Grant Wood American Gothic

It’s been a busy week…

I am nearly in possession of a newly rebuilt conservatory. The old one was single glazed and rotting away – you could see the outdoors at the corners of some windows where the wood was falling off. I managed to get a good deal to have all the glass replaced with UPVC, latest technology with Read More

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Bookish Delights

Yesterday I was delighted to be invited to attend a bloggers afternoon at the Groucho Club hosted by literary agents PFD to meet and hear some of the authors shortlisted for this year’s Sunday Times/Peters Fraser Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award – and you couldn’t hope for a more diverse collection of literary styles Read More

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An afternoon with Matt Haig and 400 schoolchildren!

This afternoon, I was able to put my occasional bookhelper’s hat on and be part of the Mostly Books team managing a mammoth event and signing at OLA school in Abingdon. OLA Librarian Mrs Hickford had invited many of the local state primary schools to join her pupils – and so the main hall was packed Read More

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An evening with Vaseem Khan

Last night I went to Mostly Books to hear Vaseem Khan talk about his two crime novels featuring Inspector Chopra which are set in Mumbai. I didn’t have time to read one of the books before the event, but any novel that begins: On the day that he was due to retire, Inspector Ashwin Chopra discovered that Read More

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Meg Rosoff at the Oxford Literary Festival

This Wednesday evening I was back in the vaulted delights of the Bodleian Divinity School (where I’d been on Monday).  It was a sheer delight to be in the disappointingly small, but very lovely, audience to hear Meg Rosoff talk about her latest novel in conversation with Suzie Feay. I suspect that if Meg’s latest novel Read More

first light

First Light – Unbound Launch Party

First Light – a celebration of Alan Garner, ed Erica Wagner I will get back to book reviews very soon, but the book launch I attended last night was very special – and apologies – but I will be name-dropping! I love Unbound books and their crowdfunding publishing model, (see here for a Shiny interview I did with Unbound’s Read More

wellcome shortlist

Celebrating medicine, the human condition, illness and health…

The Wellcome Book Prize Yesterday I was privileged to attend a lovely ‘Bloggers Brunch’ at the Wellcome Collection in London to celebrate the shortlist for the Wellcome Book Prize.  Let me tell you a little about the background to this before I describe the event. The Wellcome Trust, which was founded in 1936 is “an independent Read More

The-Trees

The Trees: An Evening with Ali Shaw

Earlier this week, Mostly Books in Abingdon was privileged to be the first audience for Ali Shaw to talk solo about his wonderful new novel The Trees (which I reviewed for Shiny New Books here). The Trees is Ali’s third novel, and this was his third visit to Abingdon, (see also my posts about his visits for The Man Who Rained, and The Girl Read More

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Celebrating John Creasey and Dennis Wheatley

Yesterday I went to another of literary agency PFD’s salons at the Groucho Club, this time to celebrate the books and lives of John Creasey and Dennis Wheatley.  Authors who were read by everyone at their peaks, hugely influential with totally different lives and styles – yet as we discovered, they have a lovely connection… Read More

Beatlebone

Lots of great books to look forward to

I was delighted to be invited to the Faber Spring Launch Party, which was held at a fabulous venue – the crypt on the green of St James Church in Clerkenwell – last night. It was also fantastic to meet up with old friends in Kim, Eric, Simon S and @flossieteacake, and talk to some other lovely people like the ladies from the Sevenoaks Read More

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Penguin Fiction Showcase & a fangirl moment with William Gibson

Last night I was privileged to be invited and able to attend Penguin’s General Fiction Showcase event at Foyles in London. It was lovely to meet several good blogging friends again there – Sakura, Kim, Simon my Shiny pal, Simon S (good luck with the Green Carnation prize tonight) and Luci from Curious Book Fans. Knowing Read More

Beatlebone

I get inside the Groucho Club (briefly)!

Just under a month ago, I blogged about the crowd-funding publisher Unbound and how much I was enjoying pledging my pennies towards getting books published – being a ‘Book Angel’ definitely appeals to me.  (Incidentally, I’ve just done Spotlight on Publishing article with Unbound which will be in the new edition of Shiny New Books Read More

Beatlebone

A rather different kind of literary festival…

Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of helping staff of Mostly Books man the bookstall at a rather special event at Larkmead School – a state secondary school just up the road from me in Abingdon. The event was the launch of an anthology of writing by sixth form pupils called The Blender which was created in conjunction Read More

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Philip Pullman at the Oxford Literary Festival

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ It was Palm Sunday today, and off I went to the hallows of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford to see the first full talk by Philip Pullman on his new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, which is published tomorrow.  It’s the latest volume in the Read More

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An evening with Roma Tearne

Brixton Beach Book Group I went to an author event with a difference last night. Roma Tearne, author of  Brixton Beach which I reviewed here agreed to join in a book group discussion at Mostly Books and I was able to join in with the regular book group.  We all met and discussed the book for Read More

Hardball

An evening with Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky, the creator of Chicago private investigator V.I.Warshawski, was in town yesterday to coincide with the publication of Hardball, her P.I.’s thirteenth outing.  Arriving, she cut a cool figure, clad in gold and skinny trousers with a trendy leopard-print cap and her short, cropped silver hair. The audience immediately warmed to her, with her Read More