Author Supper with Elly Griffiths and Mick Herron

Author Supper with Elly Griffiths and Mick Herron

On Wednesday 8th March at 7 for 7.30 pm, we are delighted to present an author supper with award-winning crime writer Mick Herron, and Steyning favourite Elly Griffiths.

Mick Herron is the author of the acclaimed Jackson Lamb series, the first of which, the Steel Dagger-nominated SLOW HORSES, appeared in the Daily Telegraph’s list of “the twenty greatest spy novels of all time”. The second in the series, DEAD LIONS, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger, and was picked by the Sunday Times as one of the best 25 crime novels of the past five years. The third novel in the series, REAL TIGERS, garnered rave reviews. Mick was described by the Telegraph as “shaping up to be the great spy novelist of our age”.
He’ll be introducing his newest novel in the series, ‘Spook Street’, an absorbing tale peppered with fascinatingly flawed characters and studded with dark humour. Jackson Lamb is certainly a louche and slightly repellent anti-hero, who specialises in politically incorrect one-liners!
Mick Herron was born in Newcastle but now resides in Oxford.

Elly Griffiths is no stranger to our Sussex Produce author suppers, and readers will be overjoyed to hear there is a new installment (the ninth!) in her series featuring lovable forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. ‘The Chalk Pit’, set as always in and around Norwich, sees Ruth investigating some ancient boiled bones found in a mysterious network of underground chalk tunnels….do they have any link to the disappearance of a local rough-sleeper?
Elly Griffiths is the pen name of Domenica de Rosa, who has also written 4 Italian themed novels under her own name, and who lives in Brighton with her husband and kids.
Mick and Elly will be in conversation about their writing after we enjoy the delicious 2 course meal provided as part of the ticket price by our fantastic hosts, the Sussex Produce Café.
Ticket price also includes 1 hardback book (a choice of Spook Street or The Chalk Pit ) …how we spoil you!

 

 

The Everywhere Bear – Julia Donaldson book signing

The Everywhere Bear – Julia Donaldson book signing

‘Bring a Bear’ book signing!

On Saturday 11th February at 11am, we will once again welcome Julia Donaldson to the bookshop to celebrate the launch of her charming new hardback picture book ‘The Everywhere Bear’. Feel free to bring your teddies and favourite soft toys along to meet Julia! We will have free Teddy-themed refreshments and activities for children.

‘The Everywhere Bear’ tells the warm and engaging story of  a classroom bear who has an unexpected adventure when he falls unnoticed from a child’s backpack. It is beautifully brought to life with charming illustrations by ‘Paper Dolls’ illustrator Rebecca Cobb.

Julia will be at the shop from 11am, where we will have plenty of copies of ‘Everywhere Bear’ on sale, plus all her other titles. We will do our best to reduce  queue time, and will have free Teddy-themed refreshments and activities on hand for children. Julia is generally happy to stay for as long as it takes to sign everyone’s books, but to reduce queuing time we’re afraid we must ask that you do not bring books purchased elsewhere to be signed.

If you can’t make the date, we can reserve copies to be signed, please call into the shop, phone 01903 812062, or email to reserve your copy. Only books paid for in advance can be signed with a named dedication.

We look forward to seeing you ( and your teddies!)

 

An Author Supper with Sebastian Barry

An Author Supper with Sebastian Barry

We are delighted to welcome the prize-winning Irish writer Sebastian Barry to our author supper at The Sussex Produce Cafe on Tuesday 22nd November, at 7pm.

Sebastian will be in conversation about his stunning new novel ‘Days Without End’, an astonishing work of beauty and brutality set during the American Civil War, which the Guardian called “experimental, self-renewing, breathtakingly exciting”. Sebastian is also known for his 2008 novel ‘The Secret Scripture’, which won both the Costa and James Tait Black memorial prize, and has recently been adapted into a film. His novels ‘On Canaan’s Side’ and ‘The Temporary Gentleman’ were also critically acclaimed, and he has written more than 15 plays for the theatre, as well as publishing several volumes of poetry.

Sebastian is married to the actor and screen-writer Alison Deegan and has three children.

Tickets for the author supper include a delicious, seasonal 2 course meal, and a copy of ‘Days Without End’. Sebastian’s other novels will be on sale, and he will be happy to sign books.

An Evening with Fiona Maddocks

An Evening with Fiona Maddocks

Fiona Maddocks

Fiona Maddocks

On Thursday 13th October at 7.30 pm we welcome the Observer Classical Music Critic, Fiona Maddock, to the lovely Gluck Studios in Elm Grove Lane.

Fiona will be in conversation with former opera singer Sue Churchill, about her new book ‘Music for Life, 100 Works to Carry You Through’.

In the book, Fiona asks ‘ How does music reflect the key moments in our lives? How do we choose the works that inspire, delight, comfort or console?’ and selects 100 classical works from across nine centuries, arguing passionately, persuasively and at times obstinately for their inclusion, putting each work in its cultural and musical context, discussing omissions, suggesting alternatives and always putting the music first.

A fantastic event for classical music fans, the ticket price includes a glass of wine and a lovely hardback copy of ‘Music for Life’.

 

Catch up News!

Catch up News!

There has been so much going on that we haven’t updated our news for a year!
Early 2016 saw author events with Catherine Chanter, Emily Gravett and Janet Ellis then in May and June the hustle and bustle of the 2016 Steyning Festival with the likes of Peter James, Frank Gardner, Cressida Cowell, the Hemsley sisters, Alison Weir, Sara Pascoe and Fergus Garrett coming to town! Then we celebrated Independent Booksellers Week in fine style with a talk by Ian Rankin, and a wonderful window display created by children’s illustrator Leigh Hodgkinson.
June also saw the 2nd Steyning Grammar School Brilliant Book Awards, where authors Eve Ainsworth, Sam Hepburn, Ali Sparkes and Matt Whyman were in attendance.
In August the lovely children’s author and illustrator Sam Lloyd came and entertained little ones with stories and buggy crafts, and some of us grabbed the odd weekend away, while others continued their tireless work of event planning and book supply….

sam lloyd photo 2 2016

Sam Lloyd in the bookshop garden

We had queues up the street for Julia Donaldson’s pre-publication signing for ‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’, thanks to everyone who came for their patience – luckily the sun shone and Malcolm Donaldson entertained the throngs singing all our favourite jolly Julia songs.

Queues for Julia D!

Queues for Julia D!

Julia Donaldson signing

Julia Donaldson meets young fans

Meet Chris Riddell!

Meet Chris Riddell!

Saturday 17th September 2.30 pm at the Steyning Bookshop.
An amazing chance to meet Chris Riddell, the current children’s laureate, author and illustrator extraordinaire, as we celebrate the release of his new collaboration with Neil Gaiman, ‘Odd and the Frost Giants’.
Chris will entertain children aged 7 + with his incredible live drawing skills, play some interactive arty games, and answer questions from the audience.
He will also judge the entries to our DRAWING COMPETITION!
Drawing Competition
Can you imagine what a FROST GIANT might look like? Bring your drawing along to the bookshop on or before 17th September for your chance to win a bundle of signed Chris Riddell books.
ALL ENTRIES WILL RECEIVE A FREE ICECREAM / LOLLY!

Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd and the Frost Giants

The Dog, Ray

The Dog, Ray

A thoughtful, charming and moving children’s novel about friendship, grief, reincarnation and life as a dog.
When 12 year old Daisy is involved in a fatal car crash, she wakes up in a heavenly waiting-room, where she is allocated a new life, and finds herself back on earth…in the body of a dog. After escaping her owners she sets off on a mission to find her real family, pairing up with a friendly human runaway, Pip, who is searching for his father. Daisy’s gradual adjustment to her new canine senses, her fading memories of her old human life and her devotion to Pip are portrayed with gentle humour and sensitivity, and there is plenty of excitement along the way, as she and Pip evade capture and overcome disappointment on their quest.
Perfect for 8-12 year old readers.

Detective Dog

Detective Dog

We’re very excited about this one… Britain’s best-selling picture book author and local resident, the wonderful Julia Donaldson has chosen to collaborate with one of our favourite illustrators, Sara Ogilvie, to create a fantastic, fast-paced romp, The Detective Dog.
‘There once was a dog with a keen sense of smell. She was known far and wide as Detective Dog Nell.’
Nell can sniff out the solution to any mystery with her amazing nose, she solves any crime and also looks after her messy boy owner Peter, retrieving his belongings from the most unlikely places. That’s what she does Tuesday to Sunday, but on Mondays Nell has another very important job – she follows the smell of books and goes to school with Peter and listens to the children read.
When all the school’s books disappear, who better to sniff them out than Detective Dog Nell?
This an absolutely lovely story in praise of books and libraries and children and dogs, illuminated by Ogilvy’s fabulously expressive drawings.

Our Endless Numbered Days

Our Endless Numbered Days

Winner of the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for Fiction this is a striking and absorbing first novel inspired by the true life story of Robin van Helsum, a Dutch boy who walked out of a German forest in 2011 claiming to have survived there with his father
The novel opens with the young narrator Peggy, aged 17, finding herself back in London trying to resume a normal life with her mother and the younger brother she never knew she had, after living for nine years in remote German mountains with her increasingly unhinged survivalist father who abducted her when her mother, a distant and self-absorbed concert pianist, was away on tour.
Told in flashback the novel transports us from Peggy’s seemingly idyllic and comfortable childhood to the often gruesome realities of surviving in the wild, creating in the wilderness an atmosphere that is claustrophobic but also strangely liberating. The carefully crafted unsettling novel builds a tension that would be unbearable were it not for the fact that we know that the vulnerable child survives, albeit having lost her childhood.
A most impressive debut that lingers in the mind for some time.
The bookshop book group’s pick for August.

Strange Star

Strange Star

From the author of In Darkling Wood and The Girl Who Walked on Air comes an enjoyably creepy story inspired by the summer when Mary Shelley created Frankenstein. There is a growing body of young readers who are great fans of this writer, a former secondary school teacher who creates deftly plotted involving stories with believable characters and enough complexity to challenge without baffling.
Suitable for ages 9-12

Squirrel Pie (and Other Stories)

Squirrel Pie (and Other Stories)

Another book to contain a squirrel recipe, surely a first for the Bookshop reviews! This is renowned food writer Elisabeth Luard’s collection of stories of food from around the world. From bush-tucker in Australia, to snails in Crete, squirrel pot-pie from the grey squirrel’s native habitat of the forests of North America, to Ethiopian injeera, Elisabeth’s travels and encounters with food provide a collection of fascinating anecdotes, recipes and drawings. Charming and entertaining.

The Wild Life

The Wild Life

Following the purchase of a run-down Herefordshire farm, and encouraged by dreams of roast duck with wild mushroom sauce, as well as a combination of being utterly broke, with natural bounty around him, farmer John Lewis-Stempel, whose previous book Meadowland was a runaway success, decides to eat only wild food for a year. It must be hunted or foraged by himself from his own forty acres, and may not include food produced by agriculture. His wife bans him from using the freezer, so he also has to rely on traditional preservation techniques. This book is the story of his year, his (often monotonous) meals, and the methods he uses to procure them. A lot of rabbit, also squirrel, snails, pigeon and trout are consumed (but mainly rabbit), as well as what many people this of as weeds – chickweed, silverweed and dandelions. The long hours spent hunting for food, and even longer ones preparing it, ultimately hone his perceptions, his tastebuds, and draw him closer to the land and to himself. Fascinating.
Alice

A Little Life

A Little Life

This is the story of four ambitious, talented friends who meet at college, and then move to New York to make their way in the world. Malcolm is a diffident aspiring architect, JB paints acclaimed pictures of his friend, Willem waits tables and auditions for parts and brilliant, enigmatic Jude is working at the district attorney’s office. As their careers and relationships develop, Jude becomes the centre of the narrative, his past slowly and devastatingly revealed, the dark centre of the circle of friendship. This is outstanding book built in layers of quiet, subtle and heart-breaking detail.

An Author Supper with Carol Drinkwater

An Author Supper with Carol Drinkwater

We are very excited about our next author supper, to be held on Tuesday 20th September, 7 for 7.30 pm, – a talk by best-selling author and actress Carol Drinkwater!
Carol will join us at The Sussex Produce Cafe to talk about her new novel ‘The Forgotten Summer’, just out in paperback. Tickets are priced £25 and include a delicious two course meal, and a copy of ‘The Forgotten Summer’.
Carol Drinkwater is an actress, writer and film-maker, perhaps best known for her award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the TV adaptation of James Herriot’s ‘All Creatures Great and Small’. She was a member of the National Theatre Company under the leadership of Laurence Olivier and has acted in numerous television series and films including the highly successful ‘Chocky’, ‘Bouquet of Barbed Wire’, and ‘Golden Pennies’. Amongst many other film and television credits, she has appeared in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’, ‘Queen Kong’, ‘Father’, and the film adaptation of Beryl Bainbridge’s novel ‘An Awfully Big Adventure’.
In recent years Carol has become better known for her best-selling memoirs about her life on an olive farm in Provence, in particular for ‘The Olive Tree’ and ‘The Olive Route’, which she also turned into a short series of documentary films. She has also written novels for children and young adults.

Carol Drinkwater

Carol Drinkwater

Book Signing with Julia Donaldson

Book Signing with Julia Donaldson

Saturday 3rd September 11 am
‘Zog’ is one of our favourite picture books, and we are delighted to announce that Julia Donaldson will be coming to the bookshop to sign copies of her fantastic follow-up, ‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’!
‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’ is officially released on the 8th September, so we are very fortunate to have this special pre-publication appearance by Julia.
This is not a ticketed event, just a book-signing, but we hope Malcolm Donaldson will be on hand with his trusty guitar to entertain the queues with some of Julia’s jolly songs.
If you are unable to attend but would like to get a copy signed and dedicated by Julia, we can take pre-orders so give us a ring.

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson

Stories and Crafts with Sam Lloyd

Stories and Crafts with Sam Lloyd

On Wednesday 24th August at 2.30 pm we are delighted to welcome back talented Brighton-based picture-book author and illustrator, Sam Lloyd.
Sam will share her latest book ‘First Day at Bug School’, and hopefully some of her other colourful picture-books – Dino-Baby is one of our favourites – as well as helping children with some bug-based-crafts!
Tickets are only £2, please book ahead so we have an idea of how many craft materials Sam needs to bring! Ticket entitles bearer to £2 off one of Sam’s fab books.

Sam Lloyd

Sam Lloyd

An Evening with Graham Bartlett

An Evening with Graham Bartlett

To celebrate the publication of his book ‘Death Comes Knocking; Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton’, co-written with Peter James, we are delighted to welcome Graham Bartlett to the bookshop, on Thursday 28th July at 7.30 pm.

Fans of Peter James will know that Graham Bartlett is an advisor for Peter’s most well-loved character, Inspector Roy Grace. Graham was a long-serving detective in the city once described as Britain’s ‘crime capital’, and will be sharing stories from his years on the force, looking behind the scenes at some of the city’s most gripping and challenging cases.

Tickets are £10 to include the book, wine/soft drinks and nibbles.
Ticket are available from the bookshop on 01903 812062.

Graham Bartlett

Graham Bartlett

 

 

Stories and Crafts with Leigh Hodgkinson 3pm 25.6.16

Stories and Crafts with Leigh Hodgkinson 3pm 25.6.16

As part of our celebrations for Independent Bookshop Week 2016, multi-talented illustrator and author Leigh Hodgkinson is paying us a return visit. Some of you may recall Leigh’s bag-monster making session which was so much fun last summer!

Leigh Hodgkinson

She will be creating a wondrous, artistic window display in our children’s window during the morning, then, at 3pm she will lead a simple print-making workshop for children aged 4-8 (ish!) and share some of her funny, colourful picture books.

Are you Sitting Comfortably?

Tickets are a mere £2, including refreshments, and can be used to get money off one of Leigh’s lovely picture books.

 

BREWERY TOUR WITH SPECIAL GUEST IAN RANKIN

BREWERY TOUR WITH SPECIAL GUEST IAN RANKIN

SATURDAY 18th JUNE 2.30-4pm.
Prior to his talk at The Steyning Centre on the evening of Sat 18th June, we are offering this exciting opportunity for a few lucky fans to join Scotland’s finest crime writer, Ian Rankin, on a tour of The Riverside Brewery, Upper Beeding’s finest micro-brewery, which was established in 2015. Ian, like his most well-known character Inspector Rebus, is fond of a brew, so come along and see what he makes of our fine Sussex ales! Ticket price includes bottle of beer.

Riverside Breweries finest ales

Riverside Breweries finest ales

An Evening with Ian Rankin

An Evening with Ian Rankin

To kick off our celebrations for Independent Bookseller’s Week in very fine style, we are thrilled to announce that Ian Rankin will be paying Steyning a visit on Saturday 18th June. This is an absolutely unmissable chance to hear the Scottish Master of Noir talk about his life and work, upon the paperback publication of ‘Even Dogs in the Wild’ his latest John Rebus thriller. He will be appearing at the Steyning Centre at 7.30 pm on Saturday 18th June. Tickets for this event are £12, to include a paperback book.
Also, during the afternoon, he will be touring Upper Beeding’s own Riverside Brewery, and a VERY limited number of tickets will be on sale to join him on this tour.
Please contact the bookshop on 01903 812062 for tickets or for further information on either of these two events.

Meadows at Great Dixter and Beyond

Meadows at Great Dixter and Beyond

Meadows: At Great Dixter and Beyond by Christopher Lloyd and Fergus Garrett
Pimpernel Press £30
This is a sumptuous new edition of Christopher Lloyd’s classic book on meadows. Starting with the origins of meadows in history, art and literature, Lloyd goes on to describe in detail the different types of meadow and prairie, how to create and maintain them, and his own efforts at Great Dixter, the garden that was his life’s work. Fergus Garrett, current head gardener at Great Dixter, who worked closely with Lloyd, and continues his work after his death has contributed a lengthy new introduction, which looks at the ongoing developments in their grassland management, and the resurgent interest in ecology and wildlife habitats.
Come and hear Fergus talk about the book and his gardening life at Great Dixter on May 27th in the Big Top at 11am as part of the Steyning Festival. The book will be available at the special Festival price of £20.

Meadows at Great Dixter and Beyond: A Talk by Fergus Garrett

Meadows at Great Dixter and Beyond: A Talk by Fergus Garrett

“To see a meadow in bloom is a great delight – it’s alive and teeming with life, mysterious, dynamic . . .” To celebrate the publication of a new edition of Meadows At Great Dixter and Beyond by Christopher Lloyd, one of the greatest gardeners of the twentieth century, Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter, near Northiam, and author of a new introduction to the book, will give an illustrated talk both about the gardens and the meadows there.

A Steyning Festival event.
Copies of this beautiful and informative book will be available for purchase (at a special festival price) and signing at the event.
Friday 27th May 11 am Festival Big Top, opposite the church.

The Kindness

The Kindness

The Kindness by Polly Samson Pub Bloomsbury 8.99

At the outset of this assured second novel by Polly Samson we encounter Julian, prematurely aged at only 29, in a state of deep anguish at the loss of his lover, Julia, and their daughter, Mira. He drifts through his Sussex childhood home, consumed by their absence. Empty photograph frames, beds which no longer hold his sleeping family, this is a house echoing with regrets – but the details of his loss are a mystery. Polly Samson has received much praise for her short story collections and this compelling novel, lyrical but deftly rooted in reality, is a set of interlocking stories which lead the reader to piece together the mystery at the heart of the book while at the same time provide great insight into the inner lives of the protagonists.

The Kindness wears its structural complexity lightly, the voice and the pace so assured that it seems remarkable that this is only Samson’s second novel. It’s a rare achievement to create a book that is at once a wise and tender meditation on the nature of love and disappointment, and a page turner that will keep you awake into the small hours” – Observer

The Summer Before the War

The Summer Before the War

Helen Simonson sets her new novel, “The Summer Before the War,” in the summer of 1914 when Europe is contemplating the unthinkable – a German invasion of Belgium. In the English seaside town of Rye the residents are agog at the arrival of the new Latin teacher, Beatrice Nash —a bright, attractive and fiercely independent orphaned daughter of academic parents who is not prepared to endure uncritically the social restrictions that prevail in the town that later inspired E F Benson’s Lucia novels. Fans of Simonson’s “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand,” will once again enjoy the perceptive social comedy in this lively and engaging book which gains added depth as we are drawn inexorably towards the effects on the town’s inhabitants of the onslaught that will ravage a generation.

Helen Simonson will be in discussion with authors Polly Sampson and Suzanne Joinson at a Festival event on May 23rd at 7.30pm in the Gluck Studio, Chantry House. Access from Elm Grove Lane.