Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising

Category Archives: Books & Writing

Aber Writing Fest

April 2016 will see the launch of a new event for Abergavenny: the Aber Writing Fest. Event founder and organiser Lucie Parkin is aiming to provide an eclectic range of events for all age groups and tastes. The event is designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in writing and words, whether professional or […]

Book Review: ‘What A Way to Go’ by Julia Forster

1988. 12-year-old Harper Richardson’s parents are divorced. Her mum got custody of her, the Mini, and five hundred tins of baked beans. Her dad got a mouldering cottage in a Midlands backwater village and default membership of the Lone Rangers single parents’ club. Harper got questionable dress sense, a zest for life, two gerbils, and […]

Book Review: A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gayle

This novel by Patrick Gayle has been recommended by a multitude of sources. Not only has it been shortlisted for the 2015 Costa book of the year awards, but it was also picked for the BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Book Club and the Waterstones Book Club. Harry Crane is born into a life of […]

Library challenge helps develop passion for reading

Monmouthshire Chairman Cllr Brian Strong presents Emily Agutter with her Reading Challenge prize at the Usk Community Hub

Children from across Monmouthshire have taken part in a fun challenge designed to encourage them to pick up and appreciate a book with the help of local libraries. Organised by the Reading Agency, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge teamed up with Guinness World Records to establish a Record Breakers-themed competition. The aim was for children […]

Book Review: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A great family story, this covers American life from the Depression to the present time. Red and Abby are the two main protagonists together with their children. Denny is perhaps the most interesting member of the family. Intensely private, guarded, sometimes he disappears from their lives, then reappears with a daughter, Susan. His wife doesn’t […]

Read with Chatterbooks at Brecon and Ystradgynlais Libraries!

Brecon and Ystradgynlais are the latest libraries to join forces with the Reading Agency and set up their own Chatterbooks reading groups for ages 8-10 year olds in their local areas. The reading group allows children to ‘develop their love and enjoyment of reading’, building on this as an effective way of encouraging children to […]

‘Gorsky’ by Vesna Goldsworthy

A captivating tale of big money, Russian beauty and good books. A bold and brilliant re-rendering of F. Scott. Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Vesna Goldsworthy plays out the class and caste tensions of Fitzgerald’s East Coast versus West Coast classic, but set among London’s new immigrants of Russian Nouveau Riche. Born out of the ashes […]

‘In My House’ by Alex Hourston

Maggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’ Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a […]

‘Something to Hide’ by Deborah Moggach

A warm, witty and wise novel about the unexpected twists that later life can bring, from the hugely popular author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Tulip Fever. Everybody has something to hide, but while some secrets are mildly embarrassing, others are shocking and possibly perilous. Deborah Moggach uses this facet of the human […]

Horatio Clare

The inaugural Crickhowell Literary Festival welcomes author Horatio Clare to its programme of events this year. Launching his first children’s book, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, Horatio will be presenting classics and gems of children’s writing, celebrating the legacy of books about beasts. The Focus caught up with him ahead of the festival to ask […]