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, including Leuchtturm, notebooks, pens from Lamy and Paper Poetry, diaries and artisan greetings cards. Plus gift wrap and of course, scissors.
Please note, our website inventory is not tracked with our shop stock. If not in stock, books can be ordered within 2/3 days.
Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family - and is the most unhappy creature in the world.
Anne Turner has wit and talent - but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution. When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked.
Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign's favourite may rise and rise - so long as he remains in favour. With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.
Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you'll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court.
Terrific, rich in colour, character, place and time' Sarah Dunant
paperback from April 2022
£14.99'What remains of the witch hunts? A stubborn misogyny, which still tints the way our societies look at single women, childless women, aging women, or quite simply, free women . . .
Today more than ever, witches tell us about our world and lead the way.' - Telerama A source of terror, a misogynistic image of woman inherited from the trials and the pyres of the great early modern witch hunts - in In Defence of Witches the witch is recast as a powerful role model to women today: an emblem of power, free to exist beyond the narrow limits society imposes on women. Whether selling grimoires on Etsy, posting photos of their crystal-adorned altar on Instagram, or gathering to cast spells on Donald Trump, witches are everywhere. But who exactly were the forebears of these modern witches? Who was historically accused of witchcraft, often meeting violent ends? What types of women have been censored, eliminated, repressed, over the centuries?Mona Chollet takes three archetypes from historic witch hunts, and examines how far women today have the same charges levelled against them: independent women; women who choose not to have children; and women who reject the idea that to age is a terrible thing.
Finally, Chollet argues that by considering the lives of those who dared to live differently, we can learn more about the richness of roles available, just how many different things a woman can choose to be.
Breaking Point is raw, compelling, and ground-breaking; Coffey puts the life of working mothers under a microscope. To say I loved it is an understatement, I expect it will be a huge success.' Liz Nugent'
A gripping, compulsive pageturner about what we expect from women, especially mothers. It's going to be a massive hit.' Marian Keyes
One mistake could cost her everything.
Susannah has two beautiful daughters, a high-flying medical career, a successful husband and an enviable life. Her hair is glossy, her clothes are expensive; she truly has it all. But when - on the hottest day of the year - her strict morning routine is disrupted, Susannah finds herself running on autopilot.
It is hours before she realises she has made a devastating mistake. Her baby, Louise, is still in the backseat of the car and it is too late to save her. As the press close in around her, Susannah is put on trial for negligence.
It is plain to see that this is not a trial, it's a witch hunt. But what will the court say?Readers love Breaking Point:'A genuine contender for best book I have read this year.' *****
She and I : gripping psychological suspense from a fantastic new Northern Irish voice
Not only beautifully written but gripping and full of soul' SARAH PEARSE, author of THE SANATORIUM'
Best friends share everything. But murder is different. Isn't it? Keeley and Jude are closer than blood. They share everything: clothes, secrets, drinks - and blame. So when they wake up after a New Year's party to find Keeley's boyfriend stabbed to death beside them, they agree to share one more thing: the story they'll tell the police. But who is their story really meant to protect? As the murder investigation begins to send uncomfortable ripples through their community, the history of the girls' claustrophobic relationship comes under scrutiny, will the girls find there's such a thing as sharing too much?'
A taut and unrelenting mystery, expertly woven with the bruising drama of girlhood' ANNA BAILEY, author of TALL BONES
Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man drives a haulage lorry from England to France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger - his daughter. Twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails.
With a week on the road together, father and daughter must restore themselves and each other, and repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred. As they journey south, down the motorways, through the service stations, a devastating picture reveals itself: a story of grief, of shame, and of love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations.
What readers are saying:***** 'The prose is sublime and deeply moving .
'***** 'Beautifully written, lyrical and unsettling in its exploration of human frailties, family, love, and loss, grief'****
£6.99Archie Crumb is having a tough time.
Picked-on at school, picked last for any team; his home has been sad and quiet since Dad left and his luck feels like its run out. But things start looking up when Archie bumps his head and literally sees stars: his favourite famous football player standing in front of him, granting him nine wishes. This is INCREDIBLE! Unlimited ice cream, a whole day of eating pizza and playing on the X-Box, revenge on the bullies, becoming the star player in a televised football tournament: finally, all his dreams can come true! Will Archie wish his way to happiness? Or will he realise that magic wishes may be wonderful, but only he has the true power to change his life? Perfect for fans of Lisa Thompson, David Baddiel and Jacqueline Wilson Helen Rutter's debut novel The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh was chosen as a Waterstones Children's Book of the Month Funny, moving, inventive, uplifting children's fiction at its finest.
Praise for The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh 'Very funny, very touching, very truthful - a total delight to read.' Jacqueline Wilson 'Amazing' Noel Fielding 'This incredibly debut tugs at your heartstrings and makes you laugh out loud in equal measure. I guarantee you'll be cheering along in the final pages!' Lisa Thompson '
£8.99REUNIONS. RECRIMINATIONS. RECKONINGS.
Ireland. Great nationalists, bad mothers and a whole lot of secrets. Ryan Cusack is ready to deliver its soundtrack.
Former sex-worker Georgie wants the truth about Ryan's past out there but the journalist has her own agenda. Mel returns from Brexit Britain, ill-equipped to deal with the resurgence of a family scandal. Karine has always been sure of herself, till a terrible secret tugs the rug from under her.
Maureen has got wind that things are changing, and if anyone's telling the story she wants to make sure it's her. A riotous blast of sex, scandal, obsession, love, feminism, gender, music, class and transgression from an author with tremendous, singular talent.
WO CULTURES. TWO FAMILIES. TWO PEOPLE.
The new novel from the bestselling, Booker Prize-shortlisted author of BRICK LANE
Yasmin Ghorami has a lot to be grateful for: a loving family, a fledgling career in medicine, and a charming, handsome fiancee, fellow doctor Joe Sangster. But as the wedding day draws closer and Yasmin's parents get to know Joe's firebrand feminist mother, both families must confront the unravelling of long-held secrets, lies and betrayals. As Yasmin dismantles her own assumptions about the people she holds most dear, she's also forced to ask herself what she really wants in a relationship and what a 'love marriage' actually means.
Love Marriage is a story about who we are and how we love in today's Britain - with all the complications and contradictions of life, desire, marriage and family. What starts as a captivating social comedy develops into a heart-breaking and gripping story of two cultures, two families and two people trying to understand one another. 'Ali's wit and insight illuminate the complications of modern love in Britain today.
£14.99Like a cook's pantry, The Language of Food is full of wonderful ingredients, exciting possibilities and secrets. Full of warmth and as comforting as sitting by the kitchen range, I loved it' Jo Thomas 'A delightful read' Nina Pottell 'Clever, unsentimental, beautifully detailed and quietly riveting' Elizabeth Buchan, author of Two Women in RomeEngland 1835. Eliza Acton is a poet who dreams of seeing her words in print.
But when she takes her new manuscript to a publisher, she's told that 'poetry is not the business of a lady'. Instead, they want her to write a cookery book. That's what readers really want from women.
England is awash with exciting new ingredients, from spices to exotic fruits. But no one knows how to use them Eliza leaves the offices appalled. But when her father is forced to flee the country for bankruptcy, she has no choice but to consider the proposal.
Never having cooked before, she is determined to learn and to discover, if she can, the poetry in recipe writing. To assist her, she hires seventeen-year-old Ann Kirby, the impoverished daughter of a war-crippled father and a mother with dementia. Over the course of ten years, Eliza and Ann developed an unusual friendship - one that crossed social classes and divides - and, together, they broke the mould of traditional cookbooks and changed the course of cookery writing forever.
An astonishing debut novel of motherhood and loss in the dying days of the Second World War'
A young woman, Violet, lies in a hospital bed in the closing days of World War Two.
Her pregnancy is over and she is no longer able to conceive. With her husband deployed in Burma and her friends caught up in transitory love affairs, she must find a way to put herself back together. In a small, watchful town in the Welsh valleys, another Violet contemplates the fate she shares with her unborn child.
Unwed, an overseas posting offers a temporary way out. Plunged into the heat and disorder of Naples, her body begins to reveal the responsibility it carries even as she is drawn into the burnished circle of a charismatic new friend, Maggie. Between these two Violets, sung into being like a babe in a nursery rhyme: a son.
As their lives begin to intertwine, a spellbinding story of women's courage emerges, suffused with power, lyricism and beauty, from an exhilarating new voice in British fiction. 'Beautiful, inventive and deeply moving' Liz Berry'A novel of taut symmetry and dissonance... Alex Hyde's prose is rhythmically acute and emotionally layered.
£14.99He handed the easel to the boatman, reaching down the pier wall towards the sea. Mr Lloyd has decided to travel to the island by boat without engine - the authentic experience. Unbeknownst to him, Mr Masson will also soon be arriving for the summer.
Both will strive to encapsulate the truth of this place - one in his paintings, the other by capturing its speech, the language he hopes to preserve. But the people who live on this rock - three miles long and half-a-mile wide - have their own views on what is being recorded, what is being taken and what is given in return. Soft summer days pass, and the islanders are forced to question what they value and what they desire.
As the autumn beckons, and the visitors head home, there will be a reckoning. ''Beautifully written.' STELLA, The Telegraph'The Colony contains multitudes - on families, on men and women, on rural communities - with much of it just visible on the surface, like the flicker of a smile or a shark in the water.' John Self, The Times'Austere and stark . .
. a story about language and identity, about art, oppression, freedom and colonialism. The Colony is a novel about big, important things.' Financial Times'The Colony is a beautiful, haunting and incredibly powerful book; a reading experience unlike any other, so vivid you can see it all unfold in front of your eyes.
Audrey Magee has a true storytelling gift. Absolutely mesmerising.' FIONA SCARLETT
A stunning literary adventure from an incredible debut talent, perfect for fans of Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Cerrie Burnell and Katherine Rundell.
I was Haven Point's first Wreckling, but I certainly wasn't the last. There are forty-two of us now, not including the mermaids. When you're a Wreckling, you mainly spend your days squabbling, eating and planning adventures. Oh, and Wrecklings also carry out wreckings, which is how we got our name . .
. Washed up as a baby beside a remote lighthouse and raised by a mermaid, Alpha Lux was the first foundling at Haven Point. Now the lighthouse is a ramshackle home for any disabled person who needs somewhere to belong.
Looting from passing ships to make a living, they call themselves the Wrecklings, and for the children of Haven Point life is spent adventuring on the wild shore (and getting into trouble with the grown-ups). But when Alpha spots a strange light up on the headland, she realizes that her beloved family are in danger of being discovered by Outsiders. With their home under threat, the Wrecklings must decide what kind of future they want . . and what they're willing to do to get it.
£9.99His name was Joseph, but for years they had called him Panenka, a name that was his sadness and his story. Panenka has spent 25 years living with the disastrous mistakes of his past, which have made him an exile in his home town and cost him his dearest relationships. Now aged 50, Panenka begins to rebuild an improvised family life with his estranged daughter and her seven year old son.
But at night, Panenka suffers crippling headaches that he calls his Iron Mask. Faced with losing everything, he meets Esther, a woman who has come to live in the town to escape her own disappointments. Together, they find resonance in each other's experiences and learn new ways to let love into their broken lives.
Being Tommy's mother is too much for Sonya. Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy's life is in her hands.
Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts and bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O'Malley spying from across the road.
There is the risk of losing Tommy - forever.
On every page there are little shimmering bombs' Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women'Quietly devastating . . .
Reminded me repeatedly of Shuggie Bain' Observer
I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig.
That's a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man. Do you see how this is going? But I wasn't always that way.
'Joan is an unforgettable anti-heroine. I don't think I'll ever stop thinking about her' Elizabeth Day
It's 1975 and Francis McNulty, ageing poet, retired, is living in his childhood home in Cleaver Square with his daughter Gilly. Haunted by memories of the Spanish Civil War, in which he drove an ambulance, he sees awful visions of his old nemesis, General Franco, and is powerfully reminded of a terrible act of betrayal he committed in Spain. When Gilly announces her upcoming marriage, Francis is forced to confront his past, once and for all.
'Impressive' GUARDIAN'A very moving portrayal of a complicated father-daughter relationship, neither of them fully able to break away' RACHEL JOYCE
Wonderful, thrilling' JOHN BANVILLE'
Has pleasure on every page' TIMES
Mesmerising, mythic and timeless, the most unmissable debut novel of 2022 - for fans of Arundhati Roy, Toni Morrison and Monique Roffey
Darwin is a down-on-his-luck gravedigger, newly arrived in the Trinidadian city of Port Angeles to seek his fortune, young and beautiful and lost.
Estranged from his mother and the Rastafari faith she taught him, he is convinced that the father he never met may be waiting for him somewhere amid these bustling streets. Meanwhile in an old house on a hill, where the city meets the rainforest, Yejide's mother is dying. And she is leaving behind a legacy that now passes to Yejide: the power to talk to the dead.
The women of Yejide's family are human but also not - descended from corbeau, the black birds that fly east at sunset, taking with them the souls of the dead. Darwin and Yejide both have something that the other needs. Their destinies are intertwined, and they will find one another in the sprawling, ancient cemetery at the heart of the island, where trouble is brewing...
Rich with magic and wisdom, When We Were Birds is an exuberant masterpiece that conjures and mesmerises on every line. Ayanna Lloyd Banwo weaves an unforgettable story of loss and renewal, darkness and light; a triumphant reckoning with a grief that runs back generations and a defiant, joyful affirmation of hope.
Winner of the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021
As good as suspense fiction gets' Washington Post
No one even knew they were together. Now one of them is dead. 56 DAYS AGO Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin and start dating the same week COVID-19 reaches Irish shores.
35 DAYS AGO When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests they move in together. Ciara sees a unique opportunity for a relationship to flourish without the scrutiny of family and friends. Oliver sees a chance to hide who - and what - he really is.
TODAY Detectives arrive at Oliver's apartment to discover a decomposing body inside. Can they determine what really happened, or has lockdown created an opportunity for someone to commit the perfect crime?
Empire of Pain : The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty, Patrick Radden Keefe ( Paperback March 2022)
£9.99The gripping and shocking story of three generations of the Sackler family and their roles in the stories of Valium, OxyContin and the opioid crisis. 'Jaw-dropping . .
. Beggars belief' Sunday Times'You feel almost guilty for enjoying it so much' The TimesThe Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions - Harvard; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oxford; the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations in the arts and the sciences.
The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis - an international epidemic of drug addiction which has killed nearly half a million people. In this masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, award-winning journalist and host of the Wind of Change podcast Patrick Radden Keefe exhaustively documents the jaw-dropping and ferociously compelling reality. Empire of Pain is the story of a dynasty: a parable of twenty-first-century greed.
£12.99From the highly acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Colm Toibin's first collection of poetry explores sexuality, religion and belonging through a modern lens. Fans of Colm Toibin's novels, including The Magician, The Master and Nora Webster, will relish the opportunity to re-encounter Toibin in verse.
Vinegar Hill explores the liminal space between private experiences and public events as Toibin examines a wide range of subjects - politics, queer love, reflections on literary and artistic greats, living through COVID, memory and a fading past, and facing mortality. The poems reflect a life well-travelled and well-lived; from growing up in the town of Enniscorthy, wandering the streets of Dublin and Barcelona, and crossing the bridges of Venice to visiting the White House, readers will travel through familiar locations and new destinations through Toibin's unique lens. Within this rich collection of poems written over the course of several decades, shot through with keen observation, emotion and humour, Toibin offers us lines and verses to provoke, ponder and cherish.
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. It's a relaxed and unintimidating sharing of views and opinions.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the book club, or if you would like to be added to our bookclub mailing list.
BOOKS as GIFTS
Perhaps you have a relative or friend who loves reading but you have no idea what to choose, or you just don't see them enough? We will make recommendations based on a few hints! We offer a monthly subscription gift service where the book(s) are chosen and dispatched by Books Paper Scissors with a gift message from the giver.
The recipient will receive an introductory letter allowing them to select genres and identify favourites - we do the rest!
For children or adults.
Hardback Subscription £20
Paperback Subscription £11
Please enquire if you would like more details.