3 4 Friday: Woodlice, Wartime Paris and Winterson

(Every Friday, in time for the weekend, we pick three books to humbly suggest for your reading pleasure. Look out for them when browsing in a bookshop over the weekend. Our '3 4 Friday' books can be found by popping into Mostly Books of course...)

Jeanette Winterson's moving memoir 'Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal' is new out in paperback. It is short, powerful, distressing (although at times very, very funny), and compelling. Having recently opened a shop in Spitalfields Market, Jeanette is setting up a one-woman campaign for real food. She has lived a life very differently, is one of our most original writers, but be prepared for an emotional journey...

The Orange Prize for Fiction was published this week, and chair Joanna Trollope and her fellow judges have selected what we feel is a really strong list. Amongst the well-known names of Ann Patchett and Anne Enright, and the remarkable 84 year old American novelist Cynthia Ozick we recommend 'Half Blood Blues' by Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan, a gripping wartime tale of three black jazz musicians caught in wartime Paris.

Also writing on a wartime theme is the wonderful Georgina Harding - the only British writer on the list and author of 'The Solitude of Thomas Cave'. Well-deserved on the list with 'Painter of Silence', this is a compelling story of loss and hope, set in Romania, and considering the effects of war on ordinary people.

Finally, if you *do* break out of the house this weekend with the children, 'Wild Things to do with Woodlice' by Michael Cox is a brilliant little book by the RSPB with tons of ideas for wacky nature activities for children. From making a bee box, taking great garden snaps that look like the jungle - to the infamous woodlouse Lego maze (seriously!) this is total fun...

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