‘Prequel’ most anticipated book of year

Book expert Melanie Mitchell.
Book expert Melanie Mitchell.
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Book enthusiast Melanie Mitchell aims to get the community reading more. To spur you on, she offers her Book of the Week and Books to Watch choices

Maybe you feel the same about it or maybe you don’t, but either way there is something incredibly satisfying about sharing your thoughts and opinions and debating character motivations and plot twists.

Reading can help us make sense of our lives privately but sharing the experience can be even more fulfilling.

Waterstones in Portsmouth is providing just such an opportunity, in store on Wednesday, July 29, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm, to discuss the most anticipated book of the year – Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Free tickets are available in store, by calling (023) 9282 1255 or by emailing ports

They’re promising snacks, soft drinks and some healthy debate.

n Book of the Week is, of course, Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee (William Heinemann, published July 14), the recently discovered ‘prequel’ to American classic To Kill A Mockingbird.

Said to be closely based on the original draft of the manuscript Lee submitted in the 1950s before it turned into the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the interest is obviously in its relation to the other. Publishers on both sides of the Atlantic have been spinning the suspense for all it’s worth, turning the simultaneous publication into a mass reading experience. Worth a look, whatever the final verdict.

n Books to Watch include Tracer by Rob Boffard (Orbit, published July 16). It is the perfect example of the kind of accessible science fiction that has been growing in popularity in recent years.

Hot on the heels of The Martian by Andy Weir (now being made into a film starring Matt Damon) this will surely be hoping to emulate its success. An entertaining thriller set in a brilliantly imagined future world.

A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton (Hutchinson, published July 16) explores themes of grief, regret and forgiveness as grandmother Amaterasu Takahashi is forced to revisit the day the Americans dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. One for book groups.

n Mel Mitchell is originally from Portsmouth and now lives in Gosport. She is Publisher Liaison for newbooks magazine and its related website nudge-book.com, based in Stubbington.