Robin Ince at Red Lion Books

Is he a stand-up comic, actor or radio presenter; writer or explorer of the human condition; is he a science communicator or a poet? Well, this is Robin Ince and he is all of these things and more.

This afternoon he arrived at Red Lion Books to talk to our customers about his new book ‘The Importance of Being Interested’. And when I say talk…. Let me explain. This afternoon he arrived at Red Lion Books to talk to our customers about his new book ‘The Importance of Being Interested’. And when I say talk…. Let me explain. He said he would talk for about 40 minutes and then take questions. What happened was that an hour went by during which he hardly drew breath. And in that hour, we taken on a roller coaster ride through his vision of what science is, how it works, what it means to be a scientist and what makes it so endlessly fascinating. Oh, and there were regular jokes thrown in.

He spoke about the importance of questions which stimulate and provoke exploration and experimentation and how they are, in a funny kind of way, more important than the answers. The total amount of what we cannot explain actually increases as we learn more!

He reminisced about an evening in Wales when the night sky cleared and the light pollution was low. Myriad stars were revealed, the sky packed with points of light. Light generated by the release of photons as Hydrogen turns to Helium. Photons created millions upon millions of years ago. Photons which had travelled across countless light years and the first thing they encountered after all that time and space was his own eye.

He talked about what you might see the universe as you slip into a black whole. I think it was to do with the layering of time.

There was talk of pulsars and pencils, beetles and Brian Cox…….and whether there might still be a place for God in a rational scientific world view.

Originally, Robin Ince had some mega gigs lined up for this autumn. When things fell through, he decided instead to embark upon a tour of 100 bookshops across the country, travelling always by train and on foot.  So instead of the Birmingham Arena with 12, 000 people, here he was in our spare room above the bookshop talking to 25 people. And it was a privilege for all present. Listening to Robin Ince is like having the nuts and bolts in your brain unscrewed enough to shift some preconceptions and prejudices. And loosened enough to let some inspiration in. This was his 45th stop on the tour. If you get half a chance get along one of the upcoming 55 remaining gigs.

Independent Bookshop of the Year

East of England Winner

We are thrilled to have won the award for the East of England region and to be on the shortlist for this year’s national award.

Big big thanks to all our customers for your amazing support through the last year. We can only ever be as good as our customers!

Author Talk with Nick Bradley

Online Zoom Event with Appetite Book Club

Nick Bradley – The Cat and the City

Wednesday  26th May at 8 pm

Join us and welcome Nick Bradley for an event to mark the launch of the paperback edition of ‘The Cat and the City’, a BBC Radio 2 book club pick.

About The Cat and the City

In Tokyo – one of the world’s largest megacities – a stray cat is wending her way through the back alleys. And, with each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city-dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways.

But the city is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers – from a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, to a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, to a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo’s denizens, drawing them ever closer.

‘Masterfully weaves together seemingly disparate threads to conjure up a vivid tapestry of Tokyo; its glory, its shame, its characters, and a calico cat.’ David Peace, author of THE TOKYO TRILOGY

Author Talk with Sarah Winman

Online Zoom Event

Sarah Winman – Still Life

Wednesday 23rd June at 7 pm

We are thrilled to be hosting an online talk with Sarah Winman, acclaimed author of  ‘When God was a Rabbit’, ‘ A Year of Marvellous Ways‘ and ‘Tin Man‘. 

Sarah will be talking about her much anticipated new novel, ‘Still Life’

About Still Life

Still Life is a big-hearted story of people brought together by love, war, art and the ghost of E.M. Forster.1944, in the ruined wine cellar of a Tuscan villa, as bombs fall around them, two strangers meet and share an extraordinary evening. Ulysses Temper is a young British soldier, Evelyn Skinner is a sexagenarian art historian and possible spy. She has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the wreckage and relive memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid in a particular Florentine room with a view.Evelyn’s talk of truth and beauty plants a seed in Ulysses’ mind that will shape the trajectory of his life – and of those who love him – for the next four decades. Moving from the Tuscan Hills and piazzas of Florence, to the smog of London’s East End, Still Life is a sweeping, joyful novel about beauty, love, family and fate.

‘Four course nourishment for all Winman fans’ Patrick Gale ‘Extraordinary .. . my book of the year’ Liz Nugent ‘The kind of story that bolsters the heart and soul’ Donal Ryan

Email for more details on how to register for this event.

Book Launch: ‘The Secrets of the Lake’ with Liz Trenow

We are thrilled to offer this event – the launch of a new Liz Trenow novel.
Liz will be on zoom to talk about her latest book, THE SECRETS OF THE LAKE. Tickets can be bought from Red Lion Books via for £8.99 and will include a copy of the book.
There is an additional £1.50 if you would like us to post it.