Donate now
Tackling life's big challenges through the proven power of reading

Resources

16 December 2016

Himself by Jess Kidd - read an extract

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past. No one – living or dead...

16 December 2016

Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss - discussion questions

We have some great discussion questions for your reading group about Wild Kingdom, the non-fiction book by Stephen Moss. Stephen Moss has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, from the remote archipelago of St Kilda to our inner cities,...

16 December 2016

Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss - read an extract

The newspaper headlines tell us that Britain’s wildlife is in trouble. Wild creatures that have lived here for thousands of years are disappearing, because of pollution and persecution, competition with alien species, changing farming and forestry practices, and climate change....

16 December 2016

SHTUM by Jem Lester - discussion questions

We have some great discussion questions for your reading group about Shtum by Jem Lester. As you can see below, other groups have enjoyed reading and discussing this book: “I cannot stress highly enough how much I loved this book. Simply charming,...

16 December 2016

SHTUM by Jem Lester - read an extract

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben’s elderly father, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t –...

09 December 2016

False Hearts by Laura Lam - read an extract

One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She’s then arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a...

09 December 2016

False Hearts by Laura Lam - discussion questions

We have some great discussion questions for your reading group about False Hearts by Laura Lam. As you can see below, other groups have enjoyed reading and discussing this book: “It was engaging right from the off, brought a wonderful vision of...

02 December 2016

The Appointment by Graham Easton - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about The Appointment: What Your Doctor Really Thinks During Your Ten-Minute Consultation by Graham Easton. The Appointment is a book which explores the idea that despite the modern trend towards empowering patients...

02 December 2016

The Appointment by Graham Easton - read an extract

Despite the modern trend towards empowering patients and giving them more choice, the nuts and bolts of medical practice largely remain a mystery – a closed box. In fact, the more health information is available on the internet, the more...

22 November 2016

The Graces by Laure Eve - read an extract

Read an exclusive extract from The Graces by Laure Eve. Everyone said the Graces were witches. They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. They had friends, but they were...

22 November 2016

Thin Air by Michelle Paver - read an extract

Read an exclusive extract of the chilling and dark Thin Air by Michelle Paver. It is 1935, and young medic Stephen Pearce travels to India to join an expedition with his brother, Kits. The elite team of five will climb Kangchenjunga,...

17 November 2016

Holding by Graham Norton - read an extract

Read an exclusive extract from Graham Norton’s debut novel, Holding. Duneen is a quiet place, far enough from the big towns to have kept its own rhythms. Its residents include cast down policeman PJ who lives a lonely, uneventful life punctuated...

17 November 2016

You Will Not Have My Hate - read an extract

Read an extract from the powerful and moving You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris. On 13th November 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène, was killed, along with 88 other people at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, when three men...

17 November 2016

Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry - read an extract

We have an exclusive extract for you to read from Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry. Peaks and Troughs is the story of a naïve young man who is initiated into adulthood through the harsh reality of having to survive in...

17 November 2016

Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry. Peaks and Troughs is the story of a naïve young man who is initiated into adulthood through the harsh reality of having to survive in...

17 November 2016

The Zoo by Isobel Charman - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about non-fiction book The Zoo by Isobel Charman. The creation of a zoo in Dickensian London – the first ‘zoo’ in history – is a story of jaw-dropping audacity. It is the...

17 November 2016

The Zoo by Isobel Charman - read an extract

We have an exclusive extract for you to read from non-fiction book The Zoo by Isobel Charman. The creation of a zoo in Dickensian London – the first ‘zoo’ in history – is a story of jaw-dropping audacity. It is the...

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...