James Canton Grounded

Festival Director Ros Green always says that the mark of a good book for her is a book that wakes her up in the middle of the night demanding to be read. These are far and few between, however, one book that recently refused to be put down was James Canton’s Grounded.

When James, author of The Oak Papers, walked into Suffolk’s Lindsey Chapel, it was the beginning of what would become a new journey in his life. Standing inside the quaint chapel, he realised that his past city yearnings had been replaced by an intense desire to understand the place he now called “home”, a burning curiosity about the past and the spiritual ways and belief of the people who came before us.

The excellent news is that James will be sharing his journey as part of our special The Pleasure Garden day at Hylands House on Sunday 18th June. You might like to join us for that one! As Peter Wohlleben, author of the Hidden Life of Trees writes, “Canton’s writing has an exquisite, somewhat dreamlike quality”.

An Insatiable Appetite for Book Clubs

The power of the Book Club has never been greater. While national reading charity, The Reading Agency, has 4,500 UK Book Clubs on its register, Essex Library Service alone supports over 700 Book Clubs around the county access a great choice of reads.

To celebrate this insatiable appetite for book clubs, Essex Book Festival has decided to team up with one of Essex’s largest Book Clubs, Colchester-based Appetite Book Club to host a special book club event at the Mercury Theatre.

New York Times best-selling author Abi Daré will be talking about her exuberant moving debut novel The Girl With the Louding Voice.

Photo of author Abi Dare alongside image of The Girl With the Louding Voice book cover

A hybrid event, you can either attend in person – in which case you can take advantage of the delicious coffee, cake and snacks available from The Mercury Cafe – or join in via Zoom from the comfort of your own home. Why not get everyone in your book club to come along and make a morning of it!

Ensonglopedia presents

With children’s theatre company Ensonglopedia’s performance of The Puddle at the End of the World now well and truly sold out six weeks before ‘lift off’ all is not lost.

Ensonglopedia will be hosting a creative workshop for ages 7-13 years to teach them how to tell their own stories about our planet through theatre, music and puppetry as part of our Midsummer Madness Day at Cressing Temple Barns on 25th June.

Booking is essential. Ensonglopedia creates musical shows and videos, and run workshops for young people, to inspire the next generation of artists, scientists and historians.

A few of our fabulous library events…

Photo of author Kate Hamer alongside image of The Lost Girls book cover

Kate Hamer – The Lost Girls
Wednesday 14th June, 6.30pm
Canvey Island Library

Kate Hamer explores her latest book, The Lost Girls, the stand-alone sequel to Costa First Novel Award shortlisted The Girl in the Red Coat.

Photo of author Ben Aitken alongside image of The Marmalade Diaries book cover

Ben Aitken – The Marmalade Diaries
Thursday 22nd June, 7.00pm
Harwich Library

The true story of an unlikely friendship during an unlikely time. One of the pair a grieving and inflexible former aristocrat in her mid-eighties. The other a working-class millennial snowflake. What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly go right?

Photo of author Sarah Hardy alongside image of The Walled Garden book cover

Sarah Hardy – The Walled Garden
Thursday 29th June, 7.00pm
Billericay Library

A captivating love story and a timeless, moving exploration of trauma and the miracle of human resilience.