Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Norwich City legend “Gossy” to promote autobiography in Lynn

gossy the autobiography Jeremy Goss

Former Canary and Linnet player Jeremy Goss will be signing copies of his new autobiography Gossy, in Waterstones book store on December 11th.

The book charts his life and career from his youth, through his years playing at Norwich, the memorable UEFA cup campaign in 1993 and what came after.

Gossy is, of course, most famous for the memorable goals he scored during the club’s UEFA Cup campaign in 1993, as well as the part he played in Mike Walker’s entertaining side.

A competitive and hard-working midfielder, Gossy’s football career reached its zenith with his home and away strikes against Bayern Munich during that UEFA Cup run, a BBC Goal of the Month award for his volley against Leeds United at Elland Road, and perhaps his own favourite footballing memory, the last goal scored in front of Liverpool’s famous standing Kop in April 1994.

But his rise to national fame was hardly a sudden one. He’d been a Norwich City player for a decade before any of those goals were scored, and set an unofficial club record for the highest number of reserve team games played. Hard and difficult times in his life on either side of his ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ make his story a compelling one – sometimes funny, occasionally frustrating and, on one occasion, touched by genuine personal heartbreak.

Jeremy will be signing copies of his book at Waterstones, Norfolk Street, King’s Lynn on Thursday December 11th at 5.30pm

 

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Book Signing: King’s Lynn in Colour 1960s to 1980s

Bob Booth Kings Lynn in Colour Front cover picture

Bob Booth at the book signing in Waterstones. Photo: Alan T Shearer.

Bob Booth at one of his book signings in Waterstones. Photo: Alan T Shearer.

Local historian Bob Booth will be in town this weekend to publicise his latest collection of historic town photographs called King’s Lynn in Colour 1960s to 1980s.

There’s an opportunity to discuss your memories with Bob at Waterstones book shop in Norfolk Street on Saturday from 11am, where he will also be signing copies of his book.

Bob began working as a teacher at the college in King’s Lynn known locally as ‘The Tec’. He spent 11 happy years teaching chemistry there before he began to work full-time in ‘Bayes’ – the well known record shop in the town which he owned along with his wife Janet.

Writing and publishing his books came about more by accident than design, after a friend lent him some wonderful photographs of the old yards in King’s Lynn taken in the 1930s. Certain there would be many other people with local connections, that shared his interest and love for the town and it’s history, he started putting together the first of a series of books.

King’s Lynn in Colour 1960s to 1980s (Paperback 64 pages)
by Robert Booth is available from Waterstones priced £9.99.

Further details of the book signing are available by phoning 01553 660111, or you can find out more about Bob and his books on his website at trickysampublishing.co.uk

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Are you curious about King’s Lynn ?

Curious about kings lynn

If you’re curious about King’s Lynn you may be interested in a comprehensive booklet directing you to the most fascinating areas of the town.

You can have fun discovering King’s Lynn with two self-guided, heritage walks with an optional treasure hunt. Find answers to clues and match pictures whilst reading stories about our lovely Norfolk town.

The walks are suitable for all ages and typically take 1-2 hours each to complete. Detours to avoid steps are marked on the route map.

First Walk
Wheelchair friendly

Heritage and River

King’s Lynn has a glorious heritage, based around The Great Ouse river. This walk passes a museum dedicated to its old fishing community, a magnificent former chapel, a bustling market place, an ancient street, former home to many famous people, a wonderful Guildhall, a stunning Customs House, venerable almshouses, an ancient college, the alley of the Devil, an imposing church – and, oh yes, the river
(1.5 miles / 2.4 kms)

Second Walk
Wheelchair friendly

To The Walks

From the magnificent St Margaret’s Church this walk immediately passes the architecturally stunning Town Hall, and Gaol House. Via streets with a history to tell, you next arrive at St James’ Park, with its colourful flowers. Pass next through restful gardens with Greyfriars Tower which leans dramatically to the west. Then onwards to The Walks, where townsfolk have promenaded for more than three hundred years (1.25 miles / 2 kms)

The 16-page booklet can be downloaded directly to your computer for £4.99, or a printed copy can be sent to your address for £5.50 plus £1.50 post & packing. Find out more at www.curiousabout.co.uk/kingslynn

Various guided walks around town are also provided by the King’s Lynn Town Guides.

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Historic book has strong links with Kings Lynn

big c victorian gentlemans North Norfolk

A new local history book with strong King’s Lynn connections is due to be launched at the Big C Centre, Norfolk Street on Monday 2nd December.

The new book entitled ‘A Victorian Gentleman’s North Norfolk’, has been written by former Norfolk cricket captain Richard Jefferson in memory of his wife Pauline whom he lost to cancer. Richard has pledged to donate all of the income from its sales to the Big C, Norfolk’s own Cancer Charity.

Pauline’s great, great uncle, WJJ Bolding, had been a North Norfolk farmer and photographer during the early to late Victorian period when photography was in its infancy. As a pioneer of photography, Bolding learnt the art and then went on to photograph Norfolk scenery and local characters as well as using his own family members as models for his pictures.

Many of the photos in the book show his Kings Lynn relatives, members of the Monument family. WJJB’s sister Esther married William Monement in 1845 in Weybourne Church.

big c victorian gentlemans North Norfolk 2

Other interesting links with Kings Lynn and WJJ Bolding were:

  • Monement’s father, also William Monement, was a cork importer and manufacturer of 78/79 Norfolk Street. The son took over the business from his father at some stage. In the 1851 Census they employed 11 people. Both generations lived above the business.
  •  

  • In 1846 WJJB and his brother-in-law bought the schooner ‘Enterprise’, which was registered in King’s Lynn, and several times sailed to collect cork from Portugal.

 

  • All William and Esther Monement’s eleven children were born in King’s Lynn.
  •  

  • WJJB took several photographs in West Norfolk: Castle Acre, Castle Rising, North Runcton and King’s Lynn (see photo below of King’s Lynn High Street).
  •  

  • William Monement (jr) was Mayor of King’s Lynn in 1864, and in the early 1880s was still a senior alderman and a JP in the town.

big c high street WJJ Bolding

The photograph on the jacket of the book (c1853, see above) shows William and Esther Monement with their four eldest children.

Roger Watson, Curator of the Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock said of the Victorian Photographer:

“WJJ Bolding was a photographer of the first rank. His work deserves to be more widely seen and appreciated”

You can visit Richard Jefferson at his book signing in King’s Lynn at the Big C Centre on Norfolk Street, between 12pm – 2pm and 2pm – 4pm, on Monday 2nd December.

You can also purchase a copy of the book from any Big C Charity Shop across Norfolk, The Big Blue Sky Shop at Wells-next-to-sea and Jarrolds. All proceeds from the sale go directly to Big C.

big-c.co.uk

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New book features photos of Lynn from the 1930’s

Bob Booth - Ilustrated Street Directory 1933

The latest book by local historian Bob Booth is due to hit local book stores soon.

King’s Lynn – an Illustrated Street Directory 1933 lists details of the streets and yards and principal inhabitants of the town 80 years ago, along with over 100 fascinating local pictures and adverts of the 1930s.

The book launch will take place on Saturday 26th October 2013 at Waterstones in Norfolk Street.

Bob will be signing copies between 11 am an 12.30 pm. Further details are available by phoning 01553 660111.

You can find out more about Bob and his books on his website at trickysampublishing.co.uk

Bob’s new book brings back memories

 

 

 

 

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Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge

Haunted House

There’s a spine-tingling adventure waiting for children when they take part in the 2013 Summer Reading Challenge – Creepy House. They can join the adventure at any Norfolk library during the summer holidays. Pick up a pack and explore the Creepy house, discover it’s secrets and meet some of the hair-raising residents!

Read six books and collect stickers that reveal the creepy residents of the house. All children who read six or more books will be presented with a medal and certificate to celebrate their achievement.

Look out too for the Mungler Top Trumps cards to collect and swap with family and friends.

Children can choose any books they like: fact books, stories, joke books or picture books. Audio books and e-books count as well, so long as they borrow them from a library.

Are Norfolk’s children brave enough to explore The Awful Upstairs, The Gruesome Ground Floor and The Spine-tingling Cellar?

Look out for more details in the library, including special Creepy House themed events. For library opening times visit: norfolk.gov.uk/libraries

pinterest.com/readingnottm/creepy-house-summer-reading-challenge-2013

Summer holiday events at Gaywood Library
For further information about these events, or to book your place where necessary, contact the library on (01553) 768498. All these events are free.

Launch of the Creepy House summer reading challenge
Sunday 28th July
10.30am start
Stories followed by lots of activities! Come and join in this year’s reading challenge!
Come in a creepy spine tingling fancy dress! Prize for the best fancy dress!
Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Creepy House Storytime!
Tuesday 30th July
10.30 – 11.30am
Come along for some creepy stories followed by lots of activities. Come and join in this year’s reading game! Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Speedstacking
Every Tuesday 1 – 2pm from 30th July to 3rd September
For children aged 7+
Come and test your speedstacking skills!
Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult

Sunday Storytime
Sunday 4th August
11am – 12 noon
Come along for some stories followed by lots of activities. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Creepy House Drop in and Draw
Thursday 8th August
10.30am – 12 noon
Booking essential as spaces are limited.
Try all kinds of sketching, drawing and doodling for the Creepy House Reading Challenge! Suitable for children of primary school age and over. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
Materials provided.

Super summer storytime
Tuesday 13th August
10.30 – 11.30am
Come along for some summertime stories and activities! Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Creepy House Junk Modelling Fun!
Thursday 22nd August
10.30am – 12 noon
Booking essential as spaces are limited.
Come along and have a go at making something for Creepy House out of junk and recycled materials! Suitable for children of primary school age and over. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
Materials provided.

Family Knit and Knatter
Friday 23rd August
10am – 12 noon
Booking essential as spaces are limited.
If you’d like to learn how to knit and have a go at other wool related crafts come along to this special session where the Knit and Knatter group will help you and your children get started. Materials provided. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Gaywood Library Town Read

WomanInBlack

Gaywood Library is on a mission to see how many members of the local community they can encourage to read and share the same book at the same time – to tie in with the Creepy House Summer Reading Challenge theme the chosen book is The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

“Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral Mrs Alice Drablow, the house’s sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black – and her terrible purpose.”

How can you take part?

The Gaywood Library Town Read starts on Sunday 21st July 10am. Come along and get your copy of the book!

Join Gaywood Library Town Read Coffee Morning on Sunday 18th August at 11am and let others know what you think about the book. Refreshments provided.

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Crime writer Elly Griffiths talks about her exciting new book

Elly Griffiths at Waterstones in King's Lynn. Photo: Alan T Shearer

Elly Griffiths at Waterstones in King’s Lynn. Photo: Alan T Shearer

We met up with top crime novelist Elly Griffiths while she was signing copies of her latest book at Waterstones in King’s Lynn.

Her latest novel, the 5th in the Ruth Galloway series, finds Ruth drawn into a mystery involving the death of an old friend and the tomb of the Raven King, putting both her life and her daughter Kate’s at risk.

Elly talked to us excitedly about the book:

Here’s a synopsis of the story:

Ruth’s old friend Dan Golding thinks he has made a discovery that will change archaeology forever – but he needs Ruth’s help. Then, Dan is killed in a fire, leaving Ruth with one clue: the tomb of the Raven King. DCI Nelson is also rediscovering the past. He meets his friend Sandy Macleod, now at Blackpool CID, who tells him there are mysterious circumstances surrounding Dan’s death. A Neo-Nazi group at Dan’s University has been making threats and could be involved. Many of Dan’s colleagues seem fearful and have secrets to hide. Ruth is drawn into the mystery, and where she goes, so does her daughter, Kate. This time, it’s not just Ruth’s life at risk.

Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths is available at Watertones in Norfolk Street, King’s Lynn.

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Clandestine Cake Club founder to visit Lynn

Clandestine Cake Club-founder Lynn Hill

Clandestine Cake Club-founder Lynn Hill.
Photo: Emily Dennison-Lores

The brains behind a secret cake club is coming to King’s Lynn.

Thousands of baking fanatics have been meeting covertly in hidden locations around the UK with the same simple mission: bake, eat and gossip about cake!

And now the founder of the club, Lynn Hill, will be visiting King’s Lynn to sign copies of her Clandestine Cake Club book.

The event is taking place from 11.30am to 1.30pm on 14th February at Cook to Perfection in the High Street, and yes there will be cake! Members will be bringing along cakes with a Valentine’s theme.

“In 2010, I created the Secret Tea Room & Clandestine Cake Club and in 2011 National Cake Week,” said Lynn.

“I’m passionate about bringing people together where baking is at the heart of this. Meeting in secret and clandestine locations add mystique to the occasion and incorporating Themes at Clandestine Cake Club events add an element of adventure and experimentation when baking a cake.”

The Clandestine Cake Club now has over 6,000 registered members, and over 8,000 Twitter followers and Facebook fans. There are 150 Clandestine Cake Clubs predominately in the UK with clubs in Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and even the Cayman Islands. It has featured in many national publications and appeared on BBC’s The One Show.

Clandestine Cake Club book

Clandestine Cake Club book

Melanie Done of Cook to Perfection said “If anyone would like to join the King’s Lynn and West Norfolk CCC and make a cake to bring along to the book launch then they need to contact me to book a place. Otherwise, anyone can attend to meet Lynn and purchase a copy of the CCC Cookbook to be signed.”

Melanie can be contacted on 01553 767575 or by email at cakeclub@cooktoperfection.co.uk

Cook to Perfection is owned by husband and wife team Alastair and Melanie Done. Last year they were winners of The Housewares Innovation Award. A wide range of kitchenware and sugarcraft is stocked, as well as offering cake tin and stand hire and a knife sharpening service. Brands at Cook to Perfection include Emma Bridgewater, Cath Kidston, GreenPan, SodaStream, Le Creuset, and Polie Pottery.

www.cooktoperfection.co.uk

www.clandestinecakeclub.co.uk

The King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Clandestine Cake Club at The Winch Pub 22nd January 2013

The King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Clandestine Cake Club at The Winch Pub 22nd January 2013

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Spotlight on Local People … Graham Ashby

We ask a local personality a set of probing questions …

Graham Ashby

We spoke to Lynn man Graham Ashby, who decided to take up writing and poetry after his career in boxing.

Were you brought up in King’s Lynn?

Yes, I certainly was ‘Made in King’s Lynn’, and lived all my life here. I was born in Heacham, but I’ve mostly lived in the centre of Lynn. My mother died when I was 3 years old, but by the time I was 6 I was put into a foster home with my brother.

How would you describe yourself?

Pleasant, out-going. I try to get on with everybody. I’m a bit of a ‘people watcher’. I don’t expect anything from anybody, except to be decent and gracious to me and other people as well. I don’t like liars and cheets.

What job do you do?

I clean at a well-known refrigeration factory. I’ve cleaned all my life, and I suppose I’m quite good at it now! I’ve done everything in my time from land work to painting, building and factory work.

Who or what inspired you to take up poetry?

After finishing with boxing there was a big void in my life so I tried other sports. I didn’t get on with Rugby, it hurt too much! I enjoyed football and badminton but there was still that void.

When you are boxing you’ve got the crowd chanting your name, and that’s a big thing. I was Norfolk champion, and fought all around the country and in Germany and Wales. I was totally dedicated, did lots of training, and I must have been one of the fittest in boxing.

I’ve written stories all of my life. I tried poetry when I was a teenager but that wasn’t for me then, maybe because I lacked the life experience.

I tried again with the poetry, and that filled that void. you really have to work at poetry, and that’s a fitness of the mind more than anything. I got exactly the same feeling as I used to get out of boxing. Victory when I motored home.

I love to create poetry, and when you have that final work in front of you in the pages of a book, that’s the best feeling ever.

What are your favourite subjects to write about?

I’ve done some on sport, social poems, anti-war poems. 9/11 was horrific, so I did a poem about that which is in my book An Angel In Prayer. That was just normal people going to work and then devastation … out of the blue.

I’ve done quite a few love poems, fantasies more than anything. I like to get lost in poetry, I think people should get lost in poetry and be taken on a journey, because poetry is a wonderful craft.

Graham Ashby - An Angel In Prayer

Have you had much of your work published?

I’ve had a book published by United Press called An Angel In Prayer, and I’ve had about twenty anthologies printed as well. There is a varied audience for poetry. There was one time when I was in the local pub, and the barmaids said “give us a poem Graham” so I would write a little love poem down for them. The bar ladies loved it!

You’re in the middle of writing a story?

It’s called the Black Shuck, and it’s to do with the folklore tale of the Devil’s dog. I heard about it through my ex-wife’s family and found it really interesting.

The thing that I found fascinating is that there’s also a White Shuck, which is a good dog that protects you for the rest of your life from the Black Shuck.
So I’ve constructed this story about a normal person who has dreams, and they get so vivid he doesn’t know whether he is living the dream or it’s just an ordinary dream. You go through this series of escapades where the Black Shuck catches up to him. It’s very hard work to keep the story rolling, as it’s all in poetry and rhyme.

It’s a love story more than anything, and I don’t know how it will end yet. I’ve done a few endings and I’ve just got to figure out the best one. It’s going to be a short story with no names or places mentioned. The person is a good person but he finds himself involved in this nightmare.

Illustration of Black Shuck from Mysteries of the Unknown (Usbourne 1977)

Illustration of Black Shuck from Mysteries of the Unknown (Usbourne 1977)

Have you got plans to write more poems and books?

Yes, I would like to do a book of love poems

What’s your favourite place in Norfolk?

My armchair! Or my bed after a hard day at work. I like anywhere by the sea. You can’t beat Hunstanton on a really hot day. It’s good for your soul to inhale all that fresh air!

What type of music do you like?

Anything from Abba to Mozart. I didn’t like much of the punk stuff from the late 70s. The Doors were brilliant musicians. Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, Kaiser Chiefs. I enjoy doing karaoke.

Favourite song or piece of music?

There’s a film called Play Misty for Me. One of my favourite songs is The First time ever I saw your face by Roberta Flack. It’s a ballad that’s so haunting. It goes right through your soul.

Favourite book?
The Chinaman is a very clevely written book by Stephen Leather. The Phoenix Assault by John Kerrigan. Rupert Bear books are among my favourites. It’s like travelling into a different world. I like nothing better than the smell of a brand new book, and then reading from cover to cover.

Favourite film?

The Italian Job is a classic. One of the best we’ve ever made. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, because it had a lot of humour in it as well. James Bond films.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I would love to do writing as a living, and provide a good future for my son.

What vegetable are you?

A carrot! Because it’s straight like I am. I try and be honest. If you haven’t got your morals and your principles I don’t think you’ve got anything

If you could be someone famous who would you be?

I think I’d be Superman. he is my hero. A gallant person with the right heart and right ideas. I’d also like to be Horatio Nelson, because he was relentless in his idea of what we stand for. He was the first person to coin the phrase “Our band of Brothers”. He was fair to all of his crew.

What superpower would you choose?

I would love to fly like Superman.

What things would you like to be remembered for?

Being a good father, bringin up my son as best I can and giving him unconditional love.

Where can people buy your book?

The book is £5.95 and you can get them directly from me. Some of the poems in there are from the Black Shuck. The sales have gone very well, and I’ve not had a complaint about it yet!

You can contact Graham on 07502 392900.

To read some of Graham’s poems CLICK HERE.

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Bob’s new book brings back Lynn memories

Bob Booth at the book signing in Waterstones. Photo: Alan T Shearer.

Bob Booth at the book signing in Waterstones. Photo: Alan T Shearer.

A new book by local historian Bob Booth, More Memories of Lynn, has been flying off the shelves of local bookstores.

The latest in his series of books contains over 200 photographs taken in King’s Lynn from around 1945 through the 1950s, 1960s and up to the late 1970s. The most recent photo taken in 1991.

There are photographs of the main shopping and other streets along with pictures of various school groups, the railway, waterfront and many groups of people at work and play.

Bob told us, “This book should be of interest to local people who have lived in Lynn for most of their lives. It will bring back lots of memories and nostalgia.”

Bob began working as a teacher at the college in King’s Lynn known locally as ‘The Tec’. He spent 11 happy years teaching chemistry there before he began to work full-time in ‘Bayes’ – the well known record shop in the town which he owned along with his wife Janet.

Writing and publishing his books came about more by accident than design, after a friend lent him some wonderful photographs of the old yards in King’s Lynn taken in the 1930s. Certain there would be many other people with local connections, that shared his interest and love for the town and it’s history, he started putting together the first of a series of books.

You can find out more about Bob and his books on his website at trickysampublishing.co.uk

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We meet ‘Samphire Coast’ author Robert Greenfield

Robert Greenfield and his whippet Barnaby.

Robert Greenfield and his dog Barnaby. Photo: Alan T Shearer

Author Robert Greenfield was recently in town to sign copies of his hilarious book “Samphire Coast”. The book is the true story of when virgin hotelier Robert and his partner decided to up sticks and open a boutique hotel in North Norfolk with little more than a whippet and a campervan.

Robert Greenfield’s debut book is a fast-paced, fun-packed, often racy, read of life behind the scenes of a top-class B and B set against a fascinating Norfolk background.

We met the very likeable Robert and his whippet in Waterstones:

Robert described his friendly 11-year-old whippet Barnaby as “a gentleman and a hippy.”

“That’s him on the book cover. A local artist drew it for me.

“I’ve had a lot of reaction to your King’s Lynn Online article The whippet, the campervan and the fashion designer. Thank you, it was very good!

“The book seems to be making quite an impact. I’ve been interviewed by Stephen Bumfrey on Radio Norfolk, this is my fourth Waterstones signing and the Tourist Board have been very much behind it.

“I’ve done readings and signings at the Holt Festival and Wells Carnival, and I’ve got the Cromer Carnival coming up.

“I’m finding it hard to get coverage in the national press. They are very snobbish, and more interested in the big famous names, but it’s amazing how you can spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.

“I’ve had about 40 five-star reviews on Amazon, which is more than a lot of well-known authors get, and it’s selling very well on there.

Robert has already started his second book.

“It’s a sequel to the first book but with more fiction than truth. It’s a very exciting but much darker story with a murder involved. I kind of let rip with this one!

Visit our Book Store
Waterstones

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The whippet, the campervan and the fashion designer

Samphire Coast

Waterstones King’s Lynn will be welcoming author Robert Greenfield on Saturday 4 August to sign copies of his hilarious book that’s already had them hooting in Holt and bellowing in the Burnhams.

When virgin hotelier Robert Greenfield and his partner decided to up sticks to open a boutique hotel in North Norfolk with little more than a whippet and a campervan nobody could have accused them of not having a sense of humour.

His book Samphire Coast will have you packing your bags and heading for the uber-hip North Norfolk coast. A beautifully written and daringly candid account of both the lighter and darker side of a much-publicised unique boutique B&B Robert Greenfield is a former international fashion designer with a staggering flair for interior design.

“North Norfolk is brilliant for family holidays,” says Waterstones manager Val Browning. “Robert’s unique and hilarious stamp on the area is a superb read, and an excellent advert for some of the sunniest parts of England. It’ll be great to have him here.”

Robert arrives at Waterstones King’s Lynn at noon.

Visit our Book Store
Waterstones

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Story Lab inspiring children to read in their holidays

storylab-logo

It’s not just our Olympic athletes going for gold this summer …

Thousands of families from across Norfolk will be taking part in the UK’s biggest free reading event for children: the Summer Reading Challenge.

Children of all ages and reading abilities can take part at their local library by reading 6 books collecting bronze, silver and gold stickers – as well as their very own medal.

The 2012 theme is Story Lab, a magical celebration of story and the imagination which is linked to the 2012 Olympics and the London 2012 Festival.

Children can choose any books they like: fact books, story books, joke books or picture books. Audio books and e-books count as well, so long as they borrow them from a library.

Parents and carers love the Summer Reading Challenge because children discover the joy of reading – and children love it because it’s lots of fun.

To sign up, just head to your local library at the beginning of the summer holidays. It’s completely free – and every child who joins will receive a Story Lab pack.

Look out for more details in the library, including special Story Lab themed events. For library opening times visit: www.norfolk.gov.uk/libraries

The official Story Lab website has now gone live at: story-lab.org.uk

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Weird author in Lynn

Jen Campbell

Jen Campbell

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops has been in the bestseller charts for several weeks. Now its author is making a rare Norfolk appearance to sign copies at Waterstones King’s Lynn on Saturday 9 June.

Jen Campbell grew up near Newcastle, graduated from Edinburgh University and now lives in north London where she works in an antiquarian bookshop. She’s a published poet and short story writer. Her first poetry collection, ‘The Hungry Ghost Festival’ will be published later this year.

Weird Things started life as a blog, its author eavesdropping and joining in some the oddest conversations she’s ever had. “Do you have any books by Jane Eyre?” is one of her personal favourites, together with a chat with someone convinced that if they were in an antiquarian bookshop then they really should be able to browse books about fish.

The surreal, the bizarre, the quaint: it’s all in Jen’s book. But be careful what you say as you pump flesh; your words could well be the stars of her next book.

Jen Campbell arrives at Waterstones Norfolk Street at 11am.

jen-campbell.blogspot.co.uk

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Award winning crime writer in town

Elly Griffths at Waterstones in King's Lynn

Elly Griffths at Waterstones in King's Lynn. Photo: Alan T Shearer

Award winning crime writer Elly Griffiths was in town on Saturday signing copies of her book A Room Full of Bones, out for the first time in paperback.

Elly was inspired to write about Norfolk when her archaeologist husband told her about Seahenge and how prehistoric man had seen marshland as a sacred place.

“The entire plot for The Crossing Places [her first book] came to me in that instant,” she says. Her latest book A Room Full of Bones is set in King’s Lynn itself, in the entirely fictional Smith Museum.

“King’s Lynn Museum is fabulous,” she says, “too fabulous for my purposes. I needed to invent a rundown, backstreet museum where no-one ever visited. I was a little spooked though when I found out that the curator of the real life museum is called Mr Bones!”

Elly says that she loves writing about Norfolk and King’s Lynn in particular because there is so much history that she will never run out of plots. Her next book, though, will take her heroine Ruth up to Lancashire to investigate a death that turns out to be linked to the Pendle witches.

“But the book after that will be set firmly in Norfolk,” she says.

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