- The Telegraph magazine is always my Saturday breakfast reading, and one of its highlights is Mary Portas's shop review column. Today she casts her critical eye over Daunt Books, specifically the Marylebone High Street branch, and you can read what she has to say here. I've never been to Daunt's so I can't comment on her impressions, but I find it very interesting that one of the key areas in which they can compete with online retailers and other shops which sell books at large discounts is service, and that's exactly were Mary marks them down.
- For anyone who missed Wednesday's post, I've postponed our CBG discussion of The Good Soldier by a week to Saturday 30th. July. Meanwhile, I've got our next book - or possibly even next two - in hand, so more news on those very soon.
- If you glance over to the arrivals list on the right there you'll see at the top a new novel by the excellent Sally Gardner (her brilliant I, Coriander was a favourite of mine a few years ago, and The Red Necklace was equally impressive and imaginative). The Double Shadow is a book for older teenage readers, due out in early November. I read the opening chapter yesterday and I had to force myself to put it down - I'm reading too many books just now to add another one to the mix - but it was compelling and promises much. Here's the gist:
"In a bluebell wood stands a picture palace. Arnold Rubens built it to house an invention of his that could change the war torn world forever. It is to be given to his daughter, Amaryllis, on her seventeenth birthday. But it's a present she doesn't want, and in it is a past she has to come to terms with ... Who knows what her past has been, or what the future might hold for Amaryllis, lost as she is in this place with no time?
Against the tense backdrop of the second World War, Sally Gardner explores families and what binds them, fathers and daughters, past histories, passions and cruelty, love and devastation in a novel rich in character and beautifully crafted."