A basket full of groceries tempts the book-loving Londoner this week, so let's cut to the chase:Monday: Lots going on this evening. Tickets are still available for a heavyweight foreign affairs chinwag at the Southbank Centre. Longtime Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, award-winning reporter Christina Lamb and novelist (and occasional Martin Amis basher) Ronan Bennett discuss contemporary reportage and non-fiction at the opening event of the Centre's Writing From The Frontline series. Tickets are £12. 7.30pm.
Alternatively, dash over to Daunt Books in Marylebone for a talk by Misha Glennie, author of McMafia, a frank look at modern organized crime and "a fascinating and chilling portrait of globalisation’s dark side". He'll be in conversation with The Guardian's own Jonathan Freedland. Tickets are £5, and the event begins at 7pm.Also tonight: Following on from Flat Earth News, another book that seeks to examine the mores of contemporary news journalism is Gordon Burn's Born Yesterday: The News as a Novel. He will be discussing the "collapsing barrier between what is real and what is invented" with another Guardian writer, Duncan Campbell, at the ICA at 7pm sharp. Tickets £10 or £9 concessions.Tuesday: For a sobering account of contemporary politics, head over to Paddington's Frontline Club where Edward Lucas will be discussing his book The New Cold War. A correspondent in central and eastern Europe for over two decades, Lucas' tome considers Russia's resurgence under Vladimir Putin and what this means for the ever-fraught relationship between Moscow and the West. (7.30pm, tickets £7).Wednesday: The Women's Library at London Metropolitan University will introduce two books on key figures from the 19th century. Elizabeth Nussbaum's Dear Miss Baird recreates a portrait of Victorian London from the letters and manuscripts of her ancestors, while John Barham's Alice Greene: Teacher and Campaigner covers the eponymous individual who campaigned against the Boer War in South Africa. The event begins at 6pm and is free, but you should reserve a place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.Thursday: Two intriguing events on the Middle East to choose from this evening. Olivier Roy, author of The Failure Of Political Islam, launches his new book at 7.30pm the Institute Francais. Tickets are £5. For a less cerebral, more on-the-ground account from the region, Oliver Poole will be at Broadway Books in Hackney from 6.30pm to read from his new book, The Red Zone, on his time as a reporter in Iraq for the Telegraph. Tickets are £3 including a glass of wine.
Alternatively, a more literary take on one of the world's troublespots can be found at Blackwell's in Charing Cross, where Afghaninstan-born novelist Khaled Hosseini will be talking about his bestselling book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Tickets are £8.Friday: PEN International's globe-scouring Free The Word festival kicks off at the Southbank Centre with Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o and aboriginal Australian Alexis Wright discussing indigenous rights and the idea of a place called home. Tickets are £10.Sunday: Salman Rushdie's new novel The Enchantress of Florence has been getting mixed reviews, but he's likely to receive a warm welcome at the Southbank centre. Rushdie is in conversation with PEN International president Lisa Appignanesi, where the subject will be female protagonists and the role of the imagination in fiction. Tickets are £12.
Know of an event that belongs in the Book Grocer listings? Please e-mail us at londonist-at-gmail-dot-com.
Image of the St. Basils on Red Square from Victor Nuno's Flickrstream