Sarum College Bookshop will again be taking part in Small Business Saturday, which takes place this year on Saturday 6th December.
The bookshop was chosen last year as one of 100 small businesses to be featured in the run up to the UK’s first Small Business Saturday, and this year forms part of the alumni.
On Saturday 6 December there will be cakes and chocolates for customers who wish to browse the charity Christmas cards and presents as well as the many books. There will also be a gift wrapping service provided by the RNIB for a small donation.
From 10.30am to 11am there will be a children’s Christmas storytime for accompanied children up to 8 years.
At 12 noon we will launch ‘Gladnesse of the Best’ – a commemorative booklet of the popular George Herbert festival held last July. Packed with photos, summaries of talks, comments and descriptions of events it’s an ideal memento for those who attended the festival – or for those who missed it.
Last year the bookshop launched its online shop on Small Business Saturday, and this year there will be offers online on the day to celebrate its first birthday.
Advent appears to be a re-occurring theme for October.
Not only is Paula Gooder’s ‘Love Life Live Advent’ once again a bestseller, but Stephen Cottrell’s ‘Walking Backwards to Christmas’ is also proving to be a popular choice. This month we were also treated to a thought-provoking book launch from Dan-Cohn Sherbok and Mary Grey. They were introducing their new, co-written book ‘Debating Palestine and Israel’. The book is fundamentally a series of exchanges between the two authors and although both have very different views, both are pro-reconciliation and peace.
1. Common Worship Lectionary 2014-2015, Church House Publishing £4.99
2. SPCK Common Worship and Book of Common Prayer Lectionary 2015, SPCK £4.99
How do you tell the Christmas stories – so familiar to all of us, and make them fresh?
Stephen Cottrell does it by telling the stories through a number of characters – and not always the obvious characters. As well as one of the shepherds and Joseph, we hear from Herod, the inn keeper’s wife and Isaiah. Neither does he shirk the dark stories; including the harrowing tale of one of the mothers whose 10 month old child is part of Herod’s massacre of the innocents.
The author says he hopes his book “does what good books can do, which is get underneath the skin of a story and begin to tell it in such a way as we can see ourselves in it, aiming to uncover the complex web of motive and response.”
Cottrell has used this format to good effect before in ‘the Nail’, which tells the story of Good Friday through the characters involved in the drama. However here he uses the unusual device of telling the stories in reverse order, beginning with Anna and the presentation in the temple, and finishing with Moses.
This is not an Advent book which offers a reflection a day, but something that can be read in chapters or in one sitting. It is not primarily a group resource, although the author does suggest it would work well for a book club, or could be read by a number of people who might then like to come together to discuss it, and he offers a few suggestions of questions to consider.
I finish with the author’s stated intention “I simply want to tell the story – its light and its darkness – in a way that will enable people to encounter it as if for the first time…It is not your usual Christmas book. But I hope it is one that will stimulate and inspire”. A good aim – and one I think he achieves. He certainly puts across a sense of excitement in his characters as they realise they are part of a bigger story.
Reviewed by Jenny Monds, Sarum College
Special price of £6.99 in the shop (posted out for free) or £4.99 + postage from www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk between 1st and 30th November 2014. RRP £7.99