Catching Up With a Cuppa or a Costa…

So another month or so goes by and after promising to get the blog up and running and back in business, I haven’t. I am a dreadful sausage and should be ashamed. Well I am ashamed if I am honest, I am not going to apologise too profusely as a) I already have several times b) you can’t spend your whole life apologising for being busy can you? For I have been busy, very busy. There has been work where I have taken on another person’s workload because they have gone on maternity and I have also been part of the recruitment plus planning for the next year… exhausting. Then there has been all the bookish stuff which is frankly much more likely to be what you want to hear about isn’t it? Grab a cuppa this could be quite a post, ha.

So what have I been upto? Well… Firstly I was reading all of the Baileys longlist. As many of you know I don’t half love the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and so I was reading the longlist before the shortlist was announced which was quite a mission as even though there were 16 books instead of 20 it was still tough going. It does mean I have loads of wonderful books to talk to you all about though in the next few weeks and months (I may even cheat a bit and backdate some of them, ha naughty) which I am looking forward to.

Secondly I have been getting The Green Carnation Prize all sorted and the admin behind the longlist, shortlist and winner (which will be announced a week today) and the finale party. The judges have been amazing and the wonderful Maura Brickell has been a diamond organising things so really this year it has been minimal and I have felt slightly distanced from it but both long and short lists were wonderfully received, so I am thrilled. I am even starting to look towards next year. Have I read the shortlist? No, only one of them which is shameful isn’t it. But sometimes is it about time, which leads me on to the third and fourth things I have been upto.

Well actually I am a slight tease because one I cannot talk about until June, so let’s put the third on whole. The fourth though is amazing because (and many of you may have seen me explode with joy on Twitter) I have been asked if I will be one of the judges on one of my favourite book prizes. Can you guess which one it is?

Yes, it is the Costa Book Awards!!!! I am beyond excited and still think they might have had one too many coffees when they asked but I am running with it. I can’t tell you which category I have yet, I can say it is one that I am thrilled about and cannot wait to get reading. More in due course. Of course this does mean things might change with the blog as I can’t talk about the submissions I don’t think, however as I have been so shoddy with review since Christmas (ok and possibly a bit before) it does mean I have a stack of other books I can chat to you about. It’s almost like I planned it, in fact let us pretend I did. Ha.

Penultimately, fifthly, I have been doing lots of house and garden sorting. The library has been a slight nightmare but more on that in a future post, it is getting there now though and the lounge, dining room, bathrooms and master suite in the attic are all looking lovely. As is some of the garden, some not all.

Then finally, the sixth reason for being so bonkers busy, is because I have been doing quite a few events (I am wondering if I should have an events page on here?) with the likes of Paula Hawkins, Sarah Schmidt, Patrick Ness and Natalie Haynes over the last few weeks PLUS I have been quite a social butterly. I know, what happened to the man who liked to hide form the world with a book on the sofa or in bed? Well he has been up and down to London, had guests staying and been on a wonderful weekend in Kent. There are a couple more balmy weeks before June (do you want to come on some of these trips with me, would it interest you?) So it really has been quite busy. Oh and I have a wedding to plan, how do I forget that?

So that is me, what have you all been upto? I would love to know, let’s chat in the comments.

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36 Comments

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36 responses to “Catching Up With a Cuppa or a Costa…

  1. Pippa

    Good to have you back Simon. I’ve missed your words.

  2. I was beginning to think you’d abandoned this blog for *whisper it* YouTube, but glad to see you back here. Sounds like you’ve been super busy. One day you will tell me when you’re in London and we will go for a coffee (although I gave it up 6 weeks ago, not that I am counting 😱) and it will be like old times.

  3. Oh and in between you have been doing The Readers and your vlog. Hm – when exactly do you sleep??

  4. Are we going to be able to guess what books you are reading for the Costa for the simple fact that you are not talking about them?! Hmm…

  5. My, aren’t you busy! Glad you’re back though. I’m too old for Youtube! Looking forward to hearing what the thing you can’t tell us is….

    • No one is too old for YouTube. No one. More the merrier I say. I’ll still be there three times a week. And here three times a week. With a day off or I may explode.

  6. Michelle

    Just discovered your blog and it’s awesome! Was great to see you chatting with Patrick Ness in Manchester, despite NarniaGate (eek!)

  7. Ann

    Nice hearing from you, Simon. Figured you were caught up in getting remodeling & settling in done on your new home. Look forward to photos of your library. Always has been a dream of mine too. Been reading Mary Kay Andrews beachy type books to get myself into the summer mood.

  8. That’s so exciting! Definitely going to be following the costa awards more closely this year. I may even get around the reading a few of them.

  9. Kate (Sydney)

    Hello Simon – I have missed your blog but have been keeping up with your incredibly busy life on twitter (I lurk). I also have you chatting to me at the gym every now and then so feel like we’re up to date anyway. I’m waiting for your final comments on Barkskins?? I have it on my Kindle but as yet haven’t even looked at it! Well done for being selected as a judge – you’ll be great!

    • Well. Shock horror Kate (ha) but I’ve decided now isn’t the time to finish Barkskins so I am leaving it for a holiday. Possibly Christmas as I’ll be Costa reading till November. Eek. Thank you for saying hello and not lurking too much. Hehehe.

  10. Wow, Simon! Congratulations! And you are now (whisper it) probably the most glamorous book blogger I know of. It all sounds hectic but I hope it has been fun too.

    Am keen to read about your library – this and your series on Other People’s Bookshelves actually inspired me to get up and tidy up mine, perhaps most people would not notice the difference but I feel pleased whenever I look at them. I hope you have the same feeling when you are in your library.

    • Awww thank you Helen. It’s nice to be back (there should be a few reviews going up tomorrow, I’ve already got behind ha but work is soooo busy!) I’ll share more on the library very soon. It will have been carpeted by the end of this weekend. Hooray!

  11. Looks like life has been busy, congratulations on the Costa Book Award judgeship. When is the list out for that?

  12. Isabel

    Best wishes on your wedding! Good luck with the judging.

  13. Beate Schlotmann

    Dear Simon, to tell you the truth: I was really worried about you, because you didn’t post anything for so long. I am so happy you are back and with these fantastic news!!!! Congrats!
    Big hug, Beate

  14. You got a lot of good things going on Simon! Congrats on the wedding! And Costa! Do you ever sleep hehe? x

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