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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 - 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 - 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

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...

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

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,...

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

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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...

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

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...

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...