Tracy Chevalier

Fiction

Tracy Chevalier

Fri 17 Nov

Tracy Chevalier talks about her novels and the many themes she has mined, from Vermeer to fossils, quilting to slavery, dwelling more particularly on her latest book, the powerful New Boy, a retelling of Othello set in a Washington DC playground in the 1970s.

Creative Writing Workshop: Writing for Well Being

Workshop

Creative Writing Workshop: Writing for Well Being

Sat 18 Nov

Learn more about and experience for yourself the wonder of words for your wellbeing.

Draw a Story

Workshop

Draw a Story

Sat 18 Nov

Drawing objects by torchlight adds a touch of magic to your work and allows a story to unfold.

Big Data: How the information revolution is changing our lives

Tech

Big Data: How the information revolution is changing our lives

Sat 18 Nov

In this engaging talk, Brian Clegg looks at how Netflix used big data to turn TV production on its head, why big data encourages airlines to overbook and how it enables unnervingly personal adverts to appear on our computers.

Client Earth

Environment

Client Earth

Sat 18 Nov

Who will stop the planet from committing ecological suicide? The UN? Governments? Activists? Corporations? Engineers? Scientists?

Carpe Diem Regained

Well Being

Carpe Diem Regained

Sat 18 Nov

In this talk based on his new book Carpe Diem Regained: The Vanishing Art of Seizing the Day, popular philosopher Roman Krznaric explores the life-changing potential of carpe diem.

War Stories: Gripping tales of courage, cunning and compassion

History

War Stories: Gripping tales of courage, cunning and compassion

Sat 18 Nov

Spanning four centuries and four continents, Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan give us a lively, moving and uniquely intimate account of ordinary men and women who rose to the challenge of war with acts of great heroism and humanity.

Francesca Martinez: What The **** Is Normal!?!

Well Being

Francesca Martinez: What The **** Is Normal!?!

Sat 18 Nov

Francesca Martinez is a wobbly* comedian, writer and speaker who has toured internationally. She shares her funny, inspiring, personal and universal story with us.

The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost its Way

Politics

The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost its Way

Sat 18 Nov

In this essential talk, political columnist, journalist and presenter Steve Richards gets to the heart of why conventional politicians are failing to adapt to the challenge of the outsiders from Trump to Corbyn and what it means for us.

Creative writing workshop with Danny Rhodes

Workshop

Creative writing workshop with Danny Rhodes

Sun 19 Nov

Join Danny Rhodes for this relaxed, practical writing workshop which will include: handy hints (and

Creating Aliens with Ross Montgomery

Children and Families

Creating Aliens with Ross Montgomery

Sun 19 Nov

Have you ever wondered what aliens might look like? In Ross Montgomery's comedy-adventure book, Perijee & Me, a girl finds an incredible shape-shifting alien and secretly raises him as a little brother.

The Language of Cities

Design

The Language of Cities

Sun 19 Nov

We live in a world that is now predominantly urban. So how do we define the city as it evolves in

Christmas Dinner of Souls: Spine-Chilling Workshop with Ross Montgomery!

Family Workshop

Christmas Dinner of Souls: Spine-Chilling Workshop with Ross Montgomery!

Sun 19 Nov

Hear a twisted Christmas story from Ross Montgomery before writing your own toe-curling horror scene to terrify and mortify your readers!

Vince Cable In conversation

Politics

Vince Cable In conversation

Sun 19 Nov

Vince Cable talks about his first novel, a gripping international political drama, set in Whitehall and the slums of Mumbai.

Radicals: Alternatives to the Way we Live

Change

Radicals: Alternatives to the Way we Live

Sun 19 Nov

Jamie Bartlett, one of the world’s leading thinkers on radical politics and technology, takes us inside the strange and exciting worlds of the innovators, disruptors, idealists and extremists who think society is broken, and believe they know how to fix it.

Dare to Do

Travel

Dare to Do

Sun 19 Nov

Amazing adventurer Sarah Outen tells us how she cycled, kayaked and rowed 25,000 miles around the world in 4.5 years: the lows – a broken boat, ill health, depression – and the highs – the kindness of strangers and the spirit of travel

Friends of the Book Festival Quiz

Get Involved

Friends of the Book Festival Quiz

Sun 19 Nov

Come and enjoy the festival’s annual quiz – a little literary knowledge and lots of general knowledge are all you need.

Women and Desire

History

Women and Desire

Mon 20 Nov

Social and cultural historian Carol Dyhouse draws upon literature, cinema, and popular romance to show how the changing position of women has shaped their dreams about men, from Lord Byron in the early nineteenth century to boy-bands in the early twenty-first.

Cooking the books with Jane Austen

Food

Cooking the books with Jane Austen

Mon 20 Nov

Pen Vogler tells us how she recreated recipes inspired by the novels and letters of Jane Austen and updated them for modern-day cooks. She will share her passion for the great author and for good food and even bring some cookies for us to sample.

Inspired by birds

Creative Writing

Inspired by birds

Mon 20 Nov

Two very different books partly inspired by birds, questioning our relationship to nature and the role of literature. Come and meet two writers not afraid to experiment and take their readers on stimulating journeys.

Inua Ellams: An Evening with an Immigrant

Poetry

Inua Ellams: An Evening with an Immigrant

Mon 20 Nov

Littered with poems, stories and anecdotes, this is a ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, performing solo shows at the National Theatre and drinking wine with the Queen, all the while without a country to belong to or a place to call home.

How fig trees can save the planet

Environment

How fig trees can save the planet

Tue 21 Nov

Dr Mike Shanahan explains why fig trees are so important to ecology, society and the future of life on earth. These trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilisation.

Reading the World

Fiction

Reading the World

Tue 21 Nov

In 2012, writer and TED speaker Ann Morgan set out to read a book from every country in the world in one calendar year. The blog-based quest, recorded at ayearofreadingtheworld.com, drew the support of readers, authors and translators around the planet.

Paradise Lost

Music

Paradise Lost

Tue 21 Nov

Ceruleo celebrates the 350th anniversary of Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost. Interspersing music

The Consequence of Love

Fiction

The Consequence of Love

Wed 22 Nov

What happens when the past collides with the present, passion with reason? Sandra Howard talks about her novel of lost loves, deceits and second chances.

M: MI5’s Greatest Spymaster

History

M: MI5’s Greatest Spymaster

Wed 22 Nov

Historian Henry Hemming tells us the story of Maxwell Knight, the maverick MI5 officer, better known as ‘M’, a complex, a conflicted character and an inspiration for the James Bond ‘M’ as well as John Le Carré’s Jack Brotherhood in A Perfect Spy.

Look Who’s Back

Film

Look Who’s Back

Wed 22 Nov

When Adolf Hitler reawakens at the site of his former bunker 70 years later, he's mistaken for a brilliant comedian and becomes a media phenomenon. The film, based on the bestselling novel by Timur Vermes, translated into English by Jamie Bulloch, was a huge hit in Germany.

German round table

World

German round table

Wed 22 Nov

Can Germany keep reinventing itself? From its dark 20th century history, it has emerged as the keystone of Europe, welcoming refugees fleeing war. Once a city cleaved apart, Berlin is now an open-minded cultural capital.

Partners in crime

Crime Fiction

Partners in crime

Thu 23 Nov

with Simon Booker and Mel McGrath

Killer Crime Writing

Crime Fiction

Killer Crime Writing

Thu 23 Nov

Police procedurals, literary crime, dark ‘cosy crime’…Three distinct styles from three popular crime writers in discussion with Lennox Morrison about their novels and the real-life stories that have inspired them.

Anthony Powell

Literature

Anthony Powell

Thu 23 Nov

Acclaimed literary biographer Hilary Spurling turns her attention to Anthony Powell, an iconic figure of English letters. Equally notorious for his literary achievements and his lacerating wit, Powell famously authored the twelve-volume, twenty-five year magnum opus,

A.C. Grayling on Democracy and its crisis

Politics

A.C. Grayling on Democracy and its crisis

Thu 23 Nov

Philosopher A.C. Grayling talks about the failure of the best political system we have: democracy and about how to put it right. In at least two of its leading examples in today’s world, the United States and the United Kingdom, ‘representative democracy’ has been made to fail.

Marion Deuchars on Colours

Art

Marion Deuchars on Colours

Fri 24 Nov

Internationally acclaimed, award-winning illustrator, Marion Deuchars makes us experience colour afresh by seeing how colours’ work together and apart.

The Last Art Film + Q&A with Jake Auerbach

Art

The Last Art Film + Q&A with Jake Auerbach

Fri 24 Nov

This is a film about art; not the history of art or the academic study of art or the fluctuations in the art market or the latest exhibition but it is about what starts artists off and what keeps them going.

The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington

Art

The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington

Fri 24 Nov

In 2006 journalist Joanna Moorhead discovered that her father's cousin, regarded as a black sheep had become a national treasure in Mexico, where she lived.

Susie Orbach: In therapy

Well Being

Susie Orbach: In therapy

Fri 24 Nov

Susie Orbach, the bestselling author of Fat is a Feminist Issue and Bodies, has been a psychotherapist for over forty years. Insightful and honest about a process often necessarily shrouded in secrecy, she explores what goes on in the process of therapy.

Beyond Mindfulness Workshop

Workshop

Beyond Mindfulness Workshop

Sat 25 Nov

This workshop begins where other Mindfulness courses end.

Let's Go On A Big Adventure!

Children and Families

Let's Go On A Big Adventure!

Sat 25 Nov

Every big adventure is just a lot of little adventures added together. Let Robert Twigger teach you how to catch a giant snake or find Zombies, how to avoid a charging bear or wear a Bedouin headscarf during a sandstorm but above all, show what it is really like to experience a big adventure.

Capture Your Story with artist Jim Lockey

Workshop

Capture Your Story with artist Jim Lockey

Sat 25 Nov

Explore the bizarre world of early digital photography with Jim Lockey and a Game Boy Camera.

The Gender Games

Well Being

The Gender Games

Sat 25 Nov

Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society's expectations of gender - and what we can do about it.

Sibling Relationships

Well Being

Sibling Relationships

Sat 25 Nov

In her latest book, clinical psychologist and Telegraph columnist Linda Blair shows you how to deal with sibling conflict—and then more importantly, how to create the strongest bonds possible between siblings.

Creative Writing Workshop

Workshop

Creative Writing Workshop

Sat 25 Nov

This year's workshop will appeal to all budding authors - the importance of editing and how to get the best out of your work via the process of rewriting and editing.

Micromastery with Robert Twigger

Well Being

Micromastery with Robert Twigger

Sat 25 Nov

Robert Twigger will show you that whether it's making a perfect soufflé, dancing a tango or lighting a fire, taking the time to cultivate small and quantifiable areas of expertise, will change everything.

The Art of Gentle Protest

Well Being

The Art of Gentle Protest

Sat 25 Nov

If we want our world to be more beautiful, kind and fair, then shouldn’t some of our activism be beautiful, kind and fair?

Miles Jupp and Damien Trench in convesation with Andy Miller

Food

Miles Jupp and Damien Trench in convesation with Andy Miller

Sat 25 Nov

Andy Miller interviews food writer Damien Trench and comedian Miles Jupp.

Baba Yaga & Other Stories

Children and Families

Baba Yaga & Other Stories

Sun 26 Nov

Come and hear about Baba Yaga, the witch who flies around in a mortar and dwells in a hut that stands on a chicken leg, a magic fish, or a firebird…

Michael Pennington: Chekhov in Siberia

Literature

Michael Pennington: Chekhov in Siberia

Sun 26 Nov

In this powerful one-man performance, actor and scholar Michael Pennington brings to life Anton Chekhov’s 4,000 miles’ journey across Russia to conduct a survey of the penal colonies on Sakhalin Island in 1890.

Unleash Your Inner Storyteller

Workshop

Unleash Your Inner Storyteller

Sun 26 Nov

Storytelling Workshop (for adults)

Russian Revolution

History

Russian Revolution

Sun 26 Nov

Two great historians, Helen Rappaport, author of acclaimed books on the Romanovs, 1917, Lenin and Stalin, and Victor Sebestyen, author of Lenin the Dictator: An Intimate portrait, retrace the origins of the revolution and its developments.

Who Lost Russia? How the World Entered a New Cold War

History

Who Lost Russia? How the World Entered a New Cold War

Sun 26 Nov

In this provocative new work, based on exclusive interviews with key players either side of the new divide, Peter Conradi addresses the failures of understanding on both sides over the past twenty-five years and outlines how we can get relations back on track before it’s too late.

The Man with a Thousand Faces: Boris Akunin

Fiction

The Man with a Thousand Faces: Boris Akunin

Sun 26 Nov

Boris Akunin (pen-name of Grigory Chkhartishvili) – famous as Russia’s leading detective and crime writer, also writes ‘serious’ literary novels as well as essays, history books and plays. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle for the Erast Fandorin books.

The Anna Karenina Fix

Literature

The Anna Karenina Fix

Sun 26 Nov

Award-winning comedian and author Viv Groskop has discovered the meaning of life in Russian literature.

Be the first to hear about next year’s programme of authors and speakers

Join our mailing list

Don't show this again