BOOKS SHOWOFF 1 – 24th May at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road.



The first of a new series of collaborations between Waterstones and comedian Steve Cross sees eight of London’s sparkiest readers take to the stage to share their passion (or intense critical appreciation) for books. Tonight you’ll see:

Steve Cross comedian, nerd celebrity, troublemaker and your compere. Hasn’t read a book since 2011.

Alice Bell presents a Brief History of Fan Fiction.

James Ward will be talking about secondhand books, receipts, accidental bookmarks, Google Streetview and how all of this resulted in him standing in the street and taking photographs of a stranger’s house.

Sarah Elizabeth Cox did an MA in International Relations and has probably read more books about the Cold War than your average person, but only remembers one of them. At Books Showoff she’ll discuss how the Berlin Wall wasn’t the only thing going down during 1989’s revolutionary climax.

Olivia Potts is an almost former criminal barrister, who moonlights as a cook and food writer. She’s a cookbook fanatic, and will look into her crystal mixing bowl to tell us what we’ll see from Nigella et al next.

Anne Welsh – Books sit on our shelves like undetonated bombs. Some have been captured by pirates, stopped a bullet, or sunk to the bottom of the ocean. They have told societies how to live, what to believe, and forecast the future. They’ve started wars and revolutions, and the shape of what we read, even onscreen, is still dictated, in the words of the song, by the size of a cow. Anne Welsh is big in Bibliography, and will share some cautionary tales. Tweets @AnneWelsh – mainly to a crowd of cataloguers, archivists and book historians.

Harry Harris joined a Finnegans Wake reading group and immediately found out just out of his depth he was surrounded by experts in politics, modernism, classics and Irish History – four things quite key in understand the Wake, he thinks…he’s really not sure, to be honest, but he’ll do his best to explain what he’s been doing on Tuesday nights for the past 5 months.

Kayleigh Betterton – “You know when you said ‘antiquarian books’ Miss, I thought you were talking about fishes…” Kayleigh Betterton is book-collector and teacher; reading, writing and educating young people about books on a daily basis. Tonight she will be talking about what happens when you introduce a group of South London teenagers to a collection of priceless, antique first editions.

Kerry Lambeth is writing a book about Shakespeare, tourism and bullshit.

The gig is in the basement of the cool new Waterstones on the south end of Tottenham Court Road (it’s in one of the units that used to be big flash electronics shops) on Tuesday May 24th. Doors open 7pm. There is a lovely bar (yay!) and a lift down to the basement.

Tickets are £5 from here.

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