Past events

Author visits to Woodbridge

For Browsers, Catherine Larner organises and hosts author talks and book launches ranging from intimate gatherings of around 30 guests to large evening events with capacity audiences of up to 300 people. Recent guest authors have included Max Hastings, Victoria Hislop, Joanne Harris, Dan Snow, Kate Humble, Jeffery Deaver and Robert Peston.

Since launching the author talks more than 10 years ago, other speakers have included Alexander McCall Smith, Margaret Drabble, Kate Mosse and Deborah Moggach as well as Olympic rowing champion Katherine Grainger and antiques expert, Judith Miller.

In 2008 Catherine was the Artistic Director for the first Children’s Book Festival in Woodbridge, Suffolk, in association with Browsers Bookshop. There were four days of activities for children of all ages, and their parents. Many sessions were free and all were creatively run to ensure full interaction, participation and engagement throughout the community. Leading authors (including Philip Reeve, Nick Butterworth, Kevin Crossley-Holland and Meg Rosoff) presented at venues throughout the town. Supplementing the headline speakers there were launches of new books and authors, story playtimes for toddlers, a children’s comedian, storytelling trails around the town led by members of local amateur dramatic groups, and a dogwalking storytime by the river. It was an ambitious and varied programme which was professionally run and well-attended, creating a genuine excitement throughout the town.

Recent events


Friday 8th July 2022 at 7.30pm

The Sunday Times bestselling author, Sarah Langford recalls in her new book ‘Rooted’ how she felt about moving to Suffolk with her husband to take on the management of his small family farm. 
Preconceptions and prejudices were stripped away as she saw how farming has changed from her grandfather’s generation to the present day. 
The challenges of climate change, Brexit, falling incomes, accusations of ecological mismanagement, a hostile press and public - these issues and more are all addressed in a beautifully written personal response which is impossible to put down!

Many of the stories of the individual farmers she's met are shocking and upsetting in all that they've experienced, and ultimately this is an account of the destruction of our land. But in her warm, honest and passionate response, Sarah leaves the reader feeling uplifted and energised and, ultimately, hopeful, not least because of the good people who are trying to make a difference. 

Find out how Sarah came to write the book, the people she spoke to and how she views the future for farmers - and for all of us. 

Tickets are £20 and include a copy of 'Rooted'. One further ticket (without the book) can be purchased for £12. 

Sarah was recently on BBC Radio Four Start the Week discussing 'a revolution in food and farming' with George Monbiot and Claire Ratinon. Listen again here.

Read my interview with Sarah talking about her life as a criminal barrister here.

Sarah visited us at Browsers Bookshop, Woodbridge four years ago when she talked about her memoir of life as a criminal barrister in the city. Called 'In Your Defence', it was a Sunday Times bestseller, and her event with us was sold out weeks before the date. Take a look here. Don't miss out this time! Book your tickets here

Sunday 28th November 2021 at 3.00pm

The much-loved illustrator and printmaker will be speaking to us about 'A Year Unfolding', the first book dedicated solely to her art. 

As well as new work created specially for the book, there are stories behind some of her most popular images and glimpses into the meticulous process involved in creating them, all celebrating nature through the seasons.

Angela will be sharing her love of the Suffolk coast and countryside and showing us some of her work in progress from her studio.

Ticket £20 inc a signed copy of 'A Year Unfolding' (RRP £20)

Tickets available here.

Thursday 1st July 2021 at 7.30pm

Tickets available by clicking here and entitle you to free entry to the online conversation with Kate and a signed copy of 'The Stranding'.

Ruth has left her home and life in London for a new adventure. Relationships were claustrophobic and there were things she felt she'd left undone. So she's travelled to New Zealand, hoping to fulfil her ambition to work with whales.

Stepping off the plane she soon has a sense that something is different, and not just because she's the other side of the world.

She doesn't engage with the newsfeeds, but makes her way to the coast. Here her ambition to see a whale is tragically fulfilled where she finds one beached on the shore. 

As the looming catastrophe becomes a reality, Ruth's only hope of survival is to step inside the whale, with a stranger. 

This is an extraordinary life affirming and thought provoking novel. It's a book about courage, resourcefulness and hope, and ultimately challenges every reader to interrogate life today - how we're looking after the planet, and our relationships, and how we, too, might respond if everything was stripped away. So much to think about! 

Kate will be speaking to Catherine Larner about this, her first novel.

You will be able to put your own questions about the book to Kate, as well as listen to a conversation about her career path to this point, and a reading from the book too.

There are a limited number of 'The Stranding' goody bags still available, so don't delay! 


Thursday 8th October 2020 at 7.30pm

Susie Dent has collected a word for every day of the year in her new book 'Word Perfect'.

In an exclusive online event, with Catherine Larner, Susie spoke to us about how she's made the choice, why she has such a fascination for language, and some behind-the-scenes gossip from Dictionary Corner of TV's Countdown.

Read more about the event here.

Wednesday 26th February 2020 at 7.30pm

Novelist Liz Trenow held a near-capacity audience entranced with details of her personal connections to Bawdsey Manor, and how she was drawn to write about the extraordinary wartime connection of this tiny coastal location with the development of radar. There were images of the Manor over the years in her presentation, and a display from Bawdsey Radar Trust to view as guests arrived and queued to receive their signed copies of 'Under a Wartime Sky'. Read an account of the evening here and Catherine's article here.


Thursday 30th January 2020 at 7.30pm

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to judge the Booker Prize? The highly respected publisher, Liz Calder was on this year’s panel and joined us in the bookshop to tell us more about the process, and share something of her astonishing career.

Read an account of the evening here.

Saturday 2nd November 2019 at 1.00pm

We knew it would be busy for Henry Blofeld's visit to the bookshop. We had presold dozens of his new book and it seemed few people were put off by the rain and strong winds in their eagerness at meeting their Test Match Special hero.

Henry joined us in Woodbridge ahead of his show with Graeme Swann in Ipswich in the evening. Read a report of his visit here and Catherine's article here.

Friday 1st November 2019 at 8.00pm

The weather outside may have been unpleasant, with gales forecast, but it was nothing compared with the horrific conditions experienced by award-winning wildlife cameraman Lindsay McCrae during his year in Antarctica filming emperor penguins for the BBC ‘Dynasties’ series!

Lindsay gave a fascinating presentation illustrated by stunning photography and video clips. Our packed audience could have listened to him for hours. Read a report of the evening here.

Thursday 26th September 2019 at 7.30pm

‘Stanley and Elsie’ reimagines the family life of famed painter Stanley Spencer, as seen through the eyes of his housekeeper, Elsie. The novel is a vivid and delicate portrait of the artist and the women who influenced his life.

Nicola gave a fascinating account of how she approached her subject, and also told us more about her popular Josephine Tey series of crime novels. Read an account of the event here.

Tuesday 24th September 2019 at 1.30pm

'Chastise: The Dambusters Story 1943' is a fascinating retake on legend in this history of the Dambusters raid from best-selling and critically acclaimed military historian, Max Hastings.

Max Hastings held a large audience in rapt attention for this afternoon talk which took place at Woodbridge Community Hall.

Read an account of the event here.

Monday 16th September 2019 at 1.00pm

Visiting us on one of his rare returns to the UK, the journalist, novelist, cookery writer and wine lover, Martin Walker talked to us about ‘The Body in the Castle Well’ his latest novel featuring ‘Bruno’, an unconventional village policeman who is also a gourmet cook and former soldier.

Martin had much to share with us about the fascinating life he's led, and the wonderful world he's created for Bruno in rural France. Read an account of the event here and Catherine's article here.

Tuesday 11th June 2019 at 7.30pm

Richard Hawking talked about the release of this new book ‘At the Field’s Edge’, the first full length appreciation of the work of Adrian Bell, one of our greatest writers about farming and rural life.

Martin Bell, the former BBC war reporter, joined us and shared some of the memories of his father during this very special evening. Read Catherine's article here.

Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 2.00pm

Best-selling novelist Victoria Hislop joined us at Woodbridge Community Hall for the start of a nationwide tour promoting her new book, ’Those Who Are Loved'. Read an account of Victoria's visit here and Catherine's article here.

This is Victoria's second visit to Browsers. In 2016 the venue was Woodhall Manor as Victoria talked to us about 'Cartes Postales from Greece'. Read about that event here and Catherine's article here.

Tuesday 7th May 2019 at 7.30pm

Oliver Soden has written an extraordinary account of British composer Michael Tippett revealing someone who was charming, stubborn and great fun, but who held secrets and sorrows.

This is a stunning book and Oliver's passion and enthusiasm for his subject and this project was infectious.

Read an account of Oliver's visit here and Catherine's article here.

Tuesday 7th May 2019 at 1.00pm

The hugely entertaining, bestselling crime writer John Connolly is the author of 20 novels. Best known for his Charlie Parker mysteries, he talked of how he travelled to East Anglia as one of the locations for a European setting in this new title in the series 'A Book of Bones'.

John also talked to us about the writing process in a wide-ranging and fascinating lunchtime event. Read an account of John's visit here and Catherine's article here.

Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 7.30pm

‘The Language of Birds’ is  inspired by the shocking Lord Lucan case and the ‘lovely young nanny’ at its centre. Read an account of Jill's visit here.

This is Jill's 10th novel. She joined us in 2016 to launch 'The Crime Writer, her extraordinary imagining of the time Patricia Highsmith lived in Suffolk. Read about that visit here.