5 books every new Nottingham student should check out
If you have just landed in Nottingham, you may not know that it is one of the 41 cities in the world recognized by UNESCO to really be pretty good with words: we have a solid history of writers, a thriving contemporary scene, and a bright future as new writers arise to amaze. It is often said that if you stood in the marketplace and threw down a book, you would probably hit a poet, or perhaps a novelist. We haven’t put that theory into practice yet, but it’s probably true: Notts is a place that takes words seriously, whether they’re laid out on the page or spit out on stage.
Picking out five books to recommend for anyone looking to make this place their home for (at least) the next few years, so it’s no small feat, but we’ve bumped our heads and rounded up a few essentials to make sure you see what a great place you are. live in…
You’re going to have to master the lingo first, and there’s no better place to start than At Dr. Natalie Braber’s Nottinghamshire dialect – a pocket gem for those looking to know their croggeh from their twitchell and understand why bus drivers will call you “duck” when they clearly aren’t adorned with a beak and feathers.
Saturday evening and Sunday morning
by Alan Sillitoe Saturday evening and Sunday morning could be considered a museum piece: a high point in the post-war wave of Angry Young Men that crashed in the austere 1950s and broke through the individualistic hedonism of the 1960s. But it’s much more than that, and timeless in its ability to capture a certain spirit of Nottingham in its alcoholic anti-hero, Arthur Seaton. “Whatever you say I am is what I am not,” he rages, giving voice to a city that defies easy definition.
I believe in miracles
Students arriving in the city this year will be the first to find Nottingham with a Premier League side in the last millennium. After years of underperformance, it finally seemed that the magic of the late 70s – when Nottingham Forest had risen from mediocrity to European glory (twice) – sparkled again. A great true story deserves a great storyteller, and few sportswriters match the style and insight of Nottingham’s Daniel Taylor, who weaves social context into history and paints it into life with insight and dynamism. *Other local football clubs are available*
The dawn of the unread
The brainchild of Notts swashbuckler writer James Walker, brings together some of the world’s best storytellers and pairs them with excellent comic book artists, telling fourteen unique stories featuring local heroes – literary and otherwise. . You know some of them – yes, there is an outlaw called Hood, albeit a female. There are some you may not know but really should know: black rights activist George Powe, for example. And there are also reimaginings: Byron Clough, anyone? It’s won awards, and it’s no wonder: it’s unique, educational, hilarious and irreverent.
A random book you buy from Five Leaves Bookshop
Look, we have thousands worthy books to fill this space, so we’ll make a decision and recommend A Random Book You Buy At Five Leaves Bookshop instead.. Our proudly independent and resolutely radical bookstore in the middle of the city is a place that brings to life the saying “You go to Amazon to buy the book you want”. You go to a bookstore to buy the book you didn’t know you wanted. You’ll find local literature, poetry, sections on LGBTQIA+, black rights, alternative lifestyles and more.