I don't know about you but, even though I've got piles of books that I want to read, I still can't resist when a new title or author captures my attention. I just have to get that book, and it leapfrogs all the others.

Attending the Hay Festival online this week is a case in point as I've been introduced once again to lots of new writers who have enthused me with their thoughts and passions. I'm sure these are the books I'll be recommending over the next few weeks as a result. Watch this space!

I've also been enjoying the BBC 2 book club series 'Between the Covers', as I think I've mentioned.

I'd never heard of the novelist Mary Lawson until she was introduced by the presenter Graham Norton as his favourite writer on a recent programme.

We're reading her first novel 'Crow Lake' for this month's online book group and it will be interesting to see if everyone agrees with him. Scroll down for details on taking part.

Some books, too, set you off on a new path. And this was the case with my recommended non-fiction title this week.

Christopher Tugendhat has put together a social and political history of Britain from 1900-1964 by investigating the messages and preoccupations of the writing of that period.

It's a fascinating account, whether or not you're familiar with the titles he mentions. In fact some of the books I've been meaning to read for some time ('The Riddle of the Sands') and others I've never heard of but sound intriguing. 

There's something very special about finding and enjoying a new writer, and having a whole avenue of delights open up to you, particularly when you feel you've stumbled across someone little known. There is that conflict between being desperate to share them with everyone and wanting to keep them as your own little secret!

We'll be meeting a new writer in the next few weeks when Kate Sawyer, an actress and producer from Suffolk will have her first novel published. It's called 'The Stranding' and I found it completely compelling and all-consuming when I read an early copy. She'll be talking to me via Zoom on 1 July in an event I've organised with Browsers Bookshop in Woodbridge. 

Have a good week, and thank you for reading.