Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017

Have you noticed the appearance of customer reviews in the bookshop? As a community bookshop, we want the books we sell to reflect the tastes of our readers and for those readers to be able to recommend particularly good reads to others. The ‘Post-It’ reviews are a new initiative – aiming to be informative and enticing for browsers desiring a good book. Volunteers and customers write our reviews, two snappy sentences that are easy to write and fun to read. Get in touch if you want to be involved or have finished a book that you just can’t keep to yourself. Send in any reviews (long or short and we’ll adjust them to fit on the post-it!) or questions about writing them to This page will be another outlet for our reader’s reviews and feedback from our events – watch this space!

Following the announcement of the Baileys Prize shortlist, CCB decided to hold its own judging of the candidates. The aim was to read as many of the shortlisted books as possible and decide on a favourite. On 5th June we gathered to drink Baileys, eat crisps and discuss the shortlist. Along with a lot a chatting, we debated our favourites and came up with our own judging criteria. Here are some thoughts about our favourite books:

HS | The Power by Naomi Alderman

I loved all the books but this one inspired the most conversations. ‘The Power’ portrayed a really interesting twist of society, which was thought-provoking from the first chapter. I found it fascinating to see how different people reacted to having the same power and the ways in which it infiltrated different parts of the world and society. A web of complex characters fuelled the story, challenging our initial perspectives of people and their influence on others around them.

DL | Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀

Set in 1980’s Nigeria with a backdrop of the political turmoil of the time, this is a beautifully crafted story. It explores the depths and complications of a marriage and extended family relationships in a way that tackles deep issues in a compassionate and compelling way. Expectations, love, loss and hope are intermingled in this highly readable and unpredictable debut novel.

CR | The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

A fascinating read that gives insight into a TB sanatorium during the beginnings of the NHS. The two main characters, siblings Lenny and Miriam Lynskey, are some of the first NHS-funded patients to arrive at the sanatorium. We watch their interactions with a diverse selection of people all linked by their illness. The book exhibits the treatments used and the progression of the medication. Linda Grant’s skillful narration looks into the lives of multiple individuals and their backstories and adeptly portrays the period through the character’s language and music.

Email us at if you would like a title from the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist (below). Books can be posted to you if you are unable to come into the shop. Or if you’d like to give us a review of your own then please call into the shop; we’d love to hear from you!

Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 Shortlist

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀
The Power Naomi Alderman
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien