For some years, my family has got into the habit of going to a Christmas evening at a bookshop in Piccadilly. Mince pies, wine (or for me elderflower!), and the opportunity to meet some of the most prominent minds in the current world of book writing. From historians, to photographers, to the writers of thrillers or children's books. The list is endless. On 24 November, I had the privilege of going to the Christmas Evening at Hatchard's in Piccadilly. It was a highlight of my year.

I arrived at a quarter to six to a reasonably long queue that shortened quickly enough. The Christmassy decorations set the scene for an amazing night. I walked in to be greeted warmly by staff, before I embarked on a search for one of my favourite historians: Dan Jones. I was most eager to meet him, since I am such a fan (in fact it was through his Instagram that I became aware of this event). He had not arrived yet so I had to wait.

As I was exploring the shop, I became aware that there was a significant number of fascinating people everywhere. For example, I kept on walking past the internationally famous atheist Richard Dawkins (I resisted the temptation to engage in a debate with him). Then, I found my dad on the bottom floor with a mince pie, in the same room as the actress Joanna Lumley, the former politician Jeffrey Archer and the actor and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth who were sharing jokes together. Later in the evening I spoke with Gyles Brandreth who was signing copies of his new autobiography 'Odd Boy Out'. He signed a copy for my dad and me, and was very warm and friendly.

At one point in the evening, I managed to find Dan Jones. I was truly starstruck. Although I had previously seen Dan Jones' history books in bookshops, I first properly encountered his work at the start of this academic year when I started my history A Level which explores the Wars of the Roses. Many people at my school are helped hugely by his book 'Hollow Crown' which tells the story of the Wars of the Roses, and others have benefitted from his four part documentary series on the Wars of the Roses. One very appealing aspect of Dan Jones' work is his rare ability to bring together the raw historical facts into a narrative that reads like a story. In fact, captivated by Dan Jones, I joined a zoom call not long ago in which he discussed his new book 'Powers and Thrones' (a history of the Middle Ages) with none other than Duff McKagan (the bassist from Guns N Roses), who has a big interest in history.

Dan Jones was very kind, we had a picture and he signed two books for me. The first was an incredibly worn out 'Hollow Crown (he was happy that I had made the most of it!) and the other was 'Powers and thrones'.

In the very same room as Dan Jones you could find Emma Soames, Winston Churchill's grandaughter (signing copies of her new book 'Mary Churchill's War: The Wartime Diaries of Churchill's Youngest Daughter'), who was at a table with the historian Max Hastings who had next to him copies of his new book 'Soldiers: Great Stories of War and Peace'.

Then I travelled upstairs and was delighted when I found the historian Tim Bouverie whose book, 'Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War', I was lucky enough to receive last Christmas and have started reading. I was once again starstruck. I went to get a new book by him for someone as a present called 'Perfect Pitch: 100 pieces of classical music to bring joy, tears, solace, empathy, inspiration (& everything inbetween)'. Bouverie was very kind and generous with his time, being interested in what I am studying at school (I am currently enjoying the Wars of the Roses and the French Revolution & Napoleon for my history A Level) and what I planned to study at university. I look forward to buying Bouverie's future books, and agree with Max Hasting's description of Bouverie as 'one of the most promising young historians to enter our field for years' (source: the back cover of 'Appeasing Hitler').

I also met other authors such as Catherine Ostler (whose new book is 'The Duchess Countess' which explores the life of Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston) and Stephen Hoare (who's new publication is 'Piccadilly: London's West End and the Pursuit of Pleasure). We had a wide-ranging conversation, in which we touched on the content of the two books, and talked about studying various subjects at university.

It was only towards the end that I went to enjoy a drink of elderflower having been so fascinated by the authors present at this evening, signing equally fascinating books. My dad and I ended up walking out with a great number of books, having enjoyed one of the highlights of this time of year. I had met lovely authors, whose books I expect will continue to captivate the literary world. The staff at Hatchards were also wonderful and helpful, which made the event even better.

Because of this experience, I would very much recommend going to author events at Hatchards Piccadilly!