Happy Birthday to the fantastic Salena Godden!! Springfield Road is a journey into childhood in the late 1970s, a time of halfpenny sweets, fish n chips in newspaper, scrumping apples and foraging for conkers. Set in the dawn of Thatcher’s Britain, it’s a salute to every curly-top, scabby knee’d, mixed-up, half-crazy kid with NHS glasses, free school dinners & hand-me- downs, as told by the daughter of an Irish jazz musician and a Jamaican go-go dancer. It’s about discovering that life is unfair, that there are bullies out there, and that parents die; yet it is the very antithesis of a misery memoir.

It’s a vivid, uplifting tale that seeks out the humour, colour and tenderness in the world, and when you read…

He started as a calypso singer in Trinidad under the stage name Lord Creator & recorded his first hits, “The Cockhead” & “Evening News”, in Trinidad in 1958 & 1959 respectively with Fitz Vaughan Bryan’s big band. Due to the success of his hit “Evening News” which was released in Trinidad on the Cook label and also in the UK on the Melodisc label, he moved to Jamaica in the late 1959 to perform & record & decided to settle there. In 1962, he recorded “Independent Jamaica” with producer Vincent “Randy” Chin, which became the official song marking Jamaica’s independence from the British Empire on 6 August 1962. That song was also the first record on Chris Blackwell’s newly founded Island Records label in the UK. In 1963, “Don’t Stay Out Late”, produced by Chin, became a hit in Jamaica.

Vinyl LP available in store & online.

Born OTD in 1903, English novelist and essayist, journalist and critic, Eric Arthur Blair, AKA George Orwell. George Orwell wrote, in his words, from ‘a desire to see things as they are’. This new collection of his journalism and other writings, including articles, essays, broadcasts, poems, book and film reviews from across his career, shows his unmatched genius for observing the world. Whether discussing Polish immigration or Scottish independence, railing against racism, defending the English language or holding an imaginary conversation with Jonathan Swift, these pieces reveal a clear-eyed, entertaining and eternally relevant chronicler of his age.

Edited with an introduction by Peter Davison ‘Orwell’s luminous gift was for seeing things, for noticing what others missed, took…

Against the odds, former steel worker Harry Perkins has led the Labour party to a stunning victory. Now he’s going to dismantle Britain’s nuclear warheads, bring finance under public control and dismantle the media empires… But the establishment isn’t going down without a fight. As MI5 conspires with the City and press barons to bring Perkins down, he finds himself caught up in a no-holds-barred battle for survival. Described as ‘the political novel of the decade’ when it was first published, A Very British Coup is as fresh and relevant now as it ever has been.

When A Very British Coup was written in the early 1980s, the scenario seemed plausible. Tony Benn, who Mullin collaborated…

Gripping, topical and authentic portrayal of a young man’s search for identity, self-esteem and friendship set against a background of race riots and hate crime This accomplished second YA novel stems from a very personal place for acclaimed author and commentator Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant). Victim himself of a racist attack and resorting to a boxing gym to improve his own self-defence lends unmistakable authenticity to Sunny’s story. He may have had to turn to a fellow author and boxer for advice on the actual match scenes but everything else comes from the heart and it shows.

Every character and situation rings true. Sunny already had to cope with a toxic relationship with his terminally ill father…

The boogaloo is an infectious and little-defined dance that dominated American dance records in the mid-60s. It was the joyous place where young black and Latin youths met and made sweet music. All previous Boogaloo compilations have focused on the Latin aspect, “Let’s Do The Boogaloo” looks at how the music crossed over between the two. The boogaloo craze started in Chicago with a record by Tom & Jerryo, but it proved to have an enduring legacy with its hit-making potential running from 1965 through to 1968 – much longer than any other comparable dance. Our earliest records – The infectious ‘Ready Steady Go’ by Prince & Princess, produced by Rolling Stones producer Jimmy Miller – kicks us off with a frenetic beat and some Latin horns. It is the perfect boogaloo crossover.

Elsewhere we feature big sounds from both the soul and Latin side of the music. Club classics by the likes…

Born OTD in 1947, African-American science fiction author, Octavia E. Butler. In 1995 the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. “Butler’s masterpiece and ground-breaking exploration of power and responsibility, for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Power and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. With an original foreword by Ayobami Adebayo. ‘[Her] evocative, often troubling, novels explore far-reaching issues of race, sex, power and, ultimately, what it means to be human.”

In 1976, Dana dreams of being a writer. In 1815, she is assumed a slave. When Dana first meets Rufus…

Born OTD in 1944, English singer, songwriter and musician, Ray Davies. “It’s hardly a shock to learn that artists can be difficult, but over 40 years the Kinks have left a trail of wrecked hotel rooms, irate ex-wives and lovers and former bandmates driven to – and indeed over – the brink of a nervous breakdown. To pick one example from this biography of the band, on a US tour in 1987, the fractious Davies brothers set aside their usual differences in order to beat up the sound engineer. While peers such as Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney live like kings on the proceeds of long, mega-selling careers, the Kinks always managed to commit harakiri at the most commercially inopportune moment, despite having in Ray Davies a songwriter as good as any pop music has produced, as one listen to “Waterloo Sunset” will prove.”

The paperback edition of the bestselling biography. The Kinks are the quintessential British sixties band, revered for an incredible series…