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 great children's room, with choices from newborn to teenager. If you don't see the book you want in store or on-line, please 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, gift bags and of course, scissors. We also stock a small selection of non book gifts and accessories.
Covid Update, NI, 29/12/20
We are now fully CLOSED until January 4th. Until then our website will be refreshed and updated, and we can offer local delivery and postal orders from then on.
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Discover this bitingly honest, darkly funny debut novel about a toxic relationship and secret female desire, from an emerging star of Irish literature. Love was the final consolation, would set ablaze the fields of my life in one go, leaving nothing behind.
I thought of it as a force which would clean me and by its presence make me worthy of it. There was no religion in my life after early childhood, and a great faith in love was what I had cultivated instead. Oh, don't laugh at me for this, for being a woman who says this to you.
I hear myself speak. Even now, even after all that took place between us, I can still feel how moved I am by him. Ciaran was that downy, darkening blond of a baby just leaving its infancy.
He was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. None of it mattered in the end; what he looked like, who he was, the things he would do to me. To make a beautiful man love and live with me had seemed - obviously, intuitively - the entire point of life.
My need was greater than reality, stronger than the truth, more savage than either of us would eventually bear. How could it be true that a woman like me could need a man's love to feel like a person, to feel that I was worthy of life? And what would happen when I finally wore him down and took it? 'A dark, intense account of an obsessive love affair. It's great on the elation of falling in love and then its flip side, the anxiety, fixation and self-doubt.
'Such brilliant writing about female desire, co-dependant love...Incredibly honest and visceral' Marian Keyes
OBSERVER TOP TEN DEBUT 2020'
Sensuous and thrillingly well written', Observer 'When did you last read a novel about a young, black, gay, Jehovah Witness man from Wolverhampton who flees his community to make his way in London as a prostitute? This might be a debut, but Mendez is an exciting, accomplished and daring storyteller with a great ear for dialogue. Graphic Erotica Alert! Don't read this book if you like your fiction cosy and middle-of-the-road' Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the 2019 Booker Prize for Girl, Woman, Other'The kind of novel you never knew you were waiting for. An explosive work that reels from sex, to sin, to salvation all the while grappling with what it means to black, gay, British, a son, a father, a lover, even a man.
A remarkable debut' Marlon James, Booker Prize winning author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf'This debut cements Mendez as a stunning new voice in fiction' CosmopolitanRainbow Milk is an intersectional coming-of-age story, following nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of a Jehovah's Witness upbringing and the legacies of the Windrush generation. In the Black Country in the 1950s, ex-boxer Norman Alonso is a determined and humble Jamaican who has moved to Britain with his wife to secure a brighter future for themselves and their children. Blighted with unexpected illness and racism, Norman and his family are resilient in the face of such hostilities, but are all too aware that they will need more than just hope to survive.
At the turn of the millennium, Jesse seeks a fresh start in London - escaping from a broken immediate family, a repressive religious community and the desolate, disempowered Black Country - but finds himself at a loss for a new centre of gravity, and turns to sex work to create new notions of love, fatherhood and spirituality. Rainbow Milk is a bold exploration of race, class, sexuality, freedom and religion across generations, time and cultures. Paul Mendez is a fervent new writer with an original and urgent voice.
Losing Eden : Why Our Minds Need the Wild
by Lucy Jones (Author)
Losing Eden rigorously and convincingly tells of the value of the natural universe to our human hearts' Amy Liptrot, author of The OutrunToday many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well.
Now, in the moment of our great migration away from the rest of nature, more and more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So what happens, asks acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world-might we also be losing part of ourselves? Delicately observed and rigorously researched, Losing Eden is an enthralling journey through this new research, exploring how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health.
£8.99The Hiding Game is an intoxicating story of love and betrayal, set in the Bauhaus art school. Heady, gripping and unforgettable, Naomi Wood's third novel explores the perils of secrecy in a changing and increasingly dangerous world. In Roaring Twenties Germany, Paul, Charlotte and Walter meet at the Bauhaus art school.
The trio form a close-knit group, in which passions and rivalries collide. But when Walter is betrayed, he makes a terrible mistake- a secret he will keep from Paul and Charlottefor as long as he can. As political tensions escalate and the Nazis gain power, Walter's secret - hidden in notebooks, paintings and blueprints - ultimately threatens the very lives of his friends, with devastating consequences.
Shortlisted for The Historical Writers' Association Gold Crown Award. Longlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.
Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: 'Something has gone wrong,' and 'How soon can you get here?' As real life and its stakes collide with the increasing absurdity of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary. Irreverent and sincere, poignant and delightfully profane, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the infinite scroll and a meditation on love, language and human connection from one of the most original voices of our time.
A transcendent coming-of-age story about the ways a broken heart learns to love again. One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles: there are 192 people aboard. When the plane suddenly crashes, twelve-year-old Edward Adler is the sole survivor.
In the aftermath, Edward struggles to make sense of his grief, sudden fame and find his place in a world without his family. But then Edward and his neighbour Shay make a startling discovery; hidden in his uncle's garage are letters from the relatives of other passengers - all addressed him. Following the passengers' final hours and Edward's unique coming-of-age, Dear Edward asks one of life's most profound questions:What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?
'A very moving and emotional read' Anne Tyler 'Gripping and elegiac, this is a captivating novel about loss, love and growing up' Rosamund Lupton'
Don't miss this one' Jodi Picoult
The Four Winds is a deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter, by the multi-million copy number one bestselling author of The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah. She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . .
Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she'd yearned for.
A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa's world is shattered to the winds. Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life.
Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess? From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again - against all odds, Elsa's incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.
This is the new American classic''It will break your heart and bring you to tears. It will also be one of the best books you read all year!''This is historical fiction at its best: compelling, compassionate, enraging and courageous.
In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster.
The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
From the Costa Book of the Year-winning author of Days Without End
Even when you come out of bloodshed and disaster in the end you have got to learn to live. Winona is a young Lakota orphan adopted by former soldiers Thomas McNulty and John Cole. Living with Thomas and John on the farm they work in 1870s Tennessee, she is educated and loved, forging a life for herself beyond the violence and dispossession of her past.
But the fragile harmony of her unlikely family unit, in the aftermath of the Civil War, is soon threatened by a further traumatic event, one which Winona struggles to confront, let alone understand. Told in Sebastian Barry's rare and masterly prose, A Thousand Moons is a powerful, moving study of one woman's journey, of her determination to write her own future, and of the enduring human capacity for love. 'Nobody writes like, nobody takes lyrical risks like, nobody pushes the language, and the heart, and the two together, quite like Sebastian Barry does.' ALI SMITH
£12.99Soon to be a major movie starring Marsai Martin. Perfect for readers aged 8+ and fans of Percy Jackson, Nevermoor and Men in Black! Amari Peters knows three things. Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it. His mysterious job holds the secret ... So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she's certain this is her chance to find Quinton.
But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon. Amari must compete against kids who've known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent - one that the Bureau views as dangerous. With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone.
But if she doesn't pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton ... B. B.
Alston lives in Lexington, SC. Amari and the Night Brothers is his debut middle grade novel. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.
£16.99The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning. Years after the Ark was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within its confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.
Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself and the people he thought he once knew. Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland's staggering novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.
"Elikem married me in absentia; he did not come to our wedding." Afi Tekple is a young seamstress whose life is narrowing rapidly. She lives in a small town in Ghana with her widowed mother, spending much of her time in her uncle Pious's house with his many wives and children. Then one day she is offered a life-changing opportunity--a proposal of marriage from the wealthy family of Elikem Ganyo, a man she doesn't truly know. She acquiesces, but soon realizes that Elikem is not quite the catch he seemed. He sends a stand-in to his own wedding, and only weeks after Afi is married and installed in a plush apartment in the capital city of Accra does she meet her new husband. It turns out that he is in love with another woman, whom his family disapproves of; Afi is supposed to win him back on their behalf. But it is Accra that eventually wins Afi's heart and gives her a life of independence that she never could have imagined for herself.
A brilliant scholar and a fierce advocate for women's rights, author Peace Adzo Medie infuses her debut novel with intelligence and humor.
For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Candice Carty-Williams, His Only Wife is the story of an indomitable and relatable heroine that illuminates what it means to be a woman in a rapidly changing world.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
An obligatory note of hope, in a world going to hell. Lizzie Benson, a part-time librarian, is already overwhelmed with the crises of daily life when an old mentor offers her a job answering mail from the listeners of her apocalyptic podcast, Hell and High Water. Soon questions begin pouring in from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of Western civilization. Entering this polarized world, Lizzie is forced to consider who she is and what she can do to help: as a mother, as a wife, as a sister, and as a citizen of this doomed planet.
* Linda's note : the blurb for this book is not very encouraging! But it's actually full of hope, humour and just the absurdity of the everyday. I enjoyed it!
£8.99San Francisco, 2017. Clinton's in the White House, Brexit never happened - and Verity Jane's got herself a new job. They call Verity 'the app-whisperer,' and she's just been hired by a shadowy start-up to evaluate a pair-of-glasses-cum-digital-assistant called Eunice.
Only Eunice has other ideas. Pretty soon, Verity knows that Eunice is smarter than anyone she's ever met, conceals some serious capabilities and is profoundly paranoid - which is just as well since suddenly some bad people are after Verity. Meanwhile, in a post-apocalyptic London a century from now, PR fixer Wilf Netherton is tasked by all-seeing policewoman Ainsley Lowbeer with interfering in the alternative past in which Verity and Eunice exist.
It appears something nasty is about to happen there - and fixing it will require not only Eunice's unique human-AI skillset but also a little help from the future. A future which Verity soon fears may never be . .
'One of the most influential writers around...with Gibson's trademark panache, the story rattles along with great pace and suspense' Sunday Times'One of our greatest science-fiction writers' New York Times'
It is summer in 1968, the year of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. There are riots in Paris and the Vietnam War is out of control. While the world is reeling, our three characters are involved in making a Swingin' Sixties movie in sunny Brighton.
All are leading secret lives. Elfrida is drowning her writer's block in vodka; Talbot, coping with the daily dysfunction of making a film, is hiding something in a secret apartment; and the glamorous Anny is wondering why the CIA is suddenly so interested in her. But the show must go on and, as it does, the trio's private worlds begin to take over their public ones.
Pressures build inexorably - someone's going to crack. Or maybe they all will. From one of Britain's best loved writers comes an exhilarating, tender novel that asks the vital questions: what makes life worth living? And what do you do if you find it isn't?
'Superbly wry and wise and funny and truthful .
. Trio is a masterclass in artistic technique' Guardian'One of our best contemporary storytellers. .
. Trio embraces comedy, tragedy and redemption' Spectator'His best novel in years' Red, The Best Books to Read this October'Immensely readable . .
The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows' Raynor Winn, bestselling author of The Salt Path
'A peaceful rebuff to life in fast-forward' Guardian
Wintering is a poignant and comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, times when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves. Katherine May thoughtfully shows us how to come through these times with the wisdom of knowing that, like the seasons, our winters and summers are the ebb and flow of life.
£14.99A breathtaking mix of memoir, nature writing and history: this is Kerri ni Dochartaigh's story of a wild Ireland, an invisible border, an old conflict and the healing power of the natural world'A special, beautiful, many-faceted book' Amy Liptrot'
Kerri ni Dochartaigh was born in Derry, on the border of the North and South of Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a council estate on the wrong side of town. But for her family, and many others, there was no right side.
One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year they were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like Kerri's, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape.
In Thin Places, a mixture of memoir, history and nature writing, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, how violence and poverty are never more than a stone's throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our borders to become hard, and terror to creep back in. Kerri asks us to reclaim our landscape through language and study, and remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map. It will always be ours but, at the same time, it never really was.
£14.99Girl A,' she said. 'The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.' Lex Gracie doesn't want to think about her family.
She doesn't want to think about growing up in her parents' House of Horrors. And she doesn't want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can't run from her past any longer.
Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings - and with the childhood they shared. Beautifully written and incredibly powerful, Girl A is a story of redemption, of horror, and of love.
A taut, sharp, funny book about being young now. It's brutal - and brilliant.' Zadie Smith, author of Swing Time'Remarkable, the most delicious novel I've read.' Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie'
Edie is just trying to survive. She's messing up in her dead-end admin job in her all-white office, is sleeping with all the wrong men, and has failed at the only thing that meant anything to her, painting.
No one seems to care that she doesn't really know what she's doing with her life beyond looking for her next hook-up. And then she meets Eric, a white, middle-aged archivist with a suburban family, including a wife who has sort-of-agreed to an open marriage and an adopted black daughter who doesn't have a single person in her life who can show her how to do her hair. As if navigating the constantly shifting landscape of sexual and racial politics as a young black woman wasn't already hard enough, with nowhere else left to go, Edie finds herself falling head-first into Eric's home and family.
Razor sharp, provocatively page-turning and surprisingly tender, Luster by Raven Leilani is a painfully funny debut about what it means to be young now.
... And what it tells us about the Science of Language
This engaging book explores just how multiple languages are acquired and sorted out by the brain. . .
The definitive study of bilingualism and the human brain from a leading neuropsychologist
Over half of the world's population is bilingual and yet few of us understand how this extraordinary, complex ability really works. How do two languages co-exist in the same brain? What are the advantages and challenges of being bilingual? How do we learn - and forget - a language? In the first study of its kind, leading expert Albert Costa shares twenty years of experience to explore the science of language. Looking at studies and examples from Canada to France to South Korea, The Bilingual Brain investigates the significant impact of bilingualism on daily life from infancy to old age.
It reveals, among other things, how babies differentiate between two languages just hours after birth, how accent affects the way in which we perceive others and even why bilinguals are better at conflict resolution. Drawing on cutting-edge neuro-linguistic research from his own laboratory in Barcelona as well from centres across the world, and his own bilingual family, Costa offers an absorbing examination of the intricacies and impact of an extraordinary skill. Highly engaging and hugely informative,The Bilingual Brain leaves us all with a sense of wonder at how language works.
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.