Book launch: Rural by Rebecca Smith - 9th June
Book launch: Rural by Rebecca Smith - 9th June
Book launch: Rural by Rebecca Smith - 9th June
Book launch: Rural by Rebecca Smith - 9th June
Night Owl Books

Book launch: Rural by Rebecca Smith - 9th June

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Join us for the paperback book launch of Rural: the Lives of the Working Class Countryside, by Rebecca Smith.

Rebecca Smith will be joining us at Smeaton Tearoom on Sunday, 9th June, at 7 pm, when she'll be in conversation with Louise Gray, author of Avocado Anxiety.

They'll be discussing Rebecca Smith's fascinating book Rural, followed by a book signing.

Purchase a copy of either Rural (publishing in paperback on the 6th June) or Avocado Anxiety via this page for free entrance to the event (admits one) - while spaces last! 

Please select 'local pick up' at the checkout if you would like to collect your copy/copies from Night Owl Books, or at the event. Copies of Rural will be available to collect at the event, or from the bookshop from the 6th June. 

About Rural:

Work in the countryside ties you, soul and salary, to the land. But often those who labour in nature have the least control over what happens there. In this beautifully observed book, Rebecca Smith traces the stories of foresters and millworkers, miners, builders, farmers and pub owners, to paint a picture of the working class lives that often go overlooked.

Living in rural areas means being surrounded by natural beauty, but for many it also demands hard work, precarity, fewer opportunities and – increasingly – being pushed out of the place your family might have called home for generations. In Rural, Rebecca Smith brings together the reasons we all love nature with the histories of life in its midst, and a prescient look at the dynamics for rural areas today. Why are our farmers struggling to make a profit on a pint of milk? What has Airbnb done to small communities in places like the Lake District? In a gorgeous tour of Scotland, England and Wales, this is a book for anyone who loves and longs for the countryside, and is interested in the future of rural Britain.

Paperback, 256 pages, publishing on the 6th June 2024.

About Rebecca Smith:

Rebecca Smith is a non-fiction author and journalist from Cumbria. She worked for BBC Radio for over a decade producing a variety of programmes including news and features and has written for The New York Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times. She has a Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University and now lives in Central Scotland with her three kids and partner. Rural: The Lives of the Working-Class Countryside is her first book.

About Avocado Anxiety


The food stories behind your favourite fruits and vegetables. Have you ever wondered who picked your Fairtrade banana or how far your green beans travelled to reach your plate? We are all part of a complex food system.

Trying to make sense of it, environmental journalist Louise Gray tracks the stories of our five-a-day, from farm to fruit bowl, and discovers the impact that growing fruits and vegetables has on the planet. Visiting farms, interviewing scientists and trying to grow her own, she asks important questions to dig up the dirt on familiar items in our shopping baskets. Are plant proteins as good for us as meat proteins? Why can we buy so-called ‘seasonal’ fruits like strawberries all year round? And is the symbol of clean eating, the avocado, fuelling the climate crisis?

As pressure grows to share our healthy, environmentally friendly lives on social media, Avocado Anxiety is also a personal story of motherhood and the realisation that nothing is ever perfect.

Paperback, 288 pages, published February 2024.
About Louise Gray:

Louise Gray is a freelance writer based in Scotland. She trained with The Press Association and was a staff writer for The Scotsman. She covered UN climate change talks, GM foods and the badger cull during five years as the Environment Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. Louise specialises in writing about food, farming and climate change. In recent years, she has written for The Sunday TimesScottish Field, the Guardian and The Spectator, among others. She has also appeared on BBC television and radio. Louise is passionate about environmental issues, increasingly focusing on how individuals can make a difference through the choices they make, such as the food we eat. Her first book, The Ethical Carnivore, won best Food Book and Best Investigative Work at the Guild of Food Writers Awards and was shortlisted for the Fortnum and Mason Food Book of the Year. @loubgray /

Event times:

Event: 19:00 - 20:00, followed by signing

Doors: 18:50

Venue information:

Smeaton Tearoom, Smeaton Nursery Garden, Preston Road, East Linton, EH40 3DT.


- Will I be sent an e-ticket before the event?

Please note that we will have a guest list on the door on the night of the event, and you will not be sent an e-ticket for it - simply let us know your name/the name of the person who booked your ticket when you arrive, and we'll check you in! 

A note on Covid precautions: if you feel unwell on the day, please err on the side of caution, and please take a lateral flow test before attending, if you can.