Thursday, 11 January 2018

Revitalised January

We’re almost halfway through January and are coming to the annual inevitability of cheating on our New Year’s Resolutions or falling off the Dry January wagon. It’s a tricky time of year to stay motivated and feel refreshed so we’ve put together our pick of events to brighten up your mind, body, and soul – after all, what could make you feel better than a shiny new book?

Lose yourself in Matt Haig’s captivating time-travelling novel, How to Stop Time. You can meet Matt at WHSmith Brighton where he will be signing copies to celebrate its release in paperback. Matt is a global bestselling author and vocal campaigner for mental health awareness, a theme which runs through his wonderful novel of love, loss, and hope. 

Think you can’t enjoy a full flavoured meal without a high calorie intake? Think again! Much-loved Michelin-starred TV chef Tom Kerridge’s latest cookbook will help you lose weight for good, without sacrificing the delicious meals you love. Hear from Tom himself at this special event in association with Chorleywood Bookshop and learn how to embrace a new, healthy approach to eating. Take home a (discounted) signed copy too! 

It may seem odd that we’ve included an event which inspires discussion about death in our ‘Revitalised January’ picks, but Kathryn Mannix’s new book is hopeful, tender, and beautifully written. Death is the biggest taboo in our society and palliative medicine pioneer Dr Mannix tackles this with touching, tragic, and sometimes funny stories of real people dying real deaths. With The End In Mind encourages talking and sharing, so why not come to this event in Newcastle to meet Dr Mannix and find out more about this fascinating book.

We are flooded by health crazes year after year, all promising to be the new and unusual way to lose weight and be healthier. Cut through the myths with authors Renee McGregor, Emma Woolf and Bee Wilson at this event questioning what it really means to ‘eat clean.’ This is a great topic for discussion and the speakers will host a Q&A after their talk, so bring all your health and diet queries.

Eat yourself happy with Melissa Hemsley’s new cookbook! Melissa is one half of the Hemsleys, bestselling authors of The Art of Eating Well and owners of the Hemsley + Hemsley café in Selfridges. In her new solo book you’ll find delicious and healthy alternatives to takeaway favourites, which will still give you that feel-good factor. Her recipes focus on supermarket ingredients, simple dishes that everyone can cook, and bold flavours. Meet Melissa at Waterstones Edinburgh to hear all about the creation of her mouth-watering recipes.

Ruby Wax, a monk, and a neuroscientist walk into Ely Cathedral … This may sound like the set-up for a joke punchline, but it is in fact a fantastic event discussing How to Be Human, the new book from these three collaborators. Go back to basics and question what it means to be human, how our minds and brains connect, the importance of mindfulness, and whether we have started treating ourselves more like machines and less like the evolutionary wonders we are. The book is being hailed by critics as engaging, inspirational, and full of wit, and this evening in the grand setting of Ely Cathedral is sure to deliver the same!  


Rosa Park: A Balloon Away Launch | 23rd January 7:30pm

Adults and children alike will fall in love with Rosa Park's beautiful new children's book, A Balloon Away. Full of adventure, hope, and friendship, Rosa's book tells the tale of little Sona who travels to stunning new landscapes with her bear friend, Grey. Celebrate the launch of this special story at Toppings Bookshop in Bath. 

One for the kids – meet brilliant author Abi Elphinstone and find out about her dazzling new book, Sky Song, full of heart, adventure, and magic! Sky Song has been on a whirlwind journey: Abi was inspired by the story of a young girl and her eagle in Mongolia, then travelled to the Arctic tundra, and now the tale arrives at Blackwell’s Edinburgh for you to enjoy! 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Kimberley Chambers Interview

Some people are made for a life of crime...
Dragged up on a council estate, Jason Rampling was determined to change his lot. Jason's a chancer, shameless with his good looks and his gift for earning a few quid. Life is easy when the money rolls in. 

Some people are ruined by it...
Melissa thought she'd struck gold marrying Jason. Being on his arm meant she was finally a someone. But there's no glamour in waiting for your husband to come home, or waiting for a knock on the door. Melissa made her bed the day she made her vows - will she lie in it without a fight?

Some would kill for it...
After a stretch inside, Jason wants to pull off just one last job, the biggest of all, it could solve all of their problems. But this is a game that could cost them everything...

We can't wait to read Life of Crime, the gripping new title from the Queen of Gangland Crime, Kimberley Chambers. We caught up with Kimberley to find out about her new book and what you can look forward to on the book tour! 

You can find all of Kimberley's upcoming events here, including signings, talks, and chats with her favourite authors at venues across the country.

We can’t wait to read your new book Life Of Crime! Please tell us a little bit about your inspiration for writing it and what we can expect.

Having just come away from a gangland crime series I wanted to do something a little bit different.  The first scene of Life Of Crime is set in the Dagenham Sunday market, a place I used to work. Jason Rampling works on a shoe stall and is a bit of a chancer. He has a choice to make: love or money. The choice he makes changes his life forever, and is how he ends up in a life of crime…

What is a writing day like for you?

 I normally write of an evening. On a good day, I get up and go to the gym, have lunch and take the dogs out, then have a bit of a siesta. I usually start writing late afternoon and will write through the evening, often to the early hours. My previous jobs include DJ-ing and mini-cabbing, and I used to do the night shift – I’ve always been a night owl.

At BookGig we are passionate about bringing readers closer to the authors they love at events across the country. As both an author and reader, why do you think this is important?

Writing can be quite a solitary life and it’s amazing to get out and meet my readers, as well as the people I’ve connected with on social media.  It’s lovely to meet people face-to-face. I enjoy doing talks at libraries, as the people who come to my talks are passionate about my books. I recently did a talk at Styal Prison in Cheshire. My books are popular in the library there.
The inmates were so passionate about my characters and stories they could practically recite them word for word. One of my books was also featured in World Book Night, which aims to get people reading from all walks of life, and that’s really important to me. Finding a love of reading can help you through the tough times in life.

 Do you have a particular memory from a talk or signing event that sticks in your mind?

Early on in my career I did some events to a large group of very posh Jewish ladies – little did they know that my old boss on Roman Road market taught me some Yiddish slang which wasn’t to be repeated in good company! So, there was a few shocked faces in that crowd when I sprinkled it through my talk. Still makes me chuckle now.  I’m a little better behaved these days, mind.

     What’s the best thing about meeting your fans?
I don’t see my readers as fans – probably because I come from a council estate and am as down to earth as they come. I love meeting my readers face-to-face and we often pop to the pub after my talks or signings – so come and join us, the more the merrier!   

     Do you spend a lot of time in bookshops? What makes a bookshop special for you?

I don’t spend too much time in bookshops as I’m usually busy writing, but I love unique independents. My first event was Newham Bookshop so that remains special and close to my heart. I met Gilda O’Niell there, she was a lovely lady but unfortunately has since passed away.

We can see that your dog Fred often joins you at events and is a big hit with fans! If you could choose any author to do join you for a literary chat, who would it be?

Fred outshines me by a mile. Whenever I come back from events I come home with a case of treats and presents people have given me to bring back for Fred. Now he has a sister, Doll, I’m even further down in the pecking order! 

On my upcoming book tour I’m really looking forward to doing events with some author pals and legends – check out for all the dates and authors I’m on tour with.  If I had to choose an author I haven’t been on tour with it would have to be Jilly Cooper.  I’m a big fan of her books, I loved Riders, Rivals and Polo and recently had the great pleasure of meeting her at the WHSmith Anniversary Gala Ball.

Did you read any books over Christmas?

Yes, my favourite was The Woman in the Window, by AJ Finn – I was lucky to get an early copy sent by my publishers and I couldn’t put it down. It’s out a few weeks after Life of Crime is published and I’d highly recommend it.  

What sort of storylines of yours can we be looking forward to in the near future?

My next book is very different to anything I’ve written before, I’m currently a third of the way through it. It’s about a young lad who, in the first few chapters of the story, finds his life is turned upside when he loses everything. And one very cruel act means he’ll spend the rest of his life hell bent on revenge.  This book is set in the 70s and 80s, two of my favourite decades to write in. I love the music and fashion of those days and the world was a better place back then.

You can follow Kimberley on her Twitter and Facebook pages. 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Festive Events

December is here and we can't resist the festive season any longer... Christmas is officially around the corner. Take a break from buying, wrapping, ripping the paper, and rewrapping, and indulge in a literary event with some of your favourite authors. You may even come away with a bookish Christmas treat! 

If you’re more poetry than prose, why not get into the festive cheer at this evening of seasonal poetry with Toppings Books? Featuring a mixture of anthology favourites and unpublished works, there’ll be plenty of material to light up the Christmas spirit in even the most bah-humbug Grinch! 

Still looking for that perfect present for someone? Feel like you deserve a treat amidst the Christmas chaos? Whatever genre of books you’ve been enjoying this year, you’re bound to find one of your favourite authors at Waterstones Kings Road and Piccadilly Customer Evenings. With the likes of Stephen Fry, Michael Rosen, Victoria Hislop, Maggie O’Farrell, Giovanna Fletcher, and Adam Kay attending, this is the perfect opportunity to meet your literary heroes and maybe even have a chat over a mince pie!

You can never have too much Christmas trivia to share while pulling crackers and tucking into your turkey! Paul Kerensa’s Hark! The Biography of Christmas provides hours of entertaining festive facts and seasonal stories. Grab a signed copy at Waterstones Waverley – the perfect stocking filler for the ‘know-it-all’ in your life.

Make this Christmas truly magical from head to toe with Tanya Burr’s festive inspiration for gifts, decorations, recipes and much more in her new book, Tanya’s Christmas. The much-loved YouTuber, author, and actor will be at Jarrod’s signing copies of her yuletide bible – the perfect gift for a loved one, or even for yourself!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… be whisked away in a flurry of snow to Italy, Finland, Russia and beyond in Kenneth Steven’s timeless Winter Tales. Aptly taking place on the first official day of winter, and with only a few days to go until the 25th, take a break from last-minute wrapping and enjoy a reading of Kenneth’s short stories which provide laughter, tears, and wonder.

Get the kids into the Christmas spirit too...

Tis the season to be jolly! – BUT mystery still lurks in the air in Robin Steven’s latest ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ novel… Get your detective caps on for a Christmas crime in Mistletoe and Murder! Come along to Children’s at Heffers to meet Robin and get your copy signed. You might even be visiting the scene of the crime, because Heffers Bookshop features in the book…

Christmas is just around the corner – can you hear the sleigh bells twinkling, can you smell the chestnuts roasting? Join in with plenty of festive activities as children’s author Tracey Corderoy helps you get into the festive spirit.  Stories and crafts galore!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Cosy Winter Events

The clocks have gone back, the nights are creeping in earlier, and the winds have turned chilly... time to treat yourself to some indulgent literary events, and maybe even pick up some literary gifts or ideas for your Christmas table! 

Let bestselling author, poet, and bookseller Jen Campbell whisk you away to a world of enchanting fairytales. Escape the wintery nights with Jen's latest title, The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, a beautiful collection of short stories; strange and disturbing, but utterly spellbinding. 

Jen will discuss the folklore inspiration behind her new book as well as the importance of different perspectives and feminist literature. 

Not in the midlands? Jen will also be appearing at an event in Cambridge.

Treat your taste buds to the sumptuous dishes of Olia Hercules at this flavourful event! In her first cookbook, Mamushka, Olia celebrated her Ukranian roots with the region's best dishes. Now she takes us on a journey to Georgia, Azerbaijan, and beyond in her latest book, Kaukasis. Occupying the borders of Eastern Europe and Asia, these countries boast unique and often undiscovered tastes - come and try something new to add to your festive menu!

As the seasons change from summer to winter, our dinner table transforms from fresh colourful salads and fruit sundaes into wholesome pies and warming stews. If you're a devotee of seasonal produce you will love Anna Jones' beautiful new cookbook, The Modern Cook's Year. 

Or, if you're guilty of having strawberries in December, then this is the perfect introduction to leading a seasonal vegetarian lifestyle. Meet Anna and sample her dishes! 

If you can't make this event, you can see Anna at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend on 24th Nov

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and flex your creative muscles with world-renowned origami artist Mark Bolitho. 

Try your hand at the ancient paper folding craft and you might even come away with inspiration for handmade Christmas gifts! Or maybe a new hobby to keep you entertained while the turkey is cooking and the brussell sprouts are boiling. 

Don't we all wish that Giovanna Fletcher was our best friend? Bestselling novelist, actress, TV presenter, vlogger, star of the online Mummy community, AND she is currently trekking in Oman to support CoppaFeel! Don't miss this chance to chat to Giovanna over a glass of wine and sumptuous two-course dinner in her home town, hearing all about the inspirations behind her dazzling new novel, Some Kind Of Wonderful.

Can't make it? Giovanna is sure to be doing a signing event near you. Check out all of her book tour dates here

Creative Workshop with Emma Mitchell | 24th Nov 7pm

Each year you tell yourself that you will plan ahead and make some thoughtful Christmas presents for your loved ones by hand... why not make this year the one that you do, with the magic of craft queen Emma Mitchell? Not only will Emma help you produce beautiful craftworks, but her creative methods encourage contact and engagement with nature, helping to banish the wintery blues and keep a clear mindset in the darkening months. 

Kids and adults alike will fall in love with Hortense and the Shadow, the beautifully illustrated picture book from sisters Natalia and Lauren O'Hara. 

Hortense is desperate to escape her shadow, but she might find it is useful after all...

A modern fairytale, with an Eastern European flavour, this captivating tale will delight all. Meet the author-illustrator duo for a special storytime reading, and watch Lauren work her illustrative magic on The Alligator's Mouth Bookshop's wonderful winter window display.

One Christmas Wish: Katherine Rundell & Emily Sutton | 28th Nov 4pm

Wish upon a star and you never know what magical adventure will begin...

Meet bestselling children's author and wonderful storyteller Katherine Rundell and talented illustrator Emily Sutton as they sign copies of their gorgeous new book, One Christmas Wish. This is the perfect Christmas gift for the little one in your life, ideal to snuggle up with at bedtime while waiting for Santa to arrive. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Halloween Events 2017

The nights are getting darker, the wind is getting chillier, and Halloween is just around the corner. Undoubtedly busy pulling together your costume for the big night, you’re probably wondering what book events you can attend to get into the scary spirit. Luckily, we’ve put together this spooky selection to send a shiver down your spine…

Andrew Michael Hurley’s debut book, The Loney, took the literary world by storm and won the Costa Novel of the Year. His new novel, Devil’s Day, is set to be just as successful and perfectly timed for an eerie Halloween read. Devil’s Day is a dark exploration of myth, tribes and folk horror in the gothic North. There are plenty of opportunities to meet Andrew somewhere local to you, hear about his writing process, and get a signed copy of the book.

If you’re craving some gothic mystery, allow us to introduce Laura Purcell’s The Silent Companions. A crumbling country mansion, a 200 year-old diary, an unsettling painted wooden figure… don’t read this one alone in the dark! Chat to Laura about her ghostly inspirations and get a signed copy to take home.

If you can't make this date you can see Laura along with Neil Spring and Elodie Harper at this evening of ghostly stories on 9th Nov. 

Wondering where Laura takes her inspiration? Discuss iconic Gothic author Shirley Jackson at these book clubs: Forgotten Fiction Book Club in Bloomsbury will be travelling back in time to the literary lost gems of the 20th Century Gothic era: Shirley Jackson and Barbara Comyns; Northcote’s monthly book club is going spooky for Halloween, reading Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, widely considered to be one of the best ghost stories of all time. Come prepared with questions, opinions, and maybe a pillow to hide behind!

We all have our favourite Halloween character: witch, mummy, goblin… If you’re Team Ghostie then then make sure your BOOk your ticket for this ghost story salon! Join a panel of four fantastic debut authors and explore what makes the perfect spine-tingling gothic tale. Chat all things ghostly horror while enjoying wine and spooky treats. “Eat, drink, and be scary!”

Joanne Harris may have written the scrumptious Chocolat, but A Pocketful of Crows is not quite so sweet, and perfectly timed for Halloween. Atmospheric, enchanting, and mysterious, Joanne’s novella is a short but powerful folk fairy tale to curl up with next to a warm fire while the wild winds howl. Meet the author and get a signed copy of her new spooktacular book at any of these four events.

For the little vampire in your life there’s the chance to meet Harriet Muncaster, the creator of the magical Isadora Moon series! Harriet has two fangtastic events featuring storytime and interactive activities – don’t forget to wear your best fancy dress!

Halloween Half Term! | Dates from 21st Oct UK wide

Waterstones shops across the country are hosting spooky events for a Halloween themed half-term. Expect ghastly treasure hunts, creepy colouring, and lots of dressed up little monsters

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Happy Birthday BookGig!

Today is a big day here at BookGig HQ as we are officially celebrating our first birthday –  we can’t believe it’s come around so fast (just like our personal birthdays in fact 😒 😒). But it’s true! BookGig was launched on 11th October 2016 as a unique platform designed to help you book loving folk discover the best literary events across the UK, covering a whole spectrum of different genres and events of all shapes and sizes.
From crime to celebrity memoir, cookery, children’s, poetry, to sci-fi and fantasy – BookGig has something for everyone.

A lot has happened in a year – we have featured more than 8,000 events across the UK, helping more authors reach their fans and more book lovers to find events they’ll enjoy.

BookGig’s new Facebook community might even have been partially to blame for some events selling out – there have been a few events we’ve promoted which reached over a half a million fans in under 24 hours!

And we’re only really just getting started! We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes on some new and exciting features that we think you’ll love even more.

We’re soon launching our new user recommendation engine – by generating a profile we can tailor the events you see on BookGig to make your experience unique to you. Hopefully, this means that you’ll have more free time to attend all the events that tickle your fancy. And that’s not all, we’re also going to be refreshing our website’s design to make looking for your next author talk or book signing even more easy and fun.

To our wonderful community and all of the venues, booksellers and publishers that have worked with us to bring bigger audiences together – THANK YOU! We appreciate your help and so do your attendees. Please keep letting us know about exciting events you have coming up, as we would love to help promote more amazing events around the country.

Keep watching this site and following us on social media for all the best of book based events near you.


Team BookGig

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Discussing Gender and Diversity

Here at BookGig we’ve been seeing a wealth of events based around the themes of Gender and Diversity this October. From the presence of women in politics and science to the importance of transgender and gay rights, there is something for everyone to open their mind and find strength in themselves and others. 

Sophy Ridge: Women Who Shaped Politics | 2nd October 6:30pm

What is it like to be a woman in politics today? Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge addresses this question in her new book chroniciling the efforts of British female politicians to be equal and be heard. From those who first penetrated the Westminster patriarchy to their modern counterparts, such as Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon, this is sure to be a thought-provoking and inspirational event. 

Interested in other events about women in politics? Why not try this event with MPs Rachel Reeves and Jess Phillips.

Gender Politics Today | 6th October 6:30pm

From the moment we are born, we are clothed in blue or pink according to what's between our legs. It is society's tendency to pigeon-hole unique individuals into restrictive gender parameters that transgender activists Juno Dawson and CN Lester aim to dispel. Both acclaimed authors in their own right, two voices at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ community lead a frank and eye-opening discussion about the need to strive for autonomy and authenticity.

Desperately want to see Juno Dawson but can't make this event? You'll find another opportunity here.

Robert Webb | 7th October 8:30pm

“Man up!” “Don’t throw like a girl!” “A real man would be drinking beer.” These are the gendered instructions actor and comedian Robert Webb addresses in his new book, ‘How Not to be a Boy.’ In the recent feminist wave, the role of men in gender discussions has been somewhat overlooked, but Webb’s book aims to denounce The Rules of masculinity and challenge the barriers put up by gender expectations. His candid coming-of-age story is honest, hilarious, and heartbreaking, and – as Robert says – you are completely allowed to cry.  

Feel inspired and empowered to revolutionise the gender imbalance in the world today with Baroness Shami Chakrabarti. In her manifesto for change, Shami outlines how we have not yet done enough to address global gender injustice and why now is the time to stand up and take action. This rousing ‘call to arms’ event is pertinent to men, women, young, and old. 

Full of strength and opinions? Share your feminist thoughts at this dedicated book club in London.

Inferior? Women and Science: Angela Saini | 15th October 4pm

The title of Angela Saini’s latest book may be ‘Inferior’, but its content is anything but. As an award-winning science journalist, author, and broadcaster, Angela provides well-researched evidence to argue that women have been misrepresented in Science. Challenge the view that both men and women’s brains and bodies are scientificially discrete, and develop new ways of thinking about females in scientific history.

You'll also find Angela Saini at this event with other inspirational female authors. 

The ‘Queers’ monologues have been featured onstage, on screen, and now in print – and here’s your chance to pick up a copy signed by the writers! This remarkable collection explores the evolution of societal attitudes in British gay history in the last century in a series of honest, tragic, witty, and heroic accounts. Curated by acclaimed actor and writer, Mark Gatiss, this is a rare event not to be missed. 

Interested in other events like this? You'll find something similar here