You know you are a dedicated book nerd when your favorite day of the year is the day the program for your local book festival is announced. Lucky for me, I live in Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Book Festival is truly top notch.
I don’t want to bore you with who I’m not going to go see (George R.R. Martin and Haruki Murakami for two), so let’s take a look at those on my must see list:
- Herman Koch because I loved The Dinner, and Summer House With Swimming Pool wasn’t half bad. I really want to see how his mind works.
- Emma Healey because I need to know how someone so young could write something as brilliant, sensitive and insightful as Elizabeth Is Missing.
- Christos Tsiolkas because he tends to court controversy in his novels, so I think it will be a rollicking talk about Barracuda, his latest novel.
- Nina Stibbe – her memoir Love, Nina has been on my TBR list since it came out and she will be here to talk about her debut novel.
- Sarah Waters because, you know, she’s Sarah Waters. And she has a new book coming out – The Paying Guests.
And then there are quite a few writers who are on my maybe list. August is a rather busy month for me, so I may not be able to fit them all in. If you’ve seen any of the writers, or have strong feelings about who I should or shouldn’t go see, let me know.
- Naomi Wood – it is quite likely I will go to this one where she will be talking about Mrs. Hemingway.
- Meena Kandasamy. I just got her book The Gypsy Goddess out of the library. I will go see her depending on what I think of the book. But I am a sucker for South Asian novels, especially when they’re based on reality. She will be appearing with Kader Abdolah, who I know nothing about.
- Linda Grant. I’ve never read anything by her, but feel I should. Where would I begin?
- Maggie O’Farrell. She lives in Edinburgh, so surely I’ll have another chance to see her, right?
- Damon Galgut – great South African writer who I’ve never read. Who knows when I’ll be able to see him again?
And there are a whole host of others I’m interested in as well.
- Anne Blankman and Audrey Magee
- Peter Buwalda
- Kamila Shamsie
- Neel Mukherjee
- Rana Dasgupta
What do you think? Where would you put your time and money?