An interlude at the London Book Fair

 I spent a few hours at the third and final day of the London Book Fair, with Karen of Eurocrime and CrimeFictionReader of It's a Crime. Not only was it an opportunity to catch up with two of my favourite bloggers and hear about all the crime-fiction news (Karen and CFR are veritable mines of information), but it was also a chance to see some of the books that will be (potentially) gracing our shelves in the next few months. Bearing in mind the quantity lined up already for my eyes to be shifting over during the next few years given the collection I already have, I tried to be ruthless with myself about what I picked up. I have to say that Karen and CFR applied marginally less strict criteria – I trust they managed to stagger home unaided with their sacks of spoils. My own acquisitions are pictured: one book (clue: the translation) is from Karen herself and another was very kindly given to me by the publisher Simon & Schuster for my elder daughter, who numbers Philippa Gregory among her favourite authors. I have to confess to buying Emma Darwin's A Secret Alchemy the other day on this week's "buy a book with The Times for £2.99 from W H Smith" offer, so Cathy will have an interesting comparison of perspectives on Elizabeth Woodville (the cover of the proof of The White Queen, black with a red rose on one cover and a white one on the other, is much nicer than what seems to be the image on the book itself, published in the UK in September). The rest of my little collection will keep me very happy, thanks to Karen and the generous publishers at Quercus and Macmillan.

 Frimansson Lady of pain Shooting star White queen Dead tomorrow

13 thoughts on “An interlude at the London Book Fair

  1. Sounds like you all had a good time, Maxine! I’m smiling to myself at the thought of you all returning with your spoils.

  2. Just got in and I have to admit that, for once, I am quite tired. Managed to read quite a bit on the train, which is good news. Now only about a third left of one of the books I am currently reading.
    It was great to see the two of you again! I felt like I was lumbering with a sack like Santa. But all in a good cause

  3. “I trust they managed to stagger home unaided with their sacks of spoils.” This sounds like my ´library principle´- never take more than you can carry.
    I really enjoyed reading this – wish I had been there together with you.

  4. A delayed return journey for me. Got home 1.5 hrs late due to a fire at Marylebone Station which meant the station including signal box was evacuated. Trains were stuck until the signal staff were allowed back in. Finished by talking book and browsed most of my brochures.
    Have hid my new acquisitions for the moment!!

  5. Sounds as though you all came away with a good haul. Happy reading. At the fair on Monday I was amazed, as always, at the variety of books being showcased. I didn’t manage to snag “True Confessions of a London Spank Daddy,” but I did get a copy of the Koran.

  6. It was thanks to CFR that I picked up Peter Temple as I spotted it but was too shy to ask if I could have it – whereupon CFR stepped into the breach…
    Karen, so sorry about your journey. Mine was standing squashed all the way, but at least was short. I hope there was a nice cafe where you could sit and read some of your acquisitions in peace while they sorted out their fire.
    Meg – there did seem to be rather a high proportion of “serious religious” books available compared with any other category, which were much harder to extract.

  7. Public transport seems to be at full stretch these days. For a 20:15 out of Paddington on a Wednesday, my train was actually full, with some standing and some sitting on the floor between carriages. One poor woman, travelling with her grandson who looked about 8, had been assigned seats that weren’t in the same row. All this after great confusion over “Where is coach B?”, because the carriages weren’t in order. But at least we didn’t suffer delays on the line or because of a fire at the station.
    Maxine, I was happy to help. There are occasions when I can be bold. The shy child of my early years is almost entirely vanquished.

  8. My train had set off so we were just ‘parked’ for over an hour and then the rest of the journey was slow as all the trains were jammed together (as it were) and that lost more time. Though we were told there was an electrical fire, Michael’s information is that there wasn’t. Couldn’t claim any money back as my ticket was already free . Train was busy with people standing though the atmosphere was good natured.

  9. Sounds like a great time … happy reading!
    As unpleasant as it is to be stuck on a crowded or stopped train, at least you can read a book or paper most of the time. My commute is by car, and when there are delays because of malfunctioning traffic lights or accidents, all I can do is sit there and seethe.

  10. Sort of, Barn Owl, though if you are standing it is more difficult – many is the time I have become too absorbed to anticipate the next stop and gone hurtling to the floor as the brakes are jammed on…
    I know many drivers listen to audiobooks or the radio, etc – but I am a bit of a cautious/nervous driver so I would not personally risk this – for similar reasons (getting too absorbed and missing the next traffic light!).

  11. I listen to the radio – usually Texas Public Radio – while driving to and from work. The level of intellectual engagement on NPR is typically not sufficient to be distracting, and I’m not a nervous driver in any case. Audiobooks, however, are strictly for sitting at home and knitting, or driving across tedious stretches of West Texas highway.
    Everywhere I went in England during my recent trip *seemed* more crowded, especially trains and the Tube. I don’t know if there really are more people in the same space, or if I’ve just lost tolerance after living back in the southwestern US for so long. I suspect it’s a bit of both.

  12. Barn Owl – possibly I would not be a nervous driver either if my commute was across the Texan plains😉
    The trouble here is that there are a vast number of idiotic fellow-drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, as well as the overcrowding which you correctly identify as a hazard (not to mention the excessive “street furniture” we also have to cope with these days, causing major distractions to one’s visual field and eye-brain messaging).

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