American fantasy author Peter V Brett was in Reading on Friday April 10 signing his latest book ‘The Skull

Peter V Brett signing (1)Throne’, fourth book in the ‘Demon Cycle’ series. The Demon Cycle books take the reading into an alternative universe filled with darkness, demons and of course, heroes.

“The first book that I read that didn’t have any pictures in it was the Hobbit.” Peter said. “Sometimes I wonder if I had picked up Sherlock Holmes or something if I would have a completely different course to my life.

“You know the first book that ever captures your imagination stays with you. I read the Hobbit and loved it and pretty much only read comic books after that for years.

“My father got frustrated and remembered that I liked the Hobbit so he went to the library and borrowed The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks for me. This is another fantasy book and after I read that it was sort of cemented. It was like OK this is the kind of book that I like and I would just haunt the library and the book shops looking for more fantasy books, picking them by their covers (even though you’re not supposed to judge books that way), but that’s the way everyone does it when they’re first starting out.

“I read hundreds of fantasy books over the years and I think that something about it resonated with me and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Peter’s writing career started professionally when, over the course of a year, he wrote a novel (The Painted Man) on his mobile phone while commuting on the subway from his home in Brooklyn to his job in Times Square. “I wrote 60% of that book on my phone.” he said. “I had a Windows phone, pre iPhone that had a very watered down version of Microsoft Word on it. I could write on the phone, take it back home, plug it into my computer, sync it to my desk top, keep working on the same file on my desk top, sync it back to my phone.

“When I was at the stage where I was hoping I might turn writing from a hobby into a profession and was trying to get this done I needed time to write. Every writer has this problem. I had a job, I had a social life, I had friends and didn’t want to give any of those up. Something had to go and so I ended up giving up my morning reading time during my commute to work.

“I had a 45 minute train ride to work every day and instead of reading a book during that time I would sit and type away on my phone on whatever chapter I was working on.

“Over the course of a year, I was writing maybe six to eight hundred words a day on my phone and then more at night on my desk top, so over the course of a year that added up to a considerable amount.”

The Painted Man was published and became one of the most successful fantasy debuts of 2008. The second book of the Demon Cycle, The Desert Spear, debuted at number nine on the Sunday Times Bestseller list in 2010. Book three, The Daylight War, charted at number three in 2013.

Copy of Skull Throne Cover

In this instalment the Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty. Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honour and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay.

“Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all. But Arlen Bales, the Painted Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honour refuse.


Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a saviour, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart. In the south, Inevera, Jardir’s first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for enough glory to make a claim on the throne.

In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late. Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton – rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.

All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared…

The Skull Throne (Demon Cycle) by Peter V. Brett

ISBN: 978-0007425686

Hardcover £12.91

Paperback £7.99

Kindle £8.81

You can find out more about Peter V Brett and his writing at

Energy democracy – is it possible?


Matt Bramhall, from Global Justice Now, will talk and lead a discussion on ‘Energy Democracy? Is it possible to have clean and affordable energy under democratic control?’

One in five people globally live without electricity because they are unable to access it and millions more go without because they cannot afford to pay for it. Even in the UK, people are forced to choose between feeding their families and paying their energy bills.

Where people cannot access electricity at all, they are exposed to pollution from other fuels used for lighting and cooking, access to modern communications is impossible and hours are spent, often by women and girls, on fuel collection.

“It is clear that we need new ways of meeting our energy needs without destroying the planet” said Jackie Oversby, Co-ordinator, Global Justice Reading. “Around the world there are inspiring examples of people doing just that. Matt Bramhall will tell us about them and he will lead a discussion about how possible it is for everyone to access the energy they need while still tackling climate change”.

The event will take place at RISC, 35 – 39 London St, Reading, RG1 4PS on Wednesday May 6 at 7.30pm

For more information about this event or to ask about Global Justice Now you can contact them at  or

The Action Bible

Brazilian-born artist Sergio Cariello has been drawing comic strips for his city’s newspaper since the age of eleven. He later worked for Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

Sergio has turned his hand to the Bible and has written a fast-paced narrative illustrated with Marvel and DC quality images.

The story line is given in chronological order, making it easier to follow the Bible’s historical flow and reinforcing the build-up to its thrilling climax.

The stories in The Action Bible communicate clearly to young readers. The blend of clear writing and dramatic images makes the book appealing to all ages but will be a hit with young or not very confident readers.

Sergio Cariello’s illustrations are richly coloured dramatic shading and lighting, bold, energetic designs, and emotionally charged figures.

The Action Bible is now available with a study guide and combined with a complete ESV Bible text.


The Action Bible: God’s Redemptive Story (Picture Bible) by Doug Mauss (Author, Editor), Sergio Cariello (Illustrator)

ISBN-13: 978-0781444996

Hardback £14.99


The Action Bible: Study Bible ESV  Author Illustrated by Sergio Cariello, Publisher David C Cook

ISBN: 9781434708717

Hardback RRP: £19.99

Pages 1248


Quench bookshop, Reading will be closing its doors

quench image

Another small bookshop will be closing its doors soon. This one is Quench, the Christian bookshop on London Street, Reading.

Below is a message from the team at Quench:

For many years, there has been a Christian Presence on London Street in Reading in the form of a Christian bookshop. As you know, over the last year we have been considering moving out of Reading. Sadly, we are now at the point of closing our doors.

This has not been an easy decision to make, but we have reached a point of Peace about it, and are emailing you to inform you that we will cease trading in London Street on May 16th.
Our opening hours until then remain Thurs-Sat 10am – 5pm, although there is a possibility we will be open every day in the last week – watch this space!
The GOOD NEWS is that our branches in Wokingham and Maidenhead are still going strong, and we would love to welcome you to visit us in either one (or both!) of those stores. We do of course have our online store as well, and you are more than welcome to email us on if you have a specific item that you are looking for which is not on our website.
Thank you for your support down the years. To be kept up to date with Quench news, please do sign up for our e-newsletter via our website
Every blessing,
Ali (on behalf of the Quench team)

Bean Pole Day Gardening Event at Caversham Court Gardens


Caversham Court Gardens are holding their fifth Bean Pole Day event on April 25 in their award winning riverside gardens.

The day will promote local woodland products and wildlife friendly gardening. Local woodland products such as bean poles, pea sticks, and plant supports will be for sale, as well as stalls for vegetable and flower plants from local gardening groups.

Mr Woldridge will be there again with his previously loved, restored garden tools for sale.

Caversham Court gardener Will Paice will also be on site.

Other environmentally friendly groups including RSPB, the Reading and District Bee Keepers, BBOWT, and Reading Natural History Society, will be there.

There will be children’s activities, and the tea kiosk will be open on that day run by the charity Ways and Means

Caversham Court Gardens, Church Road, Caversham RG4 7AG
April 25. The event is open to the public from 10:00 until 15:00

Wokingham’s ‘Green Fingers’ gardening campaign

Wokingham in bloom

Wokingham Town Council have a vision and they need your help. They want to encourage the life and vibrancy of Wokingham Town for its existing and future residents and businesses.

One of the ways this will happen is by the council’s Green Fingers gardening campaign.

During April to July any gardener living within Wokingham’s towns boundary can enter the competition. There are several categories including: front garden, back garden,window boxes and containers and also window boxes and containers for entrants with physical or sensory impairments. For the second year there is a new category for residential care homes.

The judging will be undertaken by members of the Wokingham Horticultural Association. This year judging will take place in early July. Gardens are given gold, silver, bronze or highly commended awards with vouchers as prizes. Gold award winners also receive engraved trophies to hold for a year. Prizes start at £10 and gold award winners receive £75.

The Town Mayor will be giving the prizes at the Town Hall on September 14.

The competition is part of Wokingham’s entry in the regional ‘Thames and Chilterns inBloom’ event. This year the Bloom theme is ‘greener streets: better lives’.


Mrs Jan Nowecki, Town Clerk said: “We invite everyone with an interest in gardening to take part. If you enjoy your garden and are pleased with the results of your efforts do enter – it’s the taking part that counts.

“Our town’s entry into Thames and Chilterns in Bloom is very much boosted by the gardening “.

Entries can be made at, in person at the Information Centre at the Town Hall (Mon-Fri 10am-2pm; Sat 10am-3pm)


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Blandy & Blandy supporting this year’s Dementia Awareness Week

Reading-based solicitors firm Blandy & Blandy will proudly be supporting this year’s Dementia Awareness Week, which begins on May 17.

In partnership with Reading Dementia Action Alliance and the Alzheimer’s Society the firm will be running free drop-in sessions providing information on matters including writing a will and Lasting Power of Attorney. The sessions will take place  May 18 – 22, 1.00 – 2.00pm at Blandy & Blandy’s One Friar Street office.

Individuals and their families are welcome to visit at their convenience to find out more from the firm’s Private Client team, top ranked in both The Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories and described by the latter as ‘one of the strongest private client teams in the South of England.’ Blandy & Blandy has advised generations of clients on all aspects of their personal, family and business lives for nearly 300 years.

Caroline Casagranda, Partner in the Private Client team, said: “Blandy & Blandy is proud to support the Alzheimer Society’s Dementia Friends campaign with the Reading Dementia Action Alliance. Giving consideration to your or your loved ones futures is not always easy but writing a will, a Lasting Power of Attorney and other similar steps can help to make matters much easier for all involved and protect your family’s interests.”

According to the Alzheimer Society’s there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to 1 million by 2025. Dementia Awareness Week will be taking place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to raise awareness and improve understanding of Dementia.

Drop in Sessions will be held at Blandy & Blandy LLP, One Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DA
18 May 2015    1.00 – 2.00pm
19 May 2015    1.00 – 2.00pm
20 May 2015    1.00 – 2.00pm
21 May 2015    1.00 – 2.00pm
22 May 2015    1.00 – 2.00pm

link to Dementia Friends

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Reading Contemporary Art Fair


Art for All

Over 4,000 new and experienced art buyers and collectors are expected to attend Reading Contemporary Art Fair.

This is the biggest fair yet with over 130 curated artists, printmakers, photographers, sculptors, ceramicists and selected galleries.

Go along and join in

You can discover your inner artist at one of the workshops and activities taking place over the weekend.

Jelly will be running be free workshops suitable for all ages and abilities – under 5’s must be supervised.

Printing, Drawing, Weaving and Creating a Secret Sketchbook using folded paper not what you might expect!

No booking required.

Click here for more details


off the block#4

Off the Block, Adrenalin theatre. The test of a professional theatre maker.

Written by Four Professional Writers, Directed by Four Professional Directors

Following three years of sell out shows, RBL return with our high-adrenaline, new writing sprint.

4 writers, 4 directors, 4 days, 4 plays

New for 2015, four musical composers

16 actors and only 1 day to rehearse

1) 7.30am, Monday April 27 – Four stellar playwrights begin the improbable task of writing four plays, in relay, over four days.

2) 7.30am, Friday May 1 – Four focused directors and four exceptional composers receive their respective scripts.

3) 9.30am, Friday May 1 – The bold, fearless (ahem) actors arrive at the theatre, are divided into groups and told which play they are in and who their director and composer are.

4) 7.30pm, Friday May 1 – The audience, take your seats and watch the improbable unfold.

May 1, 7-30pm
South Street Arts Centre, Reading

Book online Here

Democracy Day at University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus

democracy day

On Saturday April 25, the School of Politics, Economics and International Relations will be holding an exciting topical event, centred on the upcoming UK elections.

Dominik Zaum, Professor of Governance, Conflict, and Security said: ” It will be a chance for members of the public and the University community alike to engage in a thoughtful discussion about the key issues in the election.

“The day will include participation from representatives of the main parties, analysis of manifesto issues such as healthcare and foreign policy, and the session will close with a question time.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity to have an inclusive discussion, and showcase how as an academic community we can contribute to important topical issues.

“Democracy Day is open to all, and we hope to see a wide audience on the day”.

The event will take place between 1pm-5pm in the Agriculture Building, Whiteknights Campus.

For further enquiries or to book your place, please email 

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