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The very best of the Guildford Book Fest

There's a stonking line-up of authors at the Guildford Book Festival this month. Before you book, check out our top 10 picks.

The Guildford Book Festival is back for its 30th year of celebrating some of the best authors on your shelves. Who doesn’t love hiding themselves away and getting immersed in a good novel?

The line up features some of the more celebrated authors in the business, as well as a few emerging stars to keep your eye on the bookshelves for. Here is a run down of some of the most interesting picks from the eight day event running from October 6-13. Reading glasses at the ready!


Christy Lefteri & Mike Thomson: Books & Bees: Hope and Survival in War-Torn Syria
■ The Guildhall, Guildford  ■ Mon 7 Oct, 8pm

Join Christy Lefteri, bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo, and BBC World Affairs correspondent Mike Thomson as they discuss the importance of hope among the most devastating of situations.

Leah Hazard: Hard Pushed – A Midwife’s Story 
■ The Guildhall, Guildford  ■ Tue 8 Oct, 12.30pm

We all appreciate the brilliant work NHS midwives do in this country, but do we really have any idea about what goes on behind the scenes? Join serving midwife Leah Hazard as she discusses her first person account of life on the NHS front line as told in her debut book.

William Clegg QC: Under the Wig – A Lawyer’s Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence
■ The Guildhall, Guildford  ■ Tue 8 Oct, 3.30pm

Court rooms hold some of the most heavily guarded secrets from high profile cases. William Clegg QC’s memoir explores huge cases such as the acquittal of Colin Stagg, the shooting of Jill Dando, and the Rebekah Brooks phone hacking trial. His talk will discuss the inner workings of his book with a compelling behind-the-scenes take on the life of a lawyer.

Luke Jennings: Killing Eve – No Tomorrow
■ The Electric Theatre, Guildford  ■ Tue 8 Oct, 3.30pm

Inarguably one of the biggest TV show hits in recent years, Killing Eve has become essential viewing on both sides of the pond. Join Luke Jennings, the author of the original novel, in discussion with Stephanie Merritt as he reveals all about his  second book in the series and the phenomenal success of the BBC America production.

Elizabeth Gowing: Unlikely Positions (In Unlikely Places) – A Yoga Journey Around Britain
■ The Guildhall, Guildford  ■ Wed 9 Oct, 10.30am

Know your yin from your vinyasa? Not to worry if not because Elizabeth Gowing was once in the same boat. This talk will explore her fascination with the art and her mission to explore the way yoga connects people across the country and her quest to master the moves in the most bizarre of places.

Mike Berners-Lee: There is No Planet B – A Handbook for the Make or Break Years
■ The Electric Theatre, Guildford  ■ Thu 10 Oct, 6.30pm

Awareness about the human impact on our climate is higher than ever, and this publication explore exactly what we can do to reduce our negative effect on the world. Join Mike Berners-Lee to learn his top hacks on how to save the planet.

Clarissa Farr: The Making of Her – Why School Matters
■ The 2016 Hall, Guildford High School ■ Thu 10 Oct, 7pm

We all want the best education possible for the young people in our lives but what fresh challenges are both teachers and pupils facing that could jeopardise this? Join an audience with former headteacher turned author Clarissa Farr to delve into the changing face of the education system and what must be done to maintain and boost the quality of our schools.

In Conversation with Katy Brand: I Carried a Watermelon
■ The Electric Theatre, Guildford  ■ Fri 11 Oct, 7.30pm

Do you remember the first time you watched cult-classic film Dirty Dancing? Participate in a conversation with Katy Brand about her book that explores her lifelong love for the movie, the issues the film tackled and the legacy it has left behind.

In Conversation with Steve Backshall
■ The Electric Theatre, Guildford  ■ Sun 13 Oct, 4pm

Known for his fearless exploration of the world and love of all things with multiple legs, this talk with Steve Backshall is guaranteed to be packed with awe-inspiring tales and a heavy dose of travel inspiration.

An Evening with Louis de Bernières: Captain Corelli and Beyond
■ The Electric Theatre, Guildford  ■ Sun 13 Oct, 7pm

The global bestselling author talks about his life in books including the much-loved Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, published 25 years ago, his latest work, Labels and Other Stories, in which he revisits characters in Corelli, and the funny and heart-wrenching novel, So Much Life Left Over.

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