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November Book Club by Camilla Leask

Camilla Leask, our brilliant Book Club guru, gives us her top picks for November!

Freelance books publicist and mum of two, Camilla has worked predominantly with children’s authors for 14 years. There’s nothing she doesn’t know about books, hot off the press new releases and what our members and their families will enjoy reading.


A Promised Land

A PROMISED LAND, First Volume of Barack Obama’s Presidential Memoirs, Viking, HB £35

Demand for the memoir of the 44th US president, Barak Obama has met expectations as the former president provides a deeply personal account of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world. How a young political hopeful becomes the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change”. Expect singular insights into U.S. politics and international diplomacy, with personal analysis of how Obama assembled his cabinet, wrestled with a global financial crisis, examined world leaders, clashed with US generals over Afghanistan, responded to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and sanctioned the operation that led to Osama bin Laden’s death.

Shuggie Bain: Winner of the Booker Prize 2020

SHUGGIE BAIN by Douglas Stuart (Pan Macmillan, HB £14.99)

Just announced as winner of this year’s Booker Prize in an unanimous decision by the judging panel, Shuggie Bain is the debut novel from Douglas Stuart, about a different sort of boy trying to support his mother as she struggles with addiction and poverty.

It is 1981 in Glasgow where the ambitious, fussy young Shuggie Bain is striving for a better life than the decimated town his family finds itself in. His mum Agnes also dreams of greater things but then her adulterous husband ups and leaves. Agnes turns to drink and in spite of their attempts to help her, Shuggie’s two siblings realise that to survive, they must abandon their mum.  Only Shuggie clings on to hope – he’s shares his mum’s sense of entitlement, sparking the condemnation of mining families around them.  Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest to be normal, he can help his mother escape crippling poverty and addiction.


FASHION CONSCIOUS by Sarah Klymkiw and Kim Hankinson (Egmont, £7.99))

This new book aims to empower readers to take action against the devastating impact of fast fashion. Did you know a simple white T-shirt is likely to have passed through at least 100 human hands before we’ve even tried it on? And that a pair of lycra shorts takes 200 years to decompose

Packed with helpful advice on how to wear, repair and care for the clothes in your cupboard, how to shop ethically and how and where to buy second-hand, this book is a great guide for anyone wanting to be more sustainably stylish. The book’s manifesto on the final pages will help us all dress ethically without costing the earth.


NUMBER 10 by CJ Daughtery (Moonflower Books, £9.99)

This gripping new thriller from the bestselling author of the Night School series and The Echo Killing is told from the perspective of 16-year old Gray Langtry, who just wants to lead a normal teenage life. But when your mum’s the newly elected prime minister normal life doesn’t come easily.

After being photographed drunk outside a London nightclub, Gray is grounded and given new bodyguards – younger, cooler and harder to fool, including Julia, who tells Gray that a new terrorist organisation is out to kill her and her mother. But that’s as much information as Gray is given. Creeping through dark government halls late one night, Gray overhears a terrifying conversation. The situation is much worse than even her mother’s security team suspects but who will believe the prime minister’s wild child daughter? Only Jake McIntyre can truly appreciate her situation. But can she trust the son of her mother’s political enemy?


O Ickabog

THE ICKABOG by JK Rowling (Little, Brown books for Young Readers, HB £20)

JK Rowling began writing The Ickabog years ago when her children were little, consigning it to the attic to focus on writing for an older audience. Then Covid struck, and children were forced into house-arrest compelling Rowling to retrieve the manuscript and finish this glorious fairy tale.

The Kingdom of Cornucopia was once the happiest and most bountiful in the world where nobody goes hungry. Ruled by an ostensibly beloved king with a penchant for finery and frippery, Cornucopia’s only downside is the monstrous, mythical Ickabog which stalks the misty Marshlands of the north, home to ‘an odd bunch – surly, dirty and ill-tempered’.

Smarting from being called selfish, vain and cruel by young Daisy Dovetail, King Fred sets off to hunt down The Ickabog, flanked by the grotesque, sycophantic, manipulative Lords Flapoon and Spittleworth. What happens next threatens to bring this once-bountiful kingdom to its knees. Can two brave orphans, thrust into an unexpected adventure, save Cornucopia from self-destruction?

Satire and hope permeate this genius fairy tale from one of our greatest storytellers. Aimed at 7-11 year olds, this book will delight readers of all ages.


The Adventures of Parsley the Lion: An illustrated storybook collection for all the family, from the creator of Paddington...THE ADVENTURES OF PARSLEY THE LION by Paddington creator Michael Bond THE BOOK OF HOPES, (Bloomsbury Children’s Books (HB £12.99))

In this new gift collection of short stories, Michael Bond’s Parsley the Lion gets a thoroughly cheerful makeover from Rob Biddulph, whose #DrawwithRob YouTube videos became a lockdown phenomenon.

Like Bond’s best-loved Paddington Bear, the Parsley stories are charming, nostalgic and funny.  Biddulph’s illustrations give a nod to their ‘70s origins, namely The Magic Roundabout, making these stories as lovely to look at as they are to read aloud.


Camilla Leask has worked with literary giants including Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate 2019-2022 Cressida Cowell, the late Michael Bond and Paddington Bear, Enid Blyton Entertainment and the Narnia Estate among many others.

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