March 6th, 2011

world book night 2011

On Friday night, Mary, Stuart and I went over to Trafalgar Square to see what was happening for its first-ever World Book Night party. Although the cold was fierce, the line-up was amazing, and I took some shaky video footage of some of the speakers. The readings by Alan Bennett and David Nicholls were my favourite, so I've shown them in full, and Lemn Sissay had the best delivery, but in the video, you can dip into a few other talks, although I missed those by Sarah Waters, Edna O'Brien, DBC Pierre, Rupert Everett and several people who were taking part in the book giveaway. Margaret Atwood looked genuinely amazed to see so many thousands of people gathered in the cold just to see a bunch of writers talk, and my visiting sister said the same, that she didn't think you could get a huge group of North Americans together like that without bringing bands or some sort of performance artists to whip up the crowd. I wonder. But it was a great evening.

YouTube Link

Here's the menu for the video, in case you want to skip around:
Alan Bennett (from the start)
Lemn Sissay (7:20)
David Nicholls (8:25)
Margaret Atwood (13:23)
Boris Johnson (15:12)
Nick Cave (15:44)
Suggs (Graham McPherson) (16:32)
Monica Ali (17:43)
John le Carré (17:52)
Tracy Chevalier (18:18)
Philip Pullman (18:27)
Mark Haddon (18:34)
Hayley Atwell & Stanley Tucci (19:38-22:48)

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