Ely Events and Reading Groups

In this atmospheric medieval city, just over an hour from London by train, author events range from reading groups and intimate salons in the bookshop to the drama of performances under the world-renowned Octagon of Ely Cathedral. We hold events all year round, but in the autumn there is a special focus on the Ely Literary Festival.

Tom Kerridge

Wednesday 20th February, 7.30pm

It’s very easy to fall into the busy-life trap, especially when ready meals are so convenient. But Tom Kerridge has learnt from experience how important it is to take control over what you eat for the sake of your health and happiness. Now he wants to show you just how quick and easy it is to cook […] See more »

Nighthawk book launch with Jim Kelly

Thursday 21st February, 7.30pm

Cambridge, 1940. It is the first winter of the war, and snow is falling. When an evacuee drowns in the river, his body swept away, Detective Inspector Eden Brooke sets out to investigate what seems to be a deliberate attack. The following night, a local electronics factory is attacked, and an Irish republican slogan is […] See more »

Whitney Scharer

Monday 25th February, 7.30pm

`I’d rather take a photograph than be one,’ said Lee Miller, shortly after she arrived in Paris in 1929. Gorgeous and talented, Lee  leaves behind a successful modelling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of being an artist. In Paris she catches the eye of the famous Surrealist artist Man Ray, an egotistical, charismatic force.  […] See more »

Donna Leon

Thursday 7th March, 7pm

Inspector Brunetti is called upon to investigate  the seemingly innocent plan of his father- in- law’s  best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejeda, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws this man would become heir to Gonzalo’s entire fortune, a prospect Gonzalo’s friends find appalling. Not long after Gonzalo […] See more »

Reading Group – Everything Under

Monday 11th March, 6.30pm

Daisy Johnson – Everything Under It’s been sixteen years since Gretel last saw her mother, half a lifetime to forget her childhood on the canals. But a phone call will soon reunite them, and bring those wild years flooding back: the secret language that Gretel and her mother invented; the strange boy, Marcus, living on […] See more »

Reading Group – Delta Wedding

Monday 11th March, 7.30pm

Eudora Welty – Delta Wedding Eudora Welty considered herself “a short-story writer who writes novels the hard way, and by accident…”, but readers lucky enough to have discovered her work consider this, her second novel, to be something quite special. A richly atmospheric portrayal of a crowded Mississippi family coming together for a sometimes fraught celebration, Delta Wedding is […] See more »

Sir Tim Waterstone

Wednesday 20th March, 7.30pm

In this charming and evocative memoir, Tim Waterstone recalls the childhood experiences and his epiphany whilst studying at Cambridge that led him to become an entrepreneur, and outlines the business philosophy that allowed Waterstone’s to become the most cherished bookselling business throughout the country at that time. Candid and moving, The Face Pressed  Against a Window charts the life of […] See more »

Jean McNeil and Michael Bravo on Polar Exploration

Thursday 21st March, 7.30pm

A decade ago, novelist and short story writer Jean McNeil spent a year as writer-in-residence with the British Antarctic Survey, and four months on the world’s most enigmatic continent ― Antarctica. Access to the Antarctic remains largely reserved for scientists, and it is the only piece of earth that is nobody’s country. Ice Diaries is […] See more »

Jeremy Dronfield

Tuesday 26th March, 7.30pm

Vienna, 1939. Nazi police seize Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholsterer and his son, Fritz, and send the pair to Buchenwald in Germany. There began an unimaginable ordeal that saw the pair beaten, starved and forced to build the very concentration camp they were held in. When Gustav was set to be transferred to Auschwitz, a certain death […] See more »

Michelle Paver

Thursday 4th April, 7.30pm

In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father. When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened. Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive […] See more »

Reading Group – Different Drummer

Monday 8th April, 7.30pm

June, 1957. One afternoon, in the backwater town of Sutton, a young black farmer by the name of Tucker Caliban matter-of-factly throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and livestock, sets fire to his house and departs the southern state. And thereafter, the entire African-American population leave with him. From this intriguing premise William […] See more »

Jill Dawson

Wednesday 10th April, 7.30pm

It’s the summer of 1974, and 26-year-old Mandy River arrives in London. She soon finds work as a nanny to the children of Lady Katherine Morven, a wealthy society woman in the midst of a messy separation from her enigmatic husband, ‘Dickie’. Despite the riches and the glamour, Mandy soon senses that something isn’t quite […] See more »

Joanne Harris: the Chocolat sequel

Thursday 11th April, 7.30pm

The Strawberry Thief is the compelling new sequel to Joanne Harris’s bestselling and much-beloved Chocolat.  Vianne Rocher has settled down happily in Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her. With Rosette, her ‘special’ child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community.  Even Reynaud, […] See more »

James Runcie

Tuesday 16th April, 7.30pm

It is a delight to welcome James Runcie back to Ely to celebrate The Road to Grantchester, a prequel to his much-loved Grantchester Mysteries. The new novel covers Sidney Chambers’ life from 1943-1951 during which we see his war-service with the Scots Guards in Italy, his decision to become a clergyman, and his curacy amidst the ruins of post-war […] See more »

Harry Sidebottom launches The Lost Ten

Thursday 18th April, 7.30pm

When Valens, a junior officer in the Roman Army, joins a crack squad of soldiers on a dangerous mission, little does he know what’s in store for him. Tasked with rescuing the young Prince Sasan, who has been imprisoned in the impenetrable Castle of Silence, the troops set out across Mesopotamia and into the mountains […] See more »

Kate Clanchy

Wednesday 24th April, 7.30pm

Kate Clanchy has taught in state schools for nearly thirty years. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is an extraordinary memoir, detailing a life’s work spent teaching in a national institution. This book is made up of stories; stories of the children she’s taught, some of the teachers she’s worked with and some of the lessons […] See more »

Chris Brookmyre

Monday 29th April, 7.30pm

To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions. Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the […] See more »

Damian Barr

Wednesday 1st May, 7.30pm

Damian Barr is a journalist, writer and host of his own Literary Salon. His memoir of surviving small-town Scotland in the Thatcher years, Maggie and Me, was published in 2013 to great acclaim; now he turns his hand to fiction for the first time. His debut novel, You Will Be Safe Here, explores legacies of abuse, redemption […] See more »

Erin Kelly

Thursday 9th May, 7.30pm

From Erin Kelly, best-selling author of He Said/She Said comes the gripping new suspense novel  Stone Mothers. ‘Marianne grew up in the shadow of the Stone Mother, the old asylum which  still haunts her dreams. She was seventeen when she fled the town, her family, her boyfriend Jesse and the body they buried. Now, forced to […] See more »

Christopher Somerville

Tuesday 14th May, 7.30pm

When Christopher Somerville set out to explore Britain’s cathedrals, he found his fixed ideas shaken to the roots. Starting out, he pictured cathedrals – Britain possesses over one hundred – as great unmoving bastions of tradition. But as he journeys among favourites old and new, he discovers buildings and communities that have been in constant upheaval for a thousand years. […] See more »

Adam Henson

Wednesday 15th May, 7.30pm

Born on the farm he now works, Adam Henson has successfully combined a life in farming with a career as a television presenter, fronting BBC’s flagship rural affairs programme, Countryfile .  In A Breed Apart, Adam takes readers on a very personal journey around the nation, discovering the animals that have shaped our lives and our land throughout […] See more »