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Tobermory cat a

The Tobermory Cat – Debi Gliori

In the village of Tobermory, on the Scottish island of Mull, lives a very special ginger cat. But once upon a time he didn’t think he was special at all, not like the woolly cats of Loch Ba, the singing cats of Staffa or the fishing cats of Fishnish. But now everyone knows about him.…

Wild Mull

Wild Mull – Stephen Littlewood & Martin Jones

A natural history of the island and its people. From the top of Ben More to the coasts that surround us, and from lichens to eagles. This is the essential guide to Mull. Beautifully illustrated, and highly readable.

Room made of leaves

A Room made of leaves – Kate Grenville

I’d never heard of John MacArthur, an early settler of the colony of New South Wales, and an Australian ‘worthy.’ This story is an imagining of the life of his wife, Elisabeth, told in her words.  MacArthur is compulsively argumentative, a schemer, and ruthlessly ambitious.  Elisabeth marries him because she has no option, and decides to make…

Thin places

Thin Places – Kerri nic Dochartaigh

Kerri ni Dochartaigh grew up in Derry in the very midst of the Troubles, and this is a visceral account of the lasting impact of that experience.  ‘Thin Places’ is a richly satisfying read, harrowing at times, drawing in so many interesting themes – grief, loss, the solace of the natural world, the power of…

Boys don't cry

Boys don’t cry – Fiona Scarlett

An un-put-downable story of love, loyalty and breaking free of the ties of place, circumstance and expectations. Brothers Joe and Finn live on a tough estate, where their violent father is caught up in crime.  Joe, a gifted artist,  has a lifeline out in the form of his place at a ‘good’ school, but this is thrown…

Transcendent Kingdom

Transcendent Kingdom – Yaa Gyasi

Gifty’s brother, Nana was the beloved son of his mother, popular, and a gifted sportsman.  The impact of his death on Gifty and her mother forms the nucleus of a story which explores addiction, mental health, and the tension between scientific research and religious belief. If that sounds a heavy mix, it doesn’t feel like it,…

Featherweight

Featherweight – Mick Kitson

I’m a huge fan of ‘Sal’, Mick Kitson’s first book, and was curious to see how he would make the change to writing a historical novel. Annie Perry is sold by her starving family to a drunken prizefighter, exchanging her Romi life for one in the increasingly industrialised town of Tipton. Annie is one of…

Many different kinds of love

Many different kinds of love – Michael Rosen

An intensely moving account of Michael Rosen’s illness, and the beginnings of his recovery from covid. Hearing that Michael had contracted covid felt like a body blow, and like many people I anxiously awaited news, following the tweets from his partner.  As a voice on the radio, and the author of so many books which make…