Edinburgh Book Festival 2018

Hi everyone! A different blog post today, though on Thursday I’ll be posting a review, as I thought I would talk about the Edinburgh Book Festival. I’ve been going for a few years now and it never ceases to entertain me. There are books and authors I have never heard before, and old favourites given a new lease of life. It’s this bookworm’s dream.

A quick mention to the Edinburgh Cocktail Festival as well; I only discovered it last year but I already love it. I would have taken photos but I was so caught up in the martinis and mojitos I completely forgot. If I drank your stall dry this weekend, I’m so sorry.

After a couple (or maybe more) cocktails, we headed to the Book Fest. My friend and I were lucky as when we arrived Rosemary Goring was about to chat about the Muriel Sparks novel The Girls of Slender Means. Events were held throughout the festival to mark the centenary of Sparks’ birth; and though I must confess I have never read any of her works, she is still an author that intrigues me and would love to try. This notion was reinforced when hearing Goring speak, as she was so eloquent and passionate about the novel. It made me want to pick it up even more. Afterwards she signed books in the bookshop within the festival grounds (there is another just outside the entrance) and she was really engaging.

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A small sample of the Fiction section in the bookshop 
Though I sadly never got to attend any of the events; this year had the theme of ‘Revolting Women’ which Glasgow Women’s Library helped to organise. In the wake of the #MeToo movement it felt comforting in a way to know about talks and workshops discussing these issues; obviously others have had it far worse than myself, but I felt I was not alone in being harrassed for the first time.

Without lingering on something depressing to end this post, I thought I would share my haul from the festival. Not going to lie it’s mainly novels – what else would you expect from me? – but they are quite different from one another. The books are:

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Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

Snap by Belinda Bauer

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Rin, Tongue and Dorner by Rich Shapero (which was being given out for free at the entrance!)

Have you read any of these? Is there a particular book I should bump up my TBR? Or alternatively, one I shouldn’t touch with a barge pole? Let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literary Dundee Launch Party

Hi everyone! Today is a different post for me (the reviews will be back early next week) and it might be a bit short but I thought, since it is book related, some people might be interested.

I was kindly invited to the Literary Dundee Launch Party last night (13th September) by the lovely organiser Peggy Hughes. Literary Dundee is a book festival which takes place in Dundee, Scotland each year, and the dates for 2017 are the 18th to the 22nd October. I have been to a couple of festival events previously and really enjoyed them, (their discussion on First World War poet Joseph Lee was amazing) so between my nice experiences there and my general love of books, I was excited to see who would be featured this year.

The Launch Party was at Waterstone’s, the main bookshop in Dundee. The upstairs area is a cafe where the staff had arranged free tea/coffee and cake to help us through the evening. Some of the authors who would be appearing this year also turned up, so it was lovely to meet them and be able to put faces to names.

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The amazing front cover design of the programme.

I was really nervous at first. I had never been to a Launch Party before, didn’t know anyone who was going, and was generally terrified of making a fool out of myself (a skill I have mastered over the years). But my unease was completely unjustified. Everyone was really nice and friendly – and turns out I did meet someone I knew so I didn’t feel like the total interloper I was.

Peggy also made a small speech about the upcoming festival. It was clear that she is so passionate about books and the festival you couldn’t help but get excited. The excitement was quite infectious, you could feel people becoming more and more anxious for October to roll around and Literary Dundee to begin. An event she mentioned which caught my eye, featured three contributors to the Nasty Women anthology who were going to be having a discussion about their work. Nasty Women is a collection of essays by various people discussing what life is like as a woman in the 21st century. I have heard nothing but good things about this anthology and I will hopefully be able to check it out sometime.

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Just some of the people invited – and my first attempt at a panoramic shot!

Overall I had a really nice evening and I shall leave a link to Literary Dundee down below for you to check out the lineup. But last night got me wondering:

What is your favourite book festival? Have you been to one recently and what did you think? I’m curious about other festivals, especially ones I’ve never heard of before. And I may or may not snoop at the lineup to see if I can find new, interesting authors to check out. Because I act like a fool on the Internet as well as in real life apparently.

The lineup for Literary Dundee 2017 can be found here.