26 Recommends

Shot on 16mm film, Bait (directed by Mark Jenkin) is a film about a once-thriving Cornish fishing village. Its narrative centres around clashes of values, lifestyles and outlooks between residents and tourists – and also those tensions within the microcosm of one fishing family. It is raw, understated and deeply moving.

You can listen to Mark Jenkin talk about it here.

– Julia Webb-Harvey


My friend Mark Noad is curating the most fantastic lettering exhibition called Rock Paper Pixel through the Lettering Arts Trust. It’s running from Thursday 26! (private view) until the end of November:

– Heather Aitchison


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

I’ve been meaning to read this book of nature writing for nearly 30 years, after endless recommendations, and then this summer I read three author interviews in succession that all said that this is the book they keep on coming back to. I can see why. Some of the best prose I’ve ever read. If you’ve discovered a liking for Robert MacFarlane in recent years, but not read this, don’t waste another month. (I think it’s out of print, but I bought my copy for £2.50 on eBay.)

– Martin Lee


This month I enjoyed watching the movie Apollo 11, which tells the story of the moon landings in minute detail, pieced together from thousands of hours of footage and audio recordings. I found myself holding my breath with the tension – proof that even when you know how something turns out, great storytelling can put you back in the uncertainty zone and make you experience it all over again.

– Jill Hopper


I’d like to recommend a book that I finished yesterday. It’s an autobiography: Pearls of Childhood by Vera Gissing.

It’s the story of one of the Kindertransport children. The Jewish girls Vera Diamant aged 11 and her older sister Eva came to England in June 1939 from Czechoslovakia and were fostered by families at polar ends of the country. Both were well cared for and kept in touch with one another. Contact with their parents ended soon after war was declared in September 1939. Vera kept a diary throughout the war years recording her day-to-day experiences and her longing for her parents. In the few letters that came from her parents it’s clear how passionately they loved her and her sister and that both mum and dad were gifted writers (though that was not their profession). Vera too has a way with words. Her mother, an extraordinarily resourceful woman, survives the war but dies of typhus in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp two days after Germany’s surrender. Though sad, this is also an uplifting read and provides poignant insights into one family’s life through brutal times.

– Hester Thomas


I’ve just started reading Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. I’m gripped and galvanised by his opening message that if you’re too busy feeding and clothing your children to make a difference then don’t blame anyone else if events and history overtake you to your detriment.

– Nicola Gill


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