6 impartial booksellers suggest this summer time’s page-turners — That’s Not My Age


Final week was impartial bookshop week; a marketing campaign which celebrates indie bookshops nationwide and highlights the function that these shops play of their native communities. Hearteningly, the rise of on-line retailers hasn’t put a dent within the UK’s flourishing bricks-and-mortar ebook shops. In accordance with the Booksellers Affiliation, the variety of impartial bookshops has reached its highest level in ten years. Good news for a bibliophile like me, who enjoys nothing greater than whiling away the hours shopping the cabinets, savouring that ‘new paper odor’ and getting misplaced within the pages of a superb ebook.

‘All hail impartial bookshops, with out which our bookshelves and our excessive streets can be a lot the poorer,’ says acclaimed writer Maggie O’Farrell. ‘Everybody who can, ought to go to their native bookshop, to rejoice these temples to studying, and maybe uncover one thing new to learn.’ Taking her recommendation, we requested a few of our favorite feminine bookshop house owners, up and down the nation, to share which titles they’ve lately loved studying. Their suggestions for our summer time studying embrace a tear-jerking story about heart-break, an unputdownable thriller and a game-changing information to the best way we eat.


Sevenoaks bookshop. Picture: Claire Pepper


[email protected] is the love-child of writer Betsy Tobin and artist Tessa Shaw, who teamed as much as open a bookstore in Highbury, North London, in 2015. The vigorous bookshop shares an attractive assortment of recent releases and classics, together with a variety of small press titles. It doubles as an area cultural hub with bookclubs, literary occasions, movie nights and writing workshops frequently happening nicely into the night. Betsy and Tessa from [email protected] suggest:

Tessa recommends:

The Visitor by Emma Cline (Fiction)
Comply with-up to her cult hit The Ladies, Emma Cline’s The Visitor is an exploration of simply how far a younger lady can sink to maintain herself alive. Seen by way of the prism of the tremendous rich in Lengthy Island, it follows the downward spiral of a younger lady with out conscience. Chilling and intensely readable. Has an odd ending I’m not fairly positive about.

Birnam Wooden by Eleanor Catton (Fiction)
Catton’s Birnam Wooden is a superbly written eco-thriller. Set in a wilderness in New Zealand it examines local weather, how we select to reside, distinctive wealth (and its risks) and the struggles to reside in a counter tradition. Pacy and scary, there’s food-for-thought on this narrative-driven ebook.

Betsy recommends:

Yellowface by Rebecca F Kuang (Fiction)
Properly pitched story of literary rivalry that’s half thriller, half satire, half ghost story. Kuang successfully skewers the publishing trade, dancing across the vexing problem of cultural appropriation, and completely capturing the envy that thrives like micro organism in writerly circles. Eminently readable, it is a novel to gulp in a single sitting.

Extremely-Processed Individuals by Chris Van Tulleken (Non-Fiction)
Physician Van Tulleken does a deep dive into the underbelly of the meals trade to point out us simply how scary meals will be – making a guinea-pig of himself and jeopardising his personal well being within the course of. He’s a born storyteller: Extremely-Processed Individuals reads extra like memoir than well-liked science. But its breezy tone takes a critical take a look at how industrial meals giants haven’t solely conquered our kitchens and procuring trolleys, however are systematically destroying each our well being and the environments we reside in – all within the title of revenue. The decision: rigorously interrogate the labels of what you purchase and eat. This ebook would possibly simply save your life.


Edinburgh-based bookshop, Rare Birds Books, is devoted to celebrating and selling ladies’s writing in a method that exhibits respect for the craft and the reader. Founder Rachel Wooden first launched the enterprise as a ebook subscription service 5 years in the past, then went on to open a thriving bookstore in 2021. Louisa Newbigging, from Rare Birds Books, recommends:

You Made a Idiot of Dying along with your Magnificence by Akwaeke Emezi (Fiction)
A sticky, sultry story of grief and want. A younger artist, working by way of the final word heartbreak, finds herself falling for love in all of the improper locations.

Unhealthy Summer time Individuals by Emma Rosenblum (Fiction)
Each summer time, Manhattan elites flee town to benefit from the spoils of Hearth Island. Two greatest associates maintain court docket as their husbands bear grudges. Their greatest buddy is seeking to discover her match, single or not. When a physique is discovered on the seashore, the fingers begin to level at each other.





Each a bookstore and a writer, Persephone Books in Bathtub publishes out-of-print ladies writers (largely from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries) that in any other case may need been misplaced to historical past. Based by Nicola Beauman in 1999, the unique idea was to re-print a handful of ‘misplaced’ novels, brief tales, diaries, memoirs, poetry, gardening and cookery books yearly. Its breakthrough title was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson, which went on to turn out to be a profitable movie. Francesca Beauman from Persephone Books recommends:

One Afternoon by Siân James (Fiction)
Individuals typically ask how we select our books. This one we discovered as a result of the Welsh author Siân James died, The Guardian ran an obituary of her, and we appreciated the sound of her work. So we learn all twelve novels and her first, One Afternoon (1975), was our favorite. The writing is phenomenal – perceptive and intelligent. Marvellous about kids and love. It’s exactly what we would like a Persephone ebook to be: intensely readable and unputdownable however about many, many issues. It tells the reader about life, will get them considering, factors out issues which that they had maybe not been conscious of and, in the long run, is way, excess of the sum of its elements.


Named 2023’s Impartial Bookshop Of The Yr, Griffin Books is Penarth’s solely impartial bookshop (and the smallest store ever to say the highest spot!) Founder Mel Tuke Griffin, took over the bookshop in 2014 after leaving a company profession to comply with her dream of operating her personal retailer. Griffin Books has a powerful group focus and is well-known for its writer occasions, ebook signings, story-time classes and bookclubs for readers of all ages. Mel Tuke Griffin from Griffin Books recommends: 

Our Lacking Hearts by Celeste Ng (Fiction)
This can be a gripping and transferring account of another current USA the place the Chinese language-American group is focused as a possible hazard to ‘American values’. Twelve-year-old Hen’s mom, a Chinese language American poet, has disappeared with out hint and her books are banned. At some point he receives a cryptic message from her within the type of a drawing. This leads him on a quest to uncover the reality of what occurred to her and the fact of what’s going on within the society round him.  The novel actually left me fascinated by how insurance policies and legal guidelines ostensibly designed to guard us can so simply turn out to be warped and used to oppress – a warning for all supposedly civilised societies.

Consumed by Aja Barber (Non-Fiction)
The subtitle of this nicely argued assault on the quick trend trade is The Want For Collective Change: Colonialism, Local weather Change & Consumerism, and it actually left me satisfied of that want.  Impressed by the writer’s personal expertise of working throughout the trade, the ebook clearly explains what’s improper with the form of consumerism we’re continuously inspired to take pleasure in, its roots in colonialism, and what we are able to personally do to vary issues.  I put the ebook down decided to deal with my very own behaviour and eager to press it into others’ arms.


First opened in 1948, the Sevenoaks Bookshop is a black-owned, actually impartial haven for ebook lovers of all ages run by Fleur Sinclair and her good crew. Stocking new books in each style, along with a number of true classics, the store is a haven for bookworms of all ages. The devoted crew hosts common ebook golf equipment, writers teams and writer occasions hoping to create a vigorous hub on Sevenoaks Excessive Avenue. Fleur Sinclair from Sevenoaks Bookshop recommends:

Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola (Fiction)
I loved this a lot. A satisfyingly conventional romance however with glowing and great modern characters. The dialogue is simply so good. Fast-witted and razor sharp – completely articulated observations and comebacks we mortals can solely dream of claiming (hours, days, years later!). It truly is a deal with of a learn.



Submit a remark about what you’ve loved studying lately and the bookshops that you just love to go to.