Saturday, 28 February 2009

The end of the millennium is in sight

The third and final book in Stieg Larsson's Millennium series should be available in October or November.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest will be one of the most anticipated books of 2009, with huge sales worldwide for The Girl with the Dragon Tatto and The Girl who Played with Fire.

Pre-order your copy now and you will be one of the first people in Australia to find out what happens to Lisbeth Salander!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

A visit from the author of The Good Mayor

Sometimes when you read a book and enjoy it wholeheartedly, and recommend it unreservedly, you can be a little tentative when the chance occurs of meeting the author.

My absolute favourite novel of 2008 had to be The Good Mayor , a debut novel by a Scottish journalist, Andrew Nicoll. It is the sort of charming feel-good-but-not-sentimental read that is a true delight, full of characters you enjoy spending time with (even the minor ones are beautifully rendered), well written and just a little bit quirky (the omniscient sometime narrator is the patron saint of the small town the story is set in, who from the cathedral her statue is placed upon, can see far and wide). It is slightly old-fashioned, in that it has a beginning, a middle and an end, told in past tense with the feeling of post WWII, although no year is given, and the greater events of the world are not mentioned at all. At times it is quite funny, at others quite dark - and it has the best last line of any novel I can remember reading!

Andrew came into the shop today, on the way to Perth for their writers' festival. I have to say, he was as delightful as his book, with a lovely line of self-deprecation rendered in his soft Scottish accent. He can't believe his luck, travelling to Australia, speaking with readers, doing the whole publicity-whirl with good humour and grace (it must get awfully wearing - oh yes, another bookshop to visit and you can't even browse). It was when he said he expected the Fraud Squad to descend upon him - he wasn't a Writer - that I was completely charmed!

So, if you haven't read The Good Mayor yet, have a look at it. Despite Andrew's claim, he is a writer, and a fine one at that! It's just the thing to take your mind off all the doom-and-gloom around (and we have a limited number of signed copies available).


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

There was an excellent article in The Guardian recently about how the British are just discovering the wonderful crime books coming from people like Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, to name just two. You can read it here .

To order books by any of these authors just go to our website and put their names in the search box. We also have some of their books in languages other than English. And if you want to keep in touch with the latest and greatest crime books from Scandinavia and the rest of the world, go here to sign up for our monthly Crime Chronicle newsletter. The current and past issues are available here.

Friday, 20 February 2009

A very satisfied customer

Many of our customers take the trouble to let us know how much they appreciate the service we provide. Below is the text of an email we received yesterday. It highlights the advantage of buying your books from a real bookshop that actually has tens of thousands of books on its shelves as opposed to those businesses that just have a website and an account with a book wholesaler:

I just wanted to thank you for your fantastic work in taking orders and delivery. I found a book online on your website, called up straight away, ordered it over the phone Tuesday (17th) morning and it arrived this morning Thursday 19th before I left for work!! Awesome work.

This was impressive because I had previously found the same book at____________, only because I searched online for the book and it was the first site that came up with it, I ordered and paid for it immediately, they said 7-10 working days, 3 weeks later they couldnt even give me an ETA on the book, so I cancelled the order, got my money back and 2 days later I had the book from you guys.

Good customer service, ease of contact, honesty and just good business are beautiful things and so often people forget that it doesnt take much effort at all to do a fantastic job and that is exactly what you guys did.

Thanks heaps and keep it up!!

Best Regards,


Monday, 16 February 2009

Christopher Hibbert

If you missed the news, the prolific popular historian Christopher Hibbert passed away last December. Two of his most famous books The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici (1974) and The French Revolution (1981) are still regularly sold here at Abbey's.

Rome: The Biography of a City is also regarded as one of his best works, and the third edition of The London Encyclopedia came out last year. Some of his other books we carry include biographies of King Arthur, Mussolini and Nelson.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

More Darwin & Evolution books are here.

Just in time for Charles Darwin's 200th birthday tomorrow we have a bunch of new books about the man himself, his writings and ideas and a major new book on what we know about evolution 150 years after The Origin of Species.

Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, edited by Michael Ruse and Joseph Travis is an authoritative and comprehensive summary of our current understanding of evolution. It also covers the history and philosophy of evolution and the interaction between evolutionary study, and religion and society. You can download an excerpt here .

Steve Jones is one of the best writers on evolution and Darwin going around, and his latest book won't disappoint his legion of fans. Darwin's Island looks at the huge amount of work Darwin performed at his home in Down House on topics as different as dogs, barnacles, insect-eating plants, orchids, earthworms, apes and human emotion.

Darwin had the help of many people in creating his "revolution", and three of the most important were Alfred Wallace, T H Huxley and Joseph Hooker. These three and Darwin himself are the subject of Darwin's Armada: How Four Voyagers to Australasia Won the Battle for Evolution and Changed the World by Iain McCalman.

The Cambridge Companion to the Origin of Species, edited by Michael Ruse and Robert Richards contains 18 essays on everything from "the origin" of the Origin to the rhetoric of the Origin and its impact on political theory and philosophy. You can read the table of contents here and an excerpt here.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Abbey's gets a mention in Column 8!

It's always nice to get positive feedback from our customers - especially when it's via the Sydney Morning Herald.

In today's Column 8 there is a reference to a shop assistant who didn't know whether Sinatra was spelt with a C or an S and that was followed by this item:
"Thankfully, there is good news on this front, from Alicia Parmiter of Jindalee, Queensland, which we happily pass on. "In a city bookshop a couple of years ago, I took a copy of the works of Catullus to the counter. I thought the young 'checkout chick' looked out of place in such an establishment, but reconsidered when she not only recognised the poet, she enthused about his work and eagerly opened the book to her favourite poem. I have to give the bookshop a plug, although many readers will undoubtedly already be familiar with it - Abbey's. Obviously you're not obliged to pass on the plug if there are any commercial constraints." None whatsoever - bookshops that hire literate staff can only be applauded."

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Ending World Poverty

Peter Singer came into Abbey's yesterday to sign copies of his new book The life you can save: Acting now to end world poverty. There is a website for the book which has information on world poverty and an extract from the book. Philip Adams interviewed Peter on Late Night Live last night. If you would like to listen to it, here's the link.