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Our Spring 2020 edition is out! Click on the button below to read it online.


Lockdown Reading List

Books Editor Claire Gill has some suggestions:

I wept my way through the utterly brilliant Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell. The fictional story of Shakespeare's wife and life is heartbreaking whilst being one of the best things I have read in ages.

Pale Rider by Laura Spinney is a side step from a book that I would normally pick up her writing is so fluent and easy to read  this history of germs and disease is gripping and unputdownable. Brilliant and timely.

Another timely book, given the situation in the US at the moment is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid which Anna found fascinating.Anna also adored 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak, shortlisted for the Booker Prize last year. This is a beautifully told story bringing Istanbul vividly to life.
Anya bought House of Glass because she is a fan of Hadley Freeman’s journalism.  It didn’t disappoint – it is an engrossing and intimate account of her Jewish family.
Caroline has also been heading to the Eastern Med, re-reading Eleni. Nicholas Gage's biography of a Greek family in the Second World War and throughout the Greek Civil War was just as brilliant second time round.

For a page turning, escapist read Alison has been whizzing through Susan Lewis' Home Truths and Stolen.

angels-urchins-susan-lewis-home-truths angels-urchins-susan-lewis-stolen

Jo has been juggling home schooling and new puppy training but the one book she has really enjoyed is Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies of a Silicon Valley Startup

Julia has just finished The Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara. Totally wonderful cover and beautiful depiction of India in all its conflicting brilliance. Opens our eyes at the end to a situation that is very much in need of a lot more light shed on it. 
and How to Fail by Elizabeth Day has a particularly wonderful chapter on female friendship.
Emily loved the stillness of The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd, read about half way through Lockdown (going a bit stir crazy). A naturalist’s lifelong love letter to the Cairngorms. 
More recently, thank you to Will Gompertz for recommending The Machine Stops by EM Forster. More of an essay really, it is an extraordinarily prescient vision of where we are today, written in 1911.
And an insta thank you - to Bella Mackie for alerting us to Kate Clanchy’s inspiring collection of lockdown poems written by pupils at Oxford Spires Academy. Hats off to Pan Macmillan for supporting the project too.


I didn’t know I’d miss waiting 

at traffic lights, waiting for a burst 

of colour, a static of sound. 

I didn’t know I’d miss noise, 

crowds, the breath of rain 

as it hits parched tarmac, being 

near enough to hear people’s 

breath. I didn’t realise I was only 

exactly alone when I was 

walking home from school, or 

to the shops. I didn’t 

realise it was the in-

between times 

that held 

me together.


Linnet Drury 


Claire Gill, 10 June 2020