Forthcoming events

2017 events

12th September, Plum Sykes. Book here

The Books That Built Me is delighted to be back at legendary Annabel’s in Mayfair on 12th September, 2017, to celebrate Plum Sykes’ new novel, Party Girls Die in Pearls and to discuss the books that have inspired her writing.

Long-time contributing editor to US Vogue, Plum Sykes’ first novel was the ultra-glamorous ‘chic lit’ Bergdorf Blondes, which sold more than a quarter of a million copies world-wide. Party Girls Die in Pearls is a fabulous romp of a murder-mystery, set in 1980’s Oxford: her brilliantly conjured world of Pimms, punts, puff-ball skirts, and Sloane Rangers has been described as Clueless meets Agatha Christie.

Tickets include a copy of Party Girls Die in Pearls, a glass of Champagne Bollinger and a chocolate treat.

Tables for dinner at Annabel’s, usually only open to members, are available to Books That Built Me guests after Plum’s salon – email me if you would like to reserve one.

25th July. Elizabeth Day. Book here

The Books That Built Me is delighted to welcome Elizabeth Day to the salon to talk about her latest book, The Party, and about the books that have inspired her writing.

The Party tells the story of Martin Gilmour, a gauche, lonely outsider, who wins a scholarship to a smart public school and is befriended by dazzling, popular and wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice. Soon, Martin is enjoying the trappings of a privileged, glamorous life of country house parties, tennis, and dressing for dinner; a life he’s determined to continue because Martin has a secret about Ben, something he will never tell. It is a secret that will bind the two of them together for the best part of 25 years until the cataclysmic night of the party.

Imagine The Go-Between rewritten by Patricia Highsmith and you have a sense of The Party’s tale of obsession and betrayal, of privilege and hypocrisy, set in the unassailable heart of the British establishment. Deftly plotted and beautifully written, it’s small wonder Sebastian Faulkes called it ‘dark, witty and compelling’.

The Party is Elizabeth Day’s fourth novel: she is also an award-winning journalist, writing for Vogue, The Times, The Telegraph, The Observer, The Guardian, Grazia and many others. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s Bazaar and appears regularly on Sky and on BBC Radio 4.

With Simon Oldfield, she co-founded the life-performance short-story studio, PinDrop.

Tickets to Elizabeth Day’s The Books That Built Me are £30 and include a hard-back copy of The Party, a glass of champagne Bollinger, a chocolate treat as well as a donation of £7 per ticket to The National Literacy Trust. All of the authors at The Books That Built Me became great writers because they discovered the pleasure of fiction and books early on, and so it seems appropriate to support a charity which is dedicated to supporting literacy in children,




Jake Arnott is the best-selling author of The Long Firm and He Kills Coppers, amongst many other highly acclaimed novels. His latest, The Fatal Tree, is a clever blend of fact and fiction, and recounts the Moll Flanders story of Edgworth Bess and her partner in both love and crime, Jack Shepherd. Join us at The Devonshire Club on Wednesday March 22nd.

Tickets are £35 and include a hardback copy of The Fatal Tree, a six month subscription to Harper’s Bazaar, a glass of Champagne Bollinger and a chocolate treat.




fullsizerenderFebruary’s Books That Built Me is back at glorious Annabel’s, where I will talk to Sarah Perry about her second novel, The Essex Serpent – a bewitching tale of superstition, science, love and friendship set in late Victorian England, which won the 2016 Waterstones Prize and was Costa shortlisted in the novel category – and about six of the books that have inspired her writing.

Tickets cost £35 and include a copy of The Essex Serpent, a glass of Bollinger, a bar of Prestat chocolate and a six month subscription to Harper’s Bazaar.

If you’d like to book a table for dinner at Annabel’s after the salon, please email me on and I will arrange it for you.



The Books that Built Me’s 2017 season kicks off on 17th January with best-selling author Chris Cleave

Inspired by his grandparents’ wartime experiences, Chris Cleave’s evocative novel, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, follows the fortunes of its four protagonists from the outbreak of war to the summer of 1942 and examines what it means to love, lose yet remain courageous when in the face of devastating tragedy.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven is Chris Cleave’s fourth novel. His debut, Incendiary, was an international bestseller and multiple prize-winner. His second novel, The Other Hand, was Costa-shortlisted. His third book, Gold, confirmed his status as “one of our most powerful, important and psychologically insightful novelists”.

Cleave’s novels are published in thirty languages and have been adapted for screen and stage worldwide. He is a regular newspaper and broadcast contributor to the cultural debate on parenting, literature and human rights.

Cleave joins Helen Brocklebank at The Books That Built Me on January 17th to talk about Everyone Brave is Forgiven and to discuss the books that inspire his writing.




For advance information about events, follow the Books that Built Me on Facebook  or look out for news in Harper’s Bazaar or Town & Country magazines. The Books That Built Me is supported by Champagne Bollinger & Harper’s Bazaar.

For more information, please email