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Resources

13 January 2017

My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers by Ted Kessler - an extract

If you were asked to write about your father, what would you say? No two paternal relationships are the same. Every experience, every bond, is unique. And whether happy or sad, fond or fraught, the memories and stories we have...

13 January 2017

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba - discussion questions

“This is a fascinating book I couldn’t stop reading. She understands everything about the chic, loathsome collaborators and the Holocaust victims, and their stories are told in an irresistible narrative flood.” Edmund White, author of The Flâneur “Sebba reminds us that we...

13 January 2017

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba - an extract

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. Even at the darkest moments of Occupation,...

12 January 2017

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge by Daniel Rachel - discussion questions

“A triumphant oral history of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge . . . a tale of resistance: first, against a surge of racism and bigotry that an inspired group of activists and musicians played a key role...

12 January 2017

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge by Daniel Rachel - an extract

Walls Come Tumbling Down charts the pivotal period between 1976 and 1992 that saw politics and pop music come together for the first time in Britain’s musical history; musicians and their fans suddenly became instigators of social change, and ‘the...

06 January 2017

Full Marks for Trying: An unlikely journey from the Raj to the rag trade by Bridgid Keenan - an extract

Brigid Keenan was never destined to lead a normal life. From her early beginnings – a colourful childhood in India brought to an abrupt end by independence and partition, then a return to dreary post-war England and on to a...

06 January 2017

Full Marks for Trying: An unlikely journey from the Raj to the rag trade by Bridgid Keenan - discussion questions

“With flashes of Nancy Mitford wit … Brigid Keenan is as skittish as a kitten with needle claws, as stricken as a deer in headlights, and as smart as a cage of monkeys.” The Times “Keenan, I suspect, was quite possibly put...

06 January 2017

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell - an extract

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Award. Shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell crosses time zones and continents to reveal an extraordinary portrait...

05 January 2017

My name is Leon by Kit De Waal - an extract

“Unforgettable, heartbreaking and uplifting – just read it.” “Leon is pure goodwill in a wicked world, and he won’t leave you when you put this unique book down. Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest.” Chris Cleave, bestselling author of The Other Hand A...

05 January 2017

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jack Arnopp - an extract

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed. Then there was that video: forty seconds...

05 January 2017

Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World by Brian Brett - an extract

For thirty years, Brian Brett shared his office and his life with Tuco, a remarkable parrot given to asking such questions as “Whaddya know?” and announcing “Party time!” when guests showed up at Brett’s farm. Although Brett bought Tuco on...

05 January 2017

Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World by Brian Brett - discussion questions

Brian Brett is the author of Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life, which won the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, and Uproar’s Your Only Music, a Globe and Mail Book of the Year. He has also written numerous books...

04 January 2017

Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield - an extract

“Thoroughly engaging.” Sunday Times, Books of the Year “Gripping, unusual, moving.” Times, Books of the Year “An irresistible little byway in 18th-century medical and social history.” Oldie “A scintillating portrait of Barry’s life…that feels almost Dickensian in style.” Guardian These are just some of the reviews about the...

04 January 2017

Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield - discussion questions

Dr James Barry was many things in his life: Inspector General of Hospitals, army surgeon, duellist, reformer, lady killer, eccentric. He performed the first successful Caesarean in the British Empire, outraged the military establishment, and gave Florence Nightingale a dressing...

04 January 2017

The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler - discussion questions

We have attached some discussion questions for you to use with your reading group about The Tobacconist. From the bestselling author of A Whole Life, comes a moving account of an ordinary boy living through extraordinary times, and the lengths we...

04 January 2017

The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler - an extract

When seventeen-year-old Franz exchanges his home in the idyllic beauty of the Austrian lake district for the bustle of Vienna, his homesickness quickly dissolves amidst the thrum of the city. In his role as apprentice to the elderly tobacconist Otto Trsnyek,...

20 December 2016

A Monster Calls - discussion guide

Download these discussion questions for A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

19 December 2016

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher - an extract

If you could bring back just one animal from the past, what would you choose? It can be anyone or anything from history, from the King of the Dinosaurs, T. rex, to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley,...

19 December 2016

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher - discussion questions

De-extinction – the ability to bring extinct species back to life – is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of...

19 December 2016

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker - discussion questions

Edgar Hill is 35 and caught in his own headlock. Overweight slob, under-performing husband and reluctant father – for Ed, the world may as well have already ended. So when it does end in a catastrophic asteroid strike and Edgar...

19 December 2016

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker - an extract

This is the ultimate race-against-time thriller. When the world ends and you find yourself stranded on the wrong side of the country, every second counts. No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. 550 miles away from his family, he must push...

16 December 2016

The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis by Patrick Kingsley - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about The New Odyssey. Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II. The author, Guardian’s migration correspondent, has reported on this crisis in depth. Throughout...

16 December 2016

The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis by Patrick Kingsley - an extract

This extremely topical, non-fiction book is a fascinating read. Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II – and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than the...

16 December 2016

Himself by Jess Kidd - discussion questions

Himself is a genre-bending crime story set in County Mayo in the 1970s. Abandoned on the steps of an orphanage, Mahony, a lovable car thief and Dublin charmer, returns to the town of his birth after an anonymous message suggests that...

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...