Sunday, 19 August 2012

Day 9

I'm told there is a word hidden in the term "Book Festival". A word beginning with "B" and ending in "ook".

When I eventually figured out what this word was, I decided to spend some time today asking lots of people at the Book Festival a simple, joyous little question -- what are you reading at the moment?

So my list of discoveries today is substantial, and consists of what books are being devoured by Book Festival authors, staff, press, and, of course, members of the public, both young and not-so-young. And they're all bundled in together, because book-lovers are book-lovers, no matter how famous.

If you're looking for book recommendations right from the heart of the Book Festival, this is the list for you. Though don't try to read them all unless you have very, very, very eclectic tastes...

'Pulphead' by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Rob (in the press tent)

'Embassytown' by China Miéville
Teresa Flavin (author)

'The Moon and Sixpence' by W Somerset Maugham
Kapka Kassabova (author)

'Ambition to Meaning' by Wayne W Dyer
Vicky (journalist)

'The Beautiful Indifference' by Sarah Hall
Roland (Programme Manager)

The Redbreast by Jo Nesbø
Kristen (in the signing tent)

'The Betrayal' by Helen Dunmore
Nicola Morgan (author)

'Channel Sk1n' (an e-book) by Jeff Noon
Chris (photographer)

'N-W' by Zadie Smith
Nick (Book Festival Director)

'Gladiator' by Simon Scarrow
Nathaniel (aged 12)

'Violence' by Slavoj Žižek
Ewan Morrison (author)

'The Beano Annual 2012'
Sorley (aged 7)

'Bloodstone' by Gillian Philip
Daniela (Sorley's mum)

'International Private Law'
Lula (Front of House Supervisor)

'This is Not About Me' by Janice Galloway
Liz (in the bookshop)

'The Terror of Living' by Urban Waite
Mike (in the queue for Main Theatre)

'Midnight Swimmer' by Edward Wilson
Frances (Press Manager)

'The Impossible Dead' by Ian Rankin
Mike (in the queue for Peppers Theatre)

'Hawthorn and Child' by Keith Ridgway
Ian Rankin (author)

Day 8

This evening I spoke to someone who summed up her day at the Book Festival thus: “I feel like my life is sparkling”.

Here are my favourite discoveries today.

It has been a day for enthusiastic audiences at the Book Festival. Cheering, laughing, heckling, whooping, singing – and, for Michael Morpurgo, a standing ovation from a huge audience moved by his song, by his writing, and by his life.

Today's Writers' Conference on style versus content could not resist the hot literary topic of the moment: 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Some objected to its involvement in the conference – and some objected fiercely – but there were voices of support. A book seller from Edinburgh mentioned that the book sells huge quantities in her shop, but those who buy it often come back later for more material to read. It has introduced the world of books to those who don't normally read. It is, as she said, an “entry drug into literature”

Most of us know that Danny Wallace started a country in his flat. But did you know that he then moved out of his flat and failed to tell the next occupant she's living in her own country? When he first opened his flat as a country, he invited local press to write about it. Then he framed the article and put it on top of a tall shelf, so that when the new owner is changing a light bulb she'll be met with the amazing surprise that she is living in an independent state.

There's a big board in the children's bookshop here at the Book Festival called “Hopes of a Nation”. Young visitors to the bookshop can write up their own hopes for the future.

Here are some of the contributions:

I wish people would be more respectful of people's opinions and views.
- Jessica (aged 14)

I hope my cardigan is found.
- Brodie (aged 3)

I hope Scotland has lots of rain so I can splash in puddles.
- Sophie (aged 6)

When I am older I hope there will be no more poor people.
- Poppy (aged 5)

I would like to be a doctor fairy princess. And live in Germany.
- Maya (aged 4 ½)