I’ve had a very busy week, and a very lovely one. Not only did I get to go to the Bookbarn and buy oodles of books (thanks for all your comments and thoughts, much appreciated, I will reply soooon) but I went to a couple of meet-ups. Well, one was more official than the other – this Wednesday saw the annual Penguin Bloggers’ Night at Foyle’s, which is now a much-loved fixture in the blogging calendar. Hats off to Lija and her team for organising another wonderful event.
It was lovely to see old friends, some of whom I’d not seen since the previous year’s event, and especially nice to meet Claire for the first time. And of course, we got to hear from some authors. It was great to have a quick chat with Rebecca Hunt after meeting her at a previous event – her new novel Everland is out soon. The extract that appealed most was a very funny reading by Nina Stibbe. Annoyingly I can’t remember the name of the novel, or find info online. But, er, look out for that.
Oh, and there was Will Self, reading from Shark. Not a novel that appeals to me, but it was intriguing to see the stance and approach of a man who must – surely – feel he has to live up to his reputation. He said nothing at all directly to the audience, stood some distance from the microphone, and walked off as soon as he’d finished. Hmm. Maybe he’s shy…
On Saturday I was off to London again – off to Foyle’s again, indeed – for a meet-up of the Virago Modern Classics group on LibraryThing. This lovely group of ladies and gentlemen (mostly ladies) are great fun, and we had a lark descending on various Charing Cross Road bookshops, as well as an Oxfam, the London Review of Books shop, and Persephone.
It was fab to see various old friends again, and to meet some folk in person for the first time. It was particularly wonderful to meet Karen/Kaggsy, as I love her blog and we’ve chatted a lot online, but never met. It was such fun to chat away about books in person. But the guest of honour, and the reason for us grouping together, was Laura – who used to blog at Laura’s Musings – who was over from the US of A. What a fun and funny lady! We all laughed a lot on Saturday, and I have to put in another word for Julie, who isn’t a blogger but is extremely funny. And there I shall stop naming people, because everyone there was a joy! As were the Dutch pancakes we ate for lunch.
I was relatively restrained (memories of the Bookbarn not being far behind me) and bought three books. Two more – The Amateur Marriage and The Hare With Amber Eyes – were a kind gift from Luci, who brought bagfuls to share.
I bought Colin II by E.F. Benson, because I always like adding to my Benson shelf, and because ‘Colin 2’ is basically a nickname I could have had growing up. But I must read Colin before I get onto the sequel. Also Abbie, which I recently borrowed from a friend and very much enjoyed. And finally The Basilisk of St. James by Elizabeth Myers, whose letters I so loved reading in 2005 or 2006.
But I made up for my restraint by forcing encouraging others to buy whenever possible – including some gems, like Nothing Is Safe by E.M. Delafield, and a couple of scarce Barbara Comyns. Never let it be said that I discourage book buying…
So I need a weekend to get over my weekend, but what fun it was!