High Tide by Veronica Henry review

High Tide, a beautiful story set in a fictional Fowey-esque town, where community spirit sits hand in hand with a whole host of characters you’re bound to fall in love with.

While many might think that High Tide looks to be an easy breezy romance story, as we turned the pages and delved deeper and deeper into the story, we found that the novel focused poignantly far more on the theme of loss, wellbeing and the emotional road to recovery and, it seems, the different ways characters could get there.

While romances and new relationships blossomed throughout the book, it was stirringly poignant to read a book set in a fictional seaside village inspired by Fowey where each character has been touched by loss in some way, shape, form or another.

At such unsettling times like these, it felt very close to home and showed how, out of grief, there can sometimes bring a little good.

Veronica Henry shows how communities coming together, looking after one another, can bring so much warmth, positivity and happiness in times of loss.

The autumnal winds that sweep a picturesque seaside village after the mad rush of summer is evident in this book and it was comforting to read something which echoed the thoughts and daily life from villagers who can relax into their lives again once the bustle of summer has passed.

High Tide

Veronica Henry writes in a way that reflects the beauty of fictional harbourside town, Pennfleet, while also creating characters that ring true in a very real and comforting way. From teens still grieving over the loss of their mother to young New Yorker Kate, who returns home for her mother’s funeral, this book features a whole host of characters who you encounter in an affectionate and tumbling stir of emotions.

Not to mention Nathan, the young and handsome funeral-cab-driver-come-entrepreneur-boatman, who finds himself romantically entangled with the village’s attractive widow, Vanessa.

Every single character you meet, as well as their romances brewing, will have you smiling, laughing, yet we hope not crying. (But we won’t judge if you happen to have a pack of tissues at your side.)

More than anything, there was a strong pull of community emanating from this book. By the end, it felt as if everybody knew each other, that their stories were all somehow intertwined, and their happy endings were invariably shared. Perhaps, right now, we can all learn a thing or two from this and be kind to those around us.

A beautiful and stirring seaside read, which will leave you wondering which character you loved the most.

Book Launch: A Confusion of Mary’s with Sarah Cave, Rupert Loydell and special guest Maria Stadnicka

A Confusion of Mary's

We had the pleasure of welcoming talented poets Sarah Cave and Rupert Loydell to our bookshop for the launch of their stunning poetry book, A Confusion of Mary’s, last week along with special guest Maria Stadnicka.

During these strange and troubling times, we were pleased to welcome such an enthusiastic turn out with many familiar and smiling faces decking out the chairs before our makeshift stage where Sarah, Rupert and Maria proudly read out their work.

Sarah Cave, Rupert Loydell and Maria Stadnicka

Sarah, Rupert and Maria

While Sarah, who is currently completing her poetry PhD at Royal Holloway, is a returning poet to our wonderful shop, this was a first time visit for both Rupert and Maria.

We loved having them with us and were captivated by their words about hope, the representation of biblical Mary, and the turbulent times humanity faces throughout the world from their poetry.

Rupert Loydell reading his poetry

Rupert reading his poetry

Rupert is a professional poet, abstract artist, and Senior Lecturer in the School of Writing and Journalism at Falmouth University, inspiring many future and current writers of today.

Maria is a professional poet, journalist, and PhD researcher at the University of the West of England. Incredibly, she travelled all the way from Gloucestershire to speak at our event.

Maria reading her poetry

Maria reading her poetry

As each poet spoke, the audience listened intently with either a glass of red wine or (for the drivers!) a fresh orange juice to hand. From A Confusion of Mary’s, both Sarah and Rupert performed poetry full of wit, beautiful imagery and bursts of feminism sewn throughout.

With Rupert’s fresh sense of humour paired with Sarah’s artistic prop making and poetic flourish, it certainly made for an exciting and entertaining evening.

Sarah reading her poetry

Sarah using her props while performing poetry

As Maria took to the floor, her words swept us away as she transported us back to times of turbulence and through the eyes of childlike countenance upon witnessing national events, such as the 2017 London bridge attack and all that happened.

Treating us further to a poem not yet published and only recently written, the audience listened attentively while she read out her work with moving reverence.

As the evening drew to an end, a round of applause paraded through the room from the audience. Afterwards, copies of Sarah and Rupert’s and Maria’s poetry books were available to purchase and get signed while familiar chatter buzzed all around.

Sarah Cave and Rupert Loydell

Sarah and Rupert at the end of the evening

We loved hosting such a fantastic event filled with brilliant words and imagery and look forward to welcoming them back.

Each poets’ published works are available at Lost in Books. Please either come in and visit our shop to browse, or place an order using our online order form.

We host as many bookish events and activities as possible here at Lost in Books. Check our Twitter for the latest news and updates and we’ll look forward to seeing you soon.

Top 10 Romantic Reads Set in Cornwall

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we wanted to share the love with our top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall.

From contemporary authors, such as Liz Fenwick and Jill Mansell, to  classics from Daphne Du Maurier, it’s no secret that Cornwall and romance practically go hand in hand.

So sit back with a cup of tea (and maybe a cheeky biscuit) and take a look at our top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall. We hope you love these books just as much as we do.

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier

Haven’t we all dreamed of a romantic getaway with a reckless and menacing, yet altogether rather handsome, pirate? In Frenchman’s Creek, one of Du Maurier’s most famous novels aside from Rebecca, we see Dona, Lady St Columb, do just that.

Set along the Helford river in South Cornwall, this is a classic Du Maurier story blending romance with suspense and adventure. Oh, how we swooned!

But can this dangerous love entanglement last? Those who have read it will know, while those who are yet to discover this wonderful novel will find out.

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

This is one of our favourite romances set in Cornwall.

When it comes to writing about this beautiful county, Liz Fenwick has been frequently heralded as the ‘Queen of the contemporary Cornish novel’. With unforgettable characters, a tantalising secret, and a heartbreaking romance, this novel is an engrossing story guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.

Set partly in wartime, it’s full of Cornish history,  featuring a great deal of the Falmouth area which many local readers will recognise, including Mawnan Smith church, The Ferryboat Inn, and Trebah bay where many soldiers famously set off from in pursuit of the D-Day landings.

The Cornish Village School series by Kitty Wilson

The Cornish Village School series is an absolute joy to read and a breath of fresh air when it comes to writing laugh-out-loud romantic comedy set in Cornwall.

Set in the fictional village of Penmenna, follow Rosy Winter’s story as a compassionate and lovable headteacher, who adamantly does not want anything to do with love.

Except, when handsome TV gardener, Matt, comes to the village and Rosy ends up spending a lot of time with him, she can’t fight the attraction that seems to pull them together. 

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

A romance set against the backdrops of Cornwall in the 1920s which is full of splendour and artistic reverence. When young and naïve Lou meets the wild and wondrous Cardew siblings, she’s invited to step into the world of glamour and lavish parties of the era.

As the summer goes on, Lou finds herself more and more drawn to the handsome brother, and the subtle hints of attraction dotted throughout the book are guaranteed to delight any ardent reader of romance.

Set at a time when the world was full of glitz and dreamy glimmer in the 1920s, this book is perfect for fans of The Great Gatsby.

High Tide by Veronica Henry

Described by Veronica Henry herself as being set in a ‘fictional Fowey’ town, this book is a gem to fall in love with, featuring heart warming and relatable characters trying to make their way through the inevitable highs and lows of life – and wrangle unexpected romances along the way.

With narrow winding streets, the tinkling chatter within teashops and cafes, and a beautiful beachside setting to make this book the perfect go-to, you can be sure to turn the pages and find yourself firmly planted in Cornwall.

Kook by Chris Vick

Although a romance, this striking novel is also as dark and brooding as the storm clouds above the sea. When fifteen year old Sam moves to Cornwall and makes friends with a group of passionate surfers, he also falls for the wild and turbulent Jade, who longs to catch the biggest wave around and become a world-famous surfer, no matter what the cost.

With enough heart and vigour to make you want to run towards the sea, this book is powerful – and might just make you want to pick up a board and go surfing yourself along the shores of Cornwall’s coastline.

It Started With a Secret By Jill Mansell

With so many bestselling novels to her name, Jill Mansell’s most recent book is set in Cornwall featuring Lainey, a woman who is absolutely ready to leave love behind and start fresh with a new life beside the sea. There’s just one problem.

She can’t deny the spark between her and her new boss’s perfectly charming (and extremely attractive) grandson, Seth – who already has a seemingly wonderful girlfriend.

But when neither Lainey nor Seth have been completely honest with each other, does that mean there’s hope on the horizon for a future?

Blue by Lisa Glass

Get lost in the sand, sun and waves as you get swept up in Iris and Zeke’s love story, remembering to hold on when the sea gets a little too choppy, and discover a gorgeous beach read with plenty of spark, love and heart.

This fantastic sun and surf romance series is largely set along Fistral Beach in Newquay, filled with surf culture here and there and a romance to keep you hanging on to every word.

Lisa Glass spends a lot of time writing her books in Newquay itself, which works wonders for putting you right there in the novel as you turn each page.

A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

The latest summer read by successful author Phillipa Ashley sees the fictional town of Porthmellow aiming to host their annual food festival. Sam Lovell, the organiser of the event, was looking forward to it all … except when their star guest pulls out of the festival, it means someone else has to step in.

That someone else is London chef Gabe Matthias who Sam knows all too well and hoped she would never have to see again.

With many recogniseable little spots of Cornwall popping in and out of the book, this is a fantastic summer read which will have you dying to whip the sunglasses and sunscreen out.

Poldark series by Winston Graham

How could we write about love stories set in Cornwall and not include one of Cornwall’s most celebrated love affairs? Captain Poldark and Demelza’s romance has remained popular across generations and, in a time when life and love is hard, this seemed the perfect place to almost end our countdown of top 10 romantic reads set in Cornwall.

Do you have any more suggestions for romantic reads set in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Viper by Bex Hogan – A Review

We were so excited when Bex Hogan, author of Viper, happened to drop by to Lost in Books and tell us all about her gorgeous swash-buckling book series.

Viper is the first captivating read in a trilogy of books filled with adventure, action and magic. These books in their entirety will make up the Isles of Storm and Sorrow series. Think Pirates of the Caribbean meets magic and legend – and the result is Viper.

Lost in Books meets author Bex Hogan

The novel tells the story of Marianne, a young woman who lives on board a ship alongside a crew of highly trained and deadly assassins. Her future? To become one of them.

There’s just one problem; her father is the captain and he expects great things of his daughter. Great and terrible things that she doesn’t dare hope to achieve. With a strength and resilience to be admired, she sets off on an adventure, encountering anguish, heartbreak, and faithful friends along the way, to bring an epic battle forward which she must face.

Within the pages of this book, there is action and adventure at every turn. Danger, betrayal, heartbreak and agony. Beauty. This world is rich with the magic and characters that Bex Hogan has created and the urge to keep reading made this an immersive and thrilling read.

Not to mention we adored the eye catching book cover.

Laced throughout the story are themes of love, friendship, bravery and the power to fight evil against incredible odds. Marianne’s struggle to defeat her enemies through her strength, skill and a refusal to back down makes it a wonderful read to line the shelves of young adult fiction.

Everything about this book has a menacing and magical feel to it. Ancient maps, lost civilisations, sea monsters, myths and magical powers brought an unforgettable flavour to the entire novel.

On Bex Hogan’s book tour of Cornwall, it was so wonderful to meet her and hear about her insights on writing. She even signed some copies of Viper for us which we ran in a giveaway on our Twitter page.

Having grown up in Cornwall, Bex revealed that much of Viper is inspired by the landscape of our beautiful county, both on and offshore. The novel features such beautiful places, with wild climates and rough terrain, sandy shores and rolling hills across the twelve islands.

However, we felt that one of the most striking settings of all is the deck of the fantastic ship, where Marianne and her crew sail above and beyond perilous waters.

With a rocky romance thrown in the works (but, ssh, we won’t say any more), we believe this is a fantastic book for young adults and we’re excited to share it with our wonderful readers.

We’re looking forward to returning to Bex Hogan’s fantasy world with Venom, the next book in the series, which will be released during April this year.

If you want to be the first to get your hands on a copy, you can preorder it from us by clicking on our order form.

Happy reading!

What are you currently reading? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Lost in Books Celebrates New Look

To celebrate the new decade in style, Lost in Books has developed a slight makeover which we can’t help but adore. Now, the shop beckons readers in with a more gradual blur between the bookshop and its partnered home décor shop, Atticus and Willow.

Plants adorn our walls, the shelves and rustic tables. We have a book fairy, complete with wings and pages from classic literature which make up her wonderful dress. If they wish to, visitors to the shop can whisper their reading wishes for 2020 into her palms, in which she holds an open book.

Lost in Books interior

Two rocking horses now stand elegantly in front of our books and decorative tables. They add a nostalgic element to the shop and bring back memories to those who remember them from childhood.

And all around, we lovingly stock the very latest books, as well as quality preloved copies, to cater for all our readers and their eclectic tastes.

Lost in Books interior

The entire shop seems particularly more spacious with added opportunity to shelve more books. While we make sure to stock the very best and antiquarian titles with plenty of variety, we can also happily order books in for those looking for a very special something. Here at Lost in Books, no task is too small when it comes to placing the right book into a reader’s hands.

‘We decided to change the arrangement within the shop so we could create a space for workshops and author events,’ says our bookshop owner Amanda Davidge. ‘I share the shop with Atticus and Willow run by the very creative Mel Askew. Her focus is on plant and nature based styling for the home, which compliments the range of nature books I sell. Re arranging the shop allowed us to blend our two great loves: books and plants.’

Lost in Books interior

The process of changing the shop layout took an entire week and we bravely fought off the urge to grab a coffee and take extensive breaks curled up with a good story in a small reading nook. With a lot of hard work and a considerable amount of time, we didn’t rest until we got the shop looking exactly how we wanted it. The end result was wonderful.

As we launch ourselves into a new decade, our hopes and dreams for the future remain humble yet ardently optimistic. There are so many excellent new titles coming out this year and we can’t wait to get our hands on them and share them with our readers.

When it comes to new titles, Amanda is particularly excited about two big novels set to grace the shelves of 2020. ‘I’m really looking forward to the new book by Hilary Mantel and the second book by Raynor Winn, following on from The Salt Path which was my bestselling book last year.’

Children's literature

Besides the excitement for new books, we’re also looking forward to hosting many more events and workshops. Think author events, book signings, poetry nights and World Book Day celebrations.

‘I would like to develop the social enterprise element of the shop, broadening my reach into the community,’ says Amanda. ‘I have already attended some local schools and colleges promoting the love of reading and the importance it has for our wellbeing.’

We are also proud to be hosting our very own children’s book group, Atticus Authors and Willow Writers, which we are hoping to launch in early spring later this year. The group will focus on choosing a book to read for the month and promote engaging workshop sessions for children, designed with a love of books and reading in mind.

When it comes to sharing our new layout with customers, we’re pleased to have received extremely positive feedback. People like the space and tell us it feels more spacious, light and airy. As the winter weather lingers on, we think now is the perfect time to dedicate more time to reading.

After all, ‘a book is a dream that you hold in your hand’ (Neil Gaiman).

Happy reading. We look forward to welcoming you.

 

 

My Bookshop Advent Calendar

Welcome to our biggest blog post ever!

To celebrate the Christmas countdown, we have been posting little snippets of book recommendations – one each day – as part of our own themed advent calendar on our Twitter and Instagram pages throughout December.

Now, with Christmas Day almost here, we thought what better way to share all our favourite books with you than in one place right here on our blog.

Why not sit down with a mince pie (or two) and join us as we get lost in a world of books?

Day 1: The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Day 2: To See Clearly: Why Ruskin Matters by Suzanne Fagence Cooper

“To see clearly is Poetry, prophecy, religion all in one.”  A perfect present for art lovers and writers.

Day 3: The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The perfect present for any child. A classic favourite.

Day 4: No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton

Our resident 13 year old said it was “a really good book”. As a winner of the Books Are My Bag Reader Awards, this novel is wonderful for young teenagers.

Day 5: Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

This beautifully written lyrical narrative is ideal for those who love a good story.

Day 6: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

One of our customers chose this book, wanting a brilliant tale from Cornwall to send as a present to her friend in America.

Day 7: The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare

A winter journal fantastic to read at this time of year. It reveals an observation and celebration of the rhythm of the season.

Day 8: The Gifts of Reading by Rob Macfarlane

We would love to give every book by Rob Macfarlane as a gift for Christmas, but this one is truly an exquisite stocking filler.

Day 9: Book of Dust – Vol II: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

An amazing gift for all the fans of Philip Pullman.

Day 10 and 11: Any poetry book from the award winning publishers Guillemot Press

We are always proud to host events with Guillemot Press. They joined us for Lostwithiel’s recent Dickensian Evening, selling poetry collections in our shop.

Day 12: The Natural Home by Hans Blomquist

Our shop is full of books, plants and cosy places to hide. This book in particular is one of our favourites and a delightful gift for our customers.

Day 13: Peepo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Another classic from Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Peepo is the perfect present for young children and our best selling baby book.

Day 14: Time and Place: A Pocket Book on the Art of Calendars by Alexandra Harris

All royalties for this book are donated to Common Ground, supporting arts and environmental projects that celebrate the seasons in our lives.

Day 15: A Single Thread by Tracey Chevalier

We have read and loved all her novels and this will definitely be one of our holiday reads.

Day 16: Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

This is a brilliant book for all Jane Austen fans. Focusing on the places Jane lived in while she was writing, this book provides a great insight into the author’s life and the social history of her time.

Day 17: Polkerris: A History of the Village and its Pilchard Fishery by Nigel Hall

For those of us living in Cornwall, a book about our local history makes a great present at Christmas.

Day 18: Do Inhabit

Do Inhabit from the The Do Book Company is part of a series of books designed to help you learn something new and help keep you motivated when it comes to starting a new project. A fantastic gift for this time of year.

Day 19 and 20: Vintage classics Little Grey Rabbit’s Christmas by Alison Uttley and Fell Farm for Christmas by Marjorie Lloyd

Sometimes the old ones are the best!

Day 21: The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide for 2020 by Lia Leendertz

A magnificent read for all book and nature lovers.

Day 22: Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Brambly Hedge!

Day 23: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

The perfect read if you’re looking for something absorbing, unusual and well written.

Day 24: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Our final choice for the Christmas advent calendar – a true classic!

We want to wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

 

Dickensian Evening

Each year, our town of Lostwithiel plays host to the annual event of Dickensian Evening – a tradition which has been running for many years.

Our small antique-filled streets and shop windows delight visitors and locals with the theme of Dickens literature at its heart. Shopkeepers, choir singers and passers-by dress up in Victorian garb and welcome everybody who arrives to join in with the festivities.

This year, it was no different. Dressed up in our very best 19th century attire, we spent the night welcoming customers and celebrating all things Dickens here at Lost in Books.

With carol singers outside, we opened our doors to customers with a cheerful smile, homemade festive biscuits and a glass of mulled wine. We were gladly joined by Guillemot Press, who had a stunning array of poetry collections to purchase, hosted by poets Luke Thompson and Sarah Cave.

Needless to say, it was a wonderful evening and our doors were fit to burst much of the night – and we even sold a good few books too.

Throughout the event, stallholders were available with delicious food, Cornish alcohol and local arts and crafts displayed for passers-by to see while carol singers sang on long into the night, complete with white trimmed hats and sleeves and bells to accompany their songs. A lantern parade began the evening, with fantastic stilt walkers clad in bright colours greeting people and taking photos along the streets.

Lostwithiel Museum spent the evening welcoming people through its doors, offering an insight into the history and culture of our small antique town on a night like no other.

Shop windows created displays dedicated to Dickens literature, lit up with twinkling lights and adorned with beautiful paper decorations. Wheelbarrows full to the brim with mistletoe were pushed around by sellers offering some further festive magic to the evening, bought by many and shared between loved ones.

Father Christmas even paid a special visit to join in with all the fun. He was found sitting in his grotto dressed in true Victorian fashion in gorgeous emerald robes. You could find him inside the church with his elves and helpers, while traditional carol services were being sung surrounded by beautiful Christmas trees.

The unmistakable joy of an old fashioned fairground merry go round was also standing proud next to all the food stalls, where children could play and take in all the sights beneath the twinkling lights.

What’s more, after enjoying a ride they could happily tuck into some bright blue, or pink, candyfloss – a treat we’re sure many adults enjoyed too.

When everything began to wind down and the last of our mulled wine was sipped, the evening continued on in local pubs with live music and drinks aplenty. It seems, despite the cold weather, it was another tremendous success.

As the night drew to a close for Lost in Books, we eventually blew out the candles, untied the strings of our bonnets, and listened to the last carol before finally saying goodnight.

However, with a bright optimism and a slight thrill at what 2020 will bring, we can gladly say we’re looking forward to the next 12 months ahead and celebrating another night of Dickensian fun with the world.

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.” – Charles Dickens

 

The Umbrella Mouse – Review

The Umbrella Mouse is a delightful children’s debut from Anna Fargher.

The journey of a young mouse, Pip Hanway, as she fights her way from wartime London to safety, is a valiant tale filled with courage, remembrance and hope.

It’s worth remembering that it wasn’t just the astounding bravery of people that helped fight the war. Often overlooked, but gaining more prevalence in recent years, are the animals who fought side by side with us and helped champion the war effort across the country of Britain – and overseas.

From the horses involved in combat and the brave search and rescue dogs of the blitz, to the extraordinary messenger pigeons who carried top secret messages across Europe, this book certainly seems to have a home for them all. It is truly an excellent read for children wanting to learn more about how animals helped during World War II.

While the story of Pip’s determination to venture through a war-torn Europe is fictional, there are elements of truth found throughout the entire book. The umbrella shop (James Smith & Sons) in central London where Pip lives with her parents at the beginning of the book is real – and still trades today, though it was its sister shop on Burlington Street which was destroyed during the blitz. The friends she meets along the way are all inspired by the lives of animals who lived during the war.

But, perhaps, the most poignant of all, is the reality of Pip struggling for survival in a world where everything seems lost. Her determination to keep fighting represents the stories and lives of many individuals (both human and animals) who were affected by the war from 1939-1945.

Her courage and resilience is to be admired, by adults and children alike.

We believe that the bravery she exudes in the face of almost-defeat, and the unrelenting feeling of hope for a better future is what makes this book so special.

With a homage to all the animals who fought and lived and died during the war, The Umbrella Mouse is a truly uplifting and important book, beautifully written and guaranteed to leave an imprint (or perhaps pawprint!) on your heart.

Take a look at the selection of very special books we put together to mark Remembrance Day by clicking here.

Lest We Forget

To mark Remembrance Day, we wanted to put together a very special list of books to commemorate those lost during World War I and World War II. Books on this subject remain an important part of bookshelves all over the world and serve as a reminder to those we lost and the horrors we hope never to relive.

For the soldiers who left their homes without knowing when and if they would ever return, we want to take a moment to share with you some of the books that have touched our hearts.

Lest we forget.

Private Peaceful: Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful

Beloved by many children (and adults!), Private Peaceful is a beautiful award-winning book told through the eyes of Tommo, a young soldier looking back on his childhood memories on a night where he waits for dawn, a time creeping up all too soon – which will change the course of his life forever.

This book is award-winning for a reason and we couldn’t love it more.

Birdsong: Sebastian Faulks

Argued by many to be the most heartbreaking love story set during World War I, this saga follows the story of a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, and his frequent and horrific trials with love and war.

Filled with sharp and realistic detail of the hardships soldiers had to face in the trenches and a journey by tunnel beneath no man’s land, this is a book celebrated by many and deemed a modern classic of our time.

We won’t give out too many spoilers, apart from the fact it’s an excellent book!

Harry’s War: Harry Drinkwater

Harry's War

This is an autobiographical book focused on the real life experiences of heroic British soldier, Harry Drinkwater. A remarkable read told through moving diary extracts, it reveals the truths and horrors of war which many can only imagine.

The fight for justice and freedom in a world filled with violence is what keeps Harry going and his triumph in the face of war is one which captures the heart and emboldens the brave.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

This book is set in Guernsey during 1946, portraying the trials people faced during German Occupancy in the years previous. Written entirely in letter form, the story follows the correspondence between a British author, Juliet Ashton, and Dawsey Adams of Guernsey, where they relate stories of war and find extraordinary friendship in each other.

A book full of hope and the importance of friendship during hard times is what makes this book particularly special.

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics)

It’s widely known that many soldiers wrote poetry during their time in the trenches. This collection is a moving account of the lives the soldiers of World War I lived. Each poem is written either to a loved one, to friends, or simply by means of expressing their thoughts and emotions in a world where someone seems to have turned out the light.

However, the will to triumph and never give up, to never forget, is at the forefront of every word on each page and this collection is one truly dear to our hearts.

Testament of Youth: Vera Brittain

This book offers a unique and intimate window into the life of Vera Brittain, a young woman who wrote an inspiring account of her life throughout World War I, revealing a shocking and emotive read.

When war began, she was 20 years old and forced to abandon her dream of studying at Oxford to help the war effort like many women of her generation. Along the way, she became a nurse to care for the wounded, lost the man she truly loved as a result of the trying times, and encountered unimaginable terrors of war.

Published in 1933, this book is truly as prevalent, powerful and moving back then as it is now.

If you have any books that you would like to share with us on this subject, please comment below.

Top Spooky Reads

To get in the Halloween spirit, we’ve put together a list of our top spooky reads which you can find at Lost in Books.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tricker or a treater, you can be sure to delve into these books and unleash the weird, the wonderful and the whimsical … and perhaps even the downright frightening.

The Switching Hour: Damaris Young

The Switching Hour by Damaris Young

What lurks in the dark? Monsters, bad dreams or the power to change the world as we know it completely? Well, in The Switching Hour, how about all three? This is a wonderfully atmospheric middle grade debut from Damaris Young, which tackles themes of loss, friendship and the universal childhood fear of the dark. When everything depends on the bravery of protagonist Amaya to rescue her little brother from a monster deep in the forest, she only has to remember one thing: Never let the outside in.

Amelia Fang and the Half Moon Holiday: Laura Ellen Anderson

Amelia Fang and the Half Moon Holiday

For those after a wickedly charming tale about a girl vampire with an appetite for adventure, Amelia Fang is the perfect read. With this book being the fourth in the series, the story follows Amelia and her friends as they discover an ancient curse during their half moon holiday. The only thing is, it turns them into teeny, tiny bugs. Join them in their mission to lift the curse before they’re stuck as bugs forever.

This treasured series is guaranteed to get little ones longing to be vampires and chasing after their own ghostly adventures.

Frankissstein: Jeanette Winterson

Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson

One of the biggest LGBT releases of 2019, this book echoes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in a world where the dead are about to come back to life. Spanning from 1816 to the not so distant future, where the threat of artificial intelligence coming to life is abundantly real, this book from prolific author Jeanette Winterson was longlisted for the Booker Prize and is a dark satire on modern society today.

The Doll Factory: Elizabeth Macneal

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Despite the beautiful cover, this book is a spine chilling read filled with shadowy Victorian streets, forbidden love, and dark obsession. With a dazzling and determined heroine, The Doll Factory gives readers a glimpse into the world of the famous Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood and their artistry, Victorian class division and the unsettling secrets held deep within its streets.

The Institute: Stephen King

The Institute by Stephen King

The aptly named ‘King’ of horror fiction brings a new wave of fear to reader’s hearts with his new novel of 2019. Deep in the woods, kids with powerful and gifted abilities (think telekinesis and telepathy) are being abducted and held by scientists to develop a new technological advancement, but it seems two kids in particular are more than a match for their captors and it doesn’t take long before bravery, the fight for freedom, and relentless superpowers are unleashed with a vengeance.

The Familiars: Stacey Halls

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

What could be a better read at Halloween than a book set during the ominous witch trials of 1612? Drawing inspiration from the real-life witch trials that took place during King James I’s reign, join two young women in their quest for freedom and truth in a perilous time where their lives are at stake. This book is a powerful exploration of women’s perseverance, the bonds of friendship, and the search for power in a distorted and imbalanced world.

What will you be reading this Halloween?

We would like to thank Gem Hicks Photography for the beautiful cover image of this post.

 

 

 

Book Signing: Cornish Folk Tales of Place

We had the pleasure of welcoming Anna Chorlton, author of Cornish Folk Tales of Place, to our bookshop for a book signing this month.

It’s no secret that there are lots of books about the tales and myths of West Cornwall, but little is said about the stories which come from the East and the North. But Cornish places go hand in hand with old myths and legends and the East and North regions are no different.

So which stories lurk beneath the surface in the East and the North of Cornwall?

Well, Anna Chorlton’s Cornish Folk Tales of Place, will help you find out.

Author  Anna Chorlton

From magic and myth to saints and swords, Cornish Folk Tales of Place is a brilliant book filled with retellings of Cornish folk stories, some of which you may be familiar with, while others wait to be discovered.

The book, which Anna Chorlton wrote after being approached by The History Press for her work on Mazed Tales, is a wonderful example of how Cornish folklore can be told in a captivating and memorable way, suitable for all ages. Rich in Cornish history and myth, this book is perfect for anyone who wants to know more about places in Cornwall filled with folklore.

Anna Chorlton talking about her book

Anna explained to her captivated audience it also serves as a fantastic travel book for visitors and locals alike, filled with short stories and ballads set in pockets of Cornwall.

With over 50 tales spanning from Bodmin to Bude, with many illustrations by children from Cornish schools, Anna revealed that her favourite story is about a bad-tempered witch from St Anthony, who tries to create a kindness spell using her dead neighbour’s leg. It’s said that her spirit still haunts St Anthony after the potion went disastrously wrong.

Cornish Piskeys by Looe school

Holding the book up, Anna showed us an illustration by children from Looe school, which was made using potato prints to create the charismatic piskeys. Almost every story features a charming illustration within its pages, either from Cornish school children or professional artists, to bring the words to life.

We were delighted to hear that, since its release, the book has also been read aloud in schools to help children learn about Cornish folklore and history – and definitely gone down a treat!

Anna’s work is a real Cornish gem and extremely helpful if you want to discover a little bit more about Cornwall, not to mention how to get out of a scrape with Cornish piskeys.

So when you find it, open its pages, sit back, and get lost in a world of Cornish myths and legends.

Cornish Folk Tales of Place is available at Lost in Books.

We host as many bookish events and activities as possible here at Lost in Books. Check our Twitter for the latest news and updates and we’ll look forward to seeing you at our next event.

What’s On at Lost in Books

Throughout autumn, we have lots of events happening in Lostwithiel. Join us in chatting to local authors, admiring art exhibitions and being a part of the national Books are My Bag campaign – to mention just a few.

Take a peek below at our upcoming events here at Lost in Books.

Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival: 27th -29th September

This annual festival is one of Cornwall’s most famous poetry events, held at Sterts Theatre. Marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this year’s theme sees walls, barriers and borders at the heart of the festival.

Now in its 8th year, Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival welcomes poetry in all its forms, with music, dance, visual art and puppetry performed over the course of the weekend. Workshops, readings and opportunities to speak to established poets, up-and-coming talents, and likeminded readers makes this weekend a treasure not to be missed.

We’ll be selling poetry collections at the event itself with books from festival speakers available to purchase.

Book signing with Anna Chorlton – Cornish Folk Tales of Place: 5th October

Cornish Folk Tales of Place

Cornwall’s rugged coast is etched with stories.

Join us at 11am on 5th October for a book signing with Anna Chorlton. Her book Cornish Folk Tales of Place tells the many stories of Cornish folk tales from the east and north of Cornwall.

Filled with beautiful artwork from local artists and the chance to delve deeper into some of Cornwall’s legendary stories, this book is already becoming a firm favourite with indie booksellers across the county. Within its pages are tales bound to stir a memory in your heart, while others may be completely new to you. But, whichever the story, you’re guaranteed to feel the magic and myth of Cornwall with this book in your hands.

Anna will be available to sign books at this event. Everyone is welcome.

Bookshop Day: 5th October

Bookshop Day is all about championing a love of reading and shouting about the places which unite bookworms – bookshops! There will be lots of goodies available at Lost in Books to celebrate Bookshop Day, such as bookmarks, Books Are My Bag children’s bags, stickers, and bookish postcards. Set up by the national Books Are My Bag campaign, Bookshop Day promises to be full of fun for both booksellers and readers.

Come along and join us.

Art exhibition: Roberta Hopkins

Local artist Roberta Hopkins will be showcasing her beautiful art collection ‘Observations’ in our shop throughout the autumn months.

Blending her exquisite attention to detail with a love of our ancient town, Roberta’s etchings are available in the shop to buy, or simply browse. She also makes gorgeous jewellery, which you can see by visiting her website.

We’re incredibly proud to showcase her artwork on our walls, surrounded by beautiful books.