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 Featuring a mixture of anthology favourites and unpublished works, there’ll be plenty of material to light up the Christmas spirit in even the most bah-humbug Grinch!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

Monday 18 September 2017

Hidden Gems - September Edition

With so many popular book events to choose from it can be difficult to find those hidden gems to tickle your literary taste buds. We've done some of the legwork for you with our pick of unique events happening over the next couple of weeks...

You can look forward to your alarm! Inject some creativity into your mornings by flexing your writing muscles at this interactive workshop led by Gemma Seltzer. Research shows we are more creative in the morning, and utilising this golden hour can improve productivity for the rest of the day! Suitable for all levels of creative writing experience, including those who just want to add a bit of imagination into their day. 

If you’re a ‘read the book before you see the film’ kind of person, this unique opportunity to meet the author will enrich your experience before seeing Judi Dench’s dramatic interpretation of the strong-willed Queen Victoria. Shrabani Basu’s ‘Victoria and Abdul’ tells the true story of an unlikely friendship formed between Queen Victoria and young Indian waiter Abdul Karim. Though their companionship is met with much fear and criticism from the royal household, Basu’s narration is a heart-warming tale of how friendship can transcend racial and social obstacles. There is also an opportunity to get a signed copy of the book. 

Can you tell the difference between prosecco and champagne? You’ll certainly be able to after this event with Britain’s youngest ever sommelier, Davy Zyw. As well as a fascinating talk on the history and production of champagne, there will also be an opportunity to try some of Zyw’s favourite selections. With a new-found appreciation for fizz, this event is sure to leave you bubbling with excitement for your next glass! 

An unmissable night of hilarity for any parent – this comedic duo’s hugely successful podcast series has lifted the lid on not-so-secret parenting fails, and championed wine and fish fingers as a fine dinner choice (no vino for the kids of course, Mummy needs it). Take a night off and join the ultimate Mum-crush pair for an unforgettable evening!

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Literary Festivals - September Edition

There's a bold variety of fascinating Literary Festivals happening this September, and we've selected some of our favourite events. Be sure to check out each festival's full programme, though, who knows what other delights you will find?!

Chiswick Book Festival | 14th-18th September

An Evening with Jane Austen - 14th September 6pm
The Chiswick Book Festival opens with this event, celebrating the life of Jane Austen 200 years after her death. Featuring Austen experts and biographers Paula Byrne and Helena Kelly, curator of Chiswick House Dr Esme Whittaker, and Sense and Sensibility actress Imogen Stubbs, this will excite existing Austen fans and attract new readers! 

Hampstead and Highgate Literary Festival | 14th-18th September

A chance for budding poets to receive some invaluable advice from award-winning poet Karen McCarthy Woolf. Bring along a line from a poem you admire and see what poetic magic Karen can help you weave from it!

Renowned poet and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen closes the festival with this discussion of his new memoir. Hear the compelling life story of the legend of children’s storytelling – from a childhood in the Communist Jewish East End to a life-changing trip to East Germany. 

Byres Road Book Festival | 22nd-25th September

Meet award-winning author of the heart-wrenching debut, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, Gail Honeyman. This wonderful Sunday Times bestseller will make you laugh and cry. Get reading now so that you can come armed with questions for its creator!

Love. It is the subject at the heart (pun intended) of all storytelling – whether it be the presence of it, the absence, the gain, or the loss. Join this eclectic panel as they discuss what love means to them, how it’s presented in their narratives, and how we can explore it in whole new ways.

This promises to be a truly inspirational and powerful event as two contributors, poet and writer David Constantine and writer Kit de Waal, reflect on their stories of racial and social injustice in British protests. Their tales are inspired by true events; the Oxford march in response to Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech and the 1964 Smethwick Campaign.

Do you dabble in creative writing? Do you love BBC Radio 4’s short stories? Be sure to book yourself into a fascinating workshop run by BBC radio producer Liz Allard, teaching the necessary skills for engaging with people who listen to fiction. Liz will lead a series of workshops on creative process, supported by radio writer Alison MacLeod.

Immigration and refugees are key themes running throughout this year’s Festival. Hear the stunning second volume of Refugee Tales: a personal insight of asylum, modelled on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, which promises to be as insightful as the first. Retelling ‘The Mother’s Tale’ is prize-winning author Marina Warner, and re-imagining ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ is award-winning novelist Neel Mukherjee.