Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Charing Cross Road Fest 2013
Last weekend saw the second Charing Cross Road Fest and it was a roaring success! Foyles and Blackwell's took the lead again, but there were more shops involved this year and more of them held their own events, including a zine launch at Quinto and Francis Edwards, an event on Britishness at Charing Cross Road Library and an art book launch at Koenig Books.
author and editor of Arc magazine, interviewed Priest about his new book,
Later in the afternoon we had a ukulele workshop with ukulele magician Ian Lawrence, who had a very attentive audience learning some simple tunes and chords. We had a free ukulele to give away, thanks to our friends at John Wiley and it was lovely to see an excited 5-year-old girl present with her very own ukulele! Then we had Martin Bannister, who talked about writing and read from his debut novel A Map of Nowhere in his very first bookshop event. A Map of Nowhere is a touching novel about mental illness, family and the secrets we all keep event from those closest to us. Miranda sawyer said it is ‘a touching, memorable book that makes us look at human secrets and realise that they reveal as much as they hide. Oh, and it’s funny too.’
The final shop event for us on the Saturday was our Best Fictional Detective Balloon Debate, featuring Barry Forshaw, Emelyne Godfrey, Sara Sheridan and Nicola Upson. Barry's choice of Sherlock Holmes came top in our pre-debate vote and I think we all thought he was sure to win, but in a shock twist in the half-time vote where 2 people were kicked out of the balloon, Holmes was out. As was Emelyne's choice of Judith Lee, a heroine written by Richard Marsh who was hugely popular in his day, but has been slightly forgotten now. She was described as 'the female Sherlock Holmes' and could read lips as well as being an expert in ju jitsu. So the second half of the debate saw Precious Ramotswe (fought for by Sara) and Alan Grant (fought for by Nicola), battle it out to be crowned 'the best fictional detective'. In the end it was Grant and Nicola who were victorious and we hope that a lot of the people on the audience have now picked up a Josephine Tey crime novel to read about Alan Grant's exploits.