Here you will find details of all our upcoming events. You can sign up to our mailing list here to keep up-to-date with future events. If you would like us to host an event for your author, email Sheila.
A Manual for Heartache – How to make sense of a tragedy with Cathy Rentzenbrink & Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan
Tickets are £8 & includes a glass of wine. BOOK TICKETS HERE
How do we make sense of heartache? Cathy Rentzenbrink and Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan will discuss learning to deal with heartache, grief and loss. They’ll explore how to cope with life at its most difficult and how that suffering may change us forever but we can emerge filled with hope.
Cathy Rentzenbrink is the author of a bestselling and stunning memoir called The Last Act of Love about the life and death of her brother. Cathy was still a teenager at the time and her happy family was torn apart by this unthinkable tragedy. In A Manual for Heartache she describes how she learnt to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again.
Cathy will be in conversation with Dr. Suzanne O’Sullivan.
Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan is an Irish neurologist working in Britain who is the winner of the 2016 Wellcome Book Prize. She won for her first book, It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness. O’Sullivan is a consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.
7pm Doors Open
7.30pm Introduction by Village Books
7.35pm – 8.15pm Cathy & Suzanne in conversation
8.15pm – Q & A
9pm book signing
9.30 event endsTuesday 27th June 2017 7.30pm
Spanish Food Celebration with Monika Linton, founder of Brindisa
We are thrilled to welcome Monika Linton, founder of Brindisa, to celebrate the publication of Brindisa, The True Food of Spain.
Monika, along with Brindisa’s Executive Chef Josep Carbonell, will be demonstrating recipes from the book.
There will be tastings of Spanish food, and a glass of delicious sherry is included in the ticket price. Tickets are £12.50 BOOK TICKETS HERE
Brindisa won Cookbook of the Year in 2016. It is the ultimate book of contemporary Spanish cooking, including classic regional recipes, tapas dishes and information about the best ingredients and producers. Ranging from simple traditional breakfasts and mid-week dinners to celebratory lunches and weekend get-togethers, this is a true celebration of the food, people and countryside of Spain. With 250 colour illustrations.
Brindisa, The True Food of Spain will be available at the special price of £20 and Monika will sign books after the event.Wednesday 28th June 2017 7.30pm
Gail Honeyman comes to Dulwich to discuss Eleanor Oliphant
Join us on Thursday 6th July as we host Gail Honeyman in Village Books. Gail will be discussing her fantastic debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which both Hazel and Sheila adored.
Tickets are £6 and include wine. BOOK TICKETS HERE
Eleanor Oliphant has a normal job in an office 5 days a week – and a very abnormal home life at the weekend. She is a lonely misfit – until a chance event disrupts her ordered world with unexpected results.
Hazel says “Eleanor’s voice is wonderful, and Gail Honeyman has written a superb debut novel that will make you laugh and cry”.
There’ll be wine, cake, chat, fun and laughter.Thursday 6th July 2017 7pm
Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh talk Sweets & Cakes
Renowned for fresh evocative ingredients and bold inventive flavour, Ottolenghi has absolutely changed the way we eat and cook in this country. From Middle Eastern food to the very best Vegetarian recipes and world famous cakes and desserts, the Ottolenghi cookbooks have become national favourites. Sweet is a return to Yotam’s roots as a pastry chef and offers a mouthwatering array of recipes for hand-crafted sweet treats, freshly made with love, flair, real ingredients and lots of attention to detail. This is the quintessential Ottolenghi flavour formula brought to baking. Come and celebrate the sweet things in life with Yotam in conversation with long-time friend and co-author Helen Goh.
Yotam and Helen will also be assembling a pudding from Sweet and at the end this will be auctioned for charity!
Tickets are £12.50 (£10 under 18’s). BOOK TICKETS HERE
Sweet will be available for sale at the event at a special price of £20 (r.r.p £27)Monday 25th September 2017 7.30pm
An evening with Alexander McCall Smith.
An evening with Alexander McCall Smith is an evening of sheer delight. Join the worldwide bestselling author as he discusses the eagerly anticipated new Isabel Dalhousie novel, A Distant View of Everything, and catch up with little Bertie and the cast of 44 Scotland Street in The Bertie Project.
No event would be complete without finding out what is new with Mma Ramostwse in the seventeenth No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel, Precious & Grace.
An evening not to be missed! Tickets are £10/£8. BOOK TICKETS HERE
Alexander McCall Smith, often referred to as ‘Sandy’, is one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the UK and abroad before turning his hand to writing fiction. He has written and contributed to more than 100 books including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children’s books.
Alexander will be in conversation with Peter Guttridge. Peter is a novelist, critic, writing teacher and a chairperson/interviewer at a wide range of literature festivals and events. He is a former Director of the Brighton Literature Festival and the current co-director of Books By The Beach, the Scarborough Book Festival. (www.booksbythebeach.co.uk). For eleven years he was the Observer newspaper’s crime fiction critic. He is the author of eleven novels, two works of non-fiction and numerous short stories
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 7.30pm
Alison Weir & Medieval Queens of England
Join Alison Weir as she shares with us the dramatic story of five Norman queens, from Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066, to the turbulent Empress Maud, who fought a bitter war with her cousin King Stephen, and founded the Plantagenet dynasty as the mother of Henry II. Love, hate, ambition and tragedy all feature in this epic saga. Stripping away centuries of romantic mythology and legends, and delving beyond the prejudice and credulity in contemporary sources, Alison will reveal a more balanced and authentic picture of these extraordinary women.
Tickets are £10/£8. BOOK TICKETS HERE
Alison Weir is the top-selling female historian in the United Kingdom, and has sold over 2.7 million books worldwide. She has published seventeen history books, including Elizabeth the Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Lady in the Tower and Elizabeth of York, and six historical novels. Her latest biography is The Lost Tudor Princess, and her latest novel is Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen, the first in a series of novels about the wives of Henry VIII.Thursday 16th November 2017 7.30pm
Dulwich Village Street Tree Walk with Paul Wood
Join Paul Wood, author of London’s Street Trees: Field Guide to the Urban Forest on Sunday morning 25th June at 10am for a glorious exploration of the street trees in Dulwich Village.
Well – they’re London planes, aren’t they? Everyone knows that? But what else lines our streets and road in Dulwich Village? In fact the magnificently green streets of London are in no way a monoculture.
Meet at the bookshop on Calton Ave., at 10am for a 45 minute stroll around the wonderful streets and roads of the village and hear Paul share his knowledge of London street trees. You’ll never walk around the Village again without reflecting on the trees that line our beautiful streets.
Then we finish up back at the bookshop for about 11am for coffee and homemade cake.
Tickets are £6 and include coffee and cake. BOOK TICKETS HERESunday 25th June 2017 10am
Independent Bookshop celebration Saturday 24th June in Village Books
Saturday 24th June begins a week long UK wide celebration of Independent Bookshops.
At 11am we welcome John Gordon Sinclair, often known as Gordy, famous for Gregory’s Girl and now a best selling crime writer. Gordy will be in the bookshop discussing his “desert island books”. Gordy has chosen the 10 books that influenced him, shaped his career and gave him inspiration to become a writer. Come along and join us at 11am.
Gordy will also be telling you about his latest book, Walk in Silence, a compelling kidnap featuring lawyer Keira Lynch who immediately becomes embroiled in trouble when she arrives in Albania.
Ever fancied recording your very own book review? Or would you like to share your memories of Village Books? As part of Independent Bookshop Week, WordPlay, who run audio, podcast and radio projects will be offering you the chance to record your favourite booky memories right here in the bookshop.
Drop in on Saturday 24th June between 11am and 1pm to have your say and be part of a special Village Books podcast.
Saturday 24th June 2017 11amVillage Books in Dulwich Village, 1d Calton Ave., Dulwich Village
FAMILY SHOPPING DAY - 10% OFF STOCK ALL DAY Saturday 24th June 9am - 5.30pm
Saturday 24th June sees the start of a week long celebration of independent bookshops throughout the UK.
Join Village Books on Saturday 24th June when we launch Independent Bookshop Week with our fabulous family shopping event. We have 10% off STOCK all day, free balloons and treats for children (and dogs!).
Our brilliant face-painter Marion Martin will be here in the afternoon, and not forgetting the grown-ups, we’ll be serving delicious glasses of very cold Prosecco!
Saturday 24th June 2017 11amVillage Books, 1d Calton Ave., Dulwich Village
Free face painting Saturday afternoon 24th June
Come along on Saturday afternoon for some free face painting with the brilliant Marion Martin.
Marion has been face painting for over 15 years and have PLI and enhanced DBS (new CRB). I have painted for many corporate clients including the BBC, local councils, high street stores and hundreds of local parties and am flexible to fit in with the bookers requirements.
Face painting designs and products are forever changing & improving and the best result is a happy smile when the design is seen in the mirror. http://www.sparklesfacepainting.co.uk
Saturday 24th June 2017 2pm
Celebrate literary Italy with Lucy Foley & Louisa Young
Lucy Foley, author of The Invitation and Louisa Young, author of Devotion came to the bookshop on Tuesday 13th June to chat and discuss all things Italian. The evening began with delicious Italian wine and arancini throughout the evening.
The Invitation is a sweeping love story set during the 1950s in Italy, filled with mystery, glamour and danger.
‘A seductive love tale’ says the Sunday Times Style magazine.
Devotion is a novel of family, love, race and politics set during the electric change of the 1930s. The third book in the series set in the difficult years between the two World Wars, this is a novel of love, family, race and politics in the 1930s.
‘Young expertly weaves politics, race and loyalty into the family’s narrative’ says the ObserverTuesday 13th June 2017 7pm
Henry Hemming Talk
To celebrate the release of Henry Hemming’s latest book ‘M: Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster‘, the author will be giving a talk about two remarkable female spies and the man who ran them: an animal-loving drop-out who went on to become MI5’s greatest spymaster.
This is the dramatic true story of a maverick MI5 officer who recruited two women in the 1930s to penetrate the British Communist movement. Their skillful, deft work led to the exposure of a Soviet spy-ring in the Woolwich Arsenal, a famous court case and one of them being hailed in America as ‘Britain’s counter-espionage heroine’.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear this entertaining speaker reveal the truth about this legendary, and most unusual. spymaster.
Tickets £8 (includes a free glass of wine). Book tickets here.
Ben Macintrye says in his review of Henry’s book “Hemming has done a superb job of peeling back the layers covering this most veiled of spies”. “Impressive detective work. Read the full review here.Monday 5th June 2017 7pm
Marianne Kavanagh book launch celebrating Should You Ask Me
We were delighted to host the book launch to celebrate the publication of Marianne Kavanagh’s latest book SHOULD YOU ASK ME.
SHOULD YOU ASK ME is a captivating story about people at their worst and best: raw, rich, and utterly compelling. Just before D-Day in 1944, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, an elderly woman walks into a police station. She has information, she says, about human remains recently discovered nearby.
The bodies could have stayed buried for ever – like the pain and passion that put them there. But Mary Holmes is finally ready to tell the truth. The young constable sent to take her statement is still suffering from the injuries that ended his army career.
As he tries to make sense of her tale, William finds himself increasingly distracted. Mary’s confession forces his own violent memories to the surface – betrayals and regrets as badly healed as his war wounds. Over six days, as pressure builds for the final push in Europe, two lives reveal their secrets.Thursday 25th May 2017 6.30pm
Roger McGough + LiTTLe MACHiNe Poetry & Music Show
Roger McGough’s new show with Walter, Steve & Chris of LiTTLe MACHiNe featured a fine selection of vintage, classic & surprising poems set to music. It’s a gala gig that’s making waves! They came to James Alleyns Girls School for a wonderful evening of music and poetry.
Hilarious and surreal, McGough is a poet of many voices. Menace and melancholy there may be, but with plenty of McGough’s characteristic wit and wordplay too. Formed in 2009, LiTTLe MACHiNe set classic poems to music and perform them with energy, passion and humour. It’s poetry but not like you’ve heard or seen it before.
‘the most brilliant music and poetry band I’ve seen in decades’
Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate
‘LiTTLe MACHiNe’s sophisticated way with poetry made me fall in love with old and new favourites all over again. They make you laugh and break your heart.’ Gillian ClarkeMonday 22nd May 2017 7pm
Maggie O’Farrell at Alleyn's
In May Maggie O’Farrell came to Dulwich to discuss her writing. It was an absolutely fantastic event, over 200 ardent fans packed The Great Hall in Alleyns school as Hannah Beckerman interviewed her.
Maggie O’Farrell is the author of seven novels, including The Hand That First Held Mine, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, Instructions For A Heatwave, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, and This Must Be The Place.
Hannah Beckerman is an author and journalist. Her debut novel, The Dead Wife’s Handbook, is published by Penguin. She is a freelance features writer and book critic for The Observer, the FT Weekend Magazine and The Sunday ExpressThursday 18th May 2017 7.30pm
Ross Raisin at Dulwich Hamlet FC
Shortlist magazine and Village Books hosted Ross Raisin, in conversation at Dulwich Hamlet FC on Wednesday 5th April. Ross was chatting about his latest novel, A Natural.
A hugely popular event and run as a book+ticket deal we had 100% book sales conversion rate.
As one customer said on twitter “Thank you
@bookshopdulwich for the chance to hear and meet the hugely talented author Ross Raisin this evening”.Wednesday 5th April 2017 7.00pm
Flora Shedden Cake Decorating Demonstration ****SOLD OUT***
At a sold out event on Saturday 18th March Flora Shedden showed us how to decorate a cake brilliantly and without fuss and shared tips and advice’e Great British Bake Off.Saturday 18th March 2017 2pm
Robin Stevens in Village Books Dulwich Village
We were thrilled to welcome best-selling author Robin Stevens to Dulwich Village on Saturday 10th December 3pm-5pm.
Robin signed copies of Mistletoe and Murder – the latest adventure for Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. Robin is such a lovely author, generous with her time and everyone a fantantic time.
If you’ve not read her books they are great reads, ideal for 8+.Saturday 10th December 2016
Chris Mullin's Hinterland
All serious politicians are supposed to possess a hinterland, but not all do. Chris Mullin was one who did. Chris was a Labour MP from 1987 until 2010 and served as a minister in three departments. His successful campaign to free the innocent people convicted of the Birmingham bombings was described as ‘one of the greatest feats ever achieved by an investigative reporter’.
Hinterland is the wry and revealing political memoir from the man behind the celebrated diaries A View From the Foothills, A Walk-On Part and Decline and Fall. A Very British Coup, his novel telling the story of an outsider elected as leader of the Labour party, is enjoying a resurgence. Chris will be talking about his life, both in and out of politics, and answering questions.
This was a highly entertaining, interesting and thought-provoking evening.Tuesday 22nd November 2016 7.30pm
Lauren Child - Blink and You Die
We were absolutely delighted to welcome back to Dulwich best-selling author Lauren Child. Her newest book is the series finale for Ruby Redfort. In Blink and You Die Ruby is running scared – a whole bunch of people want her dead, and worst of all, one of them is in her own team!
It was a fantastic event, Lauren was lovely and chatted with her fans, signed books and was up for photos. The Ruby Redfort series is hugely popular and if you have not read any we urge you to try one and you’ll be hooked.Thursday 17th November 2016 6.30pmAll Saints Church, Lovelace Road, West Dulwich, SE21 8JY
Village Books in Dulwich Village celebrates 20 years.
Hazel and Julian celebrated 20 years in 2016 of owning your local bookshop in Dulwich on Saturday 24th September with a fun day for all the family.
We also celebrated Julian’s retirement and a packed bookshop, sipping champagne toasted his new life in the West country.
The bookshop has existed on this site for over 90 years and been a stalwart of the Dulwich community. We thank you for supporting us for the last 20 years and very much look forward to serving you and the Dulwich community for the next twenty years or more…Saturday 24th September 2016 9am - 5.30pm
An Evening with Ruby Wax with Village Books in Dulwich Village
Ruby Wax, chatted with journalist Sarah Crompton about her new book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. ‘Five hundred years ago no-one died of stress: we have invented this concept and now we let it rule us, not to mention frazzle us’.
Outrageously witty, smart and accessible, Ruby Wax showed ordinary people how and why to change for good. With advice for adults, for children and for teenagers, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled is the only guide you need for a healthier, happier life.
Portrait photography © Steve UllathorneFriday 15th January 2016 7.30pm
An Evening with Nigella with Village Books in Dulwich Village
We were delighted to welcome Nigella Lawson to Dulwich to celebrate publication of Simply Nigella, the first new book in three years from one of the nation’s favourite food writers. Tying in with a BBC2 television series, the book has recipes that are uncomplicated and relaxed for everything from quick suppers to stress-free crowd pleasers and sweet treats. It is the perfect antidote to our busy lives: a calm and glad celebration of food to soothe and uplift.
Nigella was in conversation with the award winning columnist of The Sunday Telegraph Diana Henry, best-selling author of A Bird in the Hand.
Portrait image ©Debra Hurford BrownTuesday 8th December 2015 7.30pm
An evening of Wine Tasting with Jancis Robinson OBE
Dulwich was delighted to welcome Jancis Robinson OBE and Master of Wine, described by Decanter as ‘the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world’.
The Oxford Companion to Wine was first published in 1994 to worldwide acclaim and has won every major wine book award. It has been extensively revised in a major new edition, the first in almost a decade. To celebrate its publication we tasted wines chosen by Jancis from local supplier, Dulwich Vintners. The wines were chosen to illustrate how much the world of wine has changed since the last edition was published in 2006.Friday 27th November 2015 7.30pm
Meet Edmund de Waal
EDMUND DE WAAL is one of the world’s leading ceramic artists. His best-selling memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes was described as “a masterpiece” by the Sunday Times and “the most enchanting history lesson imaginable” by the New Yorker.
In his new book, The White Road, he travels the globe to tell the story of his obsession with porcelain and the lure it held for the Europeans who encountered it. The journey begins in China and travels through Venice, Versailles, Dublin, Dresden, South Carolina and the hills of Cornwall to tell the history of porcelain. Woven into this is an intimate memoir of his life as a potter, and his deepening understanding of the ‘white gold’ he has worked with for over 45 years.
In our event with Edmund he talked about his new book and answered questions.Thursday 8th October 2015 7.30pm
An evening with Tom Holland
TOM HOLLAND is the award winning and bestselling author of Rubicon, Persian Fire, Millenium and In the Shadow of the Sword. In Rubicon, described by Ian McEwan as “Narrative history at its best”, Tom recounted the final 100 years of the Roman Republic. In his new work, Dynasty, he returns to that era, telling the story of the House of Caesar with its gallery of leading characters: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and finally Nero.
Dynasty is as riveting as Rubicon and we were delighted to welcome Tom to Dulwich to celebrate its publication. Tom talked about his work, answered questions, and signed copies of Dynasty.Thursday 24th September 2015 7:30pm
How to Train Your Dragon with Cressida Cowell
Cressida Cowell, the bestselling author and illustrator of the wildly popular series, How To Train Your Dragon (also a blockbuster film series), came to Dulwich to talk about the LAST book in the series, How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury.
Cressida was absoulely brilliant and hilarous. The audience, a mixture of families got top tips on becoming an author or illustrator, listened to the behind-the-scenes details about how the books became films, and learnt some Dragonese.Sunday 13th September 2015 3PM
An evening of Cooking & Conversation with Rick Stein
One of our favourite TV chefs came back to Dulwich for a sell out event with a memorable new food odyssey as he explores the flavours of the Eastern Mediterranean. His new book, From Venice to Istanbul, accompanies a major BBC TWO series and takes us on a mouth-watering journey from Venice through Greece, Croatia and Albania to Turkey and beyond.
Rick Stein is a vivacious and captivating speaker and this was an extremely entertaining evening as he demonstrated dishes from the book and answered questions from the audience.Thursday 3rd September 2015 7.30pm
A brilliant and fun evening was had with Tim Moore and Ned Boulting
Tim Moore, described by The Observer as “the world’s funniest travel writer”, celebrated the publication of The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold. Following the success of Geronimo and French Revolutions Tim has turned his attention to the Iron Curtain and sets off to cycle its 9000km route – on a tiny-wheeled, two-geared East German shopping bike. The resultant book is laugh-out-loud funny.
Tim was chatting with Ned Boulting, the well respected author and sports journalist, and even had his shopping bike with him! It was a highly entertaining evening, just for cyclists.
The event took place in The Great Hall at Alleyn’s, Townley Road, Dulwich SE22 8SU
Michael Palin - Author Event
Michael Palin is a scriptwriter, comedian, novelist, actor, playwright and television presenter. We were delighted to welcome him to Dulwich to celebrate the publication of Travelling to Work: Diaries 1988-1998 – the third volume of his widely acclaimed diaries. The book covers the years from 1988 when Michael embarked on Around the World in 80 Days, the first of his hugely successful travel series.
Image by John SwannellThursday 27th November 2014 7.30pm
Books are my Bag with Jo Brand
Books Are My Bag is a nationwide celebration of real bookshops – and now in its 2nd year we were thrilled that Jo Brand offered to step behind the till and help out. Jo was hilarous and incredibly generous with her time. Along with sharing her “Desert Island Books”, Jo served behind the till in her own inimitable style.Saturday 11th October 2014 3.30pm - 5.30pmVillage Books
Chris Riddell - Author Event
We were delighted to welcome Chris Riddell, author and illustrator of the fabulous Ottoline books to Dulwich. Chris came into the shop to celebrate his latest book: Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death, the second in the series.Thursday 2nd October 2014 3.30 - 5.30pmVillage Books
Conversation & Cooking with Yotam Ottolenghi
Yotam Ottolenghi came to Dulwich for an evening of conversation and cooking to celebrate publication of his new book. Plenty More picked up where Plenty left off with 120 more dazzling vegetable-based dishes, including Alfonso mango and curried chickpea salad, Candy beetroot with lentils, and even desserts such as Roasted rhubarb with sweet labneh.
He was fantastic and chatted away whilst chopping vegetables and was hugely popular with the audience. We had over a 50% conversion rate of book sales v audience numbers.Thursday 18th September 2014 7.30pm
Skulduggery Event with Derek Landy
Derek Landy returned to Dulwich for the ninth and shocking, heart-wrenching book in the jaw-droppingly stupendous Skulduggery Pleasant series!Friday 5th September 2014 6.30pmSt Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich
An Evening with Mary Berry
Village Books, Dulwich, in association with Alleyn’s School, were proud to present an evening with Mary Berry. The much-loved judge of the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off talked about and signed copies of her new book Mary Berry Cooks.Thursday 20th March 2014 7.30pmAlleyn's Great Hall