Summer Reads

Going away? Time off? Found a quiet part of the house/office away from the kids/colleagues? Need a book suggestion or 2?


The Portrait – Antoine Laurain

Image for The PortraitWe knew summer holidays were just around the corner when the latest book from Antoine Lauraine arrived in the shop. The Portrait was actually Lauraine’s debut novel, but this is the first time it has been published in English.

In this elegantly-written modern fable, an antique collector unearths the find of a lifetime: an eighteenth-century portrait of a man who looks uncannily like him.

Together with his other three novels; The President’s Hat and The Red Notebook, and French Rhapsody these lovely little novels are the perfect size for slipping into your holiday bag.


Lost for Words – Stephanie Butland

Image for Lost For Words : This bookshop keeps many secretsLoveday Caradew prefers books to people, she is the owner of a wonderfully spiky temperament, and a heart-breaking past.

The bookshop she works provides a refuge from a past she’d rather forget, but everything is about to change for Loveday - someone knows all about her life and she can’t keep everything a secret any longer…



Date with Death – Julia Chapman

Image for Date with Death : 1

The first instalment in the new Dales Detective series

Disgraced detective Samson O’Brien dismissed from the police force returns to his home town and sets up a detective agency whilst trying to clear his name. But his return is met with distrust by the locals – who see him as trouble. A classic whodunit riddled with dry Yorkshire wit.



The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

Image for The Couple Next Door

This summer’s crime thriller must-read.

A riveting tale with a clever array of motives and suspects – shocking revelations will keep you turning the pages and you will not see the twists coming.




Need something to get your teeth into? Try some of these for size...

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Five books to read whilst watching the Tour de France

It's that time of year again, the sun is out (well most days), the Tour de France is on telly and Stockton Cycling Festival is about to hit town.

Don't Forget... there is still time to register to take part in this weekend's RideStockton event, Sunday 16th July 12-2.30pm at the Stockton Cycling Festival.

This fun family cycle ride is open to everyone and is free. The ride is on a traffic free route around the High Street and the Riverside and is a great way of getting the whole family involved in cycling. All ages and abilities are welcome. Plus there are lots of prizes up for grabs for those taking part including a signed Boardman bike!

Please pre-register for the event before  12.OOpm on Sunday.

Though no Drake could class themselves as a cyclist, as a family we love watching the Tour, and one of my favourite books is about a cycle race, so we thought we'd put together a short list of cycle related reads to keep you company whilst waiting for the Tour highlights.

The Rider - Tim Krabbe


This is one of my favourite reads. A short, but perfectly formed novel which covers, almost in real time, an amateur cycle race. Krabbe is a keen cyclist himself and brings a wry insight into the mindgame and strategy of road racing. Written in 1978, The Rider is now consider a modern classic and widely recognised as one of the best books written about the sport. If you've ever wondered what drives cyclists to compete in such punishing trials of endurance you won't find any answers here, but you will enjoy sharing the ride with Krabbe.


Le Tour de France - Serge Laget, Luke Edwards-Evans, Andy McGrath.


For the Tour obsessive - perhaps the most comprehensive guide to the Tour de France - generally considered to be the greatest test of endurance in the sporting world. Covering every race up to 2016 features, stories and shots of all the stars, plus over 300 photographs of stunning race scenery.


This Road I Ride - Juliana Buhring


A fascinating story of how Buhring, following the death of her partner, decided to cycle around the world. In 2012 Buhring cycled 18,000 miles through 19 countries in just 152 days, setting a Guinness World Record. She set off every day on her bicycle, “Pegasus”, carrying only bare essentials, not knowing where she would sleep that night. She averaged 125 miles a day. It is a remarkable feat, particularly for someone who had never really been on a bicycle before she was 30.  Buhring is a compelling but down to earth story teller, who drew inspiration for her adventure simply by being bored at wearing a suit and sitting at a desk each day.




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Creative Writing

So, today saw the launch of our creative writing club, as part of our Easter Activities. Those who joined us did a great job of joining in and wrote some pretty cool stories using the Story Cubes for the first time.

Our warm-up activity today was to create some folding stories, and here are the end results. Given that each section is written without knowledge of the previous section they work pretty well, even if some of them are a bit on the aggressive side! Alternatively, you may want to go with the ideas of the Dr Who fan!

Thanks to everyone who joined in today, we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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