Friday, 6 September 2013

So, we've back on the interweb and you can rest assured we're here to stay this time. a bit recently. 

But, Oxfam Bookshop Moseley has undergone some changes – this time it's one for the kids! Sometime it can  be annoying for parents who are trying to find a decent read, when they are  single-handly trying to keep the kids entertained. Now, that frustrating hiccup has been made much easier.

In the back corner of the shop, there is now a child friendly zone with a small set of table and chairs. This, offers the opportunity for children to have a sit down and a quick flick through some books – parents/guardians are welcome too!

So, if you have children. Grand-children, nieces, nephews, brothers or sisters feel free to pop down and explore the new layout.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Oxfam Books and Music Great Comic Book Sale

Thousands of issues,
Hundreds of titles.
Silver age, bronze
and modern. DC,
Marvel and others.

Almost all our comics will be sold at 40 pence each.
For every 10 of these you buy, choose another 2 for free. All sorted into titles and alphabetised for easier perusal.

The sale starts Saturday 7th January 2012 at 9.30am

Oxfam Books and Music, 101 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8DD.
Public transport: the number 50 bus leaves from opposite Moor Street Station every
5 minutes - it stops outside the Co-Op, just opposite our shop, takes 20 minutes.

Tel. 0121 449 3222. Email: Open Mon-Sat 9.30-5.30

Monday, 18 July 2011

We're now live on the Oxfam Online Shop

While we've been selling books through our Amazon storefront for at least a year now, we're also now selling classical sheet music on the Oxfam Online Shop. We've got an awful lot of interesting sheet music in our back room, and so over the next few months we'll be steadily creating an online database of this collection, which customers can either buy from the Oxfam website, or in the traditional way by coming into the shop.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

"Jeypore Enamels" and Bookfest

I thought the sale of our donated book "Jeypore Enamels" at Bonham's Auction last week for £1,700 was a big enough story to relaunch Oxfam Books and Music Moseley's blog. We had a piece in the Birmingham Evening Mail today. The article also mentions our Bookfest event, taking place this Saturday 9th July, at which local author Marion Athorne will be signing copies of her "Merlyn's Legacy" series of Arthurian fantasies, with all profits going to Oxfam.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

To launch the forthcoming Silver Age Books publication of "The Arthur Conan Doyle Weirdbook", edited by Rafe McGregor, Oxfam Books and Music Moseley will be hosting a night of Conan Doyle-related terror at the Prince of Wales pub, Alcester Road, Moseley Village, Birmingham, on Saturday 17th July starting at 7.30pm. There will be dramatised readings from the anthologised stories in the new book, some interesting books for sale as well as some even more interesting ones to be won. All proceeds will go to Oxfam, and the only admission fee is that you bring one decent book as a donation to the shop. Moseley's newest and best, and only, bookshop will also be exclusively stocking "The Arthur Conan Doyle Weirdbook" as part of Oxfam's Bookfest.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

"A Dark Stranger" by Julien Gracq

W.J. Strachan's translation of the French writer Julien Gracq's novel
Un Beau Tenebreux seems to be no longer in print, and this 1951 first English edition is now quite scarce. Set in a Brittany seaside town, "A Dark Stranger" ponderously tells of a charismatic stranger and his lover, who captivate the imaginations of the other guests in a hotel where he goes to stay, until it becomes clear that his indifference to his huge losses at the local casino are merely a prelude to a suicide pact.

Inspired by Vigny's poem 'Les Amants de Montmorency', Un Beau Tenebreux was written while Gracq was interned in a German prisoner of war camp during the second world war, although it is set in the 1920s. After the war, Gracq lived something of a double life: under his real name of Louis Poirier he led an utterly respectable existence as a teacher of creative writing at a lycée in Paris, until his pupils grew suspicious, decided to spy on him outside the classroom, and discovered that their teacher was in fact one of the most celebrated surrealist writers.

He was also self-consciously an anachronistic writer who refused to allow any of his novels to appear in paperback; originally they were all published in France with the pages uncut. A staunch opponent of the publicity and media hype that began to surround literary celebrities in the 1950s, when he died in 2007, he had politely turned down three invitations from President Mitterrand to dine at the Élysée. He won, and turned down the Prix Goncourt in 1951. He was quoted as saying, "A writer is one who writes instead of talking, who reads rather than making public appearances, who meditates at home rather than droning away about himself on TV." There are very few writers today who could make such a claim without hypocrisy.

We are currently selling "A Dark Stranger" on Ebay with a starting bid of £5.00:

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Book of the Day: "The Romance of Natural History" by Philip Henry Gosse

Philip Henry Gosse was not your average Victorian clerical amateur natural historian. For one thing, after having experimented with religious communal living in Canada, and with Wesleyan Methodism, he finally settled with the Plymouth Brethren, an eccentric dissenting sect who emphasised the Second Coming of Christ.

As a natural historian, he is best remembered for one of the most infamous intellectual failures of the nineteenth century. In his "Omphalos", Gosse attempted to marry the Biblical account of the age of the Earth with the evidence of contemporary geological research which suggested that the world must be many times older. The Omphalos Theory ("Omphalos" is Greek for "navel"), Gosse argued that just as the first man Adam would have been made by God with a belly button, although he had no need for one, equally God would have created the rock strata complete with fossils. His ideas met with critical scorn and sold poorly. Two years later in 1859, Darwin published "The Origin of Species" and "Omphalos" was quickly forgotten.

Nevertheless his reputation seemed not to have suffered overmuch: by 1861 he published "The Romance of Natural History" which became a best-seller. Having failed to impress his intellectual peers with "Ompholos", he enjoyed vastly more success as a populariser for the less discerning reading public.

Some of what Gosse termed "Romantic zoology" consists of what would now be termed cryptozoology, the study of hidden animals, specifically those considered mythological by mainstream zoology: Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and so on. In his section on "The Marvellous" Gosse reports on frog-falls and tree-dwelling fish, and the Contents page lists such interesting headlines as "Blood Showers Traced to Butterfly Discharges", "Mermaids in Shetland" and the "Hybernation [sic] of Swallows" (Gosse believed that a minority of swallows, in accordance with ancient popular belief, probably did hibernate during the winter: he was wrong).

His approach is summed up in the Preface:

THERE are more ways than one of studying natural history. There is Dr Dryasdust's way ; which consists of mere accuracy of definition and differentiation ; statistics as harsh and dry as the skins and bones in the museum where it is studied. There is the field-observer's way ; the careful and conscientious accumulation and record of facts bearing on the life-history of the creatures ; statistics as fresh and bright as the forest or meadow where they are gathered in the dewy morning. And there is the poet's way; who looks at nature through a glass peculiarly his own ; the aesthetic aspect, which deals, not with statistics, but with the emotions of the human mind, surprise, wonder, terror, revulsion, admiration, love, desire, and so forth, which are made energetic by the contemplation of the creatures around him.

In my many years' wanderings through the wide field of natural history, I have always felt towards it something of a poet's heart, though destitute of a poet's genius. As Wordsworth so beautifully says,

" To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."

Now, this book is an attempt to present natural history in this aesthetic fashion. Not that I have presumed constantly to indicate like the stage-directions in a play, or the " hear, hear ! " in a speech the actual emotion to be elicited ; this would have been obtrusive and impertinent ; but I have sought to paint a series of pictures, the reflections of scenes and aspects in nature, which in my own mind awaken poetic interest, leaving them to do their proper work.

"The Romance of Natural History: Second Series" By Philip Henry Gosse is currently for sale by Oxfam Books and Music Moseley at eBay:, for the price of £50 (or make us an offer)