The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop can change a light bulb)

The web and blog page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: is randomly decrepid and is neo-bankrupt: is so analogue it's anal.

The New Yorker

HISTORY The creation of The New Yorker is a true case of necessity being the mother of invention. In the early 1920s, a New York couple – Harold Ross and … Continue reading

January 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

Recommended Graphic Novels

Persepolis [2003] MARJANE SATRAPI This is the story of a young girl growing up in Iran. Illustrated by Satrapi’s deceptively simple and yet wonderfully expressive drawings, it is a fascinating coming … Continue reading

January 6, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Sandspout

The bookstore will launch its own magazine, entitled The Sandspout (although the title will be in small print as I’m quite ashamed of it.). A Sandspout is the sand sucked into … Continue reading

January 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Recommended Historical Novels for Children

Historical fiction is a fabulous genre. It allows us all to empathise with someone from a different time with whom we would otherwise have no connection. It can illustrate historical points … Continue reading

January 3, 2016 · Leave a comment

Great Children’s Novels With Great Sequels

Books with sequels are ideal recommendations for children: if they are enjoyed, the quieter they are for longer. Here is a random selection:- The Borrowers by Mary Norton Mary Norton (1903-1992) … Continue reading

January 3, 2016 · 1 Comment

A Straight Line to Joy: A Choice of Jazz Books

There are only a few writers who are able to write well and with authority on all aspects of jazz. Philip Larkin pleaded for a “belle-lettriste of jazz, a Newman … Continue reading

January 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Is There Anything to Read After Harry Potter?

It was often alleged that the craze for Harry Potter books throughout the 1990s fuelled an awakening in the art of reading. I was doubtful at the time, even more … Continue reading

January 2, 2016 · Leave a comment

Novels Set in Oxford

This is a non-alphabetical list of novels set in Oxford, not necessarily recommended as some are a little bit toffee-nosed and derelict, but all are well regarded and all are … Continue reading

December 19, 2015 · 2 Comments

The Discordant Who? Atzmon and Debate

I read the other day that Gilad Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who? has been taken off the virtual shelves of the Guardian book web site. My first reaction was to be … Continue reading

February 28, 2015 · 2 Comments

London Novelists 1930-1960

PATRICK HAMILTON’s father was a barrister, but an inheritance altered his perspective – drink, travel and mistresses then took precedence, his wife and three children ignored. When Patrick was twelve, … Continue reading

February 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Scottish Renaissance: Salt in Your Porridge, a Sporin and a Scottish Accent

The early part of the twentieth century witnessed a growing cultural self-awareness in many places. The Harlem Renaissance explored black culture and radiated around urban America from its base in … Continue reading

February 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Lists Galore: 1/ Favourite American Novels of the Early Twentieth Century

To make the autodidact completely at home in the Albion Beatnik, here’s a pointless list of twentieth century American novels we think you should have read. Sometimes they are even on … Continue reading

February 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Anna Kavan: Addicted and Addictive

ANNA KAVAN was born Helen Emily Woods in 1901 in Cannes, France, and was raised and educated in Europe and California. Her wealthy English parents were cold and displayed scant … Continue reading

February 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Anais Nin and Henry Miller: Compendium of American Sexual Neuroses

ANAIS NIN was born in France, although when she was eleven her father, a Catalan composer, deserted the family and her Danish mother took the three children to America – it … Continue reading

February 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Beat Generation

As with many movements, the BEAT GENERATION began with a few like-minded friends, in this case writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Gregory Corso. Although they were sometimes … Continue reading

February 23, 2015 · Leave a comment