Archive for November, 2013

William Wood’s A Little Book of Pleasures

November 26, 2013

A Little Book of Pleasures by William Wood

A review by R J Dent






One of the pleasures of reading William Wood’s A Little Book of Pleasures is the sheer delight one gets from reading his oil-smooth prose. It flows as gently as music and is itself an inducement to continue reading.


And then there are the anecdotes themselves. William Wood calls A Little Book of Pleasures, ‘my anthology of essays’, which is certainly an accurate description, but one that doesn’t explain that these are anecdotal essays and that whether they are object or incident-based, each one is gentle, humorous and warm – and well-told.


A Little Book of Pleasures is a collection of essays and is – in many ways, not least due to the narrative voice – reminiscent of the best work of Michel de Montaigne, whose fame rests on the Essais, a collection of a large number of short subjective treatments of various topics.


To take just a few examples, William Wood writes of the delights of ‘Log Fire(s)’, of ‘A Fountain Pen’, of ‘Cuddling Up’, and of ‘Flip-flops’. He speaks in an intimate, friendly, warm and personable manner. One is drawn in and invited to sit and experience the specific joys of each object. This effect is achieved by William Wood’s technically adept use of a second person narrator.


A Little Book of Pleasures is a highly-polished gem of a book that defies easy categorisation. Yes, it’s a collection of essays; yes, it’s a collection of anecdotes; but it’s also a collection of entertaining stories by a master story-teller, and for that reason alone it is well worth the price of admission.





From the back cover: ‘This delightful anecdotal collection, told with wry humour and a gentle, sometimes quirky style slightly reminiscent of a bygone era, contains a mixture of description and observation, with a smattering of autobiographical incident. William Wood has lived in many places of the world, is well travelled and well-written, with a keen sense of enjoyment of what he sees and experiences, and a talent for bringing that visually to the mind of his reader. The short, usually self-contained pieces make wonderful cameos both for those who do their reading in snatches, and those who will want to devour his stories in one sitting.’


Book details:


Paperback: 174 pages

Publisher: Sunpenny Publishing; first edition (15 Dec 2011)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1907984070

ISBN-13: 978-1907984075

Product Dimensions: 1 x 13.1 x 20 cm


William Wood’s website:

Sunpenny Publishing Website:



Bookbuster – a great bookshop in Hastings

November 5, 2013

Bookbuster is a wonderful book shop in Hastings that is open 7 days a week.



The proprietor of Bookbuster is Tim Barton, a St. Leonards-based cultural entrepreneur with many years experience in the book trade.


Tim has opened his cheekily-named bookshop, Bookbuster, in premises formerly occupied by a gone-bust Blockbuster DVD rental store.


Tim believes in bookshops and what bookshops offer customers: “I don’t think you can beat a physical bookstore, where you are free to browse,” he says.


Bookbuster is generating a lot of interest among book-lovers. Tim says: “The fact that there has been so much interest so far is fantastic.”


Although the shelves offer many new titles, the shop has an extensive and eclectic range of books that seem to appeal to all ages and interests.


With new stock arriving daily, a calendar full of author signings, readings, poetry slams and other literary events, and an ambient soundtrack playing to ensure customers linger longer, Bookbuster is proving to be a valuable business that gives a great deal to the Hastings reading community.


There is also a significant second-hand book section that – along with a selection with some well-chosen perennial titles – offers collectors the chance to obtain copies of rare editions and signed delights from Iain Sinclair, the late Iain Banks and Tom Sharpe, amongst others.


BookBuster is an independent bookshop in Queen’s Road, Hastings. There is a huge range of stock. Bookbuster is full of literary treasures and, because of Tim Barton’s depth of knowledge regarding authors and books of every type and genre, the shop is something of a cultural oasis. It is very good news for Hastings and for book-lovers and bibliophiles.


BookBuster is at 39 Queen’s Road, Hastings. Opening hours: 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Saturday; 11-5 Sundays.


There are author readings, author signings, lectures, poetry readings and live music at BookBuster throughout the year.




39 Queen’s Road


TN34 1RL



BookBuster facebook page:



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