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Events at Blackwell


Events at Blackwell


Sarah Brennan - a reading in our Children's Department

Saturday 20th August, 3pm

The immensely enthusiastic and talented author Sarah Brennan will be reading from her wonderful Chinese Calendar Tales in the Children's Department at Blackwell's, 48-53 Broad Street, Oxford.

Experience tales from Chinese history using characters from the Chinese calendar, humorously retold in rhyme.

The Wantage Betjeman Festival of Literature and Poetry

Saturday 11th to Sunday 17th September

The Wantage Betjeman Festival of Literature and Poetry is a brand-new festival that, despite its name, will not be simply centred around John Betjeman, but will celebrate literature, poetry and writing of all kinds.

It takes place in Wantage from Sunday 11th September to Saturday 17th September and Blackwell?s is pleased to be both a sponsor of this inaugural local festival and a co-organiser of some of the events. The full programme can be found here: www.wantagebetjeman.com/events and tickets are available now for the four events which we are sponsoring, namely:

Wednesday 14th September at 6pm: Colin Tudge: 'Fellow Creatures'

This very special talk sees Colin Tudge talk about the worldview that lies behind three of his recent books - one that has to do with respect for fellow creatures, and all that goes with this. He will also address the role of science in framing that worldview and the way that science has been perverted by an ethos based on acquisition and power.

Thursday 15th September at 4pm: Christopher Lloyd: 'The What on Earth? of Natural History'

In this talk, join Christopher Lloyd, for an illustrated look at life on Earth from the very beginning to the present day (plus questions and answers) in just one hour! Using his latest book, 'The What on Earth? of Natural History', he will use 20 everyday objects to explain the seismic moments in the story of Earth?s natural history. Highly educational, completely mind-boggling and thrillingly entertaining!

Thursday 15th September at 6pm: Alexandra Harris: 'Romantic Moderns'

Alexandra Harris?s knowledge of and enthusiasm her subject is infectious and dazzling and nobody should miss out on this talk. During the 1930s and 1940s, a rich network of cultural and personal encounters was the backdrop for a modern English renaissance, with English artists exploring what it meant to be alive at that moment and in England.
John Betjeman, Florence White, Evelyn Waugh, Elizabeth Bowen, the Sitwells, John Piper, Cecil Beaton and more feature in this stunning reassessment of English cultural life during this time. Full of anecdotes and rich in detail, never has it been truer to say that an author has 'brought to life' a period of time about which they are writing.

Friday 16th September at 6pm: SJ Parris and James Aitcheson: Historical Fiction Panel

This panel aims to provide an insight into what makes historical fiction writing so thrilling. What is it like to write in this genre? How do readers respond? How much and what sort of research is involved?
S J Parris' historical thrillers, 'Heresy' and 'Prophecy', set in Elizabethan England and featuring Giordano Bruno, renegade monk, philosopher and heretic, have delighted fans of the genre and proved incredibly successful novels. James Aitcheson's debut novel, 'Sworn Sword' is set in 1069 during the turbulent aftermath of the Norman Conquest.

All these events are taking place at the Civic Hall in Wantage. Tickets are £5 each - except for the Christopher Lloyd event for which they're £3 each. To obtain tickets, please contact our Customer Services Department here at Blackwell Bookshop, Oxford on 01865 333623.

Reading Groups

Thursday 28th July

Here at Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford, we host three Reading Groups. For further details, please e-mail the contact as listed below, or telephone 01865 792792.

The Fiction Reading Group aka "Books on the Broad"

Meets: On the first Monday of every month
Reads: Fiction past and present
Next Books: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (June), Nemesis by Philip Roth
Further Details: Contact Kate: kathrynwilson.06@googlemail.com

The Non-Fiction Reading Group

Meets: On the last Wednesday of every month
Reads: Non-Fiction books across every subject
Next Books: Leviathan by Philip Hoare (June); Why I am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell (July) Further Details: oxford@blackwell.co.uk

The Teenage Fiction Reading Group

Meets: On the second Friday of every month
Reads: A range of teenage fiction
Next Books: Witch Child by Celia Rees (June); Matched by Ally Condie (July)
Further Details: Contact Hannah: hannah.chinnery@blackwell.co.uk

Summer Walking Tours

From Tuesday 7th June until Friday 28th October inclusive
Tickets: £7, Concessions: £6

We offer three different Walking Tours led by our experienced guide.

On Tuesdays at 2pm and Thursdays at 11am, join the Literary Tour and discover the University and city where authors such as Graham Greene, Dorothy L. Sayers and T.S. Eliot lived and learned.

On Wednesdays at 11:45am, join the Inklings Tour, where fans of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien can see the favourite haunts of these two famous authors, as well as those of their fellow group members including Charles Williams and Nevill Coghill.

On Fridays at 2pm, celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with our tour. Visit areas of the university where twenty-four of the translators and revisors studied. Find out about their connections to the city and this world-changing work.

Tickets are £7. Concessions are £6 and can be obtained by calling 01865 333606 or emailing oxford@blackwell.co.uk.

Booking in advance is recommended.


Children's at Heffers

Heffers have recently opened a brand new Children's department. As well as a host of instore special offers, the department will also be hosting a variety of fun and exciting events over the coming weeks.

For the full schedule of events and special offers, visit our Children's at Heffers page.


Heffers, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1TY

Join us for half an hour of fun and enchanting stories every Saturday afternoon. You can also receive a 10% discount off the price off the featured book for that afternoon.

For all other enquiries please contact 01223 568568 or visit us at Heffers, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge CB2 1TY. 01865 333623.

Heffers Crime Reading Group, "Crimecrackers"

We meet on the third Wednesday of every month in Heffers Bookshop, 20 Trinity Street from 6.00pm until 7.00pm.

If you would like to join our Crimecrackers Reading Group, please contact Richard Reynolds in the Literature Department, Heffers Bookshop, 20 Trinity Street: Telephone: 01223 568521, email: literature@heffers.co.uk

Heffers Fiction Reading Group

The Heffers Fiction Reading Group meets in Heffers Bookshop, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge on the last Wednesday of each month, 6.00pm until 7.00pm. Why not come along and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and discuss some of the best books in contemporary fiction.

To join the reading group, please contact David Robinson on 01223 568522 or email: general@heffers.co.uk.


Blackwell's Writers on the Fringe

11th, 18th and 25th August
5:45pm for a 6pm start
Blackwell's Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh

Now in its fourth year Blackwell's Writers at the Fringe brings you once again the best in Scottish writing.

Every Thursday during the Festival we invite a selection of Scottish performers to give us a taste of their work. New and unpublished works of literary art stands alongside established novelists, with any and all genres free to be expressed - from Scots poetry to cutting edge drama, from folk music to contemporary fiction, and all that is found in between.

This year we are delighted to welcome the following performers:

Thursday 4th August
Lin Anderson, Fiona Thakeray, Doug Johnstone, Shirley McKay, Ewan Wilkinson, Thursday 11th August, Karen Campbell, Helen Fitzgerald, Millie Gray, Andrew Drennan, Wild Myrtles

Thursday 18th August
Marianne Wheelaghan, Mark Douglas-Home, Douglas Watt, John Allen, Russel D McLean

Thursday 25th August
Chrys Salt, Tessa Ransford, Alison Irvine, Zoe Strachan, Gordon Ferris

This event is ticketed, but tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell's or from the Fringe Box Office.

For more information or if you would like a signed copy please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8222 or events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk

Tartan Noir - The Making of with Paul Johnston and Len Wanner

Wednesday 10th August
Blackwell's Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh

What is Tartan Noir? Paul Johnston and Len Wanner discuss the facts and fictions we know as Scottish crime writing.

The Nameless Dead marks the return of Edinburgh?s very own Paul Johnston and his alter ego, crime writer Matt Wells. In his fourth outing, both have to learn that even multiple murderers have weaknesses, but what is the human side of evil? And what is the cost of writing about it?

Dead Sharp is Len Wanner?s collection of interviews with nine Tartan Noirists, including Ian Rankin, Louise Welsh, Christopher Brookmyre, and, of course, Paul Johnston with whom these conversations about country and craft originally began. On the 10th of August, two years later, Paul and Len reunite to talk about their books and thoughts: How has the landscape of Scottish crime fiction changed? And what is the secret of its international success story?

Both will be signing books and counting on your questions.

This event is ticketed, but tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell.

For more information or if you would like a signed copy please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8222 or events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk

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Blackwell's Book Group

Monday 15th August
Music Department, Blackwell's Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh

Who says reading is a solitary pursuit? Not us! Come and join the Blackwell Book Group for lively, friendly book chatter. No previous experience required! We will meet monthly to discuss a wide range of books?fiction and non-fiction, classic and contemporary, prizewinners and cult heroes?in short, whatever you fancy!

Our current book - Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos

In September we are meeting on Monday 19th September, book tbc.

We offer 10 percent discount on the current book to Book Group members.

So join today! Just email your name and address details to events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk.

Grey Hen Press Presents: An Afternoon of Poetry

Tuesday 16th August
3pm - 4:30pm
Blackwell's Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh

Blackwell's Bookshop and Grey Hen Press invite you to enjoy an afternoon of poetry with readings by Marianne Burton, A C Clarke, Margaret Christie, Julia Deakin, Angela Kirby, Wendy Klein, Eleanor Livingstone and Rosemary McLeish.

Seriously good poetry - the fruit of long-life experience ? brave writing, full of love and subversive wit and lyricism. R V Bailey (re Cracking On)

Nothing mimsy about these poems by older women. Fierce, funny, disturbing and fairly vicious. Lovely. Michele Hanson (re A Twist of Malice)

Grey Hen Press is a small, independent poetry press is based in West Yorkshire, and will make a point as far as possible, though not exclusively, of featuring the work of older women from the North of England. For more information on Grey Hen please visit their website www.greyhenpress.com

This event is ticketed, but tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell.

For more information or if you would like a signed copy please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8222 or events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk

Douglas Jackson: Defender of Rome

Wednesday 17th August
6:15pm for a 6:30pm start
Blackwell's Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh

Join us for the launch of Douglas Jackson's much awaited sequel to Hero of Rome!

Gaius Valerius Verrens returns to Rome from the successful campaign against Boudicca in Britain. Now hailed a 'Hero of Rome', Valerius is not the man he once was - scarred both physically and emotionally by the battles he has fought, his sister is mortally ill, his father in self-imposed exile. And neither is Rome the same city as the one he left. The Emperor Nero grows increasingly paranoid. Those who seek power for themselves whisper darkly in the emperor's ears. They speak of a new threat, one found within the walls of Rome itself. A new religious sect, the followers of Christus, deny Nero's divinity and are rumoured to be spreading sedition. Nero calls on his 'Hero of Rome' to become a 'Defender of Rome', to seek out this rebel sect, to capture their leader, a man known as Petrus. Failure would be to forfeit his life, and the lives of twenty thousands Judaeans living in Rome. But as Valerius begins his search, a quest which will take him to the edge of the empire, he will discover that success may cost him nearly as much as failure.

Douglas will also be talking exclusively about his alter-ego James Douglas, whose novel The Doomsday Testament. has just been published .

Douglas Jackson took a lifelong fascination for history in general and Romans in particular and turned it into his critically acclaimed first novel, Caligula, and the equally well-received sequel Claudius, an epic retelling of the invasion of Britain. Impeccable research and believable characters combine to put flesh and blood on the dry bones of the past and breathe new life into them.

This event is ticketed, but tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell.For more information or if you would like a signed copy please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8222 or events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk

Trinity Guildhall at the Fringe

18th, 19th and 20th August
2:15pm for a 2:30pm start
Blackwell's Bookshop, 53-62 South Bridge, Edinburgh

Trinity Guildhall presents an exciting selection of piano and woodwind repertoire for flute, clarinet and saxophone in this series of free classical and jazz concerts.

Join Trinity Guildhall, the amazing Harry the Piano and the fabulous Simon Bates on saxophone flute and clarinet at Blackwell's Bookshop to hear a variety of exciting new piano and woodwind repertoire played in Harry and Simons astonishing, world renowned and incredibly entertaining style!

The Edinburgh Fringe concerts form part of a series of events being held UK-wide showcasing repertoire from the new Trinity Guildhall piano, woodwind and jazz woodwind syllabuses, launching this summer.

Every year Trinity Guildhall supports the music education of over 140,000 students worldwide with assessments across a wide spectrum of styles including popular, jazz, contemporary and classical music.

Join us during the festival and receive a free VIP goodie bag!

This event is ticketed, but tickets are FREE. Tickets are available from the front desk at Blackwell. For more information please contact Ann Landmann on 0131 622 8206 or events.edinburgh@blackwell.co.uk

Coming up in September
Monday 5th September, 6pm Blackwell Book Quiz
Monday 19th September, 6pm Blackwell's Book Group, To Kill a Mockingbird


Forthcoming events to be announced. Please contact Blackwell, The Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RN for more details.


Forthcoming events to be announced. Please contact Blackwell, 100 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JG for more details.


Forthcoming events to be announced. Please contact Blackwell, 21 Blenheim Terrace, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9HJ for more details.


Forthcoming events to be announced. Please contact Blackwell University Bookshop, University of Liverpool, Alsop Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L3 5TX for more details.


Forthcoming events to be announced. Please contact Blackwell, 141 Percy Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RS for more details.


Off the Shelf Festival of Writing and Reading: Book Launch - The Cure by Rachel Genn and Chameleon by Beda Higgins

Wednesday 12th October 2011, 6.15pm
Blackwell Bookshop, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard St. Sheffield S1 2LW

In Rachel Genn's debut novel, The Cure, Eugene Mahon leaves small town Ireland for London and a Shoreditch building site. The good times roll, but the shadows of the past loom as he lodges in the pub his late father Seamus lived in when he worked in the city years before. The pub is run by the same landlady, Della, and her daughter Julia, and Eugene?s appearance bring Della?s own memories of his father flooding to the surface, revealing secrets that she?d hoped to keep hidden forever. Eugene must uncover truths that will change his life, and the lives of those around him forever.

"Startlingly tender." Time Out

Chameleon includes stories about the vivid intensity of a child?s imagination, the confusion of adolescent love, the darker side of human nature, and the vulnerability of those who don?t fit in. Beda Higgins won the Mslexia Prize in 2009.

Meet the authors, enjoy a glass of wine and readings from two exciting new works of fiction.

Free event. Refreshments provided


Off the Shelf Festival of Writing and Reading: Book Launch - Matter 11

Wednesday 19th October 2011, 6.15pm
Blackwell Bookshop, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Howard St. Sheffield S1 2LW

Matter is an annual anthology featuring the best poetry and prose from MA Writing students at Sheffield Hallam University alongside established authors. Previous editions include a foreword from Margaret Drabble, poetry from Daljit Nagra and fiction from Hilary Mantel. Matter alumni include Katharine Towers, Frances Leviston and Marina Lewycka. Come and listen to some of the most exciting new voices in literature. "Matter is (and always was) a stylish, grown-up, proper magazine. For all sorts of reasons - because it looks so good, because established writers are published alongside student writers, because the overall quality is so high ? being published in Matter is a big deal and a pleasure." Tony Williams

Free event. Refreshments provided.