For over a decade Tom Gauld’s comic strips have enlivened the Guardian. His wicked sense of humour attacks bookshops, customers and authors in a gentle yet astute way with ‘Poetry Anthologies for People Who Don’t Like Poetry’ and a ten-week procrastination course for creative writers. Hatchards is obviously nothing like this.
£12.99 Hardback with 50 easy to pull-out cards
This anthology contains a poem for every day, accompanying the natural world as it progresses through the seasons. Classics and lesser-known works mingle to give a realistic yet imaginative view of the earth. When not working in the Children’s department or writing the catalogue, Jane can usually be found on the first floor of Hatchards, scouring the poetry section.
Signed copies available
In a collection of short illustrated essays, Neil Gaiman argues, amongst other things, that reading for pleasure is one of the most important things one can do (we heartily agree). From building a chair to safeguarding libraries and librarians, he shows how imagination and creativity can make the world a better place. Based on a speech he made in 2013, his brilliant ideas are now complemented by Chris Riddell’s matchless illustrations.
Signed copies available
Eleven writers, including Oscar Wilde’s son Vyvyan Holland, sing the praises of cheese in this timeless reproduction. Each contributor visited the cheesemakers and their stories of Stilton, Dunlop, Blue Vinny and others are also a delightful description of rural England in 1937. E. H. Shepard’s quirky illustrations complete the book’s appeal.
Antiquarian bookseller David Batterham admits that booksellers are often rather odd. He spent many years scouring the world in search of rare and forgotten books and, frequently alone, he would write to his friend, the painter Howard Hodgkin, neither expecting nor receiving a reply. Mostly written in cheap cafés and restaurants, these letters portray a wonderfully bohemian world and reveal the author’s sharp eye for the absurd and bizarre.
Where Eagles Dare is one of Geoff Dyer’s favourite films and in Broadsword Calling Danny Boy he provides a scene-by-scene breakdown of the film combining a multitude of interesting facts within a hilarious commentary. How did the Germans manage to fly American Bell 47 helicopters two years before they came into service and was Richard Burton worrying about parachuting into enemy territory or simply nursing a terrible hangover?