It’s November already! A great time of the year for reading, with plenty of new exciting reads to keep you going. As always, we have some fantastic events lined up for you and your family as we all move towards the end of 2019. In this week’s blog, we look at our Booka events lined up for the next few weeks, and some not-to-be-missed books for November.
Booka Book of the Month
Stillicide by Cynan Jones. Water may well become the defining issue of the 21st century. There’s either too much of it, or not enough. The future of Britain painted by Jones in this compelling selection of short stories is one where water can no longer be taken for granted. Dystopian, yet as with all great dystopian works, quite plausible, each story focuses on the people having to navigate this increasingly waterless Britain. The city is served by The Water Train, at daily risk of attack. Protestors line the streets when the construction of a gigantic Ice Dock threatens to displace many. In this looming backdrop, characters emerge, a boy following a stray dog, a dying woman, a nurse on the brink of infidelity, and a marksman with a terrible choice to make. As the stories unfold, their paths converge in an important, beautiful and surprisingly hopeful narrative.
Booka is delighted to be welcoming Cynan Jones, the author of our book of the month, on the 6th of November, for an evening with us in Oswestry. Born and raised in Wales, Jones has spoken of the importance of the natural world in his writing. Winner of the prestigious BBC Short Story Award in 2017 for The Edge of the Shoal, he is also the author of five short novels: The Long Dry; Everything I found on the Beach; Bird, Blood, Snow; and Cove. Stillicide was performed on BBC Radio 4 to great acclaim, and you now have the chance to hear readings from the man himself. There are still some tickets available here for what is sure to be a fascinating evening. Come and join us!
Booka Book of the Month for Children
We always have a children’s book of the month too! This November’s choice has a winter theme: Snow Dragon written by Abi Elphinstone and with outstanding illustration from Fiona Woodcock. As soon as you see the front cover, you’ll want to explore inside. Phoebe and her sausage dog Herb live in Griselda Bone’s bleak orphanage, and Christmas has been cancelled. But just when life seems at its gloomiest, the chance of a life-changing adventure through the snowy night calls. Suitable for 6+ this magical winter tale will delight children and adults alike. Our beautiful hard-back copies are signed by the author and illustrator and come with a special Snow Dragon print. Take a look here and see the beautiful cover art for yourself.
Sold out, Sold out!
We have two events this month that have completely sold out, so well done if you managed to get tickets! One of Britain’s best-loved chefs, who has been entertaining and educating viewers for over thirty years, Rick Stein, will be welcomed back into Oswestry on the 7th of November. As companion to a major new 6-part BBC series, which sees the chef meander through the rural pathways of France from Normandy to Provence, Rural France showcases 120 best recipes, including chicken stuffed with mushrooms and Compte cheese, grilled bream, duck liver parfait, and a wonderful raspberry tart. From his first appearance on the BBC in 1985, and over 40 televised appearances since, Rick has amassed a devoted following and its easy to see why. If you are intimidated by the thought of cooking French food, don’t be! Rick Stein makes it easy and great fun.
In our other sell-out event, fresh from a world-class performance at the 2019 Rugby World Cup Eddie Jones, current England coach, joins us on the 19th of November for what is sure to be a memorable evening. In his explosive new autobiography, My Life in Rugby, he explores the challenges of his childhood, growing up in a working-class area of Sydney, his meteoric rise to become one of the most sought-after coaches of the sport, and the disappointments that shaped him along the way. Eddie’s career has now spanned four World Cups, and he has led some of the greatest teams in the game to the finals: Japan, South Africa and of course England. Honest and painful, told with humour and great personal insight, My Life in Rugby is a must for any rugby lover, as well as those who enjoy a story of human triumph against all odds. Sad you missed out on these two? You can still order signed copies of both Eddie Jones and Rick Stein here and here, both of which would make a budding chef or sports enthusiast very happy.
Memoirs and Poetry
For our last event in November (at time of writing!), we are thrilled to welcome Lemn Sissay to Booka on the 20th November. Winner of the PEN Pinter prize and holding an MBE, he is a much-loved poet and performer. Lemn’s latest publication, My Name is Why is his fascinating memoir of a childhood steeped in uncertainty and transience. Having spent years in foster care, he discovered, at the age of 17, not only his real name – Lemn Sissay, not Norman Greenwood, but also the name of his mother and his Ethiopian heritage. After a childhood spent asking questions, My Name is Why charts Lemn’s experiences in the British care system, the power of home, and the importance of creativity in finding a voice. Lemn is an experienced performer and our evening in his company is certain to be memorable. Tickets are still available here and signed copies are available to order here.
Christmas is Coming
Another date for your calendars is our much-anticipated Christmas Shopping Event taking place on Wednesday the 13th of November. If you haven’t been to one before you are in for a treat. Alongside other shops in Oswestry, we have a special late-night opening, to make your early Christmas shopping less of a chore and more of an event. Doors open are open from 6.30 to 9pm and there is 20% off all purchases. To help you shop in style there will be fizz and other festive treats for you to enjoy. Please join us and bring your friends for this festive experience and make an easy start on your Christmas Shopping. As always, you can find out about all our upcoming events by subscribing here. You are always welcome, whether it is for an event, a shopping trip, or meeting friends for a coffee. Hope to see you in Booka this November!