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Best sellers! The best authors at the Henley Lit Fest

There's a stonking line-up of authors at Henley's Literary Festival later this month. Before you book, check out our top 5 picks. (Spoiler alert: one of them is US!)

I love a spot of forward planning at this time of year. Holidays may be ovah but there’s something deeply satisfying about hunkering down with an empty calendar and plotting out lots of autumn fun, especially of the cultural variety. It’s primetime for brilliant new books, TV, films and art, after all. Top of my list this season is Henley Literary Festival, running 29 Sep to 7 Oct, with its huge array of speakers across a nine day extravaganza – the little genteel Oxon town really punches above its weight, I reckon. Need a little steer on what to book? Well, it’s funny you should say that. Here’s our Top 5 festival picks.


Bryony Gordon, Sat 6 Oct, 9pm

The irrepressible author and Telegraph columnist ran the London Marathon in her underwear, so shy and retiring she is most definitely not. She’s in town to talk about her latest book, Eat, Drink, Run: How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad, a keeping-it-real welcome antidote to Joe Wicks and that whole clean-living broccoli bunch. We recommend you make a Saturday night of it by booking the one below too, which is, handily, in the same venue…


Muddy Stilettos Literary Salon, Sat 6 Oct, 7pm

Yep, we’re tooting our own horn like big ol’ show-offs but we’re very proud of our line-up of super speakers. Cosmopolitan ed-in-chief Farrah Storr will be rocking up to chat about her book, The Discomfort Zone, alongside comedian/author/journo Viv Groskop (The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons From Russian Literature) and debut novelist/contributor to The Pool Caroline Donoghue (Promising Young Women). Muddy founder Hero Brown and Muddy books ed Kerry Potter will be hosting. Come grab a glass of champagne and join the conversation! Read all about it here.


Louise Minchin, Thurs 4 Oct, 6.30pm

I love a bonkers story and this is certainly one. The BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin did a TV report about cycling… and somehow ended up representing Great Britain in the World Triathlon Championships. Yup, really. Dare To Tri: My Journey From the BBC Sofa to GB Team Triathlete is the resulting book. I’ll be there, wearing my cycling shorts (don’t worry, I won’t really).


Book Off!, Mon 1 Oct, 8.30pm

Radio 2 producer Joe Haddow hosts a live version of his cult podcast, in which two guests go head to head to pitch a book they adore. He’s roped in two brilliant best-selling novelists for this one – Adele Parks and Muddy favourite Tasmina Perry. If you can argue about books until the sun comes up, this one’s for you.


Rebecca Front, Sat 6 Oct, 1pm

OK, this one’s currently showing as sold out so you’ll need to beg, borrow or steal a ticket. Or simply just call the box office on 01491 575948 to go on the waiting list (probably easier than committing a crime). I adore Rebecca Front – she’s hilarious and a total giggle (one of the most fun people I’ve interviewed no less), has starred in some of the greatest TV comedies ever (Alan Partridge, The Thick Of It) and is a fantastic writer. She’s in Henley to talk about her book of irreverent essays about her life, Impossible Things Before Breakfast.


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