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“Chosen by readers, for readers”

Brave New Reads is a project that taking place across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, offering an immersive shared reading experience. Featuring six exceptional books chosen by the Reader’s Circle, from a longest of more than 120 titles, Brave New Reads promises to introduce you to some of the most exciting, bold and challenging writing around.

Brave New Reads encourages you to discuss with other readers your thoughts about the books. This can be done through reviews on this blog, filling in comment cards or following and contributing to the Twitter hashtag #BraveNewReads.


2016’s Six Brave New Read Titles

The final six books chosen as this years Brave New Reads represent some of the best work in contemporary literature; and touch on important current issues: from domestic abuse to immigration.


The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock
It’s the 1960s, the space race is underway and test pilot Jim Harrison and his colleagues are offered a place in history as the world’s first astronauts. But when his young family is thrown into crisis, Jim is faced with a decision that will affect the course of the rest of his life – whether to accept his ticket to the moon, and at what cost.


Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume
Springtime, and two misfits – one an eccentric loner and the other a one-eyed dog – forge an unlikely relationship. In a tired seaside town, these outcasts find solace in each other. But as their friendship grows, they are driven away by a community that perceives menace where there is only mishap.


Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera
Yuri Herrera explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina; leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages – one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.


The Secret to Not Drowning by Colette Snowden
How did the girl who once dreamed of being a Charlie’s Angel become such a cowed and submissive woman? Marion’s life appears perfectly fine but she is controlled and bullied by her husband, her only respite a once a week trip to the local swimming pool. A chance meeting with an old school-friend develops into a secret relationship. She could leave her abusive and unfaithful husband. But is it too late?


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of justice.


The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy
The story of how one man’s act of mercy on a World War II battlefield changes the lives of six strangers across time and place, including a child on the brink of starvation, a blind museum curator looking for love, a German infantryman, and a humble caretaker at a retirement home in Santa Monica. These characters remain unaware of their connection until seemingly random acts of selflessness reveal the vital parts they play in each other’s lives. Inspired by true events.