For several years, I produced events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which means I’ve been able to spend 17 summer days every August in a Georgian garden, surrounded by writers, journalists, politics and ideas. In 2011 I blogged from behind the scenes at the magical tented village that is the world’s largest public celebration of the written word.
More than 190,000 people poured through the gates of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, ready to listen to 800 authors read, talk, debate and chat as they spent hundreds of combined hours signing their books.
Neil Gaiman’s signing queue alone may have been visible from space.
Daily Shoe Challenge
I was challenged to wear a different pair of shoes each day, which provided a bit of fun – you can catch up on my Daily Shoe Challenge and check out pics of the shoes, and the great footwear some of the authors pitted against me.
EdBookFest 2011: Highlights
I’ve a long list of EdBookFest joys, but here’s a few of the (publishable) highlights:
- Taking a picture of Neil Gaiman taking a picture of his picture
- Scoffing mint ice-cream and shortbread men
- Doing the can-can for a daily shoe picture
- Learning that AS Byatt has Buckingham Palace on speed dial
- Finding a mystery book sculpture addressed to @EdinCityofLit
- Hanging out amidst books and bars with the Aussie contingent
- Introducing the Story Shop authors each day
- The impromptu massage from a Finnish author at the Kelpie Awards
- Scotland’s literati on one Fleck-ing stage
- The Ladies of the Yurt and their yurt alerts
- Watching Jenni Murray laugh mascara tears at Jackie Kay’s Scottish Book Award win
I ended up with too many books – 46, in total. There were so many beautiful looking titles in the Bookshop tent that I couldn’t resist, and I picked up a couple at the staff Book Grab too.
Congratulations to Canongate Books, with five purchases, closely followed by Vintage. Honourable mention goes to Bloomsbury for One Thousand and One Nights.
- Anon Eight
- Leila Aboulela – Lyrics Alley
- Hanan Al-Shaykh – One Thousand and One Nights
- Steven Amsterdam – Things We Didn’t See Coming
- Sebastian Barry – On Canaan’s Side
- Carol Birch – Jamrach’s Menagerie
- Alan Bissett – Pack Men
- T C Boyle – When the Killing’s Done
- Geoffrey Chaucer – The Canterbury Tales
- Jasper Fforde – One of Our Thursdays is Missing
- Anne Fine – The Devil Walks
- Debi Gliori – Pure Dead Magic
- Alex Gray – Sleep Like the Dead
- Roy Hattersley – David Lloyd George
- Rachel Hewitt – Map of a Nation
- Riitta Jalonen & Kristiina Louhi – Tundra Mouse Mountain
- Jackie Kay – Red Dust Road
- Liz Kessler – A Year Without Autumn
- Malcolm Knox – Adult Book
- Hari Kunzru – Gods Without Men
- Adam Levin – The Instructions
- Kelly Link – Pretty Monsters
- Cathy MacPhail – Out of the Depths
- Alexander McCall-Smith – A Conspiracy of Friends
- Candia McWilliam – What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness
- Dinaw Mengestu – Children of the Revolution
- Dinaw Mengestu – How To Read the Air
- China Mieville – Embassytown
- Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance
- Glenn Murphy – Will Farts Destroy the Earth?
- Cees Noteboom – The Foxes Come at Night
- Tim Radford – The Address Book
- Meg Rosoff – There is No Dog
- Sara Sheridan – Secret of the Sands
- Muriel Spark – The Complete Short Stories
- Hilary Spurling – Burying the Bones
- Shaun Tan – Eric
- Shaun Tan –The Bird Kind and Other Sketches
- Shaun Tan – Tales from Outer Suburbia
- Colm Toibin – The Empty Family
- Kirsten Tranter – The Legacy
- Helen Walsh – Go To Sleep
- David Whitehouse – Bed
- Tobias Wolff – Our Story Begins
The final shoe snap – my cosy, microwaveable, lavender-scented slippers.
These will help me through the winter months as I plough through my new library.