Love a bit of domestic noir and looking for your next gripping read? Then join us for an evening of criminally good conversation and a glass of wine as Shari Lapena, international bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, talks about her latest electrifying thriller Someone We Know.
It can be hard keeping secrets in a tight-knit neighbourhood. In a tranquil, leafy suburb of ordinary streets – one where everyone is polite and friendly – an anonymous note has been left at some of the houses. `I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses. He’s broken into yours.’ Who is this boy, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts. And when a missing local woman is found murdered, the tension reaches breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their secrets? Maybe you don’t know your neighbour as well as you thought you did . . .
Shari Lapena’s debut novel The Couple Next Door was the UK’s bestselling fiction title of 2017. Her two follow ups, A Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest, were both Sunday Times Bestsellers.
Shari will be in conversation with fellow crime author Mary Torjussen. We’re delighted to welcome her to Booka when she tours the UK from Canada this July.
Tickets: £5 (redeemable against a signed copy of Someone We Know). Includes a glass of wine / soft drink on arrival. Tickets available from the bookshop, or purchase online (with booking fee).
Join us for an evening of novel conversation and contemporary feminist fiction as bestselling authors Jo Baker and Anna Hope discuss their latest novels.
From Jo Baker, bestselling author of ‘Longbourn’ comes a dark, thrilling new novel – ‘The Body Lies’: a work of riveting suspense that grapples with how to live as a woman in the world – or in the pages of a book – when the stakes are dangerously high and the relationship between a creative writing school tutor and a student goes tragically wrong.
‘Expectation’ by Anna Hope is a novel of the highs and lows of friendship – how it can dip, dive and rise again. It is also about finding your way: as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a rebel. Most of all, it explores that liminal space between expectation and reality, the place – full of dreams, desires and pain – in which we all live our lives. Anna is the bestselling author ‘Wake’.
Both novels handle issues around feminism, the woman’s experience, societal and moral influences and pressures. For Jo and Anna they also mark a move away from historical fiction to the contemporary landscape. We’re delighted to welcome them to Booka for what should be a great event.
Tickets: £5 (redeemable against a signed copy of either book). Includes a glass of wine / soft drink on arrival. Tickets available from the bookshop, or purchase online (with booking fee).
The Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman (1809 – 1890) was a British missionary of Anglo-African descent. His success in founding churches and schools in the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana) has been well documented. However, his contribution to botany, plant collecting and horticulture has been overshadowed by this religious legacy.
This 1 hour talk by Advolly Richmond MA aims to reveal the extent of Birch Freeman’s horticultural and botanical legacy and is bolstered by Advolly’s research on Birch Freeman family archives in Ghana.
Tickets available via website or contact Yewa Holiday
International events and local history combine together in this 2 hour session by Jonathan Gammond who organised the exhibition ‘Penley Hospital: The Story of a Polish Community in Wales’ at Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives.
Eighty years ago, German and Russian armies swept across the borders of Poland setting in motion a train of events that led to the establishment of three Polish hospitals in the Welsh countryside near Wrexham, in the village of Penley and the grounds of two country houses, Iscoyd Park and Llannerch Panna. These hospitals were staffed by Polish medics and nurses whose job was to care for the thousands of Polish servicemen and servicewomen displaced from their homes and living in post-war Britain. The hospitals became the focal point of a Polish community.
The session illuminates issues of Europe, identity and the local, regional and international importance of Penley Hospital.
Tickets may be booked via the website or contact Yewa Holiday
In this funny, off-beat and warmhearted portrait of Le Havre, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (played by Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a cool-headed shoe shiner, Marcel’s gentle wife Arletty (Kati Outinen) and tough Inspector Monet (Jean-Pierre Darroussin). With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. Directed by Finnish director, Aki Kaurismaki.
The film is preceded by a short talk and there will be a discussion afterwards.
Tickets are available on the website.
Get ready to meet Cookie Haque – funny, science obsessed and ready to take on the world!
Join author, broadcaster and much loved former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq as she introduces you to Cookie and her adventures in the first of a sparking new series for 8-12 year olds. With live draw-alongs, brain busting quizzes and games galore – prepare for non-stop comedy fun at this celebratory book launch event!
Join us for an evening in the company of Susannah Stapleton as she tells the remarkable true story of Maud West, Lady Detective.
Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having started sleuthing on behalf of society’s finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And – as Susannah Stapleton reveals – she was a most unreliable witness to her own life.
Who was Maud? And what was the reality of being a female private detective in the Golden Age of Crime?
Interweaving tales from Maud West’s own `casebook’ with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth.
Susannah Stapleton has written a superb biography of a woman ahead of her time offering a deliciously salacious glimpse into the underbelly of ‘good society’ during the first half of the twentieth century.
Susannah will be in conversation with fellow author James Hannah. We’re delighted to welcome her to Booka.
Tickets: £5 (redeemable against a signed copy of The Adventures of Maud West). Includes a glass of wine / soft drink on arrival. Tickets available from the bookshop, or purchase online (with booking fee).
This year’s “Fete Anniversaire” celebrates 10 years of the Arcadia Music Festival and the 70th birthday of co-founder Eleanor Alberga. Performed by an ensemble of internationally acclaimed musicians, this in-depth fully illustrated talk examines the music of Schoenberg, Messiaen and Shostakovich at this year’s Arcadia Music Festival.