2007 is quickly slipping away, and with it the few remaining book events for the year. As most of us are busy buying books for the bibliophiles on our shopping lists rather than reading or going to signings this week, we thought we’d present you with an alternative Book Grocer today. For those of you already finished with your shopping (you overachievers you), the traditional listings follow. If, like Londonist, you go for the adrenaline rush of a frenetic marathon shopping excursion two days before Christmas, jump to the bottom for a summary of some of the best places to experience the frenzy.
Ongoing: The Hans Christian Andersen Living Book Exhibition, at Westminster Reference Library (until 2 February), includes a giant popup book. A giant popup book, we repeat! What could be better at this hectic time of year than retreating into the storybook pages of the author who brought us The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, and The Princess and the Pea? Free mulled wine, you say? Keep reading.
Tuesday: Cranky and argumentative after being jostled by all those other Oxford Street shoppers? Bit of a nut for the history of the monarchy? Get thee to the Gower Street Waterstone’s to listen to authors Jessie Childs, Sarah Gristwood, and Alice Hogge argue their cases for the greatest British monarch, with the chance to cast your own vote. Free, 6.30–8.00pm, tickets available in store.
Wednesday: Jenny Graham at the National Gallery, giving a lecture entitled Inventing Van Eyck: The Remaking of an Artist for the Modern Age, and signing her recent book by the same name. 6.30–7.30pm, £5, £3 concessions.
Thursday: Fancy yourself as an amateur poet? RADA hosts the Farrago festival of spoken word showcase and slam tonight, 7.30pm. £6, £5 concessions.
Saturday: Duncan McNair at Brent Cross Borders, signing copies of The Morello Letters, his fictional collection of letters from an Italian immigrant in Ealing to a wide range of British public figures, revealing many quirky, humorous, and baffling truths about life in the UK today. 1.00pm, free (also appearing at noon on 23 December and 1.00pm on 24 December).
Using every last available minute to finish up your holiday shopping? Head to the following shops for the book lovers on your list and discover special discounts and tasty incentives on these special shopping nights:
Tuesday through Friday: Late-night shopping at Foyles Charing Cross. The store stays open until 10pm and will be offering free mulled wine and mince pies. Also “exquisite” gift wrapping.
Wednesday: The London Review Bookshop offers a 10 percent discount, mulled wine, and mince pies during its special evening shopping event from 6.30 to 8.30pm. We especially like LRB’s 15-question online questionnaire to help you select a book for that, erm, discriminating relative or mate on your shopping list. But as the LRB staff ask that you allow 3 days for a response, you better act fast to take advantage of this tool.
Thursday: From 6 to 9pm, Stanfords will be offering 20 percent off most merchandise and – can you guess? – yes, free mulled wine and mince pies. There does seem to be a theme here, doesn’t there?
Happy reading and/or shopping!
Pic courtesy pineapplebun’s Flickr photostream