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Mostly Books Book Recommendations

Magpie Lane

Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins (adult paperback)

When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers. As Dee looks back over her time in the Master's Lodging - an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.

But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why is Felicity silent? Roaming Oxford's secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family - and what it is to be denied one.

Set around Oxford’s very own Magpie Lane and now out in paperback at £8.99.

Songbirds by Christy Lefteri (adult Hardback)

Nisha has crossed oceans to give her child a future. By day she cares for Petra's daughter; at night she mothers her own little girl by the light of a phone. Nisha's lover, Yiannis, is a poacher, hunting the tiny songbirds on their way to Africa each winter. His dreams of a new life, and of marrying Nisha, are shattered when she vanishes. No one cares about the disappearance of a domestic worker, except Petra and Yiannis. As they set out to search for her, they realise how little they know about Nisha. What they uncover will change them all.

From the author of the bestselling The Beekeeper of Aleppo, Songbirds is available in Hardback at £14.99.

The Howling Hag Mystery by Nicki Thornton (children’s paperback age 9+)

When there's a murder in the village and a hag is heard howling at the local inn, secret witch Raven Charming realizes she could have a rival - one who practises the worst kind of magic. With the help of amateur sleuth, Mortimer Scratch, and Nightshade, a talking cat with a feline sense of detection, she sets out to solve what's been going on.

Following the success of The Last Chance Hotel trilogy comes a brand new release from local author Nicki Thornton available in paperback at £6.99.

RSPB ID Spotlight Series (wildlife and nature)

These wonderful A5 foldout charts contain images for identifying hundreds of different animals, birds and insects. These are the perfect companion for nature spotting while out walking in Oxfordshire and ideal for children learning more about the natural world and British wildlife. Charts in the series include all kinds of birds from woodland to wetland, coastal to garden, as well as Butterflies, Moths, Dragonflies and Caterpillars.

The foldout charts are £4.50 each.


Tue 4 Jan 2022

James Haskell

Unreconstructed Male

Former rugby union player, author, music producer, podcast personality and 2019 Jungle contestant, James Haskell is clearly a man with fingers in many pies. I got in touch to discuss his second book Ruck Me, I’ve Written Another Book, but couldn’t resist touching on a few clearly controversial topics… 

Thu 2 Dec 2021

100 Noes a Year to Build a Career

Reflecting on a Decade of The Mogford Prize   

It’s not just us here at Fyne Associates who are celebrating a special birthday; in 2022 Oxford’s esteemed and highly acclaimed literary competition – The Mogford Prize for Food and Drink Writing – will celebrate its 10th year. Originally founded by Jeremy Mogford, the entrepreneur and face behind the Oxford Collection, the competition has since opened opportunities for countless emerging writers across the globe.

Wed 5 Jan 2022

The new year is often seen as an opportunity to embark on a new hobby, and arts and crafts are popular choices to explore. Whilst drawing, jewellery-making and working with textiles are arguably the most obvious options, Judith Blacklock, author and owner of the Judith Blacklock Flower School in London’s Knightsbridge, suggests that learning to work with flowers is a wonderful skill to learn.

Wed 5 Jan 2022

The New Year is a time to look ahead, to look at how to make your life better and perhaps boldly tread where you’ve been afraid to step before. Our book pick this month, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (Canongate Books, 2020) is the perfect gentle page-turner that promises to lift your spirits perhaps even entice you to follow your dreams.