Tuesday March 24th Dinner

Two knighted ex-MPs, Sir Vince Cable, Sir John Nott, have had extraordinarily interesting lives, but hold differing views.

Engaging them in conversation will provide a rich and lively debate!

John Nott was defence minister at the time of the Falklands invasion, plotting daily with the charismatic Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. At S G Warburg in the 60s during a period of radical upheaval, revolution in the City. But after meeting Nigel Farage in 1977, whom he greatly admires, John Nott pushed for Brexit. His book, Memorable Encounters, reflects (including his wife) on the contribution and impression twenty individuals have made on him.

Vince Cable was business secretary in the 2010-2015 coalition government between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. He fought against Tory colleagues wanting to impose tough economic measures on poorer members of society. His autobiography, Free Radical, a Memoir, tells of the long, circuitous and sometimes very painful path to becoming a respected politician. But in his novel, Open Arms, Kate Thompson, glamorous housewife-turned-MP, gets embroiled in a personal scandal, is drawn into the dangerous world of corruption and political intrigue. Open Arms was nominated for the Bad Sex in Fiction Award.


Thursday May 7th Dinner

FT Journalist John Kay, and ex-Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King are co-authors for Radical Uncertainty, Decision-Making for an Unknowable Future. Uncertainty pervades the big decisions we all make in our lives. How much should we pay into, or draw down, from our pensions each month? Should we take regular exercise, does red wine prolong an active life? Should we expand the business, change our strategy, take an expensive holiday? We do not know what the future will hold. But we must make decisions anyway. So we crave certainties which cannot exist and invent knowledge we cannot have.

This incisive and eye-opening book draws on biography, history, mathematics and philosophy to highlight the most successful – and most short-sighted- methods, of dealing with an unknowable future. Inevitably this leads us a false understanding of our power to make predictions, leading to many of the problems we have today. Given the uncertainty the UK faces following Brexit a most timely contribution.

provide your feedback

In collaboration with The Open Book, Richmond’s oldest bookshop, we are reviewing whom to invite for 2020.

Librarian, Curator Tim Battle at timbattle@gmail.com would welcome any feedback, suggestions you might have.

Suggestions for future events

Susan Hill-The Betrayal of Trust   Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award

Simon Schama -A History of Britain  A gripping history of the British Isles.

Sally Rooney– Normal People  ‘Emotionally frank, generous and expansive’.  Richard Saker The Observer.

Gail Honeyman– Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine    Costa Book Award for First Novel

Sarah Moss- Ghost Walls    Novel with roots in England’s deep past

Anna Burns – Milkman     Inventive, funny novel about The Troubles in Northern Ireland

Chimamanda Ngoze Adiche   Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian novelist, writer of short stories, and nonfiction

Ben Macintyre- The Spy and the Traitor    Described by John Le Carre as The Best True Spy Story I have Ever Read

Giles Milton- D-Day     The definitive boots-on-the-ground account of the greatest invasion in history.

Kate Raworth-Doughnut Economics    A Financial Times “Best Book of 2017

Roger Moorhouse-The Third Reich in 100 Objects    ‘Fascinating objects that expose the poisonous reality of Hitler’s Germany’ Dan Snow

Anita Anand-Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary    ‘The story is fast-paced and thrilling … A noble book *****’   The Daily Telegraph.

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