Simon’s Bookish Bits #32

Today is the first day I actually seem to have stopped still for weeks and weeks and so I thought I would do a little ‘bookish bits’ post as I have been rubbish at commenting back to you all or even visiting other book blogs (though I have spotted Polly and Jessica are back, yippee) between going and seeing Gran in Derbyshire, reading for the Green Carnation longlist, helping change a magazine from print to online and then manically reading, re-reading and prepping for the Manchester Literature Festival events I had earlier this week. That said I did manage to fit in a dash to A&E in the small hours of Saturday morning as I thought I was having a heart attack, turned out to thankfully be a rather large panic attack resulting in an almost phantom angina attack, lovely.

I have to say the staff at the hospital were great, so good I don’t mind the fact I am covered in bruises from the blood tests, turns out though that I have to have some rest and calm down, too many projects (which I think keep me going) have ground me down. Bed rest was ordered and so I am spending the next few days chilling out. Lots of writing and reading to do ahead then, shame! Now speaking of reading and readers, tenuous link I know, but The Readers Podcast was actually one year old yesterday, the birthday blog should be going up shortly/be up now – the biggest episode of absolute rambling yet.

That deserves some cake really or maybe several Jaffa cakes, doesn’t it?

Since everything stopped the one thing I have noticed is that my TBR has gotten completely out of control, like really badly. There are piles of books in places you didn’t think books could accumulate. The Beard believes I have let them breed (he actually said like bacteria but we will over look that) and so the next big task, apart from catching up on your comments on here and other blogs is a full on TBR sort out. I am actually quite excited about this. Then I can have a good old rummage and decide what random whim reads I want to treat myself too for a week of no work based reading. Exciting.

Speaking of work based reading. I thought, as they have just happened and yet the festival is still in full flow, I would give you a quick round up of the two events I hosted at Manchester Literature Festival this week. The first was on Monday night when I had the pleasure of being in conversation with Patrick Gale and Catherine Hall about their latest books in front of a packed out audience in Waterstones…

I had met Catherine before and so got my ‘fanboy’ moment out of the way with her but I have to admit I was really nervous about meeting Patrick. Fortunately a) so was Catherine and b) Patrick was utterly lovely. We all had a lovely few drinks before the event looking over Piccadilly Gardens in his hotel cafe in the afternoon before wandering to the event chatting about utterly random nonsense (I admit I grilled him about Richard and Judy) before sitting and having more fun, if more structured, at the event. I felt a bit like the cat that had got the cream and was one a little bit of a bookish high, can you tell?

Isn’t that t-shirt fancy? Then yesterday, dragging The Beard along in tow, I had was in conversation about all things Victoriana with the lovely Jane Harris, who I have gotten to know and adore, and Essie Fox who I have interviewed before and had a hoot with too. It was actually Essie’s first visit to Manchester and the venue could not have been more apt as we had the banqueting hall at Manchester Town Hall (which they use in a lot of the Victorian period dramas as it looks just like Westminster on the outside and hasn’t been tampered with inside, perfect). It was a really enjoyable event that could have gone on for hours longer and had me weeping with laughter and dumbstruck with fascination all at once.

So that has all been lovely, and a big thanks to all of you who came and said hello afterwards, really nice to meet several of you at both events. Maybe if we start The Readers Retreats I will see even more of you, but that is for another time.

Finally, before I go and try and sort out lots of books, I just want to say a huge thanks for all your well wishes; however I have received them, for Gran. Whilst everything with her has been going on I am trying to carry on as normal as it’s a good focus and the supporting emails/comments etc you have sent for her, myself and the family has been lovely. She has gone home today and so we will all be looking after her for the time that is left, I will be off there again for her 71st birthday and will keep passing on your kind words. I will also be buying her the BIGGEST birthday cake ever. But seriously thank you.

Right, best go and root through all these books before anyone trips over them and seriously hurts themselves, or indeed before a certain teething kitten chews any more of them. Hope all is well with all of you?


Filed under Simon's Bookish Bits

20 responses to “Simon’s Bookish Bits #32

  1. Novel Insights

    Looking v fetching in that yellow TShirt Simon! Recently read and enjoyed Patrick Gale’s “A Perfectly Good Man”.

  2. You, sir, are a whirlwind of energy. I am impressed. Maybe a little jealous.

    My I suggest a red velvet cake. Yum!

  3. Good you are sorting our yourself and you books. They obviously go hand in hand. I will look forward to hearing what you sort for the top of your TBR pile and I must mention haven’t seen any photos of that lovely feline of yours lately. No doubt there is mischief to be had?

    • Hahahaha you will have seen a few lately I am sure. In fact you should have seen a picture of him and the new feline addition in the house hold. At some point I will have to get some pictures or footage of them together, they are hilarious.

  4. Simon – Take care of yourself! I really enjoy your blog and podcasts and have discovered several great authors as a result. I thank you and hope you stay well and far away from the A&E (whatever that is – I’m American 🙂 Best wishes, Bill

  5. I hope you feel better with the enforced rest.

  6. Chris Wolak

    Congrats on the one year anniversary! Sounds like some down time is much needed.

    • It was quite a feat to reach the ripe old of one for a podcast. I like to mark little occasions and its been a joy to spend so much time through that year talking to Gav and hearing from all of you.

  7. Hope you feel better Simon! I can’t think of a better prescription than bed rest and lots of reading. And a happy birthday to your Gran.

  8. Oh wow, lots of stuff happening on your side of the line! Glad it was just a scare. Take a photo of that huge cake, now I’m curious 🙂 All the best from Brussels to you and her.

  9. Just a note: You might want to blur your personal info on your medical wristband as it makes it really easy for an Identity thief to get your stuff. Just sayin’…. (Unless that’s not real info and you photoshopped it already?) Getting your id stolen and then replaced is an awfully long and tedious process.

    (Not telling you what to do or anything as you are a perfectly capable grown up…)


    • Oh don’t worry they spelt my name wrong and didn’t give me a medical number (as the system was down) so they wouldn’t be able to find much. Annoying on the day but good for this post hahaha.

      Thank you for looking out for me though. Much appreciated.

  10. Hope you and your Gran are both recovering well. Did the doctors realise when you said you’d spend a few days in bed reading that that’s not far off what put you in hospital in the first place?! I tease. But I also hope you’ve been doing some “you” reading, not “work” reading.

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