Saturday, July 14, 2012

Edinburgh International Book Festival Preparations

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is fast approaching and my excitement is bubbling. I've got one glorious week to soak up the Scottish city's party atmosphere (the Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival are on at the same time.)

John Banville
All the events I'm going to though mean a lot of preparatory reading. So every train, car or plane ride from here to Edinburgh will be a silent affair for my other half.

Here are the events I'm hoping to attend and the books I'll read for them:

David Bellos talks about the art of translation and his book Is That a Fish in Your Ear?

2005 Man Booker winner John Banville discusses his new novel Ancient Light.

Alexandra Harris and John Mullan compare and contrast the works of Virginia Woolf and Jane Austen. Thankfully I've read most of Austen's works but I'll need to brush up on Woolf before I attend this one.

Jane Austen
Claire Tomalin explores the life of Charles Dickens, a workaholic journalist, father of ten and tireless traveller. You can always read more Dickens (the man was an astoundingly prolific writer for having that many children!) Next on my list are Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities and Pickwick Papers.

Peter Millar's Slow Train to Guantanamo is a rail odyssey through Cuba. I'm fascinated by this country (it'll be my next trip) so this should be a great read.

Bosnia links Janine de Giovanni and Ed Vulliamy. They'll talk about their respective books Ghosts by Daylight and War is Dead, Long Live the War. The event may branch out onto the need to rethink war reporting in the light of Marie Colvin's death.

Elliot Perlman's The Street Sweeper has been on my radar for a long time so his event with Kirsty Gunn (The Big Music) is a great excuse to finally sit down with it.

Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting trilogy is completed with his prequel Skagboys. The ghastly and revolting imagery of Trainspotting still lingers with me. Skagboys promises to be a goodie.

Wow - that's a giant reading list in just four weeks. I'll let you know how I go with it. Have you read any of the above? 


  1. oh wow I'm so insanely jealous! I hope to go next year! I think the Austen/Woolf thing will be interesting. I have Trainspotting but I'm a bit wary about reading it because the movie was so intense. four weeks to go? super exciting :D

  2. It's really good you should definitely read it! Still gross but at least you know what to expect ;) Yes very exciting! I've got through one and a half books so far - I need to pick up the pace!