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Dreaming of going to Spain?

Seems like travelling this summer is going to have to happen in your head, so to help you go places we’ve collected a list of books that will take you to your favourite holiday destinations. We’ve been to Greece and Italy already…Spain’s next. France to follow!

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Books for Boys

‘A boy won’t read shark books forever’- Jon Scieszka, author and founder of GuysRead.com.

We all know that children are made bookworms on the laps of their parents but how do we sustain that momentum, particularly with the classic ‘reluctant boy reader’? The key seems to be to avoid parental dictatorship. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but they’re often not interested in what you read when you were twelve! With this in mind, we’ve selected a lovely mix of books for boys. Here’s hoping they find their very own book magic.

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Dreaming of going to Italy?

Seems like travelling this summer is going to have to happen mostly in your head, so to help we’ve collected a list of books that will transport you to your favourite holiday destinations. Our first stop was Greece…today Italy. Spain and France to follow!

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The Notebook by Agota Kristof

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The Notebook

A book to shock

Wow…is all I can say about The Notebook by Agota Kristof. This is one of the more disquieting books I’ve read but it’s also impossible to put down. It’s the notebook of two nameless young twin brothers somewhere in Eastern Europe, sometime at the end of the Second World War. Calmly and unsentimentally, the boys tell us what war does to people. It’s not a pretty story but it leaves an indelible impression.

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Dreaming of going to Greece?

Seems like travelling this summer is going to have to happen mostly in your head, so to help we’ve collected a list of books that will transport you to your favourite holiday destinations. Our first stop is Greece…Italy, Spain and France to follow!

Read more

Surge by Jay Bernard

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Surge

An important and fearless poetry collection

Surge by Jay Bernard is a poetry book composed of many different voices. At times confidential, at others longing, prophetic or lyrical, it weaves together the voices of the past, allowing the dead and forgotten to speak to the present. Through it all we hear the clear voice of Bernard, fearless, tender and unflinching.

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Between the World and Me

An eye-opener

The terrible killing of George Floyd in America has reminded me of Ta-Neshisi Coates’ stirring Between the World and Me which I reviewed a few years ago. A must read.

Once in a blue moon you come across a book that changes your perspective. Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ open letter to his 15-year-old son about race relations in America, is such a book. An eye-opening account of what it’s really like to grow up as an African American in America’s poorest neighbourhoods and a book that – at the risk of sounding patronising – everyone ‘should’ read.

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Travelling in the time of Covid

In 2012, London-based writer Ann Morgan set out to read a book from every country in the world in a year. Pretty ambitious when you know there are 196 of them. She asked people to send her recommendations and the list she compiled is an extraordinary overview of literature from around the world.

From Vatican City to Vietnam, from Russia to Rawanda. Wherever you can’t go, this list will have a book suggestion for every imaginary journey. Enjoy!

A year of reading the world by Ann Morgan

The Visit of the Royal Physician by Per Olov Enquist

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The Visit of the Royal Physician

The madness of King Christian VII

There’s something special about novels based on real events, particularly when the story is crazy as that of the The Visit of the Royal Physician by Per Olov Enquist. It’s the late 1700s and the time of absolute rulers. In Denmark, a German doctor is hired to take care of the 16-year-old mentally disturbed King Christian VII. Within months, Struensee becomes the Queen’s lover and de-facto sovereign while living alongside King Christian. How was this possible? And was this Struensee’s intention all along? A wild journey into the madness of 18th century court life, revolutionary ideas and an absolute treat of a novel. Read full Review