Monday, 25 July 2011


Keanu Reeves' Ode To Happiness starts with him pouring a "sorrow bath".

This collector's item (it's pricey but very, very nice) has just arrived in stock. It's a strange, sad tale in a children's style, but aimed at adults.

The best way to describe it is from online reviews, which have been generally positive:

"I saw this book and instantly had to have it because of how many Sad Keanu cut outs I've put around the office."

"Whenever I start to feel self pity I pull it out and go through the 20 pages."

"I'm going to become friends with Keanu, write a book for him and make millions off his Fans. That would be Excellent..Pun intended."

"He is iconic, ineffable & magical."

"Not a big fan of the artwork although it did remind me of the Chinese paintings that are done in black ink."

"Very disapointed, Keanu wasnt as deep as I thought.."

So there you have it. Keanu Reeves' Ode To Happiness. Not as deep as you thought. We stock it. Come get it before it sells out.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Edit: Manchester poet Anna Percy will now join us instead of Louise Bolotin. Get well soon, Louise!

Social psychology expert Nina Powell will join journalist Louise Bolotin at Blackwell's to discuss if reclaiming words can empower women.

'Slutwalks' spread across the globe after a Canadian police officer advised students to avoid "dressing like sluts". Were these protests the best way to combat serious sexual assault? What is modern-day feminism's place in today's world?

This is a Manchester Salon event. It will take place at on July 19th at Blackwell University Bookshop, The Precinct, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RN. Please arrive around 6:30pm for drinks and nibbles, ready for a prompt 6:45pm start - expected to finish just after 8:15pm.

Tickets are £5 (£3 concessions) payable in advance, which entitles you to a £3 discount for anything bought from the us in the evening. Purchase tickets in advance, using the PayPal Donate button on the Manchester Salon website (feel free to donate on top of the £5 ticket), in-store or by phone (0161 274 3331) from us.

Oh, and the organisers say (tongue firmly in cheek, I expect): "Dress appropriately..."

Monday, 11 July 2011


A surprise best-seller last week was Dawn French's A Tiny Bit Marvellous.

Well. It wasn't much of a surprise. The book, now out in paperback, is shifting bucketloads nationally and was the biggest-selling debut novel in hardback last year.

But we like to think of ourselves as more academic than novels written by celebrity comedians. No offence, Dawn. You are a million steps higher than M*ch**l Mc*nt*re, but rather than your book being about an ageing mum trying to understand her kids, we'd quite like a book about:

- the psychological interactions between the lead characters in the Comic Strip film Five Go Mad in Dorset;

- Strategic brand management of the chocolate orange, tying in with the ongoing ownership dispute between her and Terry;

- A debate on the intellectual property ramifications of her impressions of Madonna, Hannibal Lecter and members of the Spice Girls;

- The theology of the Vicar Of Dibley and its place in the historical story of rural Britain;

- An analysis of the media, in particular the story of a young musician who enters a TV talent contest but falls for the wrong man and risks losing her friendsh-- oh wait, that's the plot of Katie Price's Crystal. Sorry.

Monday, 4 July 2011


Here are the answers to the authors quiz we posted on Friday. It was an absolute stinker, but we make no apologies because it makes us look way more intelligent than wot we is.

If you want to have a go at the quiz before you read the answers, try not to look at the text below and click here instead.

1. Any nonce forlorn 1926-1964 = Flannery O'Connor

2. Clinical Jokes 1937- = Jackie Collins

3. Dice hell 1954- = Lee Child

Fascinating fact: In his latest novel Worth Dying For, the villains are from dice-capital of the world, Las Vegas. The book is not worth dying for.

4. Erratic, shady 1926-1992 = Richard Yates

5. Gulp dairy drink 1865-1936 = Rudyard Kipling

Fascinating fact: Rudyard Kipling mentions milk in at least two stories and three poems.

6. Lavishly apt 1932-1963 = Sylvia Plath

7. Macabre lust 1913-1960 = Albert Camus

8. Nøse job 1960- = Jo Nesbø

Fascinating fact: Jo Nesbo has not had a nose job as far as we know, but a plastic surgeon does turn up in his 2010 novel The Snowman.

9. Oh bum, hairball 1914-1997 = Bohumil Hrabal

Fascinating fact: Hrabal owned many cats.

10. Virile pom 1919-1987 = Primo Levi

Fascinating fact: In his 2003 biography, Ian Thomson suggests Levi took up mountaineering to express his virility.

Friday, 1 July 2011


Something for your weekend.

Here are ten anagrams of the names of people that fall under the catagory of '20th century authors', although quite a few are still churning out the books and the one marked with a * published a major work near the end of the 19th century.

As a hint, the dates indicate their birth and, if relevant, their death dates. It's a mix of high and low brow. All authors are first name / last name: none of those fancy people that are known by initials.

Answers? On the blog on Monday [edit: click here for the answers], so you have all weekend to figure it out. Happy muddling!

1. Any nonce forlorn 1926-1964

2. Clinical jokes 1937-

3. Dice hell 1954-

4. Erratic, shady 1926-1992

5. Gulp dairy drink 1865-1936 *

6. Lavishly apt 1932-1963

7. Macabre lust 1913-1960

8. Nøse job 1960-

9. Oh bum, hairball 1914-1997

10. Virile pom 1919-1987 (that's an m, not an r-n, you pervs)