August Reading Groups

Monday 8th August, 7.30pm

A Time of Gifts – Patrick Leigh Fermor In the winter of 1933 the eighteen year old Patrick Leigh Fermor, carrying virtually no money and very few possessions, embarked upon a year long walk from Rotterdam to Istanbul. Forty-four years later he began to recount this remarkable journey in a book which has come to […]

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August Reading Groups

Monday 8th August, 7.30pm

Jonathan Coe – Number 11. Jonathan Coe wrote one of the defining novels of the Thatcher era, What a Carve Up. With Number 11 he tries to do the same for contemporary Britain, through the lives of childhood friends Alison and Rachel. A funny, angry satire of modern Britain; does he succeed in capturing  the […]

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Andrew Taylor website

Andrew Taylor

Monday 5th September, 7.30pm

From  Kings School alumnus Andrew Taylor, bestselling author of The American Boy and The Silent Boy, comes the first of an exciting new series of historical thrillers set during the time of the Great Fire of London.  As fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path, James Marwood, reluctant government informer, watches  the devastation […]

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The Hairy Bikers are back

Tuesday 6th September, 7.30pm

When The Hairy Bikers arrived  last year for a fleeting afternoon visit, we all wished it could have been for longer – and now our wish has been granted! Si King and Dave Myers are back, this time in the glorious setting of Ely Cathedral, to celebrate another heart-warming and down-to-earth cookery book, perfect for all the family. […]

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Anne Sebba crop

Anne Sebba

Thursday 8th September, 7.30pm

How did the women of Paris survive the occupation? This was a time of fear, power, aggression, courage and extreme deprivation. Women  came face to face with their conquerors on a daily basis, and often made life or death  decisions in order to survive. . Anne Sebba has assembled an extraordinary cast of  native Parisians and temporary […]

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Midge Gillies

Midge Gillies

Thursday 15th September, 7.30pm

Most families have an army wife somewhere in their past. Over the centuries they have followed their men to the front, helped them keep order in far-flung parts of the empire or waited anxiously at home. Local author Midge Gillies uses first hand accounts, letters and diaries to tell their story. We meet the wives […]

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Supper with Diana Henry

Friday 16th September, 7.30pm

We know what it means when Diana Henry arrives in Ely – an evening of delicious eating! You are invited to a very special evening – a three course meal with recipes chosen from Diana’s latest book, Simple. Simple is filled with ingenious, no-hassle ideas that will lift any occasion –  from Turkish Pasta with Caramelized Onions, and Paprika-baked Pork […]

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Colin Thubron

Colin Thubron

Monday 19th September, 7.30pm

Colin Thubron  published his first book, Mirror to Damascus, in 1967. Since then, he has established himself as one of our finest writers with a succession of travel books and a parallel career as a novelist. Night of Fire is his latest, and finest, novel. In a burning house, the stories of six tenants and their landlord […]

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Jessie Burton

Wednesday 21st September, 7.30pm

Jessie Burton burst onto the literary scene two years ago with her best-selling debut The Miniaturist. Now she follows that great success with another novel of bold ambition and imagination,   The Muse,  an unforgettable story about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception. It moves between Sixties London and Spain during the Civil War, unravelling by […]

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Jim Kelly2

Jim Kelly

Thursday 22nd September, 7.30pm

Jim Kelly of course will need no introduction to Toppings regulars. A previous winner of The Crime Writers Association Dagger in the Library award, Jim’s East Anglian flavoured  crime novels are loved for their beautifully drawn characters, a strong sense of both place and history, and of course, their intricate (and sometimes gruesome!) plots. Death Ship is no exception: when an […]

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Ben Macintyre

Ben MacIntyre on The SAS

Monday 26th September, 7.30pm

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was imaginative, radical and entirely against the rules: a small, undercover unit that would wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave […]

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victoria hislop crop

Victoria Hislop

Tuesday 27th September, 7.30pm

Week after week, the postcards arrive, addressed to a name Ellie does not know, with no return address, each signed with an initial: A. With their bright skies, blue seas and alluring images of Greece, these cartes postales brighten her life. After six months, to her disappointment, they cease. But the montage she has created on […]

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philip ball crop

Philip Ball

Wednesday 28th September, 7.30pm

Philip Ball, author of Critical Mass and The Music Instinct, takes us on a grand journey through China’s past and present, offering a unique window through which we can begin to grasp the overwhelming complexity and teeming energy of the country and its people. Water is a key that unlocks much of Chinese history and thought; […]

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Artemis Cooper2

Artemis Cooper on Elizabeth Jane Howard

Thursday 29th September, 7.30pm

Elizabeth Jane Howard wrote brilliant novels about what love can do to people, but in her own life the lasting relationship she sought so ardently always eluded her. Following her divorce from her first husband,  naturalist Peter Scott, Jane embarked on a string of high-profile relationships with Cecil Day-Lewis, Arthur Koestler, Laurie Lee and Kingsley Amis which […]

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Adrian Tinniswood on the English Country House

Friday 30th September, 7.30pm

It might seem there is nothing quite as beautiful as an English country house in summer. And there has never been a summer quite like that Indian summer between the two world wars, a period of gentle decline in which the sun set slowly on the British Empire and the shadows lengthened on the lawns […]

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18 Feb 2010 --- Richard Coles in St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, London. --- Image by © Muir Vidler/Corbis Outline

Richard Coles

Tuesday 11th October, 7.30pm

Richard Coles charmed us all when he last visited for the first volume of his autobiography, Fathomless Riches. Wry humour, celebrity anecdote and often very affecting affirmations of his faith proved a winning combination. Bringing in the Sheaves continues where Fathomless Riches left off, with Richard’s ordination in 2005. The story, however, is told very differently, structured around the […]

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Margaret Atwood c. Liam Sharp

Margaret Atwood

Wednesday 12th October, 7.30pm

Come and spend an evening with the best-selling novelist Margaret Atwood this autumn as she discusses her new book, Hag-Seed, a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Margaret’s novel take on this tale of enchantment, revenge and second chances is filled with  surprises and wonders of its own. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from one of the world’s most […]

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