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.

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 for leading independent Browsers Bookshop in Woodbridge and we have been meeting each month ever since.

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

Past events with Browsers Bookshop in Woodbridge 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.

I've interviewed Simon Mayo for the First Light Festival, Melissa Harrison for The Cut Halesworth, Louise Doughty for Felixstowe Book Festival, Barbara Erskine for Suffolk Libraries, 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
Catherine

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’ve co-hosted a monthly book club on BBC Radio Suffolk with the presenter Lesley Dolphin. You can listen to past discussions 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.

Such a Fun Age
by Kiley Reid
Said to be 'about power dynamics, race, social commentary', 'written with wisdom, kindness and sharp humour'. What will we think of it?
Monday, 30 August 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 bookshop.org.

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 Mary Ann Sieghart
Recommended non-fiction
Why are women still so underestimated and overlooked in today's world? This makes fascinating, though often shocking, reading.
Publication date: 1st July 2021
Hardback edition
by Helene Flood
Publication date: 8th July 2021
Hardback edition
by Lisa Jewell
A young mum goes to a party and never returns home. A year later someone seems to be leaving clues to the events of that night.
Publication date: 22nd July 2021
Hardback edition
by Christina Sweeney-Baird
The outbreak of a virus threatens the world order, affecting only men. Brilliantly written page-turner that boasts sensitivity and hope.
Publication date: 29th April 2021
Hardback edition
by Jackie Polzin
A year in the life of a woman caring for her four chickens as she comes to terms with not having children. Brilliant!
Publication date: 1st April 2021
Hardback edition
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...
Publication date: 29th April 2021
Hardback edition
by Emma Donoghue
Out now in paperback! An extraordinary account of a young woman nursing in a maternity unit in Ireland at the time of the 1918 pandemic. Wonderful!
Publication date: 23rd July 2020
by Cathy Rentzenbrink
The joys and struggles of bringing up a young family are told in this beautiful, sensitive and entertaining account of life on Magnolia Road.
Publication date: 8th July 2021
Hardback edition
by Nina-Sophia Miralles
Recommended non-fiction
A fascinating history of the magazine and the people who created it.
Publication date: 18th March 2021
Hardback edition
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

For children

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

by Daisy May Johnson
A beautiful cover, an intriguing title and a funny and inventive adventure, aimed at readers in middle grade, aged 9-12.
Publication date: 1st July 2021
by Al Rodin
Publication date: 17th June 2021
Hardback edition
by Victoria Hislop
A beautiful, touching and life-affirming story of the people on Spinalonga, the former Greek leper colony, with a wonderful narrator and glorious...
Publication date: 3rd June 2021
Hardback edition
by Lisa Thompson
As Ellie is too ill to attend school, a robot takes her place in class, next to Anna. An inventive story of friendship and not being afraid to be who...
Publication date: 3rd June 2021
by Hilary McKay
The stunning companion novel to 'The Skylarks' War'. Wonderful characters and a gripping and moving story of courage, resilience and...
Publication date: 27th May 2021
Hardback edition
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Stuck on an island with no mobile phones and when the internet is broken, they've run out of food and they've discovered treasure. What an...
Publication date: 13th May 2021
Hardback edition
by Joyce Dunbar
Three charming and amusing stories with beautiful and nostalgic illustrations. Rather lovely!
Publication date: 11th May 2021
Hardback edition
by Melissa Harrison
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 Zadie Smith
Wonderful illustrations by Magenta Fox for this story about Maud the guinea pig, who's considered a bit of a weirdo by the other pets.
Publication date: 15th April 2021
Hardback edition
by Lauren Ace
A beautifully illustrated story of a group of boys growing up together.
Publication date: 1st April 2021
Hardback edition

Look out for

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

by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Recommended for children
Publication date: 5th August 2021
by Rob Biddulph
Recommended for children
Peanut's father has gone missing but when she discovers a box of pencils he left her, she finds that she can draw images which come to life, including a door to the world in which her father has disappeared.
Publication date: 2nd September 2021
by Elizabeth Day
Marisa has known Jake for only a few months but has no hesitation about moving in with him and trying for a baby. But in this novel of twists and surprises, no one is quite as they seem.
Publication date: 2nd September 2021
by KA Hayton
Recommended for children
Publication date: 2nd September 2021
by Vera Kurian
When a series of murders take place on a college campus, suspicion immediately turns to the secret research programme involving psychopaths. An astonishing thriller.
Publication date: 9th September 2021

My blog

Sunday 27 June 2021

Whale spotting

Marketing people like to coin a catchy term or expression, and we see it in publishing all the time. Remember 'chick lit', and then 'mum lit' and 'uplit'? Now we have 'cli-fi', a play on sci-fi when exploring issues around climate change or an ecological theme in novels.

And if you've had time away from the news or football this week to listen to the radio or read the papers, you may have seen a flurry of features about this subject, most notably mentioning the debut novelist who is visiting us online this coming week!

Kate Sawyer has achieved some outstanding media coverage and great reviews for her novel 'The Stranding' which was published on Thursday. She notched up interviews with Mariella Frostrup on Times Radio and with Emma Barton on Woman's Hour when she joined Diane Cook talking about her debut 'The New Wilderness', also about surviving in an inhospitable environment.