Skylark is an independent bookshop located in the historic town of Lewes, East Sussex, since 2006. We also sell local prints, stoneware ceramics, jewellery and fair trade gifts, but at the heart of our shop is an eye-catching range of books for all ages. We enjoy displaying titles that chime, and the widely-reviewed next to unusual gems from smaller publishers. Without a computer-generated algorithm in sight, hundreds of brilliant books share shelf space, a selection shaped by our taste and the valued recommendations of customers. Excellent production values are seen as key to enhancing content, and the beauty of a well designed physical book is something we absolutely celebrate. A conversation with a friend will have us ordering in Johann Hari's timely examination of the way in which social media. and an over-abundance of information choice is interfering with health-giving 'flow states', and is destroying our attention span (Stolen Focus). Worthy Booker winners like Shuggie Bain and The Promise are shelved near a selection from Fitzcarraldo's unique-looking (slim, navy blue) experimental fiction list. The transportingly strange tales of Piranesi (Susanna Clarke), or Lanny (Max Porter) sit near page-turny thrillers by Lucy Foley and Patrick Heron. There are books on the climate crisis, on inequality, racism, the international kleptocracy, mysogyny, human nature and the means by which the world might possibly change. We have books on sailing, cycling, woodworking, yoga, species identification, travel, mindfulness, gardening, art, language... A good review might point towards those mesmerising but increasingly human-challenged swifts (Swifts and Us, Sarah Gibson), or Faber's lovely clothbound collection of Kate Bush lyrics, or John Agard's poetic wit. Richard King's eloquent reflections on the links between English music and it's rural landscapes (The Lark Ascending) makes a good companion piece to James Rebanks reflections on a changing way of life for Lakeland farmers (English Pastoral). The shop evolves, via reading, reviews and conversations! Please browse our latest recommendations here, or visit out website www.skylarkshop.com.
~ Matt Birch.