So this year I am involved in this, so will be posting at intervals.
East Sussex Children’s Book Award an annual event run by East Sussex Library and Information Service aimed at raising the profile and value of reading for pleasure. Children vote for their favourite book from a shortlist. A series of author events at schools across East Sussex and Brighton and Hove are organised to which all participating schools are invited and a final celebration at a prestigious Sussex venue to announce the winner is held in June.
‘I’ve never been sure where holidays end and true travel begins. Perhaps…it has something to do with the inherent difference between a rucksack and a suitcase.’ p10
This was what I really liked about the book. The travels through South East Asia. A proper adventure. However this was based on the authors television documentary of her travels and for me it was far more visual/ watchable than something to read about. I found the book a bit laborious and ended up skim reading the best bits!
Introspective and whimsical Juliette and vague and solitary Soliman I enjoyed getting to know you both and hanging out at the bookshop. Juliette- the idea of how much literature enriches your life:
‘…covered in a flash almost inconceivable distances… let the centuries roll over her… spoken to animals and the gods, drunk tea with a rabbit, and tasted hemlock and ambrosia? where were her companions hiding?- Count Pierre…Alice… Pippi Longstocking… Aladdin…?’ P.118
You both enriched my reading and made my train journey across Europe even more enjoyable.
Love a book playlist. More than I love a map at the front of a book. The Lost Letters of William Woolf has a playlist. A playlist I have spent an evening compiling on Apple Music. Still listening to The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce playlist from a few months ago! I’d like to think that Cullen’s book has produced a million suitors writing to vague, unknown addressees that are then ending up on a post office administration desk for a romantic member of staff to sort out. Might just Google the possibility. If you are an eternal optimist then read this!
A dark love story. Unpleasant or a turn on? Connell felt a bit of a sap, a tad gutless. Marianne? Not sure whether I liked her or not. Whether to feel sorry for her the way she didn’t really fit in, or admire her independence and containment. Was her submissiveness sad and distasteful? A result of her childhood treatment by her brother? Or did she really enjoy it? Was it normal for her? Are Connell and Marianne normal? Are their lives normal? Normal for some, weird for others? At least I managed to stay the distance and quite enjoy a Man Booker contender.