Join us for Barnes BookFest 2024

Barnes BookFest is a weekend of writers, talks and books in the heart of SW13, London.  See more details on the bestselling authors and specialist writers at this year’s festival, running from Friday 20 September to Sunday 22 September. 

Register below for updates and latest news.  Tickets go on sale in July. 

Barnes BookFest 2024 Launch

Alistair McGowan

Alistair McGowan – ‘Not What We Were Expecting’

Alistair McGowan joins us to launch the Barnes BookFest festival programme for 2024. Well known for his witty impressions, on this occasion Alistair is talking about his first anthology of poetry – Not What We Were Expecting. With his unique mixture of humour and flair, Alistair shares the inspiration for his poetry with readings from the collection

“Alistair is famously a man of many voices, but this collection of poems introduces a new one: his own, a subtle, observant, wry, sometimes funny, sometimes melancholy voice. The poems are verbally adroit, often witty … but with an undertow of great feeling. Masterly.” Simon Callow

Tickets are £18 and available online or at The Barnes Bookshop
25% saving on the cover price of the book
if bought together with an event ticket

2024 Festival Programme - Preview

A glimpse of our exciting line-up for 20-22 September 2024.

Nigel Biggar

Nigel Biggar – ‘Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning’

Nigel Biggar’s bestselling analysis of the British Empire provoked extensive debate. In his defence of the empire, Professor Biggar faces challenging questions about colonialism.
Thurston Moore

Thurston Moore – ‘Sonic Life: A Memoir’

'One of the top guitarists of all time' (Rolling Stone), Thurston Moore on post-punk bohemia and life as the frontman of Sonic Youth – which defined alt rock in the 1980s/1990s.
Gill Johnson

Gill Johnson – ‘Love From Venice’

Gill Johnson discusses her memoir, recapturing the lavish opulence of Venice during the 1950s and her time there as a young woman. In conversation with journalist, Rory Ross.
Annie Garthwaite

Annie Garthwaite – ‘The King’s Mother’

Annie Garthwaite discusses Cecily Neville - mother of Edward IV and Richard III - the War of the Roses and the rivalry of four women to secure England’s throne for their own sons.
Chris Patten

Chris Patten – ‘The Hong Kong Diaries’

Chris Patten’s account of his time as the last Governor of Hong Kong gives unprecedented insights into negotiating with the Chinese and retaining the institutions of democracy.
Emily Howes

Emily Howes – ‘The Painter’s Daughters’

Debut novelist Emily Howes discusses the family life of eighteenth-century artist Thomas Gainsborough with the acclaimed art biographer, James Hamilton.
Vernon Bogdanor

Vernon Bogdanor – ‘Making the Weather’

Political and constitutional expert, Vernon Bogdanor considers the extraordinary impact of six post-war politicians upon our country, despite never becoming prime minister.
David Gower

David Gower – ‘An Endangered Species’

Possibly England’s greatest batsman, the former captain of the England cricket team talks with sports presenter Eleanor Olyroyd about all things cricket and beyond.
Robert Harris

Robert Harris – ‘Precipice’

Bestselling author Robert Harris talks with historian Simon Heffer, about the research and true events underlying his latest novel 'Precipice'.
Tomiwa Owolade

Tomiwa Owolade – ‘This is Not America’

Tomiwa Owolade argues that ideas about race and racial injustice are dominated by the American view. We need a new conversation about race in British life today.
Elizabeth Rizzini

Elizabeth Rizzini – Children’s Event: ‘Whatever the Weather’

BBC London weather forecaster Elizabeth Rizzini joins students from local schools to talk about … the weather!
Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth – ‘The 7 Secrets of Happiness’

Podcaster, broadcaster, writer and performer Gyles Brandreth meets his friend, the actor and poet Leigh Lawson, to celebrate the power of poetry and the importance of positivity.
Abi Daré

Abi Daré – ‘And So I Roar’

Internationally bestselling novelist Abi Daré talks about her latest book 'And So I Roar' which continues the story of Adunni, a young runaway in Nigeria who seeks a better future. The Judy Elliott Event - sponsored by The Barnes Bookshop.
Laurrie Bristow

Laurie Bristow – ‘Kabul: Final Call’

The last British Ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow describes the causes, meaning and human cost of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August 2021.
Bernard O’Keeffe

Bernard O’Keeffe – ‘Every Trick in the Book’

Life mimics art as local author Bernard O’Keeffe talks about his latest DI Garibaldi novel. A crime writer … dead in Barnes Pond, hours after giving a talk at the Barnes Book Festival.
Madhumita Murgia

Madhumita Murgia – ‘Code Dependent: Living in the Shadow of AI’

Madhumita Murgia discusses the impact of powerful and often exploitative technologies on everyday life with Bloomberg technology columnist, Parmy Olson.
Frank Gardner

Frank Gardner – ‘Invasion’

BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner talks about 'Invasion', his fourth book with SIS operative Luke Carlton, a story of dark espionage and geo-political tension.

Renaissance Women: Tracy Edwards, Roxana Panufnik, Rachel Morris and Daisy Dunn

Expert yachtswoman Tracy Edwards brings together a trio of remarkable woman to discuss their work in music, sport and literature.
Tom Baldwin

Tom Baldwin – ‘Keir Starmer: The Biography’

Author of the first authoritative – although not authorised – biography of Keir Starmer, in conversation with Evening Standard journalist, Philip Collins.
Miriam Margolyes

Miriam Margolyes – ‘O Miriam!’

Miriam Margolyes discusses her memoir 'O Miriam!' with fellow actress Patricia Hodge, and shares all sorts of stories – both published and unpublished.
Sue Prideaux

Sue Prideaux – ‘Wild Thing: A Life of Paul Gauguin’

The highly acclaimed biographer Sue Prideaux discusses her latest book – a vital re-examination of the trail blazing and controversial artist, Paul Gauguin. The Edwin Mullins Event – sponsored by Anne Mullins.