[AD] Discover 5 books by Hampshire authors this February with these recommendations from, Winchester bookshop, P&G Wells.
While we can’t travel I wanted to give you other ways of experiencing Hampshire. I think one of the best ways to do that is through its creators, especially its writers.
Now I’m not the expert in this field so I partnered with one of the best book shops in Hampshire to bring you some local literary joy!
If your lockdown reading has flourished and you’re looking for a new book, there might be one on this list that will take your fancy.
The team at P&G Wells have picked a selection of adult, young adult, fiction, non-fiction, biographies and children’s book recommendations all written by creatives across the county.
It’s hard at the moment to share the best of Hampshire especially travel and food. But a book, well, that can be enjoyed just about anywhere and at any time. A book offers a little escapism and distraction especially in a dark and difficult time.
Normally everything I share on this blog I try to experience myself. My thought behind this way of working is so I can write honestly and only recommend or share things I like. But, I’ve realised in lockdown I can be a little flexible with this self-imposed rule.
I’ve let P&G Wells pick up the mantle here, after all they’re the experts, and they’ve done a magnificent job. While I may not have read these books (yet!) I have shopped at P&G Wells since I was a child. My Mum used to take me to Winchester to do the big summer school shops and books were always firmly on her agenda, and this would be one of our stops.
I can’t wait to return when it’s safe to do so, the shop is in the middle of a renovation and I’m looking forward to visiting to see its new look.
And, in the meantime, let’s enjoy some books by Hampshire authors.
Books by Hampshire Authors
Wow, the team at P&G Wells have picked some cracking books by Hampshire authors for me to share with you. Some are going to whisk you away to another time, introduce you to life as a touring musician or show you a different side to life in lockdown.
Here’s 5 books by Hampshire authors this February.
1. Charles Dickens – My Life, edition by Derwin Hope
Type: Biography (however written in the first person), Paperback
Find out more about author Derwin Hope.
The author Derwin Hope is an ex-Winchester Judge and meticulously went through Dickens 15,000 letters and articles writing the book over 15 years. He even went as far as New York to complete research! And personally, I really like that someone from Portsmouth finished a biography for a man born in Portsmouth, it’s strangely poetic and has some sort of universal karma attached to it – like it was meant to be.
Born in Portsmouth Dickens became a literary giant and icon immortalised in books, songs, television and film.
Charles Dickens started writing his autobiography in the 1840s but shelved it, finding it too painful to relive his childhood.
With the full support of the Dickens estate, researcher Derwin Hope has spent ten years scouring private collections, archives and museums, compiling and editing the writer’s letters, speeches and articles to present this extraordinary life story.
A creative feat of editing, exclusively using Dickens’s own words, and told entirely in the first person.
2. Continental Riff by Isabel Rogers
Type: Adult Fiction, Paperback
Find out more about author Isabel Rogers.
The third title in the Stockwell Park Orchestra series. Other books in the series include ‘Bold as Brass’ and ‘Life, Death and Cellos’.
A continental tour of Europe doesn’t go quite as planned! When Stockwell Park Orchestra goes on tour to Europe, it proves a challenge for even the most efficient German logistical planner.
A teenage stowaway, brass players falling in canals and a sabotaged timpani van are all in a day’s work for Sigrid Bauer of Note Perfect Tours, but even she can’t solve all the problems this week throws at her. Maybe a bit of surprise Bach can calm the muddy Brexit waters. She just has to fish out the musicians first.
3. Winchester Locked Down: Portraits in a Pandemic by Sam Gavins
Type: Non Fiction, Hardback
A professional wedding photographer, Sam Gavins decided to take her camera to the streets of Winchester during the 2020 lockdown. Her book follows the impact that the pandemic had on those in the city through both words and photographs.
4. Flight by Vanessa Harbour
Type: Children’s Fiction (Ages 8-12), Paperback
Find out more about Vanessa Harbour.
Vanessa teaches Writing for Children at University of Winchester. Flight sounds so interesting and I’ve spent a solid half an hour reading about Vanessa since discovering her on this list.
Austria 1945. After losing his family, Jakob shelters with Spanish Riding School groom Herr Engel at a remote country stables where they are hiding the precious Lipizzaner stallions the Nazis wants to steal. When a German officer comes looking for Jakob and finds the horses, Jakob and his guardian know they must get the stallions to safety, but the only way is straight through enemy territory.
Joined by Kizzy, an orphan Roma girl, the three must guide the horses across the perilous Austrian mountains. Will they reach safety, and what will be waiting for them on the other side?
5. A Fox Called Herbert by Margaret Sturton
Type: Children’s Picture Book, Hardback
Find out more about Margaret Sturton.
This book is released in paperback in April 2021 and is something to pre-order if you have children or need a thoughtful gift or pick me up for a friend or family member’s child.
This is Margaret Sturton first picture book. She is an illustrator who studied a BA and MA in Fine Art Sculpture, and then an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art.
Meet Herbert: the rabbit who knows he was born to be a fox. When his mummy isn’t looking, he puts on pointy fox ears, makes himself a bushy tail, and asks his sister to paint him orange, just like a fox. But Mummy doesn’t understand: why can’t he just be a good rabbit? A Fox Called Herbert is a true celebration of being ourselves and supporting our loved ones.
Let this joyful tale inspire you to be who you are and follow your dreams.
About P&G Wells
11 College Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LZ.
P&G Wells has an extensive book selling history having been in Kingsgate Village since 1729. The book shop has had several famous shoppers, including Jane Austen who spent the last months of life in a house just two doors down. Poet John Keble and novelist Charlotte Mary Yonge are another two notable names that frequented the shop. As far as book shops go, that’s pretty iconic!
February’s 5 books by Hampshire authors
What an incredibly different way to explore the county, I really hope you enjoyed this post.
Hampshire really does have some brilliant creatives, and I’ve added some of the books to my reading list. These books by Hampshire authors have also given me some great ideas for gifts.
A big thank you to the wonderful team at P&G Wells who carefully curated this selection of books by Hampshire authors. We’re hoping to work together on a couple more posts to give you some book suggestions over the next three months to keep you going through lock down.
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