Utter madness

No, not the nationalisation of the US banking system, but rather the ever-so slightly ridiculous number of events that we've got coming up in the next two weeks. Having had a packed schedule over the Summer, we haven't done ourselves any favours by organising a load of events coming up in the next few weeks. But it's what we like to do - so we can hardly complain when they stack up like Heathrow on a Friday evening. Anyhoo, we've got some corking events coming up in the next few months (take a look at our events page for more details) but the next couple of weeks will be full, culminating in six events in two days next Wednesday/Thursday (which even by our standards is possibly overdoing it). Here goes. Everything kicks off tomorrow evening as Alison, Nicki and I put on our best bib and tucker and bowl up to the Natural History Museum for the Bookseller Retail Awards. We have been shortlisted for Children's Bookshop of the Year, and - like the British Book Industry Awards back in May - this is the first time we've ever been to these awards. Expect a full report after the event... It's the Gardners Trade Show this weekend in Warwick - and once we make it back from there next week begins in earnest. On Wednesday 24th September, we have our Wednesday morning bookgroup meeting at 10.30. Good luck to Ali who is taking over the group from Anu (who, I am delighted to report, had a bouncing baby girl - Marissa Joy - on 6th September - Mum and baby doing very well). From 3pm-5pm, there will be a signing by bare-knuckle boxing legend Paddy Monaghan. And if you are wondering why we have a bare-knuckle boxer signing copies of his memoirs in the shop (after all, it doesn't sound like one of our events), it might help to know that Paddy grew up in Abingdon, and famously used to host visits by his friend Muhammed Ali who visited his council house in Saxton Road in the 70s and 80s. To know how he got to know Ali, and why Ali visited so often - come meet the man and read his book... Wednesday evening we are hosting the book launch of Eliza Graham's novel Restitution, the follow-up to her successful debut novel Playing With The Moon. Like her first novel, Restitution is being published by Macmillan New Writing, and they have done a cracking job with the book design - I'm desperately carving out time to read it ahead of next Wednesday. I'm looking forward to meeting MNW's commissioning editor Will Atkins who will be there - and if anyone would like to come along to the launch, please get in touch quickly and let me know. That's Wednesday. On Thursday, samurai sword-wielding children's author Chris Bradford will be doing his martial art stuff at Larkmead School in front of the whole of year 7. Then at 4pm, we celebrate the launch of our after-school reading club when David Melling reads from his new book The Star-faced Crocodile. It's then our bookgroup in the evening. Throw in the odd storytime, a committee meeting and one Harvest Festival to attend at Alex's new school (just to get the old work-life balance sorted) and you can see it's a busy old time. But fun as always. (On another note, I've just returned from a fantastic evening spent with the WI up at Wootton, where they kindly let me waffle on about the bookshop for half an hour. As part of the evening, the ladies brought in old books to look at, with me awarding a prize for the most interesting. I awarded it for the original - get this - 1780 edition of Paradise Lost. Incredible to hold a book like that in your hands...without white gloves).


  1. Anonymous9:31 am

    That "original" edition of Paradise Lost cannot have been from 1780 -- or if it was, you didn't need the white gloves. The poem was first published in the 1660s.

  2. Ah - yes, sorry - late night blogging. I guess what I meant to say was that the copy (dated 1780) was an original - rather than a facsimile from 1780...still quite exciting to hold though (with or without white gloves!)

  3. Jackie O3:45 pm

    Ooh - best of luck for the awards. Will keep fingers crossed for you.