Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce

Friday 24th October, 7.30pm

Rachel Joyce’s debut novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was one of the huge bestsellers of 2012. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, it was the story of a man whose simple trip to the post box becomes a mammoth walk from Devon to Berwick-Upon-Tweed to see a dying friend from the past. The […]

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Ellee Seymour

Saturday 25th October, 11.30am

Shopgirls is a heartfelt and dramatic collection of memoirs of young women who worked in an upmarket Cambridge ladies department store during the 1940s-60s called Heyworth’s, which served titled and distinguished ladies related to the royal family, to gypsy women from the Midsummer Fair.  These lovely women, now in their 80s and 90s, had the most […]

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Alexander McCall Smith

Lunch with Alexander McCall Smith at the Poet’s House

Tuesday 28th October, 12.30pm

We are delighted to welcome the brilliant raconteur -  Alexander McCall Smith – once again to Ely . Throughout all his wonderful series – from  No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Isabel Dalhousie and Bertie, and 44 Scotland Street, his warm and witty prose has delighted millions of readers. Alexander is a magnetic speaker; his hilarious […]

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Michel Deon

Wednesday 29th October, 3.30pm

The Foundling Boy was one of the our favourite novels of last year, and the subject of one of our most lively and entertaining reading groups. We were left wondering about Jean Arnaud’s future, and we are delighted that the sequel, The Foundling’s War, has now arrived! Michel Déon will be joining us for afternoon […]

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Jonathan Stroud

Halloween event with Jonathan Stroud

Friday 31st October, 7.30pm

Join us for a spooky Halloween event and a lesson in ghost-hunting from Jonathan Stroud in our first event for young adults and older children! Stroud’s first book in The Lockwood Agency series was The Screaming Staircase, a brilliantly clever and scary story set in modern England, and the next installment The Whispering Skull promises […]

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Helen Castor

Helen Castor

Monday 3rd November, 7.30pm

Helen Castor’s last history book, She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth, was a brilliant examination of three exceptional women: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Isabella of France, and Margaret of Anjou. all of whom had a profound impact in shaping British history. Now Helen turns her attention to one of the other great historical female […]

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Paddy Ashdown

Paddy Ashdown

Wednesday 5th November, 7.30pm

From best-selling author of A Brilliant Little Operation and winner of the British Army Military History prize comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif – the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. This meticulously researched book from Paddy Ashdown recounts […]

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Mark Cocker

Thursday 6th November, 7.30pm

 Mark introduces us to his new book, Claxton, a collection of twelve diarised accounts exploring his relationship with the East Anglian landscape, and wildlife in the village of Claxton.  Mark’s writing is inspiring and concise; each entry has a closeness of observation, a depth of experience, and a profound awareness of seasonal changes. Join us […]

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Jane Parkinson website

An Evening of Wine and Food with Jane Parkinson

Friday 7th November, 7.30pm

Join us for an evening of wine and food with an award-winning wine writer and a rising star in the world of wine. We’ll be tapping into Jane’s expert knowledge, trying some delicious food and wine pairings, and exploring different varieties of grape. The way we all buy wine, serve it, enjoy it and match […]

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Sarah Coakley

Monday 10th November, 7.30pm

God, Sexuality and the Self is Coakley’s new, edgy and compelling venture in systematic theology. An inquistive and accessible questioning of the traditional ideas of ‘sexuality’ and ‘gender’, which escapes the current deadlock of church thought. Coakley invites the reader to re-think the relation of sexual desire and the desire for God, and chart its intrinsic […]

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Selected Poems by Dylan Thomas

Monday 10th November, 7.30pm

Celebrating Thomas’ centenary year, this bookgroup will be a fantastic chance to read and discuss his best known poetry – some of the most haunting, intense, memorable and communicative in the English language.

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Reading Group: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Monday 10th November, 7.30pm

Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks how one woman can hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others.

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Morpurgo Website2

Armistice Day with Michael Morpurgo

Tuesday 11th November, 7.30pm

We mark Armistice Day and the centenary of the beginning of First World War with a special evening of readings in Ely Cathedral. Michael Morpurgo introduces Only Remembered, an anthology of war writing and illustrations - featuring everything from poetry to new pieces of writing, personal accounts and short stories. The entries have been chosen by a range of well-known figures, from Sir Terry Pratchett […]

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Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult

Wednesday 12th November, 7.30pm

Jenna Metcalf was with her mother the night she disappeared in tragic and mysterious circumstances, but she remembers nothing. Over ten years have passed, and still Jenna reads and rereads her mother’s journals, hoping to find some clue hidden there, in the meticulous recording of her scientific research with elephants. Desperate for answers, Jenna uses […]

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Jim Kelly

Thursday 13th November, 7.30pm

Jim’s gripping crime novels, featuring our local surroundings, have a well-deserved and loyal following. In his latest, At Death’s Window, we return to King’s Lynn with Shaw and Valentine. Jim is a brilliant speaker, and his discussions of how our local area fits with creating such great detective stories are absolutely fascinating.

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Coffee and Cake with Stuart Hillard of Great British Sewing Bee

Saturday 15th November, 11am

  Semi-finalist of BBC2′s Great British Sewing Bee, Stuart Hillard brings his fantastic sense of invention, passion, creativity and style to all things fabric. Stuart’s first love is sewing for the home – transforming everything from tablecloths, cushions and curtains to garden chairs and quilts. His mission is to make sewing for the home accessible […]

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Paul Merton

Comedian Paul Merton

Monday 17th November, 7.30pm

Known for his intelligent and often surreal humour, Paul Merton’s weekly appearances on BBC1’s Have I Got News For You – as well as Radio 4’s Just A Minute and his travel documentaries – have made him an artfully rebellious fixture in our lives for over 25 years. In his rich and beautifully ­observed autobiography, Only When I Laugh, Paul […]

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Jenny Uglow

Jenny Uglow

Tuesday 18th November, 7.30pm

Jenny Uglow, the prize-winning author of The Lunar Men and Nature’s Engraver, now turns her attention to the Napoleonic Wars – the first global wars. In These Times tells the story of ordinary people living in this time, those that were not on the battlefront, but whose lives were profoundly changed by the wars.   […]

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Sheila hancock

Sheila Hancock

Wednesday 19th November, 7.30pm

Sheila Hancock has had an enormously successful career in film, television, theatre and radio. Publishing her memoir she won the British Book Award for Author of the Year.  Now, in Miss Carter’s War, Sheila Hancock proves that she is a vibrant new voice in British fiction. Britain, 1948. The young and beautiful, half French, half […]

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Wendy Cope2

Wendy Cope

Thursday 20th November, 7.30pm

In Wendy’s latest work,  Life, Love and the Archers,  we meet an eclectic collection of her literary creations – from the Enid-Blyton-obsessed schoolgirl, the ambivalent daughter, the amused teacher, the sensitive journalist, the cynical romantic and the savagely funny television critic. Her poetry collections, from the bestselling Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis to the more […]

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Mark Thompson

Astronomy Walk and Talk with Mark Thompson

Friday 21st November, 7pm

Mark Thompson has spent many years capturing the beauty of the night sky, first with film and now with the digital camera, and has discovered and overcome many of the pitfalls. Come and meet a real expert in astrophotography and stargazing. Mark Thompson has a wealth of knowledge, and he will be sharing his valuable […]

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Ottolenghi

Cookery demonstration with Yotam Ottolenghi

Monday 24th November, 7.45pm

Yotam Ottolenghi’s previous cookbook – the award-winning Jerusalem- was received to global acclaim. Ottolenghi has revolutionised the way people cook and eat, focussing on flavoursome vegetable dishes, original spicing and the freshness of ingredients. Plenty More picks up where his last vegetarian cookery book Plenty left off, with 120 more dazzling vegetable-based dishes, this time organised […]

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David Mitchell Comedian

Comedian David Mitchell

Tuesday 25th November, 7.45pm

Prized comedian David Mitchell will be delighting us with a tour of the absurdities of modern life – from Ryanair to Downton Abbey, sports day to smoking, Poundland to phone etiquette, UKIP to hotdogs made of cats. David’s latest book Thinking About It Only Makes it Worse! is a funny and provocative look at modern […]

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Cyprian Broodbank

Cyprian Broodbank

Thursday 27th November, 7.30pm

The Making of the Middle Sea charts the rise of the Mediterranean world from its very beginnings up to the threshold of Classical times. For millions of years the Mediterranean has produced some of the most astonishing history and culture on the planet, and its legacy extends around the globe to this day, providing some […]

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John Julius Norwich 2

John Julius Norwich

Friday 28th November, 7.30pm

John Julius Norwich is the author of The Great Cities in History as well as magisterial histories of Norman Sicily, Venice, and the Byzantine Empire. He has written widely on architecture and music and presented some thirty BBC documentaries, as well as writing every year’s hugely popular Christmas Cracker! More than just a history of […]

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Reading Group: Sculptor’s Daughter by Tove Jansson

Monday 8th December, 7.30pm

Get into the Christmas spirit with this delightfully clear-eyed and evocative mixture of short fiction and autobiography by the creator of Moominland.

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Reading Group: Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

Monday 8th December, 7.30pm

Funny, profound and left-field, thirteen chapters, each a short story in its own right, Black Swan Green creates an exquisitely observed world of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood.

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