Walking Book Group


Join our walking book group in 2019!

A first for York, our monthly walks are a great opportunity to share and talk about interesting books you have read, meet friendly local people and discover easy walks, places and the best cafes in York 🙂

Three easy steps:

  • Read a book around a theme
  • Walk and talk about your book
  • Enjoy a chat in a café afterwards

We offer some suggestions for books which come largely from the library catalogue and our leader’s knowledge and love of books, but there is no requirement to read any of these, feel free to bring memories of your own reading on the theme.

We meet 11am, first Thursday of the month. Our meeting place from January 2019 is outside York Explore on Museum Street. https://goo.gl/maps/SZPa7WU7v6K2

Everyone is welcome!

Thursday 5 July – theme is Gardens.

Some suggestions for reading around this theme:

Cinnamon Gardens by Anna Jacobs

Yew Tree Gardens by Anna Jacobs

Gardens of delight by Erica James-

Dissident gardens: a novel by Jonathan Lethem

The gardens of the British working class by Margaret Willes

The garden of lost and found by Harriet Evans

In the garden of the fugitives by Ceridwen Dovey
Linnea’s Windowsill Garden by Christina Björk

Linnea in Monet’s Garden byChristina Björk

(The Linnea books are completely enchanting children’s books about gardens.)

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Children’s classic. “A girl is sent to live with her uncle and becomes intrigued by the prospect of a forgotten garden. Her quest to find out the garden’s secrets leads her to discover other secrets hidden in the manor.”

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

“Cliff Cottage and its forgotten garden are notorious amongst the Cornish locals for the secrets they hold – secrets about the doomed Mountrachet family and their ward Eliza Makepeace, a writer of dark Victorian fairytales.”

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Atmospheric Southern Gothic non-fiction novel set in the Deep American South, about eccentric characters in and around the city of Savannah.

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

Children’s book. At Tom’s aunt’s house, the clock strikes thirteen during the night and Tom enters a garden of a different time that no longer exists in the present.

A Green and Pleasant Land: How England’s Gardeners Fought the Second World War by Ursula Buchan

The Bach Flower Remedies by Edward Bach

Comprehensive guide to Homeopathic healing essences drawn from wildflower blooms.

Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

In a rainy spring in 1920s London four women meet through a newspaper ad that advertises a small castle and garden in Italy, available to rent for a month.

Elizabeth‘s German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim

The author’s humorous chronicling of her own gardening experiences.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

“Semi-autobiographical and recorded in the 1940s and 1950s, the story of Deborah, a 16-year-old schizophrenic young Jewish girl, is told with amazing insight into the delusions and hallucinations of this type of mental illness. At the same time the “unreality” Deborah experiences is described so creatively, and evocatively, and is so rich and textured, that it is very easy to find yourself falling into “her” vision of the world.”

The Lost Gardens: An English Garden Mystery by Anthony Eglin

“Eglin, a prize-winning expert on roses, brings all of his expertise to the fore in this gentle cozy mystery about English gardens and horticulture.”— Library Journal

The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield

Classic short story.

The Night Garden by Polly Horvath

Children’s/young adult book. In 1945 a remote farm on Vancouver island contains a magic garden.

Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively

“Here the acclaimed British novelist has produced a medley of garden memoir, landscape history, literary analysis and personal musings.” Adrian Higgins, Washington Post.

Sunlight on the Lawn by Beverley Nichols

Conclusion of a classic trilogy about the restoration of a Georgian house and its garden, with an emphasis on the garden in this volume.

“Horticultural titbits dished up with the most generous helpings of the well-mannered malice at which the British gentry excels.” (The Guardian)

The Potting-Shed Papers by Charles Elliot

A collection of 31 essays on gardens, gardeners, and garden history.


These easy walks aim to be suitable for most ages and abilities. They are on pavements or good footpaths, mostly on the flat. They last around an hour with breaks if necessary. Please wear walking and mud-friendly shoes and bring waterproofs or sunscreen and water, depending on the forecast. We may adjourn to a cafe afterwards, depending on what the group wants to do.

Volunteer leaders!

We are looking for volunteers to help us run the walks, so do get in touch if you are interested – see volunteer role description here.

If you’d like to find out more, talk to us at yorkbikebelles@gmail.com or call 01904 274790.

“Beautiful way to spend an hour. Gave me a warm glow that lasted the rest of the day”. Katrina.