Apr 21, 2013

The Sunday Salon - What I’ve Been up to, Photo Edition

These past few weeks, I have:

1) Put together a library display I’m quite proud of. As you can see, the theme is “Forgotten Classics” and it’s full of books I love.

Forgotten Classics library display featuring Persephones and Virago Modern Classics

Forgotten Classics library display featuring Persephones and Virago Modern Classics

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, by the way. I felt like a huge dork taking pictures once I was finished putting it together, so I did it as quickly as possible. The DVDs you can’t quite see because of the reflection are Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and Cheerful Weather for the Wedding.

And these are previous Carnegie Medal Winners in the YA section, to go along with a display devoted to the current shortlist. I love my job.

Carnegie Medal winning books

2) Picked up my World Book Night books (on which more soon). That thing on top is a bookmark I made suggesting other titles people who enjoy this book might want to try, and also promoting the library service. There will be one inside each book I give away.

Box of World Book Night copies of The Knife of Never Letting Go

3) Bought books because I have zero self-restraint. I’ve already read the top one, Eleanor & Park, and have joined the ranks of people who are head over heels in love with that book. Also, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister is a book I’d never even heard of before, but it has blurbs by Sarah Waters and Emma Donoghue which respectively say: “Anne Lister’s Diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality and the intimate lives of women” and “The Lister Diaries are the Dead Sea Scrolls of lesbian history: they changed everything.” !!! I can’t decide if I’m more excited that this book exists or that I found a copy for one pound.

Pile of books, top to bottom - Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Thursday's Children by Rumer Godden, The Secret Diary of Miss Anne Lister, A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous, The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen, The Second Shift by Arlie Russell Hochschild and Anne Machung, Paleofantasy by 
Marlene Suz, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

4) Went to a literary festival and saw some amazing authors. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie signed my book and was generally awesome. I took lots of notes during her talk, so I could do a post later if you guys are interested in hearing more about it.

Signed copy of Americanah

I also saw David Almond and got to rant along with him about library closures for a little bit, which was pretty awesome. Plus he signed my copy of The Savage, a book I adored:

Signed copy of The Savage

5) Saw a stage adaptation of Wyrd Sisters! I’d been meaning to see a Discworld play for a very long time and it was lovely to have the chance to do so at last.

Flyer of Wyrd Sisters on stage

6) Found one of my most anticipated book releases of the year disappointing. Oh well; I’ve long ago learned to accept the fact that even my favourite authors will sometimes release books I won’t be able to connect with.

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

7) Saw Jack Zipes speak about fairy tales, feminism and the visual arts. He’s one of my favourite fairy tales scholars and it was lovely to have the chance to be there. He’s also doing a panel session on fairy tale retellings and feminism next week, which I’m really looking forward to.

Once upon a time...

8) Last but not least, enjoyed the fact that we’re finally getting some proper spring weather:

Magnolia blossoms

Cherry trees by the riverside

Cherry blossoms up close

carpet of blue flowers

Another cherry tree

Dairies on the grass

That’s it for me. Hopefully over the next few days I’ll be able to write actual words about some of these things. How about you? Have you been up to anything exciting?

The Sunday Salon.com


  1. I love the idea of the WBN bookmarks! How are you distributing your books?

    Also, I imagine that Cambridge is beautiful in the spring! I love Manchester, but it's not quite as pretty as your part of the world :)

  2. You have been doing so much cool stuff! Creating displays, giving away books, meeting authors...yes, yes, yes! You're giving away one of the my all-time favorite books for World Book Night, by the way. I'd love to know what other books you're suggesting to people who loved it. :)

  3. Oh Ana, how awesome is it that you made bookmarks to go with the books you're passing out?!! But you need to share a close-up of it so we can see what books you've recommended! :D

    So sorry to hear The Crane Wife disappointed. I haven't even bought it yet, but of course, will eventually. I've been craving a reread of the Chaos Walking books lately.

  4. Sarah: Some are going to a sixth form college near me, and others to the Youth Support Service Centre at my library. I figured that this way they'd get into the hands of people who are coming into the library but not necessarily for the books. As this year we've only been given 20 copies I'm hoping this will take care of them, but if there are any leftovers I'll have to improvise!

    Beth: One of my favourites too! The books I included in the bookmark were the rest of the Chaos Walking trilogy (for obvious reasons), How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, Blood Red Road by Moira Young, The Giver and Life as We Knew It. I wanted to make sure they were books people would be able to find at the library, so I limited my choices to that.

    Debi: See above :D About The Crane Wife, I might post about it later, but if not, Ursula Le Guin reviewed it and her thoughts were not entirely dissimilar from mine. Then again, Cheryl Morgan loved it. Blah, blah blah, personal reaction, and I'd never recommend someone would skip a book just because I personally didn't like it. Not that I think YOU would, but I wanted to say this anyway :P

  5. That's it? It looks to me like you've been very busy! I'm sure the library is thrilled they hired you - I know you're a huge asset to them!

  6. Yes! Your library displays look amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I echo the call for a little walk-through of your bookmarks. I love the idea of sticking "you might also like…" bookmarks in books.

    The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister just went on my reading list.

  7. Lots of lovely books and beautiful spring weather... looks like life is good :-)

  8. I love everything about this post (except for The Crane Wife turning out not that great). Your display is amazing, Jack Zipes sounds like a wonderful speaker, and OF COURSE I am interested in hearing more about the talk Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie gave.

  9. I agree that your library is so lucky to have you! :--)

  10. Wow, your version of the "what I'm doing when I'm not reading" post is significantly more interesting than mine :-) Such beautiful pictures you have there! I want to come visit you and traipse!

  11. First of all: I loved the format of this post! Short but long and insightful? DOn't know what I mean exactly, but it works!

    Yay for being a World Book Night giver! And the bookmarks are a wonderful idea!

    The display! :D I love it.

    Yay for Adichie being amazing. And yes please, I'd love to hear more!

    Your book purchases sound amazing!

    Um, um, anything else? Oh, I'm so sorry The Crane Wife was disappointing. I have yet to read it.

    And Cambridge looks wonderful! And so pretty in the spring :D

  12. I just wrote my review about The Crane Wife a few hours ago and I was also disappointed. :/ I've seen plenty of glowing reviews, but it didn't work for me personally. I feel a little bit better about my deflated reaction knowing that you felt similarly as I trust your opinion.

    Also, happy to see that more flowers are finally appearing! :D Our daffodils are opening up at long last this week, too.

    I hope you do post about Adichie's talk! :)

  13. Nymeth, I love this post! It's too bad that The Crane Wife didn't live up to your expectations. I haven't read it yet but it's on my tbr list. Eleanor and Park was a really sweet book. God, I hope that Wyrd Sisters make an appearance over here! I would love to see it. Enjoy your week.

  14. Wow, you have had a busy week! I love all the pictures, especially the ones of spring arriving. So pretty!

    Also, I really need to pick up Eleanor and Park soon.

  15. Love the displays, and I really love the idea of the Readers' Advisory bookmarks in the WBN titles. Great idea to always be sharing options found in the library. You're a natural! (no surprise...)

  16. Your job sounds so awesome! And I love your spring photos. We're still getting snow. :(

  17. Sad about The Crane Wife, but it makes me feel less like I want to get to it asap.

    It sounds like you are keeping busy! Hope everything else is well. <3

  18. The weather's great, isn't it? Love your displays, and great to see Persephones there, I've often wondered how popular they are outside of blogging and love the idea of promoting them. Envious of your festival trips!

  19. I agree I am so pleased the weather has finally changed. Doesn't have to be that warm I am just so glad to see the sun again! Thank you for sharing all these beautiful photos of Spring. Sounds like you've been having an interesting time. I would so love to see a stage adaptation of the Wyrd Sisters!!

  20. Do you have a list of the forgotten classics on your display? It would be really interesting to see what you added - also a wonderful opportunity to expand my reading.

    I love that you have included bookmarks with other suggested reads on them, wonderful touch!

  21. Beautiful, interesting displays, Ana. And lovely spring photos!


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