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October 27, 2021

Hannah Kirsop grew up in Kent and now lives in Horsmonden with her family. She loves to read and share recommendations and runs the Bainden Book Club for a group of local women to discuss interesting fiction and non-fiction in a range of genres.

You can find www.baindenbookshelf.com online or on Instagram: @baindenbookshelf

AGING BEAUTY & TRAUMA

Betty by Tiffany McDaniel (published by W&N, priced at £ 8.99)

Betty is a beautiful and heartbreaking account of the childhood of the author’s mother. Born in a bath in 1954 as one of eight children to a white mother and a Cherokee father, Betty’s upbringing is far from conventional and the loss, trauma and emotional responsibility she owes. supporter are way too much for a busy life, let alone a child’s first 18 years.

All is not darkness however, and light, hope, and (as his father, Landon, probably would say) the enrichment of his soul are abundantly offered by his lovely father himself, a shining gem in this filled book. a lot of sadness. This book is sometimes very difficult to read, but it is filled with beautiful writings about a family – in many ways the story resonates with its descriptions of their magical life and the otherworld of their existence, but it is nonetheless. founded and rooted by many hardships, no less the harsh real-life realities for Betty as a mixed race girl growing up in America. A brilliant book… but be prepared for a difficult read.

COLD WARS

Ben Macintyre’s Agent Sonya (published by Penguin, priced at £ 8.99)

Agent Sonya is the latest of Ben Macintyre’s acclaimed spy stories during WWII and the Cold War, and he has good reason to be one of his best. Telling the story of Ursula Kuczynski who, as Agent Sonya, became one of the most decorated and influential Soviet spies, the story goes from Weimar-era Berlin – where Ursula was born in a Jewish family – to China, wartime Switzerland, rural Oxfordshire before ending up in East Berlin where Kuczynski experienced his drivel as a decorated revolutionary agent and prolific children’s author (described as Enid Blyton from East Germany). As with all of her books, Macintyre paints a particularly vivid picture of her protagonist – including the tension she felt between raising her three children and her commitment to the Communist cause – and uses recently published Stasi and MI5 archives. to document an extraordinary life and the times in which she lived.

WAR WARS

The Legend of Podkin OneEar by Kieran Larwood (published by Faber & Faber, priced at £ 6.99)

Podkin, his older sister, Paz, and younger brother, Pook, live idyllic lives in their warren as children of the Rabbit Warrior Chief.

For Podkin, the responsibility of ever being in charge seems a long way off… until the Gorms, a terrifying bunch of evil rabbits, attack and Podkin’s father is killed while defending their warren. Podkin, Paz, and Pook escape but the Gorms are in pursuit, hunting down Podkin and his famous dagger that can cut anything but iron.

Told by a traveling bard on Bramblemass Eve to a group of captivated young rabbits, the momentum and drama of the action-packed story is heightened by their requests for additional information as they and we, as readers, are hooked up to see if the Gorm are defeated and exactly what happened to Podkin’s ear. Pitch for readers aged 9 to 11.

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