Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Books in the Media newsletters

Here are the latest Books in the Media newsletters for my followers to peruse:


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Includes first reviews of Carmen Maria Machado's In the Dream House, Steph Cha's Your House Will Pay and Anna Wiener's Uncanny Valley

The Week in Review: 27th January 2020
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Reviewers lay out the welcome mat for Machado's In the Dream House

Good morning,

Carmen Maria Machado's In the Dream House (Profile) has left the critics in reverie, with the memoir praised as "ravishingly beautiful", "a tour de force" and "as compelling as any thriller". Johanna Thomas-Corr in the Observer described Machado's account of her abusive relationship with her "petite, blonde, Harvard graduate" girlfriend as "horrifying but beguiling" and "a tender, incandescent memoir like no other", adding, "There’s no doubt that Machado is one of the brightest literary talents around." In the Sunday Telegraph, Lucy Scholes praised In the Dream House as "dazzling" and "exceptional", and in the New Statesman Catherine Taylor wrote that it was "just as untamed, original and brilliantly unclassifiable" as Machado's debut short story collection Her Body and Other Parties.

Steph Cha's Your House Will Pay (Faber & Faber) also mortgaged out space in the critics' affections, with The Scotsman's Roger Cox describing the 1991 and 2019 Los Angeles-set novel as "a masterclass in elegant plotting" and praised Cha's "profound and apparently instinctive understanding of human nature", which "elevates this book way beyond a mere ripped-from-the-headlines potboiler". Lucy Knight in the Sunday Times praised the author as "an elegant storyteller" and the Irish Times' Sarah Gilmartin wrote that it was "an urgent portrait of a time not so long ago where civil blood made civil hands unclean".

Reviewers also clicked like on Anna Wiener's Uncanny Valley (Fourth Estate), about a young woman from a "liberal-arts background" thrust into the world of tech. Julia Carrie Wong in the Guardian wrote that it "unfolds like an exquisitely curated Tumblr blog, with a scroll of beautifully juxtaposed snapshots of the young, newly wealthy and utterly absurd", and the Sunday Times' Laura Pullman praised Wiener's wry asides, saying, "She pierces the self-inflation of Silicon Valley deftly and, as she finally runs out of patience with the baby tyrants, you’re cheering on her escape from the madness."
Kiera O'Brien, charts editor, The BooksellerBy Kiera O'Brien, charts editor, The Bookseller






Book of the Week

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In the Dream House: A Memoir
Carmen Maria Machado

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4.89 out of 5 | 5 reviews

"Carmen Maria Machado’s account of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ‘petite, blond, Harvard graduate’ lover is horrifying but beguiling"

The Observer

"Innovative and haunting, compelling and jarring, Machado has created what is essentially a new form of memoir"

Irish Times

" Machado’s approach is as compelling as any thriller, playful in its self-discovery, and intriguing in its references"

New Statesman

"Carmen Maria Machado’s book is a tour de force. "

The Guardian






Latest Reviews

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Orwell: A Man of Our Times
Richard Bradford

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2.8 out of 5
3 reviews

"...He could “step outside himself”, as Bradford writes in this fascinating book"
The Times

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A Place For Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order
Judith Flanders

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TBC out of 5
2 reviews

"...It took a long time for the alphabet to rule our lives, shows a delightfully quirky study"
The Sunday Times

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Square Haunting
Francesca Wade

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4.1 out of 5
11 reviews

"......endlessly interesting, unshowy, tightly argued and large-hearted"
The Guardian

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Motherwell
Deborah Orr

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4.4 out of 5
14 reviews

"...This is what this utterly riveting, often darkly comic, and astonishingly honest debut memoir "
The Bookseller


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The Shadow King
Maaza Mengiste

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3.1 out of 5
3 reviews

"...I suspect I won’t read anything more moving this year."
The Times

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A Curious History of Sex
Kate Lister

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TBC out of 5
2 reviews

"...This wonderfully irreverent chronicle of sex explores centuries of kinks, quirks and hang-ups"
The Times

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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line
Deepa Anappara

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4 out of 5
4 reviews

"...An outstanding debut—Vintage's lead for 2020—and not to be missed."
The Bookseller

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A World Without Work
Daniel Susskind

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3.5 out of 5
7 reviews

"...(a) fascinating and tightly argued book"
The Sunday Telegraph

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A Very Stable Genius
Carol D. Leonnig, Philip Rucker

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TBC out of 5
2 reviews

"...Naked partisanship gives the game away in this White House analysis"
The Sunday Times

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Miss Austen
Gill Hornby

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4.4 out of 5
3 reviews

"...a novel of great kindness, often unexpectedly moving, with much to say about the status of “invisible” older women"
The Observer

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This is Pleasure
Mary Gaitskill

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4.3 out of 5
3 reviews

"...At the heart of this extraordinary, daring, provocative, pitch perfect story lies the idea that, sometimes, we act out a truth, only to run from it"
The Observer

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Dear Life
Rachel Clarke

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4.2 out of 5
5 reviews

"...She is shrewd and witty about the medical profession"
The Independent






The Bookseller Podcast

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Listen to Episode #13 - Jan 2020


The latest podcast includes author interviews with Sophie Hanna and Deepa Anappara plus the Bookseller team looks forward to the most anticipated books of 2020...


Rounded Rectangle: Listen Now

Best Reviewed


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In the Dream House: A Memoir
Carmen Maria Machado

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4.9 out of 5
5 reviews

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The Sphinx
Hugo Vickers

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4.5 out of 5
3 reviews

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Miss Austen
Gill Hornby

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4.4 out of 5
3 reviews

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Highfire
Eoin Colfer

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4.3 out of 5
3 reviews

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Ladies Can't Climb Ladders
Jane Robinson

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4.2 out of 5
5 reviews

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The Doll
Ismail Kadare, John Hodgson

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4 out of 5
3 reviews

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Three Hours
Rosamund Lupton

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4 out of 5
3 reviews

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A Scheme of Heaven
Alexander Boxer

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4 out of 5
3 reviews


Most Reviewed

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The Death of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

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3.3 out of 5
11 reviews

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The Shapeless Unease
Samantha Harvey

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4 out of 5
8 reviews

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Providence Lost
Paul Lay

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4 out of 5
7 reviews

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A World Without Work
Daniel Susskind

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3.5 out of 5
7 reviews


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Threshold
Rob Doyle

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3.5 out of 5
7 reviews

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Agency
Mr William Gibson

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3.3 out of 5
6 reviews

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Uncanny Valley
Anna Wiener

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3.7 out of 5
6 reviews

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Essays
Lydia Davis

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4.2 out of 5
6 reviews

Gigs of the Week

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An Evening with Professor Frank McDonough

Liverpool, 28 Jan
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Eat Green with Melissa Hemsley

Cambridge, 28 Jan
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Haven't They Grown by Sophie Hannah

Leominster, 29 Jan
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Kimberley Chambers - The Queenie Tour

Milton Keynes, 1 Feb
Rounded Rectangle: More Book Events

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© 2019 Bookseller Media Ltd.



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Including Deborah Orr's posthumous memoir Motherwell, Rob Doyle's Threshold and Jane Robinson's Ladies Can't Climb Ladders

The Week in Review: 20th January 2020
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Motherwell finds home in the critics' hearts

Good morning 

Deborah Orr's posthumous memoir Motherwell (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) has been hailed by the reviewers as "utterly riveting", "wonderful and awful", and "a fitting legacy left by a blazing talent". The Bookseller's non-fiction previewer Caroline Sanderson praised the title for its portrayal of the "complex and tangled mixture of light and shade" in parent-child relationships, adding that Orr "succeeds so brilliantly that for me it ranks with Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight—one of my favourite memoirs of all time—in its understanding of how the places and people we come from make us who we are". Many critics felt the poignancy of the author's recent death in the pages, with Susie Boyt in the Financial Times writing "You forget a little as you go along but when Orr writes in the present tense or refers to her future things darken as you come up hard against the facts", and Sarah Hughes in the Observer describing Motherwell as "a deeply moving reminder of all she might still have achieved", as well as her legacy.

Rob Doyle's Threshold (Bloomsbury) also got a foot through the door, with Jude Cook in the TLS describing it as "boundary-nudging fiction" and "compellingly readable". Martin Chilton in the Independent described it as "a humorous delight", Lee Langley in the Spectator wrote, "Not many books manage to expand your mind, do your head in and set you laughing out loud. This one does, and Doyle’s words sing on the page."

Jane Robinson's Ladies Can't Climb Ladders (Doubleday) scaled heights, with the Sunday Telegraph's Frances Wilson commending the historical title on the first professional women as "an important and crackingly good read". Melanie Reid in the Times wrote, "Modern professional women will read it with a slow burn of anger and heightened respect for those whose actions, such a relatively brief time ago, made today possible."
Kiera O'Brien, charts editor, The BooksellerBy Kiera O'Brien, charts editor, The Bookseller






Book of the Week

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Motherwell
Deborah Orr

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4.44 out of 5 | 8 reviews

"This is what this utterly riveting, often darkly comic, and astonishingly honest debut memoir "

The Bookseller

"No one in Orr’s family, least of all the man she would marry and divorce, Will Self, comes away unscathed"

Evening Standard

"Deborah found a way to rise out of her sorrows and dependencies... and create a masterpiece of self-exploration"

The Guardian

"it is both a fitting legacy left by a blazing talent and a deeply moving reminder of all she might still have achieved"

The Observer






Latest Reviews

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Pills, Powder and Smoke
Antony Loewenstein

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3.4 out of 5
3 reviews

"...the only thing wars against human nature ever produce, as Loewenstein shows in this lucid and well-researched book, are piles of dead bodies"
The Times

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Threshold
Rob Doyle

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3.6 out of 5
6 reviews

"...Eleven freewheeling pharmaceutically messy vignettes"
The Observer

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Parisian Lives
Deirdre Bair

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TBC out of 5
2 reviews

"...(a) candid and entertaining memoir"
The Bookseller

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Tombland
C. J. Sansom

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4 out of 5
8 reviews

"...it’s the author’s inclusive humanity that lingers"
Daily Mail


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Asha and the Spirit Bird
Jasbinder Bilan

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4.1 out of 5
3 reviews

"...an exotic journey with a feelgood ending"
The Sunday Times

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Braised Pork
An Yu

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3.8 out of 5
4 reviews

"...A seductive, sharply observed tale of love, loss and hope"
Daily Mail

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Providence Lost
Paul Lay

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4 out of 5
6 reviews

"... Few guides take us so directly, or so sympathetically, into the imaginative worlds of that tumultuous decade"
The Sunday Times

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Your House Will Pay
Steph Cha

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4 out of 5
3 reviews

"...Steph Cha’s deftly written novel explores Los Angeles in 1991 and 2019"
Irish Times

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A World Without Work
Daniel Susskind

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3.2 out of 5
5 reviews

"...the voice of a clever, sensible man telling you what’s what"
The Guardian

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Trick Mirror
Jia Tolentino

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3.7 out of 5
6 reviews

"...A profound survival guide for an increasingly isolating world"
The Independent

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Pine
Francine Toon

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TBC out of 5
2 reviews

"...The natural and supernatural collide in this portrait of a tiny community brimming with secrets. "
The Sunday Times

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Uncanny Valley
Anna Wiener

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3.6 out of 5
5 reviews

"......an artful contribution to the war on tech exceptionalism"
Financial Times


The Bookseller Podcast
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Listen to Episode #13 - Jan 2020


The latest podcast includes author interviews with Sophie Hanna and Deepa Anappara plus the Bookseller team looks forward to the most anticipated books of 2020...


Rounded Rectangle: Listen Now






Best Reviewed


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In the Dream House: A Memoir
Carmen Maria Machado

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4.9 out of 5
4 reviews

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The Sphinx
Hugo Vickers

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4.5 out of 5
3 reviews

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Ladies Can't Climb Ladders
Jane Robinson

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4.2 out of 5
4 reviews

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The Shapeless Unease
Samantha Harvey

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4 out of 5
8 reviews

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The Doll
Ismail Kadare, John Hodgson

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4 out of 5
3 reviews

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Three Hours
Rosamund Lupton

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4 out of 5
3 reviews

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A Scheme of Heaven
Alexander Boxer

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4 out of 5
3 reviews

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Providence Lost
Paul Lay

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4 out of 5
6 reviews


Most Reviewed

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The Death of Jesus
J.M. Coetzee

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3.2 out of 5
9 reviews

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The Shapeless Unease
Samantha Harvey

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4 out of 5
8 reviews

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Essays
Lydia Davis

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4.2 out of 5
6 reviews

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Providence Lost
Paul Lay

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4 out of 5
6 reviews


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Threshold
Rob Doyle

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3.6 out of 5
6 reviews

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The Captain and the Glory
Dave Eggers

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3.4 out of 5
5 reviews

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Uncanny Valley
Anna Wiener

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3.6 out of 5
5 reviews

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Agency
Mr William Gibson

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3.1 out of 5
5 reviews

Gigs of the Week

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Jill Mansell & Friends

Yeovil, 20 Jan
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Deepa Anappara, Michelle Gallen & Tomasz Jedrowski

London, 30 Jan
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Derek Owusu: That Reminds Me

Bath, 28 Jan
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Helen Taylor - Why Women Read Fiction

Bristol, 28 Jan
Rounded Rectangle: More Events

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© 2020 Bookseller Media Ltd.