What a nice guy

Tonight we had our third author event since we opened - an evening with Sam Jordison, author of Crap Towns, The Joy of Sects and (his latest book) Bad Dates. It was a really interesting evening, quite different from the other events we've run (and a first in that I'm posting immediately after the event, rather than the usual week later). I know this sounds cheesy, and hardly imaginative, but Sam is a really nice bloke. Arriving before anyone else, and having turned down the offer of wine in preference to a cup of tea, he then immediately endeared himself to us by buying a couple of books. Sam discussed his book Bad Dates (read more about the launch party for the book, described as the worst singles party of all time), explained how he'd ended up in Oxford (which featured in Crap Towns, mainly by dint of Blackbird Leys and drunk students), confirmed that he had indeed been a goatherd in the Ardeche region of France (something I had been sceptical about before this evening) and answered questions before the obligatory signing. I sincerely wish him well on his next venture, going off to live in small-town America for six months in the hope of learning more about right-wing Christian groups. When your next book is out Sam, we'll get it in no problem. And I will check out the Jack Kerouac piece. And thanks for the primer (from The Joy of Sects) on founding myths of Scientology, British Israelites and the Mormons (amongst others). Not quite the discussion we might have expected at the end, but completely fascinating. One apology to everyone who came tonight. Having trailed the event as consisting of a glass of wine and 'the odd festive mince pie', I completely forgot to actually bring the mince pies through into the shop. They are still sitting out the back. So consider yourself owed one any time from now until Christmas...

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