The Quiet Place Book Club

The York Festival of Ideas, in partnership with the University of York’s Department of English and Related Literature, hosts a virtual book club named after the Quiet Place on the University’s Campus West.

The Quiet Place Book Club invites members of the public, staff, students and graduates to join their reading group on Instagram. 

We announce one book each month throughout the year and experts in the Department of English and Related Literature will provide comments and thought-provoking questions  to encourage debate and guide our shared reading. There will also be posts providing expert reactions to literary news headlines, national events, and seasonal topics.

Books in the book club will be related to areas of teaching and research in the Department of English and Related Literature, across all genres and age-ranges, as well as literary events in the York Festival of Ideas 2018. To join the book club follow @quietplacebookclub on Instagram.

Find any books you might have missed in our archive

July - Lucky Button

Lucky Button by Michael Morpurgo

Our book for July is Lucky Button by Michael Morpurgo. A lonely boy struggles with school bullies and caring for his mother, until a mysterious encounter reveals what life was like in the eighteenth century. 

Join us on Instagram to enjoy the discussion.


Moy Sand and Gravel - sml

Our book for June is Moy Sand and Gravel, a poetry collection by Paul Muldoon.  In his ninth volume of poetry, Muldoon take us on a journey from County Armagh where he grew up, to suburban New Jersey, his home as an adult. 



Jacob escapes from the Academy orphanage, but the home he remembers is no longer recognisable. From a chip implanted at birth, he can be tracked anywhere he goes. Can he find his way out of England and fulfil the promises to his family? Enjoy our book for May, Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw.


Northanger Abbey‌ 

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a novel about reading, and in particular about reading the Gothic. It uses and makes fun of the tropes of Gothic fiction, playing with dynamics of fascination and fear. In the 1790s, when Austen was writing, Gothic literature was phenomenally popular, so as you read this month, think about how Austen is responding to the immense popularity of the genre, and what she has to say about the gendering of the Gothic.


The Remainder - book club

Our book for March is Alia Trabucco Zerán’s award-winning novel The Remainder. In a surreal city, three individuals – Iquela, Felipe, and Paloma – who were children of political dissidents during Augusto Pinochet’s regime, meet again as grown-ups as Paloma returns to Chile from Germany to bury her mother. Except, planes are cancelled and delayed because of the rain of ashes, and things take an unexpected turn.


Elmet - book club

‌Our book for February is Elmet, the 2017 Man Booker prize shortlist entry from Fiona Mozley. Steeped in the literature and medieval history of the Yorkshire landscape, the novel takes in the twists and turns of Daniel and Cathy's lives in the woods and the unpredictability of their father - sometimes present, sometimes far away; sometimes at peace, and sometimes filled with rage.


Gutenberg's Apprentice

Gutenberg's Apprentice by Alix Christie reimagines the history of one of humankind's greatest inventions - the printing press - and specifically the printing of the first Bible. Johann Gutenberg is a rather elusive historical figure and Christie attempts to put colour into his life by fictionalising this important moment in time.