Our volunteers and staff recommend…

Our most recent Book Picnic took place on Friday 20th and as usual was filled with exciting new recommendations.


The Driver’s Seat // Muriel Spark

Spark paints a detailed picture of eccentric and beautiful characters, drawing attention to small details to make the characters more believable. Read this for an unexpected psychological thriller.

Recommended by Laura


The Hate U Give // Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’ debut is topical and important with amazingly written and vivid characters, a story that goes beyond young adult fiction about a girl’s voice becoming powerful as a witness to a crime.

Recommended by Emily

Katie, a Front of House volunteer, has previously written a review of this thought provoking novel:



 Conversations with Friends // Sally Rooney

A funny novel for everyone and popular among authors’ most loved books in The Guardian. Characters are self-conscious, about how we communicate and without communicating and how we create versions of ourselves, but it’s not who we actually are. Read this if you want a laugh.

Recommended by Emily


Women of the Fourteenth // Moon Dena Taylor

Collection of self-accounts and poems on dealing with the menopause. Not all of them likeable, the book gives a more multifaceted view of the menopause including cultural and contemporary insights. Read this if you liked ‘Older Than Time’ or if you’re approaching the menopause.

Recommended by Jeanette


Hardboiled/Hardluck // Banana Yoshimoto

Split into two stories, Yoshimoto writes a warm witty and heartfelt account of the lives of two young Japanese Women. Read this in the bath if you like Murakami.

Recommended by: Heather


The Abundance // Annie Dillard ­­­

Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard, a collection of spiritual essays and snippets on the meaning of life, being mindful and paying attention. Read ‘Skin’ a short essay about being fascinated with the skin of older family members.


Swing Time // Zadie Smith

This book resonated with the reader, a story about race, poverty, money and gender. Thought provoking and interesting. As expected, a fantastically written book by Smith.

Recommended by Wendy


The Gathering Night // Margaret Elphinstone

A story of conflict, loss, love, adventure and devastating natural disasters. Read this if you like Historical Fiction.

Recommended by Elaine


The Tenth Gift // Jane Johnson

Set in the present day and partially going back in time. Johnson researched the history of pirates taking people from the Cornish coast to write this book. Read this if you like drama and historical fiction.

Recommended by Elaine


The Sapphire Riddle // Dinah Jeffries

A sweeping, breath-taking story of love and betrayal. Read this if you like to be engrossed in a good drama.

Recommended by Elaine.

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