Book reviews by Alice Harandon, manager of St Ives Bookseller, on Fore Street. The shop is open seven days a week, and books can be ordered if not in stock.
Paddington’s Christmas Post, by Michael Bond
Based on the original stories by Michael Bond, this is a funny, festive Paddington adventure with real mail! With five envelopes to open, follow Paddington as he does his best to help the Brown family get ready for a very special Christmas.
A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020, by John le Carre
A Private Spy spans seven decades, and chronicles le Carré’s own life and the turbulent times to which he was witness. Beginning with his 1940s childhood, it includes his National Service, his time at Oxford, and his teaching days at Eton. It describes his entry into MI5 and the rise of the Iron Curtain, and the flowering of his career as a novelist in reaction to the building of the Berlin Wall. What emerges is a portrait not only of the writer, but the private, passionate, and very real man behind the name.
Winter in the Air, by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Sylvia Townsend Warner is a tragicomic chronicler of the heart’s entanglements, from marriages and affairs to widowhood, and a champion of outsiders, whether single women, the elderly, or wartime refugees. Witty and subversive, her short stories meld tradition and transgression, with secret sins as much a feature of English life as eccentric aunts and country houses.
Stella Maris and The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy
£50 box set
A limited edition of Cormac McCarthy’s new duology. The Passenger is the story of a salvage diver, haunted by loss, afraid of the watery deep, and longing for a death he cannot reconcile with God. In Stella Maris, a 20-year-old mathematician, admitted to hospital with $40,000 in a plastic bag, has one request: she does not want to talk about her brother.
The Witch and the Tsar, by Olesya Salnikova Gilmore
Set in 16th century Russia, The Witch and the Tsar upends the stories of Baba Yaga as the bony-legged witch of Slavic fairy tales and the stuff of nightmares. Beyond the rumours of her iron nose, fangs for teeth, and house on chicken legs, is the story of a woman so wise and strong that she has to be cloaked in lies to hide her true power.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost
Award-winning artist/author P J Lynch brings Robert Frost’s iconic poem to life with his atmospheric and exquisitely detailed illustrations. The horse and its mysterious rider are expertly rendered against the striking background of a dark woods shrouded in snow. This edition is the perfect gift for adults and children alike.