Barnes BookFest 2024

Welcome to Barnes BookFest 2024

We have an amazing programme of authors, specialist writers and talks for this year’s festival and we hope you can join us. With a growing reputation for lively discussion and new ideas, Barnes BookFest 2024 takes place in Barnes, London SW13 from Friday 20 September – Sunday 22 September 2024.

Full programme details will become available soon. Priority booking window is from 29 June – 14 July 2024. Open booking starts 15 July 2024.

Register below for updates and latest news.

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

Alistair McGowan - Not What We Were Expecting
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.

Robert Harris

Robert Harris – ‘Precipice’

Bestselling author Robert Harris talks with historian Simon Heffer about the research and true story underlying his latest novel 'Precipice'.
Elizabeth Rizzini

Elizabeth Rizzini – Schools Event: ‘Whatever the Weather’

BBC London weather forecaster Elizabeth Rizzini joins pupils from local schools to talk about … the weather.
Frank Gardner

Frank Gardner – ‘Invasion’

Author and BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner talks about 'Invasion', his fourth book featuring SIS operative Luke Carlton in a story of dark espionage and geopolitical tension.
Thurston Moore

Thurston Moore – ‘Sonic Life: A Memoir’

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

Laurie Bristow – ‘Kabul: Final Call’

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

Renaissance Women: Roxanna Panufnik, Rachel Morris and Daisy Dunn

A trio of remarkable women discuss their work in music, sport and literature.
Tomiwa Owolade

Tomiwa Owolade – ‘This is Not America’

Tomiwa Owolade argues that the debate about race and racial injustice is dominated by American viewpoints. Instead, we need a new conversation about race in British life today.
Nigel Biggar

Nigel Biggar – ‘Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning’

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

Gill Johnson – ‘Love From Venice’

Gill Johnson discusses her memoir, which recaptures the lavish opulence of Venice during the 1950s and her time there as a young woman, in conversation with journalist Rory Ross.
Miriam Margolyes

Miriam Margolyes – ‘Oh Miriam!’

Miriam Margolyes discusses her memoir 'Oh Miriam!' with fellow actress Patricia Hodge and shares all sorts of stories – both published and unpublished.
Laura Cumming

Laura Cumming – ‘Thunderclap’

Art critic Laura Cumming discusses her book 'Thunderclap', a memoir about a life in art, a father and daughter and the great artists of the Dutch Golden Age.
Hayley Mills

Hayley Mills – The Michael Billington Interview

Hayley Mills discusses Hollywood and childhood stardom in conversation with theatre critic Michael Billington.
Bernard O’Keeffe

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

Life hopefully doesn’t mimic art as local author Bernard O’Keeffe talks about his latest DI Garibaldi novel, in which a crime writer is found 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.
Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth and Leigh Lawson – ‘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.
Tom Baldwin

Tom Baldwin – ‘Keir Starmer: The Biography’

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

Annie Garthwaite – ‘The King’s Mother’

Annie Garthwaite discusses Cecily Neville - mother of Edward IV and Richard III - the Wars of the Roses and the four women who shaped the progress and outcome of these most savage wars.
Chris Patten

Chris Patten – ‘The Hong Kong Diaries’

Lord Patten’s account of his time as the last Governor of Hong Kong gives unprecedented insights into negotiating with the Chinese, he discusses what has happened since the 1997 handover.
Vernon Bogdanor

Vernon Bogdanor – ‘Making the Weather’

Political historian Sir Vernon Bogdanor considers six post-war politicians who each had an extraordinary impact on our country, despite never becoming prime minister.
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.
Abi Daré

Abi Daré – ‘And So I Roar’

Internationally bestselling novelist Abi Daré talks about her latest novel 'And So I Roar' which continues the story of Adunni, a young runaway in Nigeria who seeks a better future.
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.