China Miéville, Vintage Classics Day and Bookish Board Games
7 June, 2011
May was a busy, busy, busy month for me. Lots of events, my mum visiting, a trip to Paris and, of course, passing my driving test. So let me tell you about three events I really enjoyed in May.
1) China Miéville at Foyles
The night before my driving test I popped by Foyles after my driving lesson to see China Miéville talk about Embassytown with Claire. Miéville was his usual impressive self and managed to do a brief reading and engage with the audience all by himself. No interviewer for him. If only I could be as eloquent and use complicated words like him and still make sense. I got my copy of Embassytown signed and he again remembered me from before. Sweet. This year he sported a beautiful tattoo of the kraken on his bicep. Incidentally I was reading Kraken at the time which I found to be thrilling and brilliant. I especially liked all the references to science and the history of science which I’ve come across. He also mentioned he is looking into writing a hybrid fantastical Regency romance. Yup, you heard. Check him out here.
2) Vintage Classics Day at Foyles
Vintage Books kindly invited me to the Vintage Classics Day at Foyles to celebrate 21 years of Vintage Classics for a day of talks including one on villains (where the audience voted Dracula to be the classiest of villains beating Long John Silver and Steerpike), Rose Tremain, Lionel Shriver and Mark Haddon talking to Bidisha, a historical stroll through the Random House Archives and finishing off with Sebastian Faulks on whom I confess I now have a small crush (even though I’ve only seen 2 episodes of his Faulks on Fiction).
I am SO looking forward to the publication of some Vintage Gibbons out in August. Check out this beautiful cover. Drool.
3) Bookish Board Games
I also met up again with Claire and Simon to enjoy a spot of Trivial Pursuit Book Lover’s Edition and the Great Penguin Book Chase. All of us were complaining that we had no one to play with so a session was organised at The Fentiman Arms in Oval. We met up with two other lovelies for some lunch, dessert and Pimms and began with Claire’s Trivial Pursuit. Boy was it hard. As it’s the American version, there were a lot of questions on Nicholson Baker (who wrote several rude books), Kurt Vonnegut and J.D. Salinger (if I recall rightly). Also lots of Russians. They were hard questions and we would have gone on all night if we hadn’t decided to call it quits when the first person to get three slices of pie won. But we had lots of fun coming up with ingenious titles to books for which we had NO effing idea.
Then we moved on to Simon’s Great Penguin Book Chase which had easier questions although there seemed to be a concentrated focus on Squirrel Nutkin. This game was more like Monopoly where you had special reward cards which gave you free books or made you return them to the library. The cutest thing was the shelves and the little replica books you had to fill them with to win the game. Definitely easier to play, although not as hysterical as the Trivial Pursuit. Since the Trivial Pursuit Book Lover’s Edition is unavailable in the UK, I promptly went and ordered the Great Penguin Book Chase. I’m gonna try and convert my family and friends if it kills me. And guess who won both games? Heh heh. Although it was more to do with luck rather than knowledge…