We’ve all been a little bit distracted Manchester-way this week with the terrible riots that have blighted our fair island these past few days. Happily we seem to have missed the worst of it in Manchester and luckily no-one (touch-wood) has been hurt, although our lovely city centre is looking a little worse for wear at the moment. I think I echo most people (and blogger’s) sentiments when I say that we have all felt heartened by the actions of those who, the very next day, got to work clearing up the mess in a true show of solidarity. It in’t so grim up North!
Now, back to books! Before the drama of Tuesday I was fortunate enough to grab a ticket for blogger Simon Savidge and author Adam Lowe’s new literary salon BOOKMARKED, hosted at Waterstones Deansgate. These chaps rightly identified that, for a large, cosmopolitan, hip happening city such as MaDchester, we have embarrassingly few independent bookshops/literary events in the city centre.
The promise of a literary event full stop, never mind one featuring the wonderful Sarah Winman, whose novel, When God was a Rabbit, has been a beloved holiday read this year, was enough to get me excited, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. There were a lot of like-minded people milling around to see both Winman and SJ Watson (author of Before I go to sleep) and I would have loved to have more opportunity to those bookish types sitting around me… Sarah Winman’s reading of a particularly hilarious portion of her book was side-splittingly funny. The life she brought to her characters, even putting on completely plausible voices for each one, were brilliant, and I wasn’t surprised to find out she actually used to be an actress. I, of course, for want of anything intelligent/endearing to say made a complete fool of myself in front of her as I shuffled forward sheepishly for a book signing, making a lame comment about dropping all of my books in the bath before blushing and backing away. She was wonderful, enigmatic and cool as cucumber.
Another great discovery was SJ Watson, whose novel is being lauded as a psychological thriller… a genre that doesn’t usually float my boat. However, to be honest I realise that I’ve never really given it a go. What better opportunity than now. He was an incredibly engaging, down-to-earth guy and you simply cannot hear the first few pages of this book without rushing out to buy it immediately. I’m curious to see how I find this groundhog day-style tale of a woman who loses her memory every time she goes to sleep and therefore can never really trust those around her….
Although I can’t be there for the next BOOKMARKED session with Val McDermid in September I will certainly be there for October. Thankyou very much to Simon an Adam for hosting!