01273 725306


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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.


Jess Phillips M.P. will be discussing her new book Truth to Power: 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S. on Thursday 3rd October at the Brighthelm Centre, just a short walk down from Brighton Station. Please note this event will start at 7.30pm as opposed to our normal time of 7pm!

Powerful, moving and uncompromising, Truth to Power is an incredible collection of interviews with exceptional people who spoke out at a time when the world wasn’t listening.

Speaking truth to power takes courage. Jess Phillips shows you how to identify the problem, form a plan, and to speak out using the exact same tools that those who have been put on a pedestal of being ‘brave’ have used to deal with the fear, the conflict and – let’s be honest – the awkwardness that can come from telling your boss, your family, your neighbour that something is bullsh*t.

Truth to Power will help you change things. It will help you slam down that manager in the office that you have tolerated for years; or tell your mate that you hate the way they talk about your husband or wife. It will help call out bullies in all walks of life. It will help you rally support and fight the fight against injustice – even though the odds seem stacked against you.

General admission + copy of book: £16

General admission + copy of book tickets are available online from Eventbrite here.

General admission only: £10

General admission tickets are available from City Books in Hove. Please contact the shop on 01273 725 306 or via email (info@city-books.co.uk) – or pop in and see us!

Those with General Admission + Book tickets will be able to collect their books upon arrival. The book will also be on sale on the night for anyone who would like purchase copies at the event.


7pm Monday 7th October at the Brighthelm Centre

New Yorker writer Casey Cep stumbled across a briefcase when researching the publication of Go Set a Watchman – a briefcase containing the first chapter of The Reverend, a true crime book by Harper Lee that was never published – possibly never even finished.

Cep brings the incredible true story of a Reverend serial killer and his murder trial to light, interwoven with a vivid, thoughtful account of Harper Lee’s quest to write another book. A gripping courtroom drama with a deeply moving portrait of a beloved writer’s struggles with fame, success and the mysteries of artistic creativity.

Cep will be in conversation with Sarah Churchwell, author of Behold, America and Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby.

Tickets are £10 and available from City Books in Hove, or to purchase online via Eventbrite click here. The Brighthelm Centre is on North Road (BN1 1YD), just a short walk from Brighton train station.


Will Self will be discussing his new memoir WILL at 7pm on Friday 15th November, at the Brighthelm Centre, just a short walk down the road from Brighton Station.

Will marks a return in style to novels like Cock and Bull and The Quantity Theory of Insanity, and is sure to delight fans of his seminal books. It’s a funny, frenzied, brutally honest memoir about his drug addiction in the 1980s and his attempts to grapple with adult life as he leaves university for the professional world.

Tickets are £10 and are available from City Books in Hove, in the shop, over the phone, or online from Eventbrite here.


A new festival of LGBTQ+ Literature

12-15th September 2019, The Spire (BN2 5JN)

City Books are proud to be the official festival bookseller for brand new LGBTQ+ literature festival The Coast is Queer. To buy tickets and for more information please see The Coast is Queer website.

New Writing South and The Marlborough Theatre present The Coast is Queer, a radical new festival featuring some of the best LGBTQ+ literature.

The festival will present talks, performances, panel discussions, literary cabaret, a beach walk and a literary History Club. There will be opportunities to meet other writers, to participate in writing workshop activities, and to buy and browse at the bookfair.

All events will take place at The Spire, the magnificent Grade II listed community arts centre in East Brighton. Many events will be free or low-cost, and bursary places will be available to all ticketed events. For more information please see The Coast is Queer website.

Confirmed speakers include: Jonathan Harvey, (Beautiful Thing, Gimme Gimme Gimme), Juno Dawson (This Book is Gay, Margot & Me), Patrick Gale (Take Nothing With You, Notes From An Exhibition), Kate Davies (In At The Deep End), Niven Govinden (This Brutal House), Lesley Thomson (The Playground Murders, The Detective’s Daughter), Emma Frankland (None Of Us Is Yet A Robot), Owl & Fox Fisher (The Trans Teen Survival Guide), Seni Seneviratne (Unknown Soldier), Dean Atta (Black Flamingo), C N Lester (Trans Like Me), Maria Jastrzębska (The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingenue, Sea Sharp (The Swagger of Dorothy Gale and Other Filthy Ways To Strut), Sharan Dhaliwal (Editor, Burnt Roti)

JAMES ELLROY signed copies

James Ellroy on This Storm in conversation with author and journalist Sam Leith.

Legendary crime writer James Ellroy returns with the second book in his Second L.A. Quartet. This Storm is a brilliant, pulse-pounding, as-it-happens historical crime novel set in WWII Los Angeles. Ellroy fans will not be disappointed.

James Ellroy will be discussing This Storm at 7pm on Thursday 5th September at the Brighthelm Centre. He will be interviewed by Sam Leith, literary editor of The Spectator.

Tickets are £10 and available from City Books in Hove, or to purchase online via Eventbrite click here. The Brighthelm Centre is on North Road (BN1 1YD), just a short walk from Brighton train station.

RUTH WARE signed copies

Ruth Ware’s new novel The Turn of the Key is a gripping modern-day haunted house thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

When she stumbles across the advert, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty – at least not of murder.

Which means someone else is.


For international orders, please email info@city-books.co.uk with your address so we can calculate postage costs. Payment can be made via PayPal or over the phone with your card details.

MICK HOUGHTON signed copies

FRIED & JUSTIFIED: Hits, Myths, Break-Ups and Breakdowns in the Record Business 1978-98

Mick Houghton will be discussing his new book Fried & Justified with musician & producer David Balfe and writer & critic Ben Thompson.

7.00 pm MONDAY 15th JULY


Fried & Justified is a candid front line account of an illustrious twenty -year gonzo career as a publicist in the record business, featuring an introduction by Bill Drummond and new cover artwork by Jimmy Cauty.

Ramones, Talking Heads, The Undertones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Felt, Sonic Youth, The Wedding Present, Spiritualized, Elastica. The list of bands and artists Mick Houghton worked with reads like a Who’s Who of some of the greatest, most influential and downright dysfunctional cult groups of the post-punk era and beyond…

The three acts Mick is most closely identified with are Echo & the Bunnymen, Julian Cope (and the Teardrop Explodes) and the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu/KLF, in all their guises. Between them, they played a significant role in shaping the musical landscape of the eighties and nineties, and – as confidant and co-conspirator – Mick was their chorus along the way, carefully navigating the minefield of rivalries and contrasting fortunes.

It is Mick’s indefatigable belief that it was always the music that came first, and it is his knack of attracting so-called difficult and troubled artists that makes Fried & Justified such an amusing, honest and insightful tale.

Tickets are £8 and are available from CITY BOOKS IN HOVE in person or over the phone and online the RIALTO here.

JO BRAND signed copies



Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman and sometimes it’s time to be a hard woman. This is a book for all those times.

Once upon a (very very) long time ago Jo Brand was what you might describe as ‘a nice little girl.’ Of course, that was before the values of cynicism, misogyny and the societal expectation that Jo would be thin, feminine and demure sent her off down Arsey Avenue.

The plot thickened, when due to a complicated fusion of hormones, horrible family dynamics and a no-good boyfriend they hated, Jo ended up leaving home at 16. Now she’s considerably further along life’s inevitable bloody ‘journey’ – and she’s f***ed up enough times to feel confident she has no wisdom to offer anyone.

BUT THEN Jo calmly explained the effects of sexism on women to a dismissive all-male panel on Have I Got News for You and it turned into a viral phenomenon so maybe she has some advice to offer after all…

Born Lippy is a gathering of all the things Jo wishes she’d known, all the things she’s learnt, and all the things she hopes for the future. A century after women got the vote (albeit married women over the age of 28) it’s time to take stock of exactly what it means to be female today. And if there’s one thing women are entitled to, it’s having a bloody good moan about things big and small – so here goes…

Packed with memorable anecdotes from her life and career, full of jokes and funny stories, coloured by her experiences as a psychiatric nurse, stand-up and working mother of two, this hilarious book aims not only to entertain but also to really help people.

Tickets are £12 and available from Eventbrite and from City Books in Hove. The Brighthelm Centre (North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD) is just a short walk down from Brighton Station.