It took me 3 hours to drive down to the Wigtown Book Festival yesterday, but it was well worth it. It was the first time I’ve been to Wigtown and it’s a nice little town, with an attractive market square lined with many old buildings. Wigtown is Scotland’s National Book Town and is now home to over 20 book-related businesses. So, its an ideal town shopping wise for book lovers like myself – I ended up buying five books while I was there.
The book festival lasted just over a week, with numerous authors giving talks on their recently published books. There were many book talks I wanted to attend, but in the end narrowed it down to a one day visit to see the following authors:
Urban Worrier: Adventures in the Lost Art of Letting Go by Nick Thorpe
“Urban Worrier charts a humorous and often moving quest for the ultimate modern grail: how to find balance and fulfilment in today’s high-speed world.”
The Barbed-Wire University: The Real Lives of Prisoners of War in the Second World War
This book describes how music, theatre, sport and academic pursuits helped WW2 POWs through their time in captivity and influenced their later lives – see BBC book review for more info.
Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France by Karen Wheeler
A former fashion editor for the Mail on Sunday, Karen Wheeler opted out to live the simple life in rural France. Blissfully settled in her new home, the idyll seemed complete. But then she had to contend with macho builders, old boyfriends and a new love with dark hair, paws and a wet nose. Check out her blog at tout sweet.
DarkMarket: CyberThieves, CyberCops and You by Misha Glenny
This book explores what Misha says is the three fundamental threats facing us in the twenty-first century: cybercrime, cyberwarfare and cyberindustrial espionage. It was the last book talk I went to, but was my favourite of the day.
“Misha Glenny’s journey through the undergrowth of cybercrime is a dark read. But this most assiduous of writers manages a deft feat He has turned a subject that could be geekish, dull and frightening into an enjoyable page-turner… Glenny presents a host of extraordinary characters as he tells the story of the past 20 years of online crime… This is a gripping tale, brilliantly researched”
-Sunday Times Culture
For many years I’ve been going to the Edinburgh Book Festival each August, but this year I gave it a miss – instead trying out the Wigtown Book Festival. The travel time to Wigtown is a bit off putting for me, but once I was there had a good time. If the range of authors attending this year is anything to go by, then I’m sure I’ll return next year. The fact that the drive down was through some beautiful countryside certainly helped.
The Wigtowm Book Festival is a very well orgainsed event, the book talks were excellnt and I enjoed strolling around the town looking at the local architecture including the Old Prison. I’ll definitely be purchasing the books of each of the authors I saw.