I’m a blog slacker…

… I’m not proud of that fact but there you go. It is what it is. It’s an extremely busy time for me at work, budgets, coffee related projects from hell and a dozen or so depot visits have really blown my mind (and drained my reserves of energy leaving room for the invasion of the late summer cold – fabulous).

Still, I refuse to feel sorry for myself. Well maybe a little. It’s my excuse to eat Chorley cakes and I can live with that. I am still trying desperately to keep up with my reading and succeeding to a point. I’ve been more successful with audio books but am never quite sure about reviewing them. I really should try as it’s the same story with a lot less work on my part. The thing that worries me about reviewing the last lot was not that I didn’t enjoy them, they were superb. It is more that I can’t blinking spell the names, place and people as it is the Ari-Thór series by Ragnar Jónasson. I really loved them but in some ways am glad I listened as my pronunciation of the town names alone would not have come out anything like they did in the audiobook, that’s for sure.

That aside, reading last weekend took a back seat to Bloody Scotland. I had a fabulous three days in Stirling attending a vast number of panels for some superb authors. From Caro Ramsay and Stuart MacBride, to Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham, Friday nights openers were brilliant. I have to say I will never be able to take Countdown seriously again (if I ever did) and walking past the rotisserie counter in Waitrose will never be the same again. Least said soonest mended…

Saturday saw another raft of panels, the debate on the best setting for a crime novel durign ‘Scotland the Grave’ descending into hysterics with a slightly misheard quote about hosing down decks… ‘Talking to the Dead’ with Alex Gray, the amazing M.C Beaton, and the Crime Quiz were all fab. Val McDermid was brilliant, as expected, championing real female relationships in fiction rather than ‘strong, isolated women’, and writing ‘the most likely scenario, not the most comfortable.’ And as for Inspector Faro Investigates at the end of the afternoon. Well, let’s just say that it’s unlikely anyone will be invited to join the RSC anytime soon.

Sunday was more panels: How Tartan is Your Noir, Into the Dark, and Neil McKay & Alexandra Sokoloff. The weekend was rounded off with Ian Rankin and Quintin Jardine, two titans of crime literature and a fitting end to a wonderful weekend.

My book haul impressed even me with these beauties all signed:

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(Sorry Stuart MacBride and James Oswald – love your books but already have every one as a signed 1st edition or you’d be in the pile too). On top of that, the wonderfully kind Book Donors were giving away a free book at every session attended so I have another haul of books, some by authors who are completely new to me so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in. As soon as I can get my to-be-read-and-reviewed pile down a little…

I am home now and so it is back to reality… reality being delivery of this tidy little book from Goldsboro Books 🙂

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What can I say? I like books. And so it’s back to the reading for me.

Happy book perusal all.

JM