Nottingham’s independent bookshop | 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH | 0115 8373097

Date/Time Event
Wednesday, 24th August
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Five Leaves Book Group, discussing The Book of Form & Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

Our book group is open to all. Attend every meeting, occasionally or just once a lifetime. All we ask is that you read the book in advance and take part in the discussion. There’s a short introduction by a member of staff or a group regular or someone we know with a special interest in the book in question.

After the tragic death of his father, fourteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house and sound variously pleasant, angry or sad. Then his mother develops a hoarding problem, and the voices grow more clamorous. So Benny seeks refuge in the silence of a large public library. There he meets a mesmerising street artist with a smug pet ferret; a homeless philosopher-poet; and his very own Book, who narrates Benny’s life and teaches him to listen to the things that truly matter.

Blending jazz, climate change and our attachment to material possessions, this is classic Ruth Ozeki territory

Free, light refreshments provided. Please book in advance via Eventbrite.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Sunday, 28th August
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Afternoon tea with Mary, John and friends

Almost 200 years after its first publication, and almost 200 years after the death of the author, we are pleased to bring back to the public domain the work of Mary Bailey. In this event her work will be read aloud for the first time since the nineteenth century. The event will be introduced by John Goodridge. We will be joined by Rowena Edlin-White and Miriam Jackson of Nottingham Women’s History Group who have also been working to rediscover the voices of Nottingham women writers from the past.

Doors open 5.30, readings and talk at 6.00

This event costs £7.00 – register via Eventbrite – and includes tea, cake and a complimentary copy of Mary and John’s pamphlet.

We can only accommodate modest numbers for afternoon tea so advance registration is essential.

Mary Bailey’s is a unique female voice in the masculine world of nineteenth-century
Nottingham working-class poetry. A ‘lace-runner’ whose sore eyes and tired fingers
crafted intricately embroidered garments for ‘fine ladies’ as she raised her family of
nine in conditions of poverty, she published thirteen poems, two years before she died, in an attempt to raise money for her family. Often song-like in their rhythms, her verses reflect the struggle to survive and live in a decent way, and of such challenges as being told she had too many children (‘To a Lady who desired me to pray for the death of my youngest child’), trying to make her customers understand what it took to make fine lace and why they should pay fairly for it (‘Petition to the British Fair’), and tackling two middle-class
girls seen tormenting an insect for pleasure (‘The Locust’). Just two fragile copies of her original pamphlet are known to have survived. The present publication, part of a wider recovery of the rich literary past of Nottingham, a Unesco City of Literature, brings it back into the public domain after 200 years.

John Goodridge is an expert on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century labouring-class
poetry. Rowena Edlin-White will be reading from Eliza Oldham’s Beside the Trent, about the lace runners. Eliza wrote about Mary’s era and area which she knew very well, and Lucy Joynes – a woman in Nottingham at the same time as Mary Bailey, who wrote about the urban environment. Miriam Jackson will wind up the event with a word on Susannah Wright, a lace worker and Nottingham’s first radical bookseller.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 31st August
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Remembering the Soviet Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee

On August 12th 1952, thirteen members of the Soviet Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee  יידישער אנטי פאשיסטישער קאמיטעט were murdered on the orders of Stalin. Join us to commemorate their 70th יארצייט

S. Lozovskii, J. Juzefovich, Prof. B. Shimeliovich, I. Fefer, L. Kvitko, P. Markish, D. Bergelson, D. Hofstein, B. Zuskin, L. Talmi, I. Vatenberg, E. Teumin,  and Ch. Vatenberg-Ostrovska 

6.30-9.30 (doors 6.00)

SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Speakers: Gennady Estraikh, Professor, New York University and Helen Beer, Lecturer Emerita, University College London                    
Music: Polina Shepherd

Followed by Song Searcher (83 minutes) a film about Moyshe Beregovsky, who recorded and studied the traditional music of Ukranian Jewry in the 192s, 30s and 40s and who was imprisoned in a Stalinist labour camp in 1950.

Tickets (£5.00, including light refreshments) available shortly from the Jewish Music Institute (www.jmi.org.uk)  Organised by the Jewish Music Institute and Five Leaves Publications

For further information email bookshop@fiveleaves.co.uk

Venue: SOAS, London
Monday, 5th September
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Catch Your Breath, comedy that might send you to sleep, with Ed Patrick

Strong drugs for his patients, strong coffee for him. But it’s not just sleep-giving for this anaesthetist, as he navigates emergencies, patients not breathing for themselves and living with a terrifying sense of responsibility. It’s enough to leave anyone feeling numb. Ed is, by the way, an anaesthetist and a comic. So don’t worry, there’s plenty of laughing gas to be had.

Basically he has two jobs, keeping people alive by putting them to sleep and – separately – making people laugh their socks off, often about medicine, often about his day job.

He even looks like the medic he is.

He also created and presented “Infectious Personalities” broadcasted on BBC Radio 2 where his guests include Charlie Brooker and Sindhu Vee. Ed has written and performed on BBC Radio 4, for shows “Now Wash Your Hands” and “Newsjack”, and he has also written for the Guardian about the intersection between medicine and comedy.


Booking essential, please book via Eventbrite.

Ticket prices – £5.00 without a book, £10.00 with a book (collected on the night or in advance from the shop)

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 15th September
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Greek Myths, a new retelling with Charlotte Higgins

Here are myths of the creation, of Heracles and Theseus and Perseus, the Trojan war and its origins and aftermaths, tales of Thebes and Argos and Athens. There are stories of love and desire, adventure and magic, destructive gods, helpless humans, fantastical creatures, resourceful witches and the origins of birds and animals. This is a world of extremes, and one that resonates deeply with our own: mysterious diseases devastate cities; environmental disasters tear lives apart; women habitually suffer violence at the hands of men.

Unlike in many previous collected myths, female characters take centre stage – Athena, Helen, Circe, Penelope and others weave these stories into elaborate imagined tapestries. In Charlotte Higgins’s thrilling new interpretation, their tales combine to form a sweeping epic of storytelling, and a magnificent work of scholarship and imagination.

Charlotte Higgins‘s previous books include  Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, which was shortlisted for awards including the Samuel Johnson (now Baillie Gifford) Prize for non-fiction, and Red Thread, which was a Radio 4 Book of the Week and won the Arnold Bennett Prize 2019. She is chief culture writer of the Guardian, a past winner of the Classical Association prize, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Tickets: £6.00 (£3.00 students and those without a wage). Refreshments provided.

Note early start time

Please register via Eventbrite.

Greek Myths is now in paperback, the hardback is reviewed here.

You can buy the paperback in the bookshop or order online here.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Wednesday, 5th October
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Orbis at 200!

ORBIS: international literary journal is currently celebrating its 200th edition.

This joint event with Nottingham Poetry Society involves the editor, Carole Baldock, some guest readers from this issue and a bit of a trawl through the magazine’s history. The full line up will be announced later.

Copies of the 200th edition, plus bargain copies of some other editions, will be available on the night.

Tickets: £3.00 including refreshments

Free to members of Nottingham Poetry Society

Eventbrite link to follow soon




Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 13th October
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Marina Hyde: What Just Happened?!

Marina Hyde has worked at the Guardian since 2000, where her weekly columns have won her a reputation as one of the most admired journalists in the UK. She has been named Political Commentator of the Year for the past two years by the Society of Editors, and Commentator of the Year at the Press Awards for the past three years running. She is the only woman in 45 years to receive the Sportswriter of the Year award from the Sports Journalists’ Association.

At this event she will be reading from her best, possibly her most vicious, columns which revisit the fever dreams of delusional Britain. Marina is not what you might call a fan of the current Government, or the last one.  All our fave and most talented politicians of our era will get a brisk rub down… Cameron (remember him?), May, Johnson and whoever is the lucky leader of the Conservative Party and current PM.

Not sure of venue yet but the price of the tickets will be £20 including a copy of Marina’s new book, £30 for two tickets including one copy of her new book and £10 for single admission only. Book via Eventbrite.

Readers of the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and the Express are particularly welcome of course.

Note earlier start.

Thursday, 20th October
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Griselda Pollock on Killing Men and Dying Women: Imagining Difference in 1950s New York Painting (online)
Let’s talk more about women and art!  Do join us for the launch of Griselda Pollock’s new book from Manchester University Press.

Griselda Pollock asks: what would it mean for Lee Krasner to be an artist and a woman in 1950s New York, when to be an artist was to be Jackson Pollock and to be a woman was to be Marilyn Monroe?

Following our previous events on women and art, we are delighted to welcome back feminist art historian Griselda Pollock, who argues that feminist theories of embodiment, gesture, hysteria, and subjectivity can deepen our understanding of abstract paintings by artists like Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler in the 1950s. This Cold War decade was also dominated by the iconic, white American image of Marilyn Monroe who left an unexpected trace in the works of New York painters both as an appropriated image and as a complex figuration of femininity and sexuality.

Griselda will be conversation with two feminist artists, Kerry Harker and Nicky Bird, who share the fascination with Marilyn Monroe’s legacy, while both refashion her as a working-class, white woman who was herself a creator of an iconic image in the tradition of the great Hollywood stars. Crossing abstract art and Hollywood, all three challenge both the macho myths of New York painting and the tragic image of Monroe.

Booking via Eventbrite is essential.

Tickets: £5 or free with a copy of the book at £16.99 plus p&p

Wednesday, 26th October
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Fernando Pessoa: An Experimental Life, a talk by Richard Zenith

Richard Zenith’s definitive account of the life and work of the legendary Portuguese poet and author unravels many of the myths and mysteries about the great man in electrifying prose.

Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet is  haunting and melancholy, and this completely unclassifiable work is the masterpiece of one of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic writers.

Some eighty-five years after his premature death in Lisbon, where he left over 25,000 manuscript sheets in a wooden trunk, Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) can now be celebrated as one of the great modern poets. Zenith sets the story of his life against the nationalistic currents of European history.

Much of Pessoa’s charm and strangeness came from his writing under a variety of names that he used not only to conceal his identity but also to write in wildly varied styles with different imagined personalities. Zenith traces the back stories of virtually all of these invented others, called ‘heteronyms’, demonstrating how they were projections, spin-offs or metamorphoses of Pessoa himself.

Zenith’s book – and talk – is also about Lisbon, the city which Pessoa reinvented and through which his different selves wandered.

Richard Zenith is a translator and literary critic. His translations include Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet and Fernando Pessoa and Co.: Selected Poems, which won the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. The recipient of Portugal’s Pessoa Prize, Zenith lives in Lisbon and will be visiting the Lusophone Studies Department at the University of Nottingham. We are grateful to the Department for enabling us to host this event.

Tickets: £3.00 including refreshments

Eventbrite link to follow

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Tuesday, 1st November
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Keeping it short, with Giselle Leeb and Alison Moore

We’ve been waiting on Giselle’s first collection of short fiction for some time, noticing her stories being published in all the best places… and we’re glad to see this collection out, and to launch it, with the established writer of short fiction Alison Moore’s new collection – both from Salt Publishing.

Giselle Leeb’s short stories have appeared in Best British Short Stories, AmbitMslexiaThe Lonely CrowdLitroBlack StaticLady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and other places, She is an assistant editor at Reckoning Journal. Giselle grew up in South Africa and lives in Nottingham. This collection moves effortlessly between the realistic and the fantastical, as their outsider characters explore what it’s like to be human in the twenty-first century.

‘Alison Moore’s Eastmouth… beautifully captures the sinister timelessness of an off-season seaside resort, twisting the everyday mundane and making it disturbing.’ —Keith BrookeThe Guardian. Brooke is right, Alison can make washing the dishes seem like the prelude to something disturbing. This is her second collection of short stories. Her novels include The Lighthouse, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Booking via Eventbrite is essential as this will book up!

Tickets £3.00 (redeemable against purchase), which includes light refreshments.

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Thursday, 17th November
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Robin Ince does Bibliomania

A unique, funny picture of Britain… A love letter to bookshops and the vagaries of public transport.’ Richard Osman

Why play to 12,000 people when you can play to 12? In Autumn 2021, Robin Ince’s stadium tour with Professor Brian Cox was postponed due to the pandemic. Rather than do nothing, he decided instead to go on a tour of over a hundred bookshops in the UK, from Wigtown to Penzance; from Swansea to Margate. OK, we had more than 12 (80, if we recall, in a reduced capacity jazz bar) but still.

Bibliomaniac takes the reader on a journey across Britain as Robin explores his lifelong love of bookshops and books – and also tries to find out just why he can never have enough of them. It is the story of an addiction and a romance, and also of an occasional points failure just outside Oxenholme.

“Yes, Robin, but what will you do on the evening?” we said. “Probably a poem or two, showing off my favourite books I found on the tour and beyond, larking about…” said Robin.

This event will be fully booked, but given the subject we want to have it in the bookshop!

Eventbrite link to follow

£5 a ticket, with some discount off the book in question!

Venue: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham