Obviously every week is a literary one in the life of a bookseller, but last week peaked for the Liznojan team. We managed to cram in 3 events with some spectacular authors and locations.
It feels like summer has arrived and my schedule has suddenly exploded with events, cricket matches, school trips and keeping up with the garden! However, these three events were totally worth lugging books back and forth, stressing over ticket sales and booking a train to Bath.
First up we had Marc Hamer, author of 'How to catch a mole', 'Seed to Dust' and 'Spring Rain'. A firm favourite here at Liznojan, I felt very positive going into this conversation with a guy who writes straight from the soul. Marc's aspirations for this book are to give people hope, courage and treat nature as your remedy. The book flits back and forth between boyhood and the present. Marc's childhood as a misunderstood boy with rifts in the family are then compared to his reflections now and how he has decided to act upon his experiences. The way Marc dealt with homelessness at a young age are quite inspiring, he believes the act of walking and moving your body can help with mental and physical health and still uses this now. A lyrical and soothing read, it's perfect to read a short chapter before bed.
Then Jackie, Nico and myself jumped on a train to Bath for an exciting evening with Natalie Haynes, author of 'Stoneblind' and other Greek retellings and non-fiction work.
This event was extra special because it was held in the Roman Baths! It was simply incredible, we were glad we were right at the front of the queue and grabbed a pretty awesome spot as you can see. We all love a good Greek retelling but Natalie's humour, intelligence and passion, for rewriting Greek mythology to be more true to the original tellings and for our time now, are simply captivating.
If you ever have the chance to hear Natalie speak, be that live or on the radio, do it. She told us of the history of the Gorgons, Medusa's various stories and how the pitiful Perseus had to use every aid going to hunt her down. She then reflected upon our current political and social climate and how Medusa's story is blatantly reflected in this.
Whizz forwards less than 24 hours and we're back at Ashley Court in Tiverton but this time with Raynor Winn, author of 'The Salt Path', 'The Wild Silence' and 'Landlines'. The weather was finally on our side fully and the sun was shining from a beautiful blue sky. As guests began to arrive to Ashley Court with gasps of delight and excitement, we sliced the homemade cakes and poured tea into china cups. Ashley Court really is a simply superb venue, with the perfect family slowly restoring the property to it's former glory. No swimming pool and gym being built here, but rather a walled garden uncovered and planted in a way to maximise the growing season and utilising the space. Once everyone had arrived all 56 guests squeezed into the drawing room, with the doors flung open to the birdsong,
and sat quietly to hear Raynor speak about her journey. Just to make the afternoon even more special, Raynor's husband Moth joined us and I cannot express how incredibly
humble and down to earth this couple are. They melted our hearts with their epic love story and their connection was obviously seen when they were together. Tara interviewed Raynor, her questions were thoughtful and not the usual questions to be asked, to which the guests were intrigued to ask further questions which made us all ponder and absorb the impact of their story. Thank you Tara.
So, what a week indeed. If you want to be first to know about any future events then subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on social media. (Though social media hasn't been having the reach it used to have so checking your emails is certainly the best way to go.)
Next up we have Independent Bookshop Week (17th to 23rd June), where there are events running for the little children thanks to Usborne publishing and at the other end of the scale we have a Crime Night with authors Holly Watt and Lucy V Hay. You can book a ticket for our crime night below.