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Curated book table: Sally Nicholls for International Women’s Day

By CCB | 07 Mar 2018

From time to time at CCB we ask a guest to curate a book list, and this March, inspired by International Women’s Day, the centenary of the suffragette movement and a recent boom in positive reading matter for girls, we asked Sally Nicholls to choose some of her favourite feminist titles. Children’s Books Princess Smartypants | Babette Cole Princess Smartypants doesn’t want to get married – she wants to ride around on her motorbike doing whatever she wants and stay a … Read more

The Lost Words Front Cover

Review: The Lost Words

By CCB | 01 Mar 2018

In 2015, the Oxford Junior Dictionary published a new edition that saw many words from the natural world, like blackberry and acorn, omitted in favour of more technical terms, such as broadband. Dismayed at this, illustrator Jackie Morris was inspired to contact nature writer Robert Macfarlane to write The Lost Words, a beautiful book which has provoked an extraordinary reaction. Described as a book of ‘nature-summoning spells’ rather than poems, Robert Macfarlane gently restores the missing words – acorn, blackberry, … Read more

Interview: Patrick Gale

By CCB | 23 Feb 2018

Patrick Gale’s sixteenth novel, A Place Called Winter was a Radio 2 Book Club selection, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize, the Walter Scott Prize and the Green Carnation Award and and is now being developed as a BBC serial. His two part film, Man in an Orange Shirt will be on BBC 1 this summer. He is a patron of the Charles Causley Trust and the Penzance LitFest, a director of Endelienta and artistic director of the North … Read more

Valentines Selection Cover page

Books you’ll love this Valentine’s Day

By CCB | 08 Feb 2018

It’s fast approaching Valentine’s Day and, while we may declare we don’t like the commercial nature of the holiday, a gift for a loved one certainly wouldn’t go amiss. To be honest, even if you just want a treat for yourself for the cold February nights Crediton High Street shops will have something for you! Here are some suggestions that CCB love: Stay with Me | Ayobami Adebayo Buy Now Set in 1980’s Nigeria, Stay With Me explores the depths … Read more

Review: Inside the Wave

By CCB | 31 Jan 2018

On 30th January at the Costa Book Awards, Helen Dunmore’s collection Inside the Wave posthumously won Book of the Year 2017. As only the second person to posthumously receive this prize, the award was received by Helen’s husband Frank Charnley and their two children Patrick and Tess. Inside the Wave reflects on the poet’s cancer diagnosis and looming death with immense honesty and bravery. Including poems that range from heartbreaking to humorous, the whole collection is a meditation on mortality with … Read more

Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong Front Cover

T. S. Eliot Prize Winner Announcement

By CCB | 27 Jan 2018

On 14th January 2018, the T. S. Eliot Prize Winner was announced. Ocean Vuong’s astounding debut collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, traces the aftermath of war across generations. In a video about his collection he says “a lot of the poems in the collection attempt to navigate history through a rewriting, or rather a recasting, of history into a mythology”. Vuong is the first literate person in his family and has certainly mastered his words in poetry – one … Read more

Claire Barker Head Shot

Interview: Claire Barker

By CCB | 12 Jan 2018

Claire is author of the Knitbone Pepper books, a series about a funny, friendly family of ghost animals who reside at crumbling Starcross Hall. Claire and Knitbone recently won the Simply Books X Factor award, voted for by 2,000 children, and were shortlisted for the Sainsburys Children’s Fiction Award in 2017.  We’ve recently been visiting schools with Claire, who read to over 1000 children in just 3 days, and ran a hugely successful writer’s workshop at CCB. We asked Claire the … Read more

Costa Book Award Category Winners

Costa Book Awards 2017

By CCB | 05 Jan 2018

Book-world always begins the year promptly, as on the 2nd of January the Costa Book Awards 2017 category winners are announced. There are awards for five categories; First Novel, Novel, Children’s Book, Poetry and Biography. The Costa Book Awards have been running since 1971 and in 1985 an overall winners award was introduced. Last years winner, Sebastian Barry, was the first author to win Book of the Year twice for 2016’s Days Without End. The overall winner will be announced on … Read more

St Martin's Island by Todd Gray & Sue Jackson Cover

Review: St Martin’s Island

By CCB | 18 Dec 2017

The disastrous fire which destroyed the Royal Clarence Hotel in October 2016 shocked Exeter and received widespread dramatic coverage. The historic hotel made up one corner of the block of buildings between St Martin’s Lane and Broadgate, many of which are ancient constructions and for which still exist rich historical documentation. Todd Gray and Sue Jackson have mined this rare concentration of archival and architectural information to produce a fascinating and commendably approachable history of the buildings so recognisable to … Read more

Blue Planet II photography.

Review: Blue Planet II

By CCB | 08 Dec 2017

Written by two BBC producers of the show, this book contains varied content across the series alongside stunning photography. Each chapter brings to life a different habitat in the ocean and explores creatures from the disturbing bobbit worm to the unbelievable pod of spinner dolphins. Captivating images and interesting information make this a lovely Christmas gift to any fan of Blue Planet II or perhaps the perfect coffee table book. Narrated by David Attenborough, the new Blue Planet series has … Read more