Our Events

Looking for something different to do this month? What could be more exciting than exploring new ideas and worlds with their creators? At the Hungerford Bookshop, we are believers in opening up book discussion and giving our customers access to the many brilliant authors out there. Take a look at some of the acclaimed writers we have hosted over the years. Our events are always held at one of the fantastic (and often historic) local venues in Hungerford and ticket prices often include money off the title being discussed and a glass (or two) of wine. See below for our latest events.

Sept 27th: Mick Herron Talks to Dominick Donald about his comic spy novels & writing

The creator of the comic Jackson Lamb spy thrillers talks to Crime writer Dominick Donald about his hit books, including his new release ‘Joe Country’.

'We're spies,' said Lamb. 'All kinds of outlandish shit goes on.'Like the ringing of a dead man's phone, or an unwelcome guest at a funeral . .

In Slough House memories are stirring, all of them bad. Catherine Standish is buying booze again, Louisa Guy is raking over the ashes of lost love, and new recruit Lech Wicinski, whose sins make him outcast even among the slow horses, is determined to discover who destroyed his career, even if he tears his life apart in the process.

And with winter taking its grip Jackson Lamb would sooner be left brooding in peace, but even he can't ignore the dried blood on his carpets. So when the man responsible breaks cover at last, Lamb sends the slow horses out to even the score. This time, they're heading into joe country. And they're not all coming home.

“Lamb – the most fascinating and irresistible thriller series hero to emerge since Jack Reacher – battles two sets of enemies … Given to boozing, smoking, farting and caustic, politically incorrect wisecracking, he is a 21st century Falstaff; but also the fat knight’s antithesis, a ruthless pragmatist, and master of office power games. In London Rules he plays a blinder, and Herron does too” – Sunday Times

“Herron is a funny writer but also a serious plotter … Where Herron’s novels most overlap with those of le Carré is in the severity of their critique of the failures of management in post-imperial, pre-Brexit Britain” – Guardian

“Herron’s comic brilliance should not overshadow the fact that his books are frequently thrilling, often thought-provoking, and sometimes moving and even inspiring” – Sunday Express

Mick Herron is an award-winning crime writer. In 2003, he published his first novel, Down Cemetery Road. It was the first volume in a series about Zoë Boehm, an Oxford private detective. In 2010, with Slow Horses, he began a spy series, entitled Slough House, featuring MI5 agents who have been exiled from the mainstream for various offenses. He also writes stand-alone novels and short stories.

Dominick Donald is the author of 'Breathe', The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year. 'Donald combines historical events and fictional characters to superb effect, in a novel that deserves to win prizes' The Sunday Times'

It will be published in paperback on August the 8th.

Tickets £8 (includes a glass of wine and £5 off Joe Country). Call 01488 683480 or book here

Oct 3rd: Max Hastings talks about 'Chastise: The Dambusters Sory 1943'

We welcome back Sir Max Hastings - one the UK's finest military historians. This year he will be talking about his brand new history of the Dambuster's raid.

Operation Chastise, the destruction of the Mohne and Eder dams in north-west Germany by the RAF's 617 Squadron on the night of 16/17 May 1943, was an epic that has passed into Britain's national legend. Max Hastings grew up embracing the story, the classic 1955 movie and the memory of Guy Gibson, the 24-year-old wing-commander who led the raid.

In the 21st Century, however, he urges that we should see the dambusters in much more complex shades. The aircrew's heroism was entirely real, as was the brilliance of Barnes Wallis, inventor of the `bouncing bombs'. But commanders who promised their young fliers that success could shorten the war fantasised as ruthlessly as they did about the entire bomber offensive.

Some 1,400 civilians perished in the biblical floods that swept through the Mohne valley, more than half of them Russian and Polish women, slave labourers. Hastings vividly describes the evolution of Wallis' bomb, and of the squadron which broke the dams. But he also portrays in harrowing detail those swept away by the torrents.

He argues that what modern Germans call the Mohnekatastrophe imposed on the Nazi war machine temporary disruption, rather than a crippling blow. Ironically, Air Marshal Sir Arthur `Bomber' Harris gained much of the public credit, though he bitterly opposed Chastise as a distraction from his city-burning blitz. Harris also made perhaps the operation's biggest mistake - failure to launch a conventional attack on the huge post-raid repair operation which could have transformed the impact of the dam breaches on Ruhr industry.

Here once again is a dramatic retake on familiar history by a master of the art. Hastings sets the Dams Raid in the big picture of the bomber offensive and of the Second World War, with moving portraits of the young airmen, so many of whom died; of Barnes Wallis; the monstrous Harris; the tragic Guy Gibson, together with superb narrative of the action of one of the most extraordinary episodes in British history.

Please book early to hear this bestselling author. He will take questions from the audience before signing copies.

Tickets £8 (includes a glass of wine and £5 off the book on the night). Call 01488 683480 or book here

Oct 5th: Bookshop Day Party

Join us for National Bookshop Day. We’ll be throwing open our doors after hours and placing a glass of wine in your hand as you browse the new titles in our bookshop. We’ll be offering 10% off all stock too. It’s the perfect way to start your Christmas shopping, or treat yourself.

To make it an extra special evening we have two novelists coming who will tell you briefly about their latest books, both set during the Second World War. Vanessa De Haan will be talking about 'The Restless Sea' - an epic story of changing times, courage and a love story only made possible by war; and the bestselling writer Katherine Webb will give us a taster of her page-turner, 'The Disappearance' that centres around the mystery of a missing child. We recommend being here around 7pm to catch them.

We’ll also be celebrating the publication of Alex’s third walking book, Berkshire Pub Walks – if you ask him nicely he’ll sign a copy for you.

Plus, a raffle and a lots of book chat. RSVP


Oct 22nd: A.N. Wilson on 'Prince Albert: The Man Who Saved the Monarchy'

For more than six decades, Queen Victoria ruled a great Empire at the height of its power. Beside her for more than twenty of those years was the love of her life, her trusted husband and father of their nine children, Prince Albert. But while Victoria is seen as the embodiment of her time, it was Prince Albert, A.N. Wilson expertly argues, who was at the vanguard of Victorian Britain's transformation as a vibrant and extraordinary centre of political, technological, scientific and intellectual advancement. Far more than just the product of his age, Albert was one of its influencers and architects.

A composer, engineer, soldier, politician, linguist and bibliophile, Prince Albert, more than any other royal, was truly a 'genius'. Albert lived only forty-two years. Yet in that time, he fathered the royal dynasties of Germany, Russia, Spain and Bulgaria.

Through Victoria, Albert and her German advisers pioneered the idea of the modern constitutional monarchy. In this sweeping biography, Wilson demonstrates that there was hardly any aspect of British national life which Albert did not touch. Drawn from the Royal archives, including Prince Albert's voluminous correspondence, this brilliant and ambitious book offers fascinating never-before-known details about the man and his time.

A.N. Wilson will be talking about his book at 7:30pm in Hungerford Town Hall, followed by questions from the audience and a booksigning. Tickets include a glass of wine and £5 off the book night. Buy tickets

Nov 4th: Rick Stein book signing for 'Rick Stein's Secret France'

At 12:30 Rick Stein will be signing copies of his latest cookery book, Rick Stein's Secret France on Monday 4th November at the bookshop.

Real French home cooking with all the recipes from Rick's new BBC Two series. Over fifty years ago Rick Stein first set foot in France. Now, he returns to the food and cooking he loves the most ...

and makes us fall in love with French food all over again. Rick's meandering quest through the byways and back roads of rural France sees him pick up inspiration from Normandy to Provence. With characteristic passion and joie de vivre, Rick serves up incredible recipes: chicken stuffed with mushrooms and Comte, grilled bream with aioli from the Languedoc coast, a duck liver parfait bursting with flavour, and a recipe for the most perfect raspberry tart plus much, much more.

Simple fare, wonderful ingredients, all perfectly assembled; Rick finds the true essence of a food so universally loved, and far easier to recreate than you think.

This is a free event but to help us plan the number of books we need please RSVP by emailing us at hello@hungerfordbookshop.co.uk, calling us on 01488 683480 or through Eventbrite.

This is a very special bookshop. Seriously diverse and fascinating authors come to talk about their books. All in all, it gives a new dimension to Hungerford and is one of the main reasons it would be hard to move to a new area!
Belinda Coote, Customer

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