Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Working Title Comedy Night

Friday January 30th 8.00pm
Working Title Comedy at the Big Green Bookshop
Everyone calm down! Comedy is back at the Bookshop and will continue to be here on the last Friday of EVERY month. 
It's still just a fiver to get in (bring your own refreshments). 
 
This month we welcome back the brilliant DAVID MILLS, who'll be performing a preivew of his 5 date Soho Theatre show "Don't Get Any Ideas".
 
"He's charmingly bitchy, un-PC and very funny. No one is safe from his sharp tongue as he rants about seemingly minor issues with a huge amount of wit. A class act."
 
Tickets for the Soho Theatre Shows are HERE (£10), but if you want to watch this superb stand-up in the intimate surroundings of the Big Green Bookshop aswell, then come along on January 30th too.
 
There is stellar support from Damian Kingsley and more acts tbc.
 
Buy tickets early, as we fully expect this will be a full house!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Folio Prize Book Challenge

February 9th until March 22nd
The Folio Prize Book Challenge

The Folio Prize is the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world. Its aim is simple: to celebrate the best fiction of our time, regardless of form or genre, and to bring it to the attention of as many readers as possible.
 
This is one of the UK’s biggest prizes (the winner will receive £40,000) and although this is only its second year, if last year is anything to go by, we have a real treat in store.
Last year George Saunders’ phenomenal Tenth of December was crowned the winner.
 
The Shortlist will be announced on February 9th with the winner being crowned on March 23rd
 
Such is the strength of this list we have decided to do a FOLIO PRIZE BOOK CHALLENGE.
 
The challenge is to read as many, if not all of the shortlisted titles, before the winner is announced in March.
 
Here's how it's going to work;
 
As soon as the shortlist is announced on Monday February 9th, we’ll order copies of each of the books, which we’ll hopefully get by Thursday February  12th
We'll open until 7pm on that Thursday so people who want to take part can come along to say hello, take home one or more of the titles, and enjoy some rather lovely wine. Obviously, you don't have to come along on the Thursday if you want to take part.
Over the next six or so weeks those taking part will make a concerted effort to read as many of the eight shortlisted books as they can.
The group will meet again on Sunday March 22nd the evening before the winner is announced to discuss each of the books. After a heated debate, and a glass or two of wine, the group will vote for whom they think should win. We'll then announce our findings and wait with baited breath for the official announcement the following day.
 
We realise that the cost of the shortlist might be quite a lot, especially if there are hardbacks on it, and for us, the most important thing is that people can join in. So we’ve come up with a few solutions;
 
•For a one off payment of £30, we will be a lending library, where you can borrow each of the books one or two at a time. You can also keep your favourite book after the ceremony.
•We will offer a discount of 20% on the shortlist for Book Group members.
•A group of you could share the cost, and swap them between yourselves.
 
However you decide to do this, we will do everything we can to make the books accessible to you. The important thing is that you're able to join in.
It's a real challenge, but if you think you're up for it, come along.
 
We’ll be doing a similar challenge when the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist is announced in April.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Big Green Bookshop Education

The Big Green Bookshop has always supported local schools to promote reading for pleasure.  Over the last few years we’ve begun to deliver more educational projects with Haringey schools (see the schools page of our website for examples).

We now need to set up a not for profit social enterprise company to develop our educational work.
The company will be called Big Green Bookshop Education.  We will promote literacy and reading for pleasure, through working with local schools, libraries and other partners.

How will we achieve this?
There are currently 3 main strands to our plans:
·         Patron of Reading: Haringey Chapter: we have set up a local branch of the national Patron of Reading scheme which places authors in schools to inspire reading for pleasure. We now need to raise funds to help more schools work with these amazing authors.
·         Arts Award literacy projects: 36 children and young people so far have gained a national qualification through our innovative local literacy initiative: High Street Stories. We want to extend these opportunities to many more local schools.
·         Supporting other local initiatives: The new company will enable us to build on our track record of supporting literacy projects in Haringey and beyond.

What do we need to get started?
·         Donations of £10 - or whatever you can afford. In return you will be acknowledged as a foundation patron on our website. We’ll keep you informed of our achievements and progress.
·         Offers of in-kind support are also very welcome, for example, design, marketing, specialist advice and expertise.

What will we do with your support?
·         Meet the initial expenses of setting up and registering the Big Green Bookshop Education social enterprise (we expect this to be a Community Interest Company).
·         Set up a company website - which we will initially use to coordinate the Patron of Reading: Haringey Chapter initiative and recruit schools and authors.
·         Hold a launch event for the Patron of Reading: Haringey Chapter to recruit new authors and schools to the scheme.
·         Plan and deliver new literacy projects, for example, shared Patron of Reading projects which enable more primary schools to benefit from the scheme.

How to Donate
As we currently don’t have a high street bank account for the new company we can only take donations in the following manner
  • ·         Via Paypal (or via the donate button at the top right of the blog)
  • ·         In cash at the store

 Thank You For Your Continuing Support 

Friday, January 02, 2015

Forgotten Books


 You know when you go into a bookshop and you look at all those lovely books on the shelves. I always think it's important to recognise some old familiar titles, when you do this. It puts you at your ease, and makes you more likely to spend time looking through the rest of the selection the bookshop has.

 When we first opened the huge corporate monster that is The Big Green Bookshop, one of the things we wanted to do was find books that deserved to be stocked but for some reason were no longer seen so much on the shelves of the bigger shops. 

Things like (in no particular order), The Bone People by Keri Hulme, Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner, books by Margaret Drabble, Nancy Mitford,Ngaio Marsh and Georges Simenon, The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien, the Professor Branestawm books (until the Christmas special on the telly), Olga Da Polga, The Highwayman by Noyes and The Giant Jam Sandwich.


Anyway, we'd like your help please. We'd like to revisit this and reintroduce some "lost" gems to our bookcases. 

Can you suggest books that you don't see so much in bookshops any more that you think deserve a place?

If we get enough suggestions, we'll put together a promotion to display in the shop. 

Thanks.



Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Election

Ellie Levenson has published (I think) the first book for young children on General Elections. And it's brilliant!

The Election
The Election

The Election was crowdfunded by a Kickstarter and Ellie got the idea for the book, after her daughter started asking her questions during last year's local elections.

The book tells the story of young Alex. His parents want the stripy party to win and Alex joins them as they deliver leaflets and posters to their neighbours. One of his best friends is Evie, and her parents support the spotty party. There's a TV debate and canvassing up and down the street. And Alex goes to the polling station with his parents when they vote. 

Ellie says "It was really important in The Election for the parties not to be recognisable as any real parties because it's about process rather than policy. So there's the spotty party and the stripy party. The main moral of the story is tolerance – only one party wins, and you'll have to read the book to find out which – but the children remain friends anyway"

I've been lucky enough to read the book and it's ideal for inquisitive children and a really useful tool to help explain an important aspect of crazy crazy world of UK politics.

It's published on January 5th and we'll be getting copies soon after that. It's only £7.99 and available to pre-order here. We'll post it out as soon as it arrives (FREE P+P). 




Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas time.

Saturday December 20th. From 6pm until ..who knows.
THE BIG GREEN BOOKSHOP CHRISTMAS PARTY
 
By way of saying thanks for the incredible support you show us, we're having a right old Christmas knees up on Saturday evening.

We’d love you to join us.

Appearing on the night will be:
 
Tim “The Proprietor” West
Simon “The other Proprietor” Key
 
Also making a very special festive appearance..
 
BOOKS!!
BOOZE!!
FOOD!!
MUSIC!! 
 
 
There will also be big shiny discounts on all our books (but keep that quiet).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Galley Beggars Press & friends. Sunday November 16th.

Sunday November 16th from 4.30pm - 6.30pm
Galley Beggars Press & Friends - Paul Ewen, Jonathan Gibbs, Lee Rourke.
You know how much we like Galley Beggar’s Press don’t you?
Well this is what I wrote about them last year when I was organising our Literary Festival.
Since I wrote this, A Girl Is a Half Formed Thing has won every book prize going and Galley Beggar’s have continued to publish the most high quality, interesting and diverse books.   
So, we thought to ourselves, why not invite them back to the shop. And the good news is that they agreed.
We have (at least) three brilliant authors appearing on this very special late Sunday afternoon event.
Paul Ewen is author of the so funny it hurts novel Francis Plug; How to Be a Public Author
'A wonderful survey of the strange world of famous authors... Plug's exchanges with dozens of Booker-prizewinning authors are priceless. But the novel (really an ingenious hybrid of fact and surreal fantasy) takes on much extra resonance in the portrayal of Plug himself, an alcoholic chancer with a propensity for whisky-fuelled escapades.' - The Guardian

'Francis Plug is a brilliant, deranged new comic creation by the unknown writer Paul Ewen... Like all great comic creations he inspires deep sympathy, loyalty as well as laughter. As a portrait of literary life, it is as spot-on as George Gissing's New Grub Street... Francis Plug is the funniest book I ve read in years. I haven t laughed so much since Martin Amis's Money. I hope the hugely talented Ewen refuses all author talks, signings and festivals, and still sells half a million copies
.' Sunday Times
Jonathan Gibbs has written Randall, a brilliant reimagining of the 90s Brit Art scene.
'Gibbs has produced the sort of novel you pray for as a reviewer... Galley Beggar Press [have] had recent success with A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. Randall, I'd contend, is a better novel.’  Tibor Fischer in The Guardian

'Both absurd and eerily believable... Gibbs's novel is more than mischief: as with all the best lampoons, it dissects things that really matter and have gone awry... The characterisation is disarmingly sympathetic and the prose fluid and inventive, right up to the final, playful revelation.' The Telegraph
Lee Rourke’s latest powerful & dark novel, Vulgar Things was published earlier this year.
'A claustrophobic work that's ripe with alcohol and despair.’ Guardian
‘Sad, lost men looking for maps in the starry Essex sky, small-town strippers, absent mothers, angry brothers, planets photographed on smart phones, cider and a lot of rare steak – Rourke is on his way to becoming the J. G. Ballard of Southend-on-Sea.’ Deborah Levy.
We'll aslo be joined by Sam Jordison, co-owner of Galley Beggars Press.
There'll be readings, chat, fun, and refreshments and if you come along, there'll be an opportunity to get some Christmas Shopping done too as we'll be offering a very special deal to those of you who come along. 

An Illustrated Reading with Matilda Tristram. November 26th

Wednesday November 26th at 7.00pm-8.30pm
An Illustrated Reading with Matilda Tristram

Matilda Tristram was 17 weeks pregnant and looking forward to having her first baby when she discovered she had cancer.
Her touching graphic memoir, Probably Nothing, published by Penguin, starts when Matilda was diagnosed and ends when her chemotherapy finished in October last year. Recording the awkward conversations, the highs and lows of treatment, and the reality of still having to queue too long for croissants, Matilda captures her experiences with style and warmth. Along the way she cherishes the small details of life, and learns not to sweat the big things.
Her beautiful and boisterous son James was born without complications.
Matilda studied animation at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2008. She’s worked as a children's writer, lecturer and filmmaker. She was co-writer on two animated BBC TV shows for CBeebies with Ragdoll Productions, The Adventures of Abney and Teal and Dipdap (so parents have a LOT to thank her for!)
Please join us for this special evening with Matilda when she will read from her wonderful book.
Refreshments will be available.
Tickets are just £3, which is redeemable on the book.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Flat to Rent in Noel Park, Wood Green, N22

When my little boy Ollie was born, my family and I very quickly realised that living in a small but perfectly formed flat with 2 children was a huge struggle. 

So, we looked for something equally cheap and a bit bigger to move into. Sadly, because I co-own the Big Green Bookshop, the mortgage companies were unwilling to offer us a mortgage. Small businesses/big risk etc.So we decided to rent our flat out and to find a place to rent ourselves. Which is how we found Brookmans Park, the place where we opened our new shop, Tuffet's Serendipity eh?Anyway, one of the lovely tenants who is currently at our flat is moving out on November 20th, and I thought it might be a good idea to put something on our blog, in case there were any readers who were looking for a place to move to.
The other tenant, Robin, is a delightful fellow, who often helps us out at the bookshop. He doesn't really want to move out (because it's such a lovely flat, obviously), so we're both hoping to find a better solution 
Below are all the details, and if you do know anyone who may be interested, please get in touch. 

The shop's phone number is 020 8881 6767 and if i'm not there, someone will give you my mobile number. 
Thanks for this.
Simon


Salisbury Rd, Wood Green, London N22
First floor Victorian garden conversion, on quiet residential street, close to tube

My flat

Situated in the leafy and tranquil Noel Park conservation area. Recently redecorated throughout; newly carpeted. To see a floorplan of this property click here
Layout as follows:
Internal staircase from front door to landing and hallway.
Bedroom 1 (14'7 x 10'5 ft) spacious converted living room, unfurnished, with laminate floor. Two large double glazed windows to front aspect. Built-in wooden shelving either side of chimney-piece.
Living Room
Bedroom 2 (10'10 x 9'1 ft) double bedroom, laminate flooring, double-glazed window to rear aspect overlooking gardens.
Kitchen (12 x 9'5 ft at widest): modern, recently fitted kitchen on two sides, with low level units, and oiled hardwood counter-top. Double aspect to side and rear of building, double-glazed. Ceramic tiled floor and splash-back. Stainless-steel gas hob. Full-height fridge/freezer. Washing machine.
Kitchen
Bathroom (6 x 5'8 ft): recently fitted white bathroom suite, comprising bath with showerscreen, wall-mounted electric pump-assisted shower, pedestal basin, and close-coupled low-d flush w.c. Double-glazed. Ceramic tiled mosaic walls; ceramic tiled floor.
Bathroom
Roof terrace with external steps descending to charming (and low maintenance) decked patio-style back garden.
Garden

0.37 miles to Wood Green Piccadilly line Underground Station; close to Wood Green High Road's many shops, cinemas, and Shopping City.

Available unfurnished £437.50 pcm, subject to contract.

To see a street map showing this property's exact location, click here The Map will open in a new window in your browser, so just close it to get back to this page.