The Joy of Maps with Travis Elborough

The Joy of Maps with Travis Elborough

Our October event will delight armchair travellers and intrepid explorers alike! As part of our celebrations for ‘Books Are My Bag’ week, we are delighted to welcome writer Travis Elborough to Steyning, for a fascinating illustrated talk on the joy of maps, and the extraordinary and bizarre destinations to which they can lead us.

Travis will share some of the obscure and unlikely discoveries included in his two beautiful books Atlas of the Unexpected (White Lion Books, 2018) and Atlas of Improbable Places (Aurum books, 2016), spinning tales of human ingenuity and nature’s own masterpieces, and will muse on the power of unknown places, maps, and atlases to enchant and inspire us.

Travis Elborough is a writer and cultural commentator, who has written books on subjects as diverse as the London Routemaster bus, the British Seaside, the history of the L.P record, and the sale of London Bridge to America! Most recently, in addition to the stunningly-produced and utterly fascinating Atlases, he has compiled and edited Letters to Change the World : From Pankhurst to Orwell; a collection of politically-inspiring letters from history, and Our History of the 20th Century : As Told in Diaries, Journals and Letters; a candid and insightful collection of diary entries charting the twentieth century from the perspective of those who lived through it – not only the headline-grabbing events but also domestic and personal moments.
Travis is a regular contributor to the Observer and the Guardian but has also written for the Times, Sunday Times, New Statesman, the Oldie, BBC History magazine and Kinfolk among others and frequently appears on BBC Radio 4 and Five Live.

He lectures on many subjects and is currently a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster, teaching M.A. creative writing students. He has appeared at various literary and music festivals, including Latitude and Green Man.

We look forward to giving Travis a warm Steyning welcome – he grew up near Steyning and has fond memories of teenage drinking in the Chequers Inn!

Critical praise for Travis Elborough:
One of Britain’s finest pop culture historians‘ The Guardian
Elborough is an English nostalgist in the mode of John Betjeman …as a cultural commentator he is a terrific companion‘ Sunday Times



Come down to the bookshop on the evening of Thursday 4th October, and celebrate National Poetry Day with local poets Simon Zec, Marilyn Martin, and Judy Krolick.

Sit amongst the book-lined shelves, sip a glass or two of wine, and enjoy verses read by Simon, Marilyn and Judy, interspersed with musical accompaniment.

Simon Zec recently published his debut volume of poetry ‘Death of the Suburb’, which will be on sale on the night, alongside our special Poetry Day offer of 15% off all poetry books.

We would love audience members to bring along a favourite poem to share, too.

Tickets are £4, to include wine /soft drink and nibbles. Start time is 7.30pm.



Book Signing with Julia Donaldson

Book Signing with Julia Donaldson

On Saturday 20th October at 2.30pm fans of Julia Donaldson will get another chance to meet her as she celebrates the release of not one, not two, but THREE new books – a delightful alphabet of animals: Animalphabet, a new story with the fabulous illustrator Lydia Monks: The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes, and a beautiful new illustrated hardback edition of Julia’s play about the second World War: Bombs and Blackberries. The book-signing is an amazing chance to buy one of these wonderful new books in first-edition hardback, and get it personally signed and dedicated by Julia.

In order to make the signing an enjoyable experience for everyone

  • Entry will be strictly by prior booking only, and limited to under 100 families.
  • You can book your place by calling the shop on 01903 812062 and purchasing any of Julia’s new books (or her older titles!)
  • Your pre-order allows entry of 1 family group (1/2 adults and up to 4 children).
  • You may purchase additional books on the day – all Julia’s books will be available for purchase and signing.
  • There is no way to host a Julia D signing without some queuing, but we will attempt to reduce the queue time by staggering the entry times: 2.30 pm for the first 30 families to book, 3.30 pm for the next, and 4.30 for the final group. You will be advised of your recommended signing time when you book.
  • The signing will take place inside the shop /the back room of the shop, there will be refreshments and activities for children, but space is fairly limited.
  • Please do not bring ‘books from home’ or books purchased elsewhere for signing.
  • If you are unable to attend the signing but would like to order and pay for a book to be signed/dedicated by Julia, to pick up in person later, please call in/ phone the shop and we will be happy to arrange this for you.
  • Don’t forget – for those who live further away – you can get a signed Julia Donaldson book anytime from our website store!

Animalphabet is Julia’s delightful alphabet of animals with stunning illustrations by Sharon King-Chai.
Julia’s cleverly written, rhythmic text invites children to compare one animal to another, and ingenious hints and peep-through holes within the artwork make the book a hugely entertaining guessing game as well! Each intricately cut page draws you further into a beautifully vibrant world of huge elephants, slithery snakes and growling tigers, and the book will make a gorgeous gift. £14.99 in hardback.

The Girl, the Bear and the Magic Shoes is an exciting new story illustrated with glittery magic by Lydia Monks. When Josephine leaves the shoe shop after buying some new running shoes, she hears an unusual sound – Click-click! Click-click! A bear with a backpack is following her! Luckily for Josephine, her new shoes are anything but ordinary – these are magic shoes. But can they help her escape the bear when there’s a mountain, a bog and even a lake in her way? £12.99 in hardback.

Bombs and Blackberries is a dramatic and touching play which brings Manchester during the Second World War and its people to life.
World War Two has been declared and the Chivers children are sent to the safety of the countryside. They are delighted to be brought back home when it looks like the Germans aren’t going to invade after all. But the air-raid siren goes off and this time it’s frighteningly real. It is perfect for class reading as well as performance, also includes helpful tips on staging and costume. Beautifully illustrated by Thomas Docherty. £12.99 in hardback.


Dinner and Gin-Tasting with Dave Broom

Dinner and Gin-Tasting with Dave Broom

Join the Gin Revolution!
Wednesday 19th September, 7 for 7.30pm at the Sussex Produce Cafe.

In association with Steyning Food and Drink Festival, and The Sussex Produce Cafe, we are excited to welcome Dave Broom, Glaswegian drinks writer and spirits expert extraordinaire, who will join us at the Sussex Produce Cafe for a dinner and gin-tasting evening. Dave has written over a dozen award-winning books on whisky, gin, rum, and the art of bartending, is a contributor to numerous whisky journals, and lectures widely on wine, spirits and distillery. Over a delicious 2 course dinner, Dave will lead us through tastings of a range of artisan gins, and will also share insights into the history and manufacture of gin, and how best to enjoy its subtle flavours.
Tickets £35 to include superb 2 course dinner, gin-tasting, and a copy of Dave’s new book ‘Gin:The Manual’.

Holiday Fun with Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

Holiday Fun with Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

On Wednesday 22nd August at 2.30pm we are delighted to welcome back Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet! Sue and Paul are the dynamic duo behind a string of best-selling picture books – from Barry the Fish with Fingers, via Dave the Farting Cat, to the hit Supertato series, their books are full of colourful craziness and are guaranteed to raise a chuckle!
Sue and Paul will entertain children in the bookshop garden marquee with silly stories, awesome activities and maybe a song or two for good measure….suitable for ages 3 – 8, although this is just a guideline.
Advance booking recommended. Tickets £4 per child. Free refreshments included.

Julia Donaldson Book Signing for ‘The Cook and the King’

Julia Donaldson Book Signing for ‘The Cook and the King’

ENTRY BY PRE-BOOKING ONLY! Call the bookshop on 01903 812062 to reserve your place.

On Saturday July 21st at 2.30pm Julia Donaldson will join us to celebrate her joyous new picture book ‘The Cook and the King’.

Just out in hardback at £11.99, this hilarious story tells the tale of a very fussy king and his search for a cook who can make just the right dish. With Julia’s signature rollicking, rhyming text and richly detailed illustrations by David Roberts (Tyrannosaurus Drip, The Troll) this is sure to become a firm family favourite!

How does the book signing work?

  • Entry will be strictly by prior booking only, and limited to under 100 families.
  • You can book your place by calling the shop on 01903 812062 and pre-ordering at least 1 copy of ‘The Cook and the King’ (or other Julia D title). Your pre-order allows entry of 1 family group (1/2 adults and up to 4 children).
  • You may purchase additional books on the day – all Julia’s books will be available for purchase and signing.
  • There is no way to host a Julia D signing without some queuing, but we will attempt to reduce the queue time by staggering the entry times: 2.30 pm for the first 30 families to book, 3.30 pm for the next, and 4.30 for the final group. You will be advised of your recommended signing time when you book.
  • The signing will take place in the bookshop garden. There will be refreshments and activities for children, and as much shade and seating as we can muster.
  • Please do not bring ‘books from home’ for signing.
  • If you are unable to attend the signing but would like to order and pay for a book to be signed/dedicated by Julia, to pick up in person later, please call in/ phone the shop and we will be happy to arrange this for you.
  • Don’t forget – you can get a signed Julia Donaldson book anytime from our website store!
An Evening with Salley Vickers

An Evening with Salley Vickers

Thursday 28th June at 7.30pm – Rescheduled from the Steyning Festival event on June 8th. Original tickets still valid.

An amazing opportunity to meet Salley Vickers, author of the highly acclaimed Miss Garnett’s Angel, and The Cleaner of Chartres, in conversation about her wonderful new novel, The Librarian.

Salley Vickers’ writing is filled with subtle wit and lucid observations of human nature and has been compared to Penelope Fitzgerald and Barbara Pym. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a cleaner, a dancer, a teacher of children with special needs, a university lecturer specialising in Shakespeare, and a psychoanalyst.

Salley will be interviewed by Sara Bowers, the owner of The Steyning Bookshop.

The ticket price of £12 includes wine/soft drink, nibbles, and £5 voucher towards purchase of a book.

‘Salley Vickers sees with a clear eye and writes with a light hand. She’s a presence worth cherishing’ Philip Pullman.

‘Vickers is a novelist in the great English tradition of moral seriousness. Her characters suffer, they struggle to be true to both themselves and the promptings of the human heart. If you enjoy reading the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald and James Salter you should be reading Vickers.’  MICHAEL DIRDA Washington Post

Death of the Suburb Book Launch

Death of the Suburb Book Launch

‘Death of the Suburb” LAUNCH PARTY!
Come and join us for an evening of poetry, wine and song, as local performance poet Simon Zec launches his debut book of poetry, ‘Death of the Suburb’. By turns angry, tender, hilarious, and nostalgic, Simon’s verses capture the the complexities and contradictions of modern life and encroaching middle age.
The evening will feature some readings by Simon, some strummings and singings from local Razz-up musicians, and wine, soft drinks and nibbles.
Copies of  ‘Death of the Suburb’ will be on sale at £8.99.
Entry is FREE but please, if you’d like to come RSVP to The Steyning Bookshop on 01903 812062, or by email to
More info on the book at

An Author Supper with Robert Goddard

An Author Supper with Robert Goddard

We are very lucky and super-excited to have bagged a visit from best-selling novelist Robert Goddard!

Robert Goddard, aka ‘The world’s greatest storyteller’ (The Guardian) will be introducing his 27th novel, Panic Room, a contemporary thriller set in Cornwall, which sees him at his nerve-shredding best. Robert will be in conversation with Sussex thriller writer William Shaw.

We are looking forward to hearing about the background to Panic Room, his research and inspiration, his array of past best-sellers, and just how he achieves such mastery in the art of suspense and plotting!

Tickets include a delicious 2 course meal, and a copy of ‘Panic Room’. Robert’s other novels will also be on sale for signing.

Robert Goddard is the author of 27 novels, many of which are Sunday Times Top Ten Best-sellers, including The Wide World Trilogy, Fault Line, and Past Caring.

He was born in Hampshire in 1954. He was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge where he read History. He unsuccessfully pursued various career options, finally spending ten years as a local government officer. Frustrated with a lot of contemporary fiction, he set out to write a novel that did what he wanted more novels to do: tell a tightly constructed and densely plotted story engrossingly and satisfyingly. The result was Past Caring (1986) and when it became a success he realised that he had, in fact, always been a writer.

‘I was a writer, in the sense of being a storyteller – an avid elaborator and re-fashioner of events for my own and others’ entertainment – from my childhood on. I was also an eager student of history, spending every Saturday I could in the local reference library poring over history books in a bid to understand the world I grew up in. These two impulses – to alter reality and also to master it – are the foundations of my fiction. It’s become an addictive occupation and it’s not an addiction I
have any intention of trying to kick. I’m in it for life.’ – Robert Goddard


‘For 30 years Goddard has been my go-to guy for a certain kind of storytelling, full of
easy charm blended with sinister menace, propulsive pace with twisty plotting,
and likeable characters in bad situations. If you’ve read him, join the discussion: is
this his best yet? If you haven’t read him, start here and work backwards.’
– Lee Child



The Old Weird Albion with Justin Hopper and Friends

The Old Weird Albion with Justin Hopper and Friends

7.30 pm on Tuesday 1st May at the Gluck Studio in Steyning.

Join us for a very special evening as American writer Justin Hopper is joined by folk musician Sharron Kraus and special guests Geraldine Mitchell and Peter Pick, to perform a collaborative composition inspired by Chanctonbury Ring and the Downs around Steyning.
The performance combines readings from Hopper’s book ‘The Old Weird Albion’, a haunting work of psycho-geography tracing myths, memories and forgotten histories from Winchester to Beachy Head, with new folk compositions written and performed by Kraus on recorders, voice, synths and percussion.
Besides performing collaboratively, there will be short performances from Hopper and Kraus individually, as well as pieces from Sussex musician Peter Pick, and the first-ever UK reading by Irish poet Geraldine Mitchell.
Tickets, priced £8, are available at the shop or can be reserved by phoning us on 01903 812062. Tickets include wine/soft drinks, nibbles, and a £3 off voucher towards a copy of ‘The Old Weird Albion’.

Justin Hopper is an American writer of landscape, memory and myth, whose childhood visits to his grandmother’s home in Steyning inspired his life-long love of the South Downs. His journalism, poetry, audio projects and curated exhibitions have appeared in both his native USA and adopted UK home. He now lives in Constable Country with his partner and their son. His book ‘The Old Weird Albion’ is a lyrical and beautifully-written psycho-geographical memoir, charting Justin’s journeys amongst the South Downs, meeting New Age eccentrics, scholars, artists and folk historians in his search for forgotten myths and overlooked histories along the South Downs Way.

Sharron Kraus is a singer of folk songs, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose solo work and collaborations offer a dark and subversive take on traditional folk music. As well as drawing on the folk traditions of England and Appalachia, her music is influenced by gothic literature, surrealism, myth and magick. She has released 6 albums and has been featured in The Wire, fRoots, and Uncut. She has also appeared on Radio 3’s ‘The Verb’, and recorded sessions for BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Shropshire, and Freakzone on Radio 6.

An Evening with Catherine Chanter

An Evening with Catherine Chanter

On Thursday April 19th at 7.30pm, join us for an intimate evening at the bookshop with novelist Catherine Chanter, who will be discussing her second novel The Half Sister.

Catherine visited us in Steyning to talk about her first novel The Well, which received widespread critical acclaim and was much enjoyed by all at the bookshop, and by our book groups. The Well was Winner of the Lucy Cavendish Prize in 2013, was a Richard and Judy Book Club Pick for Autumn 2015, and was long listed for the CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger 2015.

So we are very pleased to welcome Catherine back to hear about The Half Sister, a compelling story of loss, grief, revenge and redemption. The novel follows estranged half sisters Diana and Valerie, who are reunited for their mother’s funeral but quarrel in bitter recrimination over past rivalries, setting off a tragic chain of events. It is a dark and finely nuanced study of moral uncertainties, and we are all looking forward to discussing it with her! Both novels are published by Canongate.

Catherine is a novelist and poet. She won a scholarship to read English Literature at Oxford and went on to work as a lobbyist, both in the UK and the USA. Somewhat disillusioned with the political process, she returned to England where she re-trained as a teacher and has since led education provision for vulnerable and excluded young people in a wide range of settings. She currently works for a charity which seeks to re-engage children with mental health problems with education.

Catherine has written for Radio 4 and had short stories and poetry published in many anthologies and publications. Her novella and short story collection Rooms of the Mind was published by Cinnamon Press in 2011. She has a Masters, with Distinction , in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University.

The event price is £8, which will include wine, nibbles, and a voucher towards purchasing the novel  (£14.99 hardback)



Urban Jungle – Easter Holiday Kids Event with Vicky Woodgate

Urban Jungle – Easter Holiday Kids Event with Vicky Woodgate

Vicky Woodgate is a professional artist and illustrator from Brighton who is fascinated by all things NATURE!

Urban Jungle is her first picture book, and what a treat it is! A beautifully produced collection of city maps detailing the sometimes unexpected animal inhabitants of cities around the world – from flying squirrels in the heart of New York city to wild boar snuffling around the streets of Berlin. Vicky has gathered a cornucopia of weird and wonderful international animal antics, all illustrated with characterful, colourful accuracy!

Vicky’s event will include: animal guessing games, drawing activities, quizzes, and lots of fascinating animal facts! It will suit nature lovers aged 6 – 12 years.

Tickets are £5 each to include free refreshments. The ticket will entitle the bearer to £5 off the book which is priced £20.

Please book in advance as spaces are limited.



A Human Love Story – Journeys to the Heart Book Launch

A Human Love Story – Journeys to the Heart Book Launch

Wednesday 28th March at 7.30 pm.

We are thrilled to be hosting the Sussex launch party for Matt Hopwood’s beautiful book A Human Love Story.

Matt Hopwood grew up near Steyning, and has spent many years travelling, gathering stories as he goes, so this launch is a home-coming of sorts.  Matt is a storyteller and a facilitator of sharing space. He is a graduate in Applied Anthropology from Goldsmith’s University, a former teacher and has worked alongside community projects in Kenya, Palestine and Israel.

A Human Love Story is the result of a journey Matt undertook, on foot, with just a small bag and a walking stick, walking many hundreds of miles, from Lindisfarne to Callanish in the Outer Hebrides. He relied entirely on the generosity of strangers for shelter and as he went, he asked people to tell him their transforming stories….. it is these profound, honest and moving stories of love, weaving a web of tenderness, connection, and compassion, which are gathered in the book.  Matt plans further books for the stories he harvested in other parts of the UK. The fascinating original recordings of the stories can be heard on Matt’s website here.

Matt is a popular guest on national and local radio shows, including the Sunday Morning Show on BBC Radio 2, and with Clare Balding on ‘Ramblings’ with BBC Radio 4, which generated one of the biggest audience responses in the entire series. He was featured again on ‘Ramblings’ in mid February when the book came out.

The launch is mainly by invitation to Matt’s family and friends, but we may have some space for interested locals! Please call in at the shop or phone us on 01903 812062 if you’d like to come along. There will be wine and nibbles, Matt will share insights and stories from his journey, and we will have plenty of copies of the book on sale for Matt to sign!



Julia Donaldson Signing Session!

Julia Donaldson Signing Session!

Julia Donaldson will be at the bookshop at 11 am on Saturday 7th April, for a signing session celebrating the paperback release of The Everywhere Bear and What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday. An amazing chance to get a hot-off-the-press paperback copy personally signed and dedicated by Julia!

The Everywhere Bear, beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, is a really lovely story about a classroom teddy bear’s adventures after he falls out of a child’s backpack. What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday is the third installment of the crime-busting ladybird’s adventures, told as ever in jaunty rhyme and joyously brought to life by Lydia Monk’s bright illustrations! Both are picture books perfect for ages 2-6.

The signing will begin at 11 am, and finish no later than 1.30 pm. We will have all Julia’s books available for purchase and signing, books may be purchased from the shop from 9.30 am, to relieve congestion in the shop during the actual signing period. Depending on demand, we may issue timed slots for signing to reduce queues. If the weather is warm we may be able to use the bookshop garden but if it’s chilly we will be inside, in which case space will be limited. Children’s activities and free refreshments will be on offer, plus no doubt Malcolm Donaldson and his trusty guitar will entertain you as you wait!

If you wish, books may be reserved and paid for in advance by phoning the shop on 01903 812062. Please make it clear when ordering whether you are coming to the signing, or whether you’d like the books to be dedicated and signed by Julia for you to collect at a later date.

This is not a ticketed event – just turn up!






An Evening with Claire Fuller

An Evening with Claire Fuller

On Thursday 22nd March at 7.30pm we are very excited to welcome back award-winning novelist Claire Fuller, who’ll be discussing her new novel ‘Swimming Lessons’, in the atmospheric ambience of the Gluck Studio.

Claire’s first novel ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ was one of our favourite reads of 2015 – a dark, disturbing story with a punchy twist in the tail, beautifully written with a very distinctive voice. It won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. She came to Steyning and talked to our bookshop bookgroups about that novel, so we are thrilled to have her back!

Her new novel ‘Swimming Lessons’, published by Penguin, follows husband and father Gil Coleman, and his turmoil after a sighting of his wife, Ingrid, who has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years. His children, Nan and Flora, return home, and together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother. Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave?  And do the letters hidden within Gil’s books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children?

The Sunday Times described the book as ‘Thrilling, transporting, and delicately realised’.

Tickets are £12 – public / £10 – Bookshop book group members – to include the book, wine/soft drinks, nibbles, and of course, a fascinating evening of literary insights! Call 01903 812062 to book.

Half Term Fun with illustrator Guy Parker-Rees

Half Term Fun with illustrator Guy Parker-Rees

Come down to the bookshop at 11 am on Tuesday 13th February for some arty fun!

Author and illustrator Guy Parker-Rees (illustrator of Giraffes Can’t Dance, Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner, author/illustrator of Be Brave Little Penguin, Dylan the Teacher and more) will entertain children with stories and live drawing (with audience participation!) and then we’ll get the pencils out and kids can get busy creating our own colourful characters!

Advance booking advised as places limited to 20 children.

£2 per child, ticket entitles bearer to £2 off one of Guy’s wonderful picture books, which he’ll be happy to sign. Age guide 4-8 ish.



An Author Supper with Peter May

An Author Supper with Peter May

We are thrilled to announce that best-selling Scottish crime-writer Peter May will be the guest at our next Author Supper at The Sussex Produce Cafe, at 7pm on Tuesday 23rd January, 2018.

Peter will be in conversation with fellow thriller writer William Shaw. 

Peter May is the best-selling author of more than 24 novels, including the internationally acclaimed Lewis Trilogy of thrillers set in the Outer Hebrides, which have sold more than a million copies in the UK alone.

Peter will be celebrating the release of his explosive new thriller I’ll Keep You Safe, which follows husband and wife Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane, whose successful textile company Ranish Tweed has taken them from their Hebridean home to the world of high fashion. While in Paris on a business trip, cracks begin to appear in their relationship, and when Ruairidh and his lover are killed by a car bomb, Niamh finds herself the prime suspect. Her life unravelling, Niamh travels back to her home on the Isle of Lewis, followed by a French detective, Sylvie Braque, and as the investigation proceeds, distant memories resurface and past feuds are reignited, and the 2 women are drawn into the dark web of a killer who won’t back down.

I’ll Keep you Safe is published by Quercus on 11th January. A hardback copy is included in the ticket price!

Peter will share stories from his fascinating research into forensics, the Dark Web, the world of Harris tweeds, and the many stunning locations in the novel. He will be interviewed by fellow novelist William Shaw, author of hit thriller The Birdwatcher, also published by Quercus,

TICKETS priced £30 will include a delicious 2 course meal, a signed hardback copy of I’ll Keep You Safe, and of course, a fascinating evening of insights from 2 great crime writers! 

About Peter May

Peter May was an award-winning journalist at the age of just twenty-one. He left newspapers for television and screenwriting, creating three prime-time British drama series and accruing more than 1,000 television credits.

Peter May’s novels, Entry Island (2014), Runaway (2015), Coffin Road (2016) & were all top 3 Sunday Times bestsellers. He is published in 30 countries and has sold several million copies worldwide.

The Lewis Trilogy has sold over 5 million copies in the UK alone. Peter has won numerous awards. In 2013 he won the ‘Best Crime Novel Award’ for ‘The Blackhouse’ at Bouchercon in the US. In September 2014, ‘Entry Island’ won the Deanston Crime Book of the Year and in October 2014 it won the Specsavers ITV3 Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read Award.

He lives in France with his wife, the writer Janice Hally, so grab your chance to meet him on a rare trip to the UK!

See for more details. Or follow him at @authorpetermay

“Peter May is a writer I’d follow to the ends of the earth.” New York Times

“Peter May follows his superb Lewis Trilogy with an equally absorbing work”. The Times

“Exceptional…May is a writer to be cherished.” Daily Mail

Christmas Late Night Shopping Evening with Matt Haig and Chris Riddell

Christmas Late Night Shopping Evening with Matt Haig and Chris Riddell

The Steyning Late Night Christmas Shopping Evening is an event not to be missed! From 6pm onwards, the High St is transformed into a Winter Wonderland of craft/ shopping stalls, delicious food outlets, and entertainments, with a fun-fair in the central car park, too!
Every year we have an author signing in the shop, and this year we are thrilled beyond measure to be graced by TWO stellar authors, Matt Haig and Chris Riddell. They will be in the shop signing from 7pm until 9pm. As always, Rob’s delicious hot mulled wine will be flowing, alongside our scrummy home-made mince pies.

Best-selling writer Matt Haig is perhaps best known for his non-fiction memoir/self help book ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’, but he hit the number 1 spot in the fiction charts this summer with his wonderful new novel ‘How to Stop Time’ – which has just been released in a beautiful new hardback limited edition with illustrations by Chris Riddell! He has also written widely for children and teenagers, and his trilogy of Christmas books which began with ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ is essential reading for the festive season!
father christmas and me
Multi-talented illustrator and writer Chris Riddell has recently finished his stint as Children’s Laureate, and is the author of the very popular ‘Goth Girl’ and ‘Ottoline’ series of children’s books, as well as illustrating hundreds of books by other authors. Most recently, he has released ‘Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony’, as well as the afore-mentioned illustrated edition of Matt Haig’s ‘How to Stop Time’.
how to stop time riddell
We will have a wide selection of all Matt and Chris’s books on sale, and customers will be able to get any books they buy signed and personally dedicated by Matt and Chris.
If you aren’t able to make it to the evening but would like to get a signed book, please drop in or give us a ring, we can take orders and get books signed and dedicated for later pick-up.

Half Term Hallowe’eny Fun

Half Term Hallowe’eny Fun

Bring your little witches and wizards down to the shop on Wednesday 25th October at 2.30 for some Hallowe’en-themed fun!
Crafts, stories, and games for 4-8 year olds, inspired by all our favourite witchy characters, from Room on the Broom to the Worst Witch!
2.30-3.30 (ish)
Ghoulish refreshments included!
Max 20 children.

An Evening with Patrick Barkham

An Evening with Patrick Barkham

Thursday 9th November, 7.30pm at The Gluck Studio.
Guardian journalist, nature writer and Steyning favourite Patrick Barkham will be giving an illustrated talk about his wonderful new book ‘Islanders‘, in which he explores some of Britain’s most remote and beautiful islands, investigating their flora, fauna, and human history.

The British Isles are an archipelago comprised of 2 large islands and 6,289 smaller ones. Some, like the Isle of Man, are large enough to have their own languages and laws, while others are mysterious, remote and abandoned. As Patrick travels to ever tinier outposts, he meets all kinds of islanders, from nuns to puffins, from local legends to rare subspecies of vole, and seeks to discover the magic of islands, what it is like to live on a small island, and what it means to be an islander.

This will be Patrick’s third visit to Steyning, and his friendly demeanor and encyclopedic nature knowledge make him a very engaging speaker, so do book early for this lovely event at the atmospheric Gluck Studio.

Ticket price of £10 includes wine, and entitles bearer to £5 off Patrick’s new book, a beautifully produced hardback which would make a great Christmas present!

Ben Again – The Inspirational Story of a Brain Injury Survivor with Ben Clench

Ben Again – The Inspirational Story of a Brain Injury Survivor with Ben Clench

Please join us for an intimate event at the bookshop on Tuesday 10th October at 7.30pm, with Ben Clench and his father, Hugh. Ben is the author of ‘Ben Again’, the moving and inspiring memoir of his recovery from a terrible head injury.

Ben was only 27 when he and his girlfriend Jazz were hit by a car while on holiday in the Dominican republic. Tragically, Jazz was killed instantly, while Ben suffered a traumatic brain injury and was rushed to hospital in a coma.

Ben was airlifted to the UK, where he eventually emerged from his coma with no memory and little physical control or ability.
Expectations for his recovery were low, yet Ben, with the help of his family and friends, defied medical opinion and, within a few short months was out of hospital and embarking on an intensive self-directed rehabilitation programme.
Key milestones included going to the Glastonbury Festival six months after leaving intensive care, studying for a Master’s degree, and running a half-marathon. Throughout the recovery process Ben was striving to regain his cognitive abilities with a view to resuming his career in international development.
His powerful memoir weaves his own story with the recollections of his family and friends, and Ben will be jointly giving his presentation with his father, Hugh, who was instrumental in his recovery.

Science(ish) with Dr Michael Brooks and Rick Edwards

Science(ish) with Dr Michael Brooks and Rick Edwards

We are thrilled to present a fantastic science event with science writer Dr Michael Brooks and  TV presenter/writer Rick Edwards. This entertaining and informative show, based on their hit podcast and upcoming book Science(ish) examines the science behind the movies. Illustrating their theories with film clips from iconic movies, Michael and Rick will ponder whether it’s really possible to bring back an extinct species (Jurassic Park), whether we will ever be able to travel back in time and meet our parents (Back to the Future) and if it is possible that we are, in fact, already living in a computer simulation (The Matrix).

 Dr Michael Brooks is an author, journalist and broadcaster, holds a PHD in Quantum Physics and is editor-at-large of the New Scientist, as well as writing a weekly column for the New Statesman. He is the author of At The Edge of Uncertainty, The Secret Anarchy of Science and the bestselling 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense.michael brooks
Rick Edwards is a TV presenter and writer with a particular interest in mathematics and the natural sciences. As a broadcaster Rick has most recently made a foray in to the world of quizzing as the host of BBC1’s daytime show !mpossible which aired in January 2017 and will return for an extended second run in May this year. Amongst his other numerous presenting credits are: ITV2’s comedy roast Safeword, BBC Three’s live current affairs debate show Free Speech and Channel 4’s Paralympic Breakfast Show. He also writes a monthly fashion column for The Observer, and has made forays into stand-up comedy.
Rick Edwards

Advance booking highly recommended for this event, as it promises to be fantastic fun and very popular!
Start time is 7.30pm, wine and soft drinks will be on sale, and a reduced price of £7 is available for under 18’s.
Booking is available online at
or by phoning us on 01903 812062.

IPA : A Legend in its Time with Roger Protz.

IPA : A Legend in its Time with Roger Protz.

Thursday 5th October at 7.30 pm.
Beer expert and writer Roger Protz will tantalise our tastebuds with a tutored beer tasting and talk about his new book ‘IPA, A Legend in its Time’- a fascinating look at the history of IPA.
India Pale Ale is a world-wide phenomenon. It is currently enjoying an astonishing rebirth and is brewed in just about every country in the world. In particular, it’s the most popular beer style brewed by craft brewers in the United States and there are some 300 versions produced in Britain, its country of origin. Roger’s book traces the history of IPA and looks into the art and science of its creation.
Roger will lead the audience through a tutored tasting of some local brews, including of course, several tasty local IPA style brews from our hosts, Dar Star Brewing Co.
Ticket price of £18 includes beer tasting, a copy of Roger’s book, and Roger’s fascinating talk.

Robyn Young – Blood on the Page: War, Mystery and Conspiracy in Renaissance Europe

Robyn Young – Blood on the Page: War, Mystery and Conspiracy in Renaissance Europe

Bestselling novelist Robyn Young talks to author & historian, David Boyle, about her new novel, Sons of the Blood, the first in a dazzling new epic series encompassing the Wars of the Roses, the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the intrigues of the Medici Court.
A very special evening bringing a thrilling period of history alive in the atmospheric medieval setting of Bramber Church!

Robyn Young’s first novel, Brethren, went straight into the Sunday Times top ten, where it remained for five weeks, becoming the bestselling hardback debut of 2006. Her second novel, Crusade, reached number two in the charts and a third bestseller, Requiem, completed the trilogy.
In 2007 she was named one of Waterstones’ twenty-five “authors of the future”. In 2010, the Brethren Trilogy was followed by the highly acclaimed, bestselling Insurrection Trilogy (Insurrection, Renegade & Kingdom), telling the story of Robert Bruce and his struggle against King Edward of England during the Scottish Wars of Independence.
Her latest series, New World Rising, follows young Jack Wynter, from the bloody turmoil of the Wars of the Roses through the chaos and splendour of Renaissance Europe.
Robyn has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex and lives and writes in Brighton.

Ticket price includes a paperback copy of ‘Sons of the Blood’ and free refreshments.