The Book Grocer

By Julie PH Last edited 126 months ago
The Book Grocer
Year of Magical Thinking

Is it just your imagination, or is Londonist going all literary on you for the second time today? No, it’s true: we’re just that geeky. But if the Bard’s birthday bash doesn’t have you all hot and bothered this week (speaketh it softly, or surrender thine literati creds), here are a few alternatives to keep you otherwise engaged.

Tuesday: If you haven’t booked already, there are still a few seats left to hear Isabel Allende read from her new memoir, The Sum of Our Days, at the Southbank Centre tonight. Initial reviews of the book suggest that Allende fans will not be disappointed by the masterful story-telling in her latest. 7.30pm, £12, 50 percent off concessions.

Wednesday: Housmans hosts Feminist publishing – past, present, and future, a panel-led discussion of “where feminist publications have been and where they’re going”. If you feel that feminist publications are underrepresented at your local bookstore, get on over to Housmans, as they’ll also be soliciting suggestions to expand their own selection of gender-focused lit. 7pm, free.

Also on tonight: Stephen Inwood, signing and discussing his new book, Historic London: An Explorer’s Companion at the Oxford Street Borders (7pm, free). We know you love London, and you know we love our guided walks. Inwood, bless 'im, may trod familiar ground (heh), but we’re always willing to go for a stroll to check out the view of our fair city through someone else’s eyes. And then take Stephen Inwood’s Historic London Quizwalk. Huzzah!

Image courtesy of mrittenhouses’s Flickr photostream

Thursday: This just looks like good plain fun: Poetry collective Aisle16, made up of Chris Hicks, Joel Stickley, Ross Sutherland, and Luke Wright, perform from their 2006 poetry travelogue, Aisle16’s Services to Poetry, at Homework, a new literary cabaret hosted at the Horse and Groom. Want a taste of what Aisle16 is all about? Check out this film documenting, in honour of the John Betjeman centenary celebrations, their epic quest to tour and write poetry about . . . motorway service stations? But we’ll warn you now: it’s easy to get sucked in to the mesmerising spoken word skills of these four, so unless you have an hour of your workday to spare (in which case, please send details of how we can get paid to work where you work), we suggest heading over to Shoreditch Thursday night to check them out in person. 8pm, £3.

Friday: Tickets for the first month of performances of The Year of Magical Thinking’s UK premiere seem to have sold out faster than you could say “Year of Magical Thinking”. But you still have the chance to hear Joan Didion discuss her memoir at the National Theatre tonight. Pretend along with us that you’re just a purist who refuses to see the stage adaptation because it can’t possibly be as good as the original book. Especially when the original is as emotionally wrenching and gorgeously written as this, Didion’s exploration of the deaths of those dearest to her. 6pm, £3.50/£2.50 concessions.

Sunday: Beer + poetry = Book Grocer heaven. What’s not to like about this combination? If the poetry’s bad, there’s always beer to fall back on; if the beer’s bad, there’s always poetry. And if both are good, it’s a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. As this is in Londonist’s (continually migrating) backyard, we’ll definitely be checking out the Sunday Shack, a poetry reading and open mic event at the Yorkshire Grey in Holborn. 1.30pm, £4/£3 concessions.

Know of an event that belongs in the Book Grocer listings? Please e-mail us at londonist-at-gmail-dot-com.

Last Updated 21 April 2008