7 great East Anglian books to read on National Bookshop Day 2021

a woman reading a book and holding a mug

Saturday, October 9 is National Bookshop Day - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mooching around a bookshop is one of life’s great pleasures.

And did you know that today, Saturday October 9, is National Bookshop Day?

Organised by the Booksellers Association, it aims to encourage readers to get out and shop at their local bookshop and support their high street.

So to mark the occasion, here are seven of our favourite books from right here in East Anglia. 

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell 

anna sewell

Anna Sewell was born in Great Yarmouth and write Black Beauty while living in Old Catton - Credit: Archant

Born in Great Yarmouth in 1820, Anna Sewell is best known for this novel - acclaimed as one of the best children’s books of all time. The tale was written between 1871 and 1877 while she was living in Old Catton. As a young colt, Black Beauty is free to gallop in the meadows with his mother, Duchess. But then his owners are forced to sell him, his life changes from one of happiness to one of hard work and cruelty. However...he has the spirit to survive.  

Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village, Ronald Blythe 
Ronald Blythe, from Acton in Suffolk, is best known for his work Akenfield: Portrait of an English Village - an evocative account of agricultural life in Suffolk between the turn of the century and the 1960s. A way of life that in many ways has disappeared. Some of his other books include The Age of Illusion, Divine Landscapes and Out of the Valley. 

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The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry 

Sarah Perry at the 2014 East Anglian Book Awards

Sarah Perry at the 2014 East Anglian Book Awards - Credit: Archant

Norwich-based author Sarah’s debut novel, After Me Comes The Flood was named the East Anglian Book of the Year in 2014, and this, her second, won a host of awards. Rooted in Sarah’s home county of Essex it tells the story of widow Cora Seaborne. When she retreats to Essex with her son, she hears rumours of a serpent terrorising the local community and joins forces with clergyman William Ransome to investigate. It’s currently being turned into a TV series starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston. 

The Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald 
The German writer and academic was cited as one of the greatest living authors during his time and was tipped to win a Nobel Prize. In 1970 he became a lecturer at UEA and moved to Wymondham. His notable works include Vertigo and The Rings of Saturn which focuses on a walking tour of East Anglia from Lowestoft to Bungay and evolves into so much beyond that. 

Salt, Jeremy Page 
Jeremy Page grew up in north Norfolk and aside from writing novels has also worked as a scriptwriter for BBC and Film4. His first novel, Salt, is set in Norfolk and follows a man named Pip as he attempts to make sense of his family's unusual history. The book was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book and the Jelf First Novel Award. Other works include The Collector of Lost Things and Sea Change. 

Waterlog, Roger Deakin 
Tempted by wild swimming? This inspirational book brings the magic of the experience to life. It tells the story of how former English teacher Roger Deakin dredged the moat at his Elizabethan farmhouse near Diss to swim daily – and ended up swimming his way across the country’s rivers and lakes.  
 The His Dark Materials series, Philip Pullman 

Novelist Philip Pullman

Novelist Philip Pullman was born in Norwich - Credit: PA

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich and his popular fantasy series, His Dark Materials, features several references to East Anglia, Norwich and the fens. The epic story tells the tale of orphan Lyra Belacqua who lives in a parallel universe in which science, theology and magic are bound together in a sometimes dark union.  

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