My day at London Book Fair


Now this is London book fair , well part of it . I was lucky to get an invite to come and spend the day from Susan at Istros books at The Croatian writers stand .I got there just in time for the opening of the stand by the Croatian ambassador .


Where he mention the events over the next few days and the wonderful list that Peter Elborn and the British Croatian society which featured all the books from Croatia translated to English although a few more have appeared since it is a wonderful list one I will be using to find a few books to read .Now the first event at the stand was a reading from the Bulgarian writer Alek Popov , who’s first book Istros published Mission London my review of this book.

20150414_120755He was reading from his second novel to be translated into English Black Box a dual story of one man in New york a Bulgarian abroad and a man returning to Bulgaria to find a man named Kurtz (Yes a connection to Heart of darkness /Apocalypse now ) . His new book is to be published by Peter Owen  , I will have a review soonish as I managed to get a copy from them  .At this point I decide to wander the fair although having made the unwose decison on new shoes for the day hop round the fair would be a better . I took chance to say hello to some people I know via twitter .Catherine Taylor from English Pen , Victor from Haus publishing , he told me about a great book they are due to publish this year about Thomas Mann and the decision he made in 1936 to writer a letter about the Nazi Regime and send it to a paper in Germany .I also had a nice long chat with Alan the blogger from Words of mercury . I also finally meet Malcolm from Oxygen books that publish the city lit series of books but is also doing a project for the arts council in the south-east promoting books in translation .I eventually got back to the Croatian writer stand before the next event .


The next event was the launch of Farewell cowboy by Olja Savičević , this was the first of two launchs of the book here and in the evening at the embassy .Olja read from here book in Croatian then the passages she had read were read in English by the translator Celia Hawkesworth .The book follows a sister returning to find out more about her brother’s death . I have read the book twice and will be reviewing soon. I managed later in the day to grab Olja and have a short chat with her about the book .

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Then after the reading we had two types of traditional Croat Spirits Rakija one is made from Honey Medica and the other from Mistletoe Biska .Then we all departed to the evening reception and launch for the book at the Croatian embassy , so as I said to my wife I was in Croatia ,which did worry her that I had run off til I explained i was still in London .


So The ambassador Dr Ivan Grdešić, introduced Olja and Celia again and we had another reading and then some wine and Fig cake to celebrate the books launch .Then Olja, Celia and Susan from istros books were all filmed by the Croatian News team as they were going to be on last nights news in Croatia . I was amazed that writers still make the news and arts is still held in such high regards to be newsworthy in Croatia . It was a double celebration for the ambassador his son-in-law had won this years European union literature prize that day 


Thanks to Susan from Istros for the day and all the lovely Croatian writer union and publishers I meet on tuesday

Winston sketches a glimpse into a book lovers life

Well I could be procrastinating on not writing a review ,but that’s not the case I’m back at work tomorrow after a fortnight off work and I’m sure my old routine will slip back into place .No this is an idea to give a glimpse into what it is to be a book lover (book mad really ) ,I really enjoyed Robs reading notes when he did them but this is something different , a whole view I’d love to say daily but I imagine it will be sporadic .These post are also easier for me to write as I can write on my phone as Amanda is using the laptop at the moment while she searches for a new job .So to the sketch for today which has been a perfect book day without much reading .This morning I had chance to spend a hour or two with the iPad so caught two programmes on sky player that had caught my eye .The first was Buy the ticket ,take the ride a documentary on Hunter S Thompson I don’t know about you but I have always had a fascination with him as a person and as a writer .I’ve only read three books by him but was always touched by how much of him was in his books and how much of the time he lived in was in them as well .Rhis film gave me a further insight into this unusual character lots of interviews with Hunter himself the two actors Bill Murray and Johnny Depp who have portrayed Hunter in film ,his peers and friends Well worth a view .The other show followed the recent Revival of Not I by Samuel Beckett a one woman show that is just a black out face with a mouth talking ,Beckett want this show done at the speed of thought so this piece comes out like a machine gun as we follow the dialogue.I feel this is a piece I will need to watch again to fully comprehend .Then a book buy was the greatcoat by Helen Dunmore The first book on the new hammer imprint a ghost story set in the fifties has been on my radar for a while and at £1.99 at sainsbury seemed a bargain and a great Halloween reading choice .my day is ending catching the podcast of BBC open book in and around. Cumbria with the current writers and poets and a look to the past well Wordsworth mainly .
What you been doing bookish recently ?

June 2023


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