We start this week’s Book Grocer with a competition! Peter Ackroyd, whose London: The Biography is perhaps the definitive work on our fair city’s history, is starting on a massively ambitious six volume history of England. The first volume, Foundation (up to the death of Henry VII), is out tomorrow and he’s giving a talk at the Southbank Centre on Thursday 8th September at 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale at £15 / £12 but you can win a pair of tickets and a signed copy of the book; a runner-up will get a signed copy of the book.
Your details will not be kept, or used for purposes other than competition administration. Winners will be selected at random and announced in the comments section of this article at noon on Monday 5th September.
THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED
Back to normality… the week ahead in literary London
Thursday: Alan Clark heads to England’s Lane Books to read from and sign copies of Rory’s Boys, a recent Stonewall Book of the Month (7.30pm, £3).
John Bradshaw is all about dogs (and he is a dog expert) at Daunt in Cheapside (6.30pm, £5).
The Hornsey Historical Society celebrates 40 years at the Big Green Bookshop with their book of 120 19th and early 20th century photos of the area (7pm, free).
Lemn Sissay, Nia Davies, Nick Hunt, Richard Evans, Chris Rusbridge, Chris Beckett, Kirsten Irving, Jon Stone and Major & Blaguda appear at a Link Ethiopia fundraiser at the Phoenix Artists Club (7.30pm, £5 / £3).
Sue Johnston’s talking to Richard Wilson about her autobiography at Waterstone’s Piccadilly (7pm, £5).
Friday: Vintage Books set up a ‘village green’ outside Foyles on the Southbank to celebrate 21 years of their existence – and carries on all weekend.
Kat Francois hosts her Intimates Slam night at the Poetry Cafe (8pm, £5 / £3).
Icelandic poet Gerður Kristný appears at Waterstone’s Piccadilly with Poet in the City (6.30pm, £9.50).
Bag a floor spot at Poets Anonymous in Norwood (8pm).
Saturday: Bookstock 4 comes to the Yorkshire Grey pub, with Ross Raisin, Trilby Kent, Graham Pears, Anna Stothard, Patrick Gooch and Little Machine (7.30pm, £6 / £8).
Dreda Say Mitchell is signing copies of her latest novel Hit Girls at Waterstone’s Walthamstow from 12pm.
Kaye Lee, Louis Cennamo and Ruth Hanchett are the Salisbury House Poets (7.30pm, £3.50 / £2.50).
Sunday: Go to Camberwell for 9am to cheer on the Bikes for Books lot, cycling from Camberwell to Burwash in East Sussex for Book Aid International.
A more gentle form of exercise can be found on Hampstead Heath with Daunt‘s walking book club, this week discussing Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity (free, meet 11.30am).
Monday: A top line-up for The Book Stops Here – Ali Smith reads from her new novel There But For The, Tom Rachman reads from his debut novel The Imperfectionists and Jill Dawson reads from her tale of East End orphan-turned-thief, Lucky Bunny (7.30pm, free).
At Exiled Writers Ink! at the Poetry Cafe (7.30pm, £4 / £2), Bart Wolffe and Handsen Chikowore read the Zimbabwean play Two Men on a Bench, plus other guests.
Tuesday: Pauline Black is at the Big Green Bookshop reading from and talking about her 2-Tone memoir (7pm, free).
Granta considers the world ten years on from 9/11, with war reporter Janine di Giovanni and BBC Africa Editor Mary Harper – all at Foyles in Charing Cross Road (6.30pm, free but email events [at] granta.com to reserve a place).
Brian Aldiss is in conversation at the Idler Academy (7pm. £30 / £25).
At the Free Word Centre, Middle East specialist Trevor Mostyn, researcher and activist Aliasghar Ramazan Poor, Director of Small Media Foundation Mahmood Enayat and journalist and human rights activist Yousef Azizi Banitorof discuss Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel, banned in his native Iran (6.30pm, £5 / £3).
Niall O’Sullivan hosts the Poetry Unplugged open mic night at the Poetry Cafe (7.30pm, £4 / £3).
Naomi Foyle, Marcus Slease and open mic slots are there for your pleasure at the Coffee Shop near Liverpool Street (7.45pm, £1).
Follow @LondonistLit for our pick of that day’s literary events