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
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 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 2nd March 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.

Weather
by Jenny Offill
A part-time librarian confronts the polarised world in what is described as a 'brilliant, funny and terrifying novel'. What will we think of it?
Monday, 29 March 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 Emma Stonex
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Hardback edition
by Mikael Krogerus
Recommended non-fiction
This is an unassuming little book which is packed with gems of information. There is something for everyone, whether you want to improve your family...
Publication date: 2nd April 2018
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
by Elif Shafak
Recommended non-fiction
An uplifting and stimulating essay delving into the power of stories urging us all to nurture democracy, tolerance and progress.
Publication date: 11th August 2020
by Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Recommended non-fiction
A stimulating, entertaining and engaging look at a subject for our times in the light of familiar stories from the Bible, and films and books which...
Publication date: 27th February 2020
by Elizabeth Heathcote
Gripping thriller about a suspicious death on the Norfolk coast, and the ramifications for the family members involved. Brilliant!
Publication date: 1st January 2018
by Marianne Cronin
Lenni and Margot meet in hospital. They are both looking at the end of their lives. Margot is 83 and has lots of memories, and some regrets. Lenni is...
Publication date: 18th February 2021
Hardback edition
by Belinda Bauer
A quirky, comical murder mystery. Not what I was expecting! Loved it.
Publication date: 21st January 2021
Hardback edition
by Abigail Dean
Troubling, haunting and compelling. Girl A was held captive by her parents, with her siblings. Now an adult, she's revisiting those memories.
Publication date: 21st January 2021
Hardback edition

For children

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

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 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 BB Alston
Funny, clever and gripping adventure where Amari will do anything to try to find her missing brother.
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
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 Christopher Edge
A fun adventure which introduces science - though robots and alien life - to young readers.
Publication date: 7th January 2021
by Astra Taylor-Todd
A charming and amusing tale of the adventures of a blue tit meeting new friends and gaining in courage, with stunning and sophisticated illustrations.
Publication date: 21st November 2020
by Benji Davies
A magical Christmas story about finding your place in the world, told from the perspective of a snowflake!
Publication date: 15th October 2020
Hardback edition

Look out for

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

by AJ Gnuse
An intriguing, puzzling, inventive, gothic tale of a young girl hiding in what used to be her family home.
Publication date: 4th March 2021
by Tamsin Mori
Recommended for children
A fantastic adventure set in the Shetland Isles where the weather is magic!
Publication date: 4th March 2021
by Danny Wallace
Recommended for children
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 Julietta Henderson
A warm, funny and touching story of a boy, a single mother and an elderly man embarking on a road trip of self-discovery. Wonderful!
Publication date: 1st April 2021
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 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

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.

xxx

Lesley's Readers are reading...

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? What will we think of it? Join in the discussion on 6 April.

We have just read.....

The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes
Set in 1930s America where a team of women on horseback delivered library books to isolated communities. This is the fictional account of the life of one of those women. What did we think of it? Listen to the comments from our March book club.

My blog

Sunday 7 March 2021

Team talk

Tomorrow we take the first step towards the end of restrictions, we hope, as the children go back to school.

I'm sure there is some trepidation or at least mixed feelings among the young people, so I was encouraged to hear how, once again, the teachers were throughtfully and creatively seeking to reassure their pupils.

In Bexleyheath, London, the PTA purchased 380 teddy bears, one for each child, and sat them in the hall as if they were attending assembly. The headteacher recorded a message instructing the bears to prepare for the children's return and sent it to all the parents. You can take a look here.

And in Telford, the pupils were each sent the piece of a jigsaw puzzle to decorate. When they return to school, they will be invited to link the pieces in the understanding that 'we're all in this together'.

These are lovely ideas. And I think we may all find aspects of community difficult when we are finally able to meet again fully both in socialising and working together.

Thank you to everyone who got in touch about this month's read on BBC Radio Suffolk. It was great to receive so many comments about Jojo Moyes' novel 'The Giver of Stars'. This story about the Kentucky horseback librarians certainly seems to have captured our imagination. I hope you'll consider taking a look at next month's book 'The Authenticity Project'. It's an interesting idea, and a real page-turner, so scroll down for more details about getting involved.