The North Recommends: Cogito Books

Cogito Books is an independent bookshop with a unique and carefully curated collection of titles, beautifully presented in a welcoming and relaxing environment. From the moment you cross our threshold from the cobbled street, the atmosphere is calming, civilised, and you can tell that this is a place where books are loved and shared. Individuals and families of all ages come from far and wide to browse. Our shelves are laden with an extensive range of books and our friendly, knowledgeable booksellers are always on hand to help you find just the right book. We strive for book ordering to be easy and straightforward and our next day ordering service is efficient and reliable for all books in print.

Here at Cogito our author events are chosen from the books we’ve read and admired and which we feel reflect both our own and our customers’ literary passions and interests. These stimulating and enjoyable talks are tailored to each author and book with many events taking place in the intimate ambience of the bookshop as well as at larger venues in Hexham.

We love sharing the excitement of books with even the youngest in our community. During the summer, we host weekly storytelling for children aged 3 -7, with readings from hand-picked children’s books. It’s free and informal, so come in, curl up, and enjoy some great stories and activities. Don’t miss our Where’s Wally challenge in Hexham that runs throughout the summer holidays!

As part of our Independent Bookshop Week celebrations, best-selling author Jen Campbell will be with us on Tuesday 18th June at 3.30pm for a children’s storytelling and activities event featuring her wonderful books Franklin’s Flying Bookshop and Franklin and Luna go to the Moon (for children aged 3-7). As well as interactive stories, Jen will also be running a session of moon crafting!! Do come and join us for what promises to be some brilliant dragon inspired fun.

We run three monthly book groups, one for adults who enjoy discussing fiction, one for fellow crime readers and one for children aged 10+. There’s no need to book a place, just read that month’s chosen title and come along to the bookshop. All groups are welcoming, fun and generate interesting discussions.

Here’s what’s coming up…

Wed 26th June Fiction Book Group, 7:30pm, All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison

Wed 10th July Crime Book Group, 7.30pm, The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

Sat 13th July Children’s Book Group 4.30pm, Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Wed 24th July Fiction Book Group, 7.30pm, The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

We’re also hugely looking forward to welcoming Chloe Daykin to Cogito to launch her new children’s book Fire Girl, Forest Boy on Tuesday 9th July 6-7pm. For more information take a look on our website.

Each year, June is Recommendations Month here at Cogito Books – a whole month of celebrating our favourite reads to hopefully inspire some great summer reading. Here’s a taster but there are many more on our website (where you can also sign up for our newsletter) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

A reimagining of the last days of the Trojan war may seem unfamiliar territory for Pat Barker, yet in this outstanding novel her towering abilities as a writer are deployed with breath taking skill. Briseis, queen of Lyrnessus, has been captured and enslaved by Achilles; forced to survive as best she can in the Greek camp.  This was the fate of a great many women in Homer’s Iliad, but we know this about them and little more. Here Pat Barker conjures in brutal, harrowing detail what such a life could have been: the lack of agency and equality cruelly distorting all relationships. One of Pat Barker’s great strengths is her ability to portray the physical sensations of her characters’ experiences and this she does to brilliant effect here; we feel Briseis’ terror, anger and confusion coupled with an emerging steeliness which enables her to survive.

 The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

This was a real highlight of all the books that Claire read last year. Suffering financial misfortunes and bad health, Raynor Winn and her husband come up with what most people would probably think of as a crazy idea. With no home and only a handful of coins in their pockets, this courageous pair, literally put one foot in front of the other and walk the South West Coastal Path – in their way and at their pace. For me, it was this pace that makes The Salt Pathsuch an exceptional read. The rhythm of the writing has a constant, gentle pace and much like the action of walking, enables you to leave things behind, Raynor explains how they move forward on this desperate part of life’s journey. This is in an incredibly brave and honest account of the hardship they faced, how fragile our lives can be and the inspiring strength and determination we can find both within ourselves and from the natural world around us.

For a really special summer reading experience – or if you’re looking for a special gift for someone – then our Cogito Reading Treat could be just the thing: a bespoke selection of 6 books, chosen after personal consultation with one of our booksellers (and lots of tea and biscuits). It’s a joyous gift for anyone you know who loves reading and talking about books, or perfect for a spot of self-indulgence if you’re searching for something new to read.