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.
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.
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 http://www.petermay.info 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
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!
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’.
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.
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!
Ghoulish refreshments included!
Max 20 children.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/FDFIGM
or by phoning us on 01903 812062.
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.
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.
SPECIAL PRE-PUBLICATION SIGNING! 5 days ahead of official publication date!
We are thrilled that Julia has agreed to come for another signing, this time to celebrate the release of her brilliant new picture book, ‘The Ugly Five’, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. A great chance to meet Julia, and buy a personally signed and dedicated copy of this funny, heart-warming story about Africa’s ugliest animals, inspired by Julia’s experiences on safari in the African Savannah! A new Julia/Axel picture book is always a treat and this joyous story is another instant classic from the dynamic duo!
The signing will take place in the beautiful back garden of the bookshop, with lots of space to relax as you wait for Julia to sign your book, and shelter in case of rain. As always, there will be plenty of entertainment on offer for those waiting, including sing-alongs with Julia’s husband Malcolm on his guitar, and African animal-themed activities and refreshments for your little ones. It’s sure to be a day to remember!
Julia will be signing from 2.30 pm on Saturday afternoon. This is a free event, no need to book, although for queue management we will issue tickets for timed signing slots at the time of book purchase. ‘Ugly Five’ books will be available for purchase on the day from 9.30 am, it is also possible to pre-order and pay for your book in advance.
Tom Hazard may look like an ordinary 41 year old History teacher, but he has a dangerous secret. Owing to a rare genetic condition, he is old. Over 400 years old. From Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, to sailing the South Seas with Captain Cook and sipping cocktails with F Scott Fitzgerald, he has lived a long but lonely and rootless existence.
With the help of millennium-year-old Heinrich from the Albatross society, Tom and the other ‘Albas’ change their identity every few years to avoid attracting suspicion from the regular human ‘Mayflies’. In return for this financial and logistical support they must abide by the society’s doctrine; not to lay down roots, and not to risk detection by falling in love.
As Tom struggles to escape the many pasts which constantly threatens to engulf his fragile grip on the present, he begins to question the rules he has lived by for so long…
Wow! Matt Haig has done it again! Since his last novel for adults, ‘The Humans’, Matt Haig has written a top-ten non-fiction bestseller (‘Reasons to Stay Alive’), a YA sci-fi novel (‘Echo Boy’) and two best-selling children’s books….but he has not lost his touch for poignant thoughtful commentary and sophisticated plotting!
‘How to Stop Time’ is an absolutely spell-binding, century-hopping novel, full of wise insight into the human condition and brimful with compassion and warmth. Absorbing, compelling, and moving, a perfect page-turner which I gulped down in just a few days and immediately wanted to read again!
Last year we were very fortunate to host Carol Drinkwater, the charming former actress and author of a series of books about her olive farm in France when she was launching a debut novel, The Forgotten Summer, an atmospheric family drama set on a Provence vineyard estate. Now we have her keenly awaited second novel, one that she was very excited about when we met her. Set in present day France where a mother drawn to Paris to search for her missing daughter finds herself caught up in a terrorist attack which devastates Paris, this intriguing story draws on the experience of France both now and in the immediate post war era. A page-turning summer read.
We are delighted to warmly welcome Carol Drinkwater back to Steyning, for an intimate event in the artistic ambience of the Gluck Studio at 7.30pm on Thursday 6th July.
Carol is an actress and writer who starred in the classic BBC series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, and who is also celebrated for her bestselling series of memoirs about her life on an olive farm in Provence. Carol will be introducing her gripping, powerful new novel ‘The Lost Girl’. Described as ‘a heart-rending story of love and loss’, the novel explores the darker side of Paris, as photographer Kurtiz gets caught up in a devastating terrorist attack whilst searching for her missing daughter. Amidst the chaos and bloodshed, a sympathetic stranger offers a helping hand, and the possibility of resolution.
Carol went down a storm when she appeared at one of our Sussex Produce Cafe author suppers last September to discuss her previous novel ‘The Forgotten Summer’, so do book early for this one to avoid disappointment!
Ticket price of £14 includes a copy of ‘The Lost Girl’, drinks and delicious hand-made canapes.
The Lost Girl
In the 75 years since Eric Ravilious’s untimely death in the Second World War, he has become one of the most popular and important artists of the twentieth century. His association with Edward Bawden is well known, but his wider circle included artists, friends and lovers who influenced and supported each other in many different ways. Mainly brought together by Paul Nash’s teaching at the Royal College of Art, the group included his wife Tirzah Garwood, Peggy Angus, Enid Marx, Helen Binyon and others. Andy Friend’s fascinating and ambitious group biography traces the links and influences between them, giving more prominence to the women in the group than has perhaps been done before, and illuminates the shared experiences that gave rise to some of the finest art and design of the period. Plentifully illustrated, this book is as beautiful as it is enthralling.
We are very lucky and super-excited that Matt Haig will be stopping by Steyning to talk about his wonderful new novel How to Stop Time.
Matt Haig is an incredibly talented and prolific writer who has turned his hand to award-winning adult fiction, children’s and YA novels, and non-fiction. His non-fiction book Reasons to Stay Alive was a number one Sunday Times bestseller and was in the UK top 10 for 46 weeks, and his heart-warming children’s novel ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ was a huge hit and is currently being adapted into a film by Studio Canal. His other adult novels include the hilarious, inventive The Humans, and the unusual vampire novel The Radleys, and his many works for children include Steyning Bookshop favourite To be a Cat.
How to Stop Time is Matt’s fifth work of adult fiction. It is the romantic, bitter-sweet, century-hopping tale of an unassuming history teacher, Tom Hazard, who, owing to an unusual genetic condition, is over 400 years old. From Elizabethan England to Jazz Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life. He is trying to tame the past that is fast catching up with him, but the only thing he mustn’t do is fall in love……
The film rights to How to Stop Time have already been snapped up by Studio Canal, with Benedict Cumberbatch set to take the title role – so grab your chance to meet Matt before he is whisked off to the Cannes festival high life!
Matt will appear at the beautiful Gluck Studios, an intimate space seating just 50, so do book early for this absolute gem of an opportunity! Ticket price of £13 INCLUDES a fresh-off-the-press hardback copy of How to Stop Time, so it’s a complete bargain!
Thursday 29th June at 7.30 pm.
We are thrilled to have bagged a visit from Louise Doughty as part of our celebrations for Independent Booksellers Week!
Louise is a novelist and playwright who is best known for her 2013 novel Apple Tree Yard which was a top ten bestseller and was shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger Award and the National Book Award Thriller of the Year. A four-part TV adaptation of Apple Tree Yard with Emily Watson in the lead role was recently broadcast on Sunday nights on BBC 1, and received rave reviews.
Louise’s eighth novel Black Water is just out in paperback from Faber, and is a tense, contemplative literary thriller which is attracting widespread critical acclaim and has already been nominated as one of the New York Times Book Review ‘Notable Books of 2016’. Spanning Europe during the Cold War, through California and the Civil Rights struggle, to Indonesia during the massacres of 1965 and the decades of military dictatorship that followed, Black Water is an epic novel that explores some of the darkest events of recent world history through the story of one troubled man.
“A compelling and vivid psychological drama, with plenty of bite.” The Guardian
Louise will be in conversation with her editor at Faber & Faber, Louisa Joyner.
Ticket price includes one of Louise’s novels in paperback, plus complimentary wine / soft drinks and nibbles.
The venue is the lovely Gluck Studio just off Church St in Steyning.
We are delighted to welcome novelist Juliet West to the bookshop for an intimate evening as part of our celebrations for Independent Bookseller’s Week 2017. Weds 28th June at 7.30pm.
Juliet will introduce her new novel ‘The Faithful’, a rich and gripping tale of deception and desire, set against the very well-researched historical background of Sussex in the 1930’s. Tensions mount in the seaside Sussex village of Aldwick as Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts arrive to set up camp, and local girl Hazel finds herself torn between friendship and desire. Secrets and betrayals take the story to London, the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War and beyond. It will be fascinating to hear Juliet share her passion for history – her best-selling first novel ‘Before The Fall’ was also inspired by a true story, set in the First World War.
Juliet lives near Chichester and both her novels are published by Pan Macmillan.
Tickets are £7 to include wine/soft drinks and a voucher towards Juliet’s new book ‘The Faithful’.
You may love or hate the A272, a 99 mile stretch of road winding between Hadlow Down and Winchester, but we, like many locals, have long been baffled as to why a Dutch couple decided to write a book about it!
‘A272 An Ode to a Road’ has been an unlikely bestseller for Pieter and Rita Boogaart. Tonight is your chance to find out the romantic story behind their long-standing obsession with the road, as well as to hear fascinating insights about the buildings, landscape and landmarks you might encounter if you journeyed the whole stretch. Pieter and Rita will illustrate their talk with a Powerpoint presentation, and will take questions at the end.
Ticket price includes a voucher towards purchase of the book, and wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be provided.
The venue is the Gluck Studio, a lovely converted artist’s studio with beautiful gardens, just off Church St in Steyning.
Need You Dead
We are delighted that best-selling thriller writer Peter James is once again coming to Steyning, celebrating the release of ‘Need You Dead’, the thirteenth novel in his hugely popular ‘Roy Grace’ series.
In ‘Need You Dead’ D.I Inspector Roy Grace faces his most mysterious case yet, when he is called to investigate the body of a woman found in a bath in Brighton. Unfortunately for Grace, what initially appears to be an easy, open-and-shut case soon becomes a labyrinth of sinister possibilities….
Peter is always an immensely entertaining speaker and we can’t wait to hear the grisly details and amusing anecdotes behind his latest work!
Ticket price of £15 INCLUDES a hardback copy of ‘Need You Dead’.
Tickets available direct from the shop or from TicketSource https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/355194
Drinks will be on sale from a licensed bar before and after the event.
Doors open at 7 pm, talk starts at 7.30 pm.
We will have the full range of Peter’s other books on sale, and Peter is always happy to sign books at the end of the event.