More about books

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
Catherine

What's on

I am always planning new events but at the moment I have nothing quite ready to announce.

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 14 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.

Sorrow and Bliss
by Meg Mason
The American novelist and bookshop owner, Ann Patchett recommends this book with great enthusiasm. It made her 'bark like a seal' and is 'brilliantly faceted', scaring her, moving her and educating her. What will we make of it?!
Monday, 30 January 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. This is such a difficult time for them and they're all trying their best to find ways to allow us to shop safely.

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

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.

Awe
Dacher Keltner
Recommended non-fiction
A fascinating and thought-provoking look at how taking delight in what we see, feel and hear can transform us mentally, emotionally and physically.
Publication date: 3rd November 2022
Hardback edition
Cariad Lloyd
Recommended non-fiction
Publication date: 19th January 2023
Hardback edition
Elizabeth Gilbert
Recommended non-fiction
A fabulously entertaining and encouraging read about having the courage to create!
Publication date: 22nd September 2016
Ha-Joon Chang
Recommended non-fiction
A very clever and interesting read combining fascinating facts about food with even more fascinating facts about economics!
Publication date: 20th October 2022
Hardback edition
Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Recommended non-fiction
A memoir about keeping a cat, and then hoping to start a family and looking back on life's experiences.
Publication date: 19th January 2023
Hardback edition
Pandora Sykes
Recommended non-fiction
Interviews with writers asking them to name their favourite books and what they mean to them.
Publication date: 1st November 2022
Hardback edition
Michelle Obama
Recommended non-fiction
Subtitled 'Overcoming in Uncertain Times' this is a balm, a comfort, an encouragement and a challenge from the former first lady of the USA.
Publication date: 15th November 2022
Hardback edition
Abi Morgan
Recommended non-fiction
A compelling, difficult read about sudden illness and how life can take an unexpected turn. Difficult but at times humorous, this is an incredible...
Publication date: 12th May 2022
Hardback edition
Alba Donati
Recommended non-fiction
A beautifully packaged, beautifully told story of the beginnings of a bookshop in Tuscany.
Publication date: 3rd November 2022
Hardback edition
Angela Harding
Recommended non-fiction
The new book from the much-loved printmaker, Angela Harding looking at the changing light in nature through her prints and drawings.
Publication date: 3rd November 2022
Hardback edition

For children

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

by Abi Elphinstone
A feminist, modern retelling of Peter Pan with Martha Pennydrop and her brother Scruff.
Publication date: 5th January 2023
Hardback edition
by Fleur Hitchcock
A gripping, sinister, snowy murder mystery!
Publication date: 3rd November 2022
by Tanya Landman
A very moody time-slip novel set in Devon with evacuee Alfie learning about an ancient legend.
Publication date: 3rd November 2022
by Emma Thompson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
All about a very special dog who lives in the V&A Museum and helps deliver the very first Christmas card.
Publication date: 27th October 2022
Hardback edition
by Yeva Skalietska
The vivid and powerful diary of 12-year-old Yeva as she experiences the first twelve days of war in the Ukraine.
Publication date: 25th October 2022
by Emma Bettridge and illustrated by Josephine Birch
The most beautiful illustrations and a charming and touching story about coping with grief and loss through two friends, the dogs called Merlin and...
Publication date: 11th October 2022
Hardback edition
by Robin Stevens
The first in a new series to follow on from the hugely popular Murder Most Unladylike series.
Publication date: 6th October 2022
by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Michael Foreman
This is a simple, gentle tale with beautiful watercolour illustrations. A nostalgic picture book by a winning partnership.
Publication date: 6th October 2022
Hardback edition
by Emma Carroll and illustrated by Lauren Child
A feminist reworking of the Hans Christian Anderson classic, this is brilliantly and sensitively done. Fantastic!
Publication date: 15th September 2022
Hardback edition
by Iszi Lawrence
When Billie sees a plane crash into a field, her adventures begin. Wonderfully joyful and adventurous!
Publication date: 2nd September 2022

Look out for

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

by Sarah Hardy
Publication date: 16th March 2023
by Lesley Parr
Recommended for children
Publication date: 16th March 2023

My blog

Sunday 22 January 2023

Join the club?

The beginning of another year is often the prompt we need to try something new and I'm pleased to say that this month there's been a surge in interest in book clubs.

Our meeting in Woodbridge is only a week away but it's not too late to get a copy of the book and come along to join us. Scroll down for details but please let me know if you are hoping to attend so that I can be sure we have enough chairs!

Book groups are great for broadening our reading, sharing thoughts and opinions, puzzling over characters' behaviours, delighting in plot developments and wondering about authors' motivations and messages. And they're also a good place to meet like-minded people.

Many celebrities, businesses and magazines have developed their own book clubs to strengthen their brand identities and build a community.

Following on from the success of tv's Richard and Judy's Book Club, Oprah Winfrey in the US and 'Between the Covers' on BBC2, there are also book recommendations from singer Florence Welch and actors Reece Witherspoon, Emma Watson and Sarah Michelle-Geller.