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


Thursday 11th April 2019 at 7.30pm

Erin Kelly is a popular, best-selling thriller writer. This new book is set in her home county of Suffolk and imagines the lives touched by an abandoned mental hospital, and the secrets it holds.

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

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

Friday 5th April 2019 at 8.00pm

The author of the Whitbread-shortlisted novel and  Oscar-nominated film, ‘Chocolat’ introduced her long-awaited latest installment 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.

Read an account of Joanne's visit here.

Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 7.30pm

Food writer and journalist, Sue Quinn visited us to introduce her new book 'Cocoa' and was joined by Sally Jones from Pump Street Bakery at Orford to talk about their chocolate business.

There was a glass of fizz on arrival, chocolate popcorn and shortbread to sample, chocolate tasting and a gift of Pump Street chocolate as well as a copy of the new beautifully illustrated recipe and history book 'Cocoa' to take home. Read an account of the evening here.

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 an account 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 an account of Julia's visit here and Catherine's article 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!

This event was sold out. Read an account of the event 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 an account of Diane's visit here.

Friday 7th December 2018 at 7.30pm

Former politician and now award-winning author Alan Johnson shared his memories with a packed audience at the Riverside.

His stories, his jokes and his mimicry certainly held this crowd.

Read an account 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.

This event was sold out. Read all about the evening here and Catherine's article 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 an account of their visit here and Catherine's article 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.

This event was sold out. Read an account of Dan's 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.

Read an account of Kate's visit here and Catherine's articles here and here.

Friday 14th September 2018 at 7.30pm

After the triumph that was ‘A Place Called Winter’, Patrick was 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.

We took over Woodbridge School Hall for this evening of was music, laughter and conversation. Read an account of the evening here and Catherine's interview with Patrick Gale here.

Saturday 8th September 2018 at 7.30pm

'In Your Defence' is a stunning account of eleven cases where Sarah takes us through both criminal and family proceedings from her perspective as a barrister.

The book is revealing and inspiring, funny and distressing, and above all, beautifully written. And Sarah was a warm and engaging speaker who inspired us all. Read an account of Sarah's visit here and Catherine's article here.

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'.

It was a tremendous evening, with everyone intrigued by so many elements of all that Lavinia had to say. Read an account of the event here.

Tuesday 7th August 2018 at 1.00pm

The best-selling, award-winning novelist visited 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. Read an account of the event here.