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So Much To Celebrate

Not only was it World book Day yesterday but today is International Women's Day!

It was my absolute pleasure to join St Jospeh's Primary School in Carterton in their morning assembly to talk about the joy books give to us. They had themed their WBD celebrations around the works of Julia Donaldson and there were lots of Witches, Tabby McTats and Stick Men to admire! i was particularly impressed by a ZOG with wings painted on cardboard and we even had a little blue Smoo! I then got to read my favourite Julia book, Room On The Broom to Year 1 and we delighted in the line "Whoosh They Were Gone".

Today it was the turn of Southrop Primary School who brought a minibus of children from all year groups to select some books from our shelves to take back to their library. It was so wonderful to have the Madhatter Bookshop full of young people all chattering about their favourite stories.

Talking to children about the joy of reading is one of the finest perks of owning a bookshop!

Today is International Women's Day, a celebration close to my heart! To honour this day I thought I would share the recently announced longlist for The Women's Prize For Fiction. Our society can only be enriched by creating equitable opportunities for women in the world of books and beyond.

Last years winner was Barbara Kingsolver for her book, Demon Copperhead, making her the first author to win the prize twice in its 28 year history. It follows the title character as he navigates foster care, labour exploitation, addiction and more in a culture that neglects rural communities.

Barbara previously won the prize in 2010 for The Lacuna. She was also shortlisted in 2013 for Flight Behaviour. The Women’s prize, worth £30,000, is awarded for the best full-length novel of the year written by a woman and published in the UK.

Here is the longlist for 2024

Hangman by Maya Binyam

In Defence of The Act by Effie Black

And Then She Fell by Alicia Elliott

The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright

The Maiden by Kate Foster

Brotherless Night by V.V. Ganeshananthan

Restless Dolly Maunder by Kate Grenville

Enter Ghost by Isabella Hammad

Soilder Sailor by Claire Kilroy

8 Lives of A Century-Old Trickster by Mirinae Lee

The Blue, Beautiful World by Karen Lord

Western Lane by Chetna Maroo

Nightbloom by Peace Adzo Medie

Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan

River East, River West by Aube Rey Lescure

A Trace of Sun by Pam Williams

These 16 books celebrate the power of individuality with each one showcasing a unique writing style, subject and theme. As you dive into these varied landscapes you will cross continents, jump through time and fall in love with reading all over again. More than half the list is made up of debut authors giving you the chance to meet some brand new writers alongside some notable familiar faces. We can’t wait for you to get stuck in and tell us which ones you are going to read first.

Wherever you are we wish you joy and peace as we celebrate women all over the world.

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