Born OTD in 1943, writer & director of film & theatre, Mike Leigh. A keen observer of manners and mores, Mike Leigh has been hailed as a celebrator of “ordinary” people, yet it wasn’t until relatively recently that audiences have been able to appreciate the full body of his work. In discussing all his films from Bleak Moments & High Hopes through Naked, the Oscar-nominated Secrets and Lies & Topsy Turvy, to All or Nothing, Garry Watson considers this claim, examining the films’ influence & their effect.

At the same time, he takes on the very concepts of “the real” and “the ordinary” in regard to Leigh’s…

Often translated as resilience or perseverance, the Finnish concept of sisu is about never giving up, even when a task is seemingly impossible. Considered a hot topic of popular psychology, sisu is regarded as having a positive impact on mental health. At the heart of sisu is the idea of getting back up from failures, whether that be losing a job or the end of a relationship, and having the courage to use that experience to further oneself.

Running a marathon and feel like you’ve hit a wall? Got a business idea but too scared to try it?…

Our next PM Book Club we’ll be discussing Chris Nineham’s new book, ‘The British State’. What happens if a radical government gets elected in Britain? How will the banks, the civil servants, the media and the military react? Is the idea of a British coup far-fetched? How can the left prepare? Chris Nineham addresses these questions by looking behind the myths at the reality of two hundred years of British state rule. He brings us a warning from history.

Book available in store and online. Next PM Book Club meet at the shop 6pm. Monday, 2nd March.

Born OTD in 1931, American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor, Toni Morrison. The majority of the narrative takes place in Harlem during the 1920s; however, as the pasts of the various characters are explored, the narrative extends back to the mid-19th-century American South. The novel deliberately mirrors the music of its title, with various characters “improvising” solo compositions that fit together to create a whole work. The tone of the novel also shifts with these compositions, from bluesy laments to up beat, sensual ragtime.

The novel also utilizes the call-and-response style of jazz music, allowing the characters to explore the same events from different…

Born OTD in 1942, revolutionary African-American political activist who, along with Bobby Seale, co-founded the Black Panther Party, Huey P. Newton. Eloquently tracing the birth of a revolutionary, Huey P. Newton’s famous & oft-quoted autobiography is as much a manifesto as a portrait of the inner circle of America’s Black Panther Party. From Newton’s impoverished childhood to his adolescence & struggles with the system, from his role in the Black Panthers to his solitary confinement in the Alameda County Jail, Revolutionary Suicide is smart, unrepentant & thought-provoking in its portrayal of inspired radicalism.

In October 1967, one year after the founding of the Black Panther Party, Huey Newton was involved in a shooting…

Test Card F is a graphic demolition derby through the culture of a factory farmed and show-shocked society, a society whose sell-by date has long since expired. Using savage image/text cut and paste, this controversial book explodes all previous media theories and riots through the Global Village, looting the ideological supermarkets of all its products: anti-fascism, Malcolm X, James Bulger, the Gulf War, Satanic Abuse, Somalia, and Eastern Europe.

Test Card F joyrides in front of the surveillance cameras, amidst the rubble of a junkyard nation, and heaves television’s…

The Freakbeat Scene brings together 25 remarkable tracks, virtually all of them much sought after on original Decca/Deram 45s. Save yourself money and buy this loving compiled 2 x LP set in heavyweight 180 gm vinyl. The Freakbeat sound, was mainly a sub-genre of late 1960s UK rock and roll, which many of the artists, and their styles, went on to become a larger part of British music history. Includes early recordings from the Attack, the Birds, Marc Bolan and the Small Faces.

Double vinyl LP available in store & online.

The Witch is dead. After a group of children playing near the irrigation canals discover her decomposing corpse, the village of La Matosa is rife with rumours about how and why this murder occurred. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, Fernanda Melchor paints a moving portrait of lives governed by poverty and violence, machismo and misogyny, superstition and prejudice.

Written with an infernal lyricism that is as affecting as it is enthralling, HURRICANE SEASON, Melchor’s first novel to appear…

Born OTD in 1809, English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution, Charles Darwin. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now widely accepted, and considered a foundational concept in science.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection issued a profound challenge to orthodox thought and belief: no being or species has been…

Dave Barker possesses a set of pipes that, if he had hailed from Chicago or Memphis instead of Jamaica would likely have seen him regarded as one of the great soul men. As a Jamaican, he actually achieved international fame in 1970 with his mad outburst on the Winston Riley produced Double Barrell, a huge hit in the UK, a portion of whose teenage population was at that time in the throes of the original skinhead fashion, of which reggae was a part.

Ansell Collins was a session keyboard player responsible for the effervescent fairground sound on that record, and many others during…