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.

September Fiction Reading Group

Monday 2nd September, 7.30pm

The Gunners used to be inseparable. A gang of latchkey kids, they took their name from the doorbell of the abandoned house they played in as children – and drank in as teenagers. Together they navigated the difficult journey from childhood to adolescence and learnt their first vital lessons about becoming adults; Mikey, Sam, Lynn, Alice, […] 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 »

Laura Cumming On Chapel Sands: My Mother and Other Missing Persons

Tuesday 10th September, 8pm

Uncovering the mystery of her mother’s disappearance as a child: Laura Cumming, prize-winning author and art critic, takes a closer look at her family story. In the autumn of 1929, a small child was kidnapped from a Lincolnshire beach. Five agonising days went by before she was found in a nearby village. The child remembered […] 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 […] 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 »

The Unmumsy Mum

Wednesday 18th September, 8pm

Meet Sarah Turner, GQ columnist, blogger, mum of two and author behind the bestselling The Unmumsy Mum. Come to hear the remarkably candid and hilariously drawn observations on the realities of being a modern mum. The Unmumsy Mum bares all and recounts her own no-holds-barred experiences. Escape bathtime and come to hear all from this brilliantly […] See more »

Lunch with Gennaro 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 »

James Meek

Tuesday 24th September, 8pm

Journalist, essayist, novelist and contributing editor at the London Review of Books James Meek was propelled to fame in 2005 with the publication of The People’s Act of Love, set during the Russian Civil War, which Antony Beevor described as ‘An exceptional event in English literature’. Now, with To Calais, In Ordinary Time, he returns to […] 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 »

Kate Weinberg Book Launch

Thursday 26th September, 8pm

In this seductive coming-of-age debut, Jess Walker, a young and uninitiated first year student, falls in love with two great story-tellers. One, Alec, a journalist in exile, the other, Lorna, a charismatic literature professor. Starting out under the flat grey skies of an east Anglian university campus and ending up on an idyllic Mediterranean island, The […] 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 »

Guided Walk and Tour with Peter Lovesey

Sunday 29th September, 10.30am

A guided walk with Peter Lovesey around the locations and settings that inspired the latest instalment of the Peter Diamond Mysteries,  Killing with Confetti. Peter Lovesey has a natural affection for the city of Bath, an affinity clear in the rich and evocative descriptions that pervade his work. Join Peter as he takes us through […] See more »

Talks & Tastes: Rukmini Iyer’s Quick Roasting Tin

Monday 30th September, 8pm

The hugely successful Roasting Tin cookbooks have become firm favourites in our kitchens and revolutionised the way we like to cook. Author, food stylist and cook Rukmini Iyer will be here in Bath to chat about the latest installment, The Quick Roasting Tin.  The motto is – 10 MINUTES PREP. 30 MINUTES IN THE OVEN […] 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 »

Brett Anderson of Suede

Thursday 3rd October, 8pm

Suede began by treading the familiar jobbing route of London’s emerging new 1990s indie bands – gigs at ULU, the Camden Powerhaus and the Old Trout in Windsor – and the dispiriting experience of playing a set to an audience of one. But in these halcyon days, their potential was undeniable. Brett Anderson’s creative partnership […] 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 »

Jess Phillips on 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S: Telling Truth to Power

Saturday 5th October, 8pm

Join Labour MP Jess Phillips as she inspires us to speak out against injustices. Speaking truth to power takes courage, and Jess Phillips shows us how to identify the problem, form a plan, and to speak out. Entertaining, empowering and uncompromising, Jess’s latest book offers inspiration, hope and practical help to people who want to […] 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 »

An Evening with Jessie Burton

Monday 7th October, 8pm

Jessie Burton’s name has been on every reader’s lips since her bestselling debut novel, The Miniaturist propelled her onto the literary stage. She has since won countless awards and gained high acclaim – now she’s back with The Confession. This is a luminous, powerful and deeply moving novel about secrets and storytelling, motherhood and friendship, and how […] 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: Fuchsia 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 »

An Evening with Sir Trevor McDonald

Monday 14th October, 8pm

Sir Trevor McDonald is an extraordinary man – and he has led an improbable life. Now in his 80th year, he is known and loved by people the world over for his humility, charm and natural ease. As a natural storyteller and communicator, he has few equals, and has received more awards than any other news […] See more »

David Suchet: My Life Behind the Lens

Tuesday 15th October, 12 noon

David Suchet is widely regarded as the one of greatest stage and screen actors of his generation. But there’s one story he’s never told until now: his own. From Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde, Freud to Poirot, Edward Teller to Doctor Who, Questions of Faith to Decline and Fall, right up to 2018’s Press, David Suchet […] See more »

David Abulafia on The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans

Tuesday 15th October, 8pm

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea.” (Romeo & Juliet, II, ii). For most of human history, the seas and oceans have been the main means of long-distance trade and communication between peoples – for the spread of ideas and religion as well as commerce. David Abulafia traces the history of human movement and […] 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 »

Romy Gill on Zaika: Vegan Recipes from India

Friday 18th October, 8pm

Inspired by her own heritage, Romy Gill has written a recipe collection that delivers incredible flavour and is simple to make. These plant-based dishes can be made in a hurry for a fast supper or leisurely at the weekend to savour with friends. Most importantly, they are a celebration of great plant-based food and a […] See more »

Charles Moore on Margaret Thatcher

Monday 21st October, 8pm

With this the final third volume of his biographies on Margaret Thatcher, Charles Moore has written the definitive account of Britain’s first female Prime Minister. How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the […] See more »

Jung Chang

Wednesday 23rd October, 8pm

‘One loved money, one loved power and one loved her country.’ The best-known modern Chinese fairy tale is the story of three sisters from Shanghai, who for most of the twentieth century were at the centre of power in China. It was sometimes said that `One loved money, one loved power and one loved her […] See more »

Nigel Slater Signing

Friday 25th October, 5.30pm

Please Note: this is not a public talk. This is a chance to meet the celebrated author, presenter, and food columnist Nigel Slater.  He will be in our Art Room chatting informally as he signs your book. There will be a glass of something sparkling and a chance to ask questions. This is the format […] 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 »

Ilya Kaminsky: Deaf Republic

Monday 28th October, 7pm

Please not that this is now on the new rescheduled date of Monday October 28th.   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 Kaminsky […] See more »

Tom Holland on the Making of the Western Mind

Tuesday 29th October, 8pm

Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. In Dominion award-winning historian and broadcaster Tom Holland tells the story of how we came to be what we are, and how we think the way that we do, in the broadest historical context. […] 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 »

William Waldegrave on Britain Post-Brexit

Tuesday 5th November, 8pm

Post-Brexit referendum Britain faces its most profound crisis of modern times: our trust in our key political institutions, which have ably steered the country through turbulent waters in the past – the Bank of England, Civil Service, the Law, Parliament itself has – is wavering. And our national narrative, our sense of ourselves, has been […] See more »

Philip Marsden on the Summer Isles

Wednesday 6th November, 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 »

Julian Barnes on the Belle Époque

Monday 11th November, 8pm

The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending takes us on a rich, witty tour of Belle Epoque Paris, via the life story of the pioneering surgeon Samuel Pozzi. In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days’ shopping. One was a Prince, one was a Count, and […] 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 »

Alan Lee with The Hobbit Sketchbook

Saturday 16th November, 12 noon

Since The Hobbit was first published in 1937, generations of readers have fallen under its spell. That magic was reignited sixty years later, when Alan Lee was commissioned to produce a special illustrated edition, and his delicate pencil drawings and beautiful watercolour paintings have become for many the definitive vision of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. In […] See more »

Wine Tasting with Jancis Robinson

Saturday 16th November, 8pm

Join us for an evening of wine-tasting par excellence as we explore the best in wine with internationally renowned expert Jancis Robinson and Bath’s very own Corkage. Few wine books can be called classic, but the first edition of The World Atlas of Wine made publishing history when it appeared in 1971. It is recognised by critics […] 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 »

Celia Paul: Self-Portrait

Wednesday 20th November, 8pm

“I’m not a portrait painter. If I’m anything, I have always been an autobiographer.” Self-Portrait reveals a life truly lived through art. In this short, intimate memoir, Celia Paul moves effortlessly through time in words and images, folding in her past and present selves. From her move to the Slade School of Fine Art at […] See more »

Eddie Jones: My Life and Rugby

Thursday 21st November, 8pm

Brilliant, honest, combative – Eddie Jones is a gigantic yet enigmatic figure in world rugby and a true legend of the game. In My Life in Rugby he tells his story for the first time, including the full inside story of England’s 2019 World Cup campaign. Eddie Jones is one of the most experienced and decorated coaches […] See more »

Joanna Cannon: A Junior Doctor’s Stories of Compassion & Burnout

Monday 25th November, 8pm

A few years ago, I found myself in A & E. I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn’t eaten properly or slept well, or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains and I shook with the effort of not […] See more »

Jack Shenker on Now We Have Your Attention: The New Politics of the People

Tuesday 26th November, 8pm

“One of the most important and compelling books I’ve ever read, by one of Britain’s most gifted writers. If you want to understand why we are in this crisis, listen to the voices all too often airbrushed from the political conversation.” (Owen Jones) Jack Shenker’s Now We Have Your Attention  is an investigation into Britain’s […] 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 »

Samantha Harvey on The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping

Monday 27th January 2020, 8pm

Sleep. Sleep. Like money, you only think about it when you have too little. Then you think about it all the time, and the less you have the more you think about it. It becomes the prism through which you see the world and nothing can exist except in relation to it. Samantha Harvey’s insomnia […] See more »

Gill Hornby on Miss Austen

Thursday 6th February 2020, 8pm

Gill Hornby’s wonderfully original, and emotionally complex novel Miss Austen answers a question that has troubled readers and academics for centuries: why did Cassandra Austen burn a treasure trove of letters written by her sister Jane. It’s 1840, twenty-three years after the death of her famous sister Jane, and Cassandra Austen – alone and unwed […] See more »

Margaret Heffernan on Uncharted: How to Map the Future

Thursday 12th March 2020, 8pm

Margaret Heffernan is one of the word’s most sought-after management speakers (her TED talks have been viewed by over 7 million people). In Uncharted: How to Map the Future, she shares her insights into what qualities help make individuals and companies successful; what values are needed to thrive in today’s evermore uncertain present. Margaret lays the groundwork […] 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 »

Eley Williams

Wednesday 20th May 2020, 8pm

Eley Williams’ debut collection Attrib. and other stories. showed that she was a writer of utter brilliance, marrying creative flair and intelligence with subtle charm and depth of emotion. In her new novel The Liars’ Dictionary, Peter Winceworth a Victorian lexicographer inserts bogus definitions into a dictionary. In the present day, Mallory a young overworked and […] See more »

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