Peter Doyle and Julian Walker - Trench Talk
What a great couple of hours we had with Peter and Julian. We sold out of books! Both authors were kind enough to pop in the follwoing week to sign some more copies for us.
Lots of th Village Bookshop customers were really interested in the combination of history and language that the book contains and made multiple purchases as Christmas presents.
Prof John Walker Smith signs copies of his autobiography "Enduring Memories".
The Village Bookshop was packed on Saturday evening when friends and ex colleagues of John Walker Smith came to the book signing for the story of his life. All enjoyed John reading from the autobiography and several copies of his poetry book were also sold.
In the book he recounts
his childhood in Sydney growing up during the war and the immediate post-war period
and he describes the influences and education, which led him to his subsequent
two years training in London acquiring the ambition to be a
gastroenterologist he returned to Sydney, where he became a pioneer in paediatric
Gastroenterology. In 1972 an unexpected opportunity arose to move to St.
Bartholomew’s Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in London. The book also covers his involvement in a General Medical
Council (GMC) Hearing which went on for eight years and was only concluded in 2012.
Some nursing colleagues from John's time at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital attended the signing as a surprise and are pictured in photo 2 below. John is also pictured in photo 1.
Don Hatwell signs copies of "Reporting a Life"
On Saturday 12th May Don, local resident and retired journalist spent time with friends and customers remembering his journalistic career.
In the book Don traces his life from urchin to critic, which, according to
some, is a pretty short journey. It takes in his boyhood among sisters
and brothers, his time in the navy and in the army, putting down his
roots in weekly journalism and his move to the thriving Bristol Evening
Post, eventually becoming its London Editor and theatre critic. He
celebrates his marriage and children whilst covering frankly some deep
He gladly inherited from his parents his strong Labour politics, as well as a passion for theatre, music and art. Don tells his story with fluency and wit, and ends with a selection from his 6,000 theatre notices.
Patrick Gale visits The Village Bookshop
We were delighted that Patrick Gale visited The Village
Bookshop on his way to Billericay for the Essex book
festival. Patrick chatted with many of our customers who were all keen to
discuss their favourite of his books with “Notes from an Exhibition” being the
firm favourite followed by “Rough Music”. Most customers got a signed copy of
his new book “A Perfectly Good Man” which features two characters from “Notes
from an Exhibition” and returns the action to Cornwall
where Patrick himself lives on a farm. Patrick chatted to a young customer about writing and
explained that he writes in a really nice notebook and finishes the story in
long hand before it is put on the computer. The latest novel filled 3 notebooks
and he likes going back to them and seeing the notes he made on each page.
Patrick is pictured below (photo 3) with Dilys and Alison from the shop who are both big fans.
Christine Truman's return to the Village Bookshop proves a Hit!
The Village Bookshop was delighted to welcome back Christine Truman on Saturday 17th March. Christine was signing copies of her three new children's books. "Dilly Goes Boating", "Billy and the Magic Football Boots" and "Annabelle Sue and Marjorie Lou".
All three books are aimed at 4-7 year old children and have bright, charming illustrations by Liz Summers who illustrated the book of children's poems that Christine had published last year. "Dilly Goes Boating" takes the tennis playing doll Dilly from last year's poetry collection, and this time puts her into a boating story. “There is no end to Dilly’s exploits”, said Christine, “In my next book Dilly will play in a county match and will be selected to play at an international match in Paris!”
"Billy and the Magic Football Boots" tells the story of Billy and his desire to be good at football and "Annabelle Sue and Marjorie Lou" is a cautionary tale about swimming too far from the beach. Again Christine is working on a sequel to the football story where the team plays at Wembley. “I am greatly enjoying writing,” commented Christine, “I have always made up stories to entertain my children and grandchildren and I am inspired by Liz’s wonderfully detailed and colourful illustrations.”
Christine is pictured (in photo 4) with Alexandra Tarring, aged 5, from Woodford
Green who was delighted to meet Christine and get signed copies of two of her
books. Alison was also keen to have her photo taken with this legend from the tennis world (see photo 5). "I really admire Christine for starting a third career following such success as a tennis player and commentator".
Peter Baker signs copies of "The Jolly Pilgrim"
On Saturday 11th February, the writer and philosopher Peter Baker was at The Village Bookshop signing copies of his book The Jolly Pilgrim.
Peter spent five months cycling from London to Istanbul, before flying to Australia where he worked and travelled for 11 months. He then moved to South America where he lived as a hermit. He kept in touch through regular emails during this 740-day, five-continent, 28-country adventure. The book describes the places he goes, the people he meets, nuggets of history and prehistory, and facts and figures about each country he visits.
Asked if he intends to make another epic journey, Peter replied "I love the UK and I've done my traveling. However, I intend to keep writing about the human condition and the trajectory of human affairs. I genuinely feel, deep in my heart, that our collective future will ultimately be bright and that there’s something wonderful going on here on planet Earth."
Peter’s thoughts act as a springboard for the readers’ own reflections on life, and his story is essentially uplifting, whether in the recounting of his travels or his philosophical musings.
Fifteen customers visited The Village Bookshop that day, buying nineteen copies of Peter's book. He said of the signing: “What a wonderful day. It’s great to be part of the community spirit surrounding the Village Bookshop, and to speak with so many fascinating Woodford locals”
Pictured with Peter (photo 6) is Alison Ring, a regular visitor to the shop. Alison bought a copy of the book for herself and one for a friend.
Peter Doyle signs copies of Gallipoli 1915
On 15th October Peter Doyle, who lives in Woodford, chatted with several customers about his new book Gallipoli part of the Battle Story series that History Press publish. A paleontologist by training Peter has an endless fascination with History and had written more than ten books on the First and Second World Wars. Customers brought in war memorabilia to show him and were keen to share stories of their own family connections to the wars.
Peter is pictured below with his book. (photo 7)
Woodford welcomes Sarah Winman, author of "When God Was a Rabbit"
Those of us who work in the shop have all loved "When God Was a Rabbit" and we have been recommending it to all our customers as a great summer read (see Alison's latest read for more info), so we were over the moon when Sarah Winman (photo 8 below) said she would drop in on 12th June to meet us and to sign copies for customers of the shop. 22 people who couldn't make the date left books for Sarah to sign and another 20 were sold on the day. Sarah is very involved promoting her novel which has been lauched in 19 countries. However, she is starting to think about her next book and hopes to settle down to writing it in the autumn. A couple of teachers from Sarah's old school, Woodford County High, popped in to have their books signed and several local book groups are planning to discuss her novel at their next meeting. A big thanks to Sarah for fitting us in to her busy schedule.
Local History Booklet is a big success and money raiser for charity
Dr Thomas Crusz was with us on Saturday 25th June to sign copies of "A Brief History of the White House and the Mallinson family. This is a £3.50 booklet preserving the memories of a splendid building, its distinguished occupants and famous visitors, including Sir Winston Churchill and Prince Philip.
The shop was really busy with the many customers who are fascinated by local history or who wanted to share memories with Tom of trips to the White House over the years whether it was attending events, going to Scouts, learning to swim in the pool and even one couple who had their wedding reception there!
We sold out of booklets on the day but more will soon be available in the shop. Getting their copies before they ran out and pictured with Tom in photograph 9 below are local residents Jean Gibbins and Gillian Bunce.
All profits on the sale of the booklet go to Haven House Children's Hospice, the current occupants of The White House.
Local Professor Gives Pointers to Graduates
Parents of graduates and some of the students themselves were delighted to meet Professor Rachel Mulvey when she visited us as part of the launch of her new book.
The “Brilliant Graduate Career Handbook” has been co-authored by Rachel and a fellow career specialist Judith Done. The book covers accessing job opportunities, graduate training schemes, the global graduate, work experience and making applications amongst other very valuable chapters.
The handbook is not only aimed at the qualified students. “The graduate labour market has changed, there are fewer jobs and employers now expect graduates to develop their skills before they start work”, said Rachel. “We wrote this book because parents, and those helping graduates with getting a job, also need as much information as possible”.
Rachel not only signed copies of her book but delivered individual advice to customers during her three hours in the shop. Pictured with Rachel in photo number 10 below is Louise Stokes who is just about to graduate and is looking for work as a landscape architect. (Rachel is on the left).
Christine Truman "Dilly and Other Poems"
Customers at The Village Bookshop were delighted to meet Christine Truman-Janes on Saturday as she visited the shop as part of the launch of her book "Dilly and Other Poems" aimed at children and featuring a tennis playing doll called Dilly.
Accompanying Christine was her friend and neighbour Liz Summers who is an illustrator and has captured the spirit of Dilly wonderfully in her drawings in the book.
Christine said "I wrote the poems about 35 years ago to entertain my children on long car journeys. When Liz brought them to life with her marvellous colourful drawings I decided to get them published".
Customers of the book shop were delighted to meet Christine and get a signed copy of the children's poetry book. For some it was a reunion as Christine lived in Woodford until moving to Aldeburgh 13 years ago. "We'd spent many holidays in Suffolk" explained Christine, "So Aldeburgh felt like a natural move but coming back to Woodford still feels like coming home."
Christine still plays tennis and enjoys golf and bowls as well as participating in a book group. She will be commentating on Wimbledon for digital radio.
Pictured in photo number 11 in the album below, from left to right, is Woodford resident Hilary Burton, Christine Truman and Liz Summers. Hilary was delighted to get 2 copies of the book for her grandchildren.
Finding Wildlife in Epping Forest
On Saturday 19th February 2011 , we welcomed local biologist and author Peter Warne to sign copies of his book “Finding Wildlife in Epping Forest”.
Peter has had 35 years of exploring the forest and is a keen photographer of birds, animals and plants. As such, he knows where to spot the wildlife in the different parts of the forest and also how best to get close to it.
Local couple Gill and Michael Woods, pictured below in picture 12 with Peter standing between them, enjoy walking in the forest already but said they were looking forward to using the book to help them spot the wildlife.
Peter said, “The book contains tips for finding things that often would rather not be found. It takes time, patience and knowledge but success, when it comes, can be very rewarding”.
Everyone who visited the shop and looked through Peter's book bought a copy but the weather was atrocious on Saturday so we didn't have as many visitiors to the shop as usual. As such, we intend to invite Peter to visit us again when the weather is better.