More about books

For book news, events and recommendations, sign up for my weekly e-newsletter here.

As a writer and editor, I have enjoyed many years meeting and interviewing many fascinating people, and visiting wonderful locations worldwide. Take a look at my website here for an archive of my published articles.

These days I also indulge my passion for books, reading and writing by interviewing authors, hosting events and sharing my reviews and recommendations.

For more than 10 years I co-hosted a book club on air for BBC Radio Suffolk with the afternoon presenter, Lesley Dolphin. You can listen again to our conversations by following the link below. 

In 2008 I launched an open book club for leading independent Browsers Bookshop in Woodbridge and we have been meeting each month ever since.

I also have the pleasure of chairing and organising author talks for children and adults at events and festivals thoughout the year.

Past events with Browsers Bookshop in Woodbridge include Alexander McCall Smith, Margaret Drabble, Victoria Hislop, Griff Rhys Jones, Kate Mosse, Deborah Moggach, Maggie O'Farrell, Michael Morpurgo, Robert Peston, Kate Humble, Max Hastings.

I've interviewed Simon Mayo for the First Light Festival; Simon Garfield, Anna Pavord and Melissa Harrison for The Cut Halesworth; Louise Doughty, Salley Vickers and Esther Freud for Felixstowe Book Festival; Barbara Erskine and Alan Johnson MP for Suffolk Libraries, and many more.

Each week I compile an e-newsletter offering book news, author events, my reviews and recommendations. If you'd like to receive it, please click here.

Thank you for reading

What's on

Wednesday 21st June, 12.00pm
at Riverside Cinema
The writer, broadcaster and vicar, Richard Coles will be in conversation about his novel 'A Death in the Parish' in this special lunchtime event.
Tuesday 4th July, 7.30pm
at Woodbridge Library
Margaret will be in conversation with Catherine Larner, talking about her inspiration and motivation in writing 'The Witching Tide', a stunning and haunting novel set in East Anglia during England's deadliest witch hunt, in the 17th century.

Events Archive

Visit my archive pages for details of all events in recent years.

Listening in

For more than 10 years I’ve co-hosted a monthly book club on BBC Radio Suffolk with the presenter Lesley Dolphin. You can listen to past discussions here.

Browsers Book Group

I've been hosting the Browsers Book Group for the past 16 years. We used to meet in the bookshop in Woodbridge but during lockdown I ran a monthly online discussion. We are now meeting in person again at a nearby venue. Please ​​​​sign up for the weekly e-newsletter here to receive details. And support this independent bookshop by purchasing your copy of the book from Browsers, with a special book group discount.

The Slaves of Solitude
by Patrick Hamilton
This tale of life in a wartime boarding house strikes the perfect balance between poignancy and dark hilarity, says one reviewer. What will we make of it?
Monday, 26 June 2023 - 8:00pm

Reader recommendations

At the end of each year, members of the Browsers Book Group meet together to share their favourite titles and offer ideas for gifts for friends and family, and for new authors to try ourselves. For 2022 the titles that were mentioned are listed here.

Buying books

As you get ideas for book purchases, please do remember to use your local high street bookshop. 

But perhaps you've read about the new online bookshop initiative? It's called

There are curated booklists to browse, drawn up by booksellers and reviewers and, for every purchase made through the site, independent bookshops receive a commission. 

I've linked the reviews on my website so that you can purchase online if you wish (and I will receive a small commission for each purchase, with a further commission going to all independent bookshops). 

However, please note that it is still best to order direct from your local high street bookshop!

Book reviews

My recent recommendations

Here are the books I've been enjoying recently, both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Matt Morgan
Recommended non-fiction
Publication date: 2nd March 2023
Richard Coles
A charming, wry and, at times, wise crime novel set within village and church life in the 1980s.
Publication date: 8th June 2023
Hardback edition
AJ Pearce
Continuing the story of the challenges facing the team of the Women's Friend magazine in wartime London.
Publication date: 25th May 2023
Hardback edition
Polly Crosby
A bewitching gothic tale set on the Suffolk ghost.
Publication date: 25th May 2023
Hardback edition
Richard Coles
Recommended non-fiction
An entertaining and insightful memoir on life as a parish vicar, and sometime broadcaster.
Publication date: 5th October 2017
Emily Critchley
Edie is an old woman, struggling with her memory and when she sees her old schoolfriend Lucy in the street she doesn't know why they have...
Publication date: 25th May 2023
Hardback edition
Mensun Bound
Recommended non-fiction
Subtitled 'The Discovery of Shackleton's Endurance', it describes the search for the ship that slipped under the ice in the Antarctic...
Publication date: 27th October 2022
Hardback edition
Kate Sawyer
A beautifully crafted novel about family - 40 years of memories told through the events of one day.
Publication date: 11th May 2023
Ben Ansell
Recommended non-fiction
Politicians aren't the problem, instead we have unrealistic expectations of what politics can achieve.
Publication date: 30th March 2023
Hardback edition
Han Kang
An intriguing and thought-provoking novel about language and relationships.
Publication date: 27th April 2023
Hardback edition

For children

These are my most recent recommendations for children. Click here to see listings by age.

by Al Rodin
Vibrant colours and quirky illustrations in this tale about understanding and appreciating our differences, and making friends!
Publication date: 1st June 2023
by Jon Agee
Trees stay outside all day long, so a little girl encourages her dad to join her in pretending to be trees!
Publication date: 5th May 2023
Hardback edition
by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
A beautifully illustrated celebration in rhyme, introducing a new baby to the world.
Publication date: 20th April 2023
by Eduard Altaribba
Full of information, maps, diagrams and illustrations - brilliantly packaged introduction to a difficult subject.
Publication date: 11th April 2023
by Rob Ramsden
Bold illustrations and a simple, cheery story about listening and enjoying the natural world.
Publication date: 7th April 2023
Hardback edition
by Chelsea O'Byrne
Thomas wants to escape his annoying family and wishes he could be king so that he can do exactly what he wants.
Publication date: 6th April 2023
by Esme Higgs and Jo Cotterill and illustrated by Hannah George
A lovely, upbeat, big hearted pony story.
Publication date: 30th March 2023
by Lesley Parr
A wonderfully nostalgic adventure, with the miners strikes of the 1970s as a backdrop.
Publication date: 16th March 2023
by Rhian Tracey
A beautiful cover and a fabulous setting of Bletchley Park, this is a mystery adventure set at the start of World War II which is inspired by real...
Publication date: 2nd March 2023
by Kaye Umansky and illustrated by Ben Mantle
He doesn't look very delightful on the cover, but this is about the day when Dick got out of bed the wrong side.
Publication date: 2nd March 2023

Look out for

These titles will soon be published but are not yet available in the shops. 

by Caryl Lewis
Recommended for children
A warm, wonderful story about magic, friendship and family and new beginnings.
Publication date: 15th June 2023
by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Nila Aye
Recommended for children
The hugely successful, much-loved writer Julia Donaldson has signed a lot of books for children, and here she recalls some of their names - in rhyme.
Publication date: 15th June 2023
by Isabelle Broom
An aspiring novelist takes a trip to the US hoping for inspiration and finds much more.
Publication date: 22nd June 2023
by Ken Smith and Will Millard
Recommended non-fiction
Publication date: 29th June 2023
by Felice Hardy
Recommended non-fiction
When Liesl Herbst escaped Austria at the start of the Second World War, she was a champion tennis player. Her story is powerfully and compellingly told by her granddaughter.
Publication date: 3rd July 2023
by Jenny Pearson
Recommended for children
Publication date: 6th July 2023
by Margaret Meyer
A stunning, haunting novel set in East Anglia during England's deadliest witch hunt, in the 17th century.
Publication date: 6th July 2023
by AM Howell
Recommended for children
The first in a new series of Mysteries at Sea, this is a fabulous adventure.
Publication date: 3rd August 2023
by Steve Cavanagh
Publication date: 3rd August 2023


Sunday 4 June 2023

Meeting your heroes

While I enjoy making trips to London for big shows or exhibitions, there's something very special about seeing familiar faces or meeting skilled creative people in your own local community.

This weekend I enjoyed hearing chat show host and presenter Clive Andersonspeak at Aldeburgh and I toured artists' homes through the Suffolk Open Studios initiative in Woodbridge.

Seeing beautiful pieces of art, whether paintings, sculpture or pottery, was very energising and uplifting. It was also inspiring to see how these skilled and gifted people chose to shape their lives and lifestyles around their creativity, seeking to overcome the challenges we all face, particularly in terms of time and money, to express themselves and fulfil their passion.

And Clive Anderson, known for his self-deprecation and mocking manner, was also enlightening as he reviewed his on-screen disasters. Despite always preparing his interviews meticulously, his brief for his tv programmes was always to get a laugh, he said, but the interviewee wasn't always willing to participate in this intent. As a result the Bee Gees walked off mid conversation and Richard Branson poured a glass of water over Clive's head.