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


Jeffrey Deaver at Woodbridge library
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 at 1.00pm

The international bestselling crime writer, Jeffrey Deaver will be visiting from his home in the USA to launch his new thriller 'The Cutting Edge'.

He will be with us for this lunchtime visit at Woodbridge Library, where he will be in conversation with Catherine Larner and signing copies of the book for the audience members attending.

A former journalist, attorney and folksinger, Jeffrey Deaver is 'the master of suspense'. He has written 35 novels, including the 2011 authorised James Bone thriller 'Carte Blanche'.

Deaver's work has sold over 50 million copies in more than 35 languages around the world, winning numerous awards.

In this latest book, Deaver's most popular character, Lincoln Rhyme is at work again in NYC as he tries to catch a killer targeting couples.

Tickets are £15 and include a copy of 'The Cutting Edge' (RRP £14.99).

Ruth Hogan at Browsers
Wednesday 2nd May 2018 at 7.30pm

The author of last year's delightful debut 'The Keeper of Lost Things' has another story to charm and delight us.

'The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes' is about a spirited, rebellious, independent woman whose life has been changed by a tragic event. Unable to let go of her grief, she gains solace from visits to the local cemetery and to the town's lido. Chancing across two extraordinary women opens up new possibilities.

Meet these wonderful new characters and find out what inspires and drives Ruth in her writing. This will be a fun and uplifting evening. Not to be missed!

Tickets were £15 and included a copy of 'The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes' (RRP£14.99) with a complimentary glass of Prosecco.

Monday 9th April 2018 at 7.30pm

The inspirational cookery writer presented her new book 'How to Eat a Peach', all about menus, stories and places.

Tickets were £25 and included a copy of 'How to Eat a Peach' (RRP£25) and a glass of Prosecco.

Read my report of the event here.


Thursday 11th January 2018 at 7.00pm

The award-winning journalist, now ITV’s political editor, Robert Peston visited us in Woodbridge to discuss his recently published book, provocatively titled 'WTF'.

The capacity audience in Woodbridge Community Hall was held gripped throughout the conversation with Catherine Larner, as Robert discussed Brexit, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the threat to democracy by the manipulation of social media. He took questions from the audience before signing copies of his book.

Tickets were £25 and included a copy of 'WTF'.

You can read a report of the event here.


Monday 6th November 2017 at 7.30pm

Maggie O’Farrell is a much-loved author of seven award-winning novels, including ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ and her most recent book, ‘This Must Be the Place’. She is a Sunday Times bestseller, and a Costa prizewinner.

This year Maggie has attracted huge attention for her shocking and enthralling memoir 'I Am, I Am, I Am’. Written first as a project to give hope to her eight-year-old daughter, the book looks back on the numerous near-death experiences Maggie recalls in her life. In doing so, she raises questions for us all to ponder. What would you do if your life was in danger? How would you react? What would you stand to lose?

Maggie will be in conversation with Catherine Larner at Woodbridge Library on Monday 6 November at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £8 including refreshments and a £5 discount against the book. Tel: 01394 388890

Monday 11th September 2017 at 7.30pm

Have you ever thought about reading an entire longlist of a literary prize, to see if you agree with the judges...?

Perhaps not! 

But members of the Browsers Book Group decided to spend their summer working their way through the 13 titles nominated for the Man Booker Prize 2017.

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury Circus)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)

Some people are trying to read the lot, others are just giving their opinion on one title.

The shortlist of six will be announced on Tuesday 12 September, so we'll meet the previous evening to compare notes, and make our selection.

Anyone is welcome to join us in reading any of the titles, or in eavesdropping on the discussion.



Thursday 7th September 2017 at 7.45pm

John Le Carré will be reading excerpts from his new novel 'A Legacy of Spies' and talking about his amazing career spanning five decades. It is a rare opportunity to get inside the mind, behind the spy!

Tickets are £12.50 from The Riverside and the new book will be available, courtesy of Browsers, at the special price of £15 (RRP £20).

John Le Carré and the producers are donating all their proceeds to Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Monday 4th September 2017 at 7.30pm

Chef, food writer and cookery teacher, Sabrina Ghayour is one of the strongest voices in Middle Eastern food today.

Her two cookbooks ‘Persiana’ and ‘Sirocco’ have been bestsellers, winning critical acclaim for presenting simple and flavourful dishes.

This new book ‘Feasts’ features festive ideas for everything from a family brunch to a celebration dinner. Glorious, tempting photography is supported by easy, accessible descriptions and instructions.

Find out more about Sabrina and her inspiration, and sample something from the menu at this special evening event at the bookshop. Space is limited, so please reserve your place early!

Donal Ryan at Browsers
Tuesday 27th June 2017 at 7.30pm

If you joined us earlier in the year reading 'The Spinning Heart' with Browsers Book Group, I'm sure you'll be keen to join us for this event, welcoming Donal Ryan to the bookshop.

His first two novels 'The Spinning Heart' and 'The Thing About December', and his short story collection 'A Slanting of the Sun', have all been published to great acclaim.

Donal has been described as 'a life-enhancing talent', 'among the great contemporary chroniclers' and his 'stunning' books leave you 'gaping with wonder'.

His third novel 'All We Shall Know' is just out in paperback and Donal will be introducing this and pondering his career to date. Come and meet him!

Monday 19th June 2017 at 7.30pm

Launching this fabulous new book from Laura Barnett, author of the bestselling novel 'The Versions of Us'.

A British singer-songwriter looks back on her life through the tracks which defined her, in this compelling novel.

The soundtrack of the book has been created by the singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams and the album will be for sale with the book on the night.

Wednesday 26th April 2017 at 7.30pm

Award-winning crime writer, Sharon Bolton will be introducing her new novel 'Dead Woman Walking' and talking about her career to date, plans for the future, and theories on why crime and thrillers are such a popular genre at present. Tickets are £13 and include a copy of the new book (RRP £12.99), and a complimentary glass of wine. Space is limited for this very special evening, so please book early.

Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 7.30pm

Join us for an evening of poetry and conversation with Neil Powell as he introduces us to his newly published collection of work which spans 50 years.

Neil lives in Orford and visited Browsers a few years ago to talk to us about his biography of Benjamin Britten. Also a former bookseller, English teacher and editor, Neil has had seven volumes of poetry published. This collection draws on that body of work and is published by Carcanet Press.

Called 'Was and Is' the book is described as "the narrative of a lifetime" exploring "landscape and seascape, music and poetry, friendship and the deaths of friends. Ranging from the playful to the elegiac, these poems now resonate with each other in new and unexpected ways." Come along to the evening and find out more! Tickets £5.

Jem Lester at Browsers
Tuesday 21st February 2017 at 7.30pm

Debut novelist, and journalist, Jem Lester will be in conversation about the inspiration behind 'Shtum', his funny and poignant account of a family and autism.

Included in Simon Mayo's Radio Two Book Club last year, Jem is visiting to mark the release of the paperback edition of his novel.

Tickets are £10 and include a copy of the book for each guest to take away at the end of the evening..

Wednesday 28th September 2016 at 7.30pm

The brilliant biographer of Patrick Leigh Fermor and Elizabeth David visited us to reveal all that she has discovered about novelist, Elizabeth Jane Howard.

We gathered together in the stunning panelled room in Woodhall Manor, the door open to the fountains burbling outside with an owl hooting intermittently during this lovely summer's evening.

Artemis presented the story of Jane's life with a slide show, and explained the challenges she faced in compiling the biography. The audience was enthralled throughout and eager to ask questions when Artemis concluded her talk.

Jane was held with great affection in Suffolk, having made her home here in Bungay.

It was a fascinating evening for all those who know and love the writing of Elizabeth Jane Howard, and for those who were new to her work. She had an astonishing life.

Tickets were £8 from Browsers Bookshop, Woodbridge.

Tuesday 27th September 2016 at 2.30pm

The hugely popular novelist, Victoria Hislop will be introducing her new book 'Cartes Postales' at an event not to be missed this September.

We were delighted and privileged to have this hugely popular novelist visit us at Woodhall Manor for her new book 'Cartes Postales'.

The ballroom was filled to capacity to hear Victoria in conversation with Catherine Larner. They discussed her extraordinarily successful career and Victoria explained the inspiration and motivation behind this new title.

'Cartes Postales' is as engrossing and bewitching as Victoria's other bestselling tales, but this time the book features stunning original photography, illustrating the story in a unique publication.

Tickets were £8.

Monday 5th September 2016 at 7.30pm

Diana Henry's cookery books are some of the most stunning on the market in terms of their production, and in their selection of flavour combinations.

Take a look at 'Roast Figs Sugar Snow' or 'A Change of Appetite' - the recipes are incredibly tempting and the beautiful photography makes your mouth water with each page!

For her last book 'A Bird in the Hand', Diana worked closely with the team at Sutton Hoo Chickens, and we are thrilled that she's coming to Suffolk to talk to us about her new title 'Simple'.

Diana is a warm, entertaining and fascinating speaker, and we'll be providing some samples of the recipes through canapes provided by local restaurateur, Vernon Blackmore.

Arrive any time after 6pm to enjoy the grounds of Woodhall Manor, take a drink from the bar, and browse Diana's books before she speaks to us.

Reserve your place now to avoid disappointment! Tickets are just £10 from Browsers Bookshop.