Tag Archives: Waterstone’s

Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life by Nina Stibbe

Love, NinaNominated last year for the Waterstones Book of the Year, ‘Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life’ has recently become a popular bestseller through word-of-mouth.  The book contains letters written by Nina Stibbe to her sister Victoria when she started working as a nanny in London at the age of twenty in 1982 and later as a student at Thames Polytechnic.  She worked for Mary-Kay Wilmers, who has been the editor of the London Review of Books since 1992, and looked after her two sons, Sam aged ten, and Will aged nine.

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Waterstones Book of the Year 2013

The Waterstones Book of the Year award shortlist was announced today.  The nominated books are:

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

Maps by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński

Love, Nina: Despatches of Family Life by Nina Stibbe

Stoner by John L. Williams Continue reading


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Paris by Edward Rutherfurd

I won a copy of ‘Paris’ by Edward Rutherfurd through Waterstones who offer free copies of recently published books to cardholders through a prize draw in return for an honest review.  I’m not sure if I’m allowed to copy my official review in full on my blog so you can read it here instead (not sure why my name hasn’t appeared next to it yet but it’s the 3 star review by the anonymous 23-year-old under the customer reviews tab). Continue reading


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Five Awesome Bookshops in London

In spite of the difficulties facing the publishing industry, there are still a lot of bookshops in London which are managing to survive.  Here are five I deem to be among the Most Awesome.

(1) Foyles

Foyles at Charing Cross

The flagship store on Charing Cross Road is a haven for book-lovers everywhere.  It is vast yet not at all intimidating.  Its specialisms include the Grant & Cutler foreign language department and the sheet music section on the top floor.  Ray’s Jazz Cafe is also very cool. Continue reading


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Thoughts About Political Biographies

My Political Bookshelf

The Politics section in most bookshops is often an odd one.  I think there are two explanations for this.  Firstly, it is because books about current affairs usually go out of date very quickly – politics changes pretty much everyday and a lot of books about ongoing events can end up in a bargain bin faster than you can say ‘Yes, we can’.  Secondly, I think it is because politics tends to overlap with so many other subjects like history, sociology, economics and biographies.  In your average Waterstone’s shop, the Politics section will typically consist of a slew of memoirs and biographies of New Labour era politicians, a couple of AS Level Government and Politics textbooks, some books which claim to explain the origins of the credit crunch/globalisation/some other trendy political buzzword in layman’s terms and maybe a few George W. Bush-bashing books.  Overall, it isn’t particularly inspiring and doesn’t really reflect the diversity of the subject especially when there is so much quality political journalism out there.  It also demonstrates how books have become sidelined, as far as politics is concerned, in favour of more modern media which can be updated instantly. A 140 character tweet is likely to reach and influence millions more people than an exhaustively researched tome about the state of the nation today.  Overall, the cycle of the publishing industry is incompatible with the fickle 24 hour news cycle that we have today.

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