Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Tuesday 16 July 2024

Reading Group at the Black Buoy

Latest title

I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke

7pm 28th Feb 2022

The Black Buoy

This is a memoir as wry, funny, moving and vivid as its inimitable subject himself. This book will be a joy for both lifelong fans and for a whole new generation.

‘I Wanna Be Yours’ covers an extraordinary life, filled with remarkable personalities: from Nico to Chuck Berry, from Bernard Manning to Linton Kwesi Johnson, Elvis Costello to Gregory Corso, Gil Scott Heron, Mark E. Smith and Joe Strummer, and on to more recent fans and collaborators Alex Turner, Plan B and Guy Garvey. Interspersed with stories of his rock and roll and performing career, John also reveals his boggling encyclopaedic take on popular culture over the centuries: from Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe to Pop Art, pop music, the movies, fashion, football and showbusiness – and much, much more, plus a few laughs along the way.’

About John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke is a phenomenon: Poet Laureate of Punk, rock star, fashion icon, TV and radio presenter, social and cultural commentator. At 5 feet 11 inches (32in chest, 27in waist), in trademark dark suit, dark glasses, with dark messed-up hair and a mouth full of gold teeth, he is instantly recognizable. As a writer his voice is equally unmistakable and his own brand of slightly sick humour is never far from the surface.

Praise for I Wanna Be Yours

‘The godfather of British performance poetry.’

Daily Telegraph

‘The bookshop shelves have been clogged up for years by musicians and artists who made their debuts in the sulphurous days of 1976-7, but I Wanna Be Yours, the autobiography of the “punk poet” John Cooper Clarke, aka “the Bard of Salford”, knocked most of the competition into a cocked hat.’

TLS ‘Books of the Year’

‘Any autobiography that features both Bernard Manning and Nico is unlikely to disappoint; even less so when it’s written with such brilliantly Dickensian vigour by the Bard of Salford, John Cooper Clarke . . .this fast, funny book catches his life in its lines.’

Sunday Times ‘Music Books of the Year’


28th February 2022


Slow Roasted Belly of Pork, mustard mash, apple cider cream sauce and vegetables

Vegan Shepherds Pie, mushroom, lentil and root veg mash, vegetables and vegan gravy

Roast Loin of Cod, crushed new potatoes, mussel dill and white wine cream sauce and vegetables


Warm Bakewell Tart with flaked almonds, fresh raspberries and vanilla ice-cream

Belgian Chocolate Mousse with chocolate wafers and fresh raspberries

Black Buoy Cheeseboard: Cheddar, goats cheese, Stilton and Brie, selection of biscuits, grapes, apple and tomato chutney


Glass of white/red wine or a soft drink

Book now

About us

About the Reading Group

Join us for book talk and fine dining at the Black Buoy, Wivenhoe, where we meet monthly for an informal discussion of our chosen book. The group was founded in 2003, and we celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2013.

The Black Buoy is a 300-year-old inn located close to the River Colne near the waterfront of the historic port of Wivenhoe serving freshly-prepared and home-cooked dishes and award-winning ales in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

Discussion is informal, and many new friendships have been made – what better way to break the ice with a stranger than to have both read the same book and be eager to discuss it over a relaxing glass of wine?

How To Join

To join us simply provide us with your email address, and we’ll let you know the monthly book choice. All you need to do is read the book, book your menu choices, and pay. Membership also entitles you to a special price on the book. N.B. Payment must be received by the Saturday before each meeting.

The requirements of the restaurant mean that should you need to cancel we are unable to refund payment unless a minimum of 24 hours notice is given by calling 01206 824050.

2022 Meeting Dates

28th February, 28th March, 25th April, 30th May, 27th June, 25th July. NO MEETING IN AUGUST. 26th September, 24th October, 28th November. NO MEETING IN DECEMBER.

Previous titles...

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Monday 27th September 7pm

The Black Buoy

On Christmas Eve, 1617, the sea around the remote Norwegian island of Vardo is thrown into a reckless storm. As Maren Magnusdatter watches, forty fishermen, including her father and brother, are lost to the waves, the menfolk of Vardo wiped out in an instant.

Now the women must fend for themselves. The Mercies is a story about how suspicion can twist its way through a community, and a love that may prove as dangerous as it is powerful.

Publisher’s Synopsis

About Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Kiran Millwood Hargrave was born in Surrey in 1990, and her earliest ambition was to be a cat, closely followed by a cat-owner or the first woman on Mars. She has achieved only one of these things, but discovered that being a writer lets you imagine whatever you want. She started writing poetry in her final year at university, producing three poetry books and a play before she turned to children’s fiction.

Her bestselling children’s books The Girl of Ink & Stars, The Island at the End of Everything and The Way Past Winter received numerous awards. Her first book for adults, The Mercies debuted at number 1 on The Times Bestseller Chart, number 5 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List, and was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize.

Kiran lives in Oxford with her husband, artist Tom de Freston, and the fulfilment of one of her earliest ambitions: their rescue cat, Luna.

Praise for The Mercies

‘A gripping novel inspired by a real-life witch hunt. Hargrave’s prose is visceral and immersive; the muddy, cold life and politics of a fishing village leap to vivid life. But her most vital insights are about the human heart: how terrifyingly quickly prejudices can turn into murder, and how desperately we need love and courage to oppose it. Beautiful and chilling’ – Madeline Miller

‘The Mercies is among the best novels I’ve read in years. In addition to its beautiful writing, its subject matter is both enduring and timely.’ – The New York Times

‘The Mercies took my breath away. A beautifully rendered portrait of a community, a landscape, a relationship, I read it with equal parts hope and dread. Kiran Millwood Hargrave has masterfully built up an incredible claustrophobic atmosphere, shot through with delicate intimacy. On finishing it I pressed the book to me, hoping to absorb some of her skill.’ – Tracy Chevalier