The Aldeburgh Bookshop, 42 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk IP15 5AB.  01728 452389 johnandmary@aldeburghbookshop.co.uk 





The Aldeburgh Bookshop Book Club and Spring Events 2017
Aldeburgh Bookshop Forthcoming Events

Friday 5th May at midday
Moira Bennett, Change of Key

In her early fifties, Moira Bennett was widowed with a school-age son and in need of a job. With virtually no previous working experience but full of energy and determination, she found herself working at the Britten-Pears School at Snape,   Her gift for arts administration - understanding the needs of performers and audiences - was soon to become highly valued at Aldeburgh.  Now in her early nineties, Moira Bennett has written an extraordinary autobiography, casting an astute eye over her childhood and adolescence in South Africa, the impact of the Second World War and the Apartheid years on the country, and her second, 'unexpected', life in the arts.

Saturday 27th May at 6 pm
Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Peculiar Ground

Prize-winning biographer, Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of The Pike which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, has now written her first novel, set on the Wychwood estate in the 17th and 20th century.  'Peculiar Ground is so clever and beautifully written, it gripped me from start to end. I abandoned work and family to finish it.’ Roddy Doyle.

Saturday 3rd June at 6 pm
Lois Austen-Leigh, The Incredible Crime

This crime novel by the granddaughter of Jane Austen’s nephew – supposedly written on the very desk used by her illustrious ancestor – has been shrouded in mystery since it fell out of print.  Now the British Library is re-issuing The Incredible Crime, hailed as “the very essence of mystery” when it was first published in 1931 as part of the library’s Crime Classics series.  What is of even more local interest is that Lois Austen-Leigh lived in Aldeburgh and the novel is set partly in Cambridge and partly in Suffolk.

Monday 12th June at 1 pm at The Jubilee Hall
Salley Vickers, Cousins

Salley Vickers will be signing copies of her newly published paperback, Cousins, at the end of the Study Morning on A Midsummer Night's Dream hosted by the Britten-Pears Foundation at the Jubilee Hall. Told through the eyes of three women close to Will, his sister, his grandmother and his aunt, the novel takes us from the outbreak of World War Two to the present day, exploring the recurrence of tragedy, the nature of trangression, and the limits of morality and love.


The Aldeburgh Bookshop Book Club meets at 6 pm on the first Monday of the month.  All welcome.

Monday 1st May 2017

Morning Sea by Margaret Mazzantini.  
When the Water is Safer than the Land.  As Gaddafi clings to power in Libya, Farid and his mother Jamila chance their luck on the hazardous crossing to Sicily. But as they hunker down in a trafficker's battered old boat, the vastness of the Mediterranean begins to dawn. Meanwhile, in Sicily, Vito wanders the desolate beaches recalling his mother's stories of her idyllic childhood in Libya.  Moving back and forth between the continents, this deeply moving portrait focuses on two families and one stretch of water, and in terse, lyrical language, captures perfectly the dark, uncertain quality of our times.  Paperback, £6.99 (special Book Club price, reduced from £7.99).

Monday 5th June 2017

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika.
We are thinking of being really dashing and doing a Skype Book Club with novelist Sarah Ladipo Manyika, author of Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun.  Sarah lives in San Francisco and has offered to do this--she's doing a trial one with a Scottish book club next week, so let's see how that goes.

'A fiction about a septuagenarian black woman is almost completely unchartered territory in British literature, marking it out as innovative subject matter. This novel also eschews plot and employs multiple narrators and subtle shifts in points of view to build a portrait of a Nigerian yoga enthusiast who guards and enjoys her independence, even when circumstances conspire otherwise. It is a unique meditation on loneliness, and the desire to live fully into old age.' (Bernardine Evaristo).  The novel was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize last year.




The Aldeburgh Literary Festival



Next year's dates: Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th March 2018



'arguably the most important, high quality and diverse celebration of the written word in the East of England ...'


All over for another year: thank you very much to our fantastic speakers and our loyal audience for the talks, the questions and the conversations.  We will be posting reviews and photos shortly. 

'... a Festival in every sense' (Frances Wilson) 

'The best lit fest of the lot by a mile' (Matt Ridley) 


'I was moved, and interested, and amused' (Jenny Uglow)



The Aldeburgh Bookshop Book Club meets on the first Monday of each month at 6.00 pm in the bookshop.  Everyone is welcome.  See Book Club page for details of forthcoming sessions

We are a traditional independent bookshop situated on the High Street in the fashionable town of Aldeburgh.  The bookshop was founded in 1949 and the current owners, John and Mary James, have run the shop since 2000.  We stock a wide range of history, biography, fiction, travel writing and books on Suffolk, as well as cookery, gardening, natural history and a dedicated children's department.  We operate a booksearch service, and we any of our staff are happy to advise customers.  We can get most books in stock by the following working day, and we post parcels all over the world.

'This great local bookshop is the best place to browse and buy for miles around – and is the epitome what a bookstore should be: well-stocked, welcoming and staffed by people who love books. The owners, John and Mary James, have been just over a decade, and won the 'Independent Bookshop of the Year' and the British Book Awards a few years ago, and the only wonder is that they haven't won it since, not only because their range is wide, well-chosen and beautifully displaye, with a regular churn of new and interesting volumes on tables, but also for the general ambience of the place, and its contribution to the local community - they run a book club once a month on Monday evenings, organise the annual Aldeburgh Literary Festival and even invite their regulars to share their Desert Island Books, which naturally none can resist.'  (www.coolplaces.co.uk).

'The Aldeburgh Bookshop has retained an inviting atmosphere and boasts a fantastic selection that simply makes it an ideal hunting ground for literary treasures - for our whole family, aged 13 to 45.'  (Monica Koch in The Guardian).



Books can be ordered by phone or fax 01728 452389, e-mail johnandmary@aldeburghbookshop.co.uk, or contact us here.

We sell National Book Tokens, and we have our own Aldeburgh Bookshop vouchers.

We also run The Aldeburgh Literary Festival which takes place at the beginning of March.  The dates for next year's Festival are Thursday 2nd to Sunday5th March 2017.


 We stock the most fantastic range of greetings cards, wrapping paper, notebooks, playing cards and other stationery.


The Aldeburgh Bookshop would like to thank Hugh, The Mac Doctor, for his expert advice and help in setting up this website and Shelton Websites for their excellent technical provision.

© Aldeburgh Bookshop    T: +44 (0) 1728 452389    42 High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, IP15 5AB, England    
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