Today is the opening of Manchester Literary Festival and I am rather excited about it. When I was in London I did the Jewish Book Festival as well as Wimbledon Book Festival, but that was it. Weirdly the bigger festivals (no offence to the above two) seem to happen outside of London. I’ve always found that odd, and odd they always happen at the same time of year! How can readers get to all of them?
Anyway I am going to be reporting on the Manchester Book Festival for the blog and also for ‘The Readers’ (a podcast me and Gav Reads launched today) so I am very excited. Tonight’s opening event looks to be a real treat as Colm Toibin and Alan Hollinghurst are in conversation with each other, I can’t wait to see how that plays out. I will be reporting back in due course, I have my trusty notepad at the ready…
I’m planning on seeing as much of the event as possible including Michael Frayn, Emma Jane Unsworth, John Niven, Tahmima Anam, Dipika Rai, Kishwar Desai, Thomas Enger, K O Dahl, Yrsa Siguardottir, MJ Hyland, Patricia Duncker, David Lodge, Catherine O’Flynn, Anthony Horrowitz and Jeffrey Eugenides. Oh, and have a team at the Literary Quiz. Phew. The next few weeks are going to be great.
Let me know if you have any insights on the authors above, or would like any questions put to them, or if indeed you will be there. Would love to say hello to you all!
I don’t know if it’s me not being at my best currently or just what seems to be before me but I have realised at the moment I seem to be reading about six books at once, or have been as actually for the last two days I haven’t picked up a book, which again is rather strange. I have never been into multiple reading so how is it that this has come about? Why is it nothing seems to be grabbing me as much as it could and I have tried all sorts and do want to be reading.
In fact on the go in the last week I had…
The City & The City by China Mieville – I really liked this but the multiple cities and the ‘unseeing’ of each seemed a little too much for my brain.
The Shadow Guests by Joan Aiken – I fancied something dark and thought going to some classic 80’s young adult fiction (which is shockingly no long in print) might appeal, it did but then I trailed off onto something else.
If On A Winters Night A Traveller by Italo Calvino – As you can see I couldn’t finish this one off for sheer annoyance at it all.
Agatha Raisin & The Love From Hell by M. C. Beaton – has been in my bag all the time but not opened it.
I have also been dipping into the five Green Carnation Short Listed books again and yet can’t quite get on with those either, not because I have read them before as I am actually looking forward to reading all five of those books again. I have been managing to read lots of newspapers though which is most unlike me and have actually started to buy one daily, the new ‘i’ paper. Every day is has excellent mini book reviews which then brings back the pang for a good read. That’s the thing you see I do want to read something most desperately, I want to be lost in a good story and don’t know why I can’t.
I am going to my Mums hopeful though. And have packed a selection of books that I am hoping to spark my reading properly once more. They are all quite different so hopefully one of them will grab me and start the reading ball rolling once more.
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice – I have been fancying reading this for ages.
Agatha Raisin and the Love From Hell by M.C. Beaton – I do genuinely fancy some Beaton although maybe I should try one of the new Edwardian books?
The City & The City by China Mieville – I am determined to finish this and time is ticking before its due at the library soon, mind you that pressure could cause issues in itself.
Was by Geoff Ryman – This sounds so up my street am just worried in my mind set I won’t give it the chance that it really needs.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – This is the next choice at book group and I always start book group choices a little late and at 544 pages this might be worth getting a crack on with now.
I only hope that I come back from the north with a book or two read and not another set of books that I have only gotten a quarter or half of the way through.