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).

It was also lovely to meet up with Claire, Jackie, Kim, Lynne and Simon, and to chat with the publicists and editors at Vintage.

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…

7 Responses to “China Miéville, Vintage Classics Day and Bookish Board Games”

  1. winstonsdad Says:

    sounds like some great events ,lovely to meet some fellow bloggers ,all the best stu

  2. Simon T Says:

    Aren’t you modest, not mentioning that you won both games! And Sakura, you made me giggle to myself over “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.”

  3. Nymeth Says:

    I am DYING to get my hands on the Stella Gibbons re-releases! What a gorgeous, gorgeous cover.

    I’m still sad that I missed China Miéville in Manchester. The London event sounds wonderful, and how awesome that he remembered you! I think it’s about time I get Kraken from the library. I’ve been meaning to for so long, and the references to history of science make it sound even better than I had imagined.

  4. Gavin Says:

    What a wonderful May! I would just love to see China Mieville read in person!

  5. sakura Says:

    winstonsdad: It’s always lovely to meet fellow bloggers! Hopefully we’ll also get to meet one day too:)

    Simon T: Modesty is my middle name…er, not. I did drop a hint;) The games were fun although I did wonder how people who don’t read would fare. They were pretty tough.

    Nymeth: Kraken was brilliant! And you must go and see him if you ever get a chance!

    Gavin: He’s such an amazing speaker – the audience loved him!

  6. Mae Says:

    Oh, that sounds like great fun! It’ll be a nightmare trying to get a group to play a game with me. Most are allergic to books!

    May sounded like a great month. I really have to read Mieville. A shiny, new copy of The Krakan keeps staring at me in the face at work begging me to borrow it.

  7. Not read any China Miéville, but someone recommended it to me very recently, so I definitely do want to explore his works.

    Sounds like really fun events – love the cover of that Vintage Classic! And oh what fun to meet fellow bloggers. Must check out the games…

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