Karnac Diary

Monday 10th June 2019


Next Karnac Diary coming soon! 


Tuesday 28th May 2019


We hope our customers have had a restful bank holiday weekend as we move into June.


We were extremely saddened to hear that Cesare Sacerdoti recently passed away. Several of us at Karnac Books started our bookselling careers at the shop on Gloucester Road in the nineties.

Cesare Sacerdoti bought Karnac from Harry Karnac in 1981 and ran it till 2000. He set up the shop on Finchley Road (now moved to 12 New College Parade but still on the Finchley Rd) and started to build up the publishing side by reprinting Classic Psychoanalytic works.


The last couple of weeks have been hectic as usual. We attended the UCL Psychoanalysis Unit’s conference on Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis and were pleased to see many customers there from London and further afield. There was positive feedback about the lectures and the quality of the conference speakers along with the discussions that were stimulated.


In store there has been a good selection of new titles. In the New Library of Psychoanalysis series, Vic Sedlak examines clinicians’ fear of a superego in The Psychoanalyst's Superegos, Ego Ideals and Blind Spots. The book is richly illustrated with clinical material and will enable practitioners to recognise the unconscious forces which militate against their clinical effectiveness.


Attachment Centered Play Therapy offers clinicians a holistic, play-based approach to child and family therapy that is presented through the lens of attachment theory. Along the way, chapters explore the theoretical underpinnings of attachment theory to provide a foundational understanding of the theory while also supplying evidence-based interventions, practical strategies, and illuminative case studies. This informative new resource strives to combine theory and practice in a single intuitive model designed to maximize the child-parent relationship, repair attachment wounds, and address underlying symptoms of trauma.


Finally Frances Beer writes about the growing evidence for the powerful role that music plays in enhancing children's cognitive, social and emotional development in Using Music in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. Expressive Arts Therapies is an ever-popular area and we have a good selection of titles in store; we have more and more customers asking us for material in this area. Do come in and look for yourself.


We are looking forward to moving into the summer months and hope to meet many of you at the conferences we are attending in June and July.

Monday 13th May 2019

We’ve had a fun week at the shop and surprised ourselves by being delighted by the royal birth (we are not traditional royalists!) and what a cool name! Congratulations to Harry and Meghan. We attended a really interesting discussion panel organized by The Guardian at Kings Place - Bias in Britain: The Truth About Modern Racism. It was a stimulating discussion chaired by Afua Hirsch and with panelists ranging from those in education, politics and football. A fascinating evening. We are looking forward to a forthcoming title, the first in a while on racism and psychology, called Overcoming Everyday Racism: Building Resilience and Wellbeing in the Face of Discrimination and Microaggressions by Susan Cousins. It is very topical and deals with relevant issues that we've seen in a number of news stories recently. The book discusses the impact of racism and discrimination on BAME people. It is available to pre-order on our website and is due for publication in July 2019.


We have another busy conference weekend coming up. On Saturday 18th May, we will be at the Psychoanalysis Unit’s conference The Future of Neuroscience, Attachment and Mentalizing with our bookstall in the North Cloisters of UCL. As well as any new titles, we will also have a good selection of books relevant to the conference and speakers. GASi also have a study day on the 18th at the Institute of Education and also their 43rd Annual Foulkes lecture on the Friday evening. Unfortunately we can’t attend but we’ll be bringing a selection of Group titles in case anyone saunters up to North Cloisters to see us. Also on the 16th/17th May is the APS conference: The 'Reading' Conference. Bob Hinshelwood and Kalina Stamenova  are presenting a panel and have recently published Methods of Research into the Unconscious: Applying Psychoanalytic Ideas to Social Science and are promoting the book at the conference. We can’t attend the conference but very much support Kalina and Bob and their book with the aim of making psychoanalytic ideas more accessible.


We are happy to attend conferences with our books so do get in touch if you think a bookstall would be a useful addition to any conference you are organising:  r.rathbone@karnacbooks.com.


New titles are continuing to flood in and are selling well through our website:


Treating PTSD in Military Personnel: A Clinical Handbook by Bret Moore and Walter Penk - Leading authorities review available evidence-based treatments in this title.


Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Step-by-Step Treatment Manual edited by Christopher A Flessner and John C Piacentini –  Inspired by the work on adult disorders, this book brings together current research on child and adolescent treatment into a practical handbook for students and clinicians.


Chain Analysis in Dialectical Behavior Therapy by Shireen Rizvi – Full of clinical examples in DBT, this book provides knowledge and skills for conducting chains effectively and overcoming obstacles. Rizvi presents guiding principles, questions to ask, strategies for engaging clients and addressing difficult-to-assess problems, and ways to avoid common mistakes. 



Tuesday 7th May 2019

We hope all our customers had a good bank holiday break. Shame the fine weather of Easter wasn’t repeated but it is always good to have an extra day off.

We loved running a bookstall at the Anna Freud Centre at their new premises in Kings Cross. Beatrice Beebe was a key speaker and was very much appreciated. Her books on our stand completely sold out and we were amused by the quiet negotiations between delegates over the last copy of several of her books! Delegates were very pleasant overall and it was a pleasure to be invited and to attend. We hope for further collaborations with the AFC, currently Karnac Bookshop’s favourite training organisation. We fully approve of their ethos and attempts to make psychotherapy more accessible to the public.

We have a week off then we will be gearing up for our next conference. Always a pleasure to attend any conferences at UCL run by the Psychoanalysis Unit, we will be at North Cloisters for the Neuroscience & Psychoanalysis conference on Saturday 18th May. On the same day is the GASi study day at the Institute of Education and although we were invited to attend, we can’t. We will bring along a selection of Group books in case any attendees fancy the short stroll to N Cloisters from Bedford Way.

We are delighted that Richard will be manning the stall and that Marcus may be putting in an appearance over the lunch break. He will be swotting away in the British Library (A levels start in June) but will come over to UCL to help out.

Some great new titles this week, all available online and in store. Currently flying off the shelves are:


Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Women and Their Experience of Desire, Ambition and Leadership by Stephanie Brody and Frances Arnold is a fascinating read looking at the progress of psychoanalytic theory regarding women in the 21st century.


Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty by Jacqueline Rose (new in paperback but also available in hardback). With many popular cultural references, this is a powerful book about women and motherhood.


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A therapist, her therapist, and our lives revealed by Lori Gottlieb takes a look at the relationship between patient and therapist in a profession conventionally by rules and secrets. How can you resist reading this?


Two Cases from Jung's Clinical Practice: The Story of Two Sisters and the Evolution of Jungian Analysis by Vicente L. de Moura is a unique and insightful study  of Jungian theory and also gives us an historical perspective on Jung at a time when his practice was still evolving.



Monday 29th April 2019

It’s been a good few weeks for us. We all enjoyed our Easter break and the beautiful, warm Easter weekend. Now it is full steam ahead for May.


A lot of new books have been coming in over the past few weeks, all of which you will have seen on our regular e-mails. Have you signed up for these? You can easily do this by e-mailing shop@karnacbooks.com.


A topical new title by Robert Beshara is Decolonial Psychoanalysis: Towards Critical Islamophobia Studies. He tries to come to terms with the legacy of racism in psychology making it a great read for anyone interested in a critical approach to Islamaphobia. Afua Hirsch, the Guardian columnist, writes extensively about identity, British history and why we cannot be complacent about race. At Karnac, we highly recommend her book Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging. It reveals some uncomfortable truths about race and identity in Britain today. As with most titles, we can get hold of this book for you easily so do call us if you would like to order it along with Robert Beshara’s new book – they would compliment each other perfectly!

In Beyond Psychotherapy: On Becoming a (Radical) Psychoanalyst, Barnaby Barratt looks at going against conformism in psychotherapy and considers the usefulness of other dimensions of an individual’s experience. It is certainly an inspiring read offering a different approach to most training institutions and would be of interest to all therapists and other scholars.

We were pleased to visit the new premises of one of London’s premier training organisations, The Anna Freud Centre which has moved from Maresfield Gardens to Kings Cross. The offices and conferences space are perfect for the AFC to achieve their aim of delivering mental health care to children and families for over 60 years. On Thursday 2nd May, Karnac Bookshop is attending the conference, organised by the AFC along with Child Attachment and Psychological Therapies Research, with a bookstall. We will bring our new titles as well as titles by speakers – including Anne Alvarez, Tessa Baradon and Beatrice Beebe – so come along and see us in the coffee and refreshments area. It promises to be a good conference, well attended by clinicians, researchers and academics.

Allan Schore has published his new book, The Development of the Unconscious Mind in April. He has been described as the “American Bowlby” as he tries to integrate neuroscience with attachment and psychoanalysis. Be assured that will have his books at our next conference bookstall in May at UCL on Neuroscience and Pychoanalysis. More on that next time!


So many books, so little time! Visit our website or even better come into our bookshop on the Finchley Rd for the best and newest selection of titles on psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

Monday 8th April 2019


The past week has been quiet at Karnac Bookshop but we have been grateful as it is a time of change for us and gives us a chance to catch up.

We have had a number of interesting new titles arriving though. The International Dictionary of Psychotherapy hit our shelves. Edited by Giorgio Nardone with contributions from a host of experts in the field, we fully expect this title to be in our Top Ten Bestsellers in the near future.


The psychoanalytic “classics” sell as well as ever. One title that sells regularly is Dream Analysis by Ella Freeman Sharpe. We were contacted by Professor Tobin from Leeds University with an unusual query a couple of months ago. His wife had bought a copy of the book from Karnac Books (from the original shop on Gloucester Rd, priced at £7.99! Ahhh, 1988, it took some of us back to our University days and memories of some of the hits of 1988: Guns n Roses, The Pet Shop Boys and Tracy Chapman). The Prof was reading through the book when he noticed that pages 19 – 34 were missing. As an example of our excellent customer service, we asked him to send the book back to us. We contacted the publisher, requested a replacement copy and sent it on the Prof complete with pages 19 – 34.  The Prof sent us an e-mail: “Belated but heartfelt thanks for sending me the Dream Analysis book. Happy to provide the opportunity for a history lesson for your younger staff, and a trip down memory lane for yourself; and in the process, reminding me how elderly I am. :) I have indeed enjoyed finally reading pages 19-34. Well worth waiting for. You have responded brilliantly, and of course we shall continue promoting Karnac Books, at every opportunity.”


We always aim to please!


A surprise bestseller, we have already had to re-order stock of Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity (2-volume set) by Peter Kingsley. It seems to be The Red Book of 2019 and is available in-store and on line. Our in-store Jungian section is always very popular and customers spend many hours happily browsing before buying a title or two. Do come in and take a look if you are passing.

We are gearing up for the Easter break and will keep you posted. We are seeing a number of publishers’ reps in the week and will be ensuring that we get all the best new titles as soon as they are available.

Monday 1st April 2019


This week has been a little less busy but nonetheless there is a lot going on. Organisations have begun to realise that Conference team is up and running again and we have been invited to a lot of conferences in the coming months.

This keeps us busy as we tailor the books we take to the conference theme and the speakers as well taking suggestions from the organisers.

Let us know if you would like us to attend any events you are running, we will always try and help. E-mail us at shop@karnacbooks.com or call in at our shop to discuss over a cup of tea.


We have been pretty busy in the shop this week; there have been some great new books coming in. And some titles continuing to do very well. Margot Waddell’s On Adolescence is a perennial bestseller and one that give us a great deal of satisfaction. Yet another one commissioned by Oliver! He’s not bad at his job.

We are also pleased to have a new title by Chris Mawson: Psychoanalysis and Anxiety: From Knowing to Being. Chris is one of our favourite authors and we very much enjoyed working with him on The Complete Works of Bion. When originally published it was a beautiful set of hardbacks admired by all. The Bion family is a great supporter of Karnac and we love working with them.

There will be a few changes at Karnac over the next few weeks. Now that Marcus has moved on, Nikki will be covering the shop floor on Thursdays and Fridays. Nikki has been with Karnac since Sept 2012 and in that time has gained a lot of knowledge about psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.  Do ask her about anything you need to know, she will do her best to help. Loreta and Taneisha will be covering her role in Mail Order.  It is always good to have a change.


We like chatting to our customers when they call in. Our customer of the week was Seamus from Dublin. He was very disappointed to cross the road from Finchley Rd tube and to discover what was his beloved bookshop is now a coffee shop!


Luckily a short stroll towards Swiss Cottage, past the BP garage and he found us. I asked him what made Karnac Bookshop special. His reply: I did my training at the Tavistock in the early 90s, travelling weekly from Dublin over the 4 years, and frequently spending time (and money!) in Karnac then. I found your experience, knowledge and helpfulness extremely supportive and spent hours browsing. It really felt like a second home in the work and one I have really missed. I just wanted you to know I have immense regard for the service you offer and am glad you are surviving the market pressures.

Thank you for finding us, Seamus! It is great to know we are appreciated.


Let us know your memories of Karnac over the years – good or bad (we are always happy to learn from our mistakes).

Monday 25th March 2019


In February 2018, Karnac Bookshop moved premises to just up the road to 12, New College Parade, Finchley Rd, NW3 5EP. We were delighted to stay in the area and to be able to continue to serve the psychotherapeutic community in North London and beyond (we even ventured to a NEAPP conference in Newcastle last October – that was fun!).


There have been a number of staff changes at Karnac Bookshop. Taneisha has taken on the role of Bookshop Manager as of January and since then the shop has been looking even better and we have been operating very smoothly. Siobhan is our assistant manager making sure we are fully stocked with the very latest titles in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Loreta efficiently ensures our mail order trade continues and Nikki looks after the post room and getting books to our customers. We continue to offer free P & P throughout the world. Richard now works part time and is the welcoming face you will see when you walk through the door. Richard has worked for Karnac for over 25 years and has a wealth of experience and knowledge. You will often see him running our bookstalls at various conferences and launches. Overall we have a most excellent team and we carry on providing an efficient service both online and in store. We feel we have settled in to our new premises and hope everyone knows we are still around providing an invaluable service.


It has been a busy fortnight at Karnac Bookshop. There have been a lot new books coming in that have been selling fast.  On the 16th March, we attended the UCL Psychoanalysis Unit’s conference The Sandlers: Some Internal Objects Revisited. It was great to see lots of you there and to meet the speakers. From hearing delegates chatting, it seemed that Jonathan Sklar delivered an intriguing and powerful lecture enjoyed by all. We were also up the road at Birkbeck at the BPF’s conference on Exploring Gender Diversity. Quite a different crowd to UCL in terms of attendees and we were made to feel very welcome – thank you. Finally the FPC held an event in Notting Hill at which Celia Harding spoke and did a signing for her book Dissecting the Superego. Her book was sold out, no mean feat! What a busy day for Karnac Bookshop and the conference team.


Our best selling book of the fortnight has been Nicola Abel-Hirsch’s Bion 365 originally contracted by Oliver so no surprises that it is proving to be a popular one.  We attended the book launch of Bion 365 on Friday 22nd March at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, Byron House. We enjoyed seeing many of you there and the book sold well. Our youngest member of staff, Marcus ran the launch bookstall. Marcus will be leaving us this month to take his exams in the summer and then go to University in September to study Medicine. We wish him the very best in the future and perhaps he will become one of our loyal customers once qualified!


Do come and visit us at our Bookshop on the Finchley Rd – we love the shop and enjoy working there. We are always pleased to see customers in store and offer recommendations and advice when needed.


Look out for our weekly diary on our website letting you know what we have been up to and what is coming up.

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