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Save the date for National Reading Group Day

Save the date!

National Reading Group Day is coming up on Tuesday 14 September 2021. As restrictions ease, we hope that you’ll be able to join with your group online or in-person on 14 September to eat, drink and celebrate your reading group.

What is National Reading Group Day?

National Reading Group Day is the annual celebration of reading groups across the UK. We know how important reading groups are for their members, and for many people they’ve been a key way of staying connected during the pandemic. They bring people together, widen reading habits by introducing people to new books and authors, and can help you to enjoy books even more.

How can you get involved?

We’re inviting you to join in our National Reading Group Day discussion. Whether you’re a reading group member or not, this will be open to everyone on Facebook on the evening of 14 September.

But first… what shall we read? We need you to help us choose! Just select your top pick out of the four titles below by Monday 26 July and we’ll announce which book is our National Reading Group Day pick.

The vote is now closed and the top choice will be announced soon.

1. The Foundling by Stacey Halls

Find your local library.

Buy this book from Bookshop.org or hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.

Two women, bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything…

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, Bess is astonished to be told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why.

Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

From the bestselling author of The Familiars comes this captivating story of mothers and daughters, class and power, and love against the greatest of odds…

2. This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik

Find your local library.

Buy this book from Bookshop.org or hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE DIVERSE BOOK AWARDS

The standout new novel by acclaimed author Ayisha Malik – perfect for fans of David Nicholls and Candice Carty-Williams.

In the sleepy village of Babel’s End, trouble is brewing.

Bilal Hasham is having a mid-life crisis. His mother has just died, and he finds peace lying in a grave he’s dug in the garden. His elderly Auntie Rukhsana has come to live with him, and forged an unlikely friendship with village busybody, Shelley Hawking. His wife Mariam is distant and distracted, and his stepson Haaris is spending more time with his real father.

Bilal’s mother’s dying wish was to build a mosque in Babel’s End, but when Shelley gets wind of this scheme, she unleashes the forces of hell. Will Bilal’s mosque project bring his family and his beloved village together again, or drive them apart?

Warm, wise and laugh-out-loud funny, This Green and Pleasant Land is a life-affirming look at love, faith and the meaning of home.

3. The Phone Box at the Edge of the World by Laura Imai Messina

Find your local library.

Buy this book from Bookshop.org or hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.

We all have something to tell those we have lost…

On a windy hill in Japan, in a garden overlooking the sea stands a disused phone box. For years, people have travelled to visit the phone box, to pick up the receiver and speak into the wind: to pass their messages to loved ones no longer with us.

When Yui loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami, she is plunged into despair and wonders how she will ever carry on. One day she hears of the phone box, and decides to make her own pilgrimage there, to speak once more to the people she loved the most. But when you have lost everything, the right words can be the hardest thing to find…

Then she meets Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of their loss. What happens next will warm your heart, even when it feels as though it is breaking…

The Phone Box at the Edge of the World is an unforgettable story of the depths of grief, the lightness of love and the human longing to keep the people who are no longer with us close to our hearts.

4. Come Again by Robert Webb

Find your local library.

Buy this book from Bookshop.org or hive.co.uk to support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no additional cost to you.

The debut novel – a time-travelling story of love and adventure – from the number one bestselling author of How Not To Be a Boy and star of Peep Show

First Love. Second Time Lucky.

All hell has broken loose in Kate Marsden’s life. Her husband has died, she’s lost her job and now she’s pushed the last of her friends away. Then one day, she wakes up in the wrong body – and the wrong year. She’s eighteen again and it’s her first day of university. Which means today’s the day she’ll meet Luke, her future husband, for the first time.

If they can fall in love again, Kate might just be able to save him second time around.

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Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.

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Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

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