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Book of the Month

Oh, this book just soars!

From the bestselling author of H is for Hawk comes Vesper Flights, a transcendent collection of essays about the human relationship to the natural world.

Helen Macdonald brings together a collection of her best-loved writing along with new pieces covering a thrilling range of subjects. There are essays here on headaches, on catching swans, on hunting mushrooms, on twentieth-century spies, on numinous experiences and high-rise buildings; on nests and wild pigs and the tribulations of farming ostriches.

Vesper Flights is a book about observation, fascination, time, memory, love and loss and how we make the world around us. Moving and frank, personal and political, it confirms Helen Macdonald as one of this century’s greatest nature writers.

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And the Winner Is…

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020

The Women’s Prize for Fiction was awarded on 9 September to Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell.

On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home?

Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.

Hamnet is a novel inspired by the son of a famous playwright. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker’s son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.

Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2020

The winner for the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing was announced at a virtual awards ceremony on September 8th

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty chronicles the turning of the then 15-year-old’s world and breaks the mould of modern nature writing. As the youngest ever winner of a major literary prize, Dara’s book is an extraordinary portrayal of his intense connection to the natural world alongside his perspective as an autistic teenager juggling exams, friendships and a life of campaigning. 

“I read this when it was first published and was blown away by the intensity of observation of the natural world and the vivid depiction of how the world looks to someone with autism. Amazing to realise it was written by someone so young (15!), wonderful to hear the next generation fighting for a better world and a very worthy winner. One of my favourite books this year”. (Diane – Sevenoaks Bookshop bookseller)

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Bookshop Bookclubs

Evening Bookclub – Tuesday 20 October, 8pm

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Join in with our live discussion about The Nickel Boys on Zoom – find more information here: Bookshop Bookclubs.

Lunchtime Bookclub – Wednesday 21 October

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Join in with our discussion about Gilead – find more information here: Bookshop Bookclubs.

Must be pre booked.

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Books to Screen

The book was better – no, the film was better! Read the books first, or after, it really doesn’t matter! Here are some of our favourite books/adaptations…

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Special Editions: Signed by the Author

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