Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas time.

Saturday December 20th. From 6pm until ..who knows.
By way of saying thanks for the incredible support you show us, we're having a right old Christmas knees up on Saturday evening.

We’d love you to join us.

Appearing on the night will be:
Tim “The Proprietor” West
Simon “The other Proprietor” Key
Also making a very special festive appearance..
There will also be big shiny discounts on all our books (but keep that quiet).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Galley Beggars Press & friends. Sunday November 16th.

Sunday November 16th from 4.30pm - 6.30pm
Galley Beggars Press & Friends - Paul Ewen, Jonathan Gibbs, Lee Rourke.
You know how much we like Galley Beggar’s Press don’t you?
Well this is what I wrote about them last year when I was organising our Literary Festival.
Since I wrote this, A Girl Is a Half Formed Thing has won every book prize going and Galley Beggar’s have continued to publish the most high quality, interesting and diverse books.   
So, we thought to ourselves, why not invite them back to the shop. And the good news is that they agreed.
We have (at least) three brilliant authors appearing on this very special late Sunday afternoon event.
Paul Ewen is author of the so funny it hurts novel Francis Plug; How to Be a Public Author
'A wonderful survey of the strange world of famous authors... Plug's exchanges with dozens of Booker-prizewinning authors are priceless. But the novel (really an ingenious hybrid of fact and surreal fantasy) takes on much extra resonance in the portrayal of Plug himself, an alcoholic chancer with a propensity for whisky-fuelled escapades.' - The Guardian

'Francis Plug is a brilliant, deranged new comic creation by the unknown writer Paul Ewen... Like all great comic creations he inspires deep sympathy, loyalty as well as laughter. As a portrait of literary life, it is as spot-on as George Gissing's New Grub Street... Francis Plug is the funniest book I ve read in years. I haven t laughed so much since Martin Amis's Money. I hope the hugely talented Ewen refuses all author talks, signings and festivals, and still sells half a million copies
.' Sunday Times
Jonathan Gibbs has written Randall, a brilliant reimagining of the 90s Brit Art scene.
'Gibbs has produced the sort of novel you pray for as a reviewer... Galley Beggar Press [have] had recent success with A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. Randall, I'd contend, is a better novel.’  Tibor Fischer in The Guardian

'Both absurd and eerily believable... Gibbs's novel is more than mischief: as with all the best lampoons, it dissects things that really matter and have gone awry... The characterisation is disarmingly sympathetic and the prose fluid and inventive, right up to the final, playful revelation.' The Telegraph
Lee Rourke’s latest powerful & dark novel, Vulgar Things was published earlier this year.
'A claustrophobic work that's ripe with alcohol and despair.’ Guardian
‘Sad, lost men looking for maps in the starry Essex sky, small-town strippers, absent mothers, angry brothers, planets photographed on smart phones, cider and a lot of rare steak – Rourke is on his way to becoming the J. G. Ballard of Southend-on-Sea.’ Deborah Levy.
We'll aslo be joined by Sam Jordison, co-owner of Galley Beggars Press.
There'll be readings, chat, fun, and refreshments and if you come along, there'll be an opportunity to get some Christmas Shopping done too as we'll be offering a very special deal to those of you who come along. 

An Illustrated Reading with Matilda Tristram. November 26th

Wednesday November 26th at 7.00pm-8.30pm
An Illustrated Reading with Matilda Tristram

Matilda Tristram was 17 weeks pregnant and looking forward to having her first baby when she discovered she had cancer.
Her touching graphic memoir, Probably Nothing, published by Penguin, starts when Matilda was diagnosed and ends when her chemotherapy finished in October last year. Recording the awkward conversations, the highs and lows of treatment, and the reality of still having to queue too long for croissants, Matilda captures her experiences with style and warmth. Along the way she cherishes the small details of life, and learns not to sweat the big things.
Her beautiful and boisterous son James was born without complications.
Matilda studied animation at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2008. She’s worked as a children's writer, lecturer and filmmaker. She was co-writer on two animated BBC TV shows for CBeebies with Ragdoll Productions, The Adventures of Abney and Teal and Dipdap (so parents have a LOT to thank her for!)
Please join us for this special evening with Matilda when she will read from her wonderful book.
Refreshments will be available.
Tickets are just £3, which is redeemable on the book.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Flat to Rent in Noel Park, Wood Green, N22

When my little boy Ollie was born, my family and I very quickly realised that living in a small but perfectly formed flat with 2 children was a huge struggle. 

So, we looked for something equally cheap and a bit bigger to move into. Sadly, because I co-own the Big Green Bookshop, the mortgage companies were unwilling to offer us a mortgage. Small businesses/big risk etc.So we decided to rent our flat out and to find a place to rent ourselves. Which is how we found Brookmans Park, the place where we opened our new shop, Tuffet's Serendipity eh?Anyway, one of the lovely tenants who is currently at our flat is moving out on November 20th, and I thought it might be a good idea to put something on our blog, in case there were any readers who were looking for a place to move to.
The other tenant, Robin, is a delightful fellow, who often helps us out at the bookshop. He doesn't really want to move out (because it's such a lovely flat, obviously), so we're both hoping to find a better solution 
Below are all the details, and if you do know anyone who may be interested, please get in touch. 

The shop's phone number is 020 8881 6767 and if i'm not there, someone will give you my mobile number. 
Thanks for this.

Salisbury Rd, Wood Green, London N22
First floor Victorian garden conversion, on quiet residential street, close to tube

My flat

Situated in the leafy and tranquil Noel Park conservation area. Recently redecorated throughout; newly carpeted. To see a floorplan of this property click here
Layout as follows:
Internal staircase from front door to landing and hallway.
Bedroom 1 (14'7 x 10'5 ft) spacious converted living room, unfurnished, with laminate floor. Two large double glazed windows to front aspect. Built-in wooden shelving either side of chimney-piece.
Living Room
Bedroom 2 (10'10 x 9'1 ft) double bedroom, laminate flooring, double-glazed window to rear aspect overlooking gardens.
Kitchen (12 x 9'5 ft at widest): modern, recently fitted kitchen on two sides, with low level units, and oiled hardwood counter-top. Double aspect to side and rear of building, double-glazed. Ceramic tiled floor and splash-back. Stainless-steel gas hob. Full-height fridge/freezer. Washing machine.
Bathroom (6 x 5'8 ft): recently fitted white bathroom suite, comprising bath with showerscreen, wall-mounted electric pump-assisted shower, pedestal basin, and close-coupled low-d flush w.c. Double-glazed. Ceramic tiled mosaic walls; ceramic tiled floor.
Roof terrace with external steps descending to charming (and low maintenance) decked patio-style back garden.

0.37 miles to Wood Green Piccadilly line Underground Station; close to Wood Green High Road's many shops, cinemas, and Shopping City.

Available unfurnished £437.50 pcm, subject to contract.

To see a street map showing this property's exact location, click here The Map will open in a new window in your browser, so just close it to get back to this page.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Story Cabaret: Story time for grown-ups

Do you want to listen to some lovely stories? (apparently you do)

The voters have spoken, the polls are closed, the results are in.

Story-telling for grown-ups pipped wine-tasting to the post, and so...

Join us on Friday November 14th at the Big Green Bookshop for the inaugural evening of storytelling for adults.

Enjoy brilliant stories told, sung, read and performed by inspiring storytellers in great company. AND there could be an Open-Mic spot.

Tickets are only £3.00 click here to buy.

And don't forget to bring your own refreshments

Your stories can be funny or sad, fact or fiction, long or short. They can be told, sung, recited or acted.

We welcome experienced performers and enthusiastic first-timers – everyone with a tale to tell.

If you’d like a slot at Story Cabaret, email with:
·         Your name and experience level (e.g. professional/ enthusiast/ newbie).
·         The title and subject of your story, with a 30 word summary.

We’ll be in touch to let you know if we can include you in this edition of Story Cabaret.

If you want more information on being a performer, or being in the audience just give a call on 020 8881 6767

Exciting isn't it?????

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Cake & Bake Show

In the middle of September, we were contacted by the organisers of the Cake and Bake Show, and asked to be the official bookshop at this year's Show in Earls Court. Tim and I had a quick chat and a look at the website and decided it was too good an opportunity to turn down. We had a couple of weeks to pull it all together, because the show was being held from October 3rd-5th.

The more information we got, the more we realised that it was quite a big deal. They were expecting 25,000 visitors and we would be the only bookseller there. We would be looking after all the celeb chef signings and we needed to bring down enough copies to meet the demand.

First things first then. How could we persuade publishers to let us have all this stock? Our credit limit with most of the big publishers just isn't enough to cover the cost of the numbers of books we needed, so Tim and I started asking nicely. Most publishers were great, although we did have to pay a bit of dosh to some of them.

Special thanks goes to Gardners and Bertrams, two big book wholesalers who both did a great job of getting the bulk of the stock to us.

Next. How would we get the books to Earls Court. We don't drive and there were around 100 boxes of books to take to the venue. Step in Marky Market. If you don't know who Marky is, he's a bit of a legend. Twice a week he wakes up at 2am and visits all the London meat markets, buys nothing but the best produce and then delivers this personally throughout London during the day to his customers. read more about him HERE  . Follow him on Twitter if you do that ( @MarkyMarket ).
Mark volunteered to take us down to Earls Court in a Zipvan, so bright and very early for me, I headed to the bookshop last Thursday and Mark, Tim and I filled the poor van to the very brim.

Once at Earls Court we unpacked, I bid Mark adieu and started unpacking the books. I had some help for a few hours, as Katie, my girlfriend came down at about 10am to lend a hand, and by about 5pm things looked lovely.
Mmm, books.
So, the following three days, with help from Carmel and Laura, we sold lots of books, looked after author signings and generally had lots of fun. 
The show was even busier than predicted, but i'm very pleased to say that I think we did a pretty good job. We had the right books, we kept the stall looking good despite being mobbed at times and I think the chefs liked us. 

I also saw this....
Embedded image permalink 

Well, it seems we did do OK, because yesterday, the organisers from the Cake International Show at Birmingham NEC, asked us to be the official bookshop there.
So in early November we'll be on our travels to the Midlands.

No doubt we'll be asking you for favours to enable us to make this possible, but we're so pleased that it all worked out so well last weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

James Patterson

Earlier this year, James Patterson announced that he was going to be donating £250,000 to independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland. James Patterson is a bestselling author whose books have now sold more than 300 million (well played James). The money was going to be given to shops who would use it on encouraging children to read and we had to pitch ideas. Grants between £250 and £5k we're being given out.

Obviously, Tim and I didn't want to miss out on the chance of free money, so we sent a proposal saying we wanted the money to allow us to invest more energy and time in our school visits over the next 6-12 months, with a plan to set up systems so that this could be sustained after the funding had been spent. There was a bit more detail than that, but that's essentially what we want to do.

Well, blow me down if we didn't get an email from Team Patterson yesterday telling us that our proposal had been accepted!
Simon & Tim celebrate.  (stock photo)
We asked for £5K (I mean, it would have been rude not to), and although we didn't get the full amount, we are pretty thrilled with what's been allocated to us.

As I wrote in the proposal.

  "These visits are some of the most rewarding events we put on, and I know that for many of the children, meeting an actual author is an experience that they don’t forget. These events bring reading to life for some of the kids and in many cases give them the encouragement they so desperately need to start reading books."
I really hope that we can get a few more children excited about reading and I want to thank James Patterson for giving us the opportunity to do so.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cake & Bake Show - Help Required

Last week, we were asked to be the Official Bookshop for The Cake & Bake Show in Earl's Court. 

We said "YES PLEASE".

There's going to be loads of famous and talented chefs there, baking and the like. A lot of them have books, which is jolly great, because hopefully we'll be able to sell them. 
We've been allocated a space roughly the size of the Big Green Bookshop to display our books (!) and so we want to make sure our pop up shop is as awesome as it can possibly be. 

In order to do this, we're going to have to invest some money (and time) into it. We're heading off this weekend to buy some new bookcases to set up at Earl's Court. We're also going to be buying pretty display things, bunting etc. 
Then we're going to be ordering a hod load of books.

We need some help with the next bit. 

Next Thursday (October 2nd), we'll need to get the books, bookcases and display material down to Earl's Court. We'll hire a van for this, but we need someone to drive it. We could hire a driver, but to be honest, we've just paid our rent, and also we have to pay all the publishers at the end of each month, so we're trying not to spend any more dosh than we have to. 

If you are free next Thursday, probably for the morning, and can drive a van and can help us out, that would be amazing. It would involve coming to the bookshop, loading up and driving down to Earl's Court. Once we've unloaded the van, you can take it back again. 

We may also need someone to help us work at Earl's Court, selling books, smiling, and generally representing The Big Green Bookshop in a positive way. 
if you're free to help out, give us a call or send an email. 

020 8881 six seven six seven
enquiries at biggreenbookshop dot com. 

Hope you can help. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Recent Reads

Thought I'd share my thoughts on a few books I've read recently.

Any Other Mouth by Anneliese Mackintosh

Published by Freight Books, this was recommended to me by a couple of people on Twitter. It's a stunning collection of short stories, which can be read individually or as a complete work. It's an incredibly brave book by Anneliese Mackintosh, as the stories are clearly based on her own personal experiences. Dealing with subjects like bereavement, sex, and difficult relationships, it is at the same time, hilarious, heartbreaking, thought provoking and brutally honest. It reminded me a little of Legend of a Suicide, as I found myself wondering whether it was written as a way for the author to exorcise their feelings. Please, if you get the chance read this book.

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

Another recommendation, this time from one of our customers, this is a coming of age story set in a Californian ranch.
Ten year old Jody is the central character in each the four stories in the book and in them we watch as he takes on and learns the responsibilities of adulthood. A cracking read. 

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

This has got lots of hype this year and has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. There are some lovely moments in the book and a very interesting twist, which I won't spoil. I enjoyed the voice of Rosemary, the narrator, who is now at college and looking back to her childhood, growing up with her twin sister and older brother. The story revolves around the time, when Rosemary was five and is sent away to her grandparents. When she returns, her sister Fern is no longer there.

OK, it's good, but it didn't quite convince me. I can understand why people are raving about it, but not me. 

He Wants by Alison Moore  

This is a book i'd been really looking forward to reading. Alison Moore is the author of The Lighthouse, which I reviewed (quite badly) HERE.

He Wants is the story of Lewis Sullivan, a retired teacher who has lived a life of routine and order. But this all begins to unravel when someone from his past turns up. Flicking back and forth through Lewis' life, the tension slowly builds and builds, as a series of events never allow the reader to know exactly where the story will go. 

There is nothing of Alison Moore's that I haven't loved. Her short stories are mini classics and the two novels  are an absolute masterclass in pacing 

Et Tu Babe by Mark Leyner

Ah, this is my favourite author, and it's the third time i've read this. Mark Leyner writes like nobody else. This is the follow up to his first novel, My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist, which was raved about when it first came out in the early 90s (i think).

This book is a parody biography of his life after the global success of "My Cousin...", where he lives a life of deluded megalomania, surrounded by Team Leyner, a group dedicated to ensure that his every whim is catered for. If you haven't read any Leyner, imagine a nonstop energy burst of spectacular stream of literary  consciousness. This is writing without a safety net. It's an outrageous carnival of imagination and I have no idea how he does it. 
I reviewed another of Mark's books The Sugar Frosted Nutsack HERE  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Owen Jones. October 15th.

Wednesday October 15th 7.00pm (please note change of date)
Owen Jones Discusses "The Establishment".

We're absolutely delighted to bring you another amazing event at the bookshop, when on October 15th we welcome Owen Jones.
Owen's a socialist, Guardian columnist and author of internationally bestselling book Chavs.
His new book, "The Establishment" has just been published. In it Owen offers a biting critique of the British Establishment and a passionate plea for democracy. Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City.
Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and the vested interests that bind them together, Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest threat to our democracy today - and it is time they were challenged.
Owen will be at the shop to present this argument, and to debate its implications.
Tickets for this are just £18.00 (which includes a copy of his book) or £5 (entrance only). Both Owen's books will be available on the night.
We hope you can make it, however if you are unable, you can pre-order signed copies of his book, which we'll post out after the event (free P+P in the UK)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Splinters. The Best Collection of Dark Fiction EVER

In November 2012 I (Simon) published a collection of short stories by Joseph D'Lacey. It is called Splinters.

This was my second foray into the murky world of publishing. My first was a book called London Tales by Greg Stekelman (which incidentally I have just unearthed 3 more copies, if anyone wants to buy it). 

Anyway, back to Splinters. 
For those of you who are interested, Joseph D'Lacey is an phenomenal author. In 2009 he won Best Newcomer at the British Fantasy Awards, after the publication of Meat, a deliciously dark slice of post apocalyptic horror.
This was followed by Garbage Man (landfill comes to life, bad things happen), Kill Crew (200 survivors, trapped together, from who knows what...), Blood Fugue (Eco thriller, visceral vampire horror), Snake Eyes (two novellas. One a total mind trip, the other a surreal giant monster tale with a twist) and most recently his stupendous two volume Black Dawn series, which if you haven't read, I thoroughly recommend. You will never look at a crow in the same way again. 

As you can probably tell, I am a huge fan of Joseph's writing. Which is why I asked him if I could publish his short stories. I'm delighted he agreed.
It's a collection of short stories that showcases Joseph's talents as a writer.
Here are some reviews;

Michael Wilson's review HERE 
Nathan Robinson's HERE 
and HERE is the review by BookCunt.

During September I am selling Splinters for just £4.49 (free P+P)

The reason I am doing this is because I really want you to read it. It needs to be read. So, if you like fiction, NO MATTER WHAT GENRE,  I urge you to give it a go. Joseph is a very special author.


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Judy Dyble. Live at the Big Green Bookshop

Friday October 17th – 7.30pm
Judy Dyble is an award winning singer songwriter, who was one of  the vocalists and founder members of the legendary band Fairport Convention. After Fairport and some early work with Giles Giles & Fripp, she became half of Trader Horne. More recently she's released two solo albums, to huge critical acclaim. I got to know Judy when I found out that she used to work in Wood Green Library! Isn't the internet amazing. She's been a big supporter of TBGBs since we decided to try and open the shop. Here's an interview I did with her in 2008.

Here's Fairport in 1968

I was also very lucky to see her perform at the 100 Club when her incredible album, Talking With Strangers was released. The intimate atmosphere of the club really highlighted Judy's amazing voice.

So, it is with immense pleasure that we can announce that on Friday October 17th, Judy will be performing LIVE at the even more intimate Big Green Bookshop, with Alistair Murphy and Jeremy Salmon.

I still can't believe it's actually going to happen!

Tickets for this are just £6 and available HERE. Be quick, because they will sell out very quickly.

Do NOT miss this (if you can help it).

Booker Prize

For the last 4 years, we have run a Booker Book Challenge.  

It worked like this. When the Shortlist was announced, we'd get in copies of the books and challenge our customers to read as many of they could before the winner was announced, about 5-6 weeks later. For a one off payment of £25, we became a lending library, where instead of forking out up to £80-£90 on the shortlist, people could borrow each of the books from the shop and at the end keep their favourite. 
We also offered 20% off all the books (unheard of!).

We'd then meet on the evening that the winner was announced and discuss each of the books, choosing our own winner, before watching the result live on TV.

It was really popular and we loved that so many people got involved.

The shortlist is being announced today, but we're not going to be running it this year. 
It doesn't make me happy to do this and it won't make a blind bit of difference to the Booker Prize organisers, but (and I've been banging on about this for a while now) there is still a book on the longlist, a longlist that was announced OVER A MONTH AGO, that isn't even published!

There are a number of issues about this that piss me off. Here's the main one. 

To be eligible to enter the Man Booker Prize novels must be published between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014 in the UK 

However, this is another one of the rules;
Publishers, I suspect knowing that the organisers would do nothing, ignored it completely. 
The organisers did nothing. 

How are bookshops expected to support and champion this prize, if our customers aren't given the opportunity to READ the books. Yes, I could have got in touch with the publishers and got advanced reading copies for myself to read, but that really isn't the point. 
Actually, it is the point. Because it seems to me that the Prize has little to do with the public. It seems to be becoming an inclusive, industry focused love in. 
This is an important year for the Man Booker Prize. They've changed the rules, so that now all English-language writers are eligible (don't get me started on this). So for the first year, I might not be able to read books by US authors too!

++ Update ++
The shortlist has just been announced and the six books on it are published. One was published last week and one was published 10 days ago. Both these titles broke the rules of the Booker Prize.
I hope that next year, the Booker Prize organisers ensure that the rules are adhered to, and act if publishers ignore them. Because until they don't, we won't be supporting the Prize.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Stocking Small Presses

It’s really hard for small presses or self published books to get into any bookshop. With so much stuff being published at the moment, it’s a real minefield for bookshops. This must be frustrating for the publishers and the authors too.

We get many emails and visits from authors asking us if we'd like to stock their books. Sometimes these visits work. Like when Jason from Guerilla Books came in with author Andrew Lambie and persuaded me to read Carnival of the Flesh. I did, I adored it and now we stock it and have sold around 30-40 copies at £20 each. 
This is amazing. Buy it.

But this is a rarity. We can't read every book that's shown to us.

But, we want to support small presses and self published authors, so we’re going to try and give you an opportunity to have your books, face out at the front of our bookshop. But you’re going to really have to believe that your books will sell...

Here is the usual journey of a new book to our bookshop;
  • ·         We like the look/sound of a book
  • ·         We order it from the publishers
  • ·         It arrives with an invoice, which we have to pay in 30 days.
  • ·         We get the books at a discounted price, so for example we will buy a £7.99 paperback for about a fiver
  • ·         The book sells and we make about £3
  • ·         We reorder it

The best chance we have of selling a book is by displaying it at the front of the store, on a table, or by writing a review or by telling our customers that it is a brilliant book.
This is how we propose to give small presses the opportunity to get their books on the shelves.
  • ·         You get in touch with us and tell us a maximum of 3 titles you want us to stock (they MUST be fiction)
  • ·         Once we agree, you pay us £1.50 per book per month (between 3 and 6 copies per title) to display in the shop.
  • ·         We will then put your books in our dedicated “Small Presses” bookcase at the front of the shop.
  • ·         The book sells for £7.99 (for example).
  • ·         We give you £7.99

So, essentially, you will be paying as little as £4.50 per month to have your book displayed in the shop. That’s a very small price to pay, but the potential rewards are very good. You will have the opportunity to write a review of the book, which we will stick on the shelf by the book. You can also tell all your friends that the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green stocks your book, so they can come and buy it. If you sell all the books within a month, you can put some more there for a quid each.

So, if you really think your book is good enough to sell, get in touch and persuade us to put it in the “Small Presses” bookcase. Obviously, if it sells loads, we’ll stock it permanently.

The bookcase will be launched at the beginning of October, so if you want to there at the very beginning, now’s your chance.  

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

It's David Quantick!

Thursday November 6th - 6.30pm-8.00pm
What? Do you need any more persuading to come to the Big Green Bookshop?
David Quantick will be here, isn’t that enough for you?
Writer, critic, journalist and all round legend, David will be here to read from, discuss and answer questions about his new book “How To Write Everything”. There are few people more qualified to have penned this.
David really has written everything. As a television writer, he has written for The Thick Of It, The Day Today, Brass Eye, TV Burp and many other shows. He is also an award-winning writer on HBO's Veep and wrote the critically-praised Sky Arts Playhouse, Snodgrass. As a radio writer, he created Radio 4's One and Radio 2's The Blagger's Guide. His novel Sparks (described as 'excellent'; by Neil Gaiman) is a brilliant sci-fi comedy and his graphic series Louis Wain (created with Savage Pencil) was published in Alan Moore's Dodgem Logic.
As well as a series of music books and the official biography of Eddie Izzard, David wrote the Sunday Times best-seller Grumpy Old Men and has written for over 50 magazines and newspapers, from The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph to NME and Q. With Jane Bussmann, he created the world's first internet sitcom, The Junkies, and he is also the writer of several short films, including the highly-acclaimed Lot 13.
Tickets are just three quid and David will be happy to sign copies of the book, which will be available at the Big Green Bookshop on the night at just £9.99.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch

Friday September 12th – 7.00pm – 8.30pm
Nick Davies – Hack Attack
At first, it seemed like a small story. The royal editor of the News of the World was caught listening to the voicemail messages of staff at BuckinghamPalace. In 2007 he and a private investigator were sentenced to prison and the case was closed. But Nick Davies felt sure there was more to it and began his painstaking investigation which ultimately exposed a world of crime and cover-up, of fear and favour - reaching all the way to the top.
This book is the definitive, inside story of one of the major scandals of our age. Drawing on exclusive interviews with private investigators, journalists, politicians, police officers and Murdoch executives, it blows the lid off FleetStreet, Scotland Yard - and Downing Street. It tells for the first time how Davies and a network of rebel lawyers, MPs and celebrities took on Rupert Murdoch, one of the most powerful men in the world. It takes us into the newsroom of the News of the World and exposes the bullying and law-breaking that went on there, and into the underworld of the private investigators who hacked phones, listened to live calls and bribed the police. Above all, this book paints an intimate portrait of the power elite which gave Murdoch privileged access to government, and allowed him and his people to intimidate anyone who stood up to them.
We're delighted that Nick will be at the Bookshop to talk about his experiences.
Hack Attack is a nail-biting account of an investigative journalist's quest, and is a shining example of the might of good journalism. It tells the story of what happened when truth caught up with power.
There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and Nick will be happy to sign copies of the book.
Tickets are just £5, redeemable on the book.
Please book early

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Groups, Clubs, Socials

We – at the Big Green Bookshop – do groups.

And by "DO" I mean we love groups, we encourage groups, and we like to think that we nurture groups. In short(ish) we dig groups, societies, socials, friends of, bands, crowds, committees, sub-committees, boards, clubs, bodies or quangos. Call 'em what you will, we love 'em.

 We already have a busy schedule, but we find ourselves with an evening or two to spare, so we thought we'd let you decide what type of group we should run.

Here is a list of suggestions (some made by customers) for you to vote for. Or you can suggest one of your very own.

(If you want to suggest a group you can email, or tweet @biggreenbooks, or call 020 8881 6767, or come into the shop for a chat.) 

  • Storytime for Adults
We will invite people to tell their stories, read their poems or sing their songs that have a narrative. It must tell a story or it won't make the cut. The performers can be professional or amateur so long as they have a tale to tell. The stories can be funny or sad, fact or fiction, long or short. AND there could be an Open-Mic spot.
This would be the type of event where we would like both story-tellers and an audience.
We would operate this is a similar way to the Comedy Nights, where we charge an entry fee and the performers take a cut. This suggestion was made by a customer.

  • Screen or Script Writing Group
It may simply be coincidence, but recently I have met a number of people who are working on scripts 'n' screenplays, and it occurred to me that they need as much support as any other writers.
Our writing group recently grew so popular that we had to split it into two, but there's nothing for the dedicated playwriter.
If this proves to be the choice of the people then we would contact the lovely folk at Mountview Theatre School to encourage their students to attend to table-read the offerings.
Like the writing group this would involve a £3.00 sub

  • Wine Tasting
Surprisingly this is Simon's idea. I suppose that's because there's already a lot of wine tasting (and swallowing) at events that I host. (this is Tim writing this by the way. If you don't know who I am (maybe you're a fan of the shop from Twitter, or Facebook or some other digital-e-based thingy all of which Simon is king) well, I am the other one. After a few glasses of wine I is the better looking one….
This group may seem self explanatory, but I should add that it would not be one of us leading the group. We would find a local expert (maybe from a nice independent off-licence) to chair the meetings.
Also, as we have forged some links to local brewers, it wouldn't just be wine we'd be tasting.
There would have to be a charge to cover the cost of the wine.

  • Book Swap with Food to Share

But you already do a book swap, don't you? Well yes, but the emphasis is always on visiting authors. This book swap would be much more relaxed, and more about meeting new people and recommending books to them over shared food & drink. We would have visiting authors, but not every time. 
This would be a free event (so long as everybody brings something for the table)

  • Women's Institute Style Talks
We would invite local businesspersons, journalists, minor celebs, people in the news, maybe a local Politian or two to come and tell us their tales. and answer questions.
We wouldn't advertise who was coming in advance so every month would be a surprise.
There would be a £3.00 sub for this event, and we would encourage people to bring food & drink to share.

  • News or Philosophy group
Come together to discuss the news of the day, or the big questions facing the modern philosopher. Sometimes you just want to let off steam about the injustices in the world, or to share a page 20 good news story that most people won't have seen. Sometimes just asking a question out loud provides you with the answer. This would be an opportunity to meet new people and listen to their opinions. This group was suggested by a customer

  • Senseless Argument Group
Also suggested by a customer….
Pick a pointless subject (Why should adding ridges to a crisp make it taste better?) add in some alcohol and go…
Incidentally, have dustbin men actually got louder now that the old tin dustbins are no more?

And lastly

  • Singles Book Swap Group
It's tricky to meet new people with a view to dating. What do you talk about? Well this could be a chance to meet that special someone.
Bring a book to recommend and swap, maybe some food or drink to share. 
Could literary compatibility lead to anything more?
This group was suggested by a customer

Check out this list first. We may already run the perfect group for you.

You will find below all the events that happen every month, regular as clockwork.

Monday 10.00am – 11.00am
Storytime & Songs for under 5s
Come and enjoy some books and join in with the singing. Suitable for newborns to 5 year olds. A great opportunity to meet other local parents. There's tea & coffee for the parents and a flapjack for the kids.
And it's FREE (although donations are gratefully accepted)

Monday 7.00pm
Monday Evening Reading Group 
We're always looking for more people to come along to our Reading Groups.
This one usually meets on the LAST MONDAY of each month,
There are drinks and snacks at the shop, but you're more than welcome to bring something to share.

Monday 7.00pm
Songwriting Salon 
Stuck for a rhyme? Stuck for a tune? Or have a song that you want to test drive before you play it live at the O2? Try it out with a friendly group of amateur musicians/songwriters
We meet on the SECOND MONDAY of every month.
Bring along some refreshments to share.
This group was suggested by a customer.

Tuesday 7.00pm
Tuesday Evening Reading Group 
We're always looking for more people to come along to our Reading Groups.
This one usually meets on the SECOND TUESDAY of each month,
There are drinks and snacks at the shop, but you're more than welcome to bring something to share.

Tuesday 7.00pm
Music Jam – Campfire Night
A few of our customers (like me (Tim)) play instruments, but the only chance they get to play them is in the privacy of their own homes.
We thought it might be a good idea to invite them to come along, bring an instrument (we can't fit a piano through the front door), relax and have fun with like minded musicians at the bookshop.
It's open to everyone whatever age and level you're at and who knows, this time next year you could be playing in front of thousands of screaming fans at Wembley Arena
We meet on the FIRST TUESDAY of each month.
We call this the Campfire Night because it's like sitting round a campfire sharing songs.
Bring along some refreshments to share.
This group was suggested by a customer.

Wednesday 7.00pm
Writers Group
Do you write short stories or novels?  Are you interested in joining a writers group? Do you have £3 spare?
So many questions....
But if the answer to these is yes, or even maybe, then why not come along to this group,
There are now two groups which run on alternate Wednesdays.
Writing Support Group. The ideal opportunity to test out your work and get feedback from a friendly group of fellow authors.
Critique Group. For those who have finished – or nearly – finished their work, this is a chance to fine tune it. There are also in-depth discussions on how to get your work published.
Both groups have only two rules.
 Rule 1 - Leave your ego at the door. Nobody's work is above constructive criticism.
 Rule 2 - Remember you're dealing with people's personal work, thoughts and words. Be constructive, not dismissive.
We know there are many of you out there who are really keen to write and this maybe something that'll help. You can come as little of as often as you like, to as many groups as you like, but if you think it may help, then why not come along.
Contact the shop to check dates.
Both groups are £3 per session, which will cover refreshments and the cost of the venue.
This group was suggested by a customer

Thursday 7.00pm
Short Story Reading Group 
We're always looking for more people to come along to our Reading Groups.
This one usually meets on the LAST THURSDAY of each month, and is dedicated to reading short stories.
There are drinks and snacks at the shop, but you're more than welcome to bring something to share.
This group was suggested by a customer.

Thursday 7.00pm
Gardeners' Questions
Is everything in your garden rosy? Or are weeds kicking sand in your face? (Metaphorically)
Either way this could be the group for you. Come and sow your knowledge, or gain a bit of home grown wisdom from other members of the group.
Subjects ranging from organic gardening to foraging will be discussed over the next few months.
This group meets on the THIRD THURSDAY of the month; check in the shop for further details.
This group was suggested by a customer

Friday 10.00am – 11.00am
Storytime & Songs for under 5s
Come and enjoy some books and join in with the singing. Suitable for newborns to 5 year olds. A great opportunity to meet other local parents. There's tea & coffee for the parents and a flapjack for the kids.
And it's FREE (although donations are gratefully accepted)

Friday 8.00pm
Working Title Comedy Night
On the LAST FRIDAY of each month. Our Monthly Stand-Up Comedy night. It's now become an established venue on the London comedy circuit. Each month we have some great stand-ups. There's a mixture of highly regarded newcomers, award winning comics as well as television and festival favourites. There are usually 4 or 5 great acts and an open mic session, all wonderfully compered by your host for the night, Chris Brosnahan (Described by The Sun as "a Comedian")
Bring your own refreshments, sit back and enjoy a great night at the bookshop.
Check the Events & Diary page for full details

Sunday 1.00pm-4.00pm
Knitting Club
It's the FIRST SUNDAY of the month, so it must be Knitting Club. It's simple.
Turn up, knit, chat, knit some more, eat biscuits and drink tea.
Everyone is welcome, even crochetters.

Sunday 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Boardgames Day
It's the LAST SUNDAY of the month, so it must be board games day at the Big Green Bookshop. You'll have the chance to relive some of your childhood classics like Monopoly but also try some of the new generation of games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Labyrinth. These are fun, pacey, challenging games that don't drag on endlessly until you've lost the will to live.
Come along to the bookshop anytime throughout the afternoon, choose a game and spend a pleasant afternoon in the lovely surroundings of the bookshop trying to build your railway network, build your medieval empire or create a new civilisation. We'll provide coffee and tea, but bring along snacks to keep your mind focussed on destroying your opponents. Come along with friends or by yourself, we'll sure that there'll be a game you can join in with. If you want to bring along your own game then that's fine (especially if it's Escape From Colditz, I haven't played that for years) or if you want us to get a particular boardgame then just let us know and we'll do our best to get it (not Twister!).
There's even a Facebook Group called BOARD TO DEATH.....

This is a FREE club and we hope you tell all your friends about it.
This group was suggested by a customer

You can see how many of our groups have come from our lovely customers. We really do listen.