Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Bookbuster-600pixTim’s triple treat for Christmas and beyond (plus literary events from 17 Dec onwards)

Hello, dear readers, there are book treasures lurking on your doorstep. Tim Barton of Bookbuster in the Queen’s Road talks to Angela J. Phillip. He shares three of his favourite titles, all currently available in this independent bookshop –  fact and fiction, something for both adults and children. Come on in.

Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez

Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez £5.99

‘Arctic Dreams’ by Barry Lopez
In 1986, Barry Lopez won the American National Book Award for his wonderful 400+ page ‘travel writing’ Arctic Dreams. I was lucky enough to discover this wonderful book the following year, when the first UK paperback was published by Picador. To describe the book as ‘travel writing’ undersells it immensely: this work covers history, meteorology, natural history, geomorphology, anthropology, and of course the author’s own travels. It is still, today, one of my favourite books, wide-ranging, beautiful, terrible, awe-inspiring, haunting, delicate, and full of wonders.

Barry Lopez was acutely aware of human infractions on the nominally pristine environment to be found above latitude 66° 33’N. Today’s unfolding environmental disaster caused by oil exploration, accessing shale oil and using hydraulic fracturing, were in fact underway, albeit on a smaller scale, over thirty years ago. Barry was wise beyond his years, with objective yet sympathetic skill in observation and a deep reading of the history of the Arctic. We also have his latest book Horizon.

Freeborn Traveller by Grattan Puxon

Freeborn Traveller by Grattan Puxon £3.99

‘Freeborn Traveller’ by Grattan Puxon
Grattan joined the Travellers on the outskirts of Dublin in 1962. Based on real events, including the legendary stand made by the Travelling People at Cherry Orchard near Ballyfermot, this excellent novel tells the story of a young English couple who join with the Travellers, get mixed up with the IRA and find themselves personae non gratae with the Irish State and Church. The protagonist’s girlfriend starts a makeshift school for the Travellers only to see it burned down by Dublin Corporation. A series of brutal evictions follow.

The Travellers make their final stand at Cherry Orchard. The King of the Tinkers joins the camp in time for the showdown. In the real world, after the Cherry Orchard evictions, Gratton returned to England, founded the Gypsy Council, and, in 1971 organised the first World Romani Congress. He co-authored Destiny of Europe’s Gypsies, documenting Nazi genocide, and many articles on the Romani movement. From 1993, he worked as a counsellor with the Dale Farm community near Basildon, and is well known in the Traveller community in Sussex.

Dreaming Giant by Massenot & Nille

Dreaming Giant by Massenot & Nille £3.99

‘The Dreaming Giant’ by Veronique Massenot & Peggy Nille
This large-format children’s picture book is illustrated by the authors’ inspiration – the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky. The back pages give a brief bio of the artist, and an overview of abstract art. Each page of the preceding story channels Wassily’s style of work, plus a side-order of Elmer the Elephant patchwork – the book bursts with colour. The artwork throbs and swirls around the psychedelically non-linear text, telling the story of Zig, Zag and Swirl, tiny people from a tribe called the Krobtz – one day an giant appears, and panic ensues! Oh, and there are talking kites as well!

These books (and more) are available from Bookbuster, 39 Queens Rd, Hastings. Go to Bookbuster’s Facebook page.

top image by Paul Way-Rider

Christmas Carols

If you like singing carols and can’t remember the words, here is a link to print off the lyrics. Carols like this one:

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee to-night.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

Bookshops & Events

Bookbuster 39 Queens Rd, Hastings
Go to Bookbuster’s Facebook page to see more.

Printed Matter Bookshop 185 Queens Rd, Hastings TN34 1RG
Jan 2020: Book launch of Paul Anderson’s Suedeheads & film screening of Horace Ove’s ‘Reggae 1970’ at The Electric Palace Cinema, Old Town.
Please see Facebook page for details of other events.

The Bookkeeper Bookshop 1a Kings Rd, St Leonards
Come and look at the Bookkeeper Bookshop Facebook page to see more.

The Hare & Hawthorn Bookshop 
51 George St, Hastings Old Town
For more information see the Hare & Hawthorn Facebook page.

Well, folks, it’s nearly Christmas. Are you drinking mulled wine with your feet up?Eating mince pies and stollen? (I’m a stollen addict – no wonder Aldi sells out.)  Singing carols? Striding along by the sea? I hope you get time to hide away and read something lovely – or write something satisfying and uplifting.

Angela J. Phillip
I have a new website only recently begun – hoping to find time to add to it soon.

I am working hard to get my first novel ready for publication – more info on my progress soon.

I would be thrilled if you signed up for my Newsletter  although this will be infrequent to begin with (and if you don’t like it, unsubscribe is always available).
Please see:

Thanks so much to those of you who have already signed up – you are greatly appreciated.

For a selection of other posts on my writing journey, please see

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Here is wishing you all a marvellous Christmas, bright and bouncy or serene and peaceful – or both!

Angela J. Phillip

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Posted 09:00 Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 In: Hastings Bookchat

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