News from Barnett's and the wider world of books!

Barnett's of Wadhurst Fiction wall strip
CWIP Prize.jpg

Comedy Women in Print prize 2021 - longlist announced

Congratulations to Jenny on being selected on the longlist!


So pleased to see recognition for Barnett's own Jenny (Jen Fraser) on being selected for the longlist for the Comedy Women in Print Prize 2021 - Unpublished novel category.

We look forward to launching the published book at Barnett's before too long! Good luck for the final selection...

Read more by clicking here

Women's Fiction Prize Shortlist

The Vanishing Half: Brit Bennett

A riveting family story and a brilliant exploration of race, gender and identity

Piranesi: Susanna Clarke

A portal fantasy story

Unsettled Ground: Claire Fuller

A portrait of life on the fringes of society

Transcendent Kingdom: Yaa Gyasi

Tracing a family's story through continents and generations to the heart of modern America

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House: Cherie Jones

A cautionary tale about what happens to girls who disobey their mothers...

No One is Talking About this: Patricia Lockwood

Chronicling the absurdism of the social media experience

Barnetts of Wadhurst near Tunbridge Well

2020 Booker Prize Shortlist announced

No hat trick for Hilary Mantel...

The topics covered by the six nominees are wide-ranging, including stories about climate change, the hardship of life in Zimbabwe, dementia, and the women soldiers of 1935 Ethiopia.


'Ten Minute Book Club'

Tap into some great writing...

Academics from Oxford's English faculty have created a ‘Ten-Minute Book Club’ for anyone who wants to explore literature - but is short on time and low on energy. Their move was inspired by reports of a rise in ‘virtual’ book clubs during lockdown, as a means to escape and connect with others.

Starting this week, and every week until October, a ten-minute literary extract will be released by the project team, led by Dr Alexandra Paddock, Professor Kirsten Shepherd-Barr and Dr Erica Lombard.  These will be from a wide selection of genres, including novels, essays, poetry and short stories. Each will be accompanied by a short introduction (in text, video or audio format) by an Oxford academic suggesting themes or contexts and suggestions for further reading - with a free link to the full text. 



15-31 August: Edinburgh Book Festival Online

Welcome to the Book Festival Online

As we can't put on our usual 900+ event Festival in our lovely tented village in Charlotte Square Gardens, we've curated a special online edition. From 15-31 August, enjoy events for adults and children for free. Through the magic of technology, we’ll be crossing continents and time zones to beam events from more than 30 countries straight into your home. What’s more, you’ll be able chat with fellow Festival goers via digital chatrooms and take part in Q&A sessions, and you'll even be able to meet the author and get your books signed (selected events).


All events are free and available to watch here on our website:


Booker Prize 2020 Longlist

The 2020 longlist is:

  • The New Wilderness by Diane Cook 

  • This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga 

  • Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi 

  • Who They Was by Gabriel Krauze 

  • The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel 

  • Apeirogon by Colum McCann  

  • The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste 

  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid 

  • Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart 

  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor       

  • Redhead by The Side of The Road by Anne Tyler 

  • Love and Other Thought Experiments by Sophie Ward 

  • How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang 


365 Days Wild by Lucy McRobert 

Available from Barnett's 

365 Days Wild will help you get started on your very own wild adventure today. It contains hundreds of ideas for wild adventures that you can enjoy on your own, with family or with friends, and for Random Acts of Wildness that you can mix into your daily routine. You’ll feel better for being closer to nature and you can give it a helping hand, too. Wildlife and wild places are much closer than you think, so have a fabulous time finding your own wild life!

To get started, why not sign up to the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild campaign, which encourages daily activities throughout June to enjoy and appreciate the nature on our doorsteps.


Indie Book Awards 2020

Click here to see the shortlists for fiction, children's and non-fiction


Women's Prize For Fiction 2020

This year’s longlist of sixteen brilliant novels honours both new and well-established writers and a range of genres. 

  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

  • Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

  • Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz

  • Actress by Anne Enright

  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

  • Nightingale Point by Luan Goldie

  • A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

  • How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee

  • The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

  • The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

  • Girl by Edna O’ Brien

  • Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell

  • Weather by Jenny Offill

  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson


The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

Following Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012), the third and final instalment of Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy has arrived.

The long-awaited novel covers the final years of Cromwell’s life, starting with Anne Boleyn’s execution in 1536, then charting his rise to even greater riches and execution for treason and heresy in 1540.

According to Mantel, 'this book has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding'.


Booker Prize winners announced

Flouting the competition's rules and for only the third time ever, this year's Booker Prize has been jointly awarded to Margaret Atwood's The Testaments  and to Bernardine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other. Unable to compromise, the judges decided on two novels 'that will delight readers and will resonate for ages to come'.

Atwood's The Testaments continues the story of Gilead begun in The Handmaid's Tale and is a masterpiece of story telling, making her dystopian world seem all too real.

In Girl, Woman, Other, Evaristo follows 12 characters,  most of them black, British women in a series of intergenerational stories. According to the judges, 'her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humour'. 

Booker short_edited.jpg

Booker Prize Short list announced

The six books are: Quichotte Salman Rushdie, The Testaments: a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale from Margaret Atwood, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World by Elif Shafik, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma, and Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann.

See if you agree with the judges.

Straight on Side Stack CORRECT BOOKS.jpg

Booker Prize Longlist announced

Although Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie's entries have yet to be published, there is plenty to get started with on this fantastically varied longlist. 

Make up your own mind who should make it to the shortlist on 3rd September: Jeanette Winterson's 'Frankissstein', Elif Shafik's '10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World' or Oyinkan Braithwaite's 'My Sister, The Serial Killer'?

Try 'Ducks, Newberyport' for an alternative narrative style characterised by a lack of full stops or 'Night Boat to Tangier' for a novel drenched in sex, death and narcotics. 

The choice is yours...

atwood testaments.jpg

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Watch out for the hotly anticipated sequel to the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It's not out until 10th September but the Booker Prize judges have had a sneak preview and it has made it onto the longlist!

Bear Hunt.jpg

We're going on a bear Wadhurst

To celebrate Independent Bookshop Week, intrepid explorers joined in a hunt to find a bear in ten Wadhurst businesses between 15th and 22nd June. Those who found all the bears received a certificate and prizes from Barnett's. The event was such a success that we are thinking of running another hunt (different theme) later in the year!


Barnett's is officially the best bookshop in Sussex!

We are delighted to have been named as the "Best Bookshop in Sussex" in the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2019, the biggest lifestyle awards outside London. Muddy Stilettos is known as the ultimate urban guide to the countryside and is itself an award-winning innovative blog.

For more information, visit Muddy Stilettos. 

Womens prize for fiction.png

Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 - Winner announced

 An American Marriage by Tayari Jones takes the £30,000 prize, ahead of the other shortlisted contenders: The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Milkman by Anna Burns, Ordinary People by Diana Evans, and Circe by Madeline Miller.

world book day.jpg

World Book Day 2019

On World Book Day, all children receive a £1 book token from their school. Bring the token into Barnett's and swap it for one of the TWELVE (exclusive, new and completely FREE) World Book Day books. Authors include Lauren Child, Rick Riordan and Malorie Blackman.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can use your book token to get £1 off any full price book instead. 


The Cut Out Girl wins Costa Book Awards 2018

Bart van Es' powerful presentation of a previously suppressed chapter of his family's history during the Holocaust, The Cut Out Girl captured the imagination of the judges. The First Novel award went to The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Stuart Turton), just pipping our own Natalie Hart's Pieces of Me. Sally Rooney's Normal People won Best Novel and The Skylark's War (Hilary McKay) was named Best Children's Book.


BOOK LAUNCH: Natalie Hart's Pieces of Me

We were thrilled to welcome our very own Natalie Hart to help launch her wonderful first novel: Pieces of Me. It was lovely to see so many local book lovers and old friends gathered in the shop where Natalie herself had spent so much time in her teens! 

Pieces of Me, which was nominated for the 2018 Costa Awards, is an assured debut. Set in Iraq and the USA, it explores the conflicting emotions arising out of modern day warfare. This would make a great Book Club read!

See some photos of the launch in our photo gallery (click to link)