reading, walking and international women

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…

left of shelf

right of shelf

pile 1

pile 2

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.


9 thoughts on “reading, walking and international women

  1. Lots of titles I don’t recognise, but I recommend you pick up Why be happy, and start there. I just reread Winifred Holtby, though I suspect I shan’t find a copy in the library now.
    Your three books rule intrigues me as my Belfast aunt complains of a dirth of bookshops in Belfast now. Have you a secret shop?

    1. I will always find something in Waterstone’s, although probably not what I was looking for. I love No Alibis on Botanic Ave- mostly crime and Irish. Added coffee, music and poetry events. Everything that a bookshop should be.

  2. You have given me the biggest smile, Fiona. For several reasons. My unread book pile looks remarkably similar in scope! LOL! And then to have you reference my spot in Andra’s question of the day with such nice additional comments. Thank you. She really is incredible, isn’t she? She is opening all sorts of doors for increasing our knowledge about The Trace as well as that particular historical period. She’s the perfect emblem for World Book Day and International Women’s Day. I like the way you think! 🙂

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