Somehow we escaped having to dress up for world book day this year. Girl1 got an hour of silent reading in school (a huge treat for some; not so much for her) while Girl2 made her classroom door look like a book cover. Unfortunately no photos are available.
On the day I thought I’d take a look at the unread books on my shelves…
Then there’s the Kindle. It holds dozens of unread books, as well as the finished ones. I’ve taken to reading on my phone too- there’s always at least one book on the go.
Of course, there’s no chance of the piles shrinking. It’s against the law to leave a bookshop without at least 3 new books to add to the bundles, downloads sneak on to devices and the Post Office collection spot is used to holding deliveries of second hand paperbacks.
Some of you do much more than read. You write poetry, short stories and novels. Several of you have published real books. Actual hold them in your hand books, that I am lucky to own. I get a flush of excitement when I see an author’s name and think “I know her”. I feel the celebrity stardust from here.
Our bloggy buddy Andra Watkins has taken a book launch to a whole new level, and I am loving it.
If you know Andra (and if you don’t, you really should change that) you’ll know that her writing is full of power, energy and humour. Just like herself. She is creative, and a builder of community. She challenges herself, shares the adventure and the learning.
I’d never heard of the Natchez trace until recently. Now, I’m hooked by the traditional route from Mississippi to Tennesee. I knew of Meriwether Lewis, but nothing apart from the transcontinental expedition with William Clark. A great thing about Andra’s book To Live Forever: an Afterlife Journey of Meriwether Lewis is that I didn’t need to know anything about Natchez or Lewis to enjoy it. No knowledge of history is required. Just people.
To Live Forever has a powerful story, a contemporary setting and totally believable characters. it is fantastical, but I believed even the most improbable events. Bloggy buddies, I actually gasped at one point. There may also have been sniffling. Meri and Em travel along the Trace finding support, challenge, each other and themselves. I loved it. You should read it.
To mark the launch of the book, Andra is up to something remarkable. She’s walking the 444 mile length of the Trace, 15 miles a day. This is not a gentle amble along a paved path, more a hefty hike through the forest. For 444 miles. being Andra, she’s bringing us with her. Daily video and written updates, and answering reader questions. The trace is a character in the novel- we’re getting to share that, to recognise locations, to visualise Meri and Em just there.
Did you notice? That’s our Debra whose question Andra is answering. It’s exactly the sort of question I’d expect from Debra- even in the wilderness, making sure we look about us and appreciate what’s going on.
Andra, I’m using you to mark both World Book Day and International Women’s Day because you and your words inspire me. When I have a week of being exhausted and practically housebound, that’s no mean feat.