Thursday, 9 August 2012

2 days to go

Did you hear that? Two days to go! TWO! That's today and tomorrow we have to get through before we begin a festival to remember.

But don't waste those days; do something constructive. Like buy more tickets for the Book Festival. Have a good poke around the website; I think you'll be surprised by what events you can still sneak tickets for.

And if you could do with some suggestions, I've got you some from behind the scenes. If the Edinburgh International Book Festival staff are for anything they're for prodding and poking until book reviews spill out. Not that they need much prodding and poking – the wall of books in the office is approximately the size of the galaxy, and they have been devoured by the staff; who are, after all, bookworms by definition.

Anyway, on with some of their suggestions!

The Baskerville A Confession – by John O’Connell
“If Cumberbatch hasn’t yet turned you onto Sherlock then this novella (which has its basis in fact) provides an enlightening look behind the man that made the detective and his most famous crime story to whet your appetite.”

Railsea – by China Miéville
“I loved this. China Miéville has an amazing imagination. I loved the characters' names, the places they come from,  the trains, the thrills and spills. This makes it sound like a children’s novel, which it could be, but it also goes a lot deeper than that and makes you sit up and think about what we are doing to our planet as well. I’ve not read anything by China Miéville before and really want to go and see him now.”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank – Nathan Englander
“When I first read Nathan Englander’s work, he reminded me of a young Jonathan Franzen. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank is a terrific short story collection, and I am really looking forward to hearing him at the Book Festival before he really hits the big time.“

Seventy Times Seven – John Gordon Sinclair
"Who knew that the long haired charmer from Gregory’s Girl would turn his hand to writing suspenseful crime? Sinclair takes an IRA hitman as his unlikely hero and sends him from Belfast to the USA to track down an old informer as his final job. However, things don’t turn out quite the way he expected when the old informer turns out to be someone quite different."

Narcopolis – Jeet Thayil
"The beautifully poetic prose of Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis takes you on an intoxicating journey through the backstreets of Bombay’s forgotten Opium dens, offering a unique perspective of India’s underworld. This is definitely one my favourite books in the programme this year and well deserving of its place on the Man Booker longlist."