The Holt Bookshop – News & Events


10 Appleyard



NR25 6AR


01263 715858


Monday to Saturday
9.00am - 5.00pm 


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"I visited The Holt Bookshop when on holiday, and was immediately taken by the wide and interesting range of books and the friendly staff. I was easily able to find a couple of books that I hadn't seen anywhere else, and when after returning home I found a minor publisher's error with one of the books, David went out of his way to sort everything out. These are the reasons why we must never lose our independent book shops – interesting books and staff who are actually interested in their customers."
Alan White


Friday, November 11th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Tickets are £5, redeemable against the purchase of a book

Come and meet North Norfolk author and award-winning journalist at the bookshop on Friday, November 11th at 6.30pm. Richard will be discussing his new book, The Man Who Ate the Zoo: Frank Buckland, Forgotten Hero of Natural History.


The Man Who Ate the Zoo is a lively biography of 'the forgotten man of Victorian science,' a surgeon, natural historian, writer and conservationist. Buckland was obsessed by food security and finding ways to feed the hungry.

He can be credited with saving British fish from commercial extinction.



Friday, October 14th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Tickets are £5, redeemable against the purchase of a book


Come and meet artist Nicky Loutit who will be discussing her new book on October 14th at 6.30pm.

In 2015 Nicky began making paintings which evolved as she walked the North Norfolk Coast. Her book is a visualisation of memory - of how our past returns to us when we least expect or want it to - as well as a meditation on motherhood, ageing and a life fully lived.

An artist for 40 years, Nicky will be talking about her life to publisher Henry Layte.


Friday, September 30th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Tickets are £5, redeemable against the purchase of a book

Simon Barnes pic

Simon Barnes will be at The Holt Bookshop on Friday, 30th September at 6.30pm, to talk about his new book The Meaning of Birds.

One of our most eloquent nature writers offers a passionate and informative celebration of birds and their ability to help us understand the world we live in.

The Meaning of Birds jacket

From the mocking-birds of the Galapagos who guided Charles Darwin toward his evolutionary theory, to the changing patterns of migration that alert us to the reality of contemporary climate change, Simon explores both the intrinsic wonder of what it is to be a bird - and the myriad ways in which birds can help us understand the meaning of life.

Simon, who lives in Norfolk, worked as a journalist on The Times for 32 years, serving as Chief Sports Writer until 2014. He also wrote a weekly wildlife and bird-watching column.

Simon is the author of seventeen books, including three novels.

Children's Storytelling with Nandana Sen

Tuesday, July 26th and Wednesday, July 27th, 10-10.30am

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Nandana pic

Come and meet Indian author and award-winning actress Nandana Sen who will be at The Holt Bookshop from 10-10.30am on Tuesday, July 26, and Wednesday, July 27, to read from her new children’s book Kangaroo Kisses.

The free readings form part of this year’s Holt Festival and are designed for children aged 3+ (accompanied by an adult).

Kangaroo Kisses jacket

The book follows one mischievous child as she delays getting ready for bed and has some amazing wildlife encounters along the way.

A leading child rights activist, Nandana has starred in more than 20 feature films.


Thursday, June 9th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Tickets are £2, redeemable against the purchase of a book

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Come and meet North Norfolk author, Hugh Aldersey-Williams, whose new book Tide: The science and lore of the greatest force on earth, will be launched at the bookshop.

Tide jacket

From Cnut to D-Day, Hugh's book explores the science and lore behind the tide. Hugh's previous books include Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements, Anatomies: The Human Body, it's parts and the Stories They Tell and The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century.


Friday, March 18th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Tickets are £5, redeemable against the purchase of a book

Anything from a pin jacket

Come and meet Chris Armstrong who will be at The Holt Bookshop at 6.30pm on Friday, March 18th, to talk to John Smart about his new book Anything from a Pin to an Elephant: Tales of Norfolk Retail.

Norfolk boasts a remarkable collection of independent stores which have survived bombs, fires, recessions, depressions, family fallings out and takeover bids.

The book features a number of retailers including Bakers & Larners, Jarrolds and Roys of Wroxham.


Friday, February 26th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Tickets are £5, redeemable against the purchase of a book

Jutland was the only major fleet engagement to take place during the First World War and the only time in history in which columns of great battleships fought each other. Despite terrible losses of life, the battle did nothing to change the strategic situation in northern European waters. It simply confirmed Britain's command of the seas and her ability to enforce the blockade which eventually led to Germany's downfall.

This new book examines the strengths and weaknesses of both navies and identifies some of the reasons for the disappointing performance of the Royal Navy in the battle. Confusion and poor staff work in the Admiralty led to a failure to make proper use of the vital information gleaned by Room 40, the brilliant Admiralty intelligence centre, which was able to read German signals traffic.

Voices from Jutland jacket

Many years of totally irrelevant experience and inappropriate disciplines in the Victorian and Edwardian navies were poor preparation for 20th century warfare, and led to bad decisions being made by senior officers during the battle. Careless ammunition handling resulted in the loss of three battle cruisers and over 3,000 deaths. British warships were designed for world-wide cruising and to project naval might on a global basis, instead of being optimised for encounters close to home, in the North Sea.

By contrast the German fleet performed magnificently and their ships proved extremely durable, but this was not enough to enable them to mount a serious challenge to superior British fire power and numbers.

The book argues that the building of the High Seas Fleet was a strategic blunder on the part of the Germans, who could have forced Britain out of the war completely if they had instead concentrated on their submarine fleet and on mine-laying. Admiral Jellicoe, commander of the British Grand Fleet, was in the unenviable position of having to give overriding priority to keeping his fleet intact, rather than inflicting a crushing defeat on the enemy. His steadfast pursuit of this objective was to lead to ultimate victory.

Jim Crossley, who lives in Wiveton, comes from a naval family. His father served with the navy in the Second World War while his uncle was Admiral Goodenough who gave distinguished service at Jutland. Unfortunately, Jim’s poor eyesight meant he did his National Service with the army rather than the navy.

Jim’s previous books include Bismarck, the story of how the Royal Navy sank the pride of the German fleet in 1941, The Hidden Threat, which dealt with how the navy used mines and mine-sweeping to combat the threat of U-boats and German mines, and a book on Monitor warships, which mounted the biggest guns the navy has ever employed.

Jim, who read modern history at Cambridge before spending his working life in engineering, has also written a novel, Something Wrong With Our Ships.


Friday, February 12th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

Tickets are £5, redeemable against the purchase of a book

Woman in Blue jacket

The murder of women priests in Walsingham sucks Dr Ruth Galloway into an unholy investigation. When Ruth's friend Cathbad sees a vision of the Virgin Mary, in a white gown and blue cloak, in the graveyard next to the cottage he is house-sitting, he takes it in his stride. Walsingham has strong connections to Mary, and Cathbad is a druid after all; visions come with the job.

But when the body of a woman in a blue dressing-gown is found dead the next day in a nearby ditch, it is clear Cathbad's vision was all too human, and that a horrible crime has been committed. DCI Nelson and his team are called in for the murder investigation, and soon establish that the dead woman was a recovering addict being treated at a nearby private hospital. Ruth, a devout atheist, has managed to avoid Walsingham during her seventeen years in Norfolk.

But then an old university friend, Hilary Smithson, asks to meet her in the village, and Ruth is amazed to discover that her friend is now a priest. Hilary has been receiving vitriolic anonymous letters targeting women priests - letters containing references to local archaeology and a striking phrase about a woman 'clad in blue, weeping for the world'. Then another woman is murdered - a priest.

As Walsingham prepares for its annual Easter re-enactment of the Crucifixion, the race is on to unmask the killer before they strike again...

Elly Griffiths

The Woman in Blue is the eighth book in Elly Griffiths’ series of crime novels featuring Ruth Galloway, all of which are set in Norfolk.

The previous books in the series are The Crossing Places, The Janus Stone, The House at Sea’s End, A Room Full of Bones, Dying Fall, The Outcast Dead and The Ghost Fields.

Elly has also written The Zig Zag Girl and Smoke and Mirrors, the first two books in her new Stephens and Mephisto series which is set in Brighton.

Elly read English at King’s College, London, and worked in publishing for many years before becoming a full-time writer. She lives near Brighton with her husband and their two children.


WARTIME AND POST-WAR HOLT: Illustrated History of Holt Volume 2

Tuesday, May 5th, at 6.30pm

The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt

This is a free event but please R.S.V.P

Holt Volume 2  jacket

Holt was directly affected by the Second World War because of its military importance. The threat of a German invasion turned the town into a strategic centre for coastal defences. Holt, in effect, became a garrison town.

Later phases of the war, particularly the bomber offensive and preparations for D-Day, meant that from 1939 until 1945 Holt was in a war zone. Rural tranquillity was shattered and its inhabitants and those returning from war service had to rebuild their community in the post-war years.

Like Keith Entwistle's Volume One, this account tells the story of the town through the memories of those who remembered.