Monthly Archives: April 2015

Read Regional 2015

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It’s Read Regional time once again. Every year this scheme introduces library users to new titles by authors based in the north of England. This year there are 10 exciting titles to explore.
There are five novels:
Letters to my Husband by Stephanie Butland
The Last King of Lydia by Tim Leach
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Herring Girl by Debbie Taylor
Into the Trees by Robert Williams

Three books of poetry:
Ellen Phethean: Portrait of the Quince as an Older Woman
Helen Tookey: Missel-Child
John Wedgwood Clarke: Ghost Pot

a novel for young people, Hate by Alan Gibbons and finally a graphic novel, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette by Mary and Bryan Talbot. If you have never tried reading a novel in graphic form why not give this a try. Their graphic novel Dotter of her Father’s Eyes won the Costa Biography Award in 2013.

You can find out more about the books on the Read Regional webpage and the books are available in libraries or for some titles, as reader group sets. Lauren Owen, Debbie Willams and Robert Williams will be visiting Wakefield to talk about their books (see our What’s On page for details) and Alan Gibbons will be speaking to classes from a local school. Treat yourself to a selction of the finest new writing from the north this Spring.

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Desmond Elliott Prize

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It’s always good to discover a new author and one of the best places to start is the Desmond Elliott Prize. The longlist for 2015 has been announced and includes books by debut authors that are already bestsellers and exciting titles that need this list to attract the attention they deserve. I loved The Miniaturist for it’s atmospheric portrait of 17th century Amsterdam, and The Bees (also on the Baileys Prize shortlist) is competing with A Song for Issy Bradley to be my next read. Have you read any of these books? Do post your views and reviews. The full list is

• The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah (Doubleday)

• The Bees by Laline Paull (Fourth Estate)

• Chop Chop by Simon Wroe (Viking)

• Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Viking)

• Glass by Alex Christofi (Serpent’s Tail)

• The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (Picador)

• Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree)

• Randall by Jonathan Gibbs (Galley Beggar Press)

• A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray (Hutchinson)

• The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)

The Prize is presented in the name of the late, acclaimed publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, whose passion for finding and nurturing new authors is perpetuated by his Prize. Now in its eighth year, the award has an established record for spotting up-and-coming novelists in the UK and Ireland and propelling them to greater recognition and success. The 2014 winner was Eimear McBride, author of the much-garlanded and critically lauded A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. Other past winners include Grace McCleen, Anjali Joseph, Edward Hogan and Ali Shaw.
The shortlist will be announced on 15th May and the winner on 1st July.

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