As a writer and editor, I have enjoyed many years meeting and interviewing many fascinating people, and visiting wonderful locations worldwide.

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

Each month I host 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. Do join in with your own comments on the books we're reading!

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

Past events include Alexander McCall Smith, Margaret Drabble, Victoria Hislop, Griff Rhys Jones, Kate Mosse, Deborah Moggach, Maggie O'Farrell, Michael Morpurgo, Robert Peston, Kate Humble, Alan Johnson MP, Max Hastings and many more.

I hope you will enjoy reading details of my events, my reviews and recommendations.

And if you'd like to sign up for my weekly newsletter please click here.

Thank you for reading



coming soon

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

Talking with Lesley

on BBC Radio Suffolk, Tuesday 7 July at 2.30pm.

For some years now I've been enjoying a monthly chat with Lesley Dolphin, the afternoon presenter on BBC Radio Suffolk, contributing to her regular feature 'Lesley's Readers'.

We talk together about the book we have just read, and the one we'll be discussing next month as well as all other things book related!

Scroll down for more details.


Browsers Book Group

Due to the current situation regarding coronavirus, we are no longer able to meet in person. If you wish to join in with the monthly online discussion, please sign up for the weekly e-newsletter here to receive details.

by Michael Ondaatje

Described as possessing 'real emotional and psychological heft, delicate melancholy and yet, frequently, page-turning plottiness'. Will we agree? Everyone is welcome to join in the video discussion on Monday 29 June at 8pm.

Monday, 29 June 2020 - 8:00pm

recent events

Wednesday 26 February 2020
The popular novelist talked about the inspiration for her latest book, set around the development of radar at Bawdsey, Suffolk during WWII.
Thursday 30 January 2020
Respected publisher and member of the 2019 Booker Prize judging panel, Liz Calder shared something of her life in books.
Saturday 2 November 2019
Despite terrible weather, dozens of people joined us in the bookshop to meet cricket raconteur Henry Blofeld as he signed copies of his new book 'My A-Z of Cricket'.


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

Book reviews

Look out for

by Meg Rosoff
Recommended for children
The story of one family, one summer, in their holiday home by the coast. A wonderful escapist coming-of-age read. Published 9 July 2020.
by Curtis Sittenfeld
What would have happened if Hillary hadn't married Bill? This is a fascinating, completely engrossing, though slightly uncomfortable, imagining of the lives of two formidable politicians. Published 9 July 2020.
by Rachel Joyce
Fabulous characters, a journey, and self discovery. Familiar Rachel Joyce, with some surprises too. Published 23 July 2020.
by Hilary Boyd
A gripping family drama about choices and consequences. Published 6 August 2020.
by Emily St John Mandel
by Sophie Mackintosh
An unsettling but intriguing and consuming dystopian world, reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale. Published 27 August 2020.
by Richard Osman
Four friends in a retirement village meet to solve a murder. Fantastic! Didn't want to leave these characters and, if anything, I didn't need the crime, I just loved the interactions between them all. It's funny and there's lots of talk of cake. Looking forward to the next instalment already!
by Belinda Bauer
A quirky, comical murder mystery. Not what I was expecting! Loved it. Published 11 February 2021.

My recent recommendations

by Joanna Cannon
Recommended non-fiction
A frank, moving and beautifully written memoir exploring, through the highs and lows of her career path, why the author could not continue as a...
Recommendation date: 27.05.20
by Raynor Winn
Recommended non-fiction
An extraordinary and inspiring memoir of how a couple face the loss of everything they've held dear by going on a very long walk!
Recommendation date: 13.05.20
by Abbie Greaves
Frank hasn't spoken to his wife for six months. As she lies unconscious in her hospital bed, he tells her their story, and reveals the secret...
Recommendation date: 29.04.20
by Ann Napolitano
Uplifting and life-affirming, and completely compelling, this is an extraordinary book. The sole survivor from a plane crash, this 13-year-old boy...
Recommendation date: 29.04.20
by Anne Tyler
A charming, funny and poignant love story. Micah solves all your computer problems, but struggles with his relationships.
Recommendation date: 29.04.20
by Sally Magnusson
Blending folklore with historical fiction in the Scottish highlands, this is a beautiful and mystical story which explores religion and the...
Recommendation date: 15.04.20
by Jeanine Cummins
The compelling and shocking story of a mother and son seeking to escape from Mexico across the border to the USA.
Recommendation date: 09.04.20
by Phoebe Morgan
One summer, in Suffolk a body is found draped over a baby's cot, but the baby is missing. In France a family holiday is interrupted by the...
Recommendation date: 09.04.20

For children

by Wilbur Smith
A fabulous African adventure for older children from the master storyteller, Wilbur Smith, with Chris Wakling.
Review date: 28.05.20
by Onjali Q. Rauf
A beautifully told story of believing in a star, but with the backdrop of domestic abuse, grief and foster care.
Review date: 16.05.20
by Kit de Waal
A coming-of-age road trip novel about identity, loss, friendship, fractured relationships, which is also described as a feminist take on 'Moby...
Review date: 29.04.20
by Zeb Soanes
A beautiful story of the relationship between humans and animals in London streets, illustrated by James Mayhew.
Review date: 15.04.20

On the radio

BBC Radio Suffolk

Catherine at BBC Radio SuffolkOn the first Tuesday (or Wednesday!) of each month, at 2.20pm, I join Lesley Dolphin on the afternoon programme at BBC Radio Suffolk to discuss the book of the month which I have chosen for her feature called Lesley's Readers. Listeners are invited to send in comments by text or email, or by phoning the programme on 0800 141 2121.

Lesley's Readers are reading...

The Hunting Party
by Lucy Foley

We have just read.....

The Music Shop
by Rachel Joyce
We loved this book for its celebration of the power of music to heal, touch and uplift, as well as its compelling story, the strength of community, a belief in second chances and vivid, charming characters.
joined by the author

My blog

Friday 5 June 2020

Something to think about

I thought 'attending' the Hay Festival talks this week might be a mistake and, sure enough, I've got another long list of books I want to read!

Yes, there are the latest books by novelists I'd had my eye on, but there were also some fascinating presentations about our world today.

The future of work, journalism, healthcare, artificial intelligence, politics; these themes and many more were addressed by some engaging and inspiring speakers. (I was particularly taken by Daniel Susskind talking about 'A World Without Work'.)