Wednesday, 29 February 2012

World Book Day!

It's World Book Day (WBD) tomorrow.  It happens every year and it's back again!  The aim is that all children get a voucher for £1 which will encourage them to head to their nearest bookshop to browse the literary gems available!  Hopefully they take an adult with them who also might be tempted to buy a book (because in our experience it's children's books that sell but not adult books - but that's a whole other discussion!).
In our shop we have a very special offer for anyone wanting to spend their WBD voucher.  We have a great little book called 'Pitfall!' which we have promoted for many years and will continue to promote because we love it!  It's a short fictional story based on the gritty & grimy times of coal mining in the Industrial Revolution. Gripping but thought provoking, this book attracts all ages & the illustrations are often especially remarked on as being incredibly evocative. Read a full review. For our mail order customers we are willing to swallow the postage on this one, so send in your vouchers & 'Pitfall!' will be in the return post!
If that doesn't grab you then you can redeem your voucher against any other book in the shop which costs more than £2.50.  There's plenty to go at!
By the way, the vouchers are given out in schools - does this mean that homeschooled children miss out? Does anyone know? Can anyone help me on this one??

Monday, 27 February 2012

Education of Children

There seems to be a lot of heat generated by debates on methods of education. State school or private school?  Homeschool, faith school or unschool? Having young children naturally presents these issues to any family and there is plenty of reading material around to help us in our choices. Sadly often proponents of each camp can be rather militant about their particular view which tends to put off rather than convince the genuine enquirer. Home education is an increasingly popular choice amongst both Christians and non-Christians and there are plenty of books advocating this and the variety of methods for undertaking it.
Recently though I came across a book that bucked the trend. 'Going Public' was written to encourage Christian parents who make the choice to send their children to state schools. It is not militant in its approach, but helpful in the principles it lays out. The book gives a refreshingly different perspective and it is a welcome addition to my bookcase. It is the only one I know of written from this viewpoint, and although it needs some sifting for a British reader (it is very much based on the American public education system) I really feel that it fills a gap. Starting from birth, and the essential principles of discipline & education in the home, it emphasizes the importance of continuing this input throughout school life. Written by a couple who have had 8 children through state schools it is chock-full of practical advice & constructive strategies for engaging with schools rather than 'handing over' to schools. I cannot agree with all the theology in the book, but I can recommend it as a challenging, informative & inspiring read.
Going Public, by David & Kelli Pritchard, published by Regal, £7.99

Thursday, 23 February 2012

My take on 'Lent'

Shadow of the Cross
I reviewed this book by Walter Chantry back in 2008 for a Lent suggestion, and feel it's worth revisiting. At this Bookshop we don't observe Lent, but feel that Christ's death and the benefits from it that flow to sinners are cause for humility, self examination, and repentance all year round. And equally the light shining from the cross of Christ, leading to joy and peace in believing, is not confined to Easter alone (thankfully). However, this book may supply a theme that is uppermost in your thoughts right now.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


To be on or not to be on, that is the question that still exercises many people. And rightly so. How much of your private life do you want to open up, and is anybody interested anyway? However, I have set up a personal profile, which is not one that I utilise except for the purpose of being permitted thereby to operate a page for the Bookshop. This has been going for some time now, and both Lorna and I contribute almost daily. This blog feeds to it, but it is the day to day activities we mention there - news, humour, opinions, photos, book alerts etc. With our 'likes' increasing, more interaction is happening. Please consider liking us yourself if on facebook. You are not visible to anyone else but us! However, if you are not on, you can still view the page. We now have a clear cut web address to save to your favourites:

Friday, 10 February 2012

Fraser. Not a Private Matter

This story has the culture of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland for its background, but can be read without difficulty by the 'uninitiated'.  That is because the human experience of disease and suffering crosses all boundaries.  However not everyone has the capability to tell their story with such honesty and reflection as Fraser Tallach.  He was a fit, talented young man, ordained into the ministry and fully intent on serving the Lord in Canada when kidney disease struck.  Fraser's journal from here (Part 2 in the book) records his spiralling health to the point of staring death in the face.  This was in the 1960s when dialysis was a major procedure and transplants were only an emerging technique.   But Fraser is taken to deeper levels of God's grace and teaching even as he passes through pain and weakness with all their attendant emotions.  He wrote later "any resolving of my conflicts was a matter of faith rather than of experience."  Truly, 'my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD' (Isaiah 55:8).  Mercifully Fraser had a transplant at the eleventh hour, and recovered to be able to preach again for many more years.  But in the process of readjusting to normal life he had to struggle with depression.  Listen to this for insight from one who knew what he was talking about: "One word spoken in a threatening, condemnatory, condescending, supercilious or inquisitorial way is like a clap of thunder to a vulnerable person" (p124).
Being divided into three parts makes this a somewhat disjointed book, yet I think it works because the meat in the sandwich is so good.
'Fraser: Not a Private Matter' by Fraser Tallach with John & David Tallach, Banner of Truth Trust, £6.50 p/b.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

February News

The February Bulletin has now gone out to all our customers.  If you haven't received one then have a read on our website here. We've been matchmaking this month so there's some great deals to be found on book couples. 
Don't forget we now have secondhand books showing on our website - there are plenty to go at, and the list grows regularly.  If you can't find what you want, just give us a ring because we have lots of books available that haven't yet made it onto the website - we might have just the one you are after.  This month we are offering 25% off all secondhand books when 2 or more are purchased.
Whether you want to buy this month or not, please keep in touch - we love to hear from customers old & new.
(dont' forget, you don't have to be a member of Facebook to view our facebook page & keep up to date with our news)