Sunday, June 11, 2023

On My Radar: Pip Williams' The Bookbinder!


Ever since Pip Williams' The Dictionary of Lost Words made my Best Reads of 2022 list, I've kept an eye peeled to make sure I didn't miss a new book from the Australian author. So my eyes zeroed in on their target when I saw she had a new book being released in a few months.

Let's take a look!

Available August 1, 2023!


"It is 1914, and as the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, women must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who live on a narrow boat in Oxford and work in the bindery at the university press.

Ambitious, intelligent Peggy has been told for most of her life that her job is to bind the books, not read them—but as she folds and gathers pages, her mind wanders to the opposite side of Walton Street, where the female students of Oxford’s Somerville College have a whole library at their fingertips. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has: to spend her days folding the pages of books in the company of the other bindery girls. She is extraordinary but vulnerable, and Peggy feels compelled to watch over her.

Then refugees arrive from the war-torn cities of Belgium, sending ripples through the Oxford community and the sisters’ lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can educate herself and use her intellect, not just her hands. But as war and illness reshape her world, her love for a Belgian soldier—and the responsibility that comes with it—threaten to hold her back.

The Bookbinder
is a story about knowledge—who creates it, who can access it, and what truths get lost in the process. Much as she did in the international bestseller The Dictionary of Lost Words, Pip Williams thoughtfully explores another rarely seen slice of history through women’s eyes.

The Bookbinder is definitely going on my Need to Read list. I want to read about bookbinding and language and learning... and the World War I timeframe is a favorite of mine. If it's anything like The Dictionary of Lost Words, it's going to be a winner.

Will you be adding it to your list, too? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Oh, this one is definitely calling to me, Cathy! I like the setting, the context, and of course, the topic! I'll be really interested to know what you think of it.

  2. I can see why this one is going on your Need to Read list. I still need to read The Dictionary of Lost Words, but it's one I'm hoping to read this summer. :D

  3. Looks really good and I'm now curious enough to put it on my (long) list for later consideration. Thanks for the tip.


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