A Hume

A Hume
Borders Book Festival – 13 – 16 June 2013

Borders Book Festival – 13 – 16 June 2013

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Brace Yourself for a Big Weekend


Before we say anything about the upcoming Borders Book Festival, I think we should take a deep breath……there’s a lot to get through.


This year’s programme is the strongest yet, there’s so much literary glitter that it’s hard to tell who the star attraction is.


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Star attractions at the Borders Book Festival, from left; Joanna Lumley, Hilary Mantel and Phyllida Law.


Surely it must be Hilary Mantel – shining bright since Bringing Up The Bodies swept off with practically every literary prize on go? But then Joanna Lumley is putting in not one, but two appearances – first with theatre chums David Robb and Briony McRoberts giving a staged reading of Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel and then discussing her less than ordinary life and her memoir on Saturday evening.


Though, we’re not sure Joanna Lumley counts as a literary star. She does trump Hilary for starriness but she’s not entirely books is she? However, she is still Joanna Lumley and she will be brilliant – so we’ll fight you for the last few tickets!


Back on a bookish footing: Alexander McCall Smith, Kate Mosse, A.N. Wilson, Simon Scarrow and Dame Stella Rimington discuss their latest novels, and legendary Scottish wordsmith William McIlvanney comes to the festival for the first time.


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Sport and adventure at Borders Book Festival, from left; Huw Lewis-Jones, Peter Aliss and Gavin Francis.


And ahead of the Open at Muirfield, we’re warming up with Peter Aliss – ‘Voice of Golf,’ and winner of 21 tournaments. If there’s one thing golf nuts like almost as much as the game itself it’s talking golf and Peter does this better than anyone. So should be a cracking evening. But if golf doesn’t offer enough adrenaline then perhaps Gavin Francis talking Antarctica, or Huw Lewis-Jones tackling Everest – myths more than mountain – 60 years on from the conquest will be more your thing.


Of course, making sure our children grow up to be readers is high on any parent’s list of priorities, but taking care of tomorrow’s book buyers (electronic or otherwise) is also right up there for book world types. And they’ve spared no effort in making sure that every flavour of bookish interest is catered to.


Treats for all, boys – Francesca Simon/Horrid Henry, Nick Sharrat/Hundred Mile An Hour Dog, girls – Lauren Child/Charlie & Lola & Clarice Bean, big – Darren Shan/Zom-B and small – the Knight Frank School Gala Day has activities for nursery age up.


See what we mean about the deep breath?


And we haven’t even covered half of it. There’s still Lady Claire MacDonald and the whole foodie angle, the Harmony Gardens Questions Time…and really, we’re busy people, we have a business to run! So if you want to know more you can find the full programme here.


Have fun and just one last thing…. you can’t miss Phyllida Law plying her chat and reflecting on her life. Listen to this for a taste of her pithy wit – Phyllida Law discussing her book Notes to My Mother-in-Law on Woman’s Hour back 2009 – too funny!


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