Book Group

Green & pleasant, trowel & error

Charlotte Mendelson’s Rhapsody In Green is a testament to what can be achieved in one small patch of London garden

Best described as a love letter to her garden, Rhapsody In Green by award-winning novelist Charlotte Mendelson is helpfully and succinctly subtitled ‘A novelist, an obsession, a luaghably small excuse for a vegetable garden’, and is a thing of beauty as well as being a gardening book like no other.

Despite the fact that she has only six metres of London soil, Charlotte has a secret life as an extreme allotmenteer and her garden is a veritable larder in which she grows over 100 edible plants and Rhapsody takes the reader, with charm, warmth and wit, through the gardening year.

And, as luck would have it, Charlotte has agreed to tear herself away from her weeding to spend time with us on 12th Oct reading, answering questions and signing copies of Rhapsody In Green from 7.30. Entry is free, but please book your place via 0207 431 3770 or

The charm & charisma of a long distance runner

Discover why it’s not just the medal haul & clutch of world records that made Olympian Emil Zatopek so special

With the achievements of the Rio Olympics so fresh in our minds, local author Pat Butcher has timed the launch of his latest sports biography, Quicksilver, the mercurial Emil Zatopek, to perfection.

Quicksilver is the story of the Czech runner, exiled from Prague following his vocal oppostion to the Soviet invasion of 1968, a multiple gold medal winner for 5k, 10k and marathon performances, in short, a serial buster of world records, who to sports afionados, was nothing short of a god.

Pat met with Zapotek on many occasions and recalls the charisma, charm and communication skills that endeared him to millions. Pat will be launching Quicksilver here on 22 Oct 7.30. Please call the shop if you would like to attend or reserve a book for signing

Secret Diary Of A BBC Secretary author reveals all

Get the lowdown on the ups & downs of  life at the Beeb in the 1970s

We watched the documentaries, lapped up the comedy and saw history unfold on the News, but as we imbibed the BBC’s output, life was exploding behind the scenes. Find out  what life was like for a first jobber (and erstwhile West Hampstead bedsit dweller) when author Sarah Shaw joins us on 19 Oct to talk about her diary for 1971 and how she rediscovered it and published it as the charming and totally fascinating Portland Place Secret Diary of A BBC Secretary, as vivid a picture of the office life of a provincial ingenue as you’re likely to encounter. We loved it and suspect you will too, whether you were around at the time or not. A moving glimpse of an increasingly distant England, facets one might mourn and others that we’re well rid of.

Entry is free, but please book ahead via 0207 431 3770/