Books Paper Scissors is an independent bookshop in leafy South Belfast, near to the Botanic Gardens, Queen’s University and the Ulster Museum.
We stock a curated selection of new fiction and non-fiction, plus classics, Irish writing and poetry. We also have a children's room, with choices from newborn to teenager. If you don't see the book you want in store or on-line, just ask via e-mail or telephone, we can source most books in just a few days.
Beyond books we stock high quality stationery, notebooks, pens, diaries and greetings cards. Plus gift wrap and of course, scissors. We also stock a small selection of non book gifts and accessories.
Covid Update, NI, 10.04.21
From Monday 12th we are allowed 'click and collect' services: alongside local delivery and posting orders direct to customers.
I am in the shop daily 11 -1 and other times by arrangement.
Just email me on email@example.com if you have any enquiries about books or products that you don't see on the website.
Please note: if the book is on our website this does NOT automatically mean we have it in stock in the shop. It is however usually available to order. I will respond in case of any issues.
Martha Hall Kelly's million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced readers to Caroline Ferriday. Now, in Sunflower Sisters, Kelly tells the story of Ferriday's ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse during the Civil War whose calling leads her to cross paths with Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army, and Anne-May Wilson, a Southern plantation mistress whose husband enlists.
Georgeanna "Georgey" Woolsey isn't meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her stature. So when war ignites the nation, Georgey follows her passion for nursing during a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, she and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort.
In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Her sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape--but only by abandoning the family she loves.
Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the Union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. In charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her own ambitions and is drawn into a secret Southern network of spies, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves.
Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City, to the horrors of the battlefield. It's a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today.
‘You put the book down and feel glad to be alive’ India Knight, Sunday Times
Jane easily falls in love with Duncan: he's charming, good-natured, and handsome. He has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan.
Jane sees Duncan's old girlfriends everywhere – at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While she may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she didn't have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, still has Duncan mow her lawn. And his coworker Jimmy comes and goes from Duncan's apartment at the most inopportune times. Jane wonders how the relationship is supposed to work with all these people in it. But any notion Jane has of love and marriage changes with one tragic accident. Now her life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's, and Jimmy's, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But is it possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of her eyes?
A novel that is alternately bittersweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Early Morning Riser is Katherine Heiny's most astonishingly wonderful work to date.
£12.99In The Assault on Truth, a short and powerful new polemic, Oborne shows how Boris Johnson lied again and again in order to secure victory so he could force through Brexit in the face of parliamentary opposition. Johnson and his ministers then lied repeatedly to win the general election in December 2019. The government’s woeful response to the coronavirus pandemic has generated another wave of falsehoods, misrepresentations and fabrications.
The scale and shamelessness of the lying of the Johnson administration far exceeds the lying about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and other issues under Tony Blair. This book argues that the ruthless use of political deceit under the Johnson government is part of a wider attack on civilised values and traditional institutions across the Western world, especially by Donald Trump in the USA. The Johnson and Trump methodology of deceit is about securing power for its own ends - even when they get exposed for lying, they shrug it off as a matter of no consequence.
It matters because all Western institutions are built around the idea of integrity and accountability. This means that an assault on truth is an assault on the rule of law, state institutions and the fundamental idea of fairness, and even democracy itself.
Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement.
Peter Winceworth, Victorian lexicographer, is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby's multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. His disaffection compels him to insert unauthorized fictitious entries into the dictionary in an attempt to assert some sense of individual purpose and artistic freedom.
In the present day, Mallory, a young intern employed by the publisher, is tasked with uncovering these mountweazels before the work is digitized. She also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. Is the change in the definition of marriage really that upsetting? And does the caller really intend for the Swansby's staff to 'burn in hell'?
As these two narratives combine, both Winceworth and Mallory discover how they might negotiate the complexities of the often nonsensical, relentless, untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path we call life. An exhilarating debut novel from a formidably brilliant young writer, The Liar's Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity, and joy of language.
Meet the traders who supply the world with oil, metal and food - no matter how corrupt, war-torn or famine-stricken the source. 'Gripping' Economist'
The modern world is built on commodities - from the oil that fuels our cars to the metals that power our smartphones. We rarely stop to consider where they come from.
But we should. In The World for Sale, two leading journalists lift the lid on one of the least scrutinised corners of the economy: the workings of the billionaire commodity traders who buy, hoard and sell the earth's resources. It is the story of how a handful of businessmen became indispensable cogs in global markets: enabling an enormous expansion in international trade, and connecting resource-rich countries - no matter how corrupt or war-torn - with the world's financial centres.
And it is the story of how some traders acquired untold political power, right under the noses of Western regulators and politicians - helping Saddam Hussein to sell his oil, fuelling the Libyan rebel army during the Arab Spring, and funnelling cash to Vladimir Putin's Kremlin in spite of strict sanctions. The result is an eye-opening tour through the wildest frontiers of the global economy, as well as a revelatory guide to how capitalism really works.
A Financial Times Best Read of 2021.
The high level narrative is gripping enough. But it is the details of what these freewheeling companies actually got up to that give the book a thriller-like quality . .
Dublin, 1904. Nora Joseph Barnacle is a twenty-year-old from Galway working as a maid at Finn’s Hotel. She enjoys the liveliness of her adopted city and on June 16—Bloomsday—her life is changed when she meets Dubliner James Joyce, a fateful encounter that turns into a lifelong love. Despite his hesitation to marry, Nora follows Joyce in pursuit of a life beyond Ireland, and they surround themselves with a buoyant group of friends that grows to include Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and Sylvia Beach.
But as their life unfolds, Nora finds herself in conflict between their intense desire for each other and the constant anxiety of living in poverty throughout Europe. She desperately wants literary success for Jim, believing in his singular gift and knowing that he thrives on being the toast of the town, and it eventually provides her with a security long lacking in her life and his work. So even when Jim writes, drinks, and gambles his way to literary acclaim, Nora provides unflinching support and inspiration, but at a cost to her own happiness and that of their children.
With gorgeous and emotionally resonant prose, Nora is a heartfelt portrayal of love, ambition, and the quiet power of an ordinary woman who was, in fact, extraordinary.
Boy 11963, An Irish Industrial School Childhood and an Extraordinary Search for Home, by John Cameron (large paperback)
At only five months old, John Cameron was abandoned in a Dublin orphanage, and fostered out as a child labourer by age three. In 1944 when he turned eight, he was incarcerated in Artane Industrial School, where he became boy 11963. Now in his mid-eighties, John Cameron tells his shocking but inspirational story for the first time.
As a child, reduced to a number, he survived savage assaults, sexual abuse and the tragic deaths of children around him. Along with other forgotten boys, he battled for his life against the heartless adversity of the church and the Irish state. As a young man - a much-loved schoolteacher devoted to his growing family - John was haunted by his unknown past and embarked on a lifelong quest to unravel the truth about his origins.
Buried in a labyrinth of lies, he finally uncovered a story of forbidden love and passion that scandalised rural Ireland and made national headlines in the 1930s. Boy 11963 is a unique account of overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles to find out who you truly are.
This is the tale of a devastating pandemic, of lives cut painfully short - it's also a love story. Derek, a distinguished designer, and J, a pioneering entrepreneur and creator of Heaven, the iconic gay dance club, met and fell in love more than 40 years ago. In the early 1980s their friends began to get sick and die - AIDS had arrived in their lives.
When they got tested, J received what was then a death sentence: he was HIV Positive. While the onset of AIDS strengthened stigma and fear globally, they confronted their crisis with courage, humour and an indomitable resolve to survive. J's battle lasted six long years.
Turning to spiritual reflection, yoga, nature - and always to love - Derek describes a transformation of the spirit, how compassion and empathy rose phoenix-like from the flames of sickness and death, and how he and J founded the charity Aids Ark, which has helped to save more than 1,000 HIV Positive lives. This is a story of joy and triumph, of facing universal challenges, of the great rewards that come from giving back. Derek speaks for a generation who lived through a global health crisis that many at the time refused even to acknowledge.
Linda says ... if you liked It's A Sin, the powerful BBC drama about coming of age in the 1980's, you will enjoy this. All the more resonant since living through the Covid pandemic.
**LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE**
A powerful, heart-breaking story about tempting fate and living with the consequences. Arthur and Jake are brothers yet worlds apart. Arthur is older, shy, dutiful and set to inherit his father's farm. Jake is younger, handsome and reckless, a dangerous man to know.
When Laura arrives in their rural community, the fragile balance of the brothers' rivalry is pushed to the edge of catastrophe... 'An enthralling read, both straightforward and wonderfully intricate' Guardian'
Evokes beautifully the big joys and sorrows of most people, no matter how small their town' The Times
- Hardback 368 pages
- Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd
- Imprint:Allen Lane
- Published:1 Apr 2021
- Dimensions:162 x 243 x 36 (mm)
- Pub. Country:United Kingdom
And then, as these bitter disputes continued, it became clear that under no circumstances would the Protestants be party to any of it. The Partition is a remarkable, clear-sighted and thoughtful account of how two unthinkable events - full Irish independence and the creation of the state of Northern Ireland - came to pass. The Irish nationalist claim to leave ran into a loyalist demand to remain, increasingly centred on the north-eastern Protestant community, threatening large-scale violent resistance.
Here Charles Townshend lays out what is ultimately a tragic story, as partition became the only answer to an otherwise insoluble problem. The settlement of the Irish question drew in every major politician, conjured up heroes and villains, led to civil war and finally to Ulster's catastrophic Troubles. The hard border has always been seen as a failure of both British and Irish statecraft, but has endured now for a century.
The Partition brilliantly brings to life the contingency and uncertainty that created it.
The characters are real, the themes of grief, family and loss are so raw. Fans of David Nicholls will adore this complex love story.
. . It feels a bit like if One Day had been written by Sally Rooney' 5***** READER REVIEW'
Written with such poignancy, full of nostalgia, unspoken longing and the agony of wrong turns' BETH MORREY
£9.99The season's just begun at Seacliff Caravan Park, but none of the residents are having a good time. Frankie is haunted by his daughter's death. Vidas, homeless and far from Lithuania, seeks sanctuary in an abandoned caravan.
Anna struggles to shake off the ghost of her overbearing mother. Kathleen struggles to accept her daughter for who she is. Malcolm, a failed illusionist, makes one final attempt to reinvent himself.
Agatha Christie-obsessed Alma faces her toughest case yet as she tries to help them all find what they've lost. With trademark wit and playfulness, in this stunning linked short-story collection Jan Carson explores complex family dynamics, ageing, immigration, gender politics, the decline of the Church and the legacy of the Troubles. The Last Resort firmly places Carson as one of the most inventive and daring writers of her generation.
'One of the most exciting and original Northern Irish writers of her generation' SUNDAY TIMES
£16.99A mindbending new collection of short stories from the unique, internationally acclaimed author of Norwegian Wood and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. A GUARDIAN AND SUNDAY TIMES 'BOOKS OF 2021' PICK The eight masterly stories in this new collection are all told in the first person by a classic Murakami narrator. From nostalgic memories of youth, meditations on music and an ardent love of baseball to dreamlike scenarios, an encounter with a talking monkey and invented jazz albums, together these stories challenge the boundaries between our minds and the exterior world.
Occasionally, a narrator who may or may not be Murakami himself is present. Is it memoir or fiction? The reader decides. Philosophical and mysterious, the stories in First Person Singular all touch beautifully on love and solitude, childhood and memory.
. . all with a signature Murakami twist
£8.99It is 1997, and someone is slaughtering young black women in Burdon County, Arkansas. But no one wants to admit it, not in the Dirty South. In an Arkansas jail cell sits a former NYPD detective, stricken by grief.
He is mourning the death of his wife and child, and searching in vain for their killer. He cares only for his own lost family. But that is about to change .
. . Witness the becoming of Charlie Parker.
£6.99Spaghetti Hunters is a brilliantly funny and wonderfully silly picture book, featuring a duck, a tiny horse and quest for spaghetti, from the award-winning Morag Hood - creator of The Steves, I Am Bat. Duck has lost his spaghetti, and Tiny Horse has a plan to save the day. But what exactly do you bring to a Spaghetti Hunt? A spade, a fishing rod, a jar of peanut butter, cutlery and some binoculars, obviously.
Searching far and wide, Tiny Horse catches worms, a ball of string, even a snake - but no spaghetti. Disaster! Until Duck consults a recipe book and armed with flour, eggs and a pasta maker, sets about making his own spaghetti. This infectiously comic story encourages reading and home-cooking, teaching children about where food really comes from.
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£12.99rom Chris Haughton comes a funny, suspenseful and keenly observed cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging your more mischievous, cheeky side (when nobody is looking). Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sat high up on their branch in the forest canopy. "Ok, monkeys! I'm off," says the big monkey.
"Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there." Mmm ... mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos. Hmm ...
maybe ... maybe they could just look at the mangos? That'd be ok, right?
A haunting and romantic novel set in post-war Spain by Ruta Sepetys - winner of the Carnegie Medal 2017.
Madrid, 1957. Daniel, young, wealthy and unsure of his place in the world, views the city through the lens of his camera.
Ana, a hotel maid whose family is suffering under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco. Lives and hearts collide as they unite to uncover the hidden darkness within the city. A darkness that could engulf them all .
. . Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history's darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love and the hidden violence of silence.
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2021
Ruta Sepetys is the finest writer of historical fiction working today' The Wall Street Journal'
WINNER OF THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2021
In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing experience with a charismatic but volatile woman, this is a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Each chapter views the relationship through a different lens, as Machado holds events up to the light and examines them from distinct angles.
She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales, Star Trek and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction, infusing all with her characteristic wit, playfulness and openness to enquiry. The result is a powerful book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be.
Murder...? Vianne Rocher has settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become her home. With Rosette, her youngest child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community.
Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend. But when old Narcisse, the florist, dies, leaving a parcel of land to Rosette and a written confession to Reynaud, the life of the sleepy village is once more thrown into disarray. Then the opening of a mysterious new shop in the place of the florist's across the square - one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal of its own - seems to herald a change: a confrontation, a turbulence - even, perhaps, a murder .
Return to the world of the multi-million-copy bestselling Chocolat....
Amanda Gorman's powerful and historic poem 'The Hill We Climb,' read at President Joe Biden's inauguration, is now available as a collectible gift edition.
On 20 January 2021, Amanda Gorman spoke a message of truth and hope to millions. Aged twenty-two, she delivered a poetry reading at the inauguration of US President Joe Biden.
Her poem, 'The Hill We Climb', addressed the country and reached across the world: a call for a brave future. This special edition, which includes an enduring foreword by Oprah Winfrey, marks that poem and offers us courage, consolation and the inspiration to make change. 'If the hardest part of an artist's job is to fully and honestly meet the moment, Amanda delivered a master class [at the inauguration].
She spoke truth to power and embodied clear-eyed hope to a weary nation. She revealed us to ourselves' Lin-Manuel Miranda, TIME
The BPS Book Club meets in the last week of every month. We have two sessions, each one covering the same book so just pick the session that suits you. There is no need to book, just show up. It's a relaxed and unintimidating sharing of views and opinions.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the book club.
BOOKS as GIFTS
Perhaps you have a relative or friend who loves reading but you have no idea what to choose? We can make recommendations based on a few hints! We offer a subscription 6 month gift service where the book(s) are chosen, gift wrapped and dispatched by BooksPaperScissors with a gift message from the recipient.
Recipient will receive an introductory letter allowing them to select genres and identify favourites - we do the rest!
For children or adults.