Cityread 2018

Author: Nick Griffin


This month sees the return of the annual London-wide celebration of literature – Cityread.

Cityread 2018 will see Barnet’s libraries hosting a varied schedule of events throughout May linked to this year’s chosen book – ‘The Muse’, by bestselling author Jessie Burton.

Each year, Cityread London encourages Londoners to come together to read the same book and take part in exciting literary events across the Capital.

This year’s book, The Muse, is an exhilarating tale full of surprises, spanning two timelines, in two countries, but connected by one fascinating painting.

On a hot day in July 1967, Odelle Bastien finds herself working as a typist for glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick at the Skelton gallery, after struggling to find her feet in London since moving from Trinidad.

When her new love, Lawrie Scott, delivers a lost masterpiece with a secret history to the gallery, we are transported back to 1930s Spain, where the truth is gradually uncovered, but not without devastating consequences.

The book is available from libraries in Barnet and in eBook and eAudiobook format from Overdrive and Borrowbox.

Last year, hundreds of people took part in Barnet Cityread events including talks and reading groups.

Among this year’s events will be a life drawing session at Finchley Church End library, inspired by the paintings vividly described by author Jessie Burton, as well a chance to test your creativity by designing a your own unique mosaic at Edgware library.

Chipping Barnet Library will be holding a fascinating talk on the history of women’s suffrage, while the Phoenix Cinema will play host to an interactive audio-visual presentation from acclaimed historian Tony Warner on the pioneers of black British civil rights over the last 70 years.

Later in May, Colindale library will hold a demonstration and book signing with Royal Opera House costumière J François-Campbell. She is an accomplished costume maker and theatrical tailor, with more than 30 years’ experience in the garment industry.

Councillor Richard Cornelius, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “There are some really varied and interesting events taking place in our libraries to mark Cityread 2018.

 “Cityread is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate reading and join in with the many other Londoners getting involved by reading this year’s book, and I would like to encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”


Notes to Editors

For more information on Cityread visit