The Bookseller at the End of the World (Hardcover)

The Bookseller at the End of the World By Ruth Shaw Cover Image

The Bookseller at the End of the World (Hardcover)

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A rich, immersive, funny and heartbreaking memoir of the charming bookseller who runs two tiny bookshops in the remote village of Manapouri in Fiordland, in the deep south of New Zealand.

"An extraordinary story." —Shaun Bythell, The Diary of a Bookseller

Ruth Shaw weaves together stories of the characters who visit her bookshops, musings about favorite books, and bittersweet stories from her full and varied life.

She's sailed through the Pacific for years, been held up by pirates, worked at Sydney's Kings Cross with drug addicts and prostitutes, campaigned on numerous environmental issues, and worked the yacht Breaksea Girl with her husband, Lance.

Underlining all her wanderings and adventures are some very deep losses and long-held pain. Balancing that out is her beautiful love story with Lance, and her delightful sense of humor.

This will make you weep and make you laugh and make you want to read more books - and make you want to visit Ruth and her two wee bookshops.


"Shaw's writing is pragmatic and restrained; her voice is so strong and assured that when grief appears you gasp at its intrusion and your heart stops a second." —Alexa Dretzke, Readings Hawthorn

"Amazing!" —Jack Tame, Newstalk ZB

"A fascinating, funny and moving story." —Nicky Pellegrino, New Zealand Woman's Weekly

"Shaw can write about these peaks and troughs [of her life] without a skerrick of maudlin introspection or mawkishness. Battered and emotionally bruised, she marches on. In a word, dauntless, and it's exactly this quality that makes this memoir so readable." —Chris Moore, NZ Listener

"Utterly charming and filled with equal measures of heartbreak and humour, Ruth Shaw's memoir will have you booking the first flight to New Zealand to share a cup of tea at her Wee Bookshops. Shaw has been a cook, a nurse, sailor and world traveller, and endured immeasurable loss. But with Lance, the love of her life, Shaw has found her place bookselling in Fiordland." —Booksellers' Choice Australia

'"Compelling. Shaw tells her own story free of over-sentimentality or self-pity; she's straightforward, frequently humorous... Her resilience, optimism and willingness to help others is to be admired; her remarkable story is to be read and reflected upon as it adds another vital perspective to a NZ life." —Dionne Christian, Sunday Star Times
Ruth Shaw runs two wee bookshops in remote Manapouri in the far south of New Zealand.
Product Details ISBN: 9781988547756
ISBN-10: 198854775X
Publisher: A&U New Zealand
Publication Date: May 30th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English
'A fascinating, funny and moving story.' Nicky Pellegrino, NZ Woman's Weekly

'Shaw can write about these peaks and troughs [of her life] without a skerrick of maudlin introspection or mawkishness. Battered and emotionally bruised, she marches on. In a word, dauntless, and it's exactly this quality that makes this memoir so readable.' Chris Moore, NZ Listener

'Utterly charming and filled with equal measures of heartbreak and humour, Ruth Shaw's memoir will have you booking the first flight to New Zealand to share a cup of tea at her Wee Bookshops. Shaw has been a cook, a nurse, sailor and world traveller, and endured
immeasurable loss. But with Lance, the love of her life, Shaw has found her place bookselling in Fiordland.' Booksellers' Choice Australia

'Shaw's writing is pragmatic and restrained; her voice is so strong and assured that when grief appears you gasp at its intrusion and your heart stops a second.' Alexa Dretzke, Readings Hawthorn

'Amazing!' Jack Tame, Newstalk ZB

'Compelling. Shaw tells her own story free of oversentimentality or self-pity; she's straightforward, frequently humorous, but, understandably, sometimes guarded and reluctant to overshare. Her resilience, optimism and willingness to always help others is to be admired; her remarkable story is to be read and reflected upon as it adds another vital perspective to a New Zealand life.' Dionne Christian, Sunday Star Times - -

"She maintains a spunky and positive voice, producing a delightful and fascinating memoir." —Booklist Reviews



"A deftly presented and informative memoir . . . an inherently fascinating read and a truly exceptional and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Bookseller Biography/Memoir collections." —Midwest Book Review.

"Her book's chapters alternate between memoir and Tales from the bookshop-- deft sketches of customers, friends and colleagues--weaving a thread connecting her extraordinary personal story . . . I'm fascinated by its wonderful contradiction to the clichés that sometimes brand booksellers." —Shelf Awareness.

The Bookseller at the End of the World made it onto Tolstoy Therapy's: 12 of the best books about books that capture the joy of reading.