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A Magazine for Sheffield

Off the Shelf Listings: Our pick of the festivities

Wednesday 12th October. 7pm. Pennine Theatre, Hallam Uni. £9/£7 (cons).

Will Self is among the most admired journalists and writers working in the UK. Just as well-known as a team captain on Shooting Stars as the winner of numerous literary prizes including Whitbread Novel of the Year, Self is a provocative and sardonic creative mind with an impressive back catalogue spanning 20 years.

At this event, the author explores his latest book Walking to Hollywood, which he describes as "a cross between a comical farce and an intense misery memoir". Separated into three parts, it takes in a description of the life of (fictional) international sculptor Sherman Oaks, a dwarf who specialises in casts of his own body, as well as a quest by Self to track down the person who murdered cinema with CGI and an account of a walk up the East Yorkshire coast.

The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott.

Sunday 16th October. 1pm. Showroom Cinema. £7.50/£5.50 (cons).

Legendary explorer Captain Scott died as he returned from an expedition to the South Pole in 1912. His diaries have been the subject of much scrutiny and inspiration over the last century, but the intrepid gent also took a collection of stunning photographs during his trip that until now have remained unseen.

With the release of The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott, historian Dr David M Wilson explores the personal side of the adventure with shots of vast mountain ranges and portraits of Scott's ambitious team, accompanied by commentary. Wilson is the great-nephew of Dr Edward Wilson, the Chief of the Scientific Staff who died with Scott, giving the book and this illustrated talk a personal, intimate dimension.

Jon Ronson - The Psychopath Test.

Monday 17th October. 7.30pm. The Auditorium, University of Sheffield Students' Union. £10/£8 (cons).

The Psychopath Test is an exploration of mental illness that dares to ask difficult questions. It begins after the writer is challenged to solve the mystery of a puzzling book sent to a leading neurologist. He meets inmates, people who deny the existence of mental disorders and the psychologist who designed the now-standard Psychopath Test, the latter of whom is convinced that many politicians and chief executives are in fact psychopaths.

Jon Ronson is also the author of Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare At Goats, which was recently made into a film starring George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey and Ewan McGregor.

Full Up?

A Debate with Danny Dorling and Carl Lee. Wednesday 19th October. 7.30pm. Longley Park Sixth Form College, Horninglow Road. £3.

At this event, geographers Danny Dorling of Sheffield University and Carl Lee of Sheffield College will debate the case for and against further human development. Dorling will argue that there is enough space in the world for more people, while Lee will look to counter each of his four claims, contending that careful limits should be placed on growth. There will also be plenty of room for audience discussion.


How Society Developed an Eating Disorder. Thursday 20th October. 8.30pm. Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James Street. £6/£5 (cons).

Food in the Western world is more varied and affordable than ever before, but with this dietary shift come critics who believe this abundance is leading to poor diets and reduced quality of life. This view is challenged by Rob Lyons, who targets both so-called junk food and organic eating campaigns in his new book Panic on a Plate: How Society Developed an Eating Disorder.

Rob's view is that this new, self-centred approach to food "breeds a personal sense of vulnerability" and detracts from more important social issues. Disdain of bad food breeds a kind of elite contempt for the poorer parts of our society and thus creates a barrier to social equality. The writer will discuss this topic in an optimistic talk at the Quaker Meeting House on St James Street.

Rob is also the deputy editor of online current affairs magazine Spiked.

From Hollywood to Sheffield.

A Walk with Geoff Nicholson. Saturday 22nd October. 6pm. Begins at the Showroom Café. £7/£5 (cons).

Geoff Nicholson is an author and avid walker, born in Sheffield but now residing in Los Angeles. This unorthodox tour will encompass both cities, as he describes a recent walk he took in Los Angeles before transposing the directions onto the streets of Sheffield. As if that wasn't enough, he will also use a 1927 Baedeker Guide to Sheffield for navigation purposes, adding yet another layer to this original concept.

The walk will end wherever it ends, with drinks being sought at the nearest establishment. Participants will also have a chance to talk to Geoff about his new book The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, Philosophy and Literature of Pedestrianism, which examines the impact walking has had on cultures past and present.

Geoff Nicholson is the author of twenty books including Footsucker and Bleeding London, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize in 1997.

Graphic Art Workshop with Nick Hayes.

Monday 24th October. 2pm-4pm. Old Local Studies Library, Central Library. Suitable for 11 - 15 years. £6.

Artist Nick Hayes has created two collections of short comics and his latest effort The Rime of the Modern Mariner is a contemporary, graphical take on the famous Coleridge poem. His artwork adorns the front page of this year's Off the Shelf programme. In this workshop for 11 to 15-year-olds, Nick will share his artistic techniques and help participants explore their own comic book style of art. All materials are provided.

Joe Simpson.

Wednesday 26th October. 7pm. Showroom Cinema. £7.50/£5.50 (cons).

Mountaineer, writer and speaker Joe Simpson is best known for Touching the Void, an account of the near-fatal first ascent of the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, during which his climbing partner Simon Yates was forced to cut a rope suspending Simpson above a crevasse after the two were separated. The novel has sold two million copies and a documentary was released in 2003.

His latest offering The Sound of Gravity is "a powerful tale of love, loss and redemption", tracing a split-second decision on a snowy mountain to its conclusion later in life. Joe is considered a legend by much of the climbing community, telling tales of human survival and endurance against the odds.


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