Thursday 14 November 2019

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like...

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is no better gift than that of books. When you're out and about in your local bookshops this festive season, why not catch a few of your favourite authors who may be signing a few copies? Or listen in on a fascinating discussion? There's a little something for everyone this month.

Bridging the gap between generations through the stories of three very different women, the latest funny and moving Salley Vickers novel is a must read. Salley will be discussing Grandmothers and her other bestselling books at Topping & Company in Edinburgh -guaranteed joy!

The latest eye-opening, page-turning Malcolm Gladwell book delves into why we so often misread people and the trouble with understanding strangers. This is set to be an incredibly interesting discussion from a writer who has consistently proven his expertise on the human experience.

Taking down the patriarchy one doodle at a time, author and illustrator Flo Perry introduces her new graphic guide to feminist sex. In her own open, frank way, it covers consent, kink and body hang-ups, paving the way for everyone to be more outspoken about what they really want from their romantic encounters. Don't miss this important liberating discussion!

The picture book that is sure to be wedged firmly in everyone's stockings this year is The Boy, The Mole, The Fox & The Horse. This wonderful story reminds us what's important in our worrying, uncertain world. Super talented Charlie Mackesy will be talking about his heartwarming debut book in Cheltenham and trust us, you need to treat yourself to this!

Chris Mould's illustrations have a certain festive charm to them, which is why you won't want to miss his drawing of Matt Haig's The Truth Pixie at Waterstones in Harrogate. Bring your books along to get them signed too!

The annual Christmas evening at Waterstones Piccadilly is always a highlight of the festive calendar and this year is already shaping up to be a good one! Jojo Moyes, Charlie Mackesy and Jacqueline Wilson are already confirmed to be signing books from 7pm with many more author guests to be announced. Away from the signings, enjoy mince pies and specialist book shopping with expert booksellers!

Thursday 17 October 2019

The Weird and the Wonderful

There's something almost magical about this time of year. An ethereal, sparkling air of whimsy in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It makes us want to hunker down with a giant, other-worldly novel and escape for hours. Luckily, there is a good selection of recently released spellbinding books to accompany these weeks of hibernation. Here are our picks of the best!

An Evening with Erin Morgenstern | 25th November, 8:00pm, Greenside Church, Edinburgh

It has been eight years since The Night Circus first visited us and Erin is finally back with a new magical follow-up. The Starless Sea takes us on an adventure into a subterreanean labyrinth driven by stories and puzzles and it's the perfect November read. Come and ask Erin all your questions and discuss her wonderfully strange novels.

An Evening with Alan Lee | 12th November, 7:00pm, Waterstones Truro 

Featuring brand new artwork by the incredibly talented Alan Lee, The Hobbit Sketchbook is a must-buy for Tolkienites. He'll tell us how he came to create the stunning illustrations that influenced Peter Jackson and gained himself an Academy Award. Alan will also be visiting a few other bookshops in November, so check out where you can catch him!

Titans of Sci-Fi: Peter F. Hamilton, Temi Oh, Stephen Baxter and Tamsyn Muir | 6th November, 7:00pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, London 

Hop in a spaceship and explore the universe with some of the best-loved sci-fi writers of today. From a quest to discover a new habitable planet to lesbian necromancers in gothic space palaces, this will be a fascinating evening on where the genre is now and the endless ethers it still has to explore.

Meet Eoin Colfer | 30th October, 4:00pm, Waterstones Glasgow 

Artemis Fowl fans, get ready to meet Artemis' younger brothers Myles and Beckett. The fantastic Eoin Colfer is back with the first instalment in a brand new series, full of madcap tricksy adventure. Get a signed copy and ask him all of your Fowl-related questions!

Meet James Nicol | 2nd November, 2:00pm, Waterstones Harrogate

On failing her final witchcraft assessment, Arianwyn is sent to a sleepy town called Lull to finish her training but Lull is far from the mundane place it seems. Come and meet James Nicol as he signs copies of his popular trilogy -which recently received beautiful new covers!

Book Signing with Sophie Anderson | 9th November, 11:00am, Waterstones Durham

Travel to ancient Russia and follow the story of Yanka, abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, as she begins her journey of self-discovery. Bestselling middle-grade author Sophie Anderson will be signing her Slavic folktale-inspired novels and discussing the weird and wonderful worlds they come from.

Thursday 26 September 2019

Something Spooky This Way Comes

With a chill in the air and rain on the pavement comes all things grim and gruesome, as we ring in the spooky season. Light a fire, pour yourself something hot and spicy to drink and finally curl up with that huge tome you've been meaning to read all year. Alternatively, wrap up warm and get out and about with some authors of dark, spine-tingling novels...

Hallowe'en Eve with Ruth Ware and Laura Purcell | 30th October, 6:30pm, Heffers Bookshop, Cambridge 

Join two masters of bone-chilling fiction as they discuss their latest novels. In both books, young women take up new household positions and discover some dark secrets via some incredibly eerie events. Get ready for a truly twisty discussion!

Starve Acre
: A Journey in English Folk Horror with Andrew Michael Hurley | 31st October, 7:00pm, Foyles Charing Cross Road, London

Folk horror is having a bit of a surge at the moment and it seems that not many writers do it better than The Loney author, Andrew Michael Hurley. Talking about his inspirations within the genre and his latest unsettling novel Starve Acre, it's the perfect literary Halloween night out.

Things We Say in the Dark
: An Evening with Kirsty Logan and guests | 1st October, 6:30pm, Rose Street Theatre, Edinburgh

Kick off October with an evening of upcoming writers introducing their queer horror stories and grab a copy of Kirsty Logan's latest collection of dark feminist fairytales. Things We Say in the Dark has already been compared to the work of Angela Carter, so it's definitely a must-add to your spooky season to-be-read pile.

Top Marks For Murder with Robin Stevens | 6th October, 2:00pm, Guildhall, Bath 
The brilliant Robin Stevens will be teaching us how to create the perfect crime story and the inspirations behind her much-loved detective duo Wells & Wong. You can even have a go at writing your own mystery!

Sophie Anderson Signing | 22nd October, 12pm, Waterstones Carlisle 

Returning to Russian folklore for her second novel, Sophie Anderson brings us The Girl Who Speaks Bear. This strange magical tale is the perfect middle grade autumn read, so come and meet Sophie and get a copy signed!

Thriller vs Horror | 31st October, 7:00pm, Foyles Cabot Circus, Bristol 

Do you prefer the cold atmosphere of a good supernatural horror or the pulse-racing suspense of a thriller? Which is more scary? YA authors Gabriel Dylan and Tracy Darnton debate both sides at this special Storytale Festival event.

Thursday 22 August 2019

'Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.'

The most exciting literary release of the year is almost upon us... 34 years after the publication of The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood is bringing us her highly-anticipated but utterly unexpected sequel The Testaments.

It comes at a time when the real world is growing increasingly more unstable and shocking. A time when women are still fighting for true equality, ownership of their own bodies and getting their voices heard. Atwood prefaces the new book with 'Dear Readers, everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in.'

The Testaments is released on 10th September and we're pretty sure you've already got it pre-ordered. But wouldn't it be great to celebrate your excitement at an event with fellow die-hard Atwood fans? If you're lucky enough to have grabbed a ticket to Margaret's sold-out in conversation event at London's National Theatre, you're in for a treat. However, do not despair - there are plenty more launch events around the country to attend!

Margaret is returning to the UK in late October with two more in conversation events. The first is in Birmingham and the second on 30th October in Oxford. Featuring readings from special guests, this will be your opportunity to listen to thoughts on The Testaments and hear Atwood discuss her career.

Celebrating The Testaments with Sophie Mackintosh, Luiza Sauma and Lisa Appignanesi | 10th September, 6:30pm, Waterstones Hampstead
Join the conversation at Waterstones Hampstead with authors Sophie Mackintosh and Luiza Sauma who have both taken inspiration from Atwood for their own feminist dystopian novels. They'll be talking to Lisa Appignanesi about the importance of The Testaments in the world today and Atwood's legacy.

The Testaments launch - Handmaid's Breakfast | 10th September, 8:00am, Waterstones Leeds
Grab your copy of The Testaments as soon as the doors open and celebrate with breakfast! Many branches of Waterstones will be opening early on release day so take a look at what's going on at your local shop!

The Dystopian Novel and the Future of Gilead | 29th August, 6:00pm, Waterstones Northallerton
Come and discuss your thoughts on The Handmaid's Tale, your predictions for The Testaments and get 20% off your pre-order!

This unmissable one-off book club event will feature dystopian discussions, feminist marches and cocktails. Cosplay with something red and join the revolution! 

You will be able to watch a live broadcast of Atwood's conversation with Samira Ahmed at the National Theatre at a cinema near you. Visit your local Waterstones branch or cinema  to find out more!

Thursday 13 June 2019

Summer Pride

June rings in Pride month and what better excuse to celebrate our true authentic selves? It's a time of bright colours, zero prejudice and above all else, love in all its forms. We've collated a bunch of exciting LGBT+ themed events happening over the next few weeks, showcasing the best queer talent across the arts. We recommend attending as many as you can!

Hosted by the fabulous Crystal Rasmussen on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, enjoy an evening of readings and performances from a stellar line-up of LGBT writers and artists. Penguin Pride will also be hitting Liverpool on 26th July and Manchester on 21st August.

Despite increasing levels of acceptance, safe spaces both on and offline are essential for young queer people. Matthew Todd and Niven Govinden look back on how far these spaces have come since the Stonewall riots of 1969 and how far we still have to go. Matthew will also be on tour with his book Pride throughout July. Find out where you can catch him here.

Get 15 authors for the price of one! Compere Stella Duffy will be joined by names such as Patrick Gale, Juno Roche and Julie Cohen for a range of panel events exploring queering genre, gender fluidity and more. You can get your books signed too!

Noah Can't Even author Simon James Green will be discussing his brand new rom-com Alex in Wonderland at BookTastic Festival. As a contributor to Juno Dawson's new anthology Proud, Simon will also be discussing pride within the wider YA community. 

Celebrating five years of Wells and Wong, the amazing Robin Stevens will be signing copies of her complete rainbow of books. Don't forget to pick up a special anniversary edition of Murder Most Unladylike too! Check out where else you can catch Robin soon.

Discover the brand new heartbreaking novel from If I Were Your Girl author Meredith Russo. Birthday follows two best friends who gradually grow apart as they struggle to live their authentic lives. Drop into the YA book club meeting to discuss this beautiful new story.

Thursday 16 May 2019

Feeling Festive!

Long days, warm weather and a ton of exciting new releases - in the book event world, it can only mean festival season. We've picked just some of our most anticipated festival events around the UK this summer to treat you to, so go ahead -grab a book or two and head outside!

An Evening with Lauren James | 30th May, 6pm, Waterstones Nottingham, LGBT Festival 

Get ready to be shot straight into the stratosphere with Lauren James' brand new YA sci-fi novel about two teens from a planet where a virus has caused global infertility. Hot on the heels of her fast-paced, jaw-dropping The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Quiet at the End of the World is set to be a new release you won't want to miss! Find out about other events at Waterstones Nottingham's LGBT Festival with Broad Strokes Books here.

Max Porter talks about Lanny | 1st June, 1pm, Compass Studio, Hay Festival 

Author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Max Porter will be discussing his strange and enchanting new novel Lanny. He will be accompanied by Alula Down, a folk duo who will treat us to an original music score for a beautiful immersive Lanny experience. Check out more Hay Festival events here.

An Audience with Victoria Hislop | 20th June, 2pm, Penarth Pier Pavilion, Penarth Literature Festival 

Delving into Greece's past, Victoria Hislop returns with Those Who Are Loved -a novel about a young woman who becomes entangled in an extraordinary life. Expect high emotion, high stakes and a truly engrossing read. Find out about other Penarth Literature Festival events here

Jelly Boots, Uncle Gobb and a Bear Hunt with Michael Rosen | 25th May, 11:30am, Baillie Gifford Stage, Hay Festival 

An hour of silliness awaits with much-loved children's author Michael Rosen. Meet Uncle Gobb, celebrate ridiculous made-up words and 30 years of everyone's favourite We're Going on a Bear Hunt!

Darren Simpson's Scavengers | 1st June, 2pm, Waterstones Derby, Derby Book Festival 

Breaking rules, finding your true self and following your dreams are central themes to Darren Simpson's middle-grade novel Scavengers. Meet Landfill and find out what happens when you push beyond the boundaries. Find out about other Derby Book Festival events here.

David Solomons: My Cousin is a Time Traveller | 16th June, 12:30pm, Orchard Marquee, Borders Book Festival 

It's not JUST about time travelling cousins in the latest David Solomons book -there is also a toaster trying to take over the world AND plenty of hilarious adventure! If you're in need of a giggle or two, this is one event you won't want to miss. Check out other Borders Book Festival events here

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Spring into a new season!

Ok, so there are still some pretty chilly winds out there but a few shy bits of blue sky, daffodils and bluebells are starting to creep in, which can only mean one thing -spring is on its way! As much as it is a time for new beginnings, it's also a time for EXCELLENT book events. We've collated just some of the most exciting author appearances and celebrations going on near you. Take your pick!

An Evening with Damian Barr | 10th April, 6:30pm, Waterstones Edinburgh West End

Presenting his first foray into fiction, award-winning columnist Damian Barr will be bringing You Will Be Safe Here to Edinburgh. Set across two time periods and inspired by true events, it explores the strength of the human spirit in his moving, compelling style. Come and listen to him discuss it with fellow writer Lee Randall. He'll also be in conversation with Margie Orford at Waterstones Piccadilly, London on 5th April.

Author Meet and Greet with Candice Carty-Williams | 10th April, 6:30pm, Waterstones Manchester Deansgate

One of the most highly-anticipated debut novels of the year, Queenie will finally launch next month. Candice Carty-Williams will be answering questions and signing copies of her refreshingly funny and inspirational book. She will also be chatting about it to June Sarpong at the Southbank Centre in London on 17th April!

An Evening with Ali Smith | 23rd April, 6:30pm, Waterstones Nottingham

At the turn of every season, we eagerly await a new instalment in Ali Smith's Seasonal Quartet series and Spring is finally here! Ask her your questions, get your books signed and listen to one of Britain's favourite contemporary novelists in conversation. Ali Smith will also visit Foyles on Charing Cross Road on 9th April. 

A Morning with Jacqueline Wilson | 27th April, 11:00am, The Brodrick Hall Leeds

Having written over 100 books for children and young adults, Jacqueline Wilson's career is certainly a long and fascinating story. She will be relating all of her favourite anecdotes and imparting her top tips for young writers whilst introducing her latest release Dancing the Charleston, another wonderful historical novel. This is certainly an event not to be missed!

Emma Carroll Signing When We Were Warriors | 13th April, 11:00am, Waterstones Plymouth

Known for her emotional adventures set in tough times, Emma Carroll's latest novel is no different. When We Were Warriors is set during World War Two and highlights the imagination and resourcefulness of children during hardship. Including characters both old and new, it's a book that both her existing fans and those new to her books will enjoy, so come and get a signed copy! She will also be signing copies at Waterstones Bath on 20th April.

Meet Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler on The Gruffalo's Birthday! | 23rd March, 11:00am, Waterstones Piccadilly London

Did you know that The Gruffalo is turning 20 this year?! We couldn't believe it either! Picture book royalty Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler will be signing copies of a special anniversary edition of the book at Waterstones Piccadilly in London. However, you can still celebrate the Gruffalo's birthday at your local branch as several Waterstones shops are getting in on the fun. Find out what's going on near you!