Barnett's Literary Lounge is an opportunity to meet leading authors and to hear them discuss their work in an intimate but relaxed setting over a glass of wine and refreshments.


Attendance is by ticket only - available in advance from the bookshop.

The Snow and the works on the Northern L

Tuesday 22nd June 2021

6.30pm (doors open at 6.00pm)

Commemoration Hall, Wadhurst

£12 (inc glass of wine/soft drink)

£20 including a copy of the book

Literary Lounge welcomes Ruth Thomas

With a mix of confidence and caution, we are very excited to announce the re-launch of our (famous?) “Literary Lounge” events on Tuesday, 22nd June from 6.00pm.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming Ruth Thomas to Barnett’s to talk about her latest novel, The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line which you may have heard recently on Radio 4.

This is an offbeat and darkly funny story based on a love triangle within the fictional Royal Institute of Prehistorical Studies. Our heroine, Sybil, her comfortable life turned upside down by an old adversary’s appearance, pursues revenge at any cost.

Ruth, who grew up just “over the border” in Horsmonden, is an acclaimed short story writer and The Snow… is her third novel.

Doors will open at 6.00pm. Ruth Thomas will speak from 6.30pm, with time for questions before wrapping up before 8.00pm.

Where to buy tickets:

Tickets are on sale at Barnett’s at the usual price of £12 per head (including a glass of wine or soft drink and nibbles).

We have copies of the book in the shop now, priced at £8.99, with a “package” price of £20 for a ticket and a copy of the book.

Drop in to see us or email (, telephone (01892 783566) or contact us via the website if you would like to reserve a ticket and/or a copy of the book.

Ticket numbers are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis, with a waiting list if necessary. Final numbers will depend, in part, on Covid restrictions (if any) in place at the time.

Covid and the venue:

After much deliberation, we have decided to hold the event at the Commemoration Hall, on Wadhurst High Street. While we usually aim for a rather cosier venue, we wanted to make sure that we would be able to provide enough personal space and circulating air to give guests confidence to venture out on the first day after lockdown regulations are (hopefully) lifted. We will do our best to make sure we retain the same intimate atmosphere.

If you buy a ticket in the shop or over the phone, please make sure you give us your e-mail address so we can update in the event that circumstances change and we are no longer permitted to hold an event due to Covid restrictions. Fingers crossed!

In line with good sense, please do not attend the event if you feel at all unwell and/or you are waiting for the result of a Covid test and please respect sensible social distancing measures, for the good of all involved. We will expect to comply with whatever government guidance is in force at the time. 


Peter Fiennes 


A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers


3 December 2019

Peter rounded off a successful year of Barnett's Literary Lounges with an absorbing synopsis of his latest book, Footnotes, in which he follows twelve writers around Britain, delving into literature and landscape. Peter's enthusiasm for his subjects, from the twelfth century Gerald of Wales, to Beryl Bainbridge, is reflected in his engaging prose style - this is a wonderful book that informs and entertains in equal part.


Alan Judd's Accidental Agent


15 October 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed welcoming Alan Judd to Barnett's again for an lively evening of  discussion based around his gripping and topical new spy thriller Accidental Agent.

Brexit looms and Charles Thoroughgood, Chief of MI6, is forbidden for political reasons from spying on the EU. But what happens when an EU official reports the EU's negotiating bottom lines?

Added into the mix is Charles' possible family connection with a terrorist...


Anne Youngson on her successful first novel 

Meet Me at the Museum

10 September 2019

Yet another sold-out Literary Lounge! We were delighted to welcome Anne Youngson for a discussion of Meet Me at the Museum, a moving and thoughtful meditation on life, encouraging us to look to the future rather than the past. 

Anne's account of how she came to writing as a second career via an MA and PhD will no doubt have fired the literary ambitions of some audience members!

We're looking forward to Anne's next novel set on a narrow boat and hoping that the option to film Meet Me at the Museum is exercised soon!

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PETER FIENNES explores our relationship with woods in Oak, Ash and Thorn

18th June 2019

In conjunction with Wadhurst Culture's 'When the Oak Spoke', Peter Fiennes gave an inspiring talk to a capacity crowd based on his book, 'Oak, Ash and Thorn', a Guardian Best Nature Book of the Year.


Peter explored our long relationship with trees and woods and the sad and violent story of how so many have been lost. 


MIRANDA SEYMOUR talks about In Byron's Wake

5th March 2019

Miranda treated us to a lively and informative introduction to her latest book, In Byron's Wake: The Turbulent Lives of Lady Byron and Ada Lovelace. This was a fascinating glimpse into the unconventional lives of Lady Byron, great social reformer and Ada, pioneer of computer science, accompanied by entertaining insights on Byron himself. Miranda left us with the tantalising possibility of a new book to be based on Ada's own writings. Watch this space! (See photos here)


ROBERT WINDER talks about The Last Wolf

17th January 2019

A hugely entertaining and informative discussion with journalist and author, Robert Winder, whose latest book, The Last Wolf, asks the questions "What sort of place is England? And who are the English?". Robert's answers lie not in royal pageantry or politics but in the landscape and history.


DAVINA LANGDALE introduces The Brittle Star

25 September 2018

Davina entertained us with the story of how an English writer came to write an utterly convincing novel set in the American West, drawing on her deep interest and extensive research. The Brittle Star, Davina's first novel, has been described as "part High Noon, part The Good the Bad and the Ugly - crying out to be made into one of the great Western movies"


AMANDA CRAIG talks about The Lie of the Land

20 March 2018

In conversation with Sue Gaisford, Amanda Craig described the themes and inspiration for her witty yet thought-provoking tale of a "modern couple" facing the pressures of modern life. Not for nothing was The Lie of the Land chosen as Book of the Year by ALL the quality broadsheets!

If you liked The Lie of the Land, you should also read her Hearts and Minds


ALAN JUDD presents Deep Blue

6 February 2018

Drawing on his experience as a soldier and a diplomat, Alan gave an interesting talk to present his latest novel, Deep Blue, and the character developments that the novel explores. Deep Blue  is a spy thriller set in the UK, which moves between the present day and Cold War intrigue, from an author likened to Le Carre, Graham Greene and Charles Cumming. 

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GUINEVERE GLASFURD's debut The Words in my Hand

19 September 2017

Guinevere Glasfurd introduced her debut novel - nominated for the Costa First Novel Award 2016. The Words in My Hand, set in 17th Holland, tells the little-know story of an affair between the celebrated philosopher Rene Descartes and a lowly Dutch maid.


FRANCIS SPUFFORD discusses Golden Hill

13 June 2017

Renowned non-fiction author. Francis Spufford gave a highly engaging presentation of the enjoyment he encountered in writing his first fiction work, Golden Hill, set in the Manhattan of the mid-18th century, which won the Costa First Novel award in 2016.