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!

A #shelfie of our politics department (with a head-nod to ‏@bsfc_literacy!)


Our lovely Politics department – or at least, some of it – which you can find on our first floor near History and Philosophy.

We’d not thought of doing a “shelfie” before. Opportunist cash-in? Yeah, probably!

Tip o’ the hat to the Literacy Action Group for giving us the idea on Twitter.

Also, if you put extreme angles in your photos, it makes them arty, right?

Pictures of our @introducingbook Graphic Guide display (near the comfy sofa)

We have a new display of Graphic Guides by Introducing Books that covers everything from aesthetics to Žižek, passing chaos and logic on the way.

The series is on a 3-for-2 offer and the books can be found on the first floor, near the comfy sofa. Click the pics if you need them bigger.

Mmmmm. Comfy sofa…. *drools*

Disclaimer: please do not drool on (a) the sofa, (b) the Graphic Guides or (c) anything else.


Pictured: our display of Graphic Guides.


Pictured: the poster we made for the display.

War and Peace in 12 words


This is the seventh one.

Cozy Classics take popular stories and boil them down to the simplest possible ingredients: 12 words and 12 pictures. That means you could read the whole of Moby Dick, Les Mis, War and Peace *and* Pride and Prejudice in fewer than 50 words.

And actually, they’re super-cute children’s board books: the lighting and arrangement of the photographs are staggeringly good.

Browse Cozy Classics. Scroll down for the feature panel on the Blackwell’s website.