In this week's blog post, we offer you a brief foray into the reading habits of Bookbarn's booksellers - a rare breed of bookseller known for being nocturnal and drinking inordinate amounts of tea.

Pippa Slaytor - Bookseller

Currently reading: The Bees by Laline Paull (2014) and The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (2017)

The Bees

I was inspired to read this book as it was being hailed the 21st Century dystopian/feminist novel- who can resist such a description? It won the Baileys women's prize for fiction in 2015 and I have only read brilliant books from their winners and shortlists (The Power by Naomi Alderman won in 2017 and that book is life-changing!)

At the moment I am almost at the end and struggle to put it down to go to sleep or work. Truly it is creating the same sense as when I read Animal Farm by George Orwell but with a beautiful feminine and modern twist.

The Keeper of Lost Things 

A slightly less intense novel than The Bees, The Keeper of Lost Things thus far is an incredibly charming story and one very relatable to those who collect memories and things. This book was recommended to me by a friend  who said whilst commuting it transported her to another place: I put trust in such a  recommendation.  I plan to get stuck in this weekend on a lazy morning with a cup of tea.


Diane Newland - Bookseller

Spontaneous Evolution by Bruce Lipton & Steve Bhaerman (2008)

Having been immersed in the Arts for most of my life, it still comes as a surprise to find myself drawn to anything resembling Science, even if it has occurred through a deep love of nature, as well as a long and ongoing spiritual inquiry.

Spontaneous Evolution, Our Positive Future by Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman, is just one of the books I have recently bought which describes the beautiful similarities and connections between the scientific and the spiritual, with the scientific evidence which illustrates this. I have only just started reading it, but the ideas excite me, they combine many ongoing personal threads of fascination with our bodies, our consciousness and our Universe, and I at last get an inkling of the beauty and creativity in science.
This book challenges us to evolve, on a personal as well as global level, and this means involving our hearts as much as our minds. The question is, will we do so?

Janey Thornton - Retail, Customer Relations & PR Manager

The Penguin History of the USA - Hugh Brogan (2001)

I'm obsessed with the US, and this weekend I'll be carrying on with The Penguin History of the USA by Hugh Brogan. It's a hefty text, and I can only read about 20 pages at a time, but I'm gradually wading my way through it! I can highly recommend this book - even if you're not normally interested in history. It contains a lot of insights into the people who made the United States, and how 17th century mindsets affect its character as a country to this day.

The most interesting aspect of the book so far (but also the most difficult to read) has been the section describing conflicts between the English, French and Spanish colonialists and the Native American Indians. I'm hoping to have this book finished in the next few weeks - I typically read fiction, and I'm doing my best to absorb all the information Hugh Brogan has crammed in to this beast!


Lauren Thompson - Customer Care Team Supervisor

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (2012-2015)

I'm currently reading a graphic novel by Noelle Stevenson, called 'Nimona'. It originated as a web comic, published bi-weekly on the authors website over the span of two years and has now been compiled into a really lovely looking book. The setting for the story is a wacky combination of traditional medieval fantasy with high-tech SciFi aspects. The title character, Nimona, is a shape-shifter who turns up at Balister Blackheart's evil lair, demanding to be his apprentice. Blackheart, the-moustache-twiddling-baddie, is the nemesis of Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, chivalrous knight, and the sworn enemy of the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics. The villainous duo discover that the Institution is all not they appear to be and make it their mission to take them down.

Stevenson has created truly intriguing characters and plays with many of the archetypes usually found in comics. The banter among them will make you laugh aloud, however for a comedy, the relationships between the characters are also surprisingly complex and compelling
In summary the story is about a not-so-evil villain, fighting against a not-so-good hero with the help of his boisterous shape-shifting sidekick. The story is fun, the artwork quirky and the world captivating. Full of comedy and adventure, it makes a great read!