Six Book Recommendations | & GIVEAWAY


Hi everyone, I’m here today with six book
recommendations and the chance to win all six of those books as well. Those are
linked to a prize that I’ve been judging recently but before I talk about those I
wanted to quickly mention this because it’s also prize related: the independent
book shop week book award shortlists were announced today and I was really
thrilled Franklin’s Flying Bookshop has been shortlisted in the picture book
category. As you know, this is my book baby, illustrated by Katie Harnett and I’m
really, really happy that it’s on that shortlist
because… well, for many different reasons but the main one being that the books
that are nominated are nominated by booksellers, so it really does mean a lot.
Independent Bookshop Week in the UK is between the 15th and the 22nd of June so
in that week I’ll be travelling around the UK and doing events, some of those
events are with Katie I’ll leave details in the description
box down below and if you haven’t already checked out Franklin’s Flying
Bookshop and would like to that would be really, really lovely; it’s all about
book-loving dragon called Franklin who just wants to share his love of reading
with the world. So getting on to the other books, the ones that you could win. For
the past three years I’ve been judging the Somerset Maugham award which has
been fun and difficult and illuminating and interesting. It’s particularly
interesting because it’s open to fiction, nonfiction, poetry… so you’re judging
books that are very different to each other against each other, though I
suppose really you’re judging them against the criteria that they’ve set
themselves and deciding whether or not they have achieved what they set out to
achieve. This year we have shortlisted six titles, there’s a prize fund of
£16,000 and the winners will share that money between themselves
and they have to use that money to travel somewhere which will hopefully
inspire their next book, so let me show you these books and at the end I’ll tell
you how you could win them. All of the books that I mentioned will also be
linked in the description box down below. Let’s go through them in alphabetical
order. The first book on our shortlist is a poetry collection and that is The
Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus; this looks at deafness, it looks at identity,
it looks at race, it looks at pasts — both individual past and collective pasts, as
wel. lt has a mixture of sign language in here as well as the written words of
the poems themselves; there is a poem in here that’s written in response to Danez Smith’s Dear White People called Dear Hearing World. There is an erasure — a full
erasure —poem of a Ted Hughes poem and then a response poem to that. This
collection deals with mishearings, with miscommunication, misunderstandings both
deliberate and otherwise and how those things are all linked together too. So in
one poem Raymond remembers his father constantly going into a pub called
The Perseverance and him saying “I am constantly hearing ‘I’m just popping in
for a minute'” and that linking back to his first poem where he says he
remembers “popping in his ears” when he was younger; how those are both very
different things with different meanings but also they are inextricably linked in
his mind and in his memories. It is a beautiful collection. The next book is a
nonfiction book it’s called The Stopping PlacesL a journey through Gypsy Britain by
Damian Lev Bas. Damian is a traveler, his family are all travelers and he wanted
to delve into the history of that. He wants to travel around the UK and find
all the stopping places that his family used to stop in historically and he
decided to set off on his own. It’s a very personal book because he’s talking
about things that are part of his immediate history but which he doesn’t
feel such an affinity with or at least he straddles that line: there are
travelers that he knows who have settled down and are living in houses now and
then there are travelers that he knows who are still living — in inverted commas —
“the old life” and he finds himself somewhere in the middle almost judged by
both sides, or at least he feels judged by both sides in different scenarios.
Because this is tied to personal narrative and then branches out into
research areas that the author was particularly interested in, it’s not a
comprehensive history but that doesn’t matter
I still enjoyed it and because I also love etymology
I was particularly interested in his discussion of traveler words that you
might not know we’re traveler words and their origins, so for instance as a
Geordie lass, I used gadje and radjie and also there are the words chav and charva,
all of those are traveler words and I did not know that so lots to learn about
in here. Then the next on our shortlist is Phoebe Powers Shrines of Upper
Austria, so another poetry collection, this is one that I’ve spoken about on the
channel a couple of times and I’m still so impressed with how diverse and
outward-looking this is for a debut poetry collection, it travels — imagine
travels — throughout Europe and European history, it discusses climate change and
language, it is rich and intricate, it plays around with form and voice. I’ll
leave a link down below to a video where I discusses collection in more detail.
Next on our list is this big book here which is The Crossway by Guy Stagg. The
reason it’s so big is because he has a lot of things to say because this
documents his journey walking from Canterbury to Jerusalem… that’s a fair
old way! He’s not a religious person but he decided to set off on this
pilgrimage and to stay with nuns and with monks and in sanctuaries along the
way. He climbed over the Alps in the middle of winter. I just… there are parts
of this book that are treacherous and you know that it’s going to
be okay because ultimately he lives to write this book but still I felt like it
was living it with him and I was really on the edge of my seat. He survives a
terrorist attack in Lebanon, he sees the emergence of a new Pope at Easter in
Rome when he happens to be there — he initially just decides to walk to Rome
but then decides is going to go all the way to Jerusalem, and this book is… well, it’s
pretty epic. You know me, I love learning about strange, weird facts I can then
regurgitate at people, this book is amazing for that. The
fifth book on our list is The Golden Thread: how fabric changed history by
Kassia St Clair, I recommended her first book on this channel
a while back which was The Secret Lives of Colour,
which looked at mythology and the history of different colours and how
they’ve been used this looks at the history of fabric. It looks at the
wrappings around Tutankhamun, at Columbus, it looks at the Silk Road
it looks at trade, how fabrics are made things perhaps you have never even
considered before but those things that you have never considered before you
should have considered, I should have considered, because they’re absolutely
fascinating. The detail in this, it’s amazing, it’s so intricate, it’s
definitely one of those books just to have somewhere that you can pick up and
just read little snippets of every now and then and just fill your brain with
wonderful, wonderful stuff. The sixth book on our shortlist is one that defies
being put in a genre box and that is Mrs. Gaskell and Me by Nell Stevens. This
is her second book and it is part memoir, part research, part discussion of women
writers it looks at unrequited love and friendship. It’s talking about Nell
embarking on her PhD and the relationships that she’s having or not
having with her partner Max and at the same time she’s looking at the life of
Mrs. Gaskell and a relationship that she may or may not have had with a man that
she met in Rome. It is so astute, it has many wonderful observations in it, it is
so readable and compelling and if you enjoyed Normal People by Sally Rooney
this is a book that you need to pick up it gave me very very similar vibes for
reasons I can’t particularly explain, I just think that if you loved one you
will definitely love the other. So those are the six books on our shortlist,
obviously I heartily recommend all of them. We will be picking our winners and
announcing them Monday the 17th of June. I’m going to try
and vlog that and that whole week but in the meantime would you like to win one
of these six shortlisted books because the Society of Authors, who run the prize,
have very kindly offered up a bundle for me to give away. If you would like to win
all of these titles simply be subscribed to this channel and leave a comment down
below saying you would like to enter and let me know which books in the shortlist
you’ll particularly keen to get to. It’s open until the 1st of June, is open
internationally and I’ll pick a winner after the 1st of June using a random
number generator and that winner will win all six books. So I think that’s
everything that I had to say, I hope you enjoyed this video, hope you have a great
week and I will speak to all very soon lots of bookish love xx

100 thoughts on “Six Book Recommendations | & GIVEAWAY

  1. Thanks for the chance. I would love to enter the giveaway. I am particularly intrigued by The Crossway and by Mrs Gaskell and me.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a fascinating shortlist! The Crossway sounds right up my street and Iโ€™ve never heard of it. Iโ€™ve always been fascinated by the idea of pilgrimage and religious life, even tho Iโ€™m in no way religious myself. The Stopping Places has been on my radar for a while. And I read The Perseverance on your recommendation and loved it. So yes, yes please can I be entered for the giveaway? ๐Ÿค—

  3. Another lovely video. I am very very excited about Mrs Gaskell and Me in particular, but golly gosh would love to win all these beautiful books! So much good luck with Franklin's Flying Bookshop in the Picture Book category, Jen. I remember it so well in the shop where i was a bookseller up until last year. It looked so great in the window displays and was always a hit in friday story time!

  4. I would like the chance to win these books, they all sounded amazing. I am particularly interested in Shrines of Upper Austria and The Stopping Places.

  5. Would love to enter the giveaway and thanks so much for the opportunity! They all sound soooo interesting and Iโ€™m particularly intrigued by The Crossway. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ooh I would love to enter the giveaway please ๐Ÿ™‚ I will definitely be reading The Stopping Places whatever happens and The Crossway sounds like it has Patrick Leigh Fermor vibes so I'd love to try that one too

  7. I would love to enter! I'm interested in most of the books you've mentioned, but I guess Shrines of Upper Austria is the most intriguing to me!

  8. A very fine selection and I'd like to enter the giveaway. I'd be interested in Shrines of Upper Austria, The Crossway or The Golden Thread.

  9. I'd like to enter the giveaway please. I'm particularly interested in the non-fiction books, The Stopping Place and The Golden Thread. The Secret Lives of Colour was a fascinating book so I'd love to read more related to that topic.

  10. I'm so happy to see The Golden Thread in the list! I didn't know about Kassia St. Clair until recently and now I want to check out her books so bad. I would love to enter the giveaway and get hers, haha. I'm also very excited about Mrs Gaskell and Me! Great video.

  11. Hi there!!
    I would love to take part in this giveaway.I am interested in all the six books.โค๐ŸคฉThank you so much for the offer!

  12. Hi! I'd like to take part in the giveaway ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm most excited for Shrines of Upper Austria & The Crossway, but they all sound lovely! <3

  13. I would love to be entered into the giveaway. I'm excited for all the books but especially Mrs Gaskell and Me. Thanks! <3

  14. Great recommendations ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm very interested in the crossway by guy stagg. Thank you for the opportunity!

  15. Wow, these books all sound amazing. I'm particularly interested in the poetry collections The Perseverance and Shrines of Upper Austria! Would love to enter into the giveaway, thanks Jen ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I would like to enter! I'm super keen to read The Golden Thread, having a particular interest in textile & fashion history already. I spin, knit, sew, embroider, and love reading about the historical importance of these crafts in both the pre- and post-Industrial worlds.

  17. I'd like to enter please! I'm particularly interested in Mrs Gaskell and Me. I wrote my dissertation on Gaskell! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hi Jen! I would love to enter the giveaway, please! I've been keeping my eye on the prize since last year when you talked about it on the channel — I think the concept of it is so, so interesting and it may not be the most recognized prize book in the UK/world but, if I were a writer, one I would love to win so I wouldn't have to spend my money on anything else besides travelling and getting inspiration for the next adventure. They all sound super interesting too, especially The Stopping Places and Mrs Gaskell and Me.

  19. I would love to be entered in the giveaway. So many of the books sound interesting but the ones Iโ€™m most drawn to are The Stopping Places and The Crossway.

  20. I would like to enter the competition! I was intrigued the most by The golden thread by Kassia St Clair and also her previous book you mentioned. Both sound very very interesting. Thanks for the recommendation Jen โ˜บ

  21. Hi Jen! I would like to enter the giveaway. I am particularly interested in The Crossway and The Stopping Places ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Such interesting books! ๐Ÿ˜ iโ€™m especially interested in the stopping places and the crossway! I love those kind of books! ๐Ÿ’•

  23. Wow, these all sound so interesting. I love watching your videos for new recommendations! Have you read the Farm by Joanne Ramos? I am very interested in it and was wondering if you had read it. If you had I would be very interested in hearing your opinions on it!

    I would also love to enter the giveaway! I would love to read the Crossway! It sounds very interesting, I have been getting into non-fiction more recently, and would love to add the Crossway to those books!

  24. I recently read both Stopping Places and Shrines of Upper Austria and thought both of them were exceptional. And I ordered Kassia's book yesterday, so that should come in at some point next week and the Gaskell one is waiting at the libary, how weird that all of these 4 books are on the same shortlist and I had no idea!

  25. Thanks for the chance, I'd love to enter Jen! The Golden Thread and Mrs Gaskell and Me both sound fabulous!

  26. Please enter me into the giveaway ๐Ÿ™‚ I'd most like to read The Crossway, it sounds like it has a lot of exciting adventures in it!

  27. These sound great! Iโ€™m particularly interested in The Golden Thread and Shrines of Upper Austria ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Thank you for these recommendations! I would very much like to take part in this giveaway. All the books sound very interesting! I am particularly interested in The Golden Thread.

  29. I'd love to enter. Mrs Gaskell and Me sounds brilliant! I listened to The Golden Thread on audiobook and really enjoyed it, but have also been coveting that beautiful hardback edition…

  30. ฮ™ would love to enter the giveaway. All of these books are really interesting but I am most intrigued by The Crossway! Hope I am lucky!

  31. Hi Jen! I'd love to enter the giveaway. All 6 of the books sound really good but The Crossway is really calling to me, especially after watching the pilgrimage show BBC 2 had on a few weeks back.

  32. I would like to be entered into the giveaway. I'm particularly interested in reading The Stopping Places.

  33. OH my goodness I'd love to enter, please. Particularly interested The Crossway – I adore travel and travel writing and currently I am very unwell and unable to go on my own adventures so living vicariously through others is a dream. Also Mrs Gaskell simply because you said it had a similar vibe to 'normal people' and wasn't that just an outstanding book? xxx

  34. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway! All books are very interesting, but at the top of my wishlist went The Golden Thread. Thank you again for this chance!

  35. Hello Jen

    I'd love to be able to read all the books so please include me in the giveaway draw. Thanks.

  36. Hi. First of all thanks a lot for making this event. I'd really love to enter the giveaway ๐Ÿ™‚ all those 6 books sound amazing but i think i'm a bit interested in the crossway more ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Thank you for a chance to win, I'd love to enter. I'm always looking forward to this award, because there are always such interesting selections. I'm especially interested in The stopping places and The Golden Thread.

  38. Hey, i would like to take part in this giveaway. I am very interested in Mrs Gaskell and me and The Crossroad.

  39. Heya! Lovely video ๐Ÿ˜€ I would love to enter the give away. The books which most caught my interest are The Stopping Places and The Crossway ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Iโ€™d love to win all of the 6 books. The Crossway and Mrs Gaskell and Me sound particularly fascinating.

  41. Hey! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would like to be entered in the giveaway. I'm particularly keen on reading Mrs Gaskell and Me because I am obsessed with books about women writers by women writers, I find it so interesting and very helpful to get different perspectives on it

  42. I would love to enter the giveaway. They all sound good but I am particularly interested in The Perseverance and The Golden Thread.

  43. Hi Jen! I'd love to enter the giveaway ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm especially excited to read The Perseverance and Shrines of Upper Austria. Hope you're having a lovely week!

  44. I would love to be entered into the giveaway and I've put The Stopping Places on my goodreads to read shelf and plan on picking it up eventually.

  45. Thanks for giving away these books. I'm most interested in The Golden Thread. I also enjoy random knowdge but it's a bit harder to find good ones.

  46. Hi! I'd like to enter to win ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm interested in all six books, but particularly The Stopping Places!

  47. Ooh, count me in for the giveaway! It's so hard to choose just one of these – they all sound fascinating. I think The Crossway juuust edges it for me – so much _breadth_!

  48. Oh, this is the best giveaway ever, and I very much would like to enter! The poetry, the book about fabric..the Crossway and Mrs. Gaskell and Me were already on my wishlist, I really would love to read them all! And also congrats on being shortlisted for the IBW's Book Award with Franklin!

  49. Hi lovely! Congratulations on the well-deserved nomination!!
    I would love to enter the giveaway. I am even more intrigued now with Mrs Gaskell and Me, especially with the Normal People comparison โค๏ธ

  50. I always love your book recommendations, even though I hardly get to read/buy any new ones, cuz there are so many good ones out there, but I don't find the time to read a lot. Still I'd love to enter the giveaway. The Stopping Places sounds especially interesting, since I love travel stories and I love to learn about language.

  51. I normally don't enter giveaways but these books sound too amazing, so I would very much like to enter. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am particularly interested in The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus since by boyfriends parents are deaf and so this book would probably be an interesting read for the both of us (his parents don't read in English). I also have Kassia St. Clair's first book although I haven't read it yet and her second one sounds just as intriguing. The Crossway and The Stopping Places also sound right up my alley. ๐Ÿ˜…

  52. I'd like to enter the giveaway, pleeeease! I'm particularly drawn to The Crossway and The Stopping Places (hmmm, I smell a travel/pilgrimage theme going on here… ). Mrs Gaskell & Me sounds intriguing, although your comparison to Normal People confuses me, because I did not enjoy that one…

  53. Hello! I would love to participate in the giveaway- I am especially interested in The Crossway and Mrs Gaskell and Me ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  54. Please can i take part in the giveaway, i am interested in Antrobus' persistence, because of your previous review and because I loved David somebody's poem about being deaf and watching deaf children in Portugal on holiday, in danny glovers' collected book of modern poets, i never managed to find any more poems or books by him, but language is different when it's something you don't hear (if profoundly deaf of course); and in Golden Threads, because i spent hours as a child reading the dictionary and, because i've always loved textiles, every aspect – weaving machines, design of fabrics eg new innovations like Ponteroma, how trade shapes them, embroidery, history especially (i loved the Shire ethnography series on fabrics & have all of them and lots of the British museum folio ones), and used to copy out the names of all the fabrics in books and in the dictionary to try and understand what they were and how the dresses were made in old novels, paintings etc (of course, with the internet, i would have succeeded, not only tried) and tried to design and make fabrics myself. I still would like to learn to weave but i live very remotely so no chance. But in the unlikely event of needing to be contacted, this account is strictly for watching youtube and for email i use [email protected] thanks:)

  55. I would love to enter I've seen The Crossway in book shops before and I've thought about buying it because it sounds like nothing that I've ever read before but exactly like the type of book I'd love if that makes any sense.

  56. They all sound so interesting! I think the poetry collections grab my interest the most though, my dads a poet so I pass on any collections I read to him โค๏ธ

  57. Thank you for the giveaway and congrats on getting shortlisted. Iโ€™m particular interested in the Golden Thread but all the titles seem fantastic.

  58. Would love to be entered! The Stopping Places and Shrines of Upper Austria both sound absolutely fabulous!

  59. That sounds amazing, I'd really love to be entered into the giveaway! I'm particularly excited about Mrs Gaskell and Me

  60. I would absolutely love to win this! I'm a massive fan of Kassia St Clair and already own her book, but would love to pass this copy along to a friend. The Stopping Place sounds really fascinating as my ancestors were Romany travellers so learning anything about traveller culture is always fascinating to me. The Crossway is one I've wanted to read and it just sounds incredible and immersive and you have completely sold it to me!

  61. i would love to join this giveaway! Mrs Gaskell and the crossway sound so incredibly good to me! always sending love! xx

  62. Hi Jen! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. The entire shortlist sounds great but I think The Crossway stands out the most. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  63. I would love to be entered to win! Very excited by The Stopping Places and to learn more there, as well as The Golden Thread as I loved The Secret Lives of Colours. All the best<3

  64. Congrats for your nomination! Well deserved.
    I'd like to enter for The Stopping Places ! Thank you very much, have a nice day

  65. They all sound so interesting but Iโ€™m drawn to The Cross Way and Golden Thread… keeping my fingers crossed

  66. I would love to be entered! I love the sound of Mrs Gaskell and me as Normal People has been my favourite read of the year so far

  67. I would love to be entered in this giveway ! All those books seem very interesting but I think I'd especially enjoy "The Golden Thread"! Thank you for the opportunity to win those books x

  68. Hi Jen! I'd really love to be entered into the giveaway! I'm particularly interested in Mrs Gaskell and Me. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

  69. I would like to enter!! i would be very interested in reading the perseverance ,Shrines of Upper Austria, and Mrs Gaskell and Nell. These books sound so amazing. they are all books i would have NEVER come across if it weren't for your videos. Urgh. i want to read them.

  70. A book giveaway? Yeas!! I would love to join. Any books available will do!who knows maybe I'll like it(blind date with a book) :p

  71. Hi Jen, congratulations on Franklin's nomination; best of luck! The Somerset Maugham shortlist all sound amazing, but I'm especially interested in The Perseverance, Shrines of Upper Austria, The Crossway, and The Golden Thread. Please enter me in the giveaway for this lovely set of books!

  72. That is SUCH A BEAUTIFUL BACKGROUND!! Also I'm really intrigued by The Golden Thread and immediately checked my library for it, they don't have it sadly … (Not entering the giveaway as I don't want so many new books, thank you for the opportunity tho!)

  73. I'm really interested in Mrs Gaskell and me, as I loved Normal People so much! I'd love to be entered into this giveaway! Thank you

  74. I would love to enter the giveaway. I am most excited to read Mrs. Gaskell and Me and The Stopping Places.

  75. Enter me for the giveaway, if you please! I am paticulary interested in The Crossway.
    Also, your latest videos have been very intense ans deep, congrats on that.

  76. Hi, Jen. I would like to enter this giveway. I am particularly interested in reading the poetry collections. ๐Ÿ’•

  77. I'd love to enter the giveaway. They all sound super interesting! I'm most fascinated by The Golden Thread, especially since I have gotten more into sewing and knitting lately.

  78. I would love to enter the giveaway, your book recommendations are always so interesting. I would be eager to read "The Crossway" and "Shrines from upper Austria" because I have never read poetry except for school and this seems really interesting.

  79. I'd like to enter the giveaway, please!
    I'm looking forward for Mrs Gaskell & Me the most but I'm also quite intrigued by The Crossroad and Shrines of Upper Austria ๐Ÿ˜€

  80. Hi Jenโ˜บ๏ธ Gosh, these books all sound so good. The Goldon Thread sounds fantastic. And if I enjoyed Normal People??? I loved Normal People. I will definitely check out Mrs Gaskell and Me. I would love to enter, please!!๐Ÿ’–

  81. I long to enter the give away ma'am. I love poetry collections. But your beautiful review drew my special attention to Mrs Gaskell and Me. I hopefully look forward. Congrats ma'am. Whatever be the result,but what you are doing is a great thing. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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