BOOKS AHOY!

I never imagined the evening would end up with me making a paper boat. 

‘It’s quite easy,’ one of the organisers reassured, ‘just fold like this.’ 

With intense concentration I looked on, thinking the little boat was the perfect symbol for this year’s Essex Book Festival. The theme was ‘Uncharted Waters’, inspired in part by the 80th anniversary of Arthur Ransome’s ‘Secret Water’. 

Wow! How far I’ve travelled this March —to India and back as well as to the 19th Century! All whilst remaining firmly seated, listening eagerly to authors!

A L Kennedy (left) with Festival Director, Ros Green

In January I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend & children’s author Josie Dom to the media launch of the festival. I was thoroughly inspired by the event and speakers including the renowned patron of the festival A. L. Kennedy. A winner of many awards including the Costa Book, A. L. Kennedy had me spellbound with her talk. Afterwards I found myself standing next to her but was overcome with shyness and utterly speechless!

The figures for the book festival are staggering. In this, its 20th years of existence, it is the biggest in the country, with over 130 events at 45 venues. The variety of events is amazing with such innovative interactive experiences as The Human Library, numerous writing workshops for all ages, storytelling, poetry jukebox as well as a host of author talks/interviews.

I went to a number of author talks and will feature two of these here. Each one was unique, exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable! My first impression was how well-attended these all were; filled to capacity with lots of engagement with questions and discussion. In a world where we worry the population is reading less and less, I found the active and informed participation by the audience a postive sign that the love of books is well and truly alive!

The first talk I attended was by Vaseem Khan and I was intrigued how an elephant fits into a crime story. The author of ‘Baby Ganesh Detective Agency’ books, Vaseem spoke eloquently and passionately about his own route to writing. Born near London and an avid cricketer, his work took him to India twenty years ago and it is here he started to write. 

It was with the creation of Inspector Copra that he found an agent and quickly a publisher. He weaves the wealth and poverty of modern India brilliantly into his novels, and in this knowledgeable talk I learnt a lot about the country from 3000 years ago to the 21st century. Vaseem was inspired by his father (who sadly had passed away just ten days earlier), who, when faced with difficult situations, said: ‘To change the narrative.’ Vaseem has done exactly that with this unusual series of books set in India, refusing to depict the Bollywood image nor the stereotype ‘happy slum dwellers’. It is hard to believe that these books are written early in the mornings before Vaseem starts his full-time job as a management consultant. A meticulous planner, Vaseem Khan sets aside three months for planning each novel before spending another four months to write it.

I was smitten by the talk and the books and although I didn’t have time to buy a book on the day I did download the first in the series entitled ‘The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra’. I’ve just finished reading this. It’s thoroughly immersive and captivating (and my heart was definitely with the elephant!). This book definitely deserves the accolade of being in the vein of the hugely successful (and loved by me) Alexander McCall Smith’s ‘No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ series.

Below is the blurb for ‘The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra’.

‘On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra discovers that he has inherited an elephant: an unlikely gift that could not be more inconvenient. For Chopra has one last case to solve…

But as his murder investigation leads him across Mumbai – from its richest mansions to its murky underworld – he quickly discovers that a baby elephant may be exactly what an honest man needs. 

So begins the start of a quite unexpected partnership, and an utterly delightful new series.’

The next talk featured Bridget Collins, a full-time author who has already published seven YA fiction books. However, she decided to venture into unknown territory with her book ‘The Binding’ which quickly became a Sunday Times bestseller. At the time of writing, Bridget was unsure which market the book would suit; on completion her agent liked the book and advised her to rewrite it for the adult fiction market. The book winds the author’s interest in bookbinding with that of her work in the Samaritans and at its core is its exploration of memory. It sounds spellbinding and mesmerising!

Having trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bridget Collins has a freerer approach to her books – with the main concept and theme in place she is amenable to being led by the characters or situations in her books.

The presentation of the book is stunning with its sumptuous paper cover, ex libris page, gold foil on the spine and hardback. This is a book that looks almost too beautiful to read. My signed copy has pride of place on my bookshelf and I can’t wait to read it.

Here is the blurb:

“Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.”

Finally, as regards the origami boats, the Essex Book Festival has pledged 1,000 of these to charity for visitors to inscribe with their personal message of love and friendship … mine is still settled safely on my desk, waiting for the right moment to sail away, carrying its message afar!

As I am away on an Easter break at the moment I will not be able to reply or visit blogs as much as normally; please know I will catch up as soon as possible and always I look forward to discussions.

85 thoughts on “BOOKS AHOY!

  1. Miriam says:

    What an absolutely fabulous festival Annika and I can imagine how transported you were by all of the inspiring events and authors. Sounds right up my alley too! Happy reading and enjoy your Easter break my friend. Big hugs from down under xx

  2. maryannniemczura says:

    As always, an amazing post with new titles and people! Enjoy the Easter break. I just visited our son and daughter-in-law in Tallahassee and am now immersed in all my choir and chorale music. This is a music-intense time in our season. Enjoy the holidays!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much, Mary Ann! 😀 It was wonderful to attend some of the events of this very varied Book Festival and a delight to share here! My bookish way of life has continued here on my Easter holiday and been reading lots! Amongst all the fiction I’ve now nearly finished my hardback copy of Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’. Amazing and I’m particularly touched by her childhood recollections.

      Tallahassee sounds great as a name and although I know nothing of the town … I hope you had a most brilliant time with your son ad daughter-in-law! Have a fantastic Spring fully immersed in music – sounds sublime! 🎼

      • maryannniemczura says:

        Much appreciated as always, Annika. Tallahassee, Florida, population 191,000+ in 2017 is the State Capital and is situated in the Panhandle of Florida. Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park is a beautiful spot with flowers, trees and water plus benches to sit and meditate. Our son and I did just that as we quietly listened to birds and young crocodiles and turtles. We observed small lizards scurrying about. We attended a Tribute Concert to longtime conductor at Florida State University, Dr. André Thomas. The Tallahassee Community Chorus numbers upwards of 300 . Combined with the FSU music department singers numbering approximately 200, the concert was a moving tribute to this artistic Director.
        After a wonderful visit in Florida, I have returned to music-making in Upstate New York and a visit from our daughter for Easter. Finally the buds are appearing and a few blossoms. Everything is late this year. I too have been devouring books. One especially has remained with me: Educated: a Memoir by Tara Westover. And a change of pace was A Man Named Ove with subtle humor. Annika, I cannot content myself with just reading and writing but HAVE to sing and do music in its many forms. Music is and has always been food for the soul.
        Enjoy your marvelous spring holidays and reading or devouring books as well.

  3. Jina Bazzar says:

    I don’t have many – or any – book fests around me, and I envy you going to all those near you.
    Those blurbs sound intriguing – I’m sure that elephant is wonderful.
    And hope you enjoy your vacation.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jina, the elephant is adorable … but he didn’t have the easiest of starts in his life! An unwelcome present but one that becomes part of the lives of those around it. A great read and can’t wait to read the rest in the series. The Binding sounds fascinating and thought-provoking and eagerly look forward to reading this ..with extra special care.

      It is is pity there aren’t many Book Festival near you … there are a plethora in the U.K.; we’re spoilt for choice! It is inspiring to listen to fellow writers and I always learn from each one!

      Thank you, I’m having a fantastic holiday and many days left here in Sweden – we’ve been blessed with non-stop sunshine which is a huge boost and uplifting! Wishing you a lovely rest of the week! Xx 😀

  4. Prior... says:

    annika – this festival sounded great and i love the origami – and the post was nice –
    also – I apologize for not keeping touch better – long story – but saw your name on Jill’s blog and had to come and say hello

    • Annika Perry says:

      Yvette, it’s lovely to see you hear and thank you so much for stopping by. 😀I hope all has been okay with you.

      The festival is a wonderful celebration of the written word and the origami shows how this is just one the many creative experiences during the month! Wishing you a special Easter and hope Spring has found its way to you! 🌺🌼

  5. Julie Holmes, author says:

    This is a wonderful post, Annika! The book festival sounds wonderful! Love the poetry jukebox–what a clever idea. And my TBR list is now longer again. Kahn’s book with the baby elephant intrigues me. Those folded boats are a great idea for a fundraiser as well. Thank you for taking us along!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much, Julie! 😀 It is a brilliant festival and a delight to share here … and they always manage to think of some original events as well as the usual talks. The poetry jukebox is inspired and I had the pleasure of talking to the lady who designed these. Khan’s book is a joy to read, unusual, learning so much about India whilst absorbed in the story and characters! I know, I can feel your angst about your growingTBR but one day you’ll have time to catch up … I hope! 😀😀 Happy Reading! 📖

  6. delphini510 says:

    Ahh … Annika, how you draw me in with that paper boat photographed on top of a world map.
    All set to carry your message round the world, will you share the message with us when the time comes.
    You have me reading avidly about this wonderful time of the Book Festival. It is a beautiful thing for a county to do for its citizens and your report makes it all sound so exciting. To hear how well attended these events were and how greatly appreciated by visitors. So having travelled to India and back you must now have absorbed some more cultures.

    The writers you introduce and their work are very inspiring and I will follow your lead and buy these books. To be gifted an elephant … how intriguing is this. The Binding equally draws me in and is so beautiful as well. Bet you turn the pages with care.

    Will leave you in peace now but thank you for this great post

    Miriam

    • Annika Perry says:

      Wow! 😀😀 Miriam, heartfelt thanks for your wonderful comment and lovely to chat about books here! The festival is fantastic and so well organised with many great writers attending … the positive vibe is heartwarming! It used to be run by the county council but is now organised through the University of Essex with input from various sources. Each event was special in its own unique way and I loved the ‘travel’ each gave me! I was happily surprised at how well attended the talks were and also how active and interested the participants were ..realising so many had already read the books! Vaseem noticed this and said he was happy to sign copies of books people had already bought elsewhere and read! Very kind of him! I loved his first book and am now eagerly looking forward to read the next in the series. As for The Binding, you know me too well … I will read it with extra loving care!

      Wishing you a great week and Happy Reading! Xx

  7. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    Such a wonderful experience, Annika! You are lucky to have access to inspiring author talks like these, and a chance to learn about other authors’ journeys.

    I really enjoyed reading this post, and you saying “In a world where we worry the population is reading less and less, I found the active and informed participation by the audience a positive sign that the love of books is well and truly alive!” This is great to hear, because I often worry who am I writing for.

    Enjoy your break my friend…xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Khaya, it was a wonderfully inspiring time to attend the some of the events at the festival and I was struck by the writers’ journeys, how different they were yet similar in many ways. Dedication to the craft is paramount, originality is vital as well. Everyone was so kind, eloquent, humble and gifted – and I was impressed with the organisation of the festival spread across the whole county. There are many more prestigious book festivals which get a lot of press so I wanted share the wonderful work and some of the authors who appear at this one!

      I’m glad you can take heart from my words about the popularity of book talks and please, never doubt who you are writing for … write true from you heart … trust the readers will be there. ❤️

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment and for your last sentence; I’m having a heavenly break and can’t believe the non-stop sunshine! Hope you have the same in Finland! Xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Robbie, I’m surprised that South Africa has little in the way of book festivals, they seem to be part of the life in so many countries. This one is so varied with events, locations and tries to bring in all from the community, from the younger children, to new writers, to people with a love of books or storytelling, poetry! I’m so glad you enjoyed learning a bit about it here.

  8. roughwighting says:

    This is fun to read! I am impossibly clumsy with the making of paper hats/airplanes/paper ANYTHING, so I’m impressed with yours. The talks sound inspiring. And now, I hope you’re having a delightful spring get-away. xo

    • Annika Perry says:

      Pam, thank you for your lovely comment! 😀 As young I was mad with making paper airplanes and having flying competitions … I liked the idea of the paper boat, just worried about launching it out to sea. Will it sink?? Oh yes, the talks were so inspirational and it’s heartening to hear the writing journeys from other authors … so different yet similar! Hope you’re having a wonderful Spring and wishing you a brilliant weekend! It’s heavenly and sunny here in Sweden and I feel rejuvenated after the months of grey and rain at home. Hugs Xx

  9. Clare Pooley says:

    The Essex Book Festival sounds great fun! Thank you so much for sharing your experience – the author talks must be fascinating, especially for a writer like you. I hope you are having a lovely holiday xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Clare, it is lovely to see such an abundance of literary events in just one county and it is heartwarming the time authors and everyone else give it make it happen! 😀 For me as a writer it is incredibly interesting but it is equally appealing for non-writers I’m sure! A love of books is all that is needed! As it was at Vaseem’s talk I felt quite unprepared as at least half the audience seemed to have read his books and this led to detailed character discussion! Thank you, I’m having a wonderful holiday, sunshine everyday so far and blissful tranquility and stunning nature! Over a week to go! 😀😀 Wishing you a lovely weekend and hope Spring and its flowers are out in full force! 🌺🌼

      • Clare Pooley says:

        It has been very cold and we’ve had sleet and rain. Below freezing tonight again. I think your weather sounds nicer than mine! 😀 Enjoy the rest of your holiday and relax! xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jan, the festival celebrates just that – the wonder and magic of books! Perfectly put! 😀😀 It’s been a delight to share here … and more a matter of keeping it to a manageable length! Thank you so much for reading and your comment – wishing you a lovely weekend! 😀🌺

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jennifer, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and I love your point about how many lives we get to live, even if vicariously. Isn’t that the wonder and magic of books! And a festival such as this shares with all sections of the community in wonderful inventive ways!

      Hope you’re having a beautiful Sunday … I’m having a heavenly break and another week of sunshine and tranquility! 😀😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Diana, the publishers went to town with The Binding and it is so attractive you can’t wait to hold it. Now, opening the pages is another matter!! Being me I’ll be extra careful of this book! I had a brilliant time attending just a few of the many varied events … and realise what a gift these kind of festivals are for the community and writers! Oh, I’m a very Happy Reader on my break – storming through books! 😀 Have a lovely week, my friend. Xx

      • D. Wallace Peach says:

        I’ve missed writing and reading this past month, Annika, while moving my parents. I thought I’d get some reading time in (LOL – what was I thinking?). But home soon and looking forward to it! Happy Reading!

  10. macsbooks311 says:

    What a marvelous and interesting post!! I love your paper boat! I just put The Binding on hold at my local library and now I’m so very glad that I did. Thank you for sharing all of this with us!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mackay, how wonderful that you’ve reserved your copy of The Binding. 😀😀Is there a long queue? I’m sure we will both love the book … the author is amazing. Eloquent, kind, humble … speaking openly about her writing. Her passion for the book had me sold before I even read the blurb! Sounds fascinating and most unusual. Enjoy! So glad you like the boat … I haven’t had the heart to set it out to sail yet but will this summer! Happy Reading! 📖

  11. balroop2013 says:

    What a wonderful festival Annika! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I agree with you, ‘The Binding’ is too beautiful to open and read and you have signed copy! Wow! Enjoy your break dear friend. Happy reading.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Balroop, I reckon The Binding is one book I’ll read VERY carefully! 😀 There is already a queue for it in my house and my son was most put out I didn’t bring it to Sweden. I was too worried the cover would be damaged in the suitcase! The festival is fantastic and ensures the whole community is involved and wonderful to see how many events there were for young budding writers! Thank you, I’m having a wonderful relaxing break, pure happiness at seeing the the sun surrounded by tranquility of nature, and yes, reading LOTS!

      Wishing you a very special weekend! Hugs xx ❤️

  12. Jacqui Murray says:

    This sounds wonderful. I am going to have to Google ‘human library’. My mind is spinning. Maybe you’ll cover that in a future post? I love events like this that inspire so deeply, Annika.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jacqui, you’re right, these events are so inspirational and I’ve been buzzing ever since! 😀 You’ve definitely given me an idea for a post but briefly the Human Library is where you turn up to the library, or such place, and instead of borrowing a book you ‘borrow’ a person for fifteen minutes. They then talk, or rather a conversation ensues, about a certain area of their lives. I did consider going but reckon my ‘english’ reserve held me back! 😀😀

    • Annika Perry says:

      Natalie, it’s a delight to share just a snippet of this wonderful festival! 😀 I too was taken with the jukebox poetry and had the pleasure of meeting the designer of these intricate pieces of art! Working with a writer friend, they were matched to various poems and people choose a jar and then the poem was read to them live! Brilliant idea … alas one event I didn’t have a chance to visit! Happy Weekend! 😀🌺

    • Annika Perry says:

      Dorothea, it was a very special event and I think being the 20th Anniversary ensured there was more of a buzz than usual! Oh, I too fell for the boat and knew then I had the start of my post and first photo!

  13. Behind the Story says:

    The Essex Book Festival sounds fascinating. I’m amazed by the variety of events and the large, enthusiastic attendance.

    The Binding has a great hook. But Vaseem Khan’s books appeal to me even more.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Nicki, I am heartened by how popular the events were and I think this is down to both the quality and interesting speakers as well as the superb organisation and publicity about the festival! For Vaseem’s talk the library staff has pulled out all the stops with Indian decor and food … One was already transported to the setting before the talk started! Oh, I loved his book and can’t wait to read the next one now! I have a feeling I’ll gobble up the series and like many in the audience, eagerly awaiting the next one! Hope you enjoy them too if you have a chance to read them! Happy Weekend! 😀

  14. dgkaye says:

    How exciting that would have been to attend. You certainly buzzed around well. I think I’d be like you though, tongue tied at first. I love chatting, but I’d clam up when it comes to public speaking lol. 😉 x

    • Annika Perry says:

      Debby, to my shame I only started attending these events last year but I’m now hooked! 😀 It’s interesting to learn about the different writers, their story to publication. A L Kennedy’s talk about the truth of one’s writing and so much more had me deep in thought, incredibly wise and deep … when standing next to her I felt anything I said would be insane. Next time I’ll be ready though! Oh, public talking frightens me too … although surprisingly once started I find my stride and enjoy it! Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friend! Xx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Yeah! Lovely to meet another fan of his books, Alison! 😀 I always eagerly await his latest No. 1 Detective Agency books. Vaseem’s books are similar in many ways but yet so different. I thoroughly enjoyed his first in the series and am looking out to read the rest!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Rebecca, a delight to have you visiting as well! 😀 Enjoy the books … I am looking forward to reading the rest of Vaseem’s book and can’t wait to start The Binding! Wishing you a wonderful day, my friend! Xx

  15. smilecalm says:

    wonderful for children
    of all ages, Annika!
    i could finally learn how
    to fold that paper the right way.
    would have used these
    back when i produced
    a children’s radio show.
    happy sailing 🙂

    • Annika Perry says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, David and how wonderful that your produced a children’s radio show! 😀There is so little on radio for children and I’ve often wondered why! What did you feature in the show?

      Ahh..it’s much easier to make the boats when someone is showing you step by step and I’m set to release my on the seas this summer!😀

      Wishing you a beautiful weekend! 🌺

      • smilecalm says:

        smiling with hopes that i finally make
        one that stays afloat!
        my show, called “shooting stars” was about staying
        fresh & bright despite difficulties which arise.
        it ran for several years following 9/11.
        lots of songs, stories & lessons
        about cultivating joy & happiness.
        the piece created about Fang on my last post
        would have fit right it the mix. 🙂

        • Annika Perry says:

          Love the title of your radio show and the mix sounds perfect for children! Ahh…thank you for reminding me about your last post. I can see how it would fit perfectly and is a delightful and enjoyable post! 😀

          • smilecalm says:

            it fun continuing to be a child
            at heart, as long as possible, Annika.
            Creating Fang’s video was a fun process
            of filming, making music and being amazed.
            I really enjoyed your son’s composition.
            Sounded orchestral, like several tracks of sounds professionally mixed.
            Does he use ableton live? I used that
            software for my audio production. 🙂

            • Annika Perry says:

              You’re right, it is lots of various instruments and sounds – all layered. Just asked my son and he uses fruituyloop studios software … very impressive piece of kit – he also uses a plug-in keyboard.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Neil, I agree! 😀😀 It is amazing… but there are three months in planning before the writing begins! Then the editing! Vaseem is a committed, gifted and highly organised writer with a hugely professional attitude to the craft.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mary, at the media launch I met the woman who made all these! Wonderfully imaginative creations and she had teamed up with a poet friend. In the end I didn’t manage to get to the actual event but loved the concept of it … choosing a jar, listening to a poem associated with it!

  16. Darlene says:

    Sounds like a great event! I always walk away inspired every time I attend a writers or book festival. The Binding sounds amazing! Enjoy your Easter break. xo

    • Annika Perry says:

      Darlene, the festival is amazing and a lot to organise with so many events over such a large county. The director said there were only two full-time people working on this throughout the year – staggering and impressive! I totally agree, talks like this always leaves me with a buzz and brimming with new ideas and approaches to writing. It’s also reassuring to hear about the doubts and concerns of other writers! Wishing you a great rest of the week! Xx

  17. Mae Clair says:

    The event sounds like it was amazing, Annika. I would be like a kid in a candy store with so many things to see, talks to visit, etc. I actually like the sound of both books you featured, but The Binding in particular is calling to me. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful Easter break!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mae, I love your comment and you are just like me with my childish excitement of all the events! You should have seen me with the brochure, keenly marking up everything I wanted to see … then having to whittle these down to the possible! Oh, such hard choices! A joy to share here! Thank you, I’m having a wonderful and relaxing break – wishing you a lovely rest of the week! 😀🌺

  18. Anonymous says:

    Loved this post Annika. A book lovers dream. It must be wonderful to meet an author or authoress and hear about their journey in writing a book through all the twists and turns that entails. The Binding seems an amazing book, with a cover that just makes you want to pick it up and experience the feel and texture of it. I can’t wait to buy my own copy of this. Definitely a book to take pride of place in my collection.

    Mike

    • Annika Perry says:

      Mike, thank you so much for your exuberant comment and lovely to know you enjoyed learning about the festival, writers and their books. Definitely a heaven for bibliophile! 😀 The Binding, as you rightly notice, not only looks stunning but has a wonderful texture and this is rarity amongst book covers nowadays. It’s meant a lot to me to listen to the talks, and it is heartening to learn about their road to publication, as well as sharing thoughts about writing overall. Enjoy The Binding when you read it!

    • Annika Perry says:

      Jill, I must say March seemed to fly by with so much going on … it was lovely and fun to sit down now and then to listen to these talks. They are all so inspiring, and reassuring how although the books are very different, there are often the same doubts, concerns. I loved learning about their journey to publications and their writing processes. The boat is special – and I just haven’t had the heart to launch it on its way … yet! Hugs, my friend! ❤️

  19. booksandbakes1 says:

    You’ve done so much! Wow! Love the paper boat. What an ingenious idea. I’ve also got a copy of The Binding waiting to be read. It’s fascinating to follow you and your blog! You’ve done some incredible things. I’m so lucky to be a part of that. Have an excellent day! 🌸

    • Annika Perry says:

      Charley, the boats were inspired, I agree! Visually appealing, fun for everyone of all ages and ultimately raising money for charity! 😀 Oh, I’m not at all surprised you already have The Binding! You’ll have to let me know what you think of it when you’ve read it. I was going to take mine to Sweden to me but didn’t want to damage the beautiful cover … so I’ll read it when I’m home again!

      Ahh… thank you so much for your wonderful comment about my blog – I love writing the posts and the Book Festival was something I was keen to share – thank you so much for reading and commenting – being part of the experience! 😀

      Hope you’re having a wonderful and well-deserved Easter holiday! 🌺

      • booksandbakes1 says:

        I’d really like to make one myself but I’m honestly not that creative. Love raising money for charity. I’m running a Sponsored Readathon at my school currently to (hopefully) raise lots of money for Read For Good.

        I’m absolutely certain you will read it before me! However, I shall keep you posted of course. I hope you have an excellent time in Sweden! It’s always lovely knowing that there’s plenty to read waiting for you when you get home.

        Aw, I can’t imagine my blogging journey without you. You’re just so wonderful. The immense pride I felt when your book got published! Ah! No one deserves it more.

        I’m having a lovely holiday thanks. Lots of time outside. Absolutely adoring the lighter mornings and evenings. I do hope you’re well too. Xx

        • Annika Perry says:

          Good luck with your sponsored Readathon … what exactly does this involve? I love the sound of it! I’ve never heard of Read for Good and will have to check it out. Xx

          • booksandbakes1 says:

            It’s a really small charity but I’m proud of us for taking part. Basically, the students collect sponsorship money for reading! They can get sponsorship per book or per page or per 15 mins etc. Completely up to them. I think the majority are getting £1 per book. Even if we only raise a small amount, it all helps. Xxx

    • Annika Perry says:

      Libby, it is a terrific festival and an underrated one, I feel! They work hard to cater for all ages, genres! I would love to talk to A L Kennedy next time … definitely building up my courage. Her talk had struck a chord with me and I was also lost in thought about the responsibility of writers to present truth in their work (although it went much deeper than that!)

      • Libby Sommer says:

        sounds a wonderful festival, Annika. the responsibility of writers to present truth in their work would be an excellent angle for a talk. must have been very stimulating. we need to get out of our writing dens more often and hear what others have to say 🙂

  20. Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    What a wonderful experience, Annika. This is the kind of event I love, being immersed in books, meeting authors, learning about their writing journeys, and of course, being introduced to all the books. Both of the books you’ve reviewed here have already enchanted me. I can’t wait till you announce where your paper boat has sailed to.

    • Annika Perry says:

      Shari, thank you so much for your wonderful enthusiastic comment – you would have loved these events! 😀 It is only recent years I have started to attend such author talks but it is incredibly enriching, touching and amazing to hear their unique stories. The authors gave so much of themselves, professional, yet giving personal anecdotes that added to the talks. Ahh… your last comment has me smiling … I will let you know when the boat has sailed, its message and destination! 😀

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