Sparkling line up for this summer’s Proms at St Jude’s Litfest
We’re super-excited to be the official bookseller once more at this summer’s Litfest at Proms at St Jude’s Festival. Not familiar with it? Well how’s this for starters: the festival covers music and literature and takes place over a weekend at the idyllic setting of the Lutyens-designed St Jude’s Church (the music bit) and Henrietta Barnett School (the Litfest) just up the road in leafy NW11. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, all proceeds go to Toynbee Hall and The North London Hospice.
Among the throng at Litfest is West Hampstead’s very own bestselling author Susie Steiner and she will be in stellar company with fellow authors the legendary voice of Woman’s Hour, Dame Jenni Murray, the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, Nina Stibbe, Dan Cruikshank, Laurence Rees, Natalie Haynes and Joel Morris and Jason Hazeley, the team behind the recent bestselling Ladybird books pastiches.
The festival runs on the weekend of 24/25 June and, in our experience, it’s a real treat: lovely music and wonderful talks in a beautiful setting
Join us on June 28 at 7.30 for a hot, hot, hot evening with our friends Jacaranda Books who are unveiling two perfect holiday reads for the summer, former lawyer Paula Lennon’s Montego Bay, which pits two unlikely partners against corruption in the upper echelons of Jamaican big business and Swimming With Fishes, Rasheda Ashanti Malcolms’s tender exploration of love, empowerment and morality.
Entry is free, but please book via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 431 3770
Watling St: join us for travels through Britain and its ever chaning past
Join us on 13th July when author John Higgs will be talking to us about Watling Street, his literary journey along one of Britain’s oldest roads in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.
‘We are seeking a better sense of our national identity. Not one that is imposed on us, but one which bubbles naturally out of the land…it is out there waiting for us and, if we head out of the front door and follow the road we will find it. It is an identity fit for those who would live nowhere else…but who wince at jingoism and flag-waving. It should not make anyone proud to be British; it should make them delighted to be British’
The many using the road every day might think it unremarkable, but Watling Street perfectly showcases Higgs’ talent for explaining the present by delving into the quirky, untold stories of the past with wit, flair and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.
‘Watling Street is one of those books where you constantly find yourself underlining pithy quotes,’ according to the Bookseller. ‘It’s a compelling study of the origins of our national identity at a time when it’s becoming more complex than ever’
To hear some of these pithy quotes live and discover what it might mean to be British, book for the Watling Street talk , which begins at 730 via 0207 431 3770 / email@example.com
They made beautiful music: the true story of a marriage that went the distance
When young South African Anthya Rael, left her family behind to come and study in post-war London, she not only found a new life full of music, colour and career success as a concert pianist, she also found lifelong love with violinist Raymond Cohen.
Overture and Beginners Please, an autobiography in five movements, spans Anthya’s long life, from her background growing up in a family of East European emigrees in colonial Durban, to her London years with its cast of colourful friends and teachers and her match made in heaven with Cohen, who became leader of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and with whom she travelled the world performing.
Now sadly widowed after a 50 year union, Anthya, who is still performing and teaching the piano well into her Eighties, will be joining us on 18th July at 7.30 to talk about her affectionate look back on a life well lived. If you would like to attend, please call or email us (0207 431 firstname.lastname@example.org)
Karen Dionne, Alex Marwood and a whole lot of psychodrama
There are thrillers and there are thrillers that keep you up all night and haunt your waking hours demanding that you keep turning pages.
The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne has fellow crime writers in hyperbolic overdrive: ‘mesmerising’, ‘sensational’, ‘gorgeously written’, ‘an exceptional achievement’ and personally it had me from ‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of 17’
Is it really that good? Make your own mind up when Karen joins us on the evening of 19 July to talk all things crime with another of our favourite thrilleristas, the wonderful Alex Marwood, who will be talking about her latest edge of the seat psycho drama, The Darkest Secret while the very brilliant Laura Wilson, author of the Stratton series of retro Capital procedurals and Guardian crime critic,chairs the whole caboodle.
Not for the faint hearted, our sensational crime evening is free to attend (but please book your place). Case the joint from 7.30pm