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More reading

It's been another week of beautiful weather but my desire to sit in the sun with a good book hasn't happened yet. Any time I've been able to spend outdoors has involved jobs in the garden, or admiring the view of the river! So my 'to be read' pile remains undiminished.

And this week I learned of another reading list!

This one marks the Queen's Jubilee where librarians, booksellers and 'literature experts' from 31 countries are celebrating great books from across the Commonwealth in a collection of 70 titles, ten for each decade of the Queen's reign.

The Big Jubilee Read includes “brilliant, beautiful and thrilling writing... shared stories that define our social and cultural heritage”.

Naturally the selection has been met with some differences of opinion but, although I'm rather overwhelmed at the thought of so many books which have passed me by, it is great to be introduced to some less familiar authors and works.

It will be interesting to see how the Platinum Jubilee celebrations are supported by literary endeavours in the coming weeks.

I hope soon to be able to tell you about the 'New Suffolk Garland', an anthology of writing from and about Suffolk which has been compiled by a team led by the Aldeburgh Bookshop, and published in honour of the Queen.

And at the beginning of June I'll be talking to the author of a book called 'Queen Elizabeth II for Dummies'. Although I tend to wince whenever I refer to the titles in this very popular and successful series of books, they are packed with facts and it will be interesting finding out more about the work that goes into creating them, and this title in particular.

More on those two next week but tomorrow we will be catching up on our reading over the past month as we meet to discuss 'Barcelona Dreaming' by Rupert Thomson. If you're planning on coming along, please reply by noon tomorrow to reserve your place and receive the details.

Thank you for reading


NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE WEEK
Burn
by Ben Short

I was fascinated by this book as soon as I heard about it and was desperate to get a copy just as soon as I could. And it doesn't disappoint. Described as "exquisitely written and laced with folklore and the history of burning, the right way to lay a hedge and the age-old wisdom of the woods, 'Burn' is a hopeful story of transformation, a celebration of manual work and craft, and a love letter to the English landscape."

Ben Short was doing well in his job in advertising, but the work was soul-destroying. He didn't feel any pleasure or creativity in the tasks he was given, and he was battling depression and mental illness.

One day he decided to walk away.

He didn't know what he was going to do but he needed to make a change.

Taking on odd jobs and gradually moving further and further away from London, he ended up in the west country staying with his parents. He chanced upon an opening for a woodsman and, working with some unusual characters, he started to learn all about trees, forestry and charcoal burning.

He lives in huts and old wagons in the woods, hauling water from wells and foraging for his supper.

It's a fascinating account of a man and his dog, and a period of healing and growth, with an insight into the ancient crafts working on the land and trees.

For recommended non-fiction titles, take a look here.
CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Secret of the Treasure Keepers
by AM Howell

AM Howell is building a strong reputation for action-packed, character-driven, page-turning historical adventures for readers aged nine upwards.

This time we join Ruth and her mother who have learnt of treasure found on a farm in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

Ruth's mother has just been turned down from a job in the museum in Cambridge but is keen to prove herself so she takes Ruth with her to the farm to discover more.

There are indeed potential riches but the find doesn't quite add up. Ruth gets to know the farmer's son and believes that in addition to the historical objects, there are many secrets to be unearthed.

This is a beautifully paced, wonderfully atmospheric read which powerfully evokes a fascination with archaeology.

Also take a look at The House of One Hundred Clocks.

Read about more recommended children's books here.

TOMORROW!
Browsers Bookshop Book Group

at St John's Hall, Woodbridge

Monday 25 April 8pm 
talking about...

Barcelona Dreaming
by Rupert Thomson

Set on the eve of the financial crash of 2008, 'Barcelona Dreaming' is made up of three stories that are linked by time and place. What did we think of it?

If you'd like to join the meeting, please reply to this email by noon tomorrow to reserve your place and receive all the details.
If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to receive it for yourself each week, please click here and follow the instructions.

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