Bath Events and Reading Groups

The bookshop in this beautiful and celebrated Georgian city is itself able to host occasions from reading groups and literary salons to large gatherings. Bath also offers a panoply of other wonderful venues in which we hold Britain's largest all year round literary festival, culminating every year with the Bath Autumn Literary Festival, when the stars of the literary world come to Bath - truly a festival for readers.

Towards Understanding: A Translated Fiction Reading Group

Monday 20th May, 7.30pm

This month we are reading Celestial Bodies by Omani author Jokha Alharthi. Our reading groups last for roughly an hour, and consists of a relaxed chat with tea/coffee/wine and nibbles. The chat focuses on the set book to begin with, but often amiably strays to include thoughts on other related books. See more »

Jeffery Deaver : The Never Game

Tuesday 21st May, 7.30pm

Bestselling author Jeffery Deaver returns with a stunning new thriller – the first in an exciting series featuring enigmatic investigator Colter Shaw. In The Never Game Colter Shaw is an itinerate “reward-seeker,” traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. When he learns of a reward for a missing […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Kay Plunkett-Hogge & Diana Henry

Wednesday 22nd May, 8pm

Celebrate the food of Thailand with tastes and stories. Fellow food writer, and friend of our bookshop, Diana Henry, will interview Kay Plunkett-Hogge as she cooks recipes from her new cookbook, Baan.  Meaning the hearth, the home, the community, Baan is the place where you come from. Born and brought up in 1970s Bangkok, acclaimed […] See more »

Siri Hustvedt

Friday 24th May, 8pm

Siri Hustvedt, the celebrated author of What I Loved and The Summer Without Men is visiting Bath to coincide with the launch of her provocative and timely new novel Memories of the Future. Fresh from Minnesota and hungry for all New York has to offer, twenty-three-year-old S.H. embarks on a year that proves both exhilarating and frightening – […] See more »

Literary Walk

Sunday 26th May, 10.30am

Ask most people which author they associate with Bath and the answer will be Jane Austen. However, had you asked that in the 1920s the answer would undoubtedly have been Charles Dickens. Yet Bath has a proud literary tradition, from Burney to Betjeman, from satire to historical romance. Join Kirsten Elliott and Andrew Swift on […] See more »

Lost Pleasure Gardens

Tuesday 28th May, 8pm

In No Swinging on Sundays, Kirsten Elliott tells the story of Bath’s lost pleasure gardens, from early beginnings as a stroll in meadows to the sophistication of Sydney Gardens. They were central to Georgian Bath’s social life, with a programme of public breakfasts, concerts, and spectacular fireworks. But behind all the fun and frolics there […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Fire Islands with Eleanor Ford

Wednesday 29th May, 8pm

Capture the spirit and flavours of Indonesian cooking tonight in the bookshop as acclaimed food and travel writer, Eleanor Ford cooks from her new book, Fire Islands. Indonesia is a travellers’ paradise, with cuisine as vibrant and thrilling as its scenery – steep verdant rice terraces, ancient rainforests and fire-breathing volcanoes create the landscape of […] See more »

Brian Kimberling Book Launch for Goulash

Thursday 30th May, 8pm

From Brian Kimberling, the acclaimed author of Snapper, comes Goulash – a pitch perfect story of falling in and out of love in Prague. Eager to escape stifling small-town Indiana, Elliott moves to Prague, where he gets a job teaching English. It’s 1998, and the Czech Republic is moving with increasing rapidity out of the […] See more »

June Fiction Reading Group

Monday 3rd June, 7.30pm

This month we are reading the fantastic novel Little by Edward Carey. Spanning a number of decades during the most violent and turbulent period of French history, the novel follows the life of the titular character as she finds herself in increasingly bizarre and noteworthy situations. Our fiction reading group is a very relaxed and casual […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Jose Pizarro’s Andalusia

Tuesday 4th June, 8pm

Award-winning and enigmatic chef, Jose Pizarro is at the top of his game in the world of Spanish food. His books, Simple Spanish Food, Basque and Catalonia are acclaimed and bestselling.  We warmly invite Jose back to the bookshop for a celebration of the food of the rather magical part of Spain’s Southern coast – Andalucia: […] See more »

Benjamin Dreyer on English

Wednesday 5th June, 8pm

We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help. As Random House’s longstanding copy chief, he has upheld the publisher’s standards for well over a decade. In his humorous and informative talks, he shares his invaluable advice on […] See more »

David Briggs Poetry Book Launch

Thursday 13th June, 8pm

Cracked Skull Cinema offers poems on culture and society, colonialism and its legacies, media and power. Set between these are homages and reflections on middle age, on life’s loves and losses. In this, Briggs’s third collection, the work turns to examine the challenges and consolations of age, but also of the age, blending the personal and the political with […] See more »

Daisy Dunn: In the Shadow of Vesuvius

Friday 14th June, 7.30pm

Ash spewed into the sky. All eyes were on Vesuvius. Pliny the Elder sailed towards the phenomenon. A teenage Pliny the Younger waited. His uncle did not come back. In a dazzling new literary biography, Daisy Dunn introduces Pliny the Younger, the survivor who became a Roman lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, curator of […] See more »

Graeme Simsion: The Rosie Result

Tuesday 18th June, 8pm

Big-hearted, hilarious and exuberantly life-affirming, The Rosie Result is a story of overcoming life’s obstacles with a little love and a lot of overthinking. Meet Don Tillman, the genetics professor with a scientific approach to everything. But he’s facing a set of human dilemmas tougher than the trickiest of equations. Right now he is in professional […] See more »

Kate Humble: Thinking on My Feet

Wednesday 19th June, 8pm

‘I’ve discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to […] See more »

Pleasure Gardens Walk

Sunday 23rd June, 10.30am

Most of Bath’s Georgian pleasure gardens have vanished, but, against all the odds, the grandest of them, Sydney Gardens survives as a public park. Shorn of its attractions, cut in two by the railway, it takes imagination to conjure up the image of revellers treading its gravelled paths in search of excitement and exercise. On […] See more »

An Evening with Mick Herron

Monday 24th June, 8pm

Bestselling spy novelist Mick Herron returns with Joe Country, the sixth of his acclaimed Jackson Lamb novels. If Spook Street is where spies live, Joe Country is where they go to die. In Slough House, the London outpost for disgraced spies MI5, memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa […] See more »

An Evening with Victoria Hislop

Wednesday 26th June, 8pm

Victoria Hislop’s new novel Those Who Are Loved is set against the backdrop of the German occupation of Greece, the subsequent civil war and a military dictatorship, all of which left deep scars. Themis is part of a family bitterly divided by politics and, as a young woman, her fury with those who have collaborated […] See more »

Black Sea Bookshop Supper: Caroline Eden

Friday 28th June, 8pm

“The next best thing to actually travelling with Caroline Eden – a warm, erudite and greedy guide – is to read her. This is my kind of book.”– Diana Henry 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 […] 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

With a foreword by Diana Henry (Sardine is one of her favourite places to eat), Alex Jackson’s unique collection of recipes encapsulates the beauty and simplicity of Provencal French cooking. His restaurant Sardine, is established firmly as a restaurant with a focus on Provence, but also a prism for the sun-drenched cooking of the whole […] 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 »

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 »

Talks & Tastes: Pam the Jam

Tuesday 30th July, 8pm

‘Pam Corbin is the master’  DIANA HENRY 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 […] See more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 2018. 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »