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Last call!

We're counting down the days now for our author event this Friday - the first I've hosted in person in Woodbridge for two and a half years!

And the reasons to listen to Sarah Langford's message in this new book 'Rooted' continue apace.

In addition to arguing her case against George Monbiot on Radio Four's Start the Week last month, and featuring in the national press, her subject has also made it to Countryfile!

Adam Henson on his farm in the Cotswolds is finding out all about regenerative agriculture - "it's about loving the planet from the ground does it affect the food that we eat and will it pay the farm bills". It's a fascinating watch.

Scroll down for more details about the book and our event in Woodbridge Library on Friday 8 July. Even if you don't think you're interested in farming or food production (though arguably, we all should be taking an interest!), I promise that you will be completely enthralled by all Sarah has to say. What's more it's not theory - she's spoken to people who are making these changes happen and their stories are astonishing and inspiring. And we all need some hope and positivity in these times, I think.

Perhaps I'll see you at the library on Friday. Thank you for reading.

More About Books and Browsers Bookshop present

Sarah Langford in conversation
with Catherine Larner
Friday 8 July, 7.30pm
Woodbridge Library

The Sunday Times bestselling author, Sarah Langford recalls in her new book ‘Rooted’ how she felt about moving to Suffolk with her husband to take on the management of his small family farm. 

Preconceptions and prejudices were stripped away as she saw how farming has changed from her grandfather’s generation to the present day. 

Find out how Sarah came to write the book, the people she spoke to and how she views the future for farmers - and for all of us.

Tickets should be purchased online as soon as possible!
Priced £20, they include a copy of 'Rooted' (RRP£16.99).
One further ticket (without the book) can be purchased for £12.
All the details are here.

Rooted: Stories of Life, Land and a Farming Revolution
Sarah Langford

As soon as I heard that Sarah Langford had written her second book I requested an advance copy immediately.

I had been completely enthralled, horrified, inspired and informed by her first book 'In Your Defence' recalling her career as a criminal defence barrister, and was eager to find out what she had to share with us next.

Having left the law to have a family, Sarah is now living with her husband and two young sons near Debenham in Suffolk. They have land here that they are endeavouring to farm regeneratively and her personal experience of this process led Sarah to investigate what other farmers were doing, in East Anglia and elsewhere in the country.

She discovered that a new generation of farmers were either selling up or deciding to do things completely differently. The impacts of intensive agriculture on the land have become more apparent and destructive. There is a big shift happening, she says.

In 'Rooted' she investigates how attitudes to farmers and farming have changed since her grandfather's generation when it was seen as a duty and a privilege to feed the nation. Today farmers are held to ransom by huge supermarkets, forced to work unsustainably as they are required to provide food at the cheapest possible prices.

The challenges of climate change, Brexit, falling incomes, accusations of ecological mismanagement, a hostile press and public - these issues and more are all addressed in a beautifully written personal response which is impossible to put down!

Many of the stories of the individual farmers she's met are shocking and upsetting in all that they've experienced, and ultimately this is an account of the destruction of our land. But in her warm, honest and passionate response, Sarah leaves the reader feeling uplifted and energised and, ultimately, hopeful, not least because of the good people who are trying to make a difference. And she equips us and encourages us to play our part too.

For recommended non-fiction titles, take a look here.

The Boy and the Mountain
by Mario Bellini and Marianna Coppo

This is a delightful picture book about art and walking, nature and animals, friendship and looking a little more deeply. The illustrations are deceptively simple, it's colourful and cheery, and you want to turn back to the beginning as soon as you reach the final page! Aimed at the under fives, but their parents and grandparents will love it too!

A little boy loves drawing and decides to create a picture of the mountain he sees from his bedroom window.

He can't capture all that the mountain means to him though, so he decides to take a closer look. Walking along the path with his dog, he meets a goat and a bear and birds. He continues on through a wood and, in the trees, he loses sight of the mountain. Then before he realises, he's reached the peak.

At the top of the mountain he knows what it is he needs to draw.

This is a story which is fun and charming and which presents the importance of friendship and perspective in changing the way we look at things. It's a book which has long stayed in my memory. 

Read about more recommended children's books here.

Browsers Bookshop Book Group
at St John's Hall, Woodbridge

Monday 25 July 8pm 
talking about...

O Caledonia

by Elspeth Barker
A gothic coming-of-age story which reflects the joy to be found in literature and nature. Maggie O'Farrell's favourite book. 'A sparky, funny work of genius,' for Ali Smith. 'A wonderful oddity,' says Penelope Lively. What will we think of it?
Join in the discussion! Buy your copy of the book from Browsers Bookshop with the book group discount. Details about how to attend the meeting nearer the time.
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