More about books

My More About Books bookstore where books can be purchased online can be found here or from any 'buy this book online' link. If you buy books linked to this site, I earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.

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.

I've organised visits to Woodbridge by 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 and many more.

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, as well as authors for Lavenham Literary Festival, FolkEast and the HighTide Festival in Aldeburgh.

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 in Woodbridge and we have been meeting each month ever since.

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

Monday 8th July, 7.30pm
at Riverside Cinema
Former European, Commonwealth and World Champion, Iwan Thomas will be sharing the story of his life and career - the highs and the lows - and the mental, emotional and physical challenges of competing in elite sport, Iwan Thomas is joining us for this special evening event on the release of his autobiography, ‘Brutal’.

Events Archive

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

Listening in

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

Book Groups

WOODBRIDGE

I've been hosting an open Book Group in Woodbridge for the past 17 years. We used to meet in the town's bookshop but are now gathering in a hall just off the Thoroughfare. Please ​​​​sign up for the weekly e-newsletter here to receive details. 

Close to Home
by Michael Magee
What it is to be young and working class in Northern Ireland today, this debut novel is described as 'hard-edged and soft-hearted', 'tense and immersive...deeply decent, unputdownable'. What will we think of it?
Monday, 24 June 2024 - 8:00pm

FRAMLINGHAM

I'm leading a monthly adult book group at the fabulous Ottie and the Bea children's shop in Framlingham. You can find out about how to join in the meeting and sign up here or call in to the shop to learn more and browse the wonderful selection of children's books and gifts. The book we are reading this month is

The Marriage Portrait
by Maggie O'Farrell
Set in the treacherous political world of the Italian Renaissance, this is 'a reimagining of the life of a young woman whose proximity to power places her in mortal danger'. We all have high expectations of this author, will this deliver?
Wednesday, 26 June 2024 - 7:30pm

Reader recommendations

At the end of each year, members of the 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 2023 the titles that were mentioned are listed here.

Buying books

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). 

Click here for my page on bookshop.org and do consider using it whenever you wish to buy online. 

Book reviews

My recent recommendations

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

Percival Everett
The gripping tale of Huckleberry Finn's adventures from the perspective of the enslaved Jim.
Publication date: 11th April 2024
Hardback edition
Sarah Perry
A story of love and astronomy told through two unlikely best friends over twenty years. Wonderfully atmospheric and mystical.
Publication date: 2nd May 2024
Hardback edition
Marine Tanguy
Recommended non-fiction
A very readable and practical guide to resisting visual manipulation all around us and instead make our visual landscape inspiring and empowering.
Publication date: 7th March 2024
Hardback edition
Ashley Mullenger
Recommended non-fiction
A brilliantly compelling account of finding a passion for working at sea as one of the industry's few female fishermen.
Publication date: 2nd May 2024
Hardback edition
Patrick Grant
Recommended non-fiction
A compelling and convincing argument about how we should revisit our attitude towards acquiring 'things' and following fast fashion.
Publication date: 9th May 2024
Robert Ashton
Recommended non-fiction
Part memoir, part social history, inspired by George Ewart Evan's book from 1956, this is a mesmerising account of Suffolk village life.
Publication date: 4th April 2024
Hardback edition
Danny Wallace
Recommended non-fiction
An entertaining, but ultimately disturbing, investigation into conspiracy theories. We must all play our part in finding and telling the truth.
Publication date: 9th May 2024
Hardback edition
Tim Owen and Mike Palmer and Andy Airey
Recommended non-fiction
A powerful and uplifting book, giving each man’s story of family and friendship, purpose and hope after they each lost their daughters to suicide.
Publication date: 4th April 2024
Hardback edition

For children

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

by Ashley Hickson-Lovence
When tragedy hits, Ronnie's mum decides they should leave their home in London. There are different challenges in Norwich, but new opportunities...
Publication date: 23rd May 2024
by Catherine Bruton
An uplifting and moving story of a boy coping with grief and dislocation, who is helped to heal by rare birds, a wild landscape and a community.
Publication date: 9th May 2024
by Yorick Goldewijk and translated by Laura Watkinson
Time travel through the movie screen brings healing to a young girl who has never known her mother.
Publication date: 4th April 2024
by Christopher Edge
Five friends settle in for a movie marathon at their local cinema, then a wave crashes out of the screen sweeping them into an epic adventure.
Publication date: 14th March 2024
by Kate Saunders
Four children audition for parts in a new film - clearly inspired by 'The Sound of Music'! Wonderfully warm, uplifting and joyful!
Publication date: 7th March 2024
by Axel Scheffler
An animal fable about learning right and wrong.
Publication date: 7th March 2024
Hardback edition
by AJ Clack
A tv reality show goes wrong in this shocking thriller for young adults.
Publication date: 1st March 2024
by Hans Konnecke and illustrated by Ole Konnecke
A wonderful mix of fun illustrations and fascinating facts about musical instruments. Something here for all ages but aimed at 4-8 years.
Publication date: 1st March 2024
Hardback edition

Look out for

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

by Clare Povey
Recommended for children
Publication date: 6th June 2024
by Elly Griffiths
A fabulous collections of short stories featuring all our favourite Elly Griffiths' characters - Ruth Galloway, Max Mephisto, Justice Jones, Harbinder Kaur, and more!
Publication date: 18th June 2024
by Zandra Rhodes and Ella Alexander
Recommended non-fiction
Publication date: 18th July 2024
by Donna Leon
Publication date: 18th July 2024
by Hilary McKay
Recommended for children
Publication date: 8th August 2024
by Harriet Constable
Publication date: 15th August 2024
by Louise Minchin
Publication date: 12th September 2024
by Tracy Chevalier
Publication date: 12th September 2024

News

Sunday 26 May 2024

A sense of surprise

We've said it before but these days there's never a shortage of information available for anything and everything.

And this includes books, films, tv programmes - the blurbs and trailers are designed to tempt us in but often it feels that they give rather too much away. Or they overegg the pudding - how many times have we been told a book is 'hilarious' only to find, for us, it barely raises a smile?

But these are competitive times and the marketing and publicity teams need to earn their keep. 

I was interested, then, to read a recent interview with the actors/writers Steve Pemberton and Reece Smith, speaking ahead of the release of their latest and last series of dark, comedic dramas - an anthology of stories in 30 minute episodes, called 'Inside No 9'.