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The Reader Bookshelf 2023/24: Weathering the Storm

Written by Lily Kehoe, 28th April 2023

The Reader Bookshelf is an annual programme of carefully curated literature to support all of our reading-based work and the wider Reading Revolution. It’s a way of forging connections between our supporters, volunteers, staff and readers using a shared constellation of literature. The Bookshelf includes a diverse range of fiction, plays, non-fictional prose, anthologies, poems, and short stories, for readers young and old, all linked by theme that changes annually. The theme for 2023/24 is ‘Weathering the Storm’.

Our world is facing tough times. The cost of living crisis, conflicts around the globe, concerns over climate change and our environment are all things that feel big, frightening and beyond our control.

We’re turning to the books, poems and stories which explore how humans endure stormy times, and we’ve selected 24 titles for adults, children and young people that offer understanding, refuge and space to think through the changeable weather of our lives.

You can buy some of the books from this Bookshelf in our online store or in our Calderstones Bookshop.

Adult’s Bookshelf

Janet’s Repentance by George Eliot
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J Gaines
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
Potiki by Patricia Grace
Small Island Andrea Levy

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiari
Waiting for the Evening News by Tim Gautreaux

Stressed, Unstressed ed. by J. Bate and P. Byrne
This Same Sky: A Collection of Poetry from around the World Naomi Shihab Nye
The Divine Comedy by Dante
A Year with Rilke by Rainer Maria Rilke

King Lear by William Shakespeare


Children’s Bookshelf

Picture Books
Almost Anything by Sophy Henn
Holding On by Sophia N. Lee
Saving the Butterfly by Helen Cooper
Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate
Who Will Comfort Toffle? by Tove Jansson

Junior Fiction
Freedom by Catherine Johnson
Floodlands by Marcus Sedgwick
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Young Adult Fiction
Brock Series by Anthony McGowan
The Crossing by Manjeet Mann

Poetry Collections
Poems to Live Your Life By ed. by Chris Riddell
Courage Out Loud ed. by Joseph Coelho



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