More About Us

Jacquie Knott

- Chair

I'm the current chair. I've been involved in the Suffolk Book League since not long after I moved to Ipswich in 1985. I got chatting to Sandy in Amberstone Books and she told me there was something she thought I would like, and she was right. 

I've enjoyed reading ever since I remember and will give most things a try. I have a passion for things written in interesting ways, so James Joyce and B S Johnson are particular heroes. I also just enjoy a jolly good read and love to disappear into a nice big Anthony Trollope.


I like to support small publishers and over the last few years the books that has introduced me to have been a real joy. 

Sue Blything-Smith

- Secretary

I became a member of the SBL committee about four years ago, having enjoyed being a member for a good few years.


Surprising events seem to involve famous people so...At a meeting with some of my students and Prince Charles, he turned to couple of them nodded towards me and said 'I bet she's a lot of fun to be with', thankfully they agreed! 

Paris Warren

- Treasurer

I am the newest member of the Suffolk Bok League committee, joining in 2020 as treasurer. I have over 7 years' experience working in an international accountancy practice, so I very much looking forward to being part of this team. 

Outside of work, I like to spend my spare time with my family.


And I also enjoy the occasional glass of fizz! 

Natalie Barber

I joined Suffolk Book League in 2019.

I enjoy reading novels on Tudor history. My bookshelves are mainly filled with books written by Anita Shreeve, Maggie O'Farrell, as well as Phillipa Gregory, although I am always keen to be recommended to new authors.

Something interesting - my Great Grandfather was good friends of Lord Byron who married on a Greek island where my family originates from.

Janet Bayliss

I joined Suffolk Book League in 1993 and was co-opted onto the Committee, where I have been ever since. This includes two periods as membership secretary and one stint as secretary.

Something surprisingly about me? I once spent a night in a Swiss Trotskyite commune with a life sized picture of Michelangelo’s David on the inside of the toilet door – something different to view while in action, so as to speak!

Andrew Burton

I have been a member of Suffolk Book League for 20 years and joined its committee in 2019.


I believe passionately in the power of words to transform lives. I agree with Edna O'Brien that great literature is a "priceless harvest". Some of the writers who have enriched that harvest for me include JM Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro, Deborah Levy, Toni Morrison, Anne Patchett and Colm Tóibín, to name but a few.


Fun fact:  I failed my first driving test by getting into the wrong car!  Lift, anyone?

Did you know that the Suffolk Book League is a volunteer led organisation? Run by a committee, we a group who are passionate about reading and literature. From all walks of life, and with different roles, we are keen to ensure our you get the most out of your membership. So, here's a bit more about us and how you can get in touch.

Tricia Gilbey

I joined the Suffolk Book League committee in 2019.


My favourite authors? Impossible to choose! But recently I've loved Tove Jansson, Hilary Mantel and Maggie O'Farrell.


At the age of ten I sent my exercise books full of stories to Heinemann. They said they were sure I'd get published one day.


Now an aspiring children's writer, I live in hope!

Keith Jones

I have been involved with Suffolk Book League since 2012 and as a member of the committee since 2014.


My favourite authors are Proust and Marilyn Robinson.

I once played cricket with Kingsley Amis and I turned down Auden's invitation to lunch.

Amanda Hodginkson

I joined the Suffolk Book League in 2017.


My favourite authors are many! I always love the writing of Sebastian Barry, Tim Winton, Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín


Something surprising? As a child my family lived by the sea. I was lucky enough to own a horse and I loved to ride into the tide and swim with him.  Many years later, as an adult with children of my own, I visited a house and over the fireplace, was a framed photograph of a little girl on a horse, riding into the sea. I recognised her immediately…The owner of the house, whom I had only briefly met, had photographed me all those years ago!

Gill Lowe

I can’t remember when I first joined SBL but it was years ago! 

For all kinds of personal reasons I love The Railway Children by E. Nesbit. Choosing a favourite author can’t be done but the one I know most about is Virginia Woolf. 


Something surprising about me? Dave Stewart, later of the ‘Eurythmics’, tried (but failed) to teach me to play the guitar when I was a teenager.   

Suffolk Book League

Honorary President: Margaret Drabble

Registered Charity no. 296783

© Copyright 2020 Suffolk Book League All Rights Reserved

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