Outskirts, the paperback!

Very excited that the paperback of my book, Outskirts: Living Life on the Edge of the Green Belt, is out on 8th February.

Obviously I'm all about buying books from actual shops with people and carpets and everything. Support your local high street. But here are a few online buy links if you're worried about going outside because of armed mice or bird flu.

WaterstonesFoylesHiveAmazonBlackwellsGuardian Bookshop.

Not convinced? In July 2018 it was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize. And people have said nice things about it, look!

'Grindrod's evocative and intelligent exploration of the green belt and its place in our national consciousness is part history and part memoir. He deftly weaves the two together, transforming what might otherwise have been a dry, technical discussion of planning and housing policy into a heartfelt narrative . . . One of the great strengths of Grindrod's book is his moving portrait of his late parents . . . [his] personal yet highly informative account of the origins and meaning of the green belt provides an excellent point of departure for an essential debate about its future, one that is likely to be contentious but is long overdue.'
PD Smith, Guardian

'Illuminating and enjoyable . . . tolerantly and unsentimentally, he gets us close up to the green belt as it actually is today . . . what truly lifts it is the personal element, above all Grindrod's portrayal of family life.'
David Kynaston, Spectator

'Grindrod writes beautifully about nature . . . a lucid, evocative book, suffused with sadness and anger.'
Lynsey Hanley, Financial Times

'Well-researched and engaging . . . It allows the reader to reconsider parts of the country that they might have taken for granted, and offers its own modest encomium to a part of England that seems under threat.'
Alexander Larman, Observer

'A coherent, deeply researched study . . . the experience of Grindrod's very ordinary yet unique family upbringing forms a logical sequence underpinning much of what he says about the green belt.'
Gillian Tindall, TLS

'A satisfying ramble through the Green Belt of past and future with a backpack full of research ... thought-provoking [and] compelling.'
Laura Waddell, The List

'A terrific, and very moving read. Fascinating study in the emotional landscapes of cities. A hymn to the peripheral that is totally on target.'
Leo Hollis, author of Cities Are Good for You

'What better lens to view the current friction between nature and our engorged cities than the Green Belt? A brilliant idea, brilliantly executed.'
Tristan Gooley, bestselling author of The Walkers Guide

'Outskirts is dotted with funny anecdotes and familiar cultural references from a 1970s childhood. Grindrod segues elegantly between memoir and fascinating social history.'
BBC Countryfile


  1. Hi John, I was arranging a walk over the North Downs finishing at New Addington and Andrew Stuck of the Museum of Walking suggested your book to me. I had not come across your work before but I must say I am enjoying it tremendously. I read a couple of passages to my walking group, including when we reached Fairchildes Avenue.
    So thanks. regards Tim of londonspiral.wordpress.com


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