Today has been a busy day for me!
Last year when I got back into reading and started this blog, I also discovered BookTube and started ‘meeting; all the wonderful people that are into reading as much as me. I got excited when I discovered that wonderful Liv is based in Exeter and then more recently found out that Keriann is too and started thinking about whether I was brave enough to go and meet with them at any point to do bookish things.
Then I was minding my own business one day when I noticed a message pop up on the Devon Book Club group on GoodReads from someone saying they were looking for bookish people in Sidmouth .. which is where I am from!
Now if you don’t know Sidmouth, it’s a little town on the South coast in East Devon which is South of Exeter. It has the reputation of being a place full of old, retired people and not the kind of place that I ever thought would be home to another book nerd .. let alone someone that has a BookTube channel! Ashamedly, I actually subscribe to Matt’s channel and must have missed the one where he announced he had moved here ..
We quickly struck up a conversation and arranged to meet a few days later for coffee. We did, and got on well and agreed that we were both keen to do bookish things, which was good timing as the Devon Book Club had one of their get togethers a few days later in Tiverton which isn’t too far for us to go.
Yesterday, I got the opportunity to meet Ian who setup and runs the group – it all started after he broke his arm and had some time off work and thought he would see if there were other bookish people in Devon. It was never meant to be a Book Club in the traditional sense of reading and discussing one book a month, but more a network of bookish people coming together to meet new people, share ideas and support each other. He started it 3 years ago and now has approx. 3,000 members across GoodReads, Facebook and Twitter .. all grown organically.
He reached out to the group as a whole at the end of last year to see if anyone would be open to helping him manage the group and I stuck my hand up and this was the outcome of that – albeit 5 months later! We discussed the group, where it was and where he saw it heading; speaking over thought and ideas and seeing where my skills and interest lie and how it all fits in. The meeting was fun and exciting and we walked away with a bounce in our step.
Which brings us to today and my trip to Tiverton. Altogether, it took about 2hrs to get there on 2 different buses but it was totally worth it! The shop we were meeting in, Liznojan, was gorgeous – rustic, natural and they had all of the beautiful books you could imagine!
We were lucky enough to meet 3 authors – Chrissie Parker, Lucy Hay and Michelle Kenney and hear them all read from one of their books. Of course, I walked out with a copy of each of them ..!
Chrissie Parker – Among the Olive Groves
Elena Petrakis adores living on the Greek island of Zakynthos. When World War Two looms her way of life is threatened. Left with no choice she joins the island’s resistance to fight for what she believes in; her family, her home, and her freedom. Decades later, thousands of miles away in the Cornish town of Newquay, Kate Fisher prepares to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, but her joy is fleeting when she learns she is adopted. Abandoning life in England, Kate flees to Zakynthos, where she is forced to acknowledge a life she has struggled to come to terms with, one that will change her future. From the beautiful crystal turquoise seas of the Ionian Islands to the rugged shores of the Cornish coast, ‘Among the Olive Groves’ is a story of love, bravery and sacrifice.
Lucy Hay – The Other Twin
When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth.
Michelle Kenney – Book of Fire
Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told. Twins Eli and Talia shouldn’t exist. They’re Outsiders. Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is a secret. An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family while protecting the sacred book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her life long friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever. She’ll stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process?
It was such a lovely afternoon – chatting about books, reading and the Devon community. Matt actually did a little vlog about the day which you can see here – you will notice that I managed to stay out of the camera’s eye for most of it – PHEW!
I am pretty certain that you will be seeing more about the Devon Book Club, Matt, Ian, and the authors I met today .. and I look forward to telling you about more fun bookish things I get up to in the future!
Do you go to bookish events?
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