‘Humankind’ Book Blast


As part of the Frome Kindness Festival, award-winning independent bookshop Winstone’s Hunting Raven Books is setting in motion a town-wide ‘book blast’ – calling on as many local people as possible to read Humankind: A Hopeful History by internationally bestselling author Rutger Bregman.

Published in paperback last year, Humankind was hailed by Steven Fry as “an extraordinarily powerful declaration of faith in the innate goodness and natural decency of human beings”, and described by reviewers as “a superb read… full of great stories” (The Sunday Times) and “uplifting and compulsively readable” (The Telegraph). It was also shortlisted for Non-Fiction Book of the Year in the Independent Book Shop Book Awards in 2020 – for which Tina Gaisford Waller was a judge – only narrowly missing out on the top spot.

Tina, Manager of Hunting Raven Books, said, “Humankind takes to task the idea that humans are naturally self-seeking, untrustworthy creatures, casts a critical eye over famous research that had seemed to have exposed our darker nature, and asks how society might be different if we had more faith in human kindness and decency. Of course, there’s already so much kindness in our town. Reading this book together could help us take an even more optimistic view of ourselves and become even more kind to each other.”

Hunting Raven and the Kindness Festival team are encouraging both individual readers and local book clubs to read Humankind during February and then come together at 7.30pm on Tuesday 1st March to discuss these three questions:

  • What did you find most memorable about Humankind? Do you agree with the author’s main argument?
  • What impact, if any, could Humankind have on your relationships with family, friends and strangers?
  • What messages does Humankind have for Frome?

This will be the opening night of the Kindness Festival and the free event will take place at the Frome Town Hall, both face-to-face and online. Booking details will be made available next month.

Humankind – A Hopeful History is on sale at the special price of £7.99 from Hunting Raven (normal price £9.99) and copies are also available to borrow from Frome Library, which will be operating from a stall at the Wednesday and Saturday markets during February.

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Tina Gaisford-Waller, Manager of Hunting Raven Books with copies of ‘Humankind: A Hopeful History’ by Rutger Bregman