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Hart's Books

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Lizzie Collingham – Author Talk at Hart’s Books

Wednesday 27th September at 6:30pm

Tickets £5.00, available over the phone on 01799 524 552 or in-store.

The Hungry Empire: How Britain’s Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World

The glamorous daughter of an African chief shares a pineapple with a slave trader …Surveyors in British Columbia eat tinned Australian rabbit …Diamond prospectors in Guyana prepare an iguana curry.

In twenty meals The Hungry Empire tells the story of how the British created a global network of commerce and trade in foodstuffs that moved people and plants from one continent to another, re-shaping landscapes and culinary tastes.

To be Britishwas to eat the world. The Empire allowed Britain to harness the globe’s edible resources from cod fish and salt beef to spices, tea and sugar. By the twentieth century the wheat to make the working man’s loaf of bread was supplied by Canada and his Sunday leg of lamb had been fattened on New Zealand’s grasslands.

Lizzie Collingham takes us on a wide-ranging culinary journey, charting the rise of sugar to its dominant position in our diets and locating the origins of the food industry in the imperial trade in provisions.

Her innovative approach brings a fresh perspective to the making of the Empire, uncovering its decisive role in the shaping of the modern diet and revealing how virtually every meal we eat still contains a taste of empire.

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Max’s Walking Book Club – Arundhati Roy – The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Sunday 23rd July at 11:30am

​In a graveyard outside the walls of Old Delhi, a resident unrolls a threadbare Persian carpet. On a concrete sidewalk, a baby suddenly appears, just after midnight. In a snowy valley, a bereaved father writes a letter to his five-year-old daughter about the people who came to her funeral. In a second-floor apartment, a lone woman chain-smokes as she reads through her old notebooks. At the Jannat Guest House, two people who have known each other all their lives sleep with their arms wrapped around one another, as though they have just met.

 

Children, dogs and friends welcome! Suitable footwear recommended!

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Alex Preston – Author Talk at Hart’s Books

Thursday 7th September at 6:30pm

Tickets £5.00, available over the phone on 01799 524 552 or in-store.

‘A magical book: an inimitable fusion of ornithology, literary anthology and autobiography.’ Tom Holland When Alex Preston was 15, he stopped being a birdwatcher. Adolescence and the scorn of his peers made him put away his binoculars, leave behind the hides and the nature reserves and the quiet companionship of his fellow birders. His love of birds didn’t disappear though. Rather, it went underground, and he began birdwatching in the books that he read, creating his own personal anthology of nature writing that brought the birds of his childhood back to brilliant life. Looking for moments ‘when heart and bird are one’, Preston weaves the very best writing about birds into a personal and eccentric narrative that is as much about the joy of reading and writing as it is about the thrill of wildlife. Moving from the ‘high requiem’ of Keats’s nightingale to the crow-strewn sky at the end of Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, from Ted Hughes’s brooding ‘Hawk in the Rain’ to the giddy anthropomorphism of Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, this is a book that will make you look at birds, at the world, in a newer, richer light. Beautifully illustrated and illuminated by the celebrated graphic artist Neil Gower, As Kingfishers Catch Fire is a book to love and to hold, to return to again and again, to marvel at the way that authors across the centuries have captured the endless grace and variety of birds.

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Sheena Kalayil – Author Talk at Hart’s Books

Wednesday 16th August at 6:30pm

Tickets £5.00, available over the phone on 01799 524 552 or in-store.

Is going back the only way to start again?After more than thirty years in London, recently-widowed Thomas Imbalil returns to India. He spends his first months in uncluttered isolation in his house overlooking the Arabian Sea, in a small fishing village in Kerala. But when he agrees to look after his friend’s business, Chacko’s Optical Store, he meets and befriends Rani, the young assistant. Before long he discovers that Rani is using the store to run an intriguing side-business.He agrees to turn a blind eye to her operations until his friend returns, but this discovery makes him restless, and reminds him of the loneliness he is feeling and which lies ahead of him. Rani also reveals herself as a much more complex individual than he had first imagined, and while he had envisaged a quiet re-acquaintance with his homeland, Thomas finds himself becoming more and more entangled with the lives of those around him.

Past Event

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Clare Mulley with Alexander Masters – Author Talk at Hart’s Books

Thursday 20th July at 6:30pm

Tickets £5.00, available over the phone on 01799 524 552 or in-store.

We’re thrilled to announce that Clare Mulley will be being interviewed by Alexander Masters about her new book ‘The Women Who Flew for Hitler’ on Thursday 20th July at 6.30pm.

 

Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg were talented, courageous and strikingly attractive women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight in 1930s Germany. With the war, both became pioneering test pilots and both were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different and neither woman had a good word to say for the other. Hanna was middle-class, vivacious and distinctly Aryan, while the darker, more self-effacing Melitta, came from an aristocratic Prussian family. Both were driven by deeply held convictions about honour and patriotism but ultimately while Hanna tried to save Hitler’s life, begging him to let her fly him to safety in April 1945, Melitta covertly supported the most famous attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer. Their interwoven lives provide a vivid insight into Nazi Germany and its attitudes to women, class and race. Acclaimed biographer Clare Mulley gets under the skin of these two distinctive and unconventional women, giving a full – and as yet largely unknown – account of their contrasting yet strangely parallel lives, against a changing backdrop of the 1936 Olympics, the Eastern Front, the Berlin Air Club, and Hitler’s bunker. Told with brio and great narrative flair, The Women Who Flew for Hitler is an extraordinary true story, with all the excitement and colour of the best fiction.

Past Event

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Min Kym – Author Talk at Hart’s Books

Wednesday 12th July at 6:30pm

Tickets £5.00, available over the phone on 01799 524 552 or in-store.

‘All my life my Stradivarius had been waiting for me, as I had been waiting for her …’ At 7 years old Min Kym was a prodigy, the youngest ever pupil at the Purcell School of Music. At 11 she won her first international prize. She worked with many violins, waiting for the day she would play ‘the one’. At 21 she found it: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. Her career soared. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a train station cafe, her violin was stolen. In an instant her world collapsed. She descended into a terrifying limbo land, unable to play another note. This is Min’s extraordinary story – of a young woman staring into the void, wondering who she was, who she had been. It is a story of isolation and dependence, of love, loss and betrayal, and the intense, almost human bond that a musician has with their instrument. Above all it’s a story of hope through a journey back to music. ‘The hours fell away as I read this spellbinding tale of love, loss and above all devotion to art’ – Susan Cain, author of international bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

 

Min will be giving an author talk as well as playing her violin for us.

Past Event

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Max’s Walking Book Club – Conclave by Robert Harris

Sunday 11th June at 11:30am

Join other book-lovers for a walk in the Saffron Walden countryside to discuss Robert Harris’s Conclave.

The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

Sunday 11th June, 11.30am at Hart’s Books. Children, dogs and friends welcome! Suitable footwear recommended!

Past Event

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Max’s Walking Book Club – Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sunday 7th May at 11:30am

Join other book-lovers for a walk in the Saffron Walden countryside to discuss Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Dear Ijeawele’.

A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.

Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions – compelling, direct, wryly funny and perceptive – for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent won.

Sunday 7th May, 11.30am at Hart’s Books. Children, dogs and friends welcome! Suitable footwear recommended!

Past Event

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Author Talk – Clover Stroud – The Wild Other

Wednesday 26th April at 6:30pm

Tickets £5.00, available over the phone on 01799 524 552 or in-store.

The Wild Other is a grippingly honest account of love, loss, family and the healing strength of nature. It is a book about one woman’s experience of the restorative powers of nature and an understanding of the wildness embedded inside herself.

Powerful and deeply emotional, this is the story of an extraordinary life lived at its fullest.

‘She has also transcended the trauma of her past without forgetting its value – the ultimate goal of any meaningful memoir’ – Daily Telegraph

Past Event

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Max’s Walking Book Club – Exit West by Moshin Hamed

Sunday 2nd April at 10:00am

Join other book-lovers for a walk in the Saffron Walden countryside to discuss Moshin Hamed’s ‘Exit West’.

An extraordinary story of desire and hope, travelling from the Middle East to London and beyond, this is a love story that considers what makes ordinary people flee their homes and how the world might change if borders were broken down.

 

Sunday 2nd April 10am at Hart’s Books. Children, dogs and friends welcome! Suitable footwear recommended!