‘Christine Poulson’s wonderful sense of place brings Cambridge to life. Cassie overcomes the problems facing her with wit and guile aplenty and ensures the reader’s empathy from first word to last . . . an enthralling and engaging read that underlines Christine’s burgeoning reputation as a crime novelist to watch.’ [Stage Fright]


What to read when you are still not very well

165518by which I mean still coughing, sneezing and streaming. I know I am not alone: others have been suffering from this exceptionally long-lived virus. Luckily I am not short of reading material. And one book I’ve particularly enjoyed is Lewis Buzbee’s The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. 

‘November, a dark, rainy Tuesday, late afternoon. This is my ideal time to be in a bookstore. The shortened light of the afternoon and the idleness and hush of the hour gather everything close, the shelves and the books and the few other customers who graze head – bent in the narrow aisles.’ How could I not love a books which so much reflects my own feelings about books and bookshops? The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is partly a brief history of the bookshop,partly a memoir, focusing on the author’s early career working in bookshops and as a publisher’s rep, but above all an expression of the author’s love of books and bookshops. It is a beautiful little object in its own right as is fitting: an attractive cover, rough-cut pages of acid-free paper, type set in Concorde. It is a little expensive for a paper-back but well worth it. This would be the ideal present for the bibliophiles in your life.

I loved reading about Buzbee’s favourite bookshops, among them City Lights in San Franciso, and Shakespeare and Co in Paris. I’d find it hard to pick one favourite, but I am very fond of Scarthin Books in Cromford (a mixture of old and new), and for new books and crime fiction in particular, Heffers in Cambridge can’t be beaten. What are yours?



  1. Lyn
    January 4, 2015

    I’m sorry you’re still not well, Christine. TYLB sounds lovely, I’ve just put a hold on it as we have it at one of our branches. My favourite bookshop would be Readings in Carlton, although I don’t get in there very often. It’s near Melbourne University so has all the academic books but also a really interesting selection of new books, CDs & DVDs.

    • Christine Poulson
      January 5, 2015

      Thanks, Lyn. I am at last feeling better. I think you would love TYLB. That must be a wonderful part of being a librarian: having access to everything. It is hard to say whether I love bookshops or libraries more. When my daughter was small I used to take her to both so often that she got confused and made up a new word: ‘the library-shop.’

  2. Naomi
    January 8, 2015

    Hope you’re feeling better. Way back my favorite book to reread when not feeling well was Philip Roth’s second novel, Letting Go, a character driven, old fashioned curl-up-with-a-good-book book. More recently I’ve reread one chapter in Elizabeth Jane Howard’s fourth volume of the Cazalet Chronicles, namely the one in which Polly meets Gerald and also does various decorating jobs.

    But this winter although I got a nasty cold, my energy never wavered and I never had to stay in bed, and thus didn’t have to resort to the comfort of rereading.

    • Christine Poulson
      January 10, 2015

      Thanks, Noami. I’m beginning to feel better now. I haven’t read the Philip Roth, so will bear it in mind. Rereading is a great pleasure, I think, and I’m going to blog more about that. Glad you haven’t been laid up – though it can be a good opportunity for catching up on some reading.


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