WE WON!!

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We are SO excited to announce that we have WON the window competition for the Crime Thriller Awards! We are SO proud of our wonderfully creative team!

Victoria Hislop Brings the House Down

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Wow. What an amazing, sell out event. Author of The Island, The Return and most recently, The Sunrise, Victoria Hislop spoke incredibly well, and I think we all learned a whole lot more about a part of history that is so little discussed.

It’s a fascinating book and a really unique premise, focusing on the tragic and devastating conflict of Greek and Turkish Cypriots. So few of us left the hall empty handed – we were all truly inspired to read her books.

The success and overwhelming popularity of Victoria and of the event was aptly reflected in the many eager questions and sheer enthusiasm to meet her at the end. And above all, the many many smiling faces!

What made it so entertaining was that it wasn’t just a history lesson (even though we were in a school!) but also a real insight into the human condition, she was keen to put across her own discoveries through researching the book, primarily the idea that ignorance breeds bigotry. She also offered an intriguing snapshot into the life of a writer joking that she doesn’t sit ‘chewing a pencil’ and thinking of ideas, they really do just come to her and she makes sure to ‘feed’ her own imagination by reading other people’s books.

It was a fabulous evening and I think we were all left with a feeling of excitement for either reading The Sunrise, or for her already avid fans, for what she might do next.

We have Instagram!

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Follow CWGXBOOKSHOP on Instagram, we’d love to share booky pics with you!

History in the Making

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Our very own Morag posed a brilliant question at the talk with Adele Parks and Kate Williams, asking how they felt history would be uncovered in the future now so few of us actually put pen to paper and document our lives, and even less, the potentially history making events that might effect them. As two writers who rely heavily on the letters, journals and real-life accounts, their responses were fascinating to hear and really thought provoking.

Kate suggested that in fact it would not be the lack of information that would be the difficulty for future historians, but the sheer abundance of it. Here Adele chipped in commenting that in today’s world we document our every (often irrelevant!) move. Historians, she laughed, will have to truel through tweets about what flavour Kit Kat we ate on a Friday morning in 2014! And it is so true. As a nation so firmly embedded in the Digital Age, we talk about absolutely everything on every virtual forum available. But as Kate and Adele suggested, Twitter in particular, could be a really important source of information.

Kate and Adele’s positive take on our love of tweeting was really fascinating. Ultimately, our incessant need to document our lives with live updates, doesn’t have to be a meaningless phenomenon.

This really got me thinking about the – perhaps wasted – power of social media in terms of its contribution to the history of the future (an oxymoronic phrase if ever I wrote one!). So I thought I’d relay that message to you lovely readers, to encourage you to make your virtual mark.

So tweet away and make it count!

History Meets Fiction

In keeping with the World War One centenary and of course, the release of the new series of much-loved ‘Downton Abbey’, we held a fascinating talk last night with Adele Parks and Kate Williams on the theme of the home-front during WW1. TV Historian-come-novelist Kate, and Times Writer and contemporary fiction author Adele, formed a powerful duo, introducing their wonderful new books whilst successfully covering the more general topic of the role of the ‘surplus’ women during and after WW1.

It was an intimate talk filled with inspiring anecdotes and personal real-life tales, underpinned by fascinating and evidently meticulous, research.

Testimony to this, at the end of the talk this inspirational pair were greeted with many admiring fans, desperate for signed copies of these powerful books and keen to speak with the inspiring creators. These are two people that are so clearly passionate about their chosen subject topic, and so dedicated to giving a voice to the lesser-known stories of the war – their enthusiasm for the history of WW1 is truly infectious.

There was a real buzz after the event, and like all good historians, Adele and Kate left us with far more questions than we came with.

James Patterson Award

We are so thrilled that we have been chosen as one of the 73 recipients of grant money from the great James Patterson. Read about it all here

We will be letting you know how we’re going to use the money to improve Children’s reading experiences. We’ve got lots of ideas.

Our (hopefully) Award Winning Window!

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We are entering the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2014 Window competition, so our window display created by Philippa and Wendy has certainly fulfilled the brief! It has caused quite a stir on Packhorse Road with anxious customers coming in to see if we’re OK! Janet caught a real life policeman having a photo taken with it as his background, so it must look really authentic.