Time to Read Blog

Crime Reading Month in May 2018

Posted Thursday 19 April 2018 by Ian Anstice in Latest Libraries News


National Crime Reading Month is a unique literary festival, held throughout the UK, which promotes the crime genre, both fiction and non fiction. NCRM is designed to bring together writers and readers in order to promote the genre as a whole and writers specifically. We work with venues across the UK, libraries and independent bookshops, to arrange events which include  talks, lectures, guided tours, book signings and panel events.

In the North West, we have the following:

Rebecca Fleet

Rebecca Fleet. Exciting debut crime writer Rebecca Fleet will be talking about her explosive new thriller ‘The House Swap’. Bolton, 4th May.

Rachel Abbott Sharon BoltonRachel Abbott and Sharon Bolton. Award winning crime writers Rachel Abbott and Sharon Bolton will be talking about their thrilling new books. Bolton, 8th May.

Chris SimmsChris Simms - Chris will be speaking about his latest novel in the Jon Spicer series "Death Games". Bredbury, 9th May.

Tall thin photo of writer dessed as detective holding a gunZoe Sharp - Bestselling author Zoe Sharp, writer of the bestselling Charlie Fox series, described as a female version of Jack Reacher. 10th May, Ellesmere Port.

99 Reasons to join Elisabeth Carpenter for Brunch. In conversation over brunch Elisabeth will be sharing her journey to publishing success and perhaps revealing some of those local places that she likes to use as settings in her novels. Blackpool Palatine Library, 16th May.

Love Like Blood – Mark Billingham. Crime Writer Mark Billingham will be discussing the 14th book in his Tom Thorne series with Head of Blackpool Libraries Mark McCree.  Tackling the difficult and emotive subject of honour killings in the UK this shocking and topical thriller has received much critical acclaim. Blackppol, 16th May.

DeaverCaroline England. Caroline is a former divorce lawyer, now a full time author. Her debut novel Beneath the Skin, a beautifully written dark psychological thriller, was published last year. Coppice Avenue, Sale, 21st May.

Jeffery Deaver. Number one bestselling author and ultimate thriller writer Jeffery Deaver is in the UK for a limited time to talk about his brand new Lincoln Rhyme investigation and you can catch him in person at Storyhouse. Chester, 23rd May.


Posted Tuesday 17 April 2018 by Ian Anstice in Latest Libraries News

Wordpool 2018Amazingly this is Wordpool’s twelfth year! Twelve years and eighteen festivals, hundreds of amazing writers, artists, poets, musicians and performers sharing the power of words with our audiences of all ages. 2018 promises to be yet another fantastic year.

Mark BillinghamWe’ll be reflecting the mood of the nation and sharing the romance of Royal Wedding week with an evening of bestselling romantic fiction from authors Carole Matthews and Fiona Walker. Our guest authors’ journeys to fiction often surprise us and actor, TV writer and comedian Mark Billingham is no exception. If he doesn’t mention playing Gary the guard in TV’s cult children’s series Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, we will!

Darren McGarvey aka Scottish rapper, Loki will be challenging our young audiences at Blackpool 6th Form College with his wise and witty manifesto for change, Poverty Safari.

Death in the seaWe’re always excited to be able to showcase new talent and 2018 publishing sensations C J Tudor and Nick Clark Windo are creating quite a buzz at Wordpool HQ.

Independent Publishing is transforming the literary world and we’re delighted to be working with CommaPress and BlueMoose Books to bring you events and writing projects focussed on the short story form.

This is the last year of our two year development programme funded through Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants, we thank them for their support.

It’s going to be a good one…come along and join us

"The sun may well be shouting": Sexing the Cherry reviewed

Posted Tuesday 17 April 2018 by Writing Squad in Writing Squad Reviews

Sexing the CherrySexing the Cherry is one of the most extraordinary books I know. In revisiting it, I was struck by how much of it was still lodged beneath my skin. Ideas about life, language, time and gender that I thought were my own all lie here. Barely a page goes by without some revelation or immediately recognisable truth that has both never crossed your mind before, and yet somehow you have always known.

The plot (of which there isn’t much) follows a giantess and her adopted son, whose adventures begin in 17th Century London and stretch to the farthest flung corners of the imagination. To describe it as Magical Realism feels both accurate and somehow lacking. This is a magic book, and Winterson conjures through language. Words are slippery; what seemingly begins as metaphor can talk itself into actuality. Take a line like:

“We saw the sun rising over the water, and the light got louder and louder until we were shouting to make ourselves heard.”

"In another’s hand this is just poetry, but in this world the sun may well be shouting."

In another’s hand this is just poetry, but in this world the sun may well be shouting. Over the page words even take physical form:

“Words, rising up, form a thick cloud over the city, which every so often must be thoroughly cleansed of too much language. Men and women in balloons fly up from the main square and, armed with mops and scrubbing brushes, do battle with the canopy of words trapped under the sun.”

Winterson has also thoroughly cleansed her book of too much language: my paperback runs to a scant 144 pages, she writes with the punch and economy of a fairytale. Closer in some ways to poetry than prose, these are plain words well chosen, and it’s this matter-of-fact approach to the fantastical that makes it so extraordinary.

"she writes with the punch and economy of a fairytale"

Sexing the Cherry is not entirely flawless; there are a few sections in the latter half where story surrenders entirely to philosophy, and though Winterson’s tender portrayal of lesbian relationships is second to none, some of her righteous (and arguably vital) misandry has the unfortunate effect of presenting male homosexuality as shorthand for stupidity or corruption. That said, I can think of no other book so stuffed with magic, beauty and original thought. Disappear into it, and emerge ready for fresh adventures.


Chris BushChris is a Sheffield-born playwright, lyricist and theatre-maker. She has been a resident artist for Sheffield Theatres, the Oxford Playhouse and the National Theatre Studio, and a member of the Orange Tree Theatre’s Writers’ Collective.

Past work includes A Declaration from the People (National Theatre), What We  Wished For, A Dream, The Sheffield Mysteries (Sheffield Theatres), Larksong (New Vic Theatre), Cards on the Table (Royal Exchange, Manchester), ODD(Royal & Derngate: concert performance), Sleight & Hand(Summerhall/BBC Arts), TONY! The Blair Musical (York Theatre Royal/Tour), Poking the Bear (Theatre503), The Bureau of Lost Things (Theatre503/Rose Bruford) and Wolf(National Theatre Studio: reading). She specializes in musicals, large-scale community work and political theatre that isn’t rubbish.

Chris has won the National Young Playwrights’ Festival, a Brit Writers’ Award, the Perfect Pitch Award, two Spotlight Emerging Artists’ Awards and a Kevin Spacey Foundation Artist of Choice Award. She also teaches playwriting for the National Theatre, and is a visiting practitioner at the University of York.

Chris’ new musical The Assassination of Katie Hopkins opens at Theatr Clwyd on 20th April

Knowsley Crime Fiction

Posted Wednesday 11 April 2018 by Ian Anstice in Latest Libraries News

Knowsley Libraries are hosting some great crime writers this month. As soon as the police release them from this line-up that is.

Four authorsSarah Dunnakey
Friday 20 April 2018
Kirkby Library 11am...
Brought to you by Read Regional 2018
Winner of a Northern Writers Award and one of this year’s Read
Regional authors, Sarah Dunnakey will talk about her debut novel ‘TheCompanion’ and the starting point for her story of buried secrets, set between the 1930s and the present day, on the wild Yorkshire moors.

Martin Edwards
Friday 20 April 2018
Huyton Library 2pm
Martin Edwards is an award-winning author of more than 60 short crime stories. He’s also written a series of novels set in Liverpool about the lawyer Harry Devlin and seven books featuring Detective Inspector Hannah Scarlett and historian Daniel Kind set in the beautiful Lake District. Martin will give a fascinating talk about his career as a crime writer, inspired by his love of vintage detective fiction.

Four authorsA A Dhand
Monday 23 April 2018
Halewood Library 11am
Brought to you by Read Regional 2018
‘Girl Zero’ is a tense, forty-eight hours in the life of “DI Harry Virdee”, and the follow-up novel to the best-selling Bradford-based debut, ‘Streets of Darkness’. Raised in Bradford Amit Dhand will talk about how the city has inspired his writing and become an integral part of his fiction.

Ian Marsh
Tuesday 24 April 2018
Prescot Library 2pm
Dr Ian Marsh, from Prescot, has been a university lecturer for many years and has taught, researched and written widely on crime and criminal justice. ‘Gemma Makes her Mark’ is his second fiction book - following on from ‘Murderer: On Your Mark’, published in 2015.

Events are free but places are limited so book yours now by contacting your local library.


North West Libraries

Librarians in the North West have pioneered partnership working to encourage new readers into libraries. Time To Read is a partnership of librarians engaged in reader development activity in public library authorities in the North West Region. 22 public library authorities in the region currently support Time To Read.

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