Tag Archives: Willa Cather

The Readers Roadtrip Days 4 & 5; Booktopia Petoskey

There have been a couple of days of radio silence, this is because I have had the utter joy of attending Booktopiaover the past two and a bit days in Petoskey. It has been a whirl of fun, book chatter, book recommendations and book buying – especially in the case of Thomas which I am sure he will fill you in on via his blog soon!

Now if you’re wondering what on earth Booktopia is, I will describe it thus… Imagine around 100 booky people/addicts/nerds (nerds in a good way) two hosts and seven authors who take over a hotel and a local bookshop (and in some cases a whole town) for two days with lots of author discussion, chances to take literary tours, discuss books over lovely dinners – that pretty much sums it up. It was (because this was the last one, sorry if you’ve missed out) organised by two of my favourite people and podcast hosts Ann and Michael (who I hope I can also now call friends) from Books on the Nightstand, who crazily let Thomas and I not only visit but join them in panels too!

 
We were one of the first two sessions discussing our favourite books; Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, Any Human Heart by William Boyd, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and The Professors House by Willa Cather. You will get reviews on them here soon but even better you’ll get to hear those chats on both our podcasts in the next month or so! Very exciting. We also got to visit some author events, record The Readers Live! and just hang out with some wonderful, wonderful, wonderful people.

There’s almost too many brilliant moments to highlight and bore you discussing for ages but two had to be firstly, being asked to sign copies my favourite book (Rebecca as if you need to be told) which was very surreal but lovely…

And also getting an amazing gift from and amazing woman, Karen Brown you are a star, who had our four favourite books made into prints by none other than Jane Mount who makes the amazing Ideal Bookshelves prints, how stunning and delightful is this?!? We were all unusually speechless and very moved.  

There were lots of other highlights with lots of wonderful people so instead of going on here are some pictures that sum up the whole two days… 

  
  
  
It has honestly been amazing, thank you to everyone who made Thomas and I feel so welcome and discussed books with us for hours! I think we need a Booktopia UK don’t we? I also need a big sleep. I’ve done three cities and five bookstores today so I’m quite tired, more on that tomorrow.

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The Readers Roadtrip Day 1; Willa Cather & Losing It…

So the good news is that despite my fear of flying I had a pretty brilliant flight from the UK to the USA. Okay so I didn’t get any reading done but as the child next to me screamed if they had earphones on and screamed if they didn’t have their DVDs on, I had to watch movies as trying to read with Peppa Pig or Chuggington in my ears wasn’t working. Seriously, anyone up for grown up only flights? I would pay extra! 

So flight was smooth, as was customs and I came out to find Thomas’ happy smiley face waiting for me at the airport rating and ready to go to stop one… Willa Cather’s childhood home. And so we did combing the road side with our eyes for the sign and a place to park to get a much needed selfie…  

Look how happy we are there? I’m slightly delerious post flight and feeling like it’s 9pm when it’s 4pm but we were on form chattering away in the car about all sorts with some stunning views of mountains, forests and lakes…  

You can tell there’s a but coming can’t you? Well I needed a wee and as I got out the car I felt something was missing… My passport. Sure enough after we ransacked my bags, Thomas’ bags and practically took the car apart we realised it was missing. Either I’d dropped it at a service station (did I mention my belt broke on the plane so my trousers were rather prone to slipping and losing items) or Willa Cather’s childhood back yard, both of which were an hour and a half back down the road. I felt like my world had fallen in. 

An hour and a half later, and several frantic calls to every grocery in Virginia none of which were the one we’d been in, we left the shop in dire straights. I was feeling sick and thinking of all the paper work. We decided to try Willow Shade when we passed it but as it was pitch black and I was sure I’d had it in the store I had no hope. Well blow me down, after five minutes of searching by the torches on our phone WE FOUND IT. The elation. 

Though by this time we were three hours behind schedule and Thomas has motion sickness so now we’re checked into a random hotel in Cumberland, not the one we had booked in Morgantown, and I am feeling like the worst worst worst roadtrip companion ever. Fingers crossed today will be as ace as the first half of today… And just get better. Blimey!

UPDATE – It is 4am here and I’ve woken up for the second time as our random Ramada hotel backs on to the (fairly regular) freight train line. Choo Choo. You couldn’t make it up. I’m informed by my former Readers host this whole story makes it an official roadtrip. So that’s something. Oh. Here’s another train. Must. Sleep. More. Must. 

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