This month’s professional bookworm is Alice Tarbuck, bookseller at Golden Hare Books in Stockbridge, Edinburgh. From the moment she could read, Alice has been foisting her opinions about books onto the world, and loves nothing more than finding someone their new favourite book. As well as bookselling, she is also a writer, academic, and editor. She is currently completing a PhD in contemporary Scottish poetry at the University of Dundee, and is part of Edinburgh women’s writing collective 12. So she knows her stuff! As for the shop itself…Owned by Sir Mark Jones, FRSA, Golden Hare Books is a carefully crafted space for books – the layout, logo and interior design were actually created by Sir Jones’ children: a blacksmith and an architect. It’s stock of around 2,000 titles is carefully curated by a team of four booksellers, who are all actively encouraged to recommend titles and keep an eye out for new gems. As well as the day-today bookselling, Alice and her colleagues host a broad range of events at Golden Hare: everything from a regular writing group (led by Claire Askew, the shop’s poet in residence), to big author events (this summer included readings from authors such as Gwendoline Riley, Will Self and Paul Muldoon). Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for all the latest updates. And here’s a fun fact: last Christmas, Benedict Cumberbatch visited Golden Hare to do a spot of shopping! We wonder who will pop in this year…?
Her three big books
‘Perdido Street Station’ by China Mieville: The first book in an extraordinary trilogy… taking Victorian steampunk sensibility, capitalist politics and a cast of curious creatures – then spinning a dark, grubby, transcendent fiction.
‘The Still Point’ by Amy Sackville: An exceptional novel with prose stylistics so delicate and well-wrought that you feel utterly transported. About loss, midsummer, and arctic exploration…
‘Gormenghast’ by Mervyn Peake: The elegant post-war nightmare of grotesquery and bureaucracy. Dark, brooding, full of strange architecture, dust and death.
Her two contemporary titles
‘The Ivory Mirror: The Art of Mortality in Renaissance Europe’ by Stephen Perkinson: A beautiful, eerie, highly informative book from Yale. It covers all aspects of mortality in Renaissance Europe, from paintings to relics, skeletons to statues.
‘The Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate’ by Rachel McCrum: This is Rachel Mccrum’s first full-length poetry collection and it is powerful, feminist and absolutely entrancing. You can feel its power in every line!
The one on her ‘to read’ list
‘The Mermaid & Mrs. Hancock’ by Imogen Hermes Gower: This isn’t out until 2018, but I’m already hooked by the proof (a preview copy sent to booksellers by the publisher). Intrigue, strange creatures, prostitutes and high society – a true gem!