Posted by: gillarbuthnott | August 26, 2011

Enjoying the Book Festival…

Haven’t seen much of the family recently as I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Charlotte Square. I’ve chaired some events for the first time, which has been really enjoyable. First came Danish author Janne Teller and her challenging young adult novel Nothing. Janne spoke about the background to the writing of the novel, how it has been received (or banned!) in various places and revealed what she would have placed on the ‘heap of meaning’.

Mark Brake and Jon Chase built a toilet paper and fruit model of the solar system – not something I’ve ever seen before and a great way of showing relative size and distance – as they answered Really Really Big Questions about Space and Time. Jon’s raps were received with great enthusiasm; the audience of school groups would certainly remember this bit of science communication.

Caroline Lawrence was resplendent in full Western regalia (much more suited to Scottish summer weather than the stola and sandals she wears when talking about The Roman Mysteries) to introduce her new Western Mysteries series and its intriguing and ambiguous hero P K ‘Pinky’ Pinkerton. I absolutely loved this book with its vivid setting in Virginia City during the silver rush and its cast of historical and imagined supporting characters. I will definitely be buying the next one as soon as it appears.

I also managed to get tickets for Simon Callow earlier in the week. An hour of pure bliss, but not nearly long enough. They should have locked us all in overnight. I’ve decided that my own personal heaven will have him telling me stories from his life, alternating with Alan Rickman reading aloud to me. More on my personal heaven and hell in a later post!

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