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.
1468. A young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in a remote Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artefacts - coins, fragments of glass, human bones - which the old parson used to collect.
Did his obsession with the past lead to his death? As Fairfax is drawn more deeply into the isolated community, everything he believes - about himself, his faith and the history of his world - is tested to destruction.
The author will be interviewed about his new novel before taking questions from the audience, and signing his books.
Tickets £22 (includes a copy of the book worth £20 and a glass of wine or soft drink). A 'couples' ticket is available as we appreciate the same household may not want two copies. Couples tickets are £30, which includes a copy of the book worth £20, and two glasses of wine). Book on-line here (no fee). Or call on 01488 683480.
We have teamed-up with Honesty Cafe that is now in the Herongate. Attendees of this event can enjoy a pre-talk supper and receive 10% off. Just give them a call on 07796 983593 to book your table. Please mention the event.
His new book is the gripping story of a propaganda campaign like no other: the covert British operation to manipulate American public opinion and bring the US into the Second World War.
When William Stephenson – “our man in New York” – arrived in the United States towards the end of June 1940 with instructions from the head of MI6 to ‘organise’ American public opinion, Britain was on the verge of defeat. Surveys showed that just 14% of the US population wanted to go to war against Nazi Germany. But soon that began to change…
Those campaigning against America’s entry into the war, such as legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh, talked of a British-led plot to drag the US into the conflict. They feared that the British were somehow flooding the American media with ‘fake news’, infiltrating pressure groups, rigging opinion polls and meddling in US politics.
These claims were shocking and wild: they were also true.
That truth is revealed here for the first time by bestselling author Henry Hemming, using hitherto private and classified documents, including the diaries of his own grandparents, who were briefly part of Stephenson’s extraordinary influence campaign that was later described in the Washington Post as ‘arguably the most effective in history’. Stephenson – who saved the life of Hemming’s father – was a flawed maverick, full of contradictions, but one whose work changed the course of the war, and whose story can now be told in full.
Henry will be talking about this book before taking questions and signing copies.
Tickets are £8 and include a glass of wine and £5 off the book. Call 01488 683480 or book here
'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.
Dominck Donald is the author of 'Breathe', The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year. 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
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
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