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Adam Rutherford & Kevin Fong in conversation Friday 9th May 7.30pm The Old Library Dulwich College

April 5, 2014

Adam RutherfordAdam Rutherford, geneticist, writer and TV presenter, author of Creation: The Story of Life on Earth and How We Are About to Start it Again in conversation with Kevin Fong Consultant in Anaesthesia, Director of the CDF Logo2014entre for Aviation, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine, University College London, author of Extremes: Life, Death and the Limits of the Human Body. Join Adam Rutherford and Kevin Fong as they debate the limits we can experience as humans and explores how our body responds when tested by the extremes of heat and cold, vacuum and altitude, age and disease.

Dulwich Books in partnership with Dulwich Fesitval is delighted to host this event, tickets must be booked direct with the festival

Edward Stourton & Simon Pearson in conversation Tuesday 13th May 7.30pm The Charter School

April 5, 2014

Stourton Pearson new2014 is the 70th anniversary of the actual Great Escape. Roger Bushell was ‘Big X’, the mastermind of the mass breakout from Stalag Luft III in March 1944, immortalised in the Hollywood film The Great Escape. Little was known about Bushell until 2011, when his family donated his private letters, photographs and diaries to the Imperial War Museum. Through exclusive access to this material, and in depth research from other sources, Simon Pearson, Chief Night Editor of The Times, has written the first biography of this iconic figure. It is a vivid account of war and love, triumph and tragedy – one man’s attempt to challenge remorseless tyranny in the face of impossible odds.  DF Logo2014Photograph: Rex/Geoffrey Swaine

Well-known BBC radio and television news presenter Edward Stourton tells the moving and often shocking story of the men, women and children who made their wartime escape from Hitler via the treacherous paths of the Pyrenees into Spain. Stourton draws on interviews with the few remaining survivors to tell stories of midnight scrambles across rooftops, drops from speeding trains, burning Lancasters, doomed love affairs, murders and amazing heroism. The treacherous mountain paths were a challenge even for the very fit. Many who crossed from France into Spain via the mountains arrived malnourished and exhausted; some did not arrive at all. Stourton has written and presented many high-profile news and current affairs programmes for radio and television. He is a regular presenter on Radio 4 programmes, The World at One, The World This Weekend, Sunday and Analysis. He was a main presenter of the Radio 4 flagship Today Programme for ten years and is author of six books.

Dulwich Books in partnership with Dulwich Festival presents this event. Tickets must be booked directly with the festival here.

Zeppelin Night: London in WWI with Jerry White Thursday 15th May 7.30pm The Old Library Dulwich College

April 5, 2014

White, Jerry11pm on Tuesday 4 August 1914: For the next four years Londoners would be at the eye of an ever-enlarging storm. As war raged across the globe, they were almost without exception caught up body and soul in its thrall. Professor Jerry White who will lead us through this intense period of history, teaches London history at Birkbeck, University of London. His DF Logo2014lauded  trilogy on London from the eighteenth to the twentieth century is an unparalleled narrative of the capital. Winner of the Wolfson History Prize, Jerry White is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Dulwich Books hosts this event in partnership with Dulwich Festival. Tickets must be booked directly with the festival.

Siri Hustvedt Lunch in Belair House Thursday 29th May

April 5, 2014

The Blazing WorldDulwich Books invites you to lunch with Siri Hustvedt on Thursday 29th May in the wonderful surrounding of Belair House.  Siri will be in the UK for a short trip to talk about her writing and her new novel The Blazing World.
Beginning with a drinks reception on the terrace overlooking the gardens (weather permitting) before moving inside for lunch you’ll have the chance to chat with Siri about her writing, her books and why she choose the art world for the setting of The Blazing World.
This will be a small lunch for 20 people and with such limited space we’d recommending booking your place now!
Book tickets online, in the bookshop, via email: or via telephone 020 8670 1920. Pre-payment is required to secure your seat at the table.
Tickets are £25 for a 2-course lunch with pre-lunch drinks, coffee and service charge or £30 for a 3-course with pre-lunch drink, coffee and service charge.
Her latest novel, The Blazing World, is a polyphonic tour de force from the internationally acclaimed author of What I Loved, an intricately conceived, diabolical puzzle that explores the way prejudice, fame, money and desire influence our perceptions of one another.

Siri is an American novelist and essayist. Hustvedt is the author of a book of poetry, five novels, two books of essays, and Siri Hustvedtseveral works of non-fiction. Her books include: The Blindfold (1992), The Enchantment of Lily Dahl (1996), What I Loved (2003), for which she is best known, A Plea for Eros (2006), The Sorrows of an American (2008), The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves (2010), The Summer Without Men (2011), Living, Thinking, Looking. You can find out more about her here.

Sarah Dunant talk at Dulwich Picture Gallery Thursday 29th May 7.30pm

April 5, 2014

sarah-dunantSarah Dunant will be in Dulwich Picture Gallery Thursday 29th May 7.30pm to talk about The Borgias. Sarah strips away the myths around the Borgias and breathes life into the astonishing family of Alexander VI and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex, and relentless.  Durant is able to evoke Renaissance Italy like no other Blood and Beautywriter and is an engaging and entertaining speaker.

Tickets must be booked direct with Dulwich Picture Gallery either via the website or in person. Previous author events have sold out so we could urge you to book now to avoid any disappointment.

Tickets (includes a copy of Blood & Beauty)  £15 for Friends, and £17 for non-Friends – Tickets are on sale directly through Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Sarah Dunant is a writer, broadcaster and critic and the author of the international bestseller The Birth of Venus. She was a founding vice patron of the Orange Prize for women’s fiction, sits on the editorial board of the Royal Academy magazine, and reviews for The Times, The Guardian, and The Independent on Sunday.

Alan Johnson talk at All Saints Church Thursday 5th June 7pm

April 5, 2014

This BoyDulwich Books in partnership with the Family Rights Group is delighted to host Alan Johnson MP in the Crypt of All Saints Church on Lovelace Road on Thursday 5th June. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Family Rights Group of which Alan is a patron.

Tickets are bookable online, via telephone on 020 8670 1920, email to: or pop into the bookshop.

Alan JohnsonLondon’s Notting Hill in the 1950s was an unimaginably different place to the white stucco splendour it’s known for today. Alan Johnson’s family lived in condemned housing, declared unfit for human habitation, in a cramped flat with no central heating, no electricity and no running water. His mother, Lily, battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and chronic loneliness to try and ensure a better life for her children.
His sister, Linda, took on an adult’s burden of responsibility and fought to keep the family together when she was still only a child. This personal story is played out against the background of a community on the verge of massive upheavals. We move from postwar austerity, through the early days of immigration and race riots, into the swinging Sixties, when Alan and his band recorded a record on Denmark Street and he became a teenage father and husband.
No matter how harsh the detail, Alan writes with a spirit of generous acceptance, humour and openness which makes his book anything but a grim catalogue of misery. In the end, This Boy is about success against all the odds, and paints a vivid portrait of a bygone era.
Family Rights Group are the charity in England and Wales that advises families whose children are involved with or need children’s services because of welfare needs or concerns.

Frank Gardner OBE talk in The Michael Croft Theatre Wednesday 18th June 7pm

April 5, 2014

Frank Gardner - GriverGambia2013Frank Gardner OBE will be in Dulwich in The Michael Croft Theatre of Alleyns School talking about the Middle East since 2004 and his life since being shot ten years ago. Frank is the BBC security correspondent and in his autobiography, Blood and Sand he wrote a moving account of the shooting and how it changed his life.

Tickets are £10 (Under 18′s £8) and can be booked direct with online via the Michael Croft Theatre website or in person at Dulwich Books.

Shot 6 times at close range while on assignment in Saudi Arabia in 2004, he was left severely wounded and dependent on a wheelchair. He was awarded an OBE by HM The Queen in 2005.

In 2004 Frank wrote Blood and Sand an honest, moving and inspiring account of his shooting and the circumstances in which it happened.

Now updated ten years on he reveals a deep understanding of the Islamic world and offers a compelling analysis of the on-going ‘War on Terror’ and what it means in these uncertain times.

Below are links to articles on Frank BBC documentary aired earlier this year which focuses on his return to  Riyadh, the basis for the updated chapter in this reissued edition.–I-to-Al-Qaeda-country-Courageous-pilgrimage-BBCs-Frank-Gardner.html

Eimear McBride & Lee Rourke in conversation with Max Porter Wednesday 9th July 7pm

April 5, 2014

Girl Half Formed ThingDulwich Books hosts a chat between award-winning author Eimear McBride and Lee Rourke. The event will be chaired by Max Porter and held in Dulwich Books on Wednesday 9th July.
Eimear McBride won the Goldsmith Prize in 2013 for her novel Girl Is A Half Formed Thing a novel written in a stream of consciousness style and tells the story of a young woman’s complex relationship with her family. Philip Godfather of Dulwich bookselling says ‘this is strong stuff, a novel like no other except maybe Joyce’
Lee Rourke received widespread aclaim for his debut novel The Canal including winning Not The Booker Prize from The  The CanalGuardian in 2010. He will be talking about his new book Vulgar Things.
Max Porter is an editor at Granta and many of our customers may recognise him as the interviewer of Eleanor Catton for her event with us last September. He discovered Eli and contributed to the buzz that lead to her novel receiving rave reviews and then of course it went onto win The Man Booker Prize of 2013.

Tickets at £4 are bookable online, in the bookshop, via email or via telephone 020 8670 1920.

Passionate about books, passionate about authors.. that’s Dulwich Books

November 23, 2013

ruth ozekiGenerally booksellers are a diverse bunch, and we here at Dulwich Books are no exception, with artists, illustrators, musicians, poets and nerds. (Reader, I am that nerd. Please try to contain your shock.)

We hail from all over, having served behind the counter at big chain bookstores, other tiny indies, second hand booksellers, children’s bookshops, the list goes on. A real bookseller is for life, not just for Christmas. And we all love books. Love them. Honestly, it’s almost a problem. We live them, breathe them, work with them, tweet about them, review them, fill our houses with them, and at the end of the day we run two book clubs just so we can talk to people about books a little bit more. We are passionately, enthusiastically, joyfully, a little bit weird about reading. Watch for the giddy glint in the eye next time you ask your bookseller for a recommendation. Eleanor Catton at Dulwich Books

And we know a winner when we read it. In 2013, we were honoured to host events with two Man Booker shortlisted authors. Philip snagged A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton in publisher advance proofs, was struck straight away by their sheer brilliance and contacted the authors to come to the shop for events LONG before Man Booker got their foot in the door… He recently picked the Goldsmith’s Prize Winner, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing as his top recommendation before the prize was announced. If he was a betting man, he would retire by now. Eyes open to see if he does as well with next year’s picks.

Watch some of our Books Are My Bag Day fun!

Welcome to our Rogue’s Gallery, a quick introduction to the faces and brains that will meet you when you come searching for your next read at Dulwich Books.


  Sheila O’Reilly

Describing the boss, let us tread carefully…owner of Dulwich Books these past 11 years and for six years before that the owner of the Beckenham Bookshop, just over the hill (n.b. – Beckenham and not Sheila (this joke is her husband’s, not mine!).She is the quintessential independent bookseller. She’s steered Dulwich Books through its 30th anniversary and two years of being voted London’s Best Independent Bookshop. The Bookselling Force Is Strong With This One. You can ask her advice about almost any book, but especially if you want some crime to keep you up past your bedtime.


Philip Maltman        

Do any of you really need introducing to Philip? Probably not, because he’s been here forever (he made jokes about his age, but I will refrain…) But let’s spend a moment anyway, contemplating the Godfather of Dulwich Bookselling. He went to art school, which we won’t dwell on, and these days only stops reading long enough to paint. And when he paints? It’s about books. (He only just realised that.) It is always worth stopping him in the shop to ask what he’s reading, he is constantly searching out the unique, surprising and wonderful. He’s even on twitter @philipmaltman


   Annie Horwood

Keep a beady eye open outside the shop and you might spot Annie either in the background of your TV in her role as an extra, or otherwise up to her elbows in the addictive smell and feel of secondhand books at a fair or bookstall. If you keep a beady eye open inside the shop, you’ll probably find her running our lovely children’s department and holding storytime, sharing the picture books she is so passionate about, so much so that she spends whatever is left of her spare time writing and illustrating her own.

Dave Faulds     Dave

Organisational powerhouse, and our go to for non-fiction, Dave sorts out most of our events and PR(he’s got TONS of experience with it, and it shows). Media writing, PR and events management… but fear not, he’s far more interesting than that all might imply. When not at work (and sometimes at work, if we are honest) he likes to turn his music up to eleven, and if you spot him in the street, it’s unlikely he will be without headphones. He likes politics, history, and any holiday in which creepy skulls can be used for decoration (so, Halloween, mostly). Tell him what you think @fauldsd


  Chloe Mavrommatis

A once and future bookseller with a chequered past. (Science degrees, very disreputable.) Spends her days hoarding books about dragons and notebooks she will never fill. Ravenclaw. Is sometimes forced to describe herself in third person and finds this uncomfortable. Was once woken by the bookcase containing her to-read pile, as it toppled into her bed in the middle of the night. This near death experience has not made her reconsider her life choices.


Dulwich Books Winner London’s Best Independent Bookshop of The Year 2014

April 1, 2013

PrintBookseller Industry Awards!

The exclamation point is to alert you to the fact that we won!
For the third year running, we are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Bookseller Industry Award regional prize for London. As you know, London is packed with great independent bookshops, so we are very excited to be recognised once again. We were praised for engaging with our local community, which we couldn’t do if you didn’t engage back so really, it’s your prize too. Bravo! We are the ones who get to go to the fancy party though, sorry.

The other regional winners, our stalwart companions in keeping independent bookselling alive and thriving are the following lovely people:
The Blessington Bookshop in County Wicklow, for Ireland
The Edinburgh Bookshop, for Scotland
White Rose Bookcafe, for the North
Booka Bookshop, for the Midlands and Wales
Chorleywood Bookshop, for the South-East and East
Winstone’s, for the South-West
Pop in and visit if you are ever in their neck of the woods!


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