Features

Indulge your book loving sensibilities with our range of fascinating features on all things reading-related. From articles and interviews, to recommendations and author videos, you'll find something of interest whatever your literary taste. We'll be updating this page regularly, so do check back for more.

Snowy scene

FEATURES    12/2020

Books in Cold Climates

Isn’t there something about books set in a cold climate that gives them a special quality? And especially so when they’re read in the warmth by the fire while it’s cold outside in the real world.

We take a look at how cold climes can make for great books, and offer some fireside winter reading inspiration . . .

Read now . . .

Cold Climate Books

RECOMMENDATIONS   12/2020

Cold Climate Recommendations

Find the joy of snuggling up with the right book and make the most of the winter months. Borrow a book from our Cold Climate Pinterest board specially curated by our librarians.

Read more. . . 

FEATURES     12/2020

Book Talk with Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier talks with us about her latest novel A Single Thread. Find out what she has to say about the writer’s craft, her love of cathedrals and her fascination with the so-called ‘surplus women’ of 1930s Britain.

Watch now . . .

Book Talk with T.M. Logan

FEATURES     12/2020

Book Talk with T.M. Logan

You asked and T.M. Logan answered. In November, our Book Club read the bestselling thriller The Catch and we were lucky enough to interview the author ahead of our club virtual gathering to ask him about his exciting book and its links to Nottingham. 

Watch now . . .

FEATURES     12/2020

Q&A with Tracy Chevalier

Novelist Tracy Chevalier shares the books which have inspired, amused and surprised her – starting with children’s classic Anne of Green Gables. 

Read now . . .

FEATURES     12/2020

Our Top Reads of 2020

From children's books and bestselling thrillers to poetry collections, romantic stories and Sci-Fi gems. Find out all about the best-loved titles read by our staff during 2020. 

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QUIZ    12/2020

It's Quiz Time!

Test your poetry and literature knowledge in 10 questions made with love by our Libraries and Culture Team to celebrate Winter.

Play now . . .

Book, coffee and autumn leaves

FEATURES     10/2020

Autumn Reading

Ah, Autumn. Season of mists and . . . wonderful books! As the nights draw in and the air gets chillier, we take a look at why the autumn months are the perfect time for some serious book indulgence . . .  

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FEATURES    10/2020

Dia de Muertos

In this article, Libraries and Culture team member Michelle Osorio shares her insight into Mexican culture's very different attitude to death and how it permeates into literature...

Read now . . .

Poetry Festival Book talk graphic

INTERVIEWS     10/2020

Inspire <VIRTUAL> Poetry Festival Book Talk Special 

Hear Nottingham's own Manjit Sahota talk about his poetry and activism, and founder of the Emma Press, Emma Wright, tells us how she set up her successful Birmingham-based independent press.

Watch now . . .

NEW WORK     10/2020

AGM - Poem: LET US DREAM 

A poetical celebration of our libraries by Panya Banjoko.

Watch now . . . 

Woman in chair

RECOMMENDATIONS     10/2020

Your Next Good Read: Autumn

Our Librarians select some of the season's best literary offerings.

Browse now . . .

Inspire Online Book Club

BOOK CLUB    08/2020

Inspire Online Book Club: Update!

Download the latest Book Club choice and watch our latest Zoom chats.

Read or watch now . . .

Image of book covers

RECOMMENDATIONS    10/2020

Gothic Reads

Our selection of atmospheric reads - perfect for the darker season . . .

Browse now . . .

FEATURES    08/2020

Armchair Travel

Travel to exotic and fascinating lands - without leaving your armchair - with our round up of great travel reads on eAudiobook.

Read now . . .

Photo of Leanne Moden

Features  08/2020

Book Talk with Leanne Moden

Poet and performer Leanne Moden talks to us about creativity in lockdown, word hugs and launching her new collection. 

Watch now . . .

Photo of  Booker longlisted books

FEATURES    08/2020

Booker Prize 2020

Explore the wonderfully eclectic longlist for this year's Booker Prize.

Read now . . .

Photograph - someone sitting behind a pile of books

FEATURES 22/06/2020

Reading Groups . . in Lockdown

How have reading groups been adapting to isolation? We take a look at the options open to us, and invite our reading groups to tell us about their own lockdown experiences. . .  

Read now . . .

Photograph of Mike Gayle, smiling

Books Q&A  22/06/2020

Mike Gayle

We pose our bookish Q&A to bestselling author Mike Gayle whose novels includeThe Man I Think I Know and Half a World Away. Find out which books have surprised him, made him cry and more . . . 

Read now . . .

Photo of shortlisted books

Features  25/06/2020

The Women's Prize for Fiction Shortlist

Find out about the shortlisted titles for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction.

Read now . . .

photograph of poet Pete Ramskill

Books Q&A  22/06/2020

Pete Ramskill

Poet Pete Ramskill tells us about the books that have inspired him, sent his mind racing, and the poets who make him cry . .

Read now . . .

Recommendations  25/06/2020

Black Voices

Explore our Pinterest board of  eBook and eAudiobook titles, covering race, racism and Black lives. 

Explore now . . .

Book covers

Recommendations  25/06/2020

Refugee Stories

National Refugee Week took place 15 - 21 June this year, explore a range of free to borrow digital titles on the theme,  featuring stories of courage, heartbreak, injustice and the importance of sanctuary, from around the world.  

Explore now . . .

Graphic for Book Talk

FEATURES 20/05/2020

Book Talk - Crime Fiction Special

As part of a new series where we bring you interviews with the authors you love, three major crime writers talk to Librarian Chris Jones via video.

Watch now . . .

Photo of crime scene tape

BOOKS Q&A  20/05/2020 

Books Q&A: Crime Reading Special

In  celebration of crime fiction, we pose our Bookish Q&A to FOUR brilliant crime writers.

Read now . . .

Photo of a crime investigation office

RECOMMENDATIONS  20/05/2020

Crime Reading  Picks

Our selection of the best crime digital eAudiobooks ready to be enjoyed now.

Read now . . .

Photo of books on a shelf

FEATURES  04/05/2020

The Books That Shaped Our World

As part of our ongoing tie-in with the BBC Arts celebration of the English language novel's 300th anniversary, TM Logan and Henderson Mullin each tell us about a significant book and the way it has shaped their lives.

Read now ...

Photograph of Milly Johnson, smiling

BOOKS Q&A  04/05/2020

Milly Johnson

Bestselling and award-winning author Milly Johnson answers our bookish Q&A.

Read now . . .

Photograph of phone and headphones

FEATURES  01/05/2020

eAudiobooks - picks of the month

With thousands of digial audiobooks available to listen for free via Inspire,  it can be hard to choose to your next good listen. We've highlighted some of the best treats available for multiple users now (so no queues!).

Explore our E-audiobooks. . .

https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/online/virtual-world/reading/features/eaudio-recommendations/

Black and white photograph of Cathy Bramley, smiling

BOOKS Q&A  06/05/2020

Cathy Bramley

Bestselling author of romantic fiction Cathy Bramley answers our bookish Q&A

Read now . . .

Film still from Kes

FEATURES  04/05/2020

Kids, Kestrels and the Kitchen Sink 

Writer Andrew Graves looks at two examples of working class literature that became cinematic gold in this introduction to Kes and Whistle Down the Wind. 

Read now . . .

Photograph of the interior Five Leaves bookshop

FEATURES   04/05/2020

Life in Lockdown: Five Leaves Bookshop 

A look at how Nottingham’s much-loved independent bookshop is adapting. 

Read now . . .

Photograph of Henderson Mullin

BOOKS Q&A  04/05/2020

Henderson Mullin

We pose our bookish questions to the Chief Executive of Writing East Midlands.

Read now. . .