What we’re loving at the moment…

Here are some of our favourite titles from the past few months…

Our Castle by the Sea

Lucy Strange
Published by Chicken House

Twelve-year-old Pet lives with her parents and older sister Mags, in a lighthouse on the South-East coast of England. It is autumn 1939 and when war breaks out, Pet’s happy family life begins to shiver and fracture. There are acts of sabotage in the local village and Pet’s German mother is accused of spying and… Read More


Barbara Kingsolver
Published by Faber

Willa Knox is a woman trying to hold things together. Her house, which has been left to her is crumbling about her family’s ears; she and her husband, having worked as university professors, are now unemployed, her son’s girlfriend commits suicide leaving a small, inconsolable baby. Raging against a world that can let these things… Read More

Family Lexicon

Natalia Ginsburg
Published by Daunt Books

Giuseppi Levi is always shouting at his children and forcing them to march up mountains, his wife Lidia is always trying to slope off for a sit down. Their various children comply with their wishes, or not, all of them contributing to the routines and rituals, crazes, pet phrases, and stories, doubtful, comical, indispensable that… Read More

Poems to Live Your Life By

Chris Riddell
Published by Macmillan

Chris Riddell, political cartoonist for the Observer, and prolific illustrator and writer of marvellous children’s books, has made a selection of his favourite classic and modern poems about ‘life, death and everything in between’. Exquisitely illustrated, this an absolutely beautiful book and the forty-six poems in this anthology have clearly been selected with great love.… Read More

Evening in Paradise

Lucia Berlin
Published by Macmillan

Lucia Berlin’s collection of short stories, A Manual for Cleaning Women was published posthumously to great acclaim, and Evening in Paradise is a follow-up selection from Berlin’s remaining stories. The stories are loosely autobiographical, arranged chronologically to follow the arc of Berlin’s life, and take us from a pair of seven year olds running a… Read More

A Muddy Trench: A Sniper’s Bullet

Jacquie Buttriss
Published by Pen & Sword

When Rosie and Robert Stewart’s mother died, they had to sort through the contents of her packed house. The last box in the attic, hastily emptied into plastic bags before the house clearance men came, proved to be a treasure trove, and a forgotten history. Hamish Mann had been their great uncle, unknown to them… Read More

I am the Seed that Grew the Tree

Fiona Waters and Frann Preston-Gannon
Published by Nosy Crow

This a an absolutely gorgeous poetry anthology for children. There is a nature poem for every day of the year, laid out on each double page spread with a linking theme and beautiful illustrations. The poems range from simple nursery rhymes to longer ones, from poets such as WB Yeats, Carol Ann Duffy and Benjamin… Read More

Snow in the Garden

Shirley Hughes
Published by Walker

Snow in the Garden by Shirley Hughes Walker £12.99 Collected here is a charming collection of stories, poems, crafts and recipes, all with a Christmas theme, from one of our best children’s authors, Shirley Hughes. With her trademark illustrations and gentle wit and empathetic understanding of a small child’s viewpoint, this is the perfect way… Read More

What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday

Julia Donaldson
Published by Macmillan

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How to Stop Time

Matt Haig
Published by Canongate

Tom Hazard may look like an ordinary 41 year old History teacher, but he has a dangerous secret. Owing to a rare genetic condition, he is old. Over 400 years old. From Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, to sailing the South Seas with Captain Cook and sipping cocktails with F Scott Fitzgerald, he has lived a long… Read More