Backstory book club

Sale price£22.50


Join the Backstory book club!

Each month, we'll be reading a different non-fiction book. A paperback copy of the book will be sent out about a month in advance, giving you plenty of time to read them. 

Then we will all join the author on Zoom to discuss the book. It'll be a bit like any other book club, with the added advantage of quizzing the author herself.

Recent authors include Patrick Radden Keefe, Andrea Elliott, Lea Ypi, Cal Flyn and Barbara Demick.


We will meet monthly, usually on Tuesday evenings (UK time). More events will be added soon. 


MARCH - Sathnam Sanghera, Empireland

Tuesday 28 March, 8pm UK time

Empire explains why there are millions of Britons living worldwide. Empire explains Brexit and the feeling that we are exceptional. Empire explains our distrust of cleverness.
Empire explains Britain's particular brand of racism.

Strangely hidden from view, the British Empire remains a subject of both shame and glorification. In his bestselling book, Sathnam Sanghera shows how our imperial past is everywhere: from how we live and think to the foundation of the NHS and even our response to the COVID-19 crisis.

At a time of great division, when we are arguing about what it means to be British, Empireland is a much-needed and enlightening portrait of contemporary British society, shining a light on everything that usually gets left unsaid.

APRIL - Sam Knight, The Premonitions Bureau 

Tuesday 25 April, 8pm UK time

What if you had a vision that something terrible was going to happen? A train crash, a department store fire, an assassination. What if you could share your vision, and prevent a disaster? In 1966, John Barker, a British psychiatrist working in an outdated British mental hospital, established the Premonitions Bureau to investigate this very idea.

He would find a network of curious correspondents, and among them two highly gifted 'percipients'. Together, they predicted calamities and international incidents with uncanny accuracy. And then, they gave Barker their most disturbing warning: that he was about to die.

MAY - Michael Pedersen, Boy Friends

Tuesday 30 May, 8pm UK time

In 2018 poet and author Michael Pedersen lost a cherished friend, Scott Hutchison, soon after their collective voyage into the landscape of the Scottish Highlands. Just weeks later, Michael began to write to him.

As he confronts the bewildering process of grief, what starts as a love letter to one magical, coruscating human soon becomes a paean to all the gorgeous male friendships that have transformed his life.


We met for a 60-minute Zoom each month, with roughly:
- 20 minutes discussing the book in small breakout groups, to replicate the feel of a traditional book group

- 20 minutes author interview by Tom or another member of the Backstory team

- 20 minutes Q&A with the author 

The book club will regularly be asked to suggest future books to read.


What does the price include?

A paperback copy of the book and attendance at the book club event with the author of the book.

How much is delivery?

Local members can pick up the book for free each month in Balham (at the pop-up at the moment and soon at the shop). Due to a bug, you have to select shipping not "free pickup", but enter the discount code PICKUP at checkout to wipe out the shipping fees.

UK delivery is £2.50 a month, EU delivery is £6.95 a month and rest-of-world delivery is £9.95 a month.

When will I get my book?

Books are normally sent out about four weeks in advance of each meeting. If you subscribe closer to the meeting, your book will be sent out ASAP. 

What if I just want to come to one meeting?

You can! Just choose the option for that meeting only, rather than buying a subscription. You can only make one-off purchases for the next meeting, so if you want to come to a future meeting, check back a month beforehand to book.

How long does my subscription last?

You can cancel anytime. Books are sent out a month in advance of the meeting; we cannot cancel a book that is already on its way, but will stop any subsequent books.

What if I've already got the book?

If you wouldn't like a second copy yourself, please feel free to give it to a friend or family member, or donate it to charity. Whatever you choose, you are still welcome to come to the discussion, of course. Unfortunately, it isn't possible to cancel individual copies as the administration would get far too complicated! We hope you understand.

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