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DiscoveReads 2023

This month, Suffolk Libraries launched its 2023 book collection for DiscoveReads; an initiative to help people to find new and exciting titles and create a county-wide reading community. With book-related activities and events across our network of libraries and online all you need to participate is your library card and an open mind.

Each of the five books was recommended by readers from the participating libraries in Thurston, Haverhill, Needham Market and Kessingland, and the final selection was made by our librarians.

Here is the new collection:

Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud

It is 1914, and Thomas Maggs lives with his parents on the Suffolk coast. Life is quiet, shaped by the seasons. Then one day a mysterious Scotsman arrives, looking for all the world like Sherlock Holmes. Mac is what the locals call him.

But Mac isn’t a detective; he’s the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and together with his red-haired artist wife, he soon becomes a source of fascination and wonder to Thomas.

A tender story of an unlikely friendship. Freud’s other titles include Hideous Kinky, The Sea House and, most recently, I Couldn't Love You More.

The Devil You Know by Dr Gwen Adshead and Eileen Horne

This title was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.

‘A perspective-shattering work into the minds of violent criminals that reveals profound consequences for human nature and society at large.’

Adshead is one of Britain's leading forensic psychiatrists, with co-author Eileen Horne, she brings her work to life in fascinating, unflinching portraits of individuals often labelled as ‘monsters’ and reveals these men and women in all their complexity and vulnerability.

Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins

Author, book critic and journalist, Atkins is the author of five novels and teaches on the Creative Writing Masters degree at the University of Oxford, which is the setting for her literary mystery, Magpie Lane.

When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers, but is Dee telling the whole story?

Magpie Lane was picked as one of the best novels of the year by the Guardian and was recommended on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book. Her new novel, Windmill Hill will be published in May.

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

For centuries the gods of the Undersea ruled the islands of the Myriad through awe and terror. Sacrifices were hurled into the waters to appease them, and every boat was painted with pleading eyes to entreat their mercy. They were served, feared and adored, until they rose up in madness and tore each other apart. Now, none are thought to remain. 

Until a young scavenger, Jelt, feels something stirring beneath the waves. Something valuable. Something dangerous, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.

Award-winning author, Hardinge is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her Victorian mystery, The Lie Tree won the overall Costa Book of the Year award 2015. Her latest book is The Unraveller.

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Winner of the Costa Novel Award and shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, 2021.

From the author of the acclaimed Bitter Orange, Unsettled Ground is a heart-stopping novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival. A portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations and spin light from darkness.

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. But when Dot dies suddenly, Jeanie and Julius must do what they can to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother's secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake. 

One of the best things about the DiscoveReads project is the chance to meet the authors behind each book and find out about their inspiration processes at the in-person events.

These will be held throughout June 2023 at the participating libraries, with the exception of Gwen Adshead which will be online. More details and links to book tickets can be found here:

Lisa Brennan, Content and Reader Development Librarian, is the DiscoveReads project coordinator and will be hosting all events. She said, ‘Like previous years, we have a fantastic selection of talented authors, whose books have been chosen by Suffolk library customers. I’m looking forward to interviewing each of them about their brilliant books.’

Sophie Green


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