Past events

Author visits to Woodbridge

For Browsers, Catherine Larner organises author talks and book launches ranging from intimate gatherings of around 30 guests to large evening events with capacity audiences of more than 250 people. Recent guest authors 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


Wednesday 17th April 2019 at 7.30pm

One of our favourite authors returns to Browsers to tell us all about her new novel, inspired by the shocking Lord Lucan case and the ‘lovely young nanny’ at its centre.

‘The Language of Birds’ is a compelling fictional account of the lives of two young nannies in London in the 1970s. Rosemary watches from the wings as her friend Mandy edges towards her tragic fate.

Jill is an acclaimed novelist, poet and anthologist. 'The Great Lover' was a Richard and Judy summer read. 'Fred and Edie was shortlisted for the Orange and Whitbread awards and 'Watch Me Disappear' was longlisted for the Orange Prize.

She joined us in 2016 to launch 'The Crime Writer, her extraordinary imagining of the time Patricia Highsmith lived in Suffolk.

'The Language of Birds' is her tenth novel.

Jill is the patron of the Maya Centre which offers therapy to women experiencing violence, and she is the founder of a mentoring scheme for new writers, Gold Dust. She first worked in London in the 1980s as a nanny, and lives now in the Cambridgeshire Fens. She’s got lots to tell us!

Tickets are £18 including a copy of 'The Language of Birds' and one additional ticket can be purchased for £8 without the book. Details from Browsers Bookshop 01394 388890

Thursday 11th April 2019 at 7.30pm

Erin Kelly is a popular, best-selling thriller writer.

Her first novel, 'The Poison Tree', was a Richard and Judy bestseller and an ITV drama. Those that followed were 'The Sick Rose', 'The Burning Air', 'The Ties That Bind'.

Her last novel, 'He Said She Said', wowed the critics and readers with its original and provocative tale of a young couple who witness a rape and, after the trial, begin to wonder if they believed the right person.

This new book is set in her home county of Suffolk and imagines the lives touched by a mental hospital. The Victorians labelled these places 'stone mothers' because they thought the design of the building could nurse the sick back to health.

Marianne is an architect but her obsession with a particular property in Suffolk doesn't spring from its aesthetics. There is a secret held here that she is desperate never to reveal.

She was seventeen when she left this area, abandoning her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried.

Now, forced to return, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she's built; the husband and daughter who must never know.

Erin will share something of the inspiration for this book as well as her passion for writing generally. A mentor and lecturer on creative writing courses, she will also give tips to burgeoning novelists!

Tickets are £14 to include a copy of 'Stone Mothers' (RRP£12.99) with one additional ticket available, without the book, for £8.

She will be speaking at Browsers Bookshop, 60 Thoroughfare, Woodbridge. Tel 01394 388890

Friday 5th April 2019 at 8.00pm

The author of the Whitbread-shortlisted novel and  Oscar-nominated film, ‘Chocolat’ introduces her long-awaited latest instalment called ‘The Strawberry Thief’.

Vianne Rocher and Rosette are happily running the chocolate shop in the square until life is disrupted by the death of the florist, Narcisse and a mysterious new shop opens in town.

Joanne has written 13 other novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work covers magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy.

Come along to find out more about literature and storytelling.

Ticket £20 inc a copy of the book (RRP £20). One additional ticket may be purchased without the book for £12.

Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 7.30pm

Food writer and journalist, Sue Quinn will be visiting to introduce her new book 'Cocoa' and she'll be joined by Sally Jones, a member of the team from Pump Street Bakery at Orford who will tell us all about their chocolate business.

This promises to be a fabulous evening.

There's a glass of fizz on arrival, a chocolate recipe to sample, a gift of Pump Street chocolate and a copy of the new beautifully illustrated recipe and history book 'Cocoa' to take home.

Sue has investigated the history, production, culture, characteristics and appeal of chocolate in this fantastic new book, which also includes a selection of gloriously chocolatey recipes. She'll also tell us something about her career as a food writer.

Tickets are £25 including a copy of the book, all tastings and treats, and one additional ticket may be purchased for £10 without the book. Available from Browsers Bookshop, Woodbridge. Tel 01394 388890

Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 7.30pm

‘The Pull of the River’ is an engaging adventure story about two men exploring Britain’s rivers in a hand-made wooden canoe. It is also a beautiful observation of the natural world, and a fascinating cultural history, and has won great acclaim from leading nature writers.

Author, Matt Gaw was a charming guest who delighted the audience with tales of his canoeing mishaps, sighting of a beaver and... otter poo!

Read my report of Matt's visit here.

Wednesday 20th February 2019 at 7.30pm

Julia Blackburn held an attentive audience as she talked about her search for Doggerland, a huge and fertile area that once connected the entire east coast of England with mainland Europe, until it was finally submerged by rising sea levels around 5000 BC.

Read my report of Julia's visit here.

Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 7.30pm

We had a capacity audience to meet Elly Griffiths at Woodbridge Library.

This was her third visit to us at Browsers, and she just gets better and better. Her stories about the inspiration for her bestselling books are fascinating and she's very funny. We're looking forward to her next visit already!

Read my report of her visit here.

Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 1.00pm

The audience was held spellbound by all that Diane had to share with us, not just about this fabulous new book but also about her attitude to life and writing. She's astonishing!

Visiting us at lunchtime, in Woodbridge Library, ahead of her official promotional tour, copies of the book were released early especially for us.

Read my report of Diane's visit here.

Friday 7th December 2018 at 7.30pm

Former politician and now award-winning author Alan Johnson shared his memories to a packed audience at the Riverside. His stories, his jokes and his mimicry certainly held this crowd.

Read my report of Alan's visit here.

Friday 30th November 2018 at 7.30pm

You never forget evenings in the company of the extraordinary Maggi Hambling.

Tonight she told us all about her father's work.

Read all about the evening here.

Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 7.30pm

The Suffolk Sandlings, the strip of coastline from Lowestoft to Felixstowe, is an area unusually rich in military archaeology.

Historians Rob Liddiard and David Sims gave a fascinating and entertaining account of how they came to produce their detailed study of the wartime landscape.

Read my report of their visit here.

Monday 12th November 2018 at 7.30pm

The historian and tv presenter Dan Snow spoke without prompts or notes as he strolled back and forth on the stage telling us all about his love and passion for history.

He was a very popular speaker and people patiently waited in the long queue to have their book signed at the conclusion of the event.

Read my report of his visit here.

Kate Humble
Friday 9th November 2018 at 7.30pm

Taking a daily walk has become as essential as that first cup of tea for tv presenter, Kate Humble.
Introducing her new book, ‘Thinking on My Feet’, Kate will share the story of her walking year - the routes she’s taken, people she’s met, the problems solved, the inspiration gained, her thoughts and feelings while enjoying the landscape. Kate is one of the UK’s best-known and much-loved broadcasters, and the familiar face for BBC’s 'Springwatch' and 'Back to the Land’. Tickets are £22 to include a copy of ‘Thinking on My Feet’, presented on the evening. (One additional ticket, without the book, can be purchased at £15.) Available from Browsers Bookshop, 60 Thoroughfare, Woodbridge IP12 1AL. Tel: 01394 388890

Friday 14th September 2018 at 7.30pm

After the triumph that was ‘A Place Called Winter’, Patrick is once again inspired by family life, this time his own boyhood, for ‘Take Nothing With You’. This new book explores the life of 10-year-old Eustace, an only child growing up by the sea, with a passion for the cello, and discovering complicated relationships. There’ll be music, laughter and conversation. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet this much-loved novelist. Tickets £23 include a copy of 'Take Nothing With You'. One further ticket can be purchased for £15. Call 01394 388890

Read Catherine's interview with Patrick Gale here.

Sarah Langford
Saturday 8th September 2018 at 7.30pm

Sarah Langford is a barrister. She sees people at their worst, and at their most vulnerable. It is her job to tell their story to the court.

'In Your Defence' is a stunning account of eleven cases where Sarah takes us through both criminal and family proceedings. She examines how she feels towards the defendants in the dock, and challenges us all to consider how our attitudes and actions can shape not only individual cases, but the legal system itself. This very personal account is revealing and inspiring, funny and distressing, and above all, beautifully written.

Come along to find out more! Tickets are £17 including a copy of 'In Your Defence' (RRP £16.99) or £8 without the book. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Details: 01394 388890

Lavinia Greenlaw
Tuesday 4th September 2018 at 7.30pm

Lavinia has visited Browsers before to launch a work of poetry. This time she is joining us to present her new novel, her third, 'In the City of Love's Sleep'. Described as 'a contemporary fable', the book tells the story of two people who meet in middle-age and try to overcome all experience has taught them, in order to be together. Tickets are £16 to include a copy of the book (RRP £14.99) with complimentary refreshments, and are available from the bookshop. A ticket without the book, is £8. Tell 01394 388890