The Library

In unsettling times, reading becomes even more important - a balm for the mind, a source of comfort and a window into other worlds when our own can seem so frightening and unpredictable.

 

Drawing inspiration from our planned Spring festival, we’ve put together a selection of books to suit all tastes and moods – we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Fiction

ACTRESS

Anne Enright

Winner of the Man Booker Prize, the first Laureate for Irish Fiction and a recent recipient of the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature, Anne Enright is a writer of rare distinction. Her latest Actress, which tracks a woman uncovering the mysterious secrets of her celebrity mother is brilliant.

 

‘People ask me, ‘What was she like?’ and I try to figure out if they mean as a normal person: what was she like in her slippers, eating toast and marmalade, or what was she like as a mother, or what she was like as an actress – we did not use the word star.’

 

In Actress Enright creates an unforgettable character – star of the stage and mother to the long-suffering Norah, who tells her riveting, funny and often painful story with dark contemporary overtones alluding to the #MeToo movement and the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

ENGLISH MONSTERS

James Scudamore

James Scudamore's new book, English Monsters, is an unavoidably dark read. In this, his fourth novel, Scudamore vividly conjures up the horrors of boarding schools yet manages to be both tender and sinister. 

 

It is hard not to reflect on our current ruling classes who walked these corridors and whose early experiences continue to define our day to day. Well-paced and increasingly suspenseful, the novel traces school boy characters into their adult lives, observing the ways in which childhood trauma and abuse so often clings on stubbornly into adulthood.

A brave, absorbing and accomplished novel. 

THE BASS ROCK

Evie Wyld

The formidable Evie Wyld has written another captivating novel, The Bass Rock. Set in a seaside Scottish town, the story traces the lives of three interconnected women living through different time periods. 

 

The eerie bass rock looms just off the shore, overseeing the strange events that they all experience. 

GROWN UPS

Marian Keyes

For over 25 years, Marian Keyes has enchanted readers with warm and witty books that tackle the full range of human experience, from addiction and relationship break-up to depression and domestic violence – and her latest, a sparkling family saga, is no different.


Grown Ups manages to tackle hefty contemporary issues surrounding mental health and family secrets with Marian Keyes’ signature touch of lightness and humour. Perfect if you’re looking to get lost in another family’s drama! 

SPRING

Ali Smith

If you haven’t read the third novel in Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet, where have you been!? Spring is the perfect book for, well, Spring. This glorious novel has been called a ‘hymn of hope’ and is strikingly packed with beauty, from allusions to Shakespeare to the art of Tacita Dean, and with a constant pulse beating out the politics of our time.

 

Read it again in preparation for the final novel in in her seasonal quartet. Summer is coming.

Supporting independent book shops

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Non-Fiction

THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH

David Wallace-Wells

In The Uninhabitable Earth the deputy Editor of New York magazine has written a brutal portrait of climate change and our future lives on Earth,  the myriad reviews speak for themselves.

 

Shocking us out of complacency David Wallace-Wells has written ‘this generation’s Silent Spring’. Don’t do nothing, buy this book.

LOSING EDEN

Lucy Jones

Author of Losing Eden Lucy Jones believes that nature is crucial to our health and happiness now more than ever before and makes a plea for a richer wilder world.

From What Is to What If

Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins’ book, From What Is to What If, asks the question: what if we changed everything about the way we live?

 

What would the ideal society look like? Packed with hope, encouraging us to to think creatively about how we can restructure the world to be better and fairer for everyone.

A Suffolk Eye

Maggi Hambling

Celebrated artist Maggi Hambling delivers a long-awaited, lavishly-illustrated book which, for the first time, brings together the works of her father, visionary Suffolk artist Harry Hambling.

 

This warm and loving tribute to her father is not one to miss. 

Can we be happier?

Richard Layard

Have you been feeling a bit down recently with being cooped up in the house? If so, this could be the perfect book for you!

 

Lord Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at LSE, outlines how we can feel happier day to day, whilst establishing happiness as both a personal and political goal.

Feminism Interrupted 

Lola Olufemi

Lola Olufemi's debut book, Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power provides a refreshing, youthful, yet unyieldingly wise analysis of contemporary feminism.

 

Olufemi focuses on the imaginative power of feminism as a movement and challenges her readers to seize it back from cultural gatekeepers seeking to commodify it. A powerful and hopeful read! 

Where the Horbeam Grows

Beth Lynch

For the green-fingered among us, one of the quiet joys of social distancing is gardening.

 

Beth Lynch's Where the Hornbeams Grow is a perfect memoir for plant lovers, as it explores her experience of carrying a garden inwardly through loss, dislocation and relocation: finding a sense of wellbeing in a green place of your own.

This Golden Fleece

Esther Rutter

Esther Rutter’s rich history of knitting across the British Isles is the ideal read for those who love to crochet and knit, or curious readers looking to embrace a new interest.

 

We bet you’ll be surprised to discover the ways in which wool has shaped Britain’s landscape, language, culture and economy! 

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