Gift-giving season is grand (books in the book grocer’s stocking [if the grinch banker doesn't steal Christmas]), but when it comes to unadulterated bibliophilia, it’s autumn that sets our hearts aflutter. With literature festivals ongoing all over the country and a rapid rollout of the heavy hitter awards (the Forward, Nobel and Booker prizes, all in less than a week), there’s plenty to keep us nourished for the duvet days of winter.
Booker Tuesday: Did you bound out of bed this morning breathless with excitement in anticipation of sitting at your computer and continuously refreshing the Man Booker website all day? Just us then? The winner won’t be announced until this evening – so hold your horses and head on over to the London Review Bookshop for a discussion of Mohamed Choukri’s In Tangier, a recollection of Choukri’s experiences in 1970s Tangier and his interactions with the many members of the Western counterculture who sought refuge there (7pm, £6).
Wednesday: East London playwright and writer Bernard Kops is at Housmans to celebrate Five Leaves’ reissue of his autobiography, The World Is a Wedding. Kops will be reading from his poetry and fiction as well as from his memoirs (7pm, free). Also on: A launch party for the autumn issue of the lovely Poetry London, at Foyles (6.30pm, free).
Thursday: Poets’ night out: if it’s an open mic you seek, pop in to Whitechapel Gallery for an event hosted by the brilliant Apples and Snakes (7pm, free). If instead you prefer to know who’ll be controlling the mic, stop in at Foyles, to be introduced to Laura Dockrill (aka Dockers MC), whom the Times earlier this year named one of its top ten literary stars of 2008 (6pm, free).
Also on: Attention hardcore Joyceans: The London Finnegans Wake Reading Group meets tonight at the Barbican for a group reading of the first chapter of
Girls Aloud's Dreams That Glitter Finnegans Wake, followed by a discussion of – wait for it – the book’s place in the tradition of Menippean satire. And whilst your book grocer prides herself on also being a book geek, she just had to Wikipedia the hell out of that term.
Saturday: The World Poets’ Tour, featuring poets from Cape Verde, Kurdistan, Pakistan, Somaliland, Sudan and Tajikistan, makes a stop at the British Library (three different events, starting at 3.45pm, 5.30pm and 7pm; tickets ranging from £3 to £10 depending on number of events attended). Sponsored by the Poetry Translation Centre, the poets will be reading from their work alongside their translators (many of whom are themselves quite well-known poets – Sean O’Brien, for example).
Also on: EAR Present at the Southbank Centre (7.45pm, free). We introduced you to Yemisi Blake, one of the Southbank Centre’s Emerging Artists in Residence, last week; now we’re encouraging you to go check him and the rest of the EAR crew out!
Planning ahead: We’d wager that Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison is going to draw a crowd when she comes to the Southbank Centre on 28 October (7.30pm, £12). Best to book now if that’s one you want to attend. Another upcoming festival worthy of your consideration: Poetry International 2008, also at the Southbank Centre, running from 24 October to 1 November.