Man Booker Prize Favourites

-By Emma Bilsborough, Retail Team Leader

The winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize was announced this week on the 16th of October, and it went, quite surprisingly, to the brilliant ‘Milkman’ by Anna Burns.

Each year the Man Booker Prize brings us a longlist of nominees that we try to read in time for the winner announcement (and, if you’re like me, generally never make it through the list). This year’s list was filled with talent, from the likes of Daisy Johnson’s ‘Everything Under’, to Michael Ondaatje’s ‘Warlight’.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the prize, which began in 1968, then named the Booker-McConnell prize. It was first awarded in 1969, to P.H. Newby for his novel ‘Something to Answer For’.

I decided to look back at the shortlisted and winning books from the last 50 years (of which there are many), and choose my top ten favourites. Buckle in, everyone!

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Autumn and Winter at Bookbarn International

We’ve got lots of wonderful events coming up that we’re very excited about, but we know it can be a little overwhelming to see lots of posters and different event pages on Facebook, so we’ve decided to put them all into an events programme for you.

Autumn and Winter are the two best seasons to spend your time visiting bookshops, as the weather takes a turn for the worse, so here’s a list of things you can do at Bookbarn in the upcoming months.

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School trip to the Bookbarn!

There are very few things we love more than helping to encourage a love of reading in Children and young people. Last week, we had the opportunity to do so with a group of visiting young adults from Monkton Coombe school in Bath.

The students were just starting out their secondary school education, and had recently enjoyed lessons based on our wonderful Found in Books display, so were very excited to visit us and have a small Q&A session in our Darwin room.


They asked plenty of wonderful questions, and kept our shop team on their toes. They also took some time to explore our shop shelves, and left us with arms full of books to help them with the year’s learning.

We look forward to having more students from Monkton Coombe visit us soon.

If you feel that your school would enjoy a visit with us here at Bookbarn, get in touch by giving us a call on 01761 451333, or send an email to

by Emma Bilsborough, Retail Team Leader

It’s time to book your place for our Wonderful Winter Fayre!

Calling all craftspeople and artsy folk!

We’re hosting our annual Winter Fayre on the 22nd of November this year, from 4pm to 9pm, and we’re now taking bookings.

Winter Fayre

For the last three years, we have hosted our Winter Fayre in late November, and it never fails to get us feeling all festive. We don our Christmas jumpers and put ribbons in our hair, and we welcome local craftspeople and happy customers en masse.

Previous years have seen woodwork, candles, clothing, chocolate, Christmas decorations and so much more – you can find truly unique and original gifts for your friends and family at great prices.

If you feel you could bring something new and different to our collection of stalls, get in touch now, places will fly out fast. At just 20 pound per stall, you mustn’t miss it!

Just give us a call on 01761 451777 or send an email to with information about your craft, and we’ll add you to the list.

Bookish Businesses We Love: Literary Emporium

Being an independent business in the book industry is a uphill struggle at almost all times. However, it’s rewarding and we love the climb.

In our first post in our Bookish Businesses series, we talked about the brilliant STORGY magazine. In this second instalment, we’re going to bring your attention to the wonderful Literary Emporium.

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Finding Family in Found in Books Display

-By Emma Bilsborough, Retail Team Leader

At the beginning of the year, we set up a new display that we call our ‘found in books’ display. It’s a collection of all of the strange, sweet and funny things that we find within the pages of our books. It’s filled with old photos, pictures of cats, love letters, and much more.

Just last week, one of our lovely customers, Katy Biggs, was having a look at the display, and found something wonderful – a picture of her family.


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Special Storytellings, Wonderful Workshops and a Kilo Sale fit for a King

It’s been a really great Summer here at Bookbarn, filled with happy faces, yummy food and, naturally, lots of books!

Those of you who keep watchful eyes on our blog will remember this post, that detailed all that we had planned for these long Summer weeks. It’s crazy to think that we’ve come to the end of that now, but we have certainly enjoyed every minute!

Continue reading “Special Storytellings, Wonderful Workshops and a Kilo Sale fit for a King”

Don’t Miss Our Second Kilo Sale!

This coming Monday, the 27th of August, we’re having our second Kilo Sale. Early this year we held the event for the first time, and our visitors and our staff had a wonderful time, and we received a whirlwind of requests to have the event again this Summer. You ask, we deliver.

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Our team have been working hard at putting together a collection of books even bigger and better than the last lot for your perusal, including some overstock from our lovely Darwin room, brand new books and Children’s books. You could find some really special books for only a tiny percentage of their usual price!

It’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Read about our last kilo sale here.

Bookish Businesses We Love: STORGY Magazine

-By Emma Bilsborough, Front of House Leader

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We love getting a chance to talk about other independents in the industry that are doing great things, and our attention at the moment is on STORGY magazine, an online Arts & Entertainment magazine that has a focus on finding and publishing short stories that challenge literary conventions.

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Bookish Summer Quotes!

We’ve been lucky enough to have weeks and weeks of warm, sunny weather to enjoy, and we’re looking at more ahead of us.

As we set off on holidays, spend days on the beach, take our lunch breaks out in the sunshine and watch the sun set late at night, it’s nice to remember some of our favourite quotes about the summer.

Books provide a wonderful service in that they put into words the feelings that we often can’t quite articulate ourselves; like the optimism that summer brings.

Here’s some bookish words to keep those summer vibes going…

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-John Steinbeck, The Winter of our Discontent

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-F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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-Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty

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-Jeanette Walls, The Glass Castle

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-Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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-Junot Diaz, This is How You Lose Her

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-Henry James

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-Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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-Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me

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-Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

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-Haruki Murakami, Dance, Dance, Dance

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-L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

If you’re looking for something to do on these long summer days, we are waiting with open arms (and full shelves!). Read about our Summer events here.