Events

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.
To book, please visit our online shop

You can also call or email the bookshop on 020 7229 1010, bookshop@lutyensrubinstein.co.uk to reserve your tickets.

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FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Saturday 25th March, 2pm-4pm (£60)
BEGINNERS’ MODERN CALLIGRAPHY with QUILL LONDON
More Information and Booking

Thursday 6th April, 7pm (£10)
JEAN HANFF KORELITZ and PAUL MULDOON
More Information and Booking

Tuesday 25th April, 7pm (£10)
JOANNA MOORHEAD on THE SURREAL LIFE OF LEONORA CARRINGTON
More Information and Booking

Tuesday 16th May, 7pm (£10)
JENNY LANDRETH on SWELL
More Information and Booking

FORTHCOMING BOOK CLUBS

Saturdays at 10.30am – STORYTIME
Half an hour of reading for the under-five set, just turn up!

Thursday 6th April, 1pm – CRIME CLUB: THE TAILOR OF PANAMA
To join this book club, please email claire@lutyensrubinstein.co.uk

Monday 10th April 2017, 1pm – DAYLIGHT BOOK CLUB: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE, with special guest MARY LAWSON
To join this book club, please email claire@lutyensrubinstein.co.uk

Friday 21st April 2017, 11.15am – DAYLIGHT BOOK CLUB: LEVIATHAN
To join this book club, please email claire@lutyensrubinstein.co.uk

Wednesday 26th April 2017, 10.15am – JUKE BOOKS
To take part in Juke Books, please email bookshop@lutyensrubinstein.co.uk

Wednesday 26th April, 12.30pm – LUNCHTIME CLASSICS BOOK CLUB: NORTHERN LIGHTS
To join this book club, please email claire@lutyensrubinstein.co.uk

PREVIOUS EVENTS

Tuesday 21st February 2017
AMOR TOWLES discussed A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW

Saturday 26th November 2016
POPPY CHANCELLOR: Cut it Out, a Christmas Papercutting workshop

Tuesday 22nd November 2016
ARTEMIS COOPER discussed ELIZABETH JANE HOWARD with SELINA HASTINGS

Tuesday 25th October 2016
RORY STEWART discussed The Marches

Tuesday 4th October 2016
BEN MACINTYRE discussed SAS: Rogue Heroes

Tuesday 20th September
TED SANDLING discussed London In Fragments

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
LISA OWENS & ANNA RAVERAT in Conversation with FRANCESCA MAIN

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
An Evening of Debut Novelists with: COLIN MACINTYRE, LAURA BARNETT, ANTONIA HONEYWELL & CATRIONA WARD

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

Tuesday 1st September 2015
ELENA FERRANTE: A PANEL DISCUSSION
With CATHY RENTZENBRINK, JONATHAN GIBBS, SUSANNA GROSS and TESSA HADLEY

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

Tuesday 14th July 2015
HARPER LEE: A PANEL DISCUSSION
with HADLEY FREEMAN, PHILIPPE SANDS, LOUISA YOUNG & ISABEL ADOMAKOH YOUNG

Tuesday 23rd June 2015
WOMEN IN CLOTHES
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
GERBRAND BAKKER & PER PETTERSON were in Conversation

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

Tuesday 12th May 2015
Germany & Britain
GILES WATERFIELD and NEIL MACGREGOR were in Conversation with GINA THOMAS

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
JESSE ARMSTRONG in Conversation with NED BEAUMAN

Tuesday 21st April 2015
Who Governs Britain & Get it Together
ANTHONY KING and ZOE WILLIAMS in Conversation

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
EMMANUEL CARRERE discussed Limonov with ROBERT MCCRUM

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
KATHRYN SIMMONDS in conversation with ADAM PHILLIPS

Wednesday 21st May 2014
KARL OVE KNAUSGAARD in conversation with STEPHEN GROSZ

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

Tuesday 6th May 2014
NED BEAUMAN and ZOE PILGER were in CONVERSATION

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
THE RUM READINGS

Wednesday 28th August 2013, 7pm
SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIES
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

News

March 18, 2017
Ageless Amaryllis

I have been giving some thought to ageing: not in relation to myself being of an eternally youthful, ‘age cannot wither her’ sort of person but as portrayed on screen and in books. I have seen two films recently and amazingly the middle-aged female characters actually had faces that moved and wrinkled in joy, despair, horror and grief. Annette Benning in Twentieth Century Women and Nathalie Baye in It’s Only the End of the World were actually able to give vent to a whole gamut of emotions because their faces weren’t frozen in immobility, the mask that passes for eternal youth these days…

Even older age and the proximity of death is the subject of Memento Mori by Muriel Spark, the book we discussed at this morning’s meeting. A nameless caller on the telephone reminds his elderly victims to ‘remember you must die’ a fact that most of them spend all their life trying to forget. Resigned patience and forbearance are not characteristics common to this group of who gripe and grumble and sleep and stumble their way to the inevitable end. They are wilful and selfish, domineering and dismissive determined to remain in control even if it is only by making and remaking their wills, gloating over the obituaries or comparing own debility to the even worse decrepitude of others. However the book is actually very funny due to the author’s acuity of observation and her merciless exposure of the frailties and hypocracies of mere humans. Memento Mori originated to remind people that not only must they die, they must then be judged. I plan to reintroduce the use of this warning to everyone who uses a mobile phone in the quiet carriage! [T writes: or the bookshop for that matter]

I have mentioned elsewhere that a lonely soul is mine, never happier than striding across moor and mountain at one with the elements so I really thought I had found my soul mate in another book that I read this week: The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel. This is the extraordinary true story of a hermit who decided to turn his back on the world aged 21 and lived undiscovered for 25 years in a forest in Maine surviving sub-zero winters living in a tent with just a calor gas stove for warmth. He stole what he needed in terms of food and supplies from a nearby cabin resort and one of these raids ultimately led to his capture and, with terrible irony, a term of imprisonment for theft. This story is a perfect antidote to the noise and light pollution, the overcrowding of cities and the terrible greed for more and more stuff. Unsurprisingly, the legal system did not really know how to deal with such a case… At one point in the book, Finkel asks himself and others when was the last time and for how long they could remember being totally alone – again unsurprisingly, the answer was practically never, certainly no longer than a few hours. Apparently, people who spend time alone are actually more intelligent than those who don’t – well I should know!

From old age to youth, young girls in particular, nymphs! Yes, I am reading Lolita as chosen by JAM for our classics book group. It is difficult to explain the reading experience in regard to this book, appreciation of the language and writing, revulsion at Humbert’s obsession, slightly guilty laughter at the comedy. Should be a very interesting discussion…

March 4, 2017
Amaryllis: Vigilante

One of the many, many, many problems with Brexit is that it has pervaded the news so completely and so is so stultifyingly boring that it has obliterated the time and the will to cover or listen to the issues that should be receiving our attention. No-one else gets much of a word in apart from that other hideous disaster of 2016. It is like the Government’s Trojan Horse, huge and unwieldy but letting in all kinds of dangers whilst everyone is concentrating on it alone.

One such, very close to my heart, is the Government’s proposal to raise business rates for many small businesses especially in London and the South East. This could mean the death knell for thousands of independent shops and services already struggling with exorbitant rents and rates. I am often confused by political motives, Brexit being a case in point, and insanity often seems the likeliest explanation. Else why would they (whoever thought up this crazy idea) think high streets offering a diversity of services and products could be improved by replacing these with: endless coffee shops; exclusive clothes shops where the assistants look bored out of their minds but are still not prepared to liven up their day with a visit from anyone unless they are dressed head to toe in Gucci; shops selling ‘exclusive’ products, alpaca cheese, raw muffins, elixirs of life and youth that could leave you looking as unreal as Nicole Kidman, none of which would help put a meal on the table but reassuringly at discriminate expense.

Raising the business rates will force shop closure and staff redundancies, and at the very least, wages and bonuses may be frozen to compensate. Following on from the closure of libraries, pubs, theatres, cinemas etc, the loss of bookshops, independent record stores and other businesses that involve the community through reading groups, events, workshops etc will decimate the community even further. Even more insanely, rates for internet-based super-corps such as Amazon and Sports Direct will actually DECREASE!! They don’t pay taxes, they underpay employees and treat them appallingly but hey let’s they deserve a break! London is increasingly coming to resemble a sort of Gotham City playground and provider to the wealthy, essential workers and diversity sidelined to the outskirts.

Anyway we may not have Batman but luckily Amaryllis is on hand and in the fight to keep the community we have defiantly set up yet another bookgroup. Last week saw our first meeting for the Crime Book group which read The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt which was a great book to start with because it explored and asked questions about the conventional detective novel within a detective novel if that makes sense. Well, it will if you read the book. It was a small group, actually just F and I but we thrashed out the very marrow of the book over coffee at the wonderful Pedlars. However, we were eventually drowned out by our neighbours who seemed to be engaged on a very loud discussion of their own although perhaps not of the same perspicacity and reasoning. I believe their topic of interest was the Batman Lego movie…

This week I read a wonderful novel called Pachinko which is a sweeping and very moving story of a family of Koreans forced to move to Japan during the twentieth century. I did not know much about this history and it is a fascinating one and beautifully told and it is always an excellent policy to remind oneself of the struggles others have gone through when faced with the bleak period we seem to be living through now.

February 18, 2017
Amaryllis Goes Off

We have just had our book group meeting discussing the lost classic, Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm over D’s delicious hand-made cookies and my shop-bought banana bread. Zuleika and I are quite alike in a femme fatale sort of way: ‘a cynosure indeed! A hundred eyes were fixed on her, and half as many hearts lost to her’. How well I know that experience. However I do baulk at the youth of the town embracing a watery grave to prove their adoration. Gifts are always an acceptable and less messy alternative. Really, we decided that Zuleika cannot be blamed for the folly and stupidity of Oxford undergraduates and we wished her well in Cambridge…

Zuleika did not let affairs of the heart interfere with her appetite and I doubt whether such ‘a lithe and radiant creature’ would have had recourse to such a book as L’art de la Simplicite – How to Live More with Less. Generally I do not agree with censoring books but I have had to remove this one from the shelves… You might think such mantras as ‘fasting is an art to be cultivated’ or ‘I can go to a restaurant and be happy just to talk: I don’t need to eat’ and ‘An empty stomach clears the head, cleanses the spirit and feels pleasant’ more likely found on a ‘Pro-ana’ site than an international bestseller supposedly proposing a happy and healthy life. As a young 15 year old schoolgirl, I was told by my very thin history teacher, as she taught through our lunch break, that empty stomachs would improve our intellects: to say I have spent decades with a very fraught relationship with food is an understatement. Of course, that remark isn’t the only reason but these things fester!

Anyway, a good week culturally: on Saturday, I went to see the wonderful Woolf Works at the Royal Opera House thanks to the lovely V. It was dramatic, moving and mesmerising in all kinds of ways; bodies in positions and attitudes one wouldn’t believe possible; an amazing light show; electrifying and powerful music by Max Richter. All in all, a feast for the senses!

Also on the weekend, the weather excusing any possibility of a walk, I devoured The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne’s latest novel and in which he has taken on a Dickensian likeness. I actually laughed out loud several times, which I almost never do (reading) and came perilously close to tears as the book neared its end. It was a perfect fusion of comedy and tragedy played out by a host of marvellous characters, who like the author, I suspect, do not know whether to love or hate their native Ireland.

Last week, despite freezing rain and bleak, grey skies, I found some brave little snowdrops heralding the Spring – we hope!

February 4, 2017
Classic Amaryllis

So far has my name spread that one of my devoted readers has got in touch all the way from South Africa… She has asked for a list of my favourite classics old and new. This is an extremely difficult task but I am always up for a challenge as long as it is to do with books and involves nothing physically exerting.

One of the books that will NOT be on my list is our current choice for the Classics book club which is Kafka’s The Castle. It is the most impenetrable and over-rated book it has ever been my misery to read. When not falling asleep over it I am ready to tear it to pieces in frustration. Which I suppose in my more lucid moments is what K probably feels, stuck in the village with such deadly people, but that is too much reality. Even Kafka got fed up with it as he gave up mid sentence! Apparently it is a completely different experience reading in the original German, the custom of splitting the verb adding tension and humour…

Anyway I am going to limit myself to recommending ten classics that I do love and I’m also not going to choose the obvious suspects – just take it as read that I love Austen, the Brontes, Dickens, Eliot, Tolstoy etc etc. I’m also trying to avoid books that I have mentioned before.

I’m just going to list them and not give any hints as to the content because I think it is best just to read the book!

House of Ulloa, Emilia Pardo Bazan
Riders in the Chariot, Patrick White
The Man who Loved Children, Christina Stead
In Diamond Square, Merce Rodoreda
A Way of Life Like Any Other, Darcy O’Brien
A Life, Maupassant
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, Javier Marias
An Angel at My Table, Janet Frame
Clayhanger, Arnold Bennett
Testing the Current, William McPherson

Enjoy!

January 20, 2017
Amaryllis on the Warpath

As I write this in the bookshop, a man is walking to and fro outside the door speaking loudly on one of those ridiculous hands-free gadgets that make you look as if you are shouting at yourself. Even more annoying, he has now just stopped right outside the door so that on-one can get in but is, of course, completely oblivious to this! I may be more irritable than usual on this never-in-your-worst-nightmare day but – unbelievable! (I just complained of this to JAM and she says she does it all the time outside the shop next door…)

Anyway, to get the annoying things out of the way, one of my gripes this week has been WHERE HAVE ALL THE EDITORS GONE? I have just read The Nix, a debut novel by Nathan Hill. I actually quite enjoyed it, at least I finished it: it reminded me a bit of The Goldfinch but I hated that and this is much better except… It comes in at about 600 pages but could have been so much better at half that length. This, I thought, is where the editor comes in, but apparently not or we would not have to read literally pages of unbroken prose detailing the death of an elf in the computer world of Elfscape or the inner thoughts of a phone obsessed student, both stories largely irrelevant to the greater scheme of the thing.

But it is not just this novel that has suffered for the lack of the Editor’s art: it only too common, as if a book cannot possibly be any good if it is less than 500 pages and is crammed full of the author’s interests and self-conceits. That is why another dispassionate eye is necessary along with a hand wielding a very large red pen to obliterate flights of fancy that should never, ever be transferred from the brain to the page.

Happily, there are people who are masters of the art of writing all by themselves. Such a one is Brigid Brophy, whose book, The King of the Rainy Country, we are reading for book group today. It was written in the late 1950s with spare dialogue and description but so beautifully rendered that one is immediately transported to bohemian London and sun-drenched Italy.

We have just had our book group and The King of A Rainy Country was universally acknowledged as a very good read. I actually consider it a great read. Next month it is Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm.

We also shook our heads in despair at the forthcoming day’s events but cheered ourselves up with thoughts of books, films and kittens.

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