Our forthcoming events are listed below. We would love to see you here, but seating is very limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.
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Tuesday 20th September 2016, 7pm (£25 including book / £10 ticket only / £5 concessions)
More Information and Booking


To join this book club, please email

Wednesday 7th September 2016, 10.30am – DAYLIGHT BOOK CLUB: DELTA WEDDING
To join this book club, please email

Wednesday 21st September 2016, 10.15am – JUKE BOOKS
To take part in Juke Books, please email


Tuesday 28th June
HISHAM MATAR discussed The Return with WILLIAM FIENNES

Tuesday 21st June
ANITA BROOKNER: A panel discussion
Chaired by Juliet Annan, with Carmen Callil, Rachel Cooke and Tessa Hadley

Thursday 9th June 2016
EMMA CLINE discussed The Girls with Alexandra Heminsley

Tuesday 24th May 2016
PHILIPPE SANDS discussed East West Street with KATE FIGES

Tuesday 17th May 2016
JOHN PRESTON discussed A Very English Scandal with ROLAND PHILLIPS

Tuesday 19th April 2016

Tuesday 16th February 2016
ELIZABETH STROUT discussed My Name is Lucy Barton with CRESSIDA CONNOLLY

Tuesday 8th December 2015
ADAM PHILLIPS discussed Unforbidden Pleasures

Wednesday 28th October 2015
GARTH RISK HALLBERG discussed City on Fire with Tom Sutcliffe

Wednesday 30th September2015
Grief… and Happiness: MAX PORTER and JACK UNDERWOOD were in Conversation

Tuesday 29th September 2015
SEBASTIAN FAULKS discussed Where My Heart Used to Beat

Wednesday 9th September 2015

Wednesday 2nd September 2015
BILL CLEGG was in Conversation with ROLAND PHILIPPS

Tuesday 1st September 2015

Thursday 13th August 2015
DAVID GATES and STUART EVERS were in Conversation

Tuesday 14th July 2015

Tuesday 23rd June 2015
Conversation & Clothes Swap with LEANNE SHAPTON

Tuesday 16th June 2015
JAMES WOOD discussed The Nearest Thing to Life

Tuesday 2nd June 2015
HADLEY FREEMAN discussed Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies.

Wednesday 27th May 2015

Tuesday 19th May 2015
Doctors Dissected
MARTIN SCURR & JANE HAYNES were in Conversation

Tuesday 12th May 2015
Germany & Britain

Tuesday 5th May 2015
On The Wilder Shores of Love
GEORGIA DE CHAMBERET discussed the life and works of Lesley Blanch with ELISA SEGRAVE

Wednesday 29th April 2015
Love, Sex & Other Foreign Policy Goals

Tuesday 21st April 2015
Who Governs Britain & Get it Together

Tuesday, 3rd March 2015
ALEXANDRA FULLER discussed Leaving Before the Rains Come

Thursday 26th February 2015
DANA THOMAS discussed Gods & Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano

Tuesday 25th November 2014
WILL SELF and IAIN SINCLAIR discussed JG Ballard

Tuesday 28th October 2014

Wednesday 15th October 2014
TIMOTHY DONNELLY was in conversation with ADAM PHILLIPS

Tuesday 1st July
ADAM PHILLIPS on Becoming Freud

Thursday 29th May 2014
JOANNA RAKOFF discussed My Salinger Year with RACHEL COOKE

Wednesday 28th May 2014

Wednesday 21st May 2014

Tuesday 13th May 2014
PATRICK NESS discussed More than This with VIV GROSKOP

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Thursday 24th April 2014
ALICE GREENWAY and REBECCA HUNT were in conversation

Tuesday 25th March 2014, 7pm (£8)
BEN MACINTYRE on A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal

Tuesday 18th March 2014
REBECCA MEAD was in conversation with FERNANDA EBERSTADT on The Road to Middlemarch

Tuesday 4th March 2014
BEN WATT was in conversation with JOHN NIVEN

Thursday 6th February 2014
JAMES LASDUN was in conversation with ADAM PHILLIPS

Monday 2nd December 2013
Nina Stibbe was in conversation with Nick Hornby

Wednesday 27th November 2013
Adam Phillips was in Conversation with Lisa Appignanesi

Wednesday 30th October 2013
Emily Berry was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Thursday 5th September 2013

Wednesday 28th August 2013, 7pm
Leanne Shapton in conversation with Craig Taylor

Thursday 15th August 2013
The Interestings and Clever Girl
Meg Wolitzer and Tessa Hadley in conversation.

Tuesday 16th July 2013
Philipp Meyer discussed The Son with Chris Cleave

Thursday 11th July 2013
Holland House
A Talk by Linda Kelly

Tuesday 2nd July 2013
The Woman Upstairs
Claire Messud talked to Kate Figes

Monday 1st July 2013
Ruth Ozeki and Matt Haig were in conversation with Jamie Byng

Thursday, 6th June 2013
Curtis Sittenfeld Discussed Sisterland with Viv Groskop

Wednesday 1st May 2013
Ron Rash discussed Nothing Gold Can Stay

Tuesday April 30th 2013
William Sutcliffe and John McCarthy were in conversation with William Sieghart

Wednesday 27th March 2013
Oli Hazzard was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Wednesday 13th February 2013
Stephen Grosz and Andrew Solomon were in conversation with Cressida Connolly

Wednesday, 6th February 2013
Lucy Hughes-Hallett discussed The Pike

Monday, 21st January 2013
Don Paterson was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Wednesday, November 28th 2012
Connie Bensley was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Wednesday, September 12th 2012
Jane Draycott was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Monday, September 10th 2012
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi discussed Jerusalem with Giles Fraser

Wednesday, August 1st 2012
Leanne Shapton discussed Swimming Studies with Craig Taylor

Tuesday, July 3rd 2012
Ned Beauman and Nick Harkaway discussed The Teleportation Accident and Angelmaker with Roland Philipps

Thursday, 21st June 2012
Kate Summerscale discussed Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace with India Knight

Tuesday, 12th June 2012
Adam Phillips discussed Missing Out with Giles Fraser

Monday, 28th May 2012
Chad Harbach on The Art of Fielding

Monday, 23rd April 2012
Ben Macintyre discussed Double Cross

Thursday, 19th April 2012
Peter Stamm discussed Seven Years with Adam Thirlwell

Wednesday, 21st March 2012
Philip Gross was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Wednesday, 14th March 2012
Sadakat Kadri was in conversation with Barnaby Rogerson

Wednesday, 22nd February 2012
John Fuller was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Thursday, 9th February 2012
Lavinia Greenlaw was in conversation with Ted Hodgkinson of Granta Magazine

Tuesday, 31st January 2012
Laura Del-Rivo and Michael Horovitz were in Conversation with Julian Mash

Tuesday, 22nd November 2011
Cressida Connolly and Vendela Vida were in Conversation

Thursday, 17th November 2011
Adam O’ Riordan was in Conversation with Adam Phillips

Wednesday, 28th September 2011
Bernard O’Donoghue was in Conversation with Adam Phillips

Thursday, 23rd June 2011
Hisham Matar was in Conversation with Philippe Sands

Tuesday, 31st May 2011
Evelyn Juers discussed The House of Exile

Wednesday, 25th May 2011
John Burnside was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Monday, 23rd May 2011
Nicola Shulman discussed Graven With Diamonds with Alan Jenkins

Thursday, 19th May 2011
Wilson Stephens Jones Decorative Arts Sale

Wednesday, 11th May 2011
David Miller and David Flusfeder discussed Today and A Film By Spencer Ludwig

Wednesday, 20th April 2011
Christopher Reid was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Sunday, 10th April 2011
James Frey discussed The Final Testament of the Holy Bible with Kate Muir

Sunday, 23rd March 2011
Jennifer Egan discussed A Visit From the Goon Squad

Thursday, 17th March 2011
Jesse Norman discussed The Big Society with Anthony Fry

Wednesday, 16th March 2011
Jo Shapcott was in conversation with Adam Phillips

Wednesday, 26th January 2011
Emma Forrest discussed Your Voice in My Head with Jon Ronson

Wednesday, 24th November 2010
Geoff Dyer discussed Working The Room

Wednesday, 17th November 2010
Adam Phillips discussed On Balance

Wednesday, 3rd November 2010
Justine Picardie discussed Coco Chanel: A Life

Wednesday, 15th September 2010
Rebecca Hunt and Ned Beauman discussed Mr Chartwell and Boxer Beetle


August 27, 2016
Amaryllis on Happiness

Although my heart is undoubtedly in the glens, it would be churlish of me not to extend my ample charms to the world at large so I have taken up residence in a little seaside town on the Essex coast.

This town has just been voted the happiest place in Britain to live, just 3 years after I moved here. Some might say this is by lucky chance but my nearest and dearest,who have long basked in the glow of my sunny disposition, would see it an inevitability and only be surprised it took so long…

However, I also am blessed to work in that most happy of workplaces, a bookshop, and whilst my heart leaps upon entering most small, independent book shops, I do feel an extra surge of serotonin to be working in ours. I’m not really keen on people as a rule, having a Wordsworthian disposition, but bookshop people are the exception. We start talking about the books and end up by exploring the world, the universe and everything. I have never worked in a hedge fund place but cannot help feeling that walls of books would go along way to improving the conviviality of the place…

Take this week for example, a week comparatively quiet due to the holidays but full of happy incident: a visit from our beloved customers and friends ALF and PJS, the latter momentarily confined to a wheelchair, but wit and sparkle undimmed as we deplored the decline of the quality of the paperback (of which more at another time) and enthused about the joys of mudlarking.

Then on Wednesday we had a visit from an author, Michelle Paver who brought us proofs of her new book, Thin Air, and some bookshop staples: chocolate and tea. Michelle was a joy of an author, very interesting and interested in everything from ghost stories and films to the Arctic and Sherpas on Everest. Just the best kind of conversation! Thin Air looks a likely Hallowe’en best-seller at L&R.

Then yesterday: it began badly as I awoke to the sound of Nigel Farage speaking at a Trump rally – enough to make even the most effervescent cower under the bedclothes – but I refused to be cowed and was rewarded: this afternoon DH brought in a game for us to peruse before possibly stocking in the bookshop: I gamely volunteered to try it out it out and my efforts caused T to weep – with laughter and a sweeter sight is not to be seen! Needless to say, we shall be stocking the game!

And I haven’t even mentioned the books I read this week: the unputdownable My Bloody Project By Graeme Macrae Burnet, the wonderful Golden Age by Joan London and J M Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus which engages the reader in questions and lets us make up our own minds.

I’ll stop now because I fear I’m in danger of becoming a bit Paulo Coehlo and that would be a tragedy.

Anyway, happy bank holiday, and happy Carnival to those brave souls who remain in Notting Hill. We shall be closed from lunchtime on Saturday, and back on Tuesday morning for another season of bookselling.

August 22, 2016
Amaryllis: Tech Support

A recent article in the New York Times was headed ‘London bookstores go rogue as no wi-fi zones’. We merited inclusion as the bookshop where you wouldn’t even dare to ask for the wi-fi code’. My colleagues (JAM in particular) assume that this customer asked me and I had no idea what he/she was talking about… Some shops actively advertise their shops as wi-fi and mobile phone-free zones. But contrary to my dear, very funny, colleagues’ view, I just don’t understand why one would expect or need wi-fi in a bookshop! I know our colleagues need it for the very important work undertaken in their secret bunker, but surely one comes into a bookshop to look at the books or to talk about the books or to inhale the books or to ask if we are ‘the famous library of the film’ – none of which require immediate wi-fi gratification as far as I am aware.

I would prefer that people didn’t use mobile phones in the bookshop: I know traffic makes it really hard to hear in the street but it’s really not great to step into the shop to continue the conversation… However I like to think that the bookshop is a haven of liberality and democracy and really just not the place for bans and interdicts – we all know what that led to in 1930s Germany. Anyway I have perfected the Paddington hard stare and that seems to floor even the most ardent user! Either that or what is a phone compared to the vision of an Olympian goddess behind the desk?

This week I went to an airport, Heathrow actually. The occasion was a sad one, seeing my youngest darling child literally fly the nest to the New World. Casting my tear-filled eyes around the soulless space (no books, lots of phones), I noticed a weird change. It’s been a long time since I was on an aeroplane but seemingly 3 year olds now make up the majority of the passengers… Mr Aeroplane and Mr Forgetful patronisingly (even for the junior traveller) remind one what you may and may not take and not to get on the wrong plane. I am sure most people crawl onto their aircraft screaming for gin!

Anyway, planes are far too mundane for my volcanic soul. In books and films, the only exciting event to hope for is the inevitable crash – hopefully in a desert where you either have to eat your fellow passengers or stumble upon shangri-la. Notable intelligent exceptions are No Highway by Nevil Shute where a crash is actually averted, Transatlantic by Colm Toibin which novelises the first atlantic crossing as a true awe-inspiring feat of courage and ingenuity. Trains, on the otherhand offer a wealth of possible drama: you can conduct love affairs, confront nazi spies, meet psychopaths or pick up a bear and those are just my own experiences! Other locomotive adventures feature in this week’s display in the bookshop.

August 14, 2016
Amaryllis at Sea

I was at the seaside earlier this week and, inspired by the athleticism on view in Rio, I decided to have a go at my own triathalon. I’m not quite sure what it entails in Rio but I do know that tri usually involve three things: in my case, walking, cycling and swimming. So I set off at a brisk pace for the high street, stopping only for a small elevenses to fuel the energetic output to come. Then back to the house and on to my bike. This was a very generous gift from a very dear friend and only my second expedition but nothing ventured… and off I went along the sea front.

It was a stunningly beautiful day: a quantity of sailing vessels were bobbing about on the sparkling waves, people were ambling joyfully along the promenade and casting admiring glances at my bronzed lithe figure as I wove among them. However… It has been quite a while since I last cycled anywhere and in the meantime, a terrible scourge has taken over the land! Of course, I am talking about the mobile phone! They are an elephantine thorn in the side of walkers, cyclists, train-users and booksellers, basically me! I do have a mobile phone but mine is a lovely vintage model with only the basically necessary functions. JAM and DF mock it cruelly but I fear the Green-Eyed Monster Is Touching Their Soul. There are cycle lanes all along the sea front and most people abide by them but too many people are too transfixed by their horrid little screens to take account of anything. Children painted their faces with toxic blue ice-cream, dogs fed up with being ignored ran off to play with the seagulls and cyclists like myself would need fog horns to attract their attention. Of course, normally I would just carry on and leave them to take their own chances but it was too lovely for bloodshed. So, I womanfully shrugged it off and soothed my burning rage with my final event – a dip in the sea!

Anyway, back to the sea or the ocean or really any body of water but I love it and any books, films, music etc that evoke it. Think Charles Trenet singing La Mer

I have read a couple of quite different books this week that are largely about the sea or really the ocean: the first was the wonderful The Outrun by Amy Liptrot in which she returns to the Orkney Islands where she grew up and immerses herself in the natural world. At first, she seizes nature as a distraction from alcohol but gradually nature itself becomes the replacement fix. I immediately googled the Islands for places to rent, places to buy, but the real attraction for me is the fact that the Orkneys and particularly Papa Westray where Amy stayed are surrounded by the North Sea on one side and the Atlantic on the other and they come together at the Bore. This is just so exciting!

The other book I read was the North Water by Ian Mcguire, one of this year’s longlisted titles on the Man Booker list. This is the story of a whaling expedition sent to the Arctic in the middle of the 19th century. Now, my colleagues will tell you how much I love the bleak but this was almost too much. The reason was the complete lack of empathy between man and man and man and beast, each one totally intent on his/its own survival. The book is also a terrible reminder of the plunder and devastation that man has made of the seas and oceans. I marvel at things like the Bore and shudder with appropriate awe every time I think of the Marianas Trench but grieve at the pictures of the great garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean. Although it could be a great project for Trump when he fails to get in – doesn’t he deal in real estate? And if Cameron and Osborne are at a loose end…

Until next week…

August 6, 2016
Amaryllis On Holiday

I took a few days holiday earlier this week. Perfect weather: gale force winds and driving rain as I strode across the glens to meet the Laird for a highland fling, raven curls becomingly disarranged by the elements etc etc… (see last week).

Anyway, I was thinking about Ruth Rendell: I love a good crime novel, so comforting when well done but recently I am more and more often disappointed; the rave reviews sound promising and the first few pages aren’t bad but we soon descend into blandness, the characters, the dialogue all sacrificed for the sake of an increasingly absurd plot, less red herrings, more gold-spangled turbots! Mid-way, I have resorted to speed-reading just to find out the culprit and upon finishing, the book is flung across the room – that is hours of reading life I’ll never get back!

Having disposed of the latest in a such a manner, Girl Goes Crazy In a Hovercraft, or some such, I decided I needed professional help so I consulted one of those ‘best of’ lists and in the top ten was Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell. It was beautifully short (see last week) and as I started reading I realised I knew the story from the fine Chabrol film, La Ceremonie. This didn’t matter because the amazing thing about Rendell’s books is that you know who does it and how from the first couple of pages. This does nothing to lessen the tension and it is an extraordinarily chilling and gripping read with realistically defined characters, appropriate dialogue and acute understanding of the mind of a psychopath, all in under 200 pages! Same with the next one I read, A Demon in my View.

Not finding any very interesting books to listen to on the radio as is my wont when my eyes tire of the written page, I listened instead to a few old editions of Desert Island Discs and this started me thinking of what I would choose if the choice was weighted in favour of books instead of music. I think Radio 4 do something like this, With Great Pleasure, but it sounds a bit dance-hall with none of the exoticism of a desert island. Faced with all the many wonderful books I have read over my long life, I decided the only way I could make a choice was to choose a book from each of my life-stages. So here are my Desert Island Books…

Childhood – almost too difficult but went with Paddington as I laughed hysterically at his misadventures with Mr Curry and I love marmalade

School Years – Marianne Dreams – still very scary!

University – Lord of the Rings

Post University – Our Mutual Friend – a second hand copy devoured in days was the start of my love affair with 19th century novels totally contrary to what school had led me to believe…

Marriage – Proust, the Moncrieff editions then in 3 volumes given to me over 3 consecutive Christmas’ and read throughout January

Saturday Girl in first bookshop – A View from the Harbour, encompasses all the wonderful Virago/Persephone women writers

Later bookshops – The Rabbit books leading to huge love of American literature apart from anything set in New York, to the disbelief of all my L&R colleagues

Now – probably the Knausgaard My Struggle books as they are still ongoing and they stand for all the other amazing European literature I have read

I don’t know what the equivalent of Shakespeare and the Bible would be in musical terms but I am hoping for complete Radiohead and David Bowie and I would choose Tristan and Isolde to cheer things up. For my luxury, I would like a cinema and selection of films from the 30s, 40s, 50s and now I am all set up… where is the plane?!

Please feel free to send me your own selections care of the Laird of the Manor, T will let you know how… [T writes – email or tweet @landrbookshop]

I decided our new window should celebrate the Olympic Games because, let’s face it, it has been less Rolling Down to Rio more Was Anyone Going to Turn Up! Anyway, I have decked it out with a variety of books representing the Olympic sports. Note to any budding sports writers: turns out that baseball is not an Olympic sport but water polo is…

Until next week…

July 29, 2016
Amaryllis Writes

My pen name was born out of one of those joyful days last week when you read one of those books that is so captivating and funny and smart that you want to press it into the hands of every customer in sight. The book is Alice Thomas Ellis’ Other Side of the Fire and unfortunately and scandalously it is out of print so no such pressing can take place at the present time. However, one of the funniest bits in the book is the bodice-ripper that one of the characters is writing and the female who slays the men with one toss of her raven locks and one glance from her fiery green eyes as she strides among the glens, faithful wolfhound by her side is Amaryllis! And the name just seemed to suit so here we are.

One of the other wonderful things about this book was, as F, who loaned me the book and I agreed, that it was so short! So few writers have taken on board the advice that less really can mean more. There is such art in conveying character and realism in a short novel where every word has to count. Women, in particular, number some of the masters of the art, presumably dating from times when they would dash off a chapter whilst waiting for potatoes to boil or a sponge to rise. Some of my very favourites which I can read time and time again and always find something new are Elizabeth Taylor, Muriel Spark, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Bowen and Laurie Colwin, Ali Smith, Penelope Fitzgerald, Jane Gardam and Penelope Lively. There are obviously male exceptions as well but can only think of Denis Johnson at the moment so will leave that until another time…

I am about to install a window of witches and wizards, dragons and other mythical beasts to celebrate the publication of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child on Sunday. I love the books and spent many happy hours reading them aloud to my children, but to add my bit to the Guardian article last Saturday, I have to admit that I am not a fan of fictional children growing up. I should hate to think of my beloved Jennings and Darbishire forsaking the future adventures of Flixton Slick and donning grey suits for life in the City; or Alice too tight laced to draw breath let alone chase rabbits. One of the most devastating and damascene moments of my childhood came when reaching the end of Peter Pan: Peter returns after a good few years expecting to take Wendy flying again but she is too old to fly! He blubs for a bit but then Wendy’s daughter walks in and in moments they are flying off together as Wendy watches them go weighed down by adult responsibilities…

Lastly, despite being disappointed every year, we yet again waited the publication of the Man Booker Longlist with anticipation and T was on to it on the stroke of midday. Actually we were all rather taken with the look of it although obviously none of us has yet read all the titles. It is refreshingly full of new or little known books and there is even a crime novel in the shape of His Bloody Project. I have read the shortest, The Story of Lucy Barton, and the longest, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, on the list and loved both of them so am hopeful as I embark on the others.

I hope you have enjoyed this first missive. (I can’t use the word blog – it is too awful a word). Until next week…

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