I usually shelve posts like this as too long after the fact, but really – is it ever too late to learn about good books to buy? No, never, exactly! So on with the post…
A few weeks ago an invite landed in my inbox and I was very excited because I am not the sort of person who gets invited to things very often. This was an event for ‘bloggers, influencers and affiliates’ of Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford. Although Blackwell’s is a large well known brand across the UK, it’s still an independent bookshop and the flagship Oxford store is my local and I love it in there. Sooooo many books, the Norrington room is amazing.
Anyway, back to event – set in the afore mentioned Norrington room, plied with wine and snacks, we took a seat. The event was intended as a precursor to ‘Super Thursday‘ a popular event in bookland where over 500 books are released on one day, although this is the first I’ve heard of it. We (me and the actual, real book bloggers and people who get to write about this sort of thing for the local press) were treated to Blackwell’s staff telling us about the books they were excited about – some had been released recently, some were being released on Super Thursday but they also included some way older books.
The passion of the various staff members was infectios, I cam away wishing I had hoards of child relatives to buy ALL the books for. However the ones that stood out for me included Art Matters by Neil Gaiman that was so cute I bought it there and then.
Bibliophile An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount- described as a love letter to all things bookish, is the latest project from Mount who has spent several years painting people’s bookshelves very beautifully. In this latest book she paints the world’s favourite bookshops, author workspaces to name a few. This one has gone on my wishlist already.
The Writer’s Map An Atlas of Imaginary Lands edited by Huw Lewis-Jones is probably the one I’m most excited about, being a bit of a map geek as well. This is a book that contains not only the maps you find drawn inside the pages of some of the most loved books, but also the maps that inspired them, sketches that authors have used whilst writing the stories. It’s a large format, hardback, book full of colour plates – I’m really wishing for this one in my Christmas stocking this year.
Brit(ish) On Race, Identity and Belonging by Afua Hirsch is another book that stood out, albeit more serious than the ones mentioned so far, particularly in the current UK climate. This book discusses British identity coupled with racism and history.
And the final book that grabbed my attention was Their Brilliant Careers by Ryan O’Neill, this book is about “The fantastic lives of sixteen extraordinary Australian writers” the catch being, that they’re all made up, and we’ve been assured it’s very funny!
After the presentation of books that left most of us drooling, there was plenty of time to chat, buy books, look at books and we got a goodybag to go home with! Not that I need more books, I’m not complaining – several books, a lovely limited edition print (which I’m currently trying to find space to hang), a great pen (you know sometimes you get a pen that just writes SO NICE it makes you write with your best handwriting?, it was one of those), and all packaged in a very sturdy high quality tote! It was a fantastic event, to meet people who also get super excited by books and I was honored to be invited.