Under the Covers – upcoming book events, February – March

Under the Covers – upcoming book events, February – March

by Carolyn Thomas.

Calling all bookworms! Been tucked up reading under cosy blankets during a cold January? It’s time to venture out.  As February brings us some more light and a hint of spring, it’s a great time to get back out, not least for a rummage through all the books in the charity shops which other people have decluttered!

And you could maybe even go to a few events with a literary theme.

Here are some ideas:-




9 February

Author talk

Journalist and activist Michael Chessum talks about his new book This Is Only The Beginning: the making of a new left, from anti-austerity to the fall of Corbyn. 

Looking at social movements, youth radicalisation, and the Labour party, Michael tells the inside story of how the left came back to life in the 2010s, when he was at the centre of events. Michael co-founded the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts, was in Momentum’s first steering committee, and worked on Jeremy Corbyn’s second leadership campaign. He is a prominent voice on Brexit and migrants’ rights.

Describing his book as ‘by no means uncontroversial’, Michael hopes his talk will generate discussion, as well as being useful and informative. 

6.30pm. October Books 189 Portswood Road, Southampton SO17 2NF. Register via Eventbrite for a free ticket.


11 February

Half term fun for children

As part of the Children of Winchester festival, P&G Wells Bookshop is hosting three events for young readers and writers – all are free but must be pre-booked via the shop’s website.


Creative writing workshop with Jo Clarke, author of the Travelling School Mysteries, aimed at 8-12 year olds

Jo will explain how to plot the perfect crime, create detective characters and how to use clues to help readers solve a mystery. It’s a fun and interactive hour-long workshop, after which Jo will be signing her books, Libby and the Parisian Puzzle and Libby and the Highland Heist.


Author and illustrator Zosienka will give a reading and lead a drawing activity for 3-7 year olds, based around her beautiful picture book The Moon Keeper.  If the title sounds familiar it’s probably because it was read by Christine and the Queens as the CBeebies Bedtime Story on New Year’s Day.


Author and illustrator Margaret Sturton will read from her books, A Fox Called Herbert and Two Can Play, and encourage children, ages 5-8, to get hands-on and make a collage.


P & G Wells Bookshop, 11 College Street, Winchester, SO23 9LZ Hampshire


11/12 February

Room on the Broom show

Fans of the best-selling picture book Room on the Broom can see the witch and her cat brought to life in an Olivier Award-nominated adaptation for the theatre in Winchester. There are shows at 1.30 and 4pm on 11th and 11am and 2pm on 12th –suitable for ages 3+. Prices start at £10. 

Theatre Royal Winchester, 22-23 Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8SB


13 February

Arts Society Lecture

Local expert Annalie Talent discusses ‘Writers and Relics: A Brief History of Literary Tourism’.  Her ‘tour’ starts in Stratford, continues north to Scotland, and takes in the museums in West Yorkshire and the Lake District dedicated to the Brontes and Wordsworth respectively, before ending close to home with a discussion of the Jane Austen Museum and House in Chawton, near Alton.


Thornden Hall Arts Centre, Chandlers Ford SO53 2DW. For more information and tickets, which cost £8, go online to thorndenhall.co.uk, contact the box office on 023 8024 6555 or contact The Arts Society directly on 07899 778320.


17 Feb 

Give a book away!

It’s Random Act of Kindness Day. There are many ways to get involved in this annual celebration of kindness, through gestures big and small. How about passing on a much loved book to a stranger? Or to a charity shop?




4 March 

Immersive show

Non-binary poet and author Leslie Tate and musician Richard Lafford perform original and thought-provoking words and music inspired by three of the biggest themes in society today – mental health, being non-binary and climate change.

In the first half of a two-part evening, Leslie and Richard’s immersive show ‘IT’S OK!’ combines readings, interviews, music and dance about their experiences with mental health and being non-binary, including bullying, being labelled with special needs and the challenges of moving outside the boundaries of what is seen as male behaviour. Then in the second half, Leslie and Richard perform their powerful climate song-cycle ZERO HOUR EARTH.


7.30pm. The Art House, 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton SO14 7DW. 


25 March 

Book reading and signing

Hear Southampton author Oli Jacobs read from his latest novel Wrath of the Land. Signed copies also available for £10. Here’s something to whet your appetite: 

‘In the small town of West Crumb, a giant fatberg is found to be the cause of recent plumbing problems. As both perpetually hungover student Laura and lowly council worker Ronald deal with the respective fallout of the discovery, it soon turns out there is more to the mass than baby wipes and congealed fat. Eventually, West Crumb finds itself filled with avid cultists, strange government agencies, and something more sinister.’

3-5 pm 

The Art House, 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton SO14 7DW


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