Is this the most obvious literary photo-bomb ever?

Take a look at this image that was doing the rounds on Tumblr a while back. It was often tagged with “friendship”. All very soppy.

Two people running in a field

Now look at the cover of Booker winner Alan Hollinghust’s novel The Stranger’s Child.

Three people running in a field

Who is the extra guy? Do they know he’s there? Is this the most obvious literary photo-bomb ever?

I think we should be told.


We recommend: John Williams

Stoner book cover

Our booksellers recommend: Stoner by John Williams

Subject: Classic fiction

Review: The story of a man’s life in the first half of the twentieth century. Simply told, but hugely powerful. Fans of Raymond Carver, John Cheever and Richard Ford will find much to enjoy here. (by CG)

Trivia: Stoner sold barely more than one copy a day until its sudden and unexpected transformation into an international bestseller a few years ago.

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We recommend: Joanna Rakoff

Joanna Rakoff

Our booksellers recommend: My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

Subject: Memoir

Review: There are shades of Devil Wears Prada in this charming memoir recounting the author’s time in a storied New York literary agency. It happened to be the firm that handled a certain Mr JD Salinger, and Rakoff is put in charge of answering the fan mail…  (by CG)

Trivia: In the book, Rakoff uses a Selectric typewriter. Remember them?

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We recommend: Damon Galgut

Damon Galgut


Our booksellers recommend: Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut

Subject: Contemporary fiction

Review: Galgut applies his fictive imagination and beautifully controlled prose style to a crucial period in the life of EM Forster, as Forster scours India and beyond searching for connection and finding the inspiration for his his masterpiece, A Passage To India. Tenderly devastating. (by CG)

Trivia: EM Forster refused a knighthood in 1949.

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We recommend: Daniel Alarcón

Daniel Alacorn

Our booksellers recommend: At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón

Subject: Contemporary fiction

Review: This simply-written, deeply unnerving tale of actors and impostors, dreamers and deceivers, conjures a foreboding atmosphere by slowly, gently turning the screw. (by CG)

Trivia: The author was once chosen as one of The New Yorker’s elite 20-Under-40 list.

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Our, er, little horse says Happy Chinese New Year!


Two weeks of Chinese New Year begin today,  so we have a brand new display in our Languages department on the first floor. Come and have a look.

Aside from some excellent Chinese titles and our spectacular hanging dragon of joy (oh yes indeed), we have a couple of horsey friends to celebrate the Year of the Horse.

One is pictured here. It is a fierce horse. IT IS NOT A CUDDLY DONKEY.

Find them on our first floor display. Happy new year!