Book of the Week, April 21st 2018

Essex Folk Tales for Children

Jan Williams

Essex Folk Tales for Children

Jan Williams

Essex has a rich tradition of legends and folk tales and this book is packed with mysteries, marvels and magical characters. The origins of many of these stories are lost in the dim and distant past but Jan Williams’s skill as a story teller shines though and she breathes new life into these old tales. … Continue reading Book of the Week, April 21st 2018

Essex has a rich tradition of legends and folk tales and this book is packed with mysteries, marvels and magical characters. The origins of many of these stories are lost in the dim and distant past but Jan Williams’s skill as a story teller shines though and she breathes new life into these old tales.

Hear about the ghost of the Roman centurion, forever marching alone across the Strood from the East Mersea Barrow and lamenting the loss of his love. Discover tales of dragons, or ‘worms’ as they were once known, and how a young knight’s bravery was put to the test.

There are stories of pirates, smugglers, highwaymen and ghostly ladies dressed in white. And, after a variety of unearthly terrors, the collection closes with ‘The King of Colchester’s Daughter’, a fairy tale of love and redemption.

This rich mix of tales may be aimed at 7 – 11-year-olds but can really be enjoyed by everyone and are illustrated with style and wit by Brightlingsea artist, Simon Peecock.

 

Sat 21st April 3 pm. – Book launch: ‘A Deed Undone’ by Robert Seymour

Saturday 21st April, 3 pm Robert Seymour, a retired lawyer and judge advocate was a Samaritans volunteer in Colchester for many years. This novel, a thoughtful, gentle thriller, draws on his knowledge of both these worlds. He is the author of two earlier books, entertaining tales based on his early experiences at the Bar. About … Continue reading Sat 21st April 3 pm. – Book launch: ‘A Deed Undone’ by Robert Seymour

Saturday 21st April, 3 pm

Robert Seymour, a retired lawyer and judge advocate was a Samaritans volunteer in Colchester for many years. This novel, a thoughtful, gentle thriller, draws on his knowledge of both these worlds. He is the author of two earlier books, entertaining tales based on his early experiences at the Bar.

About ‘A Deed Undone’

In the course of their Samaritans training, Lucy and Gerald come to understand what has brought them to this point in their lives. Gerald’s desire to help others leads him elsewhere, while Lucy starts taking calls, supporting distressed and suicidal people in their time of greatest need. They soon find themselves working together in a race against time to track down Lucy’s friend Alison as she runs, haunted by past events, from herself and her memories.

Robert fell ill while writing this novel and sadly, he died just as its publication date approached. We are pleased now to hold a launch for ‘A Deed Undone’.

Robert’s wife, Jane and editor, Jill Burrows will be on hand to talk about Robert’s aims in writing this book and the valuable work done by the Samaritans.

Paperback £6.9.                                                        Refreshments will be available.

Book of the Week, April 14th 2018

The Wood; The Life and Times of Cockshut Wood

John Lewis-Stempel

The Wood; The Life and Times of Cockshut Wood

John Lewis-Stempel

Cockshutt Wood is a few acres of mixed woodland in Herefordshire and this is a diary written by an award-winning countryside writer. It records the last year he spent managing the wood, detailing day by day, the seasonal ebb and flow of life amongst the trees. It is full of fascinating history and country lore; … Continue reading Book of the Week, April 14th 2018

Cockshutt Wood is a few acres of mixed woodland in Herefordshire and this is a diary written by an award-winning countryside writer. It records the last year he spent managing the wood, detailing day by day, the seasonal ebb and flow of life amongst the trees.

It is full of fascinating history and country lore; how to collect the sap from a silver birch to make a syrup or country wine or, if you are really brave, how to peel and pickle ash keys! We learn that half the world’s bluebells grow in Britain and in times gone by the white substance from their mashed stalks was used to glue the feathers onto arrows.

On April 13th he records the arrival of swallows and warblers and wonders exactly ‘how Darwin’s theory of evolution explains how the first warbler decided to fly 5,000 miles to summer in Britain’.

Each chapter is sprinkled with poetry and literary references making this a rich celebration of one small wood through one year.

Hardback, £14.99.

The Little History of Essex: Meet the Author, Judith Williams.

Wednesday April 11th, 6.30 – 7.30 pm Come and hear local author JUDITH WILLIAMS talk about her latest book THE LITTLE HISTORY OF ESSEX There’s nothing ‘little’ about the history of Essex! However, this small volume condenses that fascinating and rich history into a collection of stories and facts that will make you marvel at … Continue reading The Little History of Essex: Meet the Author, Judith Williams.

Wednesday April 11th, 6.30 – 7.30 pm

Come and hear local author JUDITH WILLIAMS talk about her latest book THE LITTLE HISTORY OF ESSEX

There’s nothing ‘little’ about the history of Essex! However, this small volume condenses that fascinating and rich history into a collection of stories and facts that will make you marvel at the events our county has witnessed.

Discover the development of shipbuilding at Harwich, the silk and wool industries in central Essex, the fortunes of Chelmsford and Colchester and the rise of seaside resorts at Southend and Clacton

 

This is a FREE EVENT but space is limited so please contact the shop to reserve your place.

 

Book of the Week, April 7th 2018

I Still Dream

James Smythe

I Still Dream

James Smythe

The timing of this novel’s publication is spot on. It is a story about the growth of artificial intelligence, how we increasingly live our lives and conduct our relationships online – and how much of ourselves that ultimately remains stored in cyberspace. But it is also a deeply moving account of one woman, computer expert … Continue reading Book of the Week, April 7th 2018

The timing of this novel’s publication is spot on. It is a story about the growth of artificial intelligence, how we increasingly live our lives and conduct our relationships online – and how much of ourselves that ultimately remains stored in cyberspace.

But it is also a deeply moving account of one woman, computer expert Laura Bow. We meet her first as a troubled teenager in 1997. It is the early heady days of the internet and Laura is a reclusive geek, depressed and self-harming. In her London bedroom she spends her time developing a rudimentary AI system, initially a kind of enhanced diary, with which to share her thoughts. Ten years later she becomes a leading programmer and is head hunted to work in Silicon Valley for a company whose own AI driven interface platform, Scion, is being developed.

The book dips into Laura’s life every 10 years, taking us through current times and on into the future. Scion becomes the essential personal assistant operating system installed on computers across the world. As the level and complexity of the system develops beyond the expectation of its creators the question becomes ‘who ultimately is in control’?

This is a thrilling and visionary look into the future but also a study of love and loss and what makes us human.

Book of the Week, March 31st 2018

The Secret Barrister

The Secret Barrister

The Secret Barrister

The Secret Barrister

Written by an anonymous barrister working in criminal law, this is a look behind the scenes at how our justice system really works – or quite often, as we discover, doesn’t work! The police and prosecution services are underfunded and understaffed; 50% of cases reach their first court hearing with prosecution not fully prepared, critical … Continue reading Book of the Week, March 31st 2018

Written by an anonymous barrister working in criminal law, this is a look behind the scenes at how our justice system really works – or quite often, as we discover, doesn’t work! The police and prosecution services are underfunded and understaffed; 50% of cases reach their first court hearing with prosecution not fully prepared, critical documents go missing and lawyers can be exhausted and underprepared. The whole system is close to breaking point.

The secret barrister is passionate and outspoken and he (or she) illustrates problems with stories of real cases showing the human consequences of a legal system under strain. The prison system is described as – ‘an expensive way of making bad people worse’. Cuts to legal aid budgets mean barristers can end up working for just a few pounds an hour. And it is possible to be imprisoned for years for a crime you didn’t commit with no compensation.

Despite noble principles and an international reputation our judicial system is no longer serving us well and the author details these failing in lively and sometimes very funny tales of life in a gown and wig.