Just a short walk away from Parsons Green you can find the lovely Nomad Books – our September Bookshop of the Month. As you enter the store you will walk into a grown up, warm and inviting space with dark wooden shelves and tables of carefully selected titles asking you to spend some time with them, taking in the beautiful covers and examining the blurbs. This space feels like a literary lounge and it’s just right. As you work your way through the shop there is a corridor full of cards, gifts and stationery leading to the expansive children’s area at the back. In delightful contrast to the front of the store this space is brighter with a large, welcoming sofa – perfect for reading together – and a small table and chairs nestled in the corner for the inquisitive toddler to dive into their favourite book. We especially like the display table dedicated to an array of gorgeous hardback picture books that are wonderful gifts in and of themselves.
Nomad Books is a bookshop that you will want to spend time in, browsing the shelves and chatting to the wonderful bookselling team who are so passionate about what they do. We caught up with the store manager Aude, who, alongside Emma (Fiction and Book Club) and Tara (Children’s Books and Admin), answered a few questions for us:
1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Nomad Books in three words?
We. Love. Books. It’s the best way to describe Nomad!
2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
The big and amazing children’s section is the best spot in the bookshop (provided there are not too many children in there
3. Where do you like to read?
In the bath (Emma), in bed (Tara) and I love to read on the Tube. Preferably hardbacks!
4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
Emma would be a luxury hotels tester, Tara a beekeeper and I would be one of Beyoncé’s dancers
5. Excluding Nomad Books – What is your favourite bookshop?
Gosh! Comics in Soho. One of the nicest places on Earth!
Nomad Books can be found at:
781 Fulham Rd, Fulham
London, SW6 5HA
130 recipes that redefine the way we think about flavour. Visually stunning and conceptually fresh, this is the cookbook of the season from Josef Centeno, the chef credited with capturing the myriad tastes of Los Angeles on the plate. Recipes span from simple to show stopping, exploring sauces, soups, mains, salads, and desserts, too. More than 130 vivid photographs convey the beauty and excitement of Chef Centeno’s extraordinary cooking. Josef Centeno is the chef and owner of Bâco Mercat, Bar Amá, Orsa & Winston, Ledlow, and P.Y.T. In Bäco, he draws on his multicultural heritage, formal training in top-notch restaurants such as Manresa and Daniel, a lifelong obsession with cookbooks, and his insatiable curiosity. Centeno’s cooking layers textures and explores how spices and sauces can be used to transform the most basic vegetables.
The following recipe is from Bäco by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock, photographs by Dylan James Ho
Sautéed peaches and shishito peppers with goat cheese, cashews, and saffron honey
Peaches and shishito peppers seem an unlikely combination. But the ripe, oral fruit and the mildly peppery Japanese chile both peak in summer and are oddly great together—a little sweet with a little spice. They also make for an interesting textural contrast: one yielding and juicy and the other slightly crunchy. It’s easy to get a lot of good charred browning on shishito peppers because they’re especially thin-skinned compared with other pepper varieties. The edges of the peaches get nicely caramelised. Creamy, tangy goat cheese goes with the sweetness of the peaches and the smokiness and heat of the shishito peppers. They’re mixed with crunchy cashews, and the dish is finished with lemon juice and musky- oral saffron honey.
1/4 cup [35 g] whole cashews
2 Tbsp butter
5 ripe peaches, pitted and cut into wedges
1 cup [70 g] shishito peppers
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup [5 g] fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup [4 g] fresh chervil
1/3 cup [4 g] fresh tarragon leaves
3 Tbsp crumbled fresh goat cheese
1/2 Tbsp saffron honey (recipe follows)
Heat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Spread the nuts in a single layer on a small baking dish and place on a middle rack in the oven. Roast, stirring the nuts once for even cooking, until toasty and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop and set aside.
Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter melts and begins to foam, add the peaches and shishito peppers and sear, turning once with a spatula, until the edges are well browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour off the butter from the pan and transfer the peaches and shishito peppers to a bowl. Toss with a pinch of salt and half of the lemon juice. Transfer half of the peaches and shishito peppers to a platter and sprinkle with half of each of the parsley, chervil, tarragon, cashews, and goat cheese.
Top with the remaining peaches and shishito peppers and sprinkle the remaining parsley, chervil, tarragon, cashews, and goat cheese on top. Drizzle with the remaining lemon juice and saffron honey. Serve immediately.
Infusing a savory element into honey makes it that much more versatile. In dishes where honey might otherwise be just a little too cloying, it is instead
a little more nuanced. Use fennel seeds, fresh thyme or rosemary, saffron threads, long pepper, cubeb pepper, Sichuan pepper, lemon zest, mint, ginger, or dried chiles—these all add another layer of flavor to oral honeys. I use saffron, fennel, or cubeb pepper honey mixed into yogurt or drizzled on fried dishes such as ricotta fritters or crispy battered boquerones (marinated anchovy fillets).
MAKES 1⁄2 CUP [150 G]
1/2 cup [150 g] honey 2 tsp water
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Put the honey, water, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 30 seconds, then immediately remove from the heat. Strain into a small lidded jar and discard the seeds. Store at room temperature for several weeks.
Cubeb honey, saffron honey, and fennel pollen honey: Substitute 1/2 tsp cubeb pepper or 1/2 tsp saffron threads (mixed with 2 tsp water). Or substitute a pinch of fennel pollen; stir in the pollen during the last few seconds of heating (do not strain).
Bäco by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock, photographs by Dylan James Ho is out now – find out more here.
In STAR WARS™ KIRIGAMI, celebrated paper artist and designer Marc Hagan-Guirey applies his genius to the Star Wars galaxy in this book of 15 unique kirigami (cut and-fold) ships featured in the saga’s films. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert, each beautifully detailed model features step-by-step instructions and a template printed on cardstock—all that’s needed are a utility knife, a cutting mat, and a ruler!
We asked Marc everything you need to know about the world of kirigami, getting started with the craft and his interest in Star Wars:
What is kirigami?
Kirigami is a bit like origami except that instead of just folding the paper, you cut it too. ‘Ori’ - means fold and ‘kiri’ means cut. Kirigami is traditionally used to create architectural replicas but it’s perfectly suitable for spaceships too! The cool thing about kirigami is that it’s just one sheet of paper – nothing is glued or added to it. It’s part of the joy that you can create something so interesting from a ubiquity of a piece of paper.
How did you get started creating kirigami?
I feel like it was a bit of a serendipitous moment that lead to me experimenting with the craft. I’m a big fan of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and back in 2012 my partner and I told a few white lies to get a private tour of one of his most elusive buildings – the Ennis House in LA. It was a condemned building and had been out of bounds to the public for over 20 years. We may have told them we had the $14 million needed to buy it and were very keen to come and see it. The experience had a huge impact on me – I’d go as far as saying it was spiritual. I wanted to mark the occasion by making some of sort of memento. As a kid I always loved to craft, my currency was egg cartons, toilet roll tubes and cereal boxes (it still pains me to see these things put in the recycling) but as an adult we all know too well that life gets in the way. I’m a designer director in digital but I still had that yearning to use my hands again. When I was researching what to make, I happened upon examples of kirigami. I felt paper was the perfect material to make a replica of the Ennis House due to its fragility. I quickly saw that kirigami wasn’t just limited to buildings and I started making scenes from movies.
Is your book suitable for complete beginners of kirigami?
There are a few ‘beginner’ projects in the book to get you started. I feel kirigami is easy to advance in and you’ll soon want more challenging projects. The most important thing is to be patient, take breaks and enjoy the process. I find it meditative to concentrate and not be distracted by the ‘coke machine glow’ of mobile devices.
Do you need any special tools to do kirigami?
You need a few inexpensive things – a cutting matt, a metal ruler, an x-acto knife with replaceable blades. Also a toothpick will be really useful to pop out some of the smaller folds.
Why did you decide to create Star Wars ships using kirigami?
Why not?! It was more of a necessity for me. I was already creating Star Wars kirigami back when I started experimenting with it. The idea to do a ship focused book was suggested by Mike Siglain, the Creative Director of Lucasfilm publishing – he’s a man with good ideas.
Have you always been a Star Wars fan?
I’ve always been a Star Wars fan and was essentially born into it. I’m an 80s kid so never saw it first time around at the cinema but I have an older brother who was the right age. I feel a bit guilty now for commandeering all of his original Kenner action figures – it must have been torture for him to see his baby brother destroy them but I did just buy him a full scale licensed replica of Vader’s helmet for his 40th birthday so I think we’re even now.
How did the book come to be?
A lot of knocking on doors and badgering people with emails. I started talking to Lucasfilm about the idea in 2014. During that time I was invited to the set of Episode VII and in a serendipitous moment I ended up chatting to JJ Abrams about my work. He was really excited by it and frog marched me across the set of ‘Star Killer’ base to meet Kathleen Kennedy. It was the only time I ever had a business card in my wallet – albeit a very dog-eared one. I had an unofficial exhibition of Star Wars kirigami scenes in 2015 – it had a lot of press and went viral. Lots of big media outlets such as the BFI, Wired, BBC World News, CNN were covering it. I guess it was inevitable that Disney took notice and that dog-eared business card eventually made its way to the business development department. I thought I was in trouble when they called! I’ve got to say the process of working with Disney, Lucasfilm, my publisher Hachette and my US publisher Chronicle has been wonderful.
Click here to find out more about STAR WARS KIRIGAMI, which publishes today!
For our August Bookshop of the Month post we have chosen the magnificent Libreria!
If you haven’t already been to Libreria all we ask is, what are you waiting for?! Located on Hanbury Street, E1 – just off Brick Lane – Libreria is a beautiful destination bookshop that appears to go on forever thanks to a stunning mirrored wall and ceiling. Coupled with gorgeous yellow shelving throughout – the colour of happiness, optimism and creativity – you can’t help but feel inspired from the moment you walk in the door. Libreria also offers a unique browsing experience “designed to help you discover new books and ideas.” Books are not organised by genre or author rather by a theme, topic or idea to encourage serendipitous finds so you’ll leave not only with the book you wanted but with many more too. You will also find artists prints on the shelves often made on the risograph machine they have downstairs – you can attend a workshop and have a go yourself if you fancy! We recently attended a book launch here and had a great night, their entire cultural programme is impressive, including regular Beer & Browse nights where you can grab a drink, buy some books and catch a classic movie. So, if you’ve not yet been get down to East London soon – we challenge you to leave Libreria without buying something!
These are just some of the reasons we have chosen Libreria as our Bookshop of the Month for August. We caught up with Paddy Butler, Creative Director/Curator, to congratulate the team and ask a few questions:
1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! How would you describe Libreria in three words? Discover, Create, Reimagine
2. Where is your favourite spot in the store? Oh, at present it has to be our Utopia shelf near our big mirror at the back – It has so much in there including fiction by Tom McCarthy, Kafka, Laline Paul, political/philosophy by Peter Singer, Plato’s Republic, Thomas More’s Utopia (of course), Erik Reece’s Utopia Drive, Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine, and lots on architecture; Stephen Graham’s Vertical, Geoff Manaugh and Dejan Sudjic to boot!
3. Where do you like to read? Great question – in winter, well mainly in bed or the British Library, in summer it’s gotta be Brockwell Park, on the hill overlooking London, very beautiful. When I’m back there, those old Joycean pubs in Dublin (Mulligans of Pool Beg Street and the Grave Diggers, Glasnevin (Glasnevin Cemetery is where Bloom goes to Paddy Dignam’s funeral at the beginning of Ulysses) and then there’s the West of Ireland; always pretty special, wild and inspiring.
4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
Either an artist, or an advertising canvaser like Leopold Bloom; for is he not gifted with a creative mind of the most endearing, wondrous kind?
5. Excluding Libreria – What is your favourite bookshop?
Skoobs second hand bookstore; an Aladdin’s Cave in Russell Square, and then there’s The Long Room in Trinity, Dublin, hallelujah, a bookstore in the old sense I guess…
You will find Libreria at:
65 Hanbury Street
London E1 5JP
Fifteen-year-old Mari Pujols believes that the baby she’s carrying will finally mean she’ll have a family member who will love her deeply and won’t ever leave her. But when doctors discover a potentially fatal heart defect in the foetus, Mari faces choices she never could have imagined.
This literary, thought-provoking YA is based on true events and navigates a complex and impossible decision that can crush even the bravest of women.
After hearing voices among an eerie copse of trees in the woods, seventeen-year-old Curtis must confront his worst fear: that he has inherited his father’s mental illness. A desperate search for answers leads him to a cursed mansion that burned down in 1894. When he glimpses a desperate girl in his bedroom mirror, he’s sure she’s one of the fire’s victims. But, more than 100 years in the past, the girl in the mirror is fighting her own battles…
This spine-tingling novel will have you captivated from the first page: click here to read an extract.
House of Ash by Hope Cook is out this September – order your copy today.
Applying for college and maintaining an image of perfection is difficult enough, and then you find out you’re immortal and your town is under siege from Hell-spawn…
Genie Lo is Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the modern day, and we couldn’t be more excited.
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes fifteen 15-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s an immortal who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of Heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered. Enter Quentin, a transfer student from China whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. Quentin nurtures Genie’s bodacious transformation – sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively – as her sleepy Bay-area suburb in the Bay area comes under siege from Hell-spawn. This epic YA debut draws from Chinese mythology, features a larger-than-life heroine, and perfectly balances the realities of Genie’s grounded, Oakland life with the absurd supernatural world she finds herself commanding.
Click here to read an extract from The Epic Crush of GenieLo by F. C. Yee.
Tweet us @ACBYA using #GenieLo to tell us what you think!
The Epic Crush of GenieLo by F. C. Yee is out this August – order your copy here.
The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.
Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.
Click here to read an extract from this swoon-worthy YA romance.
Have you fallen head-over-heels for A Taxonomy of Love? Let us know @ACBYA using #TaxonomyOfLove
A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen is out January 2018 – click here to pre-order your copy!
The latest from master of historical paranormal, Cat Winters, about a pair of monster-hunting sisters with a dark past. Taking inspiration from the legend of the Jersey Devil and adding in two strong female protagonists, this supernatural story won’t disappoint.
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of a monster slaying and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life – permanently injured and in constant pain from an accident.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister – despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances – might, indeed, have magic after all.
To celebrate the final day of Independent Bookshop Week, we have chosen a wonderful indie for our July Bookshop of the Month: Queens Park Books!
Queens Park Books is everything an independent bookshop should be. Their wonderful window displays make it virtually impossible to not go in and when you do it’s a place where you can happily lose yourself in the bookshelves. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming with a traditional look that makes you feel like your home away from home. We especially like how they use the feature tables to showcase genres and themes with a focus on the book covers – it’s such a lovely touch to have the books facing outwards showcasing the designs.
Now that’s just the shop – all bookshops would be nothing without it’s booksellers and Lisa, Laura and the team are the best of book champions. You can tell they love books (good thing too considering their day job) and getting them into the hands of readers is something they do so well. They know their customer and are always on hand to get the right book to the right person.
This is a short summary of why we have chosen to award Queens Park Books our first Bookshop of the Month award. Many congratulations to you all from all of us at Abrams and Chronicle Books.
We caught up with the lovely Laura from the shop and asked her some very important questions:
1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Queen’s Park Books in three words?
Creative, energetic, attention-to-detail.
2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
The children’s and sci-fi reading areas.
3. Where do you like to read?
My favourite place to read is on holiday. I go back to my parents house a few times a year, who live in Stratford Upon Avon. I go for a few days and will take loads of books to read while I’m there!
4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
Some kind of writer – I used to be a fashion journalist.
5. Excluding Queen’s Park Books – what is your favourite bookshop?
I have a payday routine where I go to Foyles on Charing Cross Road, I get a hot chocolate and then head for Forbidden Planet. I couldn’t choose between the two!