Spring into reading!

A Space on the Shelf

2018 is our year of celebrating women in print.


It already proving to be a big year for women with  a whole array of books celebrating the 100 anniversary of the winning of the right for (some) women to vote and the 200 year anniversary  of  the publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  

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New this Month ...

Image for Three Things About Elsie



Image for The Ice : A Gripping Thriller for Our Times from the Bailey's Shortlisted Author of the Bees




Image for Reservoir 13 : Winner of the 2017 Costa Novel Award paperback out on 25th January 2018



Children's Fiction for January 2018



Image for Sky Song

Image for The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors


Non-Fiction Releases for January 2018

Image for Why We Sleep : The New Science of Sleep and Dreams


Image for Fragile Lives : A Heart Surgeon's Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table


Autumn Excitement heads this way



Autumn Excitement Heads this way!

22nd September - DRAKE - The Bookshop will be 2!
23rd September - Stockton & Darlington Railway 192nd Birthday Market. We will be in the marquee on the High Street with special train related storytimes throughout the day.
28th September - National Poetry Day. To celebrate this we have arranged for 3 local poets to come along to the shop in the evening and do some readings. Tickets are FREE and there will be nibbles and refreshments, but please book your tickets in advance. For more details, watch this space or call into the shop and ask.
7th October - What a day we have lined up!
Bookshop Day, Our 2nd birthday party and Nuala Ellwood will be joining us for a Q&A session and book signing.
This year's Bookshop Day (the weekend celebration of the launch of the books for Christmas) will see lots of competitions in the shop and bargains; free tote bags with purchases; and the chance to buy this year's exclusive bag designed by Orla Kiely (see below).
At the same time we will be having our 2nd birthday party with games and activities for young and old alike.

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my two penneth on the world of heavy discounting

Musings on the discounting of books.

Although new to the retail side of the book trade I have been a lover of books for more than 40 years, from the days of my local bookshop in Scarborough, Hardings, to the advent of shelves full of books in supermarkets.


Since we opened the shop it has baffled me the whole situation of books being discounted heavily on day 1 of their release. Where else can you find a flagship product at 50% off upon its release (if ever!)? What does that say about the perceived value of the printed word and indirectly education (we all learn something from ANY book we read)?


I will hold my hand up and admit I have bought books from (insert supermarket chain here) but would like to defend that by saying that for at least the last 8 years we had no local bookshop to be able to support. I understand the lure of the cheap paperback, indeed we have customers who have admitted that they have bought the odd “3 for a fiver” selection, but they were paperbacks and were usually bought as catch-up reads ready for the next/final in a series, or books that were then passed on rather than kept. Honestly, I kind of get that, in much the same way I get the wonderfully fickle nature of book lovers who, while they may have their favourite bookshop that they like to support, still can’t walk past a bookshop when away or in a new town. I do love the fact that some of them feel a little bit guilty! Heavens knows it was the same with me and the only reason I don’t buy these days is I own a shop! (Does that mean I am being hypocritical because I’m getting it cheaper... discuss!)

However, the idea of taking the biggest product(s) of the year and being able to let everyone have it for less than most of the industry can buy it for, on the day of its release, is totally and utterly preposterous. Not only does it make little to no business sense in the long-term (unless we have taken the turn down which Double Glazing and sofas have gone and have never any intention of selling anything for the price it is advertised at), it doesn’t make sense to alienate and price out of the market 800 retail outlets!


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Summer Reads for the Children


Summer Double Daisy – Kes Gray

Image for A Summer Double DaisyTwo fantastic Daisy reads in one!

Daisy and the Trouble with Kittens and Daisy and the Trouble with Coconuts.



The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker – Matilda Woods

Image for The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker

The coffin maker – Alberto, lives by himself in a town called Allora – he likes his quiet life…. Until one day a mysterious boy, Tito, and his magical bird arrive in town.

Fleeing from danger but suspicious of kindness can Tito and his bird be sheltered from the Town’s prying eyes and the shadow of their past?


All the Things That Could go Wrong – Stewart Foster

Image for All the Things That Could Go WrongThere are two sides to every story:- Dan is angry. Alex is struggling.

Two enemies stuck together for the whole of the school holidays – what could possible go wrong?!

A story told from the side of both the bully and the bullied.


Summer Reads

Going away? Time off? Found a quiet part of the house/office away from the kids/colleagues? Need a book suggestion or 2?


The Portrait – Antoine Laurain

Image for The PortraitWe knew summer holidays were just around the corner when the latest book from Antoine Lauraine arrived in the shop. The Portrait was actually Lauraine’s debut novel, but this is the first time it has been published in English.

In this elegantly-written modern fable, an antique collector unearths the find of a lifetime: an eighteenth-century portrait of a man who looks uncannily like him.

Together with his other three novels; The President’s Hat and The Red Notebook, and French Rhapsody these lovely little novels are the perfect size for slipping into your holiday bag.


Lost for Words – Stephanie Butland

Image for Lost For Words : This bookshop keeps many secretsLoveday Caradew prefers books to people, she is the owner of a wonderfully spiky temperament, and a heart-breaking past.

The bookshop she works provides a refuge from a past she’d rather forget, but everything is about to change for Loveday - someone knows all about her life and she can’t keep everything a secret any longer…



Date with Death – Julia Chapman

Image for Date with Death : 1

The first instalment in the new Dales Detective series

Disgraced detective Samson O’Brien dismissed from the police force returns to his home town and sets up a detective agency whilst trying to clear his name. But his return is met with distrust by the locals – who see him as trouble. A classic whodunit riddled with dry Yorkshire wit.



The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

Image for The Couple Next Door

This summer’s crime thriller must-read.

A riveting tale with a clever array of motives and suspects – shocking revelations will keep you turning the pages and you will not see the twists coming.




Need something to get your teeth into? Try some of these for size...

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Five books to read whilst watching the Tour de France

It's that time of year again, the sun is out (well most days), the Tour de France is on telly and Stockton Cycling Festival is about to hit town.

Don't Forget... there is still time to register to take part in this weekend's RideStockton event, Sunday 16th July 12-2.30pm at the Stockton Cycling Festival.

This fun family cycle ride is open to everyone and is free. The ride is on a traffic free route around the High Street and the Riverside and is a great way of getting the whole family involved in cycling. All ages and abilities are welcome. Plus there are lots of prizes up for grabs for those taking part including a signed Boardman bike!

Please pre-register for the event before  12.OOpm on Sunday.

Though no Drake could class themselves as a cyclist, as a family we love watching the Tour, and one of my favourite books is about a cycle race, so we thought we'd put together a short list of cycle related reads to keep you company whilst waiting for the Tour highlights.

The Rider - Tim Krabbe


This is one of my favourite reads. A short, but perfectly formed novel which covers, almost in real time, an amateur cycle race. Krabbe is a keen cyclist himself and brings a wry insight into the mindgame and strategy of road racing. Written in 1978, The Rider is now consider a modern classic and widely recognised as one of the best books written about the sport. If you've ever wondered what drives cyclists to compete in such punishing trials of endurance you won't find any answers here, but you will enjoy sharing the ride with Krabbe.


Le Tour de France - Serge Laget, Luke Edwards-Evans, Andy McGrath.


For the Tour obsessive - perhaps the most comprehensive guide to the Tour de France - generally considered to be the greatest test of endurance in the sporting world. Covering every race up to 2016 features, stories and shots of all the stars, plus over 300 photographs of stunning race scenery.


This Road I Ride - Juliana Buhring


A fascinating story of how Buhring, following the death of her partner, decided to cycle around the world. In 2012 Buhring cycled 18,000 miles through 19 countries in just 152 days, setting a Guinness World Record. She set off every day on her bicycle, “Pegasus”, carrying only bare essentials, not knowing where she would sleep that night. She averaged 125 miles a day. It is a remarkable feat, particularly for someone who had never really been on a bicycle before she was 30.  Buhring is a compelling but down to earth story teller, who drew inspiration for her adventure simply by being bored at wearing a suit and sitting at a desk each day.




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Creative Writing

So, today saw the launch of our creative writing club, as part of our Easter Activities. Those who joined us did a great job of joining in and wrote some pretty cool stories using the Story Cubes for the first time.

Our warm-up activity today was to create some folding stories, and here are the end results. Given that each section is written without knowledge of the previous section they work pretty well, even if some of them are a bit on the aggressive side! Alternatively, you may want to go with the ideas of the Dr Who fan!

Thanks to everyone who joined in today, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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