Brave New Reads



Discover six brilliant books and join the conversation this summer.


Chosen by readers, for readers, Brave New Reads recommends outstanding books and helps you get more from your reading.

With plenty of author events, book clubs, writing workshops, and lots of opportunities to chat online, Brave New Reads has something for everyone.

Taking place in libraries in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, in bookshops across the counties, and online under #BraveNewReads - there are lots of ways for you to get involved; just scroll down to begin your reading journey.

 



'A brilliant way to find outstanding books.'
- 2014 Reader

 

The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock

‘First light was a diesel spill across the sky. The ground was gray. The hard silence of the desert sung.’

Technically brilliant and emotionally charged, this novel will transport you to America in the early days of the space race. Jim Harrison is in training to break the sound barrier, poised to become one of the very first astronauts, but his promise will be tested by a family crisis of stellar proportions. Discover a different world in this economic, elegant, and hugely powerful book.


‘An outstanding read: riveting, snappy, and very very cool.’ – Sam, Norwich Readers’ Circle



•   Meet Benjamin Johncock at Woodbridge Library on the 19th July.
•   Find out more about author Benjamin Johncock.
•   Read a review of The Last Pilot from librarian and self-confessed space nerd Sarah Salmon.
•   Read an extract from The Last Pilot.
•   Take your reading further with interviews, book club guides and an exclusive podcast featuring author Benjamin Johncock.
•   Discuss The Last Pilot online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

Loved The Last Pilot? We recommend Just Mercy as your next read.



The Secret to Not Drowning by Colette Snowden

‘“The secret to not drowning,” she says, “is to get out of the pool before you get too tired to keep swimming.”’

Marion can’t do anything without Him knowing. Her only escape is her weekly swimming trip, but soon she’ll learn that taking the plunge creates far-reaching ripples. An intimate and immersive glimpse into emotional abuse, The Secret to Not Drowning shows how the smallest of acts can be the bravest. Take a chance with this compelling and quietly wonderful novel.

‘A humorous and imaginative page turner, written with a terrifying sense of menace and discomfort.’ – Ruth, Cambridge Readers’ Circle


•   Meet Colette Snowden at Ely Library on the 27th July, 7pm.
•   Find out more about author Colette Snowden.
•   Read an extract from The Secret to Not Drowning.
•   Take your reading futher with an exclusive podcast and reading guide.
•   Discuss The Secret to Not Drowning online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

Loved The Secret to Not Drowning? We recommend The Last Pilot as your next read.



Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume

‘I was wrong to try and impose something of my humanness upon you, when being human never did me any good.’

The story of a lonely man, and his one-eyed rescue dog. One Eye and his owner are both outcasts from society, clumsily navigating the world as best they can, each completely dependent on the other. Simultaneously tender and tragic, this is a compassionate and claustrophobic tale of loneliness and friendship. Dog-lover or not, this poetically poignant novel is sure to touch your heart.

‘I found myself engrossed in this jewel of a story. Sensitive, funny and hugely affecting, Baume’s language ribbons naturally out onto the page.’ – Alvina, Ely Readers’ Circle


•   Find out more about author Sara Baume.
•   Read an extract from Spill Simmer Falter Wither.
•   Discuss Spill Simmer Falter Wither online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

Loved Spill Simmer Falter Wither? We recommend The Secret to Not Drowning as your next read.


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

‘We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.’

This crucial and devastating non-fiction book takes us to death row, showing the heartbreaking histories of the prisoners and revealing the inherent prejudices of modern-day America. A scathing, virulent, and utterly necessary condemnation of the US justice system, this book is sure to leave you gasping, crying and raging, but also filled with gratitude and hope. Absolutely not to be missed.

‘An autobiography, a social history, a treatise on the importance of equal justice, and a gripping thriller.’ – Kathryn, Norwich Readers’ Circle


•   Find out more about author Bryan Stevenson.
•   Read an extract from Just Mercy.
•   Discuss Just Mercy online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

Loved Just Mercy? We recommend Signs Preceding the End of the World  as your next read.



Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera (Translated by Lisa Dillman)

‘They carried photos like promises but by the time they came back they were in tatters.’

Makina is gutsy, determined and not frightened of anything. When her mother asks her to travel from Mexico to the US to find her brother, she sets off almost immediately, pausing only to meet the local underlords. Carrying an unknown package from a kingpin, she traverses underworlds, borders, and boundaries, crossing dreamy lands. Echoing Greek myths, this breath-taking novella will move you to other planes of existence.

‘Full of heart and guts, poetic, brief and rich – nothing short of stunning.’ – Roland, Norwich Readers’ Circle


•   Find out more about author Yuri Herrera and translator Lisa Dillman
•   Read an extract from Signs Preceding the End of the World.
•   Read a review of Signs Preceding the End of the World from Roland Ayers, Readers' Circle member.
•   Take your reading further with podcasts, interviews and reviews.
•   Discuss Signs Preceding the End of the World online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

Loved Signs Preceding the End of the World? We recommend The Illusion of Separateness as your next read.


The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

‘He did what they told him to do. He would have done anything they told him to do. He hid inside the pronoun we.

An uplifting tale of interconnection, coincidence, and the strangeness of life, this striking novel explores the impact of small actions. Moving across time and space, from wartime Britain to modern-day California, The Illusion of Separateness shows the tenderness of people, and how seemingly simple actions have great consequences. Haunting, luminous, and totally absorbing, this book will give you a fresh perspective on what it means to be human.

‘Beautifully written. A magical read, which kept me captivated until the very last page!’ – Joy, Huntingdon Readers’ Circle


•   Meet Simon Van Booy at Huntingdon Library on the 29th June, or attend a workshop and develop your writing with Simon at Writers' Centre Norwich Dragon Hall, Norwich on the 30th June.
•   Find out more about author Simon Van Booy.
•   Read an extract of The Illusion of Separateness
•   Discuss The Illusion of Separateness online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

Loved The Illusion of Separateness? We recommend Spill Simmer Falter Wither as your next read.


'Brave New Reads is a great way of reading outside your usual "box" and because the books have been so carefully selected you're confident they're worth a try.'
-2015 Reader


Brave New Reads takes place in 18 libraries across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and in bookshops across the counties. It recommends six bold, ambitious, astonishing books, chosen by the Readers' Circle (a group of more than 100 dedicated readers) from a longlist of more than 120 titles.(Find out more about how we selected the Brave New Reads titles.)

Over eight years of Brave New Reads (formerly known as Summer Reads) readers from across the world have discovered fantastic new writing which transports and inspires. (Discover the best of Brave New Reads from years gone by.)

Readers in East Anglia can benefit from bespoke events; including book clubs, quizzes, and discussions with the Brave New Reads authors. Podcasts and recording from these events will be forthcoming, so those who were unable to attend can enjoy from afar - watch this space!



Do you love good books? Want to stay in touch? Please make sure you sign-up for our e-newsletter.

You can also discover more great books below - just scroll down.

The Brave New Reads animation was created by Georgie Oatley of Monolith Creative.

The Brave New Reads design was created by Special Design Studio.

Brave New Reads is brought to you by Writers’ Centre Norwich and the library services in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and was created in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

 






 

Best of Brave New Reads

Brave New Reads is in its seventh year of recommending brilliant books to the readers of East Anglia. In that time, we’ve endorsed, applauded and praised almost forty books of poetry, non-fiction, works in translation and fiction; including prize-winners, best-sellers, and critically acclaimed titles.

To celebrate seven fantastic years of Brave New Reads we asked readers to tell us what their favourite titles had been. Here’s their choice of the 9 best titles from years gone by:

Find out more about the nine brilliant books, or scroll down to see the previous years.

Skip to the 2015 books, including Fallen Land by Patrick Flanery and Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clements.

Skip to the 2014 books, including Tenth of December by George Saunders and All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld.

Skip to the 2013 books, including The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall and A Light Song of Light by Kei Miller.

 

Catch up with Brave New Reads 2015

Bigger and better than ever before, in 2015 Brave New Reads took place in 18 libraries across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and invited readers to take a journey and explore new literature. As part of the programme Brave New Reads authors Patrick Barkham, Liz Berry, Patrick Flanery and Hamid Ismailov visited libraries across the counties and offered a whole new perspective on the books. 

Readers described Brave New Reads 2015 as ‘tremendously exciting and inspiring’, ‘an excellent experience’ and credited the programme as having ‘woken up [their] reading’.


Whilst the Brave New Reads events took place over the summer, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the books... just scroll down to find out more!

 

Check out our Brave New Reads blogs.
From book reviews to gossip from our events, our Brave New Reads blog has got plenty of extra reading for you to enjoy. You’ll also be able to keep up to date with all the latest Brave New Reads news!

Enjoy podcasts from our Brave New Reads events.
Love to listen to literature? Head to our Soundcloud page for podcasts from our events with Patrick Barkham, Liz Berry and Patrick Flanery.

Watch exclusive Brave New Reads films.

See Liz Berry read from her collection Black Country and get an insight into her writing process with an exclusive interview on our YouTube channel.

Catch up with Brave New Reads 2015.
Want to know all about the activities, events and discussions from the 2015 Brave New Reads? Check out this Storify.

Borrow or buy the Brave New Reads books.
Want to start reading? Borrow the books from libraries in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire or pop to your local bookshop to purchase one.

Meet the Readers' Circle.

The Brave New Reads books are chosen by readers, for readers. Meet the Readers' Circle; a group of individuals based around East Anglia.

Loved the Brave New Reads books?

We've picked some other titles we think you might enjoy!

Keep up to date with the 2016 Brave New Reads selection process.
Check out what the Readers' Circle recommend so far, and take a look at the Brave New Reads medium list.


Happy reading!

 

 

Fallen Land
By Patrick Flanery

'A chilling portrait of obsession and how it can get out of control. Fallen Land is a brilliant and compelling read.' - Julia, Readers' Circle

Fallen Land
charts the downfall of three generations of land-owners and the disintegration of their American dream. Louise reluctantly sells her family land, property developer Krovik builds on it and goes bankrupt, and the Noallies family move in, ready for an untainted future but unprepared for what’s to come. Saturated with an eerie menace, the prose shifts and mutates to create an unsettling and gripping novel.

'Gripping... Fallen Land impressively examines how thoroughly the American dream has turned into the American nightmare.' - The Sunday Times

•   Find out more about the author Patrick Flanery and read the book synopsis.
•   Read an extract from Fallen Land.
•  
Read bookseller Louisa Theobald's review of Fallen Land.
•   Listen to Patrick discuss Fallen Land in an exclusive recording.
•   Take your reading further with extra Fallen Land resources, including interviews and videos.
•   Discuss Fallen Land online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

What Next:
Loved Fallen Land? We recommend Prayers for the Stolen as your next read.

Badgerlands
By Patrick Barkham

'Thoughtful, engaging and eminently readable, Badgerlands succeeds on many levels.' - Ken, Readers' Circle

Dig deep and discover the subterranean world of the humble badger in this compelling account of the animal’s history. In Badgerlands Barkham examines one of our most controversial creatures and investigates the badger’s track record of splitting public opinion between vicious vermin and cuddly character. Intriguing and instructive, Badgerlands debunks myths and proves that when it comes to badgers it’s never just black and white.

'Enlightening and satisfying... Badgerlands is a pleasing read and provides plenty of food for thought.' - Countryfile Magazine

•   Find out more about the author Patrick Barkham and read the book synopsis.
•   Read an extract from Badgerlands.
•   Listen to Patrick discuss his writing in an exclusive interview.
•   Read Ken's review of Badgerlands.
•   Take your reading further with Badgerlands resources: from interviews to videos.
•   Discuss Badgerlands online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

What Next:
Loved Badgerlands? We recommend Black Country as your next read. 



Prayers for the Stolen

By Jennifer Clement

'A short novel, which packs a massive punch: well-written, powerful and empathetic.' - Frances, Readers' Circle

A potent tale of survival and determination, Prayers for the Stolen tells the story of Ladydi: a fierce young girl who masquerades as a boy to escape the grasping threat of drug cartels. Ladydi is taught defiance by her wisecracking mother, yet the mountains of Mexico are filled with dangers; from toxic herbicides to ravaging gunmen. Immerse yourself in her enthralling life, and an unforgettable adventure.

'Bleak, but beautifully written... Clement's prose is luminous and startlingly original.' - The Express

•   Find out more about the author Jennifer Clement and read the book synopsis.
•   Read an extract from Prayers for the Stolen.
•   Read bookseller Isabelle's review of Prayers for the Stolen.
•   Watch, listen and read extra Prayers for the Stolen resources.
•   Discuss Prayers for the Stolen online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

What Next: Loved Prayers for the Stolen? We recommend Any Other Mouth as your next read.


Black Country
By Liz Berry

'It's sparkling with wit, energy, and linguistic virtuosity, wonderfully unafraid of myth and magic.' - Anna, Readers' Circle

Take flight with this soaring collection of poetry, which weaves birds of all kinds through the text and swoops from childhood innocence to sensual pleasures. Black Country melds traditional West Midlands dialect with Berry’s fresh and contemporary voice, creating a distinctive linguistic energy. Using precise language and an acute awareness of heritage, Berry creates an atmosphere of folklore and magic which you’re sure to find enchanting.

'A collection that leaves you feeling full of real optimism and hope.'  - Jeremy Paxman

•   Find out more about the author Liz Berry and read the book synopsis.
•   Read an extract from Black Country.
•   Read a review of Black Country.
•   Watch an interview with Liz, as well exclusive readings from Black Country.
•   Listen to Liz Berry read from Black Country as part of Worlds Literature Festival, or listen to this podcast of her event at Cambridge Central Library.
•   Enjoy podcasts, films and interviews with Liz Berry.

What Next? Loved Black Country? We recommend The Dead Lake as your next read.

 

Any Other Mouth
By Anneliese Mackintosh

'The writing is first rate: quick, luscious, direct, shocking and exciting.' - Sam, Readers' Circle

Delve into this brutal, compelling and savagely funny collection of interlinked short stories. Semi-autobiographical, Any Other Mouth is a candid and deeply personal exploration of grief, growing-up, family dynamics and explicit sexual experience. Mackintosh deftly reveals the raw reality of bereavement, balancing supreme honesty with a wrenching tenderness. Be prepared to cringe, cry and smile as you race through this playful and poignant book.

'Hilarious and heartbreaking' - The Guardian

•   Find out more about the author Anneliese Mackintosh and read the book synopsis.
•   Read an extract from Any Other Mouth.
•   Read Sam's review of Any Other Mouth.
•   Enjoy extra Any Other Mouth resources, including readings, interviews & podcasts.
•   Discuss Any Other Mouth online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

What Next:
Loved Any Other Mouth? We recommend Fallen Land as your next read.



The Dead Lake

By Hamid Ismailov (Translated by Andrew Bromfield)

'Hypnotic, charming and challenging.' - Bianca, Readers' Circle

Mesmerising and haunting, this otherworldly fairytale describes a life shaped by landscape. Yerzhan is seemingly an ordinary young boy, but as you travel across the Kazakhstan steppes together he’ll lead you through his blighted youth; from the nuclear wasteland of his home to his lost love. Emotionally true, The Dead Lake will echo long after you’ve finished reading.

'This superb novella... reads like a modern fairytale, full of a surreal yet mundane horror.' - The Independent on Sunday

•   Find out more about the author Hamid Ismailov and read the book synopsis.
•   Read a review of The Dead Lake.
•   Read an extract from The Dead Lake.
•   See the photos from the Brave New Reads launch with Hamid Ismailov.
•   Discuss The Dead Lake online on Twitter or Facebook - don't forget the hashtag #BraveNewReads.

What Next: Loved The Dead Lake? We recommend Badgerlands as your next read.



Read the Brave New Reads Brochure Below





Do you love good books? Want to stay in touch? Please make sure you sign-up for our e-newsletter.

You can also discover more great books below - just scroll down.


The Brave New Reads animation was created by Georgie Oatley of Monolith Creative.
The Brave New Reads design was created by Special Design Studio.

 

Brave New Reads is brought to you by Writers’ Centre Norwich and the library services in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and was created in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

 



 

 

 

Summer Reads 2014






Click on the book which takes your fancy to find out more or scroll down to see all the titles.

 

 


Strange Weather in Tokyo
By Hiromi Kawakami (translated by Allison Markin Powell)


“A wonderful, beautiful, slowly engulfing novel”
- The Readers’ Circle

Tsukiko navigates the Tokyo of her thirties in a solitary path from her flat to work to the local bar. One evening she comes across her old school teacher there, the upright, quiet ‘Sensei’. A gentle relationship develops over good beer and delicious morsels and they end up gravitating towards each other more and more. They attend a cherry-blossom party together, but both end up leaving
with other people, and silence ensues. Will they ever get past their mutual loneliness and fear?

“One of the most beautiful love stories I have read in all my life... Read it and enjoy.”
La Vanguardia

•    Find out more about Hiromi Kawakami and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from Strange Weather in Tokyo
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of Strange Weather in Tokyo
•    Discuss Strange Weather in Tokyo online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra Strange Weather in Tokyo content

What Next? If you enjoyed Strange Weather in Tokyo, we recommend Bevel by William Letford as your next read.



Bevel
By William Letford


“Poetry that opens the heart and ear.”
- The Readers’ Circle

Letford’s wry humour and carefully constructed poems make this an absolute must for both newcomers and regular readers of poetry. His work as a manual labourer gives his poems a welcoming, grounded feel, yet the writing is wildly emotive and playful. Page after page, Letford’s beguiling voice takes you through a collection of gems. This poetry collection has that rare quality: it’s a page turner.

“Letford’s poems will stay with me for ever.”
The Guardian


•    Find out more about William Letford and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from Bevel
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of Bevel
•    Discuss Bevel online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra Bevel content

What Next? If you enjoyed Bevel we recommend Double Negative by Ivan Vladislavic as your next read.



The Colour of Milk
By Nell Leyshon


“Little short of perfect.”
-The Readers’ Circle

Set in a rural landscape in 1831, Leyshon introduces us to Mary, a quick-witted, straight-talking farm girl who has a story to tell. By no means will she find it easy, but her sharp voice and stripped back prose will leave you gripped from beginning to end. Best served in one exhilarating sitting, this brutal story demands that you take Mary’s hand and follow her all the way to its brutal conclusion.

“Astounding... one of the most compelling narrators I’ve ever encountered.”
Stylist



•    Find out more about Nell Leyshon and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from The Colour of Milk
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of The Colour of Milk
•    Discuss The Colour of Milk online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra The Colour of Milk content

What Next? If you enjoyed The Colour of Milk we recommend Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami as your next read.



Hawthorn & Child
By Keith Ridgway


“The most interesting and imaginative book I have read in a long time. Beautiful and brilliant.”
-The Readers’ Circle

Forget what you already know about detective novels, Ridgway’s chilling and fragmented story has upped the game and smashed the rule book to smithereens. Detectives Hawthorn and Child take us through a series of vignettes where no promises over narrative can be made. Characters and events slip and slide between the pages, but are held up by strong, compelling prose. This book demands your involvement – are you ready to pick up the pieces?

“...it sets you purring, even as it raises a hammer behind your head.”
The Observer

•    Find out more about Keith Ridgway and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from Hawthorn & Child
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of Hawthorn & Child
•    Discuss Hawthorn & Child online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra Hawthorn & Child content

What Next?
If you enjoyed Hawthorn & Child we recommend Raptors by Toon Tellegen as your next read.



Tenth of December

By George Saunders


“Fresh, at times ironic and at others laugh-out-loud funny.
-The Readers’ Circle

George Saunders’ collection shifts seamlessly from the mundane to the surreal. From a downtrodden father struggling to afford human ornaments to a young boy watching his beloved struggle with a kidnapper, these stories blend satire with warm-hearted affection. Often darkly humorous, Tenth of December explores the human experience through familiar and surprising worlds, and is sure to stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

“Riotously imaginative...”
Daily Telegraph

 

•    Find out more about George Saunders and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from Tenth of December
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of Tenth of December
•    Discuss Tenth of December online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra Tenth of December content

What Next? If you enjoyed Tenth of December we recommend Hawthorn & Child by Keith Ridgway as your next read.



Raptors
By Toon Tellegen (translated by Judith Wilkinson)


“Without doubt the most exciting collection of poetry I’ve read this year.”
-The Readers’ Circle

Think poetry’s not for you? Think again. Raptors is a very accessible collection about the ups and downs of a family held hostage by the looming moods of ‘Father’. The language of Raptors is deceptively childlike, in stark contrast to the relationships it describes, the ‘rusty, conniving father / who creaks, crunches and opens’. But there are no simple rights and wrongs in this world where ‘terrible moonlight’ tenderly illuminates a family pulling itself apart.

“...a collection of poems which are as dazzlingly original as they are bewilderingly abstract.”
Poetry Book Society

 

•    Find out more about Toon Tellegen and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from Raptors
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of Raptors
•    Discuss Raptors online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra Raptors content

What Next? If you enjoyed Raptors we recommend The Colour of Milk by Nell Leyshon as your next read.



Double Negative
By Ivan Vladislavic


“The prose is the real star of this book. Masterful.”
-The Readers’ Circle

Elegantly crafted, Double Negative captures the spirit of a country in conflict. Set in South Africa, Vladislavic explores an intrinsically unjust society as it moves from a world segregated by skin colour to a post-apartheid nation.

A feast of visually stunning prose, this book will have you questioning your moral fortitude as you submerge yourself in the text.

“Its sheer verve distinguishes it.”
Sunday Times



•    Find out more about Ivan Vladislavic and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from Double Negative
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of Double Negative
•    Discuss Double Negative online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra Double Negative content

What Next? If you enjoyed Double Negative we recommend All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld as your next read.




All the Birds, Singing
By Evie Wyld


“A star of a book! Gritty, brutal and strangely witty in parts.”
-The Readers’ Circle

Jake Whyte is running from something. But what?

Living alone on a British island, her only companion is Dog, who helps her tend her sheep. Dog’s whimpering and scared though; something is coming. Something that’s picking off the sheep one by one, creeping through the evening as a stranger lurks by the trees over the field...

Flashing through it all there’s Jake’s former life in the heat and rough of Australian sheep farms, the life she ran away from overseas.

Why?

A hair-prickling thriller…”
Metro

•    Find out more about Evie Wyld and read the synopsis
•    Read an extract from All the Birds, Singing
•    See what reviewers and the Readers’ Circle thought of All the Birds, Singing
•    Discuss All the Birds, Singing online on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra All the Birds, Singing content

What Next? If you enjoyed All the Birds, Singing we recommend Tenth of December by George Saunders as your next read.



The Summer Reads illustrations were created by Dawn Cooper.


Do you love good books? Want to stay in touch? Please make sure you sign-up for our e-newsletter.

You can also discover six more great books from Summer Reads 2013 below.


Summer Reads is funded by Arts Council England and organised in collaboration with Cambridgeshire County Council, Norfolk County Council and Suffolk Libraries.






 

 




Summer Reads 2013

Summer Reads 2013 featured six stimulating books chosen for you by our Readers’ Circle Book Club. 

Find out more about each book by clicking on the links below.


“A small masterpiece...”
William Dalrymple, the Observer

What is it really like to be poor in Mumbai? Follow the daily lives of slum-residents Abdul, Manju, Sunil, One Leg and Asha who live next to a toxic pond facing Mumbai Airport and its luxury hotels.

Pulitzer prize-winning Boo gets behind the statistics to give lively voice to these slum-dwellers and their stories; the different ways that they deal with thwarted hope, envy, corruption and religious divide in a new India full of possibilities that are constantly just out of reach.

“A spectacular book that deserves each and every accolade it has received.”
Readers’ Circle Book Club

•    Read an extract from Behind the Beautiful Forevers 
•    See what reviewers thought of Behind the Beautiful Forevers
•    Visit the Behind the Beautiful Forevers Summer Reads Book Club page
•    Discuss Behind the Beautiful Forevers online with WCN Book Club on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra Behind the Beautiful Forevers content

WHAT NEXT? If you enjoyed Behind the Beautiful Forevers we recommend Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi as your next Summer Read.


The Polish Boxer
by Eduardo Halfon
(translated by Ollie Brock, Thomas Bunstead, Lisa Dillman, Daniel Hahn & Anne McLean)

“the power of The Polish Boxer is that it is always rooted in the personal. It is deeply accessible, deeply moving...”
LA Times

Halfon brings you his students, his old Serbian friend the pianist who disappears for years, his girlfriend who draws graphs of her orgasms, a quest into gypsy heritage, his grandfather who said that the tattooed numbers on his arm were only his telephone number. Or did he? We constantly wonder what is truth and what is fiction – and whether it matters when you’re in the hands of a master story-teller such as this one.

“Intriguing, mysterious, engaging, and, perhaps at times a little insane. I loved these stories.” Readers’ Circle Book Club


•    Read an extract from The Polish Boxer
•    Read Sam's review of The Polish Boxer
•    See what reviewers thought of The Polish Boxer
•    Visit the The Polish Boxer Summer Reads Book Club page
•    Discuss The Polish Boxer online with WCN Book Club on Twitter or Facebook
•    Meet the translators of The Polish Boxer
•    Watch, listen and read extra The Polish Boxer content

WHAT NEXT? If you enjoyed The Polish Boxer we recommend This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You by Jon McGregor as your next Summer Read.



The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall

“Fierce and sensuous.”
Guardian books of the year

Sarah Hall’s stories are a portal into the fascinating inner lives of women who are often hiding or recovering from something untold. From one women in search of excitement, to another waiting for her lover to leave so she can make the biggest decision of her life, this collection of carefully crafted moments engages all of the senses, using the rhythms of body and landscape to tell beautiful stories that will stay with you.

“These fabulously written, looming and austere stories are beautiful and a joy to read.” Readers’ Circle Book Club


•    Read an extract from The Beautiful Indifference 
•    See what reviewers thought of The Beautiful Indifference
•    Visit the The Beautiful Indifference Summer Reads Book Club page
•    Discuss The Beautiful Indifference online with WCN Book Club on Twitter or Facebook
•    Meet  Sarah Hall, the author of  The Beautiful Indifference
•    Watch, listen and read content

WHAT NEXT? If you enjoyed The Beautiful Indifference we recommend A Light Song of Light by Kei Miller as your next Summer Read.



This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You
by Jon McGregor

“Haunting and brilliant”
the Independent

You never thought that kind of thing could happen to somebody like you. But then it does. Set in the lowlands of the fens, these brooding stories evoke quiet menace – from the drama of buried bodies that risk being dug up to the buried crisis of an everyday break-up. The book’s very readable style masks fierce technical skill as McGregor builds tension and plays with your expectations to keep you hooked all the way through.


“These stories are creative, strange, sometimes genius, reflections on life. Read them, you won’t be disappointed.” Readers’ Circle Book Club

•    Read an extract from This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You 
•    Read a review of This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You
•    Visit the This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You Summer Reads Book Club page
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WHAT NEXT? If you enjoyed This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like
You
we recommend The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon as your next Summer Read.



A Light Song of Light
by Kei Miller

“His poems impart an intimate knowledge that turns our sightings of the
world inside out to reveal the enchantment of the everyday”
Alison Donnel, the London Magazine

Jamaican poet Kei Miller’s poems are presented in two parts; Day Time and Night Time. Day Time is soon undermined by a Night Time place where cool caves and bat wings tickle the neck. This collection faces the tough stuff of life but through it all the Singerman calls as Miller uses rhythm and song to pull you through his laments towards a praise of light in language that truly sings.


“I’ve always proclaimed not to understand poetry... but the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I loved this book.” Readers’ Circle Review



•    See what reviewers thought of A Light Song of Light
•    Read Sam's review of A Light Song of Light
•    Meet Kei Miller, author of A Light Song of Light
•    Visit the A Light Song of Light Summer Reads Book Club page
•    Discuss A Light Song of Light online with WCN Book Club on Twitter or Facebook
•    Watch, listen and read extra A Light Song of Light content. 

WHAT NEXT? If you enjoyed A Light Song of Light we recommend The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall as your next Summer Read.



Beside the Sea
by Véronique Olmi


“heart-stopping and heartbreaking.”
the Independent

A single mother takes her children on their first trip to the seaside. As they run from rain to hot chocolate to the fun-fair we see the woman’s close and complex relationship with the two little boys unfold. These are precious children whom she wants so badly to protect from the very unkind world, from hunger and pain. But we find that the severest danger can lurk much closer to home in this emotionally tough but brilliantly written read.


“Bleak yet riveting. Be brave: this is life at its harshest and writing at its most affecting.” Readers’ Circle Book Club

•    Read an extract from Beside the Sea
•    See what reviewers thought of Beside the Sea
•    Visit the Beside the Sea Summer Reads Book Club page
•    Discuss Beside the Sea online with WCN Book Club on Twitter or Facebook
•    Meet the translator and publisher of Beside the Sea
•    Watch, listen and read extra Beside the Sea content. 

WHAT NEXT? If you enjoyed Beside the Sea we recommend Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo as your next Summer Read.


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