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.
Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well.
Now, in the moment of our great migration away from the rest of nature, more and more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological wellbeing. So what happens, asks acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world-might we also be losing part of ourselves?
Delicately observed and rigorously researched, Losing Eden is an enthralling journey through this new research, exploring how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health. Travelling from forest schools in East London to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault via primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories and ecotherapists' couches, Jones takes us to the cutting edge of human biology, neuroscience and psychology, and discovers new ways of understanding our increasingly dysfunctional relationship with the earth.
Urgent and uplifting, Losing Eden is a rallying cry for a wilder way of life - for finding asylum in the soil and joy in the trees - which might just help us to save the living planet, as well as ourselves.
'Beautifully written, movingly told and meticulously researched ... a convincing plea for a wilder, richer world' Isabella Tree, author of Wilding'By the time I'd read the first chapter, I'd resolved to take my son into the woods every afternoon over winter. By the time I'd read the sixth, I was wanting to break prisoners out of cells and onto the mossy moors.
Losing Eden rigorously and convincingly tells of the value of the natural universe to our human hearts' Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun.
Tickets £8 (includes a glass of wine and £5 off the book). 7:30 Hungerford Town Hall. BOOK TICKETS
Little Book Jamboree - Sunday March 8th
On Sunday 8 March 2020, and in celebration of World Book Day earlier in the week, Hungerford Bookshop and Hungerford Hub are hosting a whole day of book events and activities to celebrate books and reading for pleasure.
Little ones can start the day at the bookshop with Sunday Storytime at 10am before heading to the hub for some fun book-related craft activities.
Kids can catch three awesome authors throughout the day in the hub/library:
• Anna Fargher’s The Umbrella Mouse is a timeless, heart-stopping tale of courage, resistance and friendship drawing on the true stories of animals caught in the conflict of WWII, and winner of the 2019 Sainsbury’s Book Prize for Fiction and selected for Waterstones Book of the Month. It’s beautifully illustrated by Sam Usher (who grew up in Hungerford). 12:30 (7-12 year olds)
• Laura James will introduce Fabio: The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective, captivating capers for five- to seven-year-olds. Many children will know Laura’s Pug stories. Her talks are always fun and interactive. 2:30pm (4-7 year olds)
• Local author Debi Evans will be telling children about The Secret Adventures of Rolo, her series of books about a time-travelling dog. With luck, Rolo will be making an appearance himself. Rolo is a Jack Russell who explores and explains history to children aided by dragons (though we can’t promise live visits from them). 4pm (7-12 year olds)
Ongoing will be a big book swap at the bookshop – a great way to refresh your shelves – a book character hunt and of course this is the perfect opportunity to swap your World Book Day Vouchers for the special books in the bookshops, or use them to get £1 off one of the authors’ books on the day.
We are lucky to have a dyslexia expert on hand too. If you have concerns that your child may be dyslexic, Jacqui Flisher is the person to see for friendly informative advice. She’ll be in the hub from 11.00am to 12.30pm.
So spend your Sunday celebrating stories.
Tickets for the author events are £2 and can be bought here. Alternatively, ask in Hungerford Bookshop or the Hungerford Hub for more details.
Mother to five children, Clover Stroud has navigated family life across two decades, both losing and finding herself. In her touching, provocative and profoundly insightful book, she captures a sense of what motherhood really feels like - how intense, sensuous, joyful, boring, profound and dark it can be. My Wild and Sleepless Nights examines what it means to be a mother, and reveals with unflinching honesty the many conflicting emotions that this entails: the joy and the wonder, the loneliness and despair.
'The best evocation of the all-consuming, self-eroding reality of motherhood, while also being luminous with love.' - Sunday Times
Charting the course of one year, the first in her youngest child’s life, Clover searches for answers to questions that many of us would be too afraid to admit to – not only about motherhood, but also about female sexuality and identity. Her story will speak to all mothers, and anyone about to embark on that journey.
From award-winning historian Saul David, an action-packed and powerful new narrative of the Battle of Okinawa - the last great clash of the Second World War, and one that had profound consequences for the modern world. For eighty-three blood-soaked days, the fighting on the island of Okinawa plumbed depths of savagery as bad as anything seen on the Eastern Front. When it was over, almost a quarter of a million people had lost their lives, making it by far the bloodiest US battle of the Pacific.
In Okinawa, the death toll included thousands of civilians lost to mass suicide, convinced by Japanese propaganda that they would otherwise be raped and murdered by the enemy. On the US side, David argues that the horror of the battle ultimately determined President Truman's choice to use atomic bombs in August 1945. It is a brutal, heart-rending story, and one David tells with masterly attention to detail: the cramped cockpit of a kamikaze plane, the claustrophobic gun turret of a warship under attack, and a half-submerged foxhole amidst the squalor and battle detritus.
The narrative follows generals, presidents and emperors, as well as the humbler experiences of ordinary servicemen and families on both sides, and the Okinawan civilians who were caught so tragically between the warring parties. Using graphic eyewitness accounts and declassified documents from archives in three continents, Saul David illuminates a shocking chapter of history that is too often missing from Western-centric narratives of the Second World War.
Saul David will be giving an illustrated talk at the Croft Hall, Hungerford at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th April. Tickets £8. Buy on-line here.
In The Salt Path, Raynor and Moth go out to find the sea, the windswept and wild coastline, to find a way through homelessness, to find themselves again. Now, in The Wild Silence, they come back to what should be home, but four walls no longer feel that way.
For Raynor, recovering self-esteem and trust in herself, and in others, is harder than she expected. She continues to face Moth's debilitating illness and struggles to find a way to adjust to a life in one place, unmoving. Until an incredible gesture by someone who read their story changes everything.
Raynor will be talking about her book (included with your ticket) to journalist and author of Milkshakes and Morphine: A Memoir of Love and Loss, Genevieve Fox, before answering questions and signing copies.
Tickets are £20 (includes a copy of the book and a glass of wine). Couples tickets are available for £26. 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