The Circle by Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers

A wonderful read, pacy as a thriller and one to make any reader pause and reconsider the digital world.

Reading as a satire on the nature of the ‘free’ online services so many of us use every day, this had me totally hooked. It pivots on the concepts of privacy, public versus private provision of state functions, opt-in social media and how hard it is to resist once a critical mass forms.

Essentially, if you’ve ever looked at Facebook and wondered ‘Is this a good idea?’ or typed a search into Google and worried about how much Google know about you and what they do with that data – this is the book for you. An ultimately light-hearted view of a capitalist data apocalypse!


Reserve a copy here.

Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood

lady oracleIt’s always exciting to find another book by an author you love- I thought I had read all of Margaret Atwoods’ but then I found this! Lady Oracle is narrated by Joan, a woman who has just faked her own death in order to ‘escape’. Who or what from, we are not initially informed…

 Joan’s memories tumble past as we read, sometimes in torrents and sometimes in eddies – we find out about her childhood (unhappy), her early relationships (challenging), her eventual marriage (complicated) and success as an author (possibly the worst of all). That makes this book sound miserable, but it was enormously funny and very humane. I really cared for Joan and wished her well –  as she tried so hard again and again to find a way of ‘succeeding’ in life.


Reserve a copy here

Lost journey by A. L Barker

ALJGalley Beggar, local heroes of the publishing world (formed out of Norwich’s Book Hive and brave first publishers of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing) have released the first in a series of short single-volume reprints of classic stories. Real little beauties in attractive covers, they are just the thing for a short bus journey. First up they have released four classic ghost-stories.

Reserve Lost Journey

Reserve The Body Snatcher

Reserve The Eyes

Reserve Honeysuckle Cottage

Seldom Seen by Sarah Ridgard

seldomSeldom Seen is a little gem of a book set in rural Suffolk (with a brief visit to Norfolk) in the 1980s, not far in time and place from where I was growing up just over the border in Essex, so the book felt very familiar to me.

It tells the story of Desiree White, an awkward teenager, who hides in ditches and knows lots of secrets about her community. She discovers a baby thrown in the ditch wrapped in newspaper, which sets of a chain of events disrupting her, her family and friends, and her community. It felt a very fresh, original read, and I loved the descriptions and the sense of unease at some of the things that happen in a small community.

My only problem – which is a problem for me rather than the book – is that I’m so busy at the moment I haven’t been able to read as much as I usually do, and I think I would have engaged with the book a lot better had I been able to read at my normal pace. But still a solid read.


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Our favourite winter & Christmas books

Some of our most beautiful and wintry non-fiction. You can find and reserve all these books on our catalogue:

Christmas crochet for hearth, home & tree by Edie Eckman

Christmas on a plate by Emma Marsden

The great British bake off: Christmas by Lizzie Kamenetzky

Primrose Bakery Christmas by Martha Swift

Stitch the halls!: 15 modern decorations to stitch and make for Christmas by Sophie Simpson

Hook, stitch & give : 30 creative crochet presents by Kat Goldin

Winter cocktails : mulled ciders, hot toddies, punches, pitchers, and cocktail party snacks by Maria del Mar Sacasa

Beautiful winter : holiday wreaths, garlands, and decorations for your home and table by Edle Catharina Norman

Christmas crafting in no time : 50 step-by-step projects and inspirational ideas by Clare Youngs

Snowflakes and schnapps by Jane Lawson

Delia’s happy Christmas by Delia Smith

Scandinavian Christmas stockings : classic designs to knit for the festive season by Mette Handberg

Animal hats to knit : 20 wild projects for you to create! by Luise Roberts

Christmas magic : festive favourites made easy by Kate Shirazi



The Hairy Bikers’ 12 days of Christmas by Dave Myers and Si King

The Hairy Bikers seem just right for Christmas- maybe it’s the beards. Either way, these recipes are mouthwatering and will certainly see you through the festive period. There are recipes for gifts, drinks, christmas baking, full-blown turkey and trimmings, breakfasts and more; with the odd cracker joke thrown in for good luck.

Pass the cheese straws, I’m feeling peckish.

Reserve 12 Days of Christmas

Summer’s Child by Diane Chamberlain

Summer's ChildOn the morning of her eleventh birthday, Daria Cato finds an unexpected gift on the beach – an abandoned baby. Unable to leave the child unclaimed, the Cato family adopt Shelly.

The question of her birth haunts the local community though. 20 years later Rory Taylor TV star returns home to try and find the answers for Shelly.

As closely guarded secrets and sins begin to unravel, piece by piece the mystery of the summer’s child is about to be exposed. A mystery no one involved in is prepared to face. A truth that will could change her future.

The characters are beautifully drawn and change as events unfold.

The plot has a string of twists and turns that will keep you guessing right up to the end.

Well worth a read.


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The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Well I’ve just finished reading this massive tome. Well worth it. Grips you from start to finish.

The Paying GuestsSet in London just after the First World War, Mrs Wray & her daughter Frances can’t afford the upkeep of their Camberwell Villa so they take in paying guests. A change to their lives, which turns out to be more than they’d bargained for.

This is a love story that turns into a crime story: it contains deceit, lies, false feelings, bad decisions, tenderness & much more.

Such believable characters that develop as passions mount and frustration gathers.

All intertwined into a wonderful heart-felt story, which has many twists, some unexpected, and the tension builds up to the finale.

You need to read it!


Reserve The Paying Guests

Chasing Tomorrow by Tilly Bagshawe

Chasing TomorrowThis is the follow up to Sidney Sheldon’s ‘If Tomorrow Comes’.

All the characters are back, con artists Tracy Whitney & Jeff Stevens, Gunther Hartog their mentor. They’ve gone straight, but circumstances force them back into their old ways.

Their past, in the form of an old adversary comes back to haunt them. They are conned into splitting up, but they don’t know it. From there the plot thickens

The story is full of passion, suspense, murder and breathtaking twists. Some of the torture stuff is hard to read & could maybe have been left out, but on the whole a gripping plot & worthy successor to Sidney Sheldon.


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Postcards from the past by Marcia Willett

Postcards from the PastSet in the beautiful countryside of Cornwall this is story of family; good things, bad things & downright nasty things.

All interweaved into a cracking story which builds up beautifully to an ending that you might not expect.

It’s the arrival of  the Postcards that upset Bill, Ed & Dom, bringing to mind events from the past that they would rather forget.

It’s also the story of Community, where people help & support each other. Mustn’t forget the role of the dogs too!

Really good read, one not to be missed.


Reserve Postcards from the Past


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