Firmdale Book Salon Online - June: Book of the Month from Much Ado Books

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Handiwork novel

handiwork by Sara Baume
book of the month from much ado books

This month, our friends at Much Ado Books recommend Sara Baume's handiwork.

Much Ado Books were recently engrossed by this short book that explores some big themes, like life, creativity, death – and birds.

You’d expect a dense tome packed with long words, but Sara Baume’s handwork is short, unpretentious and charming.

The book has some kind of magic, subtly connecting themes and ideas while maintaining an extraordinary kind of forward momentum – it is a page-turner that demands to be read, but also asks to be set aside once in a while so you can try to absorb passages and thoughts.

Part craft theory, part celebration of birdlife, part consideration of a father’s influence, part appreciation of a partner’s presence, part philosophical rumination . . . it sounds horribly worthy, doesn’t it?

But it isn’t. It is a short, quirky, elegant, enjoyable, page-turner.

Much Ado found it hypnotic, and weeks later, they were still discussing the ways it resonates. But you don’t have to take their word for it; Sebastian Barry, who knows a thing or two about books, says “Every devotee of literature and art should read this rare, bright-lit, hard-won book.”

Much Ado liked it so much that they have printed a bookmark, a mark of appreciation for this book that they will revisit and continue to savour. They will include one of the bookmarks with each copy they sell, while supplies last.

About much ado books

Much Ado Books is an award-winning independent bookshop offering both new and old books from a compound in Alfriston, East Sussex.

There, you can find a warm welcome and books spread through two floors of a former builders’ yard – with more books in a Shepherds Hut (near the shop’s henhouse) and a stylish cabin devoted to Arts and Letters. Owners Cate Olson and Nash Robbins bring a distinctive style to their shop design, their unique displays and especially to their hand-picked range of books.