Our literary events provide an opportunity to listen to some great authors.
During these relaxed evenings you will have the chance to pose questions to the guest and purchase signed first editions at reduced price.
Wednesday 25th March, 7pm, Rialto Theatre
Pete Paphides will be joining us to discuss his memoir ‘Broken Greek’ alongside music journalist Simon Price.
Tickets are £10 and available from City Books, in the shop or over the phone or
When Pete’s parents moved from Cyprus to Birmingham in the 1960s in the hope of a better life, they had no money and only a little bit of English.
They opened a fish-and-chip shop in Acocks Green where Pete learned about coin-operated machines, male banter and Britishness. Shy and introverted, Pete stopped speaking from age 4 to 7, and found refuge instead in the bittersweet embrace of pop songs, thanks to Top of the Pops and Dial-A-Disc.
From Brotherhood of Man to UB40, from ABBA to The Police, music provided the safety net he needed to protect him from the tensions of his home life. It also helped him navigate his way around the challenges surrounding school, friendships and phobias such as visits to the barber, standing near tall buildings and Rod Hull and Emu. With every passing year, his guilty secret became more horrifying to him: his parents were Greek, but all the things that excited him were British.
Never have the trials and tribulations of growing up and the human need for a sense of belonging been so heart-breakingly and humorously depicted.
There will be a chance to ask Pete questions during an audience Q&A session, as well as the opportunity to get your copy signed. Copies of the book will be available to purchase on the night.
Wednesday 15th April, 7pm, Regency Townhouse
Emily Brand will be joining us to discuss her new book ‘The Fall of the House Byron.’
Tickets (£10) are available from CITY BOOKS & Eventbrite
Eventbrite tickets can be purchased here.
In the early eighteenth century, Newstead Abbey was among the most admired aristocratic homes in England. It was the abode of William, 4th Baron Byron – a popular amateur composer and artist – and his teenage wife Frances. But by the end of the century, the building had become a crumbling and ill-cared-for ruin. Surrounded by wreckage of his inheritance, the 4th Baron’s dissipated son and heir William, 5th Baron Byron – known to history as the ‘Wicked Lord’ – lay on his deathbed alongside a handful of remaining servants and amidst a thriving population of crickets.
This was the home that a small, pudgy boy of ten from Aberdeen – who the world would later come to know as Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, soldier, and adventurer – would inherit in 1798. His family, he would come to learn, had in recent decades become known for almost unfathomable levels of scandal and impropriety, from elopement, murder, and kidnapping to adultery, coercion, and thrilling near-death experiences at sea. Just as it had shocked the society of Georgian London, the outlandish and scandalous story of the Byrons – and the myths that began to rise around it – would his influence his life and poetry for posterity.
The Fall of the House of Byron follows the fates of Lord Byron’s ancestors over three generations in a drama that begins in rural Nottinghamshire and plays out in the gentlemen’s clubs of Georgian London, amid tempests on far-flung seas, and in the glamour of pre-revolutionary France. A compelling story of a prominent and controversial characters, it is a sumptuous family portrait and an electrifying work of social history.
There will be a chance to ask Emily questions during an audience Q&A session as well as the opportunity to get your copy signed.
Copies of the book will be available on the night.
ON THE ROAD
American Adventures from Nixon to Trump
7.00p.m. FRIDAY 17th APRIL
ROPETACKLE ARTS CENTRE
Little High Street SHOREHAM BY SEA BN43 5EG
James Naughtie, the acclaimed author and BBC broadcaster, now brings his unique and inquisitive eye to the country that has fascinated him and drawn him across the Atlantic for half a century. In looking at America, from Presidents Nixon through to Trump, he’ll tell the story of a country that is grappling with a dream. What has it come to mean in the new century, and who do Americans now think they are?
Drawing on his travels and encounters over forty years in the ‘Land of the Free’, On The Road will be filled with anecdotes, memories, tears and laughter reflecting Naughtie’s characteristic warmth and enthusiasm in encountering the America of Washington, of Broadway, of the small town and the plains.
As a student, Jim watched the fall of President Richard Nixon in 1974, and subsequently as a journalist followed the story of the country – its politicians, artists, wheeler-dealers and the people who make it what it is, in the New York melting pot or the western deserts. This will be a story filled with encounters, for example with the people he has watched on every presidential campaign from the late 1970s to the victory of Donald Trump in 2016.
As the 2020 presidential elections are well underway, Jim sees for himself how the main contenders are campaigning. He sees, also, how the POTUS himself is dealing with proceedings, and, what the ordinary citizen thinks of it all.
https://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/contact/or CITY BOOKS
Wednesday 29th April, 7pm, Ropetackle Arts Centre
Mercury Prize Nominated Folk Singer, Conservationist, Song Collector, Broadcaster & Activist talking about his new book.
NOTES ON A SONGBIRD
are available from:
https://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/box-office/or CITY BOOKS
Come to the forest, sit by the fireside and listen to intoxicating song, as Sam Lee tells the story of the nightingale. Every year, as darkness falls upon woodlands, the nightingale heralds the arrival of Spring. For thousands of years, its sweet song has inspired musicians, writers and artists around the world, from Germany, France and Italy to Greece, Ukraine and Korea.
Passionate conservationist, renowned musician and folk expert Sam Lee tells the story of the nightingale. This book reveals in beautiful detail the bird’s song, habitat, characteristics and migration patterns, as well as the environmental issues that threaten its livelihood.
From Greek mythology to John Keats, to Persian poetry and ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’, Lee delves into the various ways we have celebrated the nightingale through traditions, folklore, music, literature, from ancient history to the present day. ‘The Nightingale’ is a unique and lyrical portrait of an infamous yet elusive songbird.
Sam Lee is a Mercury Prize-nominated and BBC Folk Award-winning singer, conservationist and curator. Trained in fine art but with a lifelong passion for wilderness studies and nature connection, Sam is a folk music specialist dedicated to collecting, sharing and interpreting ancient oral music from Britain and Ireland. He has combined these interests through his ‘Singing with Nightingales’ annual springtime concert series.
His singing has been heard in films and TV shows, from Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword to Peaky Blinders. Sam was musical director for the RSPB’s 2019 Top 20 birdsong single, ‘Let Nature Sing’ and his 2020 album Old Wow garnered five-star reviews. He has lectured at Goldsmiths, SOAS and Oxford University and was the first folk singer to teach at the Royal College of Music.
Tuesday 28th April, 7.30pm, The Old Market
Caroline Criado Perez will be discussing her best-selling book ‘Invisible Women’ in which she shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population, often with disastrous consequences.
Tickets are on sale from The Old Market.
General Admission: £15
Book (RRP £8.99) + Ticket: £20
Both ticket options are available to purchase online from The Old Market here.
Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where if you get in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be injured. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are you’re a woman.
In ‘Invisible Women’, Caroline Criado Perez brings together an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all. Caroline will expose the shocking gender data gap present in our society, and discuss her work as an activist.
There will be a chance to ask Caroline questions during an audience Q&A session, as well as the opportunity to get your copy signed.
Copies of the book will be available on the night.