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Reading Groups in May

Monday 9th May, 7.30pm

Njal’s Saga The anonymous sagas of the medieval Icelanders are amongst  the most striking and unusual works in world literature. Fusing history, fiction and legendary lore, these stirring prose narratives anticipate the modern novel and continue to cast a spell upon modern readers, affording a fascinating insight into a remote time, place and culture. Set […]

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Lunch with Sabrina Ghayour

Tuesday 10th May, 1.15pm

Sabrina Ghayour is one of our most exciting new cooks: her first book, Persiana, was a huge hit, winning the coveted Observer Food Monthly ‘Best New Cookbook’ prize in 2014. It celebrated the flavours of the Middle-East, bringing the flavours of Persian cookery to life in a way that was accessible to even the most […]

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The Hemsleys

Tuesday 10th May, 7.30pm

It is no understatement to say that Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley spearheaded a food revolution with the publication of their first cookbook, The Art of Eating Well, in 2014. Combining a passion for flavour and fun with a serious attempt to change our eating habits for the better, their stunning but unfussy recipes have become […]

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Professor David Crystal

Tuesday 17th May, 7.30pm

We all know eloquence when we hear it. But what exactly is it? And how might we gain more of it for ourselves? This entertaining and, yes, eloquent book illuminates the power of language from a linguistic point of view and provides fascinating insights into the way we use words. Professor David Crystal, a world-renowned […]

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Ben Kane and Harry Sidebottom

Monday 23rd May, 7.30pm

Ben Kane comes to Ely for the first time with the second book in his gripping trilogy, Eagles of Rome. One of the most exciting historical novelists around, Ben has established his reputation with a combination of masterly story-telling and sound historical detail. Hunting with Eagles tells of the battle-scarred Centurion Tullis, still hell-bent on […]

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Author Lionel Shriver.

Lionel Shriver

Tuesday 24th May, 7.30pm

The brilliant new novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk about Kevin centres on three generations of the Mandible family as a fiscal crisis hits a near-future America. It is 2029. The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies. Yet America’s soaring national […]

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Tracy Borman website

Tracy Borman

Wednesday 25th May, 7.30pm

Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task.  These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They […]

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John Guy

Thursday 26th May, 7.30pm

An ageing queen, an heirless state, conspiracy all round: here is the court of Elizabeth I as never told before.  In 1583 Elizabeth is fifty years old, past childbearing, but her greatest challenges are still to come: the Spanish Armada; the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots; relentless plotting among her courtiers. This gripping and vivid […]

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James Runcie website

James Runcie

Wednesday 1st June, 7.30pm

It’s the fifth instalment in the Grantchester Mysteries series, and the one we have been eagerly awaiting – Sidney is now an Archdeacon in Ely! He is beginning to find life as a full-time priest and part-time detective a little exhausting. So when a bewitching divorcee in a mink coat interrupts Sidney’s family lunch asking him to help locate […]

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Vaseem Khan

Wednesday 8th June, 7.30pm

Following his joyously different first novel, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra. Vaseem Khan returns with another adventure for the retired inspector. Chopra is swept up in a maelstrom of trouble and danger in the noisy, vibrant city of Mumbai when Queen Victoria’s crown is stolen. But what the thieves were really after is the Koh-i-Noor diamond, […]

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Jill Dawson

Thursday 9th June, 7.30pm

In 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too – a secret romance with a married lover based in London. Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, […]

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JOBaker

Jo Baker

Tuesday 14th June, 7.30pm

We are delighted to welcome Jo Baker to celebrate her new novel, A Country Road, A Tree. Her last novel, Longbourn, examined the lives of the servants who silently keep the world of Pride and Prejudice afloat; it was deservedly  popular for its fantastic storytelling. A Country Road, A Tree is, if possible, even better: a stunningly written fictionalised account of […]

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Francis Spufford

Thursday 16th June, 7.30pm

Francis Spufford is a great favourite here in Ely. A true polymath, his previous books have ranged from a consideration of ice in literature to Unapologetic, his witty and intelligent defence of the importance of Christianity in the twenty-first century. Now he has written his first novel, Golden Hill, which  is destined to become a […]

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Fiona Reynolds

Tuesday 21st June, 7.30pm

Fiona Reynolds’ distinguished decade at the helm of the National Trust gave her ample opportunities to see the best of British landscapes and nature- and also a real insight into the dangers it faces. In The Fight for Beauty that experience has allowed her to create a truly astonishing book, that celebrates the potential for […]

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Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry

Thursday 7th July, 7.30pm

Sarah Perry’s second novel, The Essex Serpent, has captivated those of us who have read it. Set against a vividly drawn backdrop of Victorian London and Essex, it is the story of  Cora Seaborne, an educated and fiercely independent widow and William Ransome, an  enlightened vicar whose parish is a small village on the Essex coast. It  explodes with […]

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Ben Macintyre

Ben MacIntyre on The SAS

Monday 26th September, 7.30pm

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was imaginative, radical and entirely against the rules: a small, undercover unit that would wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave […]

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