we celebrate the importance of the physical bookshop on the High Street.  Not every High Street has a bookshop and as Neil Gaiman says in his novel, American Gods, '...a town isn't a town without a bookstore'.

Our aim this year is to make the bookshop a welcoming oasis of bookish delights and we hope that you will pay us a visit to browse books, drink coffee and eat cake.

We will have a variety of special offers on books - a Buy 4 for 3 offer on selected paperback fiction and non-fiction titles.  We will have a competition to win a 'Bag of Books' - one for adults and one for children.

For our younger readers we are running a Bookmark Competition to design a bookmark that illustrates 'Where They Like to Read'.  We will have two age groups - 5-7 (KS1) and 8-11 (KS2).  The winners of each category will receive a £25 Booka voucher and have their bookmark design printed for use in the shop.

For more details, call into the shop.
Fun for all the family.  How exciting to be hosting a virtual event with one of the best-loved children's authors, Julia Donaldson.  The event takes place on Sat 19th June at 10.30 am and is a fab way for us to kick-start our Independent Bookshop Week celebrations.  The event coincides with the publication of Julia's latest book, 'The Woolly Bear Caterpillar', illustrated by the incredibly talented Yuval Zommer.
There will be songs, there will be stories and of course lots of fun. 

For tickets click here


Wild Child by Dara McAnulty 
Join brilliant young naturalist Dara McAnulty - winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for his book 'Diary of a Young Naturalist' - on a nature walk and experience the joy of connecting with the natural world on your multi sensory journey.
This beautiful gift book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls is divided into five sections: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank.  
Signed and numbered with pull-out spotter's guide poster. £14.99

Cecily by Annie Garthwaite
Don't miss the opportunity to own a copy of this stunning debut by Shropshire author Annie Garthwaite.  This is a book that Annie has been waiting to write since she was in school and became fascinated by the life of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York.  It is a labour of love and dedication to tell the story of a startling heroine.   Told through the eyes of its greatest unknown protagonist, this astonishing debut plunges you into the closed bedchambers and bloody battlefields of the first days of the Wars of the Roses, a war as women fight it.
Signed First Edition £14.99

Tornado by John Nichol

In 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighbouring Kuwait, setting in motion a chain of events that had unimaginable political, military and personal repercussions, which still reverberate around the globe today.

This is the story of the aircrew at the heart of Operation Desert Storm, almost none of whom had any prior experience of armed combat. It is the story of the Tornado's missions, of those who did not return – and of the families who watched and waited as one of the most complex conflicts in recent history unfolded live on television. It is a story of untold fear and suffering, and astounding courage in the face of hitherto unimaginable adversity.
Signed First Edition £20.00

Happy Pride Month! 
We are thrilled to be celebrating Pride this year by highlighting our very favourite LGBT+ titles with special 'Pride Month Picks' tags throughout the shop.  Pride is all about celebration, solidarity and the promotion of equality and freedom.  These are traits and values we are proud to embody at Booka.
We believe it is so important to uplift and celebrate LGBT+ authors, illustrators and their stories, and we are very excited to be doing this throughout June.
Father's Day - Sunday 20th June

If you need ideas for Father's Day, take a look at our 'Father's Day Bundles'.  We have created themed bundles to suit the interests of different Dads - 'Outdoor Bundle', 'Music Bundle', 'Humour Bundle', 'Nature Bundle', 'Stargazer Bundle'. Pop into the shop to browse, buy or even create your own bundle.
Books for Summer

Our Summer catalogue has a great selection of titles covering the latest fiction, non-fiction and books for children.  Have you got your copy?  If not, pop into the shop and pick one up.

It's a great way to inform your Summer Reading choices and if you spend over £50 there is a 10% off voucher on the back. 

(cannot be used with other offers)
The wonderful Marcus Rashford has written a book called 'You are a Champion - How to be the Best you Can be' - it is a very timely positive and inspiring guide for young people.  Marcus is using his fame, to help others.  Throughout the pandemic he has worked to highlight food poverty and has tweeted that 'books are cool'.  
He wants all children to have access to books.

We have copies of his book in the shop and we are running a 'Buy a Book, Gift a Book' scheme throughout June.  Buy a copy of 'You are a Champion' & we'll gift a copy to Oswestry Food Bank for them to distribute to families they help.

In purchasing a copy of the book you'll also have a chance to win an exclusive Signed Copy of the book in our prize draw!  (ends 30th June)
Seven Ways to Change the World is the new book by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  Excitingly we are hosting a virtual event with Gordon on Tuesday 8th June at 7.30 pm, over on our digital platform 'At Home with 4 Indies'.
He will be in coversation with Wirral South MP Alison McGovern discussing the most pressing problems the world faces and his ideas for how we can fix them.  Sure to be lively and thought provoking.
Tickets include a copy of the book - click here

If you cant' make the event but would like to have a copy of the book, you can pre-order a signed (bookplated) copy here

June Book of the Month
Still Life – Sarah Winman

1944, in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening. Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the wreckage and relive memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.

Evelyn's talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses' mind that will shape the trajectory of his life - and of those who love him - for the next four decades. Moving from the Tuscan Hills and piazzas of Florence, to the smog of London's East End, Still Life is a sweeping, joyful novel about beauty, love, family and fate.
The story of Ulysses Temper, a young British soldier whose wartime encounter with art historian, Evelyn Skinner gently impacts the trajectory of his life. 
And so begins a story about the commonplace magic of life and the poetry in the everyday. A sumptuous tale of mistakes, sorrows and connections, otherness and chosen family, quiet wit and so much love. An ode to life lived open-hearted and full of wonder. Earthy and truthful, Winman's characters are a absolute joy. A beautiful book I know I will return to again and again. Read it!

Selected and reviewed by Ruth.

We are hosting an event with Sarah Winman over on our digital platform 'At Home with 4 Indies' on Thursday 10th June at 7.30 pm.

Tickets are available here

Staff Picks curated and recommended for you by our very own Bibliotherapists - Ruth, Imi, Amanda, Amy and Carrie.
We hope you like our selections.  Pop in to the shop to browse and buy.
Ruth's Favourites:

The Beautiful Ones - Silvia Moreno-Garcia (just read)

Quietly paced, beautifully written and romantic, this is just the most sublime slow burn love story. An exquisite novel of class, etiquette and the grand season, which is so much more than a simple romance. It's a gorgeously written story of duty, societal expectations and not fitting in, also the simmering passions, jealousy and deceit running beneath the surface.

Threadneedle - Cari Thomas (just published)

Dark, ferocious and richly imagined, I loved this absorbing story of magic and secrets. Imaginative and striking, this 'misfits coming of age' crossover fantasy is less Harry Potter and more 'Mean Girls meets Practical Magic'; twisted, sharp and brimming with witchcraft. 

Felix Ever After - Kacen Callender (pride pick)

A brilliant YA story of self acceptance and trans identity. I loved the thoughtful, nuanced way it looks at bigotry, privilege and creativity, and the focus on learning to choose healthy, loving relationships. Empowering and uplifting.

Imi's Favourites:

Madam - Phoebe Wynne
This book is my current read and whenever I'm not reading it, I'm thinking about it.  Gothic, claustrophobic and incredibly gripping.

Pandora's Jar - Natalie Haynes
Witty and engaging bite size introductions to the fantastic women of Greek myth.  Sharp observations by an incredibly knowledgeable author and scholar.

Grandad's Camper - Harry Woodgate

A beautiful picture book debut about new beginnings after loss and keeping memories alive.  Brilliant LGBT+ representation combined with lovely bright illustrations.

Amy's Favourites:

Love After Love - Ingrid Persaud
Heartbreaking but hopeful - a story of love in all its forms.  Well deserving of its Costa Award winning status, 'First Novel Award'

Shards of Earth - Adrian Tchaikovsky 
Epic space opera - an immersive and intricately thought out world for all you Sci-Fi fans.

By Ash, Oak & Thorn - Melissa Harrison
Adventure into the wild world of the Hidden Folk - Their job is to look after the natural environment, and if you pay attention you may even catch a glimpse of one!  A lovely story to inspire children to observe and preserve the wonders of the natural world around them.

Amanda's Favourites:

Homestretch by Graham Norton - changing social attitudes in small town Ireland make for a gripping must read.

Small Pleasures - Claire Chambers 
Perfect for fans of Barbara Pym, this is a suburban novel of love & happiness.  A complete joy to read.

Us Three - Ruth Jones
The second novel from actress, comedian and writer is a celebration of friendship with a healthy dose of Ruth's trademark humour.  A perfect Summer read.

Carrie's Favourites 

My 'Well-being Bundle' - Books for self-improvement and self-care

Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod - a revolutionary and radical book that sets out a morning routine to help focus your energies and make the most of your time.  This is the perfect choice for anyone struggling to find their 'mojo' again after the last 12 months.  It is motivational and inspiring and has certainly helped fuel my energy and love for what I do.  Warning - it does require you to wake up early! Very early!

Bread Therapy by Pauline Mary Beaumont - make baking more mindful.  This is a wonderful mix of recipes, wisdom and psychological insights into the human condition and how we can overcome stress and anxiety whilst making a loaf of bread.  A multi- sensory delight and a klaxon call for developing and enjoying 'slow skills' to alleviate the burn out we feel from our day to day digital existence.

Think Big by Grace Lordan - this has been my book of choice every morning over the last couple of weeks.  A great insight into behavioural science to understand the decisions we make and how to harness this knowledge to plan for and build the future career we want. Motivational and inspiring with step by step guidance on how to 'Thing Big and act small' over the medium term to achieve the success we crave.

Signed Copies, Pre-orders

If you are interested in the latest signed copies or keen to pre-order upcoming titles, please visit our website.  We are regularly updating our website to show new titles available to order.  Signed copies make great gift ideas.  

Independent Bookshop Exclusive Editions
We also have some wonderful exclusive editions of  books that are only available in Independent Bookshops.  One of our eagerly anticipated Independent Exclusives is 'Circus of Wonders' by Elizabeth Macneal. For further details and to order click here.
Book Subscriptions:

Just a little reminder that we sell 6 and 12 month book subscriptions for children and adults.  Imagine the pleasure of receiving a specially selected book every month, delivered to your door.

Our Book Subscriptions, have been incredibly popular over the lockdown period and make a great gift for any avid 'bookworm' in your life.

For more information take a look here.