Fifth Chiswick Book Festival Was Great Success

'High Fives' all around for a job well done


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Street Cat Bob and his owner James Bowen astonished a packed audience in St Michael & All Angels Church, by doing a 'high five' to celebrate the success of the Fifth Chiswick Book Festival.

It was their first appearance at a book festival and they told their 42,000 Twitter followers- "We had a great time". The picture now has pride of place on their Facebook page. 

Street Cat Bob was the undoubted star of the Festival, attracting an audience of around 300 cat-lovers and book-lovers. But he was run close by Sir Max Hastings, who also packed the church for his talk on his new book about the start of the First World War:  Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914.

"It's been a great Festival, one of the best so far," said Torin Douglas, director of the Chiswick Book Festival. "We sold hundreds of tickets, Waterstones sold more books than ever before and, most importantly, lots of people have told us - and tweeted - what a great time they had. 

"Next year's Festival will be the same weekend - September 11th to 14th 2014 - and we hope people will put the dates in their diary now!"

Lucy Worsley got the weekend off to a festive start at Thursday’s eve-of-Festival event at Chiswick House, introducing her new book about the British fascination with murder as entertainment. Her TV series, A Very British Murder, starts this Monday on BBC Four. 

On Friday night, Philip Kerr & Jane Thynne kept the momentum going in St Michael’s Parish Hall, entertaining another packed audience with tales of Berlin in the Second World War. 

On Saturday morning, there was almost 'standing room only' in the Tabard Theatre to see Stephanie Flanders, the BBC economics editor, chair a discussion on The State We’re In with authors David Boyle and Harriet Sergeant, introduced by the vicar of St Michael & All Angels, Fr. Kevin Morris. This session was followed at the Tabard Theatre by a discussion on cookery between writers Lindsay Bareham and Jo Pratt and the audiance participated by swapping memories of favourite childhood recipes.

Actress  Rula Lenska - who said how much she loves living in Chiswick - charmed the audience with tales from her autobiography My Colourful Life, interviewed by Torin Douglas.

And there was a memorable final session in St Michael & All Angels Church on the Sunday afternoon, marking 60 years of James Bond, with spectacular red and black Bond banners as a backdrop. Kate Grimond (author Ian Fleming’s niece) spoke with three of today’s top spy writers: Charles Cumming, Alex Gerlis and Christopher Morgan-Jones, as well as two non-fiction authors, Roger Hermiston and Sinclair McKay. 

Dozens of people bought copies of the James Bond quiz, in aid of the Festival charities, in the hope of winning a first edition of Thunderball. Entries close next weekend.


September 20, 2013

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