Monday, 24 December 2018

Season's Greetings

Thank you all for your custom during 2018.  As a small independent bookshop we appreciate each and every customer.  We are taking a break over the Christmas season to recharge, but will look forward to serving you again throughout 2019, God willing.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Therefore I Have Hope

How would you respond if the worst thing you could ever imagine happened? Or are you already living through your worst fears? This book is written by Cameron Cole, a father whose son died suddenly at the age of 3 years. He and his family were immediately plunged into their worst fear. How do you respond to the death of your nearest and dearest? Here Cole writes about the Biblical truths that sustained him throughout this time and continue to form his 'narrative of hope'. Although written from a perspective of bereavement, there is much here to feed the soul of any suffering believer. It is a book full of hope, a hope that can only be truly found in Christ, and this is where Cole directs our attention.  His own story is used to illustrate but not overshadow the Biblical lessons.  He is honest about his failings and open about the lessons learnt. He writes of grace given only as needed, of a desperate clinging to the basic gospel truths, of a faltering faith that cries out in doubt and confusion to a long-suffering and loving God. But he also speaks of the great comforts found in the Scriptures, the peace found in a total dependence on a sovereign God, the empathy found in the God-Man Jesus Christ, and the very real presence of a God who has promised to never forsake his people.
Helpfully, Cole is also very practical about difficult situations that can arise with friends, colleagues and the Church family during suffering times.  He writes of bitterness and sin, but also of service and joy.
My only word of caution is regarding the final chapter on heaven - there is perhaps too much imagination used over the unrevealed details of this glorious place. Regardless of this, there is much in this book to comfort a world-weary soul. The honesty is raw and hard to read at times, but powerful in its testimony to the sustaining grace of our omnipotent God.
Therefore I have hope by Cameron Cole, published by Crossway, £10.99

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Is it too early to talk Christmas?

So, dare we mention Christmas? We hate to do it too early, but seeing that we have boxes and boxes of Christmas cards and 2019 calendars clogging up our workspace we feel bound to suggest that perhaps now might be the time to start thinking about it! It would really help us move around the office & shop more easily 😉.

So here we have it - all the Christmas cards are listed on our website here...
Christmas Cards

All the 2019 calendars and Diaries are listed here...
Calendars & Diaries

And we even have some gorgeous handmade crafts that would make perfect presents (as well as the 1000's of book choices of course!)
Handmade Crafts & Cards

Enjoy browsing the site and if you have any queries, please get in touch.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Summer shop news...

Summer has been busy with all the usual summer craziness, plus the sun (which is always a bonus!). We have loved receiving lots of really enthusiastic reviews for the books on our Summer Reading Challenge and our Wall of Fame in the shop is filling up nicely:

Our big intake of Inheritance Publications stock has been gradually added to the website, so keep checking the site and hopefully you will see the list growing each time you check back. You may wonder why this is taking so long, but many of these books are so fascinating that we just find ourselves reading them (one of the perks of the job!) and it tends to extend the time involved in listing them (!). We have just received another mini-review of one of the books (Stefan Derksen's Polar Adventure) which we quote below to whet your appetite:

It’s 1675 and 12 year old Stefan has found himself aboard the ‘Sea Dragon’ whaling ship. Sailing is in his blood! Stefan’s father, Otto Derksen had departed Harlingen, the Netherlands, in 1671, as 1st mate on the ‘North Star’ whaling ship. Otto never returned. And Stefan’s mother refuses to hear any more about his sailing desires. Instead she accepts an apparently cordial offer from a distant cousin to teach Stefan the shoemaking trade.
And yet as providence would have it, Stefan’s time with his cruel cobbler uncle leads him to run away, and Stefan navigates his way to Amsterdam. Mercifully, he bumps into an old acquaintance of his fathers who secures him board on the ‘Sea Dragon’. Stefan is a fast learner and shows promise of becoming an accomplished sailor. However life on board a whaling ship is full of hard, back-breaking work and fraught with dangers - not least the ever-changing elements. Stefan lurches from one adventure to another as they encounter storms, and calms; icebergs and polar bear attacks.
As the small whaling boats are sent from the mother ship in order to undertake the dangerous task of snaring whales, the boat Stefan is in becomes lost in the fog. Stefan and the five other sailors with him now face the hardest challenge of their lives. Survival! Survival in the treacherous, remote, unforgiving sea off the east coast of Greenland. Stefan’s feats are breath-taking, including  swimming in the freezing ocean to pull his fellow ship-wrecked sailors to land. They are stranded on an ice floe!
The men have to rely on their instincts to survive, hunting seals to assuage their gnawing hunger, finding shelter and ingenious ways to keep warm. All this in the face of Greenland’s approaching winter.
This truly is a fascinating and compelling read. Stefan and his sailor friends continue to pray and trust that the Lord will bring them through, even in the face of extreme adversity. They sing psalms to lift their spirits, and are finally brought to praise God for his remarkable deliverance. 

And in other news... the AV Calendar for 2019 has arrived, we can't resist showing you a sneak peak because it has a contemporary new look...

We are busy adding screws and bolts to the blocks and ribbon to the backs so they are not quite ready for sending out yet but we are happy to take orders from now.
Keep in touch!

Monday, 16 July 2018

Summer Reading Challenge

Our Summer Reading Challenge is back! This year we have aimed to include some books that are as suitable for adults as for children. The challenge runs throughout the summer months and ends in early September. Start whenever you are ready and just click here to check out all the available books and make your first choice. You will get 25% off your first choice, then once you have reviewed it for us you can pick your second book and receive 40% off! Once we have your review of your second book you can pick your third book absolutely FREE!
Keep up to date with us on our social media sites to see how everyone else is getting on with the Challenge, we will be keeping a 'Wall of Fame' in the shop with news and reviews!

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Inheritance Publications

If you follow any of our social media pages (go on, you know you want to - see below!), you will have noticed that we recently had a big consignment in from Inheritance Publications. 
Inheritance is a small family publisher in Canada with a focus on Dutch Reformed literature and excellent sound historical fiction for children and adults. We have taken on a lot of new titles, so keep checking the website as it might take us a while to get them all listed. Deborah Alcock, Hesba Stretton, Amy Le Feuvre, Piet Prins, Deborah Meroff and Marjorie Bowen are just some of the authors we have expanded our range of. Many of these are reprints of excellent books long since forgotten. 
The team here at the bookshop (young & old) have started on many of these books (purely so that we can give informed reviews of course 😉), and here is our first recommendation:-

The King's Service by Deborah Alcock.
'If you’ve never read one of Deborah Alcock’s accurate historical novels, this is a great one to start with. It is much shorter than many of her thick tomes, and is full of adventure, romance, plot twists, historical facts and God’s amazing grace worked out in the life of sinners.
The opening scene is set in Scotland during the 1630s, while the 30 years religious war is being waged in Central Europe. Uncle Charlie is ward to his brother’s two children, apparently orphaned after the death of their mother and presumed death of their father. Grief stricken, Hugh Graham had left Scotland and his ‘bairns’ to join the Protestant cause in battle, which was being led by Gustavus Adolphus, the king of Sweden. Nothing had been heard from, or of, Hugh Graham for 8 years.
Restless and easily led, Uncle Charlie is persuaded to go and also join the army of Gustavus Adolphus, now in Germany. The Protestants were gaining ground over the Imperialists ‘the rage of Rome’. The young Hugh of 12 years and Jeanie of 14 years, his nephew and niece, join him in different capacities as he leaves his beloved Scotland behind.
The rest of the story follows each one of them in their diverse providences. The sensitive, faithful and God-fearing Giovanni and her key friendship with Fraulein Gertrud Von Savelburg. Young Hugh, full of life and completely unaware of the ‘intrigues of Rome’ conspiring against him. And Uncle Charlie, who displays bravery and loyalty never attributed to him before, and who is brought to a confidence in the God for whose cause he is fighting.
To say more, especially to divulge some of the unexpected plot twists, would spoil this page-turner for any future reader. A recommended, perfect holiday read.'
And just in case you wanted to follow us more closely...
Instagram: christianbookshopossett
Twitter: @ossettbookshop

Saturday, 2 June 2018

GDP Arrrgh!

I'm sure all of us have had so many letters and emails in the last month relating to GDPR that it has become an ugly word!  For us the feeling has been magnified tenfold.  The time getting up to speed with the new data regulations, and following through on its implications for our small enterprise has been significant.  At the same time we appreciated the need for the new legislation and have embraced the opportunity to streamline our list of contacts to leave on it only those who really want to hear regularly from us.
We have now completed mail outs to all our customers (both snail-mail and email) to obtain explicit consent for receiving newsletters.  However the technical side of this has not run as smoothly as planned (hence scenes like the above in our office last week!).  So, if you did receive a GDPR email from us and clicked on the link to subscribe, be assured that your details have been registered even if you were confused about the form you were presented with afterwards.  We do apologise for this glitch.  But, if you received an email and it got lost amongst the plethora of other GDPR emails, please head to our website homepage and enter your email address to subscribe for our newsletters. 
We are legally prevented now from sending out reminders, but via this blog and social media our message to one and all is, if you want to hear of great book offers and reviews SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!  You won't regret it!

Monday, 21 May 2018

God's Mighty Acts...

I was reading one of these to our youngest at bedtime this evening and remembered that once upon a time I wrote a review of it... so here we are, a repost of that review...  (both books are still available here: God's Mighty Acts... )

It's not often you read a children's book which makes you sit and think, seriously and profitably.  The author of these two books, Starr Meade has a way of writing that makes you do just that. These books are written for the 8-12yr bracket, but they do not shy away from weighty doctrinal issues.  Yet at the same time these issues are written about in a way that this age group can understand.  There's quite a skill in doing this and I think Starr Meade hits the nail on the head. 
The books are written with short chapters (no more than 2 pages) which can be used as daily devotionals and some points for further thought and discussion are given at the end of each chapter.  
God's Mighty Acts in Creation guides the reader through each day of creation with the main aim of showing how God is revealed through the things he has made.  For example, 10 chapters are spent on Day 1 (Light and Water) covering some great gospel truths such as Jesus the light of the world, the Holy Spirit shining light into a sinner's heart, Christ the cleansing fountain of water, and Christ the living water. I have started reading this one with my 7yr old and have found the illustrations used really grabbed him e.g. science experiments, camping trips, and the doctrinal applications have been clear without trying to be too simplistic.
God's Mighty Acts in Salvation looks in detail at the book of Galatians and aims to highlight the main teaching about God's saving work.  Again, the difficult doctrinal issues are not avoided and hard words such as justification or righteousness are not watered down but instead used and explained.
Both are books I would recommend.
November 2010

Friday, 30 March 2018

Being There - How To Love Those Who Are Hurting

There are many books written for those who are suffering but not so many for those who are trying to help and support the suffering. This is where Being There comes in. Written by Dave Furman (the husband of Gloria Furman, for those ladies out there who have enjoyed her books), this is written from the perspective of both one who is a sufferer and who as a pastor also cares for the suffering. As such he has quite a unique view of the subject.
The book begins by discussing loss. Both the sufferer and the carer experience loss in these situations and many times the loss to the carer is not acknowledged. This loss is real and painful and will often be silently grieved. Furman points the carer to the hope and comfort that is only truly found in the Scriptures.
The first and primary important role of the carer is to be sure that they are walking with the Lord.  From whom is the carer getting the strength and desire to care? Is the motivation to care borne out of duty, or pride, or is it borne out of a desire to show the glory of God? Where is the comfort for the carer when their care appears to be unappreciated? "Grow in your love for the Lord, and you will grow in your love for the hurting".
Furman then shows from Scripture how a carer can be a faithful friend, a 'hope dealer' and how to follow the example of Jesus in their sacrificial service to others. The importance and power of prayer is also covered. One challenging chapter deals with the necessity of accepting the faithful rebuke of a friend or not shying of giving rebuke in the right spirit.
A very practical chapter gives a list of 10 don'ts when attempting to care for the suffering, from suggesting the latest miracle oil to blaming their sin for their situation. Some of these don'ts may appear obvious, but it is so easy in well-meaning to offend if the needs of the sufferer are not properly considered.
Furman finishes by discussing the role of the Church in caring for others. The shared burdens, the corporate prayer, and most importantly the preaching of the Gospel.
An afterword is added from Gloria who is able to give a small insight into her journey of caring for Dave and from where she gets the strength she needs for each day.
This is a helpful and easy to read book with its focus firmly on the Gospel and the hope that is found there for both sufferer and carer. And as a bonus, the imagery of the cover picture is fantastic!

Being There by Dave Furman, published by Crossway, £8.99

Monday, 5 March 2018

There's a place for historical fiction in your life!

Our historical fiction section is growing.  Not with cheesy romantic novels that have little solid content but books with real history, gripping fiction, and faithful gospel messages. I can't talk about historical fiction without mentioning Douglas Bond - a favourite author in this shop who has written great historical fiction for a variety of age ranges. Deborah Alcock is another well known writer of deeply historical, excellent fiction titles. And there are many more to go at! (Just ask us if you need some advice as to where to start). New to our shelves is author Christina Eastwood who has recently written 'Trasna Na Dtonna: A Tale of Three Cities'. This covers a period of the Reformation in Italy and Ireland through a story of the life and times of Willian Bedell (1570 - 1642). We received a review copy a few months ago and one willing teenager has devoured the book for us and written this review...

Christina Eastwood here weaves an enjoyable, well written story with the very real yet relatively unknown history of the reformation in Venice and Ireland.  The story follows Samuele throughout much of his life, his childhood in Venice in the Servite Monastry, his education in Geneva and then his travels in England and Ireland.  Eastwood links real people and real events with Samuele's story. She develops both these and her fictional characters, making the happiness and grief throughout the book very real and poignant.  I think it is a compelling book, and I would recommend it, mainly to teenagers with an interest in history, but I am sure that any young person would find it enjoyable.
Matthew (age 14)

Trasna Na Dtonna: A Tale of Three Cities by Christina Eastwood, £9.99

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Tackling Mental Illness Together

This is a most welcome book on a hot topic, especially coming as it does from a respected authority on the subject currently working in the UK National Health Service, Alan Thomas, who is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at Newcastle University.
A recurring theme in the book is reflected in its title - that 'people with minimal training can provide real therapeutic benefit to the mentally ill'.  Professor Thomas is concerned that DSM-5, the psychiatrist's diagnostic manual, has widened the definition of mental illness. Now, it seems, the behaviour is the disorder.  More people are thus brought within the realm of treatment by the health profession, and this can send a discouraging and disempowering signal to ministers and churches - "this is a job for professionals." The truth is that both have complementary roles, and that wise, experienced, empathetic,  'ordinary' christians with good listening skills, who know the sufferer, can provide vital support to those with mental illnesses.
The subtitle of the book is 'A Biblical and Practical Approach', and hence begins with emphasizing the body-and-soul nature of man (mental illness is not just "all in the mind"), and the implications of the Fall on what we were made for. Professor Thomas roundly criticizes Freud's view of the unconscious mind, and provides a very clear assessment of the issue of personal responsibility in relation to mental illness ("Is it sickness or sin?"). He fascinatingly observes the effect of culture upon the manifestation of stress, eg. shell shock, before coming on to an overview of treatments - drugs, ECT, psychological approaches, and their effectiveness across the whole spectrum of mental illness. This is an informative guide and provides a good number of illustrative case studies drawn from many years of clinical practice.
Mental illness is difficult territory, but this book impresses as a go-to resource - not a slick read by any means, but giving an all-too-rare Christian perspective on a big subject.

Tackling Mental Illness Together by Alan Thomas, published by IVP, p/b £9.99

Thursday, 11 January 2018

New Year!

It's January! We had a very busy run up to Christmas, for which we are thankful. We very much appreciate the loyalty and support we receive for our small independent shop. Suddenly we have arrived in January and are needing to do a long awaited sort out (not just of books, but of our desks 😨).  In the meantime, many of you will be settling down to a new daily reading book.  If you haven't yet found a suitable one, we have some suggestions in our latest eBulletin... click here to view.
Don't forget though, that a sort out around here means that lots of books will be heading onto our sale lists - especially the £3 list. So go on, pick up a bargain while you can!
Our £3 sale list!