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Events & Diary
 
 
The Man Booker Prize Book Challenge. It’s Back!
From Wednesday September 13th until Tuesday October 17th
Once again, the nation holds its breath in anticipation of the announcement of The Man Booker Prize shortlist on September 13th.
 
 London will grind to a standstill and police cordons will be set up to hold back fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the judges entering the hallowed Booker Towers to announce their decision.
 
And media attention couldn't be more intense. Heightened security measures have been introduced to ensure the Longlisted authors’ protection as Booker frenzy continues to sweep the nation.
 
So, who is it going to be?? Only the judges know, but we hear from an anonymous source that the six shortlisted authors are all likely to come from the 13 books on the longlist.
 
And here is that Longlist.
 
 
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (4th Estate)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (Hamish Hamilton)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (Bloomsbury Circus)
Autumn by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Fleet)
 
So, I am delighted to announce that The Big Green Bookshop will be running its Booker Book Challenge again *cheers*.
 
Here’s how it works;
As soon as the shortlist is announced, we’ll order copies of each of the books, which we’ll hopefully get by Thursday September 14th.
 
Over the next five or so weeks the idea is to make a concerted effort to read as many of the six shortlisted books as you can.
We'll meet on Tuesday October 17th, the evening the winner is announced, to discuss each of the books. After a heated debate, and a glass or two of wine, the group will vote for whom they think should win. We’ll then watch the televised ceremony, and hopefully cheer as our choice and the actual winner is one and the same. Or more likely, shout and curse as our least favourite book takes the glory.
 
We realise that the cost of buying six books, some of them hardback is somewhat budget busting. So for our local customers, rather than asking you to buy all the books at full price we’ve come up with a few solutions;
 
•For a one off payment of £30, we will be a lending library, where you can borrow each of the books for a week each. You can also keep your favourite book after the ceremony. Pre-order this deal HERE.
•We will offer a discount of 20% on the shortlist.
•A group of you could share the cost, so for example 3 of you could buy 2 books each.
 
However you decide to do this, we will do everything we can to make the books accessible to you. The important thing is that you're able to join in.
 
It's a challenge to read six books in five weeks (especially books you wouldn't necessarily read), but if you think you're up for it, get involved.
 
Please let me know if you’re planning on getting involved, so I can order enough books. 
 
Wednesday September 20th – 7.00pm – 9.00pm
“Is Monogamy Dead” with Rosie Wilby
£3 - BUY TICKETS HERE (redeemable on Rosie's book)
This is going to be amazing!
Award-winning comedian and Radio 4 regular Rosie Wilby will be at the bookshop to present funny and poignant readings from her nonfiction debut 'Is Monogamy Dead?' and explores the question 'what counts as cheating?'
 
In early 2013, comedian Rosie Wilby found herself at a crossroads with everything she'd ever believed about romantic relationships. When people asked, 'who's the love of your life?' there was no simple answer. Did they mean her former flatmate who she'd experienced the most ecstatic, heady, yet ultimately doomed, fling with? Or did they mean the deep, lasting companionate partnerships that gave her a sense of belonging and family? Surely, most human beings need both.
 
Mixing humour, heartache and science, Is Monogamy Dead? details Rosie's very personal quest to find out why Western society is clinging to a concept that doesn't work that well for some of us and is laden with ambiguous assumptions.
 
Rosie’s book comes highly recommended by her comedy colleagues Sara Pascoe and Viv Groskop and follows her TEDx talk of the same name.
Rosie has performed at festivals including Glastonbury and Latitude and was a finalist at a Funny Women 2006.
 

 
Saturday September 23rd - 8.00pm
LIGHTS OUT! An Evening with Iain Lee
You're invited to experience something new and experimental. Come and join our small audience, bring a cushion or pillow, sit or lie down and relax. We are going to turn the lights off while your host, broadcaster Iain Lee, fiddles about with the radio dial. Experience randomness and weird sounds completely in the dark.
The performance lasts around an hour.
 
Don't come if you don't like the dark. Or radio.
 
Thursday September 28th
Mark Hill’s Crime Spree!
With Emma Flint, Cal Moriarty and David Young.
Join us for our regular crime panel evening with your host Mark Hill, author of The Two O’Clock Boy.
This month the focus is 60s, 70s & 80s crime, and we have a stellar panel to discuss this.
 
 
Emma Flint’s is the author of Little Deaths.
It's the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.
Noting Ruth's perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can't help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press.
Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew. Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive - is she really capable of murder? Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths is a gripping novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all.
 
 
Cal Moriarty is the author of The Killing of Bobbi Lomax
Canyon County, Halloween. 1983 Bobbi Lomax was the first to die, the bomb killed the prom queen on her own front lawn. Just moments later one of the nails from the city's second bomb forced its way into the brain of property investor Peter Gudsen, killing him almost instantly.

The third bomb didn't quite kill Clark Houseman. Hovering on the brink, the rare books dealer turns out to be Detectives Sinclair and Alvarez's best hope of finding out what linked these unlikely victims, and who wanted them dead and why. But can they find the bomber before he kills again? Set deep in the religious heartlands of America, The Killing of Bobbi Lomax follows this troubled investigation as a narrative of deceit, corruption and forgery emerges, with an unlikely hero at its heart - a rare coins, books and manuscript dealer - who could either be a genius or the devil.
 
David Young is the author of Stasi Child
East Berlin, 1975
When Oberleutnant Karin Muller is called to investigate a teenage girl's body at the foot of the Wall, she imagines she's seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other. It seems the girl was trying to escape - but from the West. 
Muller is a member of the People's Police, but in East Germany her power only stretches so far. The Stasi want her to discover the identity of the girl, but assure her the case is otherwise closed - and strongly discourage her from asking questions. The evidence doesn't add up, and it soon becomes clear the crime scene has been staged. 
But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Muller doesn't realise that the trail she's following will lead her dangerously close to home . . .
 
Thursday October 5th – 7.00pm
Ruth and Martin's Album Club
Martin Fitzgerald in conversation with Geoff Lloyd
£3 (redeemable on the book)
 
We’re looking forward to this!
Martin Fitzgerald will be here chatting to radio presenter Geoff Lloyd about his brilliant new book Ruth & Martin’s Album Club.
The concept behind the Ruth and Martin's Album Club is simple:
 Make people listen to a classic album they've never heard before. Make them listen to it two more times. Get them to explain why they never bothered with it before. Then ask them to review it.       What began as a simple whim quickly grew in popularity, and now Ruth and Martin's Album Club has featured some remarkable guests:
 
Ian Rankin on Madonna's Madonna.
 
Chris Addison on Marvin Gaye's What's Going On.
 
Brian Koppelman on The Smiths' Meat is Murder.
 
JK Rowling on the Violent Femmes' Violent Femmes.
 
Bonnie Greer on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.
 
Martin Carr on Paul McCartney's Ram.
 
Brian Bilston on Neil Young's Harvest.
 
Anita Rani on The Strokes' Is This It.
 
Richard Osman on Roxy Music's For Your Pleasure.
 
 And many, many more.
 
Each entry features an introduction to each album by creator Martin Fitzgerald.
 
What follows are delightful, humorous and insightful contributions from each guest as they have an album forced upon them and - for better or worse - they discover some of the world's favourite music. Ruth and Martin's Album Club is a compilation of some of the blog's greatest hits as well as some exclusive material that has never appeared anywhere before. Throughout, we get an insight into why some people opt out of some music, and what happens when you force them to opt in.
 
After the chat, there’ll be a Q & A, followed by a book signing.
Tickets for this are just £3, redeemable on the book.
We hope you can make it. 
 
Thursday October 12th - 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Not The Booker Night. LIVE!
In 2009, the first Not the Booker Prize was launched by Sam Jordison in the Guardian. After a number of “controversial” decisions at the Man Booker Prize (and other literary prizes) this was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek attempt to introduce a slightly more democratic way of choosing a prize winning book.
The entry criteria are very similar to the Booker Prize.
Readers are asked to nominate a book fitting these criteria and a very long longlist is then announced. This longlist is then whittled down to six books, by people writing reviews for the books they want to win...the full rules can be found here, but we now have the Not the Booker Shortlist. Here it is.
 
 
 
Not Thomas by Sara Gethin (Honno Press)
Dark Chapter by Winnie M Li (Legend Press)
The Ludlow Ladies’ Society by Ann O’Loughlin (Black and White Publishing)
The Threat Level Remains Severe by Rowena Macdonald (Aardvark Bureau)
Man With a Seagull on His Head by Harriet Paige (Bluemoose Books)
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout (Viking)
 
And we are delighted that once again, the Not the Booker Prize is going live! Wembley Arena? Nah. The South Bank? pfft. Only the Big Green Bookshop could host such an event.
Each year, the award gets bigger and bigger, with over 1800 votes for the shortlist this year.
All six authors have been invited by to attend a panel reading and discussion and Sam Jordison will be here to chair the discussion. We can't guarantee all the authors will be able to make it), but we’re pretty sure at least four will be in attendance at the shop on the night.
Not only will you get the chance to meet the authors, there will also be a Q and A and a signing.
 These Not the Booker Events are really brilliant fun and this year's shortlist looks fantastic. I cannot wait to read each of them myself.
Tickets for this event are just £3 (HERE), redeemable on any of the shortlisted books on the night. Spaces are very limited and this event will sell out very quickly.
Really hope you can make it.
 
Tuesday October 24th – 7pm
An Evening with Harry Leslie Smith
£5 - BUY TICKETS HERE. 
This is an event we’ve been working on for some time and I am more than thrilled that we can now announce that the amazing Harry Leslie Smith will be visiting the Big Green Bookshop on Tuesday October 24th to discuss his new book “Don't Let My Past Be Your Future”.
 
 
Harry’s a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and an activist for the poor and for the preservation of social democracy.
In September 2014 Harry Leslie Smith electrified the Labour Party conference with this incredible speech about the NHS and since then he’s written bestselling books, including the wonderful “Harry’s Last Stand”.
Don’t Let My Past Be Your Future is his latest.
 
Now in his nineties, Harry wanders through the streets of his youth and wonders whether anything has actually changed. Britain is at its most dangerous juncture since Harry's youth - the NHS and social housing are in crisis, whilst Brexit and an unpopular government continue to divide the country - but there is hope. Just as Clement Attlee provided hope in 1945, Labour's triumphant comeback of June 2017 is a beacon of light in this season of discontent. Britain has overcome adversity before and will do so again - a new nation will be forged from the ashes of grave injustice. Moving and passionate, Don't Let My Past be Your Future interweaves memoir and polemic in a call to arms.
Above all, this book is a homage to the boundless grace and resilience of the human spirit.
 
There’ll be a chance to ask Harry questions and he’ll be very happy to sign copies of his book, which will be available on the night.
 
Tickets will sell VERY quickly, so please book early. 
 
Friday October 27th- 7pm-9pm
Creative Workshop with Emma Mitchell
(ticket price includes workshop, book, sketchbook and refreshments)
 
Emma Mitchell is a popular designer-maker, craft teacher and naturalist. She lives in a tiny village on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens, where she runs nature-inspired craft workshops and creative winter retreats. Emma has been published and featured in the Guardian, Mollie Makes, Country Living and she’s also the creator and co-editor of Mollie Makes Comic Relief Crafternoon magazine, which has channelled the UK’s love of making into raising £100,000 so far for projects in the UK and Africa.
 
Emma’s first book, Making Winter is a creative survival guide for the colder months. It is full of beautiful craft projects, delicious recipes and gentle encouragement to get out on nature walks, all of which will help to fend off dreary feelings and keep blues at bay in the depths of winter.
 
During this workshop Emma will talk about the ways in which making, craft and contact with nature can be as soothing as yoga and can help mental health.
 
She will then teach you how to draw plants and feathers she has gathered from the wood behind her cottage, along with stylised wreaths.
 
 
At the end of the workshop there will be homemade cake and drinks.
 
An A5 sketchbook and a copy of Making Winter is included in the price of this workshop.
 
There are just 12 spaces available, so please book early. 
 
 
Thursday November 16th – 7pm
An Evening with Award-Winning Comedian Adam Kay
£3 (redeemable on the book). BUY TICKETS HERE.
Please join us for an evening filled with tears and laughter as Adam Kay visits the Big Green Bookshop to talk about his incredible new bestselling book “This Is Going to Hurt”.
 
 
Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, the book provides a no-holds-barred account of his time as a junior doctor on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heart-breaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.
 
Adam achieved success as frontman of Amateur Transplants, with 20 million hits (including the iconic London Underground Song), and since leaving the NHS, he has become a hugely successful stand up comedian and now is greatly in demand as a solo performer, with multiple sell-out Edinburgh Fringe and West End seasons as well as international tours. He is a previous winner of the London Cabaret Award.
 
Tickets for this event are just £3 (redeemable of the book).
Tickets will sell out VERY quickly, so please book early. 
 
Chasing the Dram. A evening with Rachel McCormack
Date to be confirmed 
 
Whisky is Scotland's national drink and has been for over five hundred years, since then becoming a global phenomenon. It is a drink that is a profound and important part of Scottish life and culture but, unlike other countries and their national libations, it has hardly been used in food. Rachel McCormack is going to change that with this book.
Limiting whisky to a drink, she believes, is similar to the traditional Presbyterian attitude to sex; it should only be done with the lights off and in the missionary position. Rachel believes that there is an entire Karma Sutra of whisky use out there and she has put it in this book. Interspersing an engaging mix of anecdotes, history and information on distillers and recipes, this book will appeal to everyone from the cooking whisky connoisseur, to the novice whisky learner looking for some guidance on what to eat and cook.
Rachel travels the length and breadth of Scotland, discovering a myriad of unique and interesting people and facts about this remarkable drink, with interviews with the key people who create it around the country, as she visits the famous distilleries of her country, as well as the more home-grown variety.