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August 2021: Currently Reading

By - 31 August 2021 - 15:07pm

Each month we will share what the DBF team are currently reading. We'd love to hear your thoughts via our social media channels.

Here at Derby Book Festival, we love books. We love reading them, talking about them, and bringing them to life at our Festival twice a year. Some of you may have noticed that in our email signatures we include the book we are 'currently reading.' This has inspired us to delve further and create a blog post each month, highlighting what we're reading.

Sian, Festival Co-Founder: Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

I'd heard really positive comments about this book and had only read one of Clare's books previously (which I'd enjoyed).

This was a really interesting book, set in the late 50s, which is a period which doesn't get a lot of attention. Her research into that period is excellent - the social niceties, the awful food, the London Smog and the role of women at that time, particularly unmarried women in their thirties who had careers but no real independence. It explores parthenogenesis - virgin birth and is a sort of 'whodunnit' and a love story. The characters were wonderfully vivid and believable, and I highly recommend it.

Gini, Festival Manager: The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

For almost a decade Rachel Caine has turned her back on home, kept away by family disputes and her work monitoring wolves on an Idaho reservation. But now, summoned by the eccentric Earl of Annerdale and his controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside, she is back in the heart of the Lake District.

The Wolf Border is an enthralling and vivid observation of the fundamental nature of wilderness and wildness, both animal and human. It seeks to understand the most obsessive aspects of humanity: sex, love, and conflict, the desire to find answers to the question of our existence, and an exploration of the impact of the past and politics on our present and future.

Absolutely gripping from start to finish with beautiful language expertly portraying the intricacies of human interaction and the beauty and power of nature.

Jo, Shared Reading Co-Ordinator: Educated by Tara Westover

Really enjoying this autobiographical book which describes Westover's unconventional upbringing and her participation in formal education for the first time in her late teens and the effects this has upon her. For me, it raises fascinating questions about the strength of family ties and an interesting consideration of how one's nature can be affected by nurture but ultimately determines the path taken.

Felicity, Festival Administrator: Pretending by Holly Bourne

This is the first book I've read by Holly Bourne, but it won't be the last. Holly's novel tackles dating in London for the 20/30-something female in a brutally honest way. It highlights how hilarious/awful it can be. Especially as April is juggling an intense job, past relationship trauma, and trying to find 'Mr Right.' She can't seem to make it past date five and after an awful evening with Simon, she changes direction and pretends to be Gretel (the perfect woman) instead. But Gretel isn't necessarily the perfect woman society has led April to believe she is. I love the writing style. It feels like April is my friend and we're having a catch up. Overall, Pretending is funny, sad, heart-breaking even, but ultimately heart-warming.

What are you currently reading? We'd love to know via our social media channels!

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