9 great reads from The Amplify Project

Recently on the Love Your Library podcast we sat down with Patricia and Pauline from The Amplify Project, a podcast that puts the spotlight on Black writers for the stage, page and screen. Through a series of intimate interviews, the podcast puts Black British writers front and centre to explore their work, experiences, and inspirations. Find out why The Amplify Project started and what they see in their future in the latest episode of the Hampshire Libraries podcast.

Below, you’ll find a curated list of book recommendations provided by The Amplify Project. Discover your next favourite read in this exciting collection of novels, plays, and poetry.

The Humiliations of Welton Blake by Alex Wheatle

‘Welton Blake has done it! He’s asked out Carmella McKenzie – the best-looking girl in school – and she’s only gone and said yes!

But just as he thinks his luck is starting to change, Welton’s phone breaks, kick-starting a series of unfortunate and humiliating events. With bullies to avoid, girls ready to knock him out and all the drama with his mum and dad, life for Welton is about to go very, very wrong…’

The Frequency of Magic by Anthony Joseph

‘Raphael earns his living as a butcher in a hillside village in rural Trinidad. He is also a would-be author, but there have been so many changes to the novel he has been writing for forty-one years that many of the characters have lost patience and gone off to do their own thing. But somehow, miraculously, the novel, as Raphael has planned it in one hundred chapters of a thousand words, seems to write itself…’

Homecoming by Colin Grant

‘These are stories of hope and regret, of triumphs and challenges, brimming with humour, anger and wisdom. Together, they reveal a rich tapestry of Caribbean British lives. Homecoming is an unforgettable portrait of a generation, which brilliantly illuminates an essential and much-misunderstood chapter of our history.’

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

‘South London, 2008. Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning, on the brink of acceptance or revolution. Melissa has a new baby and doesn’t want to let it change her. Meanwhile out in the suburbs, Stephanie is happy with Damian and their three children, but the death of Damian’s father has thrown him into crisis – or is it something or someone else? Are they all just in the wrong place? Are any of them prepared to take the leap?’

We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan

We Are All Birds of Uganda explores the entangled relationship between communities, generations and identity across two continents. Hafsa Zayyan’s deeply affecting debut novel is a powerful insight into what it means to live between two worlds and what it means to belong.

Tales from the Caribbean by Trish Cooke

This collection of favourite tales from the many different islands of the Caribbean will inform, delight and entertain children as well as educate them about this fascinating and varied region.

Death of England: Delroy by Roy Williams

Written in response to their play Death of England, Death of England: Delroy is a new standalone work by Clint Dyer and Roy Williams, which follows a Black working-class man searching for truth and confronting his relationship with White Britain.

This One Sky Day by Leone Ross

Dawn breaks across the archipelago of Popisho. The world is stirring awake again, each resident with their own list of things to do:

A wedding feast to conjure and cook.

An infidelity to investigate.

A lost soul to set free.

As the sun rises two star-crossed lovers try to find their way back to one another across this single day. When night falls, all have been given a gift, and many are no longer the same.

The sky is pink, and some wonder if it will ever be blue again.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2019, this murder mystery book explores themes of slavery, freedom and secrets and results in a beautiful and haunting tale about one woman’s fight to tell her story. Remember, you can find interesting and insightful interviews with the authors on The Amplify Project podcast, and catch the episode with Patricia and Pauline on the Love Your Library

If in doubt, go to the library!

Listen to the latest podcast from Hampshire Libraries!

In our latest podcast episode, we speak to author and actor Charlie Higson and the team at Andover Library about writing the Young Bond books and the lengths he went to, to scare his youngest son with the young adult horror series The Enemy.     

Our library experts at Andover also give their reasons for recommending the following books:
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Have a listen to the podcast here!

Other books mentioned include:
Silverfin by Charlie Higson
No Way Out by Cara Hunter
The Dry by Jane Harper
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
After the Fire by Henning Mankell
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Love Your Library – the Hampshire Library podcast

Are you an avid reader?  Keen to be inspired for your next book?  You’ll love our new podcast series which is free to download and subscribe.  You’ll find two episodes to download straightaway which feature interviews with Shetland and Vera author Ann Cleeves and AGA-saga queen Joanna Trollope.  You’ll also hear book recommendations from our library staff at Chandlers Ford and Fareham. Our hosts Kate and Mary are both keen book lovers who’ve worked for Hampshire County Council for more years than they’d care to admit. 

Here’s links to the books discussed in each episode:

Island Life
In this episode, our hosts Kate Price McCarthy and Mary Stone talk to Ann Cleeves about her latest and, can we bear it, last Shetland book, Wild Fire.  Ann also gives us the lowdown on her upcoming book The Long Call, the first in her new Two Rivers series. 

They discussed three very different books with Chandlers Ford Library:
The Key to Flambards by Linda Newbery
The One by John Marrs  
The Summer Book  by Tove Jansson

Other books mentioned include:
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Match Fit
In this episode, our hosts Kate Price McCarthy and Mary Stone talk to Joanna Trollope about her latest and twenty-first book, An Unsuitable Match, which vividly depicts the family tensions and dilemmas caused by love in later life. Joanna also talks about her updated version of Sense and Sensibility published as part of the Austen Project in 2013.

They discussed three recommended books with the library team at Fareham Library:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Never Greener by Ruth Jones

Other books mentioned include:
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid
Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Do let us know if you’ve read and enjoyed any of the books we’ve talked about.