More about books

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.

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

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 some years I’ve been co-hosting a monthly book club on BBC Radio Suffolk with the presenter Lesley Dolphin. You can listen to past discussions here.

PODCAST - listen here to Catherine talking with Lesley on Tuesday 6th April 2021.

Scroll down for details of the title we’re reading this month or click here.

Browsers Book Group

I've been hosting the Browsers Book Group for the past 13 years. We used to meet in the bookshop in Woodbridge but, due to the current situation regarding coronavirus, I have been running a monthly online discussion. Please sign up for the weekly e-newsletter here to receive details. And do support your local independent bookshop by ordering by phone or email in these difficult times.

This Lovely City
by Louise Hare
Monday, 26 April 2021 - 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 2020, this meeting took place online. 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

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.

by Matt Haig
It's midnight on Nora's last day on earth and she is transported to a library. This is where she can explore what else might have happened...
Publication date: 18th February 2021
by Susan Beale
Family life in Brussels challenged by infidelity and adolescence, with a backdrop of a refugee crisis and terrorism. Brilliant!
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Hardback edition
by Simon Garfield
Recommended non-fiction
A humorous and intriguing discovery of what dogs mean to us, and what we might give them in return.
Publication date: 4th February 2021
Hardback edition
by Vanessa O'Brien
Recommended non-fiction
Reaching a crossroads in her life, Vanessa O'Brien rose to her friend's challenge to climb a mountain.
Publication date: 30th March 2021
Hardback edition
by Beth Morrey
Living alone, estranged from her family, Missy Carmichael finds friendship through a chance meeting in her local park.
Publication date: 4th March 2021
by Michael Rosen
Recommended non-fiction
A profoundly moving and important record of how the much-loved writer Michael Rosen battled covid, told through prose poems and letters.
Publication date: 18th March 2021
Hardback edition
by Christina Lamb
Recommended non-fiction
This is a disturbing, distressing, powerful and challenging read exposing the war crimes against women. Brilliantly written.
Publication date: 5th March 2020
Hardback edition
by Emma Stonex
Fantastically atmospheric, great characterisation and an intriguing mystery. Rather wonderful!
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Hardback edition
by Guvna B
Recommended non-fiction
A very personal account of grief and loss, exploring how an inability to express emotion leads to destructive behaviours in young men today.
Publication date: 18th February 2021
Hardback edition
by Elly Griffiths
Metal detectorists searching for treasure on the beach, discover a body. Dr Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson work on another case together.
Publication date: 4th February 2021
Hardback edition

For children

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

by Lauren Ace
A beautifully illustrated story of a group of boys growing up together.
Publication date: 1st April 2021
Hardback edition
by Danny Wallace
How would we cope if all the technology stopped working? The world is in chaos and grandma is on her own at the other side of the country...
Publication date: 18th March 2021
by Rachel Delahaye
The first in a new series of very funny stories about the pacifist, vegetarian Mort the Meek who has to survive in a brutal and violent kingdom.
Publication date: 4th March 2021
by Zeb Soanes
Beautiful pictures illustrate the story of a bus trip through London with a fox, to enjoy a concert in the park.
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Hardback edition
by Tamsin Mori
A fantastic adventure set in the Shetland Isles where the weather is magic!
Publication date: 4th March 2021
by Hannah Gold
There aren't meant to be any bears on Bear Island, and the only people living in this remote Arctic Circle landscape are April with her father,...
Publication date: 18th February 2021
Hardback edition
by Marjoke Henrichs
A charming simple tale of a wilful, contrary young rabbit!
Publication date: 4th February 2021
Hardback edition
by Helen Rutter
Billy wants to be a stand-up comic but he's got a stammer. It can take him a long time to get to the punchline. Wonderfully funny and affirming.
Publication date: 4th February 2021
by Liz Kessler
A powerful and heart-breaking story of Europe in the second world war, told through the perspective of three friends.
Publication date: 21st January 2021
Hardback edition
by Cat Weldon
Vikings, valkyries, gods, heroics, adventure and giggles. The first in a fun and action-packed trilogy.
Publication date: 21st January 2021

Look out for

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

by Erin Kelly
You'll feel you're doing pirouettes with all the plot twists in this thriller set in the obsessive and toxic world of a Russian ballet company. Is anyone as they seem?
Publication date: 1st April 2021
by Katherine Faulkner
Three couples look to 'have it all'. Careers, lovely homes, happy lives and babies on the way. But their lives are disrupted by a new friendship. A compelling domestic thriller.
Publication date: 15th April 2021
by Abbie Greaves
Mary stands outside Ealing Broadway station each day with a sign saying 'Jim Come Home'. Why is this action necessary? Where is Jim? A real pageturner as you long to solve the mystery. A clever, charming and poignant story.
Publication date: 29th April 2021
by Phoebe Morgan
An all expenses paid trip to celebrate a friend's birthday in a safari lodge in South Africa. A dream holiday turns into a nightmare.
Publication date: 29th April 2021
by Melissa Harrison
Recommended for children
A nostalgic, yet contemporary, magical adventure introducing the Hidden Folk who give us a different perspective on the natural world. Wonderful!
Publication date: 6th May 2021
by Hilary McKay
Recommended for children
The stunning companion novel to 'The Skylarks' War'. Wonderful characters and a gripping and moving story of courage, resilience and friendship.
Publication date: 27th May 2021
by Victoria Hislop
Recommended for children
A beautiful, touching and life-affirming story of the people on Spinalonga, the former Greek leper colony, with a wonderful narrator and glorious illustrations throughout.
Publication date: 3rd June 2021
by Nancy Tucker
An eight-year-old girl kills a toddler, her actions seemingly an outlet for the lack of care and attention she receives from her mother. An astonishingly sensitive and compelling novel.
Publication date: 24th June 2021
by Kate Sawyer
Completely consuming story of a post-apocalyptic world, and the time before. Set in London and beside a beached whale in New Zealand. Stunning!
Publication date: 24th June 2021
by Adrian Bleese
Recommended non-fiction
A warm, engaging and entertaining personal story of working in police helicopters over Suffolk. Fascinating!
Publication date: 19th July 2021

On the radio

BBC Radio Suffolk

Catherine at BBC Radio SuffolkOn the first Tuesday of each month, at 2.30pm, I join Lesley Dolphin on the afternoon programme at BBC Radio Suffolk. We 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. You can listen to past discussions here.


Lesley's Readers are reading...

The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig
It's midnight on Nora's last day on earth and she is transported to a library. This is where she can explore what else might have happened in her life, if she'd made different choices. Described as 'a beautiful fable', 'a brilliant premise and great fun', what will we think of it? 

We have just read.....

The Authenticity Project
by Clare Pooley
The lives of six strangers collide when they pick up a notebook and confront the truth about their lives. A lose-yourself, uplifting read with a serious theme to ponder.

My blog

Sunday 4 April 2021

Looking foolish

Happy Easter! Among the chocolate, spring sunshine and boat race, it's a weekend to consider belief, faith and trust. But it's followed hard on the heels of April Fool's Day this year.

The news is regularly challenging our perception of what is true and false at the moment so it was interesting to see how media outlets, entertainment programmes and big brands approached the annual custom of practical jokes and hoaxes, particularly in these difficult and precarious times.

As my mind has been on dogs - with my reading of Simon Garfield's new book (details below) - there was a cute and heartwarming tale of the police engaging the help of our four-legged friends. The South Australian force has launched the Small Area Urban Search And Guided Evacuation dogs here.