Bath Events and Reading Groups

In this beautiful Georgian city we host all sorts of literary occasions from reading groups to large events. We are home to an all year round literary festival, culminating every year in our Bath Autumn Literary Festival.

Black Sea Bookshop Supper: Caroline Eden

Friday 28th June, 8pm

Celebrated travel journalist, Caroline Eden’s award-winning Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes Through Darkness and Light is a feasting journey between three great cities – Odessa, built on a dream by Catherine the Great, through Istanbul, the fulcrum balancing Europe and Asia and on to tough, stoic, lyrical Trabzon.  From the Jewish table of Odessa, to […] See more »

An Evening with The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers

Friday 28th June, 8pm

Having briefly put down their pens and picked up guitars, crime-writing’s very own super-group – Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Luca Veste, Doug Johnstone and Stuart Neville – happily murder much-loved songs by The Clash, Elvis Costello, Hank Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and many others who are currently considering legal action. On the […] See more »

July Fiction Reading Group

Monday 1st July, 7.30pm

There There is the first novel by Cheyenne and Arapaho author Tommy Orange. Published in 2018, it opens with an essay by Orange as a prologue, and then proceeds to follow a large cast of Native Americans living in the area of Oakland, California, as they struggle with a wide array of challenges ranging from depression and alcoholism, to unemployment, fetal alcohol syndrome, and the challenges of living with an […] See more »

Launch for Claire-Louise Price’s Dancing with Love

Tuesday 2nd July, 7.30pm

Claire-Louise Price’s new collection of poems, Dancing with Love, encapsulates and celebrates the elusive, and often overlooked, qualities of human existence. Through wit, a masterful use of understatement, and above all, the poignant contrast of the light-hearted with the profound, the poems are about life after death in more ways than one.     See more »

Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Wednesday 3rd July, 8pm

Internationally acclaimed poet Ocean Vuong reflects on his writing life and debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original – poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling. Now the author brings his poetic precision to […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Sardine & Alex Jackson

Thursday 4th July, 8pm

Wedged between Angel and Old Street tube stations, Alex Jackson’s neighbourhood restaurant, Sardine has garnered rave reviews from Fay Maschler, Grace Dent and Marina O’Loughlin. With a foreword by Diana Henry (one of her favourite places to eat), his unique collection of recipes encapsulates the beauty and simplicity of Southern European cooking. Sardine’s focus is […] See more »

Riding the World’s Wildest Horse Race with Lara Prior-Palmer

Monday 8th July, 8pm

Rough Magic is the exceptional debut memoir of Lara Prior-Palmer, then nineteen, who travelled to Mongolia to compete in the world’s longest, toughest horse race, and emerged as its youngest and first-ever female winner. The Mongol Derby is a feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains, once traversed by the people of Genghis Khan, […] See more »

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Tuesday 9th July, 8pm

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan’s debut novel Harmless Like You was a beautiful and evocative exploration of belonging, identity and the trauma of abandonment. It was one of our favourite novels of 2016, and one of the most notable debuts of the past decade. It is with great excitement, therefore, that we welcome Rowan to the bookshop for […] See more »

Alison Weir on Anna of Kleve

Thursday 11th July, 8pm

She is a German princess. A king has fallen in love with her portrait. She has none of the accomplishments he admires in women – and she lives with a guilty secret. Anna awaits her bridegroom. She prays that she will please him. She knows she is no beauty… It is the most disastrous of […] See more »

Molly Case on How To Treat People

Monday 15th July, 8pm

The hand of a stranger offered in solace. A flower placed on a dead body as a mark of respect. A gentle word in response to fear and anger. It is these moments of empathy, in the extremis of human experience, which define us as people. Nobody knows this better than a nurse and Molly Case has […] See more »

Record Play Pause: An Evening with New Order’s Stephen Morris

Wednesday 17th July, 8pm

Stephen Morris has enjoyed a distinguished career as the accomplished drummer for Joy Division and New Order. Part memoir,  part scrapbook and part aural history, Record Play Pause perfectly captures Stephen’s wry and witty voice as he weaves a dual narrative of growing up in the North West during the 1970s with deep insight into […] See more »

An Evening with novelist, Deborah Moggach

Thursday 18th July, 8pm

Deborah Moggach’s The Carer is a deliciously funny, poignant and wry novel, full of surprising twists and turn, exploring our foibles from the old to the not so old. James is getting on a bit and needs full-time help. So Phoebe and Robert, his middle-aged offspring, employ Mandy, who seems willing to take him off […] See more »

July Poetry Reading Group: Forrest Gander’s Be With

Monday 22nd July, 7.30pm

Forrest Gander’s Be With  won the 2019 Pullitzer Prize in Poetry. It is a startling collection of poems looking at loss, grief, and regret into the exquisite nature of intimacy. One of America’s finest poets, Forrest Gander’s work has still yet to reach the audience he deserves. And this is a great opportunity to discover a […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Taverna with Georgina Hayden

Thursday 25th July, 8pm

Greek Cypriot food is a melting pot of delicious flavours: simple Mediterranean salads; classic ingredients like feta, a squeeze of lemon and fresh oregano; cinnamon-infused stews; orange-blossom scented pastries. Taverna, takes the best of traditional Cypriot cooking and makes it relevant to modern home cooks. From simple vegan fast-day dishes to feasts for the family, […] See more »

Ghost Signs of Bath a Walk with Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliot

Sunday 28th July, 11.30am

Ghost signs – those faded advertisements for long defunct businesses on the walls of old buildings – are among the most potent reminders of a bygone age – and nowhere are they found in greater abundance or variety than on the streets of Bath. Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott trace the history of over 130 […] See more »

Rupert Wieloch on Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners: The British Soldiers Deceived in the Russian Civil War

Monday 29th July, 8pm

Join us for an evening with Senior British Commander Veteran Rupert Wieloch, as he discusses his new book Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners, in which he tells the previously suppressed story of fifteen British prisoners captured during the Russian civil war. The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 seriously compromised the Allied war effort. That threat rather than an […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Pam the Jam

Tuesday 30th July, 8pm

Pam Corbin is the expert who professional cooks consult when they want to make jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys, pickles or anything else to do with preserving. They know her as ‘Pam the Jam’, and this book is the culmination of her years of experience, distilled into more than 100 tried-and-tested recipes. Her jams, marmalades and […] See more »

An Evening with Jack Straw

Wednesday 31st July, 8pm

Amongst British diplomats there’s a rather poignant joke that ‘Iran is the only country in the world which still regards the United Kingdom as a super power’. But for many Iranians, it’s not a joke at all. Scratch the surface, and Iranians of all political persuasions will remind you that it was Britain, with the […] See more »

An Evening with Robert Harris

Wednesday 4th September, 8pm

From the No. 1 bestselling author of Fatherland, An Officer and a Spy, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii and The Ghost comes this brand new historical fiction novel by Robert Harris: The Second Sleep. 1468. A young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in a remote Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artefacts – […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Meera Sodha’s East

Friday 6th September, 8pm

We have all come to love Meera Sodha’s warm, characterful writing and her fresh, delicious recipes in her Guardian ‘New Vegan’ column on a Saturday.  She is the award winning author of Made in India and Fresh India – vital books which always have a place on our cookery shelves. This evening she will be cooking […] See more »

Jacob Rees-Mogg on the Victorians

Saturday 7th September, 5.30pm

Many associate the Victorian era with austere social attitudes and filthy factories. But in his bold and provocative book, Jacob Rees-Mogg takes up the story of twelve landmark figures to paint a very different picture of the age: one of bright ambition, bold self-belief and determined industriousness. Whether through Peel’s commitment to building free trade, […] See more »

An Evening with Ann Cleeves

Wednesday 11th September, 8pm

‘The best living evoker of landscape’ –  The Guardian Ann Cleeves, one of Britain’s most successful crime writers, is the author of 33 novels that are loved both in print and on screen: the Vera Stanhope and Shetland series are major TV adaptations starring Brenda Blethyn  and Douglas Henshall respectively. Famous for her evocative landscape writing, the […] See more »

Rachel Elliott Book Launch

Thursday 12th September, 8pm

We’re delighted to be welcoming back  Rachel Elliot to the bookshop, for the launch party of her novel Do Not Feed the Bear. On her forty-seventh birthday, Sydney Smith stands on a rooftop and prepares to jump… Sydney is a cartoonist and freerunner. Feet constantly twitching, always teetering on the edge of life, she’s never come […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Apple: Recipes from the Orchard

Friday 13th September, 8pm

James Rich is a Somerset-born and bred, cider-maker’s son, and his family has been making a living from apples for centuries. The Riches – father and son – will bring cider, apple juice, cider brandy and cider vinegar to taste from the orchard and cook recipes from the book. We’re looking forward to tastes of […] See more »

Joe Abercrombie Book Launch

Sunday 15th September, 7.30pm

Sunday Times bestselling author Joe Abercombie returns to the world of the First Law with the first in a brand-new trilogy, A Little Hatred. The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever. On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to […] See more »

Sophie Thérèse Ambler on Simon de Montfort

Monday 16th September, 8pm

Sophie Thérèse Ambler’s The Song of Simon de Montfort is the story of a truly extraordinary man: heir to a great warrior, devoted husband and father, fearless crusader knight and charismatic leader. It is the story of a man whose passion for good governance was so fierce that, in 1258, frustrated by the King’s refusal […] See more »

A C Grayling: The History of Philosophy

Tuesday 17th September, 8pm

A C Grayling’s aim in The History of Philosophy is to give a clear and comprehensive account of the great adventure of philosophy, mainly in the Western tradition but with overviews of the rich Indian, Chinese and Arabic-Persian traditions also. Philosophy is the fountainhead of ideas that drive history and shape our world; it is the […] See more »

Tea Tasting with Comins Tea House

Wednesday 18th September, 8pm

Moonshine Darjeerling (delicate and flowery), Zomba Pearls from Malawi (buttery and hay-like), Assam Mist (bright, robust), not to mention the special Oolong, Puer and Green Teas that fill this special tea house. Immerse yourself in the world of single estate loose-leaf teas with this charming and knowledgeable husband and wife tea-merchant team. In their book […] See more »

Lunch with Genarro Contaldo

Friday 20th September, 1pm

Gennaro Contaldo is widely known as the charismatic Italian legend who taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking, as well as a renowned personality in his own right. His quintessentially Italian spirit and positive nature has made him a firm TV favourite. He famously teamed up with the great Antonio Carluccio as Two […] See more »

Kit Yates on How Maths Defines Our Lives and Why We Should Learn To Live With It

Monday 23rd September, 8pm

Kit Yates shows us how maths pervades the most important facets of our society and takes us on a genuine voyage of discovery and potential. In The Maths of Life and Death, he teases out the seven hidden mathematical rules that underlie our common experience, making real-life sense of the equations that govern our lives. […] See more »

Max Hastings on the Dambusters

Wednesday 25th September, 8pm

Max Hastings is one of our most respected and greatest military historians. In his new book, he offers a fresh and compelling account of the Dambusters raid. Max Hastings grew up embracing the story, the classic 1955 movie and the memory of Guy Gibson, the 24-year-old wing-commander who led the raid. In the 21st Century, […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Diana Henry

Thursday 26th September, 8pm

Warm, witty, erudite and informed Diana Henry’s food writing fizzes with zip and zest. Her seductively-named and award-winning titles – Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons; Roast Figs, Sugar Snow; Food From Plenty; How to Eat a Peach – together with her superb Telegraph column will revitalise your cooking, infuse you with ideas and remove any kind […] See more »

Baking with Kim-Joy

Friday 27th September, 8pm

Kim-Joy made it to the 2018 Bake Off final with her unique, intricate baked creations: iced woodland creatures, space turtles and beautifully decorated cakes. Along with her calmness and vibrant positivity she put a smile on everyone’s face and she has since earned a legion of baking fans around the world. This evening she will […] See more »

Simon Heffer on Britain in the Great War

Tuesday 1st October, 8pm

Simon Heffer’s greatly ambitious Staring at God: Britain in the Great War follows Britain’s path from the day the fatal shots were fired at Sarajevo in June 1914 to the moment the guns finally fell silent on 11 November 1918. Drawing heavily on original material, he builds a fresh picture of how a government so keen […] See more »

Celia Brayfield on The Rebel Writers: The Accidental Feminists

Wednesday 2nd October, 8pm

In Rebel Writers, Celia Brayfield tells the story of a pioneering group of young women writers – Shelagh Delaney, Edna O’Brien, Lynne Reid Banks, Margaret Forster, Virginia Ironside, Charlotte Bingham and Nell Dunn  – who challenged the status quo and changed women’s lives forever. In London in 1958 a play by a 19-year-old redefined women’s […] See more »

An Evening with Louise Doughty

Thursday 3rd October, 8pm

Louise Doughty is an acclaimed author of short stories, novels and radio dramas. Her books include Crazy Paving, Stone Cradle, Whatever You Love, Apple Tree Yard and the non-fiction book, A Novel in a Year. Her latest novel, Platform Seven, is a brilliant psychological thriller and gripping mystery.  Two deaths on Platform Seven. Two fatalities in […] See more »

An Evening with William Dalrymple

Friday 4th October, 8pm

In his most ambitious book to date, bestselling historian William Dalrymple tells the timely and cautionary tale of the rise of the East India Company and one of the most supreme acts of corporate violence in world history. The Anarchy tells the remarkable story of how one of the world’s most magnificent empires disintegrated and came […] See more »

Sunday Walk: Mushroom Foraging and Mourning with Long Lit Woon

Sunday 6th October, 10.30am

Join us for a truly special event with Long Litt Woon who will lead attendees on a walk and teach people some of the basics of mushroom identification. When Long Litt Woon loses her husband of 32 years to an unexpected death, she is utterly bereft. An immigrant in his country, in losing the love […] See more »

Dazzling Science Fiction with Peter F Hamilton

Tuesday 8th October, 8pm

Peter F. Hamilton is a stalwart of modern science fiction, internationally renowned for the genre expanding Commonwealth & Void trilogies. We’re very happy to announce that Peter will be coming to Bath in October 2019 to celebrate the launch of Salvation Lost, the second volume of his epic new trilogy. As with his best writing, Salvation Lost has dynamic, multifaceted characters; brilliant […] See more »

King Edward’s School Anthology 2019 Launch

Wednesday 9th October, 7.30pm

“Inventive, intriguing, moving. An unforgettable collection of poems and short stories by talented young writers of the future!”  – Children’s author, Tracy Darnton The Anthology 2019  is  the seventh annual collection of poetry, short stories and art work from the talented young writers and artists of King Edward’s School, Bath. This year’s guest editor, author […] See more »

Bookshop Supper: Fuschia Dunlop & The Food of Sichuan

Thursday 10th October, 8pm

A mouth-wateringly tasty bookshop supper of Sichuanese cuisine. Fuchsia Dunlop is one of our greatest food writers and experts on Chinese gastronomy and this evening she will talk about her landmark classic, The Food of Sichuan over supper. Sichuanese cooking is known for its use of chilli, but a multitude of flavours lie at the […] See more »

Historical Fiction with Ben Kane and Harry Sidebottom

Wednesday 16th October, 8pm

Join these two masters of the historical fiction genre, Ben Kane and Harry Sidebottom,  as they explore not only the might of Rome itself, but also the methods and impulses that underpin historical fiction. The Sunday Times bestseller, Ben Kane returns to Bath for The Falling Sword, the gripping follow-up to Clash of Empires. Fighting on opposing […] See more »

Dominic Sandbrook on Britain in the early 80s

Thursday 17th October, 8pm

The acclaimed historian of modern Britain, Dominic Sandbrook, tells the story of the early 1980s: the most dramatic, colourful and controversial years in our recent history. Margaret Thatcher had come to power in 1979 with a daring plan to reverse Britain’s decline into shabbiness and chaos. But as factories closed their doors, dole queues lengthened […] See more »

Philip Marsden on the Summer Isles

Tuesday 22nd October, 8pm

Philip Marsden is the award-winning author of a number of works of travel, fiction and non-fiction, including The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers, The Levelling Sea and, most recently, Rising Ground.  After years of travelling, he now lives on the tidal upper reaches of the River Fal in Cornwall with his wife, children and various boats. […] See more »

Ilya Kaminksy: Deaf Republic

Wednesday 23rd October, 8pm

Existing at the intersection between poetry and play, Deaf Republic is the story of a community that renders itself mute as an act of dissent and subversion against its prevailing military dictatorship. In no more than 80 pages, Ilya Kaminksy weaves together intelligent observation of individual and collective responsibility in times of political upheaval; with cuttingly […] See more »

A Celebration of Poetry with Gyles Brandreth

Saturday 26th October, 11.30am

Gyles Brandreth – former MP, One Show reporter, Just A Minute star, and author of the best-selling word-lover’s companion, Have You Eaten, Grandma? – has a passion for poetry.  His brilliant new book – Dancing by the Light of the Moon – is both a celebration of the best-loved poems in the English language and a unique guide to the value and […] See more »

Sarah Perry with Melmoth

Wednesday 30th October, 8pm

Ever since The Essex Serpent exploded onto the literary scene, Sarah Perry has been considered one of the finest voices in British fiction writing. A Sunday Times bestseller, Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, and longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, The Essex Serpent has been one of […] See more »

Stephen Moss on The Twelve Birds of Christmas

Tuesday 12th November, 8pm

Author and naturalist Stephen Moss digs beneath the surface of the famous carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, to discover an alternative meaning to the verses: and reveals that in his view this is, indeed, a bird-centred tribute to the Festive Season. He weaves history, culture, bird behaviour and folklore into a compelling narrative for each species, […] See more »

Andrew Roberts on Leadership in War

Monday 18th November, 8pm

Taking us from the French Revolution to the Cold War and the Falklands, Andrew Roberts presents us with a bracingly honest and insightful look at nine major figures in modern history. Each of these leaders fundamentally shaped the outcome of the war their nation was embroiled in. How were they alike, and in what ways […] See more »

Nicola Tallis on Margaret Beaufort the mother of the Tudor Dynasty

Tuesday 19th November, 8pm

‘Nicola Tallis, one of our great popular historians.’ Alison Weir Margaret Beaufort is the mother of the Tudor Dynasty. During the bloody and uncertain days of the Wars of the Roses, she was married to the half brother of the Lancastrian king Henry VI. A year later she endured a traumatic birth that brought her and her […] See more »

An Evening with Salley Vickers

Thursday 28th November, 8pm

Salley Vickers first novel Miss Garnet’s Angel was an international word of mouth bestseller, and she has since established herself as one of our leading novelists, in the tradition of Penelope Fitzgerald and Marilynne Robinson.  In her latest book, we follow four very different grandmothers: Blanche, who can’t seem to stop stealing things from the local pharmacy; […] See more »

Will Harris Poetry Book Launch for Rendang

Wednesday 18th March 2020, 8pm

Will Harris is a rising star of contemporary British poetry. His poem Say was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018, and his debut pamphlet of poems, All this is implied was joint winner of the London Review Bookshop Pamphlet of the Year. In Rendang, his first full-length collection of poems, Will Harris reflects on race, […] See more »

Andrew Ziminski Stonemason: A History of Building Britain

Thursday 26th March 2020, 8pm

Andrew Ziminski is a stonemason living and working in what was ancient Wessex. He has three decades of hands-on experience with the tangible history of this country and has worked on some of the greatest and most interesting monuments in Britain; from using his skills to create a Stonehenge megalith, to the restoration of Roman […] See more »

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