Dispensing with the (attempts at) witty chitchat this week and diving right in...
Monday: Still time to get tickets for the Last Tuesday Society’s Hendrick’s Cocktail Party tonight. And should you wonder what tenuous connection we’re trying to make between gin and literature (we won’t play the Snoop Dogg Gin and Juice card just yet), hang on there! It’s not so tenuous. On tap at tonight’s party, along with an abundance of Hendrick’s, is a discussion of writer Christopher Isherwood with his biographer Peter Parker (yes, we’re sure he’s heard the Spiderman jokes before). Decadence, gin, and literature? We think that perhaps even Snoop would approve. At Bistrotheque, cocktails from 6.30pm, talk begins at 7.30pm, £10 tickets (available here).
Tuesday: Julian Barnes is at the RSA tonight in a Blackwell’s-sponsored event to promote his newest book, Nothing to Be Frightened of (Doors open 6.30pm, talk starts at 7pm; free, but e-mail or stop by the store to reserve). Meanwhile, Housmans hosts a launch for Belinda Webb’s A Clockwork Apple. Set in a dystopian Manchester (no comment from the peanut gallery) overrun by marauding girl gangs, the book is being touted as an antithesis to chick lit and has been praised by none other than Will Self him-, uh, self (7pm, free).
Wednesday: Still glowing/gloating about the Boat Race win this weekend, Oxford grads? Want to hold onto that feeling forever? Relive the halcyon days this evening at Daunt Books with Justin Cartwright and William Boyd, as they discuss Cartwright’s new book, This Secret Garden: Oxford Revisited (7pm, £5). Or, if you’re having trouble with the hired help (we hate it when that happens), pop into the British Library for Mrs Woolf and the Servants, a talk with Alison Light, author of a book by the same name. Through her depictions in her diaries, Virginia Woolf’s troubled relationships with her domestic staff, including the infamous Nellie, have practically attained legendary status. Light explores not only Woolf’s perspective but also the history of domestic service during this era (6.30pm, £6 tickets, £4 concessions).
Also on tonight: Independent Middle Eastern correspondent Robert Fisk discussing The Age of the Warrior at the London Review Bookshop (7pm, £6); and author Charlotte Mendelson reading from and discussing When We Were Bad at the Hornsey Library (7.15pm, free).
Thursday: London’s libraries host a number of Get London Reading events this week. Tonight we like Antony Clayton at the Harlesden Library. The author of Decadent London, Subterranean City: Beneath the Streets of London , and London’s Coffee Houses will be discussing his forthcoming The Folklore of London. We think the man might be every bit as obsessed with this city as we are. 7pm, free.
Friday: Diran Adebayo won all kinds of accolades for his first novel, Some Kind of Black. The Ballad of Dizzy and Miss P is scheduled to appear next year, but you can get a sneak preview of it tonight at Brixton Central Library, in another Get London Reading-sponsored event. 7.30pm, free.
Know of an event that belongs in the Book Grocer listings? Please e-mail us at londonist-at-gmail-dot-com.