Thursday, July 24, 2014

Groups, Clubs, Socials

We – at the Big Green Bookshop – do groups.

And by "DO" I mean we love groups, we encourage groups, and we like to think that we nurture groups. In short(ish) we dig groups, societies, socials, friends of, bands, crowds, committees, sub-committees, boards, clubs, bodies or quangos. Call 'em what you will, we love 'em.

 We already have a busy schedule, but we find ourselves with an evening or two to spare, so we thought we'd let you decide what type of group we should run.

Here is a list of suggestions (some made by customers) for you to vote for. Or you can suggest one of your very own.

(If you want to suggest a group you can email, or tweet @biggreenbooks, or call 020 8881 6767, or come into the shop for a chat.) 

  • Storytime for Adults
We will invite people to tell their stories, read their poems or sing their songs that have a narrative. It must tell a story or it won't make the cut. The performers can be professional or amateur so long as they have a tale to tell. The stories can be funny or sad, fact or fiction, long or short. AND there could be an Open-Mic spot.
This would be the type of event where we would like both story-tellers and an audience.
We would operate this is a similar way to the Comedy Nights, where we charge an entry fee and the performers take a cut. This suggestion was made by a customer.

  • Screen or Script Writing Group
It may simply be coincidence, but recently I have met a number of people who are working on scripts 'n' screenplays, and it occurred to me that they need as much support as any other writers.
Our writing group recently grew so popular that we had to split it into two, but there's nothing for the dedicated playwriter.
If this proves to be the choice of the people then we would contact the lovely folk at Mountview Theatre School to encourage their students to attend to table-read the offerings.
Like the writing group this would involve a £3.00 sub

  • Wine Tasting
Surprisingly this is Simon's idea. I suppose that's because there's already a lot of wine tasting (and swallowing) at events that I host. (this is Tim writing this by the way. If you don't know who I am (maybe you're a fan of the shop from Twitter, or Facebook or some other digital-e-based thingy all of which Simon is king) well, I am the other one. After a few glasses of wine I is the better looking one….
This group may seem self explanatory, but I should add that it would not be one of us leading the group. We would find a local expert (maybe from a nice independent off-licence) to chair the meetings.
Also, as we have forged some links to local brewers, it wouldn't just be wine we'd be tasting.
There would have to be a charge to cover the cost of the wine.

  • Book Swap with Food to Share

But you already do a book swap, don't you? Well yes, but the emphasis is always on visiting authors. This book swap would be much more relaxed, and more about meeting new people and recommending books to them over shared food & drink. We would have visiting authors, but not every time. 
This would be a free event (so long as everybody brings something for the table)

  • Women's Institute Style Talks
We would invite local businesspersons, journalists, minor celebs, people in the news, maybe a local Politian or two to come and tell us their tales. and answer questions.
We wouldn't advertise who was coming in advance so every month would be a surprise.
There would be a £3.00 sub for this event, and we would encourage people to bring food & drink to share.

  • News or Philosophy group
Come together to discuss the news of the day, or the big questions facing the modern philosopher. Sometimes you just want to let off steam about the injustices in the world, or to share a page 20 good news story that most people won't have seen. Sometimes just asking a question out loud provides you with the answer. This would be an opportunity to meet new people and listen to their opinions. This group was suggested by a customer

  • Senseless Argument Group
Also suggested by a customer….
Pick a pointless subject (Why should adding ridges to a crisp make it taste better?) add in some alcohol and go…
Incidentally, have dustbin men actually got louder now that the old tin dustbins are no more?

And lastly

  • Singles Book Swap Group
It's tricky to meet new people with a view to dating. What do you talk about? Well this could be a chance to meet that special someone.
Bring a book to recommend and swap, maybe some food or drink to share. 
Could literary compatibility lead to anything more?
This group was suggested by a customer

Check out this list first. We may already run the perfect group for you.

You will find below all the events that happen every month, regular as clockwork.

Monday 10.00am – 11.00am
Storytime & Songs for under 5s
Come and enjoy some books and join in with the singing. Suitable for newborns to 5 year olds. A great opportunity to meet other local parents. There's tea & coffee for the parents and a flapjack for the kids.
And it's FREE (although donations are gratefully accepted)

Monday 7.00pm
Monday Evening Reading Group 
We're always looking for more people to come along to our Reading Groups.
This one usually meets on the LAST MONDAY of each month,
There are drinks and snacks at the shop, but you're more than welcome to bring something to share.

Monday 7.00pm
Songwriting Salon 
Stuck for a rhyme? Stuck for a tune? Or have a song that you want to test drive before you play it live at the O2? Try it out with a friendly group of amateur musicians/songwriters
We meet on the SECOND MONDAY of every month.
Bring along some refreshments to share.
This group was suggested by a customer.

Tuesday 7.00pm
Tuesday Evening Reading Group 
We're always looking for more people to come along to our Reading Groups.
This one usually meets on the SECOND TUESDAY of each month,
There are drinks and snacks at the shop, but you're more than welcome to bring something to share.

Tuesday 7.00pm
Music Jam – Campfire Night
A few of our customers (like me (Tim)) play instruments, but the only chance they get to play them is in the privacy of their own homes.
We thought it might be a good idea to invite them to come along, bring an instrument (we can't fit a piano through the front door), relax and have fun with like minded musicians at the bookshop.
It's open to everyone whatever age and level you're at and who knows, this time next year you could be playing in front of thousands of screaming fans at Wembley Arena
We meet on the FIRST TUESDAY of each month.
We call this the Campfire Night because it's like sitting round a campfire sharing songs.
Bring along some refreshments to share.
This group was suggested by a customer.

Wednesday 7.00pm
Writers Group
Do you write short stories or novels?  Are you interested in joining a writers group? Do you have £3 spare?
So many questions....
But if the answer to these is yes, or even maybe, then why not come along to this group,
There are now two groups which run on alternate Wednesdays.
Writing Support Group. The ideal opportunity to test out your work and get feedback from a friendly group of fellow authors.
Critique Group. For those who have finished – or nearly – finished their work, this is a chance to fine tune it. There are also in-depth discussions on how to get your work published.
Both groups have only two rules.
 Rule 1 - Leave your ego at the door. Nobody's work is above constructive criticism.
 Rule 2 - Remember you're dealing with people's personal work, thoughts and words. Be constructive, not dismissive.
We know there are many of you out there who are really keen to write and this maybe something that'll help. You can come as little of as often as you like, to as many groups as you like, but if you think it may help, then why not come along.
Contact the shop to check dates.
Both groups are £3 per session, which will cover refreshments and the cost of the venue.
This group was suggested by a customer

Thursday 7.00pm
Short Story Reading Group 
We're always looking for more people to come along to our Reading Groups.
This one usually meets on the LAST THURSDAY of each month, and is dedicated to reading short stories.
There are drinks and snacks at the shop, but you're more than welcome to bring something to share.
This group was suggested by a customer.

Thursday 7.00pm
Gardeners' Questions
Is everything in your garden rosy? Or are weeds kicking sand in your face? (Metaphorically)
Either way this could be the group for you. Come and sow your knowledge, or gain a bit of home grown wisdom from other members of the group.
Subjects ranging from organic gardening to foraging will be discussed over the next few months.
This group meets on the THIRD THURSDAY of the month; check in the shop for further details.
This group was suggested by a customer

Friday 10.00am – 11.00am
Storytime & Songs for under 5s
Come and enjoy some books and join in with the singing. Suitable for newborns to 5 year olds. A great opportunity to meet other local parents. There's tea & coffee for the parents and a flapjack for the kids.
And it's FREE (although donations are gratefully accepted)

Friday 8.00pm
Working Title Comedy Night
On the LAST FRIDAY of each month. Our Monthly Stand-Up Comedy night. It's now become an established venue on the London comedy circuit. Each month we have some great stand-ups. There's a mixture of highly regarded newcomers, award winning comics as well as television and festival favourites. There are usually 4 or 5 great acts and an open mic session, all wonderfully compered by your host for the night, Chris Brosnahan (Described by The Sun as "a Comedian")
Bring your own refreshments, sit back and enjoy a great night at the bookshop.
Check the Events & Diary page for full details

Sunday 1.00pm-4.00pm
Knitting Club
It's the FIRST SUNDAY of the month, so it must be Knitting Club. It's simple.
Turn up, knit, chat, knit some more, eat biscuits and drink tea.
Everyone is welcome, even crochetters.

Sunday 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Boardgames Day
It's the LAST SUNDAY of the month, so it must be board games day at the Big Green Bookshop. You'll have the chance to relive some of your childhood classics like Monopoly but also try some of the new generation of games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne and Labyrinth. These are fun, pacey, challenging games that don't drag on endlessly until you've lost the will to live.
Come along to the bookshop anytime throughout the afternoon, choose a game and spend a pleasant afternoon in the lovely surroundings of the bookshop trying to build your railway network, build your medieval empire or create a new civilisation. We'll provide coffee and tea, but bring along snacks to keep your mind focussed on destroying your opponents. Come along with friends or by yourself, we'll sure that there'll be a game you can join in with. If you want to bring along your own game then that's fine (especially if it's Escape From Colditz, I haven't played that for years) or if you want us to get a particular boardgame then just let us know and we'll do our best to get it (not Twister!).
There's even a Facebook Group called BOARD TO DEATH.....

This is a FREE club and we hope you tell all your friends about it.
This group was suggested by a customer

You can see how many of our groups have come from our lovely customers. We really do listen.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Big Green Bookswap, with Nikesh Shukla and James Smythe

Wednesday July 30th  7.30pm-9.30pm
The Big Green Bookswap with Nikesh Shukla and James Smythe

£3. (includes drink). Buy Tickets HERE

Join us for a glorious evening of entertainment and literary chat at the Big Green Bookshop (one of the 14 most beautiful indie bookshops in London).

There are two rules of Book Swap
1.       Bring a book with you that you like enough to recommend but are happy to swap
2.       Prepare to be entertained.
At these Book Swaps we ask the audience to each write down a question to ask our special guests.  The catch is that the question must have NOTHING to do with books. These questions are then placed in the "Bucket of Mystery" which Simon will randomly dip into throughout the evening.
"Special guests?" you say.
YES. We have two exceptional authors appearing this month. The clue to who they are was in the title of this event, but let us give you a little bit more information.

 NIKESH SHUKLA is the author of the hilarious Coconut Unlimited, which was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. His short stories have featured pretty much everywhere, including The Salt Best British Short stories collection. I would seriously recommend if you have the facility to do so, you should dowload The Time Machine, which will make you cry.
And now his second novel has just been published. Meatspace (you may have heard us mention this book before) is a smart, funny cautionary tale about a struggling author's obsession with social media. Read about it HERE.
I must also mention that Nikesh likes Spider-Man, possibly a bit too much.
JAMES SMYTHE  is the author of (among others) The Testimony, which won the Wales Book of the Year Award, The Explorer and No Harm Can Come to a Good Man. His latest novel is the phenomenalThe Machine, which was Shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2014. You can read about the book HERE.
He is currently on book 29 (!) in his Guardian series entitled"Rereading Steven King".
Along with Nikesh, James co-hosts a sci-fi podcast, called Meat Up, Hulk Out. So there's every chance that he likes Spider-Man too much as well.
All these books we've mentioned will be available on the night at excitingly less than recommended retail prices.
Book Swaps are fun. DO YOU LIKE FUN? Fun that costs three pounds and includes a drink?
Well come along then!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Shappi Khorsandi. Friday July 25th

Friday July 25th 8.00pm-11.00pm
Working Title Comedy Night with Shappi Khorsandi
We have something very special indeed for you this month, as we welcome the amazing Shappi Khorsandi to the Big Green Bookshop. 
She'll be heading off to the Edinburgh Festival the following week, but we're going to be treated to a preview of her show before she goes.
After being knocked up like a 1950s teenager, she missed the festival last year, but now she is back and it's forward march for Shappi.
Reflecting on the good things, she celebrates her haphazard, zigzag towards her dreams.
She introduces us to friends, family and total strangers who have helped her on her personal Yellow Brick Road. 
She's feisty, flirty and effortlessly funny she handles every subject with a razor sharp wit, softened only by her deliciously dizzy delivery and endless charm. 
Now, you know that tickets will sell out very quickly, so if you want to come along, PLEASE make sure you buy them in advance, as we won't be letting people in on the door.
Tickets are just FIVE POUNDS (bring your own refreshments) and your host will be the spectacular Chris Brosnahan.

Hope to see you there.  
Support acts TBA

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Haruki Murakami Midnight Opening

 Monday August 11th 7.30pm-midnight
A Very Special Evening celebrating Haruki Murakami's New Novel.
+With very special guests+

£32 Including Book (early bird price) BUY TICKETS HERE. 
£20 Without Book BUY TICKETS HERE.
The new novel by Haruki Murakami is being published in the UK in August.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, which has already topped the charts in GermanySpain andHolland, will be published in the UK on August 12th. The book sold one million copies in its first week on sale in Japanlast April,
" Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning 'red pine', and Oumi, 'blue sea', while the girls' names were Shirane, 'white root', and Kurono, 'black field'.
Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki's friends announced that they didn't want to see him, or talk to him, ever again. Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone.
But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago."
The book is strictly embargoed. It will only be available to buy from midnight on August 11/12th.  We love Murakami at the Big Green Bookshop and so we're holding a special night to celebrate, culminating in the book being available to take home at midnight.
We have secured copies of the very special first edition of the book, which will include  
If you can't make it for the evening, but would like a copy of the first edition with the stickers they are available HERE (FREE P+P). 
The evening will run as follows;
7.30pm Doors open. Guests can enjoy a drink and a browse (sake will be available, as well as wine, beer and soft drinks).
7.45pm Stuart Evers presents "The Murakami Lectures".
Stuart is the author of the short story collection "Ten Stories about Smoking" which won the London Award. His latest novel "If This is Home" is published by Picador.
A huge Murakami fan (Stuart introduced me to the great man's work when we worked together in the '90s), Stuart will present "The Murakami Lectures" a light hearted homage to the great man. 
8.15pm Dinner.
Traditional Japanese food will be served, by specialist local caterers. The menu will include; 
  • Futomaki  (thick sushi rolls).
  • Temaki (hand rolled sushi cones).
  • Miso Soup (a traditional Japanese soup, consisting of a stock called Dashi, in which is mixed Miso paste. Other ingredients change seasonally).
  • Gyoza (traditional meat or vegetable dumplings usually eaten with a dipping sauce).
9.00pm Evie Wyld  
Our second special guest is the brilliant Evie Wyld whose latest novel "All The Birds Singing" has become a multi award winner, having won The Encore Award (ahead of Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton) a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and just a couple of weeks ago winning the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
She'll be reading an exclusive extract from "Colorless Tsukuru...", to whet your appetites
9.30pm "When Scott met Haruki"
Scott Pack, author, Friday Project publisher and blogger (Me and My Big Mouth), has met the illusive Haruki Murakami on four occasions. Scott will tell us stories (and there are some fabulous ones) from these meetings. 
10.00pm Film - I Hired a Contract Killer
We'll be showing a film by Aki Kaurismäki, Murakami's favouirte film director, the dark comedy "I Hired a Contract Killer".
After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to murder him at some unspecified time in the future. But almost immediately he meets and falls in love with Margaret, a flower-seller, which makes Henri realise that his life has some meaning after all. But when he goes back to the bar to cancel the contract, he finds it has been demolished - and there's no way he can get in touch with the killer...
At midnight, we will then be able to give each guest a copy of the book, which they can take home. 
What an epic night this promises to be. 
Book tickets early, as these evenings have proved incredibly popular in the past and have sold out very quickly.