News Archive

March 29, 2016
Juke Books

On Thursday 7th April at 10am, two of our wonderful regular customers – Jessica Arah and writer Tim Lott – are hosting a book group with a difference – everyone reads a different book!

Each person brings along a passage from one of their favourite books, explains why it’s a favourite of theirs and reads it aloud to the group, everyone then discusses the passage, before moving along to the next person. And if you don’t like to read aloud, Tim or Jessica will read on your behalf.

If you’d like to take part in the first Juke Books please email

February 26, 2016

Now we stock DVDs in the shop, it’s been great fun choosing films that we really love that have a literary connnection; and as the Oscars are coming up on Sunday, we’ve been having a think about our favourite book-to-screen adaptations.

Here are three fantastic films that began life as wonderful books:


Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, in her pre-Hunger Games days, stars in this stark, beautiful film about a teenage girl hunting for her bail-jumping father. The film captures the atmosphere of Daniel Woodrell’s novel perfectly, and Lawrence’s performance (which could have been an audition for Katniss) is outstanding.


This Ealing Comedy is a classic for so many reasons, but Compton MacKenzie’s source novel is sometimes overlooked. Both are witty and heartwarming, and come highly recommended by us at L&R.


Before Pixar, the best off-beat animated films were made by Studio Ghibli, headed by director Hayao Miyazaki. This adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle is a great example of how great animation transcends age: it’s a film that can really be enjoyed by every generation. When Sophie is transformed into an old woman, she goes to live with the mysterious Howl in his equally mysterious home.

January 24, 2016
Our favourites of 2015 – Tara

As a farewell to 2015, we’ve all made lists of our favourite books of the year, whether old or new:

As Children’s Buyer, I read a lot more books aimed at the under-15 set than my colleagues, and it has to be a really great grown-up book to make me stick with it. With that in mind, I’ve divided my reading up into categories, and picked my favourite from each:

Books about being a woman aged 25-35 mostly living in a large coastal US city
SINGLE CAREFREE MELLOW – Katherine Heiny, a book of funny, poignant, entertaining short stories that kept me happy in a freezing cold house during a powercut.

Books with teenage protagonists that aren’t YA
EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU – Celeste Ng, a mystery novel with no detective, where things aren’t in any way cut and dried; And a moving story of a family’s loss.

Books with teenage protagonists that are YA
THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE – Patrick Ness, imagine being one of the non-Scooby Gang kids at Sunnydale High, that’s what Patrick Ness’ fantastic new novel is about. While the Indie Kids deal with an extra terrestrial threat, Mikey and his friends are dealing with the stresses of (mostly-) normal life. An amazing concept, brilliantly executed.

Adult Thrillers
YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN – Jean Hanff Korelitz, just a great, unputdownable read. Marriage therapist Grace realises that her husband isn’t everything she believed him to be, and her life can never be the same again.

Middle Grade Thrillers
ARSENIC FOR TEA & FIRST CLASS MURDER – Robin Stevens, perfect, perfect detective stories for children aged 10-12. Two 1930s school girls, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, solve a country house muder, and yes, murder on the Orient Express. Completely irresistible.

January 7, 2016
Our favourites of 2015 – Sarah

As a farewell to 2015, we’ve all made lists of our favourite books of the year, whether old or new (and in Sarah’s case looking ahead to 2016):

My best reads of 2015 range forwards and backwards – more forwards because of the way my mind goes blank about everything but the books I have read in the last fortnight. I gobbled up A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanigahara along with everyone in the building ( it’s coming in paperback in March). I loved Kate Atkinson’s clever novel A GOD IN RUINS (out now in paperback) and Mahesh Rao’s story collection ONE POINT TWO BILLION.

Publishing in 2016, Julian Barnes new novel THE NOISE OF TIME is refreshingly short after the weighty (literally) books of 2015 and it contains so much. A very different beast but the same could be said of Thomas Savage’s THE POWER OF THE DOG, an intense and unput-downable piece of story-telling set in Twenties Montana which Vintage are re-issuing this year.

My stand-out non-fiction titles were Atul Gawande’s BEING MORTAL, Henry Marsh’s DO NO HARM, a fascinating book published by Penguin Press called THE WORM AT THE CORE about how our denial of mortality informs our entire culture and an early title by Emmanuel Carrere, THE ADVERSARY about a man who murders his entire family after leading a fantasy life with a fake medical degree and a non-existent job at the World Health Organisation. All the non-fiction I read seems to have been about death. Hmm…

January 6, 2016
Our favourites of 2015 – Jane

As a farewell to 2015, we’ve all made lists of our favourite books of the year, whether old or new:

The stand out fiction of the year for me was A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara and ALL MY PUNY SORROWS by Miriam Toews (the hardcover of the latter was actually published in 2014 but I read the paperback this year). I found both of these novels to be utterly engrossing, the kind of book you can’t drag yourself away from and make you loath anyone who diverts your attention elsewhere. They are very different novels but they both managed to make me feel deeply for the characters they contained.

BEING MORTAL by Atul Gawande was my non-fiction book of the year. It’s a beautifully written and important book. Now that medical advances enable us to keep people alive for longer than ever before we are suddenly faced with an older generation we’re unsure how to handle. This is a sensitive and careful exploration of how we need to change the way we talk, think and approach mortality – our own and that of our loved ones.

Slightly outside the brief but the books I’m most looking forward to in 2016 are NY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout and NOT WORKING by Lisa Owens. The former being a master of her craft at the top of her game and the latter a brand new and thrillingly distinctive debut voice.

January 4, 2016

We were very pleased to appear on Shortlist’s list of the 20 Mightiest Small Book Shops in the UK, with some excellent other shops.

Not only that, but they described us as a “literary bolthole” and described our amazing Serge Seidlitz prints as “killer”, we couldn’t agree more!

November 30, 2015

Serge Seidlitz Bookworm Print

We are thrilled to announce that the brilliant Serge Seidlitz has produced a new book-themed print just in time for Christmas! Featuring all our favourite literary figures from Austen to Zombies. Packed with wit and originality, we’re sure there’s a space on every book-lover’s wall. And at £180 framed, there’s room for it in the budget too!

November 10, 2015
Christmas Marketing

RPT-Logo-Inc-8-Colours (no white corners) - Copy

Although Christmas is still six weeks away, We’re really looking forward to taking part in the Rugby Portobello Trust’s Christmas Market next week.

We’ll be there on Tuesday 17th from 2pm to 5.30pm and 6pm to 9pm.

And then on Wednesday 18th from 9am to 5pm.

We’re hosting some really fantastic author signings.

On Tuesday from 6pm, we’ll have Sebastian Faulks signing his new novel Where My Heart Used to Beat, Rachel Kelly signing her new book Walking on Sunshine and Lizzie Ostrom signing her new book Perfume: A Century of Scents.

Then on Wednesday, from 1pm for about 45 minutes, Yotam Ottolenghi will be signing his beautiful new cookbook Nopi.

It’s always a really fun event, and it’s raising money for a really fantastic cause. You can find out more about RPT on their website:

October 14, 2015
Daylight Book Club – A Difficult Young Man

Our Daylight Book Club met on October 13th to discuss the Australian novel A Difficult Young Man. Here’s Robert’s report:

We discussed ‘A Difficult Young Man‘ by Martin Boyd. This novel, from 1955, is the second in a quartet of novels recalling episodes in the lives of an Anglo-Australian family experiencing social change, mainly prior to the Great War. This volume focuses on Dominic, a volume in which his younger brother examines whether Dominic was mad, as many people thought.

We all really enjoyed the book, most of us reading it at least twice and discovering increased pleasure on each reading. There is a sharp wit to the text and a number of characters are brilliantly drawn.

There was considerable disagreement between everyone else and me about Dominic. Described by his brother as ‘religious and medieval’, Dominic is involved in a series of dark events for which his family hold him to blame. The addition of these extraordinary episodes for me raises the book from an amusing, if piercing, family saga to a novel of brilliance. My colleagues felt Dominic to be ill-drawn and accordingly found him the weakest part of a witty and involving narrative.

I am not wholly persuaded of that view. But it is a rare book which can be so valued and appreciated by a range of people who disagreed so strongly about the dominant character.

The penultimate Daylight Book Club of 2015 will take place at 10.30am on November 3rd, and we will be discussing The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante.

October 5, 2015
Malone for your Home


Andrew Malone has been supplying L&R with his beautiful altered books for the last five years, and to celebrate we’ve asked him to take over our art space in the shop.


Each of these framed collages is unique, as Andrew cuts them all out by hand in his studio in Whitstable. And while we know that some people worry about books being damaged, Andrew promises us that none of the books he cuts up are valuable – it’s what he does with them that makes them so special.

Pop into the shop for a closer look. The framed collages are £145 each.

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