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


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.

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 shared 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 were £22 to include a copy of ‘Thinking on My Feet’, presented on the evening. (One additional ticket, without the book, could be purchased at £15.)

Read my account of Kate's visit here.

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.

Tickets were £17 including a copy of 'In Your Defence' (RRP £16.99) or £8 without the book.

Read my report of Sarah's visit here.

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

Peter Robinson
Tuesday 7th August 2018 at 1.00pm

The best-selling, award-winning novelist will be visiting us from his home in Canada for this special lunchtime event at Woodbridge Library, introducing his latest masterpiece in mystery and suspense. ‘Careless Love’ is the 25th novel in Peter’s popular DCI Banks crime series, set in Yorkshire. These books have been translated into 19 languages and adapted for television, featuring actor Stephen Tompkinson in the title role. Tickets are £20 and include a copy of 'Careless Love' (RRP £20). Call Browsers on 01394 388890

James Henry
Wednesday 25th July 2018 at 7.30pm

Having written the bestselling prequels to the DI Frost novels of RD Winfield, James has now embarked on his own police thriller series. '

Yellowhammer' is the second so far and, while set in Essex in the 1980s, it steps into the Suffolk countryside.

James first visited us at Browsers a couple of years ago when he launched this series with 'Blackwater'. It was this visit, and a later return for a talk at Hollesley for Suffolk Libraries, that inspired James to feature our corner of Suffolk in this new book.

He told us all about this as well as his love of birdwatching and his other life working in publishing, in a relaxed, fun and entertaining evening.

Tickets were £8, with complimentary refreshments. You can read more about this event here.

Thursday 14th June 2018 at 7.00pm

Everyone is invited to this free event celebrating the final book in the Golden Apple trilogy by Emily Hauser.

Called 'For the Immortal', it tells of two extraordinary women swept up in one of the greatest legends of all time, discovering the price that must be paid for immortality.

Emily talked to us about her first book in 2016. Called 'For the Most Beautiful', it was a retelling of the siege of Troy.

Anyone who came along will have been delighted and inspired by Emily, whose enthusiasm for Classics is infectious. After school in Suffolk, she studied at Cambridge before completing a PhD at Yale University. Now she has returned to teach in the UK, and we're thrilled that she'll be visiting us again in Woodbridge with this new book.

'For the Immortal' is the culmination of Emily's books retelling Greek myths.

We'll be marking publication day with wine and nibbles, and a chance to mingle and chat with Emily. There will also be the opportunity to be among the first to buy 'For the Immortal', if you choose to do so! Please let us know if you'd like to come along so that we can be sure of numbers for the catering. Call the bookshop and we'll add your name to the guest list!

Anne Youngson at Browsers
Thursday 7th June 2018 at 7.30pm

One reviewer has described this book as 'warm-hearted' and 'clear-minded'.

It is a delicate and beautiful tale told as a correspondence between two strangers.

Tina lives in Suffolk, Anders in Denmark and politely, apologetically and tentatively they undertake an exchange of letters which becomes increasingly revealing and confiding.

The author, Anne Youngson embarked on a creative writing course in her 50s, when she retired from her career in the motor industry. Now 70, this is her first novel. Her account of her desire to write and her approach to life - ‘it’s never too late’ - is hugely inspiring.

If you are a frustrated or emerging writer, or simply love a good story, you must come along and meet Anne!

Tickets are £13 and include a copy of 'Meet Me at the Museum' (RRP £12.99) with complimentary refreshments.

You can read a review of 'Meet Me at the Museum' here.

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.