Author: Matt Casbourne

Fitzsimons wins Rubery Book Award

We are thrilled to announce that Eleanor Fitzsimons’ masterful biography, The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit has won the 2020 Rubery Book Award for the non-fiction category.

The Rubery Prize is a prestigious international book award seeking the best books by indie writers, self published authors and books published by independent presses.

Here’s what they had to say about Fitzsimons’ Sunday Times Best Book of the Year:

“This is a well-written biography, beautifully put together, and something of a revelation, both in terms of Nesbit’s astonishing creative energy, and pleasing eccentricity.”

“All in all, the depth and breadth of Fitzsimons’ research is very apparent and it’s a well-researched, eminently readable biography of an impressive woman.”

Congratulations to Eleanor!

Celebrate with Eleanor by pre-ordering the highly anticipated paperback release of The Life and Loves of E. NesbitPublished 15th October 2020.

In Conversation with Debra Barnes

Join us Wednesday 12th August at 7pm on Zoom for a conversation with Debra Barnes about her upcoming book The Young Survivors (published 23rd July 2020), hosted by Books on the Hill bookshop, St Albans.

Debra will be joined by Antonia Mason (Books on the Hill) and Matt Casbourne (Duckworth Books) to discuss the writing process, her inspiration for the book and much more.

For this event, Books on the Hill will have exclusive signed copies which will be gift wrapped in their striking green tissue paper.

Tickets are FREE. You can register now.

Signed copies of The Young Survivors can be pre-ordered online from Books on the Hill here.

You can also order in-store or over the phone on 01727 807248.


Floating: Signed Bookplate Copies

We have teamed up with independent bookshop Kenilworth Books to bring you special, signed bookplate copies of Floating: A Return to Waterlog.

Author Joe Minihane became obsessed with outdoor swimming and the way it soothed his anxiety, developing a new-found passion by following the example of naturalist Roger Deakin in his own swimming memoir, Waterlog.

In his own book, Joe retraces Deakin’s steps, setting on an ambitious journey through the wild and unsettled waters of the UK – and his own mind.

Ten years on from the start of his adventures, Floating reminds us that reconnecting with nature can help our mental wellbeing, especially at a testing time with the COVID-19 pandemic.


You can buy signed bookplate copies of Floating from Kenilworth Books here.


There’s more! Hear Joe read his favourite excerpt from Floating:

Online Event: The Young Survivors

We’re thrilled to announce an exciting online event for our upcoming historical novel The Young Survivors by Debra Barnes, publishing on 23 July 2020.

Join us for a virtual book talk celebrating the publication of The Young Survivors, a historical novel inspired by the survival of the author’s mother during the Holocaust in France. Debra Barnes will be discussing her extensive research into her family’s history and her writing process.

The online book talk is hosted by The Wiener Holocaust Library and Debra will be in conversation with The Wiener Holocaust Library’s Director, Dr Toby Simpson.


Join us on Wednesday 29 July, 7-8pm BST. Register here for a free ticket.

Edinburgh Science Festival Moves to Online!


Enjoy a fascinating journey through the atmosphere with Dr Mark Broomfield.

With seven million early deaths a year linked to air pollution, air quality is headline news around the world. But how do we measure air pollution and what on earth is an odour panel? Why are property prices higher upwind of cities? Should we buy, hold on to, or avoid a diesel car? And will our grandchildren inherit an atmosphere worth breathing?

From the atmosphere on distant planets to the stuff that gets into your lungs, from holes in the ozone layer to lazy and disappearing gases, air quality specialist Dr Mark Broomfield combines scientific evidence with personal stories and advice on what you can do to improve air quality, giving you the low-down on what’s up high.

Enjoy this 60 second Science summary of Mark’s new book.

Isolationist Reads

Greetings fellow isolationists! March was a long year, right? But here we are, making the best of things whatever comes our way. The Duckworth team are doing their part to support social distancing by working from home. But with our daily commutes axed until further notice, we’ve had to carve out time in our days to read for pleasure that doesn’t involve a ride on Tube. It’s probably one of the things we miss most about catching up with each other in the morning: What are you reading? Would you recommend it? So, in the spirit of sharing, here’s what the Duckworth team are reading for pleasure:

Fanny (marketing and publicity guru): I’m currently loving Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. She investigates the gender data gap and exposes how our world has been designed — and still functions today — in a way that fits only half the population. It’s the most empowering and urgent read I’ve come across recently – non-fiction at its best. I’m also re-reading the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, the queen of immersive fiction. There’s no better way to escape self-isolation and being stuck at home like diving into her 1950s Naples.

Matt (of-all-trades): it’s been an age since I read a novel that wasn’t a manuscript on submission (big non-fiction energy over here), but we all need an escape right now. So I’m reading a book I picked up on whim at Oxfam (support charity!) The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan. It’s all that you’d expect from a fantasy novel with conspiring wizards and plucky street girls possessing mysterious powers aplenty. Next to be devoured on the TBR pile is Extraordinary Insects by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson. Who doesn’t love the weird and wonderful world of creepy crawlies?   

Pete (le chef): in a bid to keep little minds occupied(!), I’m reading Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy with my daughter. Like most parents working from home we need to keep some semblance of normalcy and education in our child’s life and this has proven to be just the thing for both of us to enjoy. The world is so amazing through their eyes.

So there you have it, a quick glance at our shelves. Let us know what you’re reading on Twitter using our handle @duckbooks and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook @DuckworthPublishers


Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is out today! It’s a powerful, brave, gripping and timely memoir.

We’re thrilled to share here the marvellous reviews Jeannie Vanasco’s memoir has received in the lead-up to publication. Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is…

  • An Amazon Best Book of October 2019
    ‘Read it; talk about it.’
  • An Evening Standard ’16 New Books to Get Excited About This Autumn’
  • A BuzzFeed11 Must-Read Memoirs Coming Out This Fall’
    ‘An of-the-moment memoir… a gripping read.’
  • A Time Magazine ‘The 42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019’
    ‘A memoir that thoughtfully illustrates the lasting impact of trauma.’
  • A Bustle ‘The 20 Best New Books for Fall 2019’
    ‘A gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking book… Vanasco is whip-smart and tender, open and ruthless.’
  • An Esquire ‘Best Fall Books of 2019’
    ‘A singular, gutting memoir, perhaps the most important book of the season…’
  • A Nylon34 Books You’ll Want to Read This Fall’
    Thought-provoking, unmooring and haunting.’

Jeannie has also been interviewed on the Tamron Hall daytime talk show which reaches over 1.6 million viewers. Jeannie addresses her motivation behind reaching out to her rapist and the decision to interview him and record their conversations. You can watch the full clip here.

Duckworth’s Summer Blog Tour

All throughout August, we’re celebrating a genre that is close to our hearts here at Duckworth: historical fiction! 

Keep an eye on our month-long blog tour on Twitter and read up on fabulous reviews of The Butcher’s Daughter, Ike and Kay, The Optickal Illusion and The Killing Gene

Travel in time to four different time periods and dive into stories ranging from historical adventure all the way to historical romance!

Horribly Good Books

The one and only World War Z by Max Brooks is a Forbes Best Horror Books of All Time pick, alongside Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Stephen King’s It!

‘Read the collection of stories that make up the documentation of the end of the word, each more fascinating than the last’, Forbes says about World War Z.  And of course we couldn’t agree more! 

As Halloween is drawing closer, why not get into the horror mood with Forbes’ excellent list!

How Clean is the Air We Breathe?

Mark Broomfield, author of Every Breath You Take, discusses the highly salient topic of air pollution in his recent interview in The Times

Did you know each year 40,000 people die prematurely due to the effects of pollution in the UK? Mark talks about these terrifying stats, his career as an air quality expert and the local threats to our air quality. 

Want to learn more about air pollution and how it affects us? Every Breath You Take is out now!