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Resources

16 September 2016

How-To: Run a reverse book club

The Crisis Skylight and World Book Night Book Club, run by The Reading Agency, meets once a week in London. The book club runs in a ‘reverse’ format, with no member expected to have read the book before coming to the...

08 September 2016

Banned Books Week 2016

To celebrate Banned Books Week this month, download this list of notable banned books from Islington Libraries. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores...

22 August 2016

Miss You extract

Tess is in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university. Her life is about to change forever – but not in the way she expects. Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence. Their lives have already changed...

22 August 2016

Miss You reading group questions

Tess is in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university. Her life is about to change forever – but not in the way she expects. Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence. Their lives have already changed...

15 August 2016

Les Parisiennes - Chapter 1

What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris from 1939 to 1949? These were years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation and secrets until – finally – renewal and retribution. But this is not just a book...

11 August 2016

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill - First chapter extract

The Mare is Mary Gaitskill’s first novel in over a decade. Exploring themes of parenthood, race and class, there are big ideas and extremely compelling characters for reading groups to get their teeth into. Ginger is in her forties and a...

11 August 2016

David Mark DS McAvoy Series Reading Guide

David Mark spent more than fifteen years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post – walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels. He has...

11 August 2016

Q&A with Adrian McKinty, author of the Sean Duffy series

Download Serpent’s Tail’s interview with Adrian McKinty, author of the Sean Duffy thriller series, set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. The latest in the series, Rain Dogs, was shortlisted for the 2016 Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year...

01 August 2016

Women in Translation Month - Reading List

Did you know that less than a third of all literary translations published in the UK and the US were originally written by women? Did you know that women writers win far fewer prizes for their translated books than male...

26 July 2016

Everyone Brave is Forgiven discussion questions

Mary North – young, resourceful, fiercely intelligent, and a newly recruited teacher – resolves to stay in London at the outbreak of the Second World War. For although the city’s children are evacuated in a carefully orchestrated and very public...

26 July 2016

Everyone Brave is Forgiven extract

Mary North – young, resourceful, fiercely intelligent, and a newly recruited teacher – resolves to stay in London at the outbreak of the Second World War. For although the city’s children are evacuated in a carefully orchestrated and very public...

26 July 2016

Taduno's Song extract

The day a stained brown envelope arrives from Taduno’s homeland, he knows that the time has come to return from exile. Arriving full of trepidation, the musician discovers that his community no longer recognises him, believing that Taduno is dead. His...

26 July 2016

The Memory Stones extract

Heartbreaking and beautiful, The Memory Stones tells the story of the Disappeared, thousands of Argentinians who fell victim to the violence of the period. Depicting the despair and hope of one family seeking to rebuild itself after unimaginable loss, it...

12 July 2016

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus - Shelf Talker 5

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but...

12 July 2016

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus - Shelf Talker 4

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but...

12 July 2016

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus - Shelf Talker 3

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but...

12 July 2016

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus - Shelf Talker 2

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but...

12 July 2016

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus - Shelf Talker 1

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but...

12 July 2016

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus - Postcards

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but...

12 July 2016

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus - Recommendation cards

When Chris Kraus, an unsuccessful artist pushing 40, spends an evening with a rogue academic named Dick, she falls madly and inexplicably in love, enlisting her husband in her haunted pursuit. Dick proposes a kind of game between them, but...

08 July 2016

The Silent Cry by Cathy Glass - Reading group questions

This is the sixteenth fostering memoir by the inspirational foster carer Cathy Glass, giving a real insight into the world of foster care and the heart-breaking and moving stories she encounters along the way. The Silent Cry is the true story...

08 July 2016

The Past by Tessa Hadley - Reading guide

Four siblings meet up in their grandparents’ old house for three long, hot summer weeks. But under the idyllic surface lie shattering tensions. Roland has come with his new wife, and his sisters don’t like her. Fran has brought her children,...

08 July 2016

The Summer of Broken Stories by James Wilson extract

England, 1950s. While out playing in the woods, ten-year-old Mark meets a man living in an old railway carriage. Despite his wild appearance, the stranger, who introduces himself as Aubrey Hillyard, is captivating – an irreverent outsider who is shunned...

08 July 2016

Father's Day by Simon van Booy extract

A beautifully crafted story of an orphaned girl named Harvey and the troubled uncle who raises her Moving between past and present, Father’s Day weaves together the story of Harvey’s childhood on Long Island and her life as a young woman...

08 July 2016

The House at the Edge of the Night extract

On a tiny island off the coast of Italy, Amedeo Esposito, a foundling from Florence, thinks he has found a place where, finally, he can belong. Intrigued by a building the locals believe to be cursed, Amedeo restores the crumbling walls,...

07 July 2016

My Name is Leon - extract

A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one. Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like...

07 July 2016

The End of the World Running Club extract

When the world ends, what do you try to save? Your family. The End of the World Running Club sees Britain nearly annihilated by asteroids. In Edinburgh, Edgar Hill and his family have survived – just. But despite his best efforts,...

05 July 2016

Cruel Heart Broken Discussion Points

Inspired by a tragic true story, Cruel Heart Broken is a taut tale of guilt, impossible choices, and the consequences that follow. Laurie is a good girl – so everyone thinks. But eight months ago she did something that she can’t...

03 May 2016

The Vegetarian - reading notes

Reading notes for Man Booker International Prize shortlisted book The Vegetarian. Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their...

03 May 2016

The Story of the Lost Child - reading notes

Reading notes for Man Booker International Prize shortlisted book The Story of the Lost Child. The fourth and final instalment of the Neapolitan Novels series, this is the dazzling saga of the friendship between two women: brilliant, bookish Elena and fiery,...