More about books

Catherine Larner

Hello, I'm Catherine Larner, a freelance journalist, editor and presenter living in Suffolk. I contribute features, profiles, reviews, comment and analysis to regional and national magazines, newspapers and online. You can take a look at my published articles on my website here.

I also interview on stage for festivals, organisations and bookshops, 'in conversation' with novelists, historians, politicians and personalities.

Reading extensively and widely, I report on the books I've enjoyed in a weekly e-newsletter and on this site which now provides a resource of more than 800 titles. I hope you'll find it helpful in choosing books for yourself and for your friends and family.

Thank you for reading

 

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.

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 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. 

Yellowface
by RF Kuang
This is a book that everyone has been talking about this year. Described as 'breathtakingly clever on jealousy, talent, success, and who gets to tell which story'. What will we think of it?
Monday, 29 July 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

Brotherless Night
by VV Ganeshananthan
Winner of this year's Women's Prize and set in the Sri Lankan civil war, it has been described as 'a masterpiece of historical fiction', 'stunningly great' and 'an achingly moving portrait of individual and societal grief'. What will we think?
Wednesday, 24 July 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.

Samantha Harvey
Spending time with six astronauts orbiting the earth.
Publication date: 27th June 2024
Hardback edition
Carol Atherton
Recommended non-fiction
The books we read at school, the conversations they spark and why they matter. A great way to look again at the books we've loved over the years.
Publication date: 4th April 2024
Hardback edition
Alistair Campbell
Recommended non-fiction
Rich with information, observation and instruction, this book encourages us all to become more politically engaged.
Publication date: 18th January 2024
Richard Mabey
Recommended non-fiction
Musings on what we mean by gardens and what they could become, by the much-loved nature writer.
Publication date: 6th June 2024
Hardback edition
Nigel Toon
Recommended non-fiction
How we built it, how it can help us, and how we can control it. A very readable, reassuring and enabling approach to the subject!
Publication date: 8th February 2024
Hardback edition
Dominic Dromgoole
Recommended non-fiction
An extraordinary sweep through first nights in history and how they changed the world.
Publication date: 5th October 2023
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

For children

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

by Anna Fargher
In the shadow of Vesuvius, the wolf dog Delta has a race against time to save her family in 79 AD Pompeii.
Publication date: 4th July 2024
by Gavin Pretor-Pinney and illustrated by William Grill
Mesmerising illustrations introduce readers young and older to the magic of clouds. Stunning.
Publication date: 4th July 2024
Hardback edition
by Lily Murray and illustrated by Jennie Lovlie
Inspired by the life of paleontologist Mary Anning, this is the story of fossil hunting told in rhyme.
Publication date: 27th June 2024
Hardback edition
by Clare Povey
An exciting new adventure series begins as Flo and Joseph search for their explorer Mum and discover climate crimes.
Publication date: 6th June 2024
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 Manon Steffan Ros
Sam and his dad both love football. But a tragic accident rocks the family, exposes their difficulties and threatens to rob them of their common bond.
Publication date: 11th April 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

Look out for

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

by Zandra Rhodes and Ella Alexander
Recommended non-fiction
Publication date: 18th July 2024
by Donna Leon
Visiting Venice with Commissario Guido Brunetti when two teenage gangs clash and the community's hero isn't who he seems.
Publication date: 18th July 2024
by Simon Van Booy
A charming, tender, amusing, moving story about a woman and a mouse, and about friendship and reawakening. Wonderful!
Publication date: 18th July 2024
by Hilary McKay
Recommended for children
Publication date: 8th August 2024
by Abi Dare
Publication date: 8th August 2024
by Harriet Constable
Publication date: 15th August 2024
by Tom Allan
Recommended non-fiction
Publication date: 29th August 2024
by Louise Minchin
Publication date: 12th September 2024
by Tracy Chevalier
Publication date: 12th September 2024
by Nicola Davies
Recommended for children
Recommended non-fiction
Publication date: 19th September 2024

News

Sunday 7 July 2024

All change

Well, we've got a new government!  

And there certainly seems a welcome spirit of hope and optimism among us all in having this change. 

The nation's mood wasn't hurt by England finally winning on penalties last night either!

Change isn't always seen as positive, though, and can often be difficult to handle.

When times are tough, it's good to have something to take us out of ourselves. Watching sport - or theatre or music - with others can be an intense, communal and companionable activity.