You may have seen Richmond Reads on posters in our libraries or on our website, but what is Richmond Reads? In this blog post we’ll explain what it is, when it is, what to expect and and how you can take part.

What is Richmond Reads?

Richmond Reads is a new annual programme of events and activities that takes place across our libraries and online between October and November 2023.  Its aim is to highlight the pleasure of reading and the benefits, as well as to inspire people to expand their reading horizons and try new things.

What to expect

Image of the author Louise HareImage of the cover of Harlem After Midnight, a book by Louise Hare

We  prepared a programme for Richmond Reads which includes workshops, hands-on-sessions, talks and performances. Novel writing for beginners is a workshop led by Louise Hare. A published author, her books include This Lovely City, Miss Aldridge Regrets and Harlem after Midnight. Louise will share tips and techniques for finding inspiration as well as developing compelling storylines and believable characters, and there will be time to practice your own writing as well!

The latest addition to our digital offer is BFI Replay -a free streaming service for public libraries. With thousands of digitised videos and television programmes, its collections come from BFI National Archive, partner UK regions and Nations Films Archives. From films and TV programmes to adverts, BFI Replay really is a trip down memory lane for many. We are hosting a hands-on session which will help you to explore this exciting new resource. Book tickets now for  Lose yourself in the past with BFI Replay

Talks and author events

Image of the book cover of How We Might Live: At Home with Jane and William Morris by Suanne Fagence Cooper. Image of the author Dr Dr Suzanne Fagence CooperWe’ve invited a wide array of authors to join Richmond Reads to keep you entertained and excited about books this autumn. From memoirs to crime, debuts to established writers, you will have a chance to discover new authors or listen to your favourites discussing their latest titles.

For the lovers of historical biographies and the Arts & Crafts Movement, Dr Suzanne Fagence Cooper will present At Home with Jane and William Morris – an illustrated talk about William Morris –a poet and designer, and his wife Jane Morris. The talk is based on her book, How We Might Live the first joint biography of Jane and William Morris published by Quercus. If this talk whetted your appetite for more historical content, look no further than the author event with Laura Shepherd-Robinson in conversation with Anna Mazzola. During this evening of mystery and intrigue they will be discussing Square of Sevens (Mantle) , Laura’s newest book, set in Georgian high society.

Those who enjoy contemporary memoirs and are animal lovers will not want to miss Vet at the End of the Earth: Adventures with Animals in the South Atlantic – an event with Jonathan Hollins – a resident vet in the British Overseas Territories and the author of Vet at the End of the Earth, published by Duckworth. Jonathan will be sharing memorable and entertaining stories from his book in conversation with James Fair, a former writer and commissioning editor at BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Image of the author Janice Hallett Image of the book cover of The Christmas Appeal by Janice HallettIf crime novels are your preferred genre, you are up for a real treat! Firstly, four amazing authors –Emma Curtis, Claire Douglas, S. E. Lynes and B. A. Paris – will be talking about their books during Murderously good conversation, an afternoon discussing motivation, inspiration, and the techniques behind their writing. We also invite you to An Evening with Janice Hallett – a conversation with the bestselling author of The Appeal,  The Twyford Code and The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, published by Viper Books. Janice will be introducing The Christmas Appeal, a delightful novella that sees the return of some familiar characters from her first novel for a festive murder mystery.

British journalist and a former BBC News technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones will be in conversation with historian and journalist Anne Sebba. He’ll discuss his moving memoir about the search for the truth behind his isolated childhood and absent father – Ruskin Park : Sylvia, me and the BBC, published by September Publishing.  Rory is also known across the world for documenting his journey with rescue dog #SophiefromRomania. Book now for Family Secrets: Sylvia, me and the BBC .

Fran Littlewood and Georgina Moore will be chatting about their dazzling debuts – New York Times Bestseller Amazing Grace Adams (Michael Joseph) and Sunday Times Bestseller The Garnett Girls (HQ). Critics praised these books for their emotional punch and page-turning plots. Find out from them ow they did it.

Richmond Reads events online

Image of the book cover of Kala by Colin Walsh Image of the author Colin WalshJoin us for The debut that’s got everyone talking with Colin Walsh, author of Kala, published by Atlantic Books,. The book was shortlisted for the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize 2023, and  was described by The Daily Telegraph as “An addictive read with explosive revelation“. Then there is Dead Funny – an online talk with crime authors Alice Bell and Maz Evans discussing their books, Grave Expectations (Corvus) and Over My Dead Body  (Headline). Expect a discussion about cosy crime, unexpected sleuthing duos and dark humour.

Performance storytelling

Back by popular demand, Richmond Reads is hosting more  Storytelling for grown-ups. This time it’s by “London’s resident storyteller” Vanessa Woolf . Featured in Time Out’s definitive ’50 Best Nights Out in London her secret storytelling adventures in hidden corners of London will leave you with goosebumps.

Lastly, if you are unable to attend our events, fear not! You can always take part in Digital read-a-long – a shared reading of The New York Times bestseller Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang, which will be available from October 10 to 24 exclusively on the Libby app, both as an eAudiobook as well as an eBook.

How to take part in Richmond Reads

To view the full programme of events and book tickets visit our website . For more information and to receive updates about the Richmond Reads season as well as regular events,  subscribe to our library newsletter. You can also follow us on the libraries’ social media channels to keep up to date.

We hope you will enjoy Richmond Reads season – please let us know which events you are planning to attend in the comments down below!

Happy reading, Richmond!