Top Ten Tuesday: Things I’d Have at My Bookish Party

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

PREVIOUS TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS:

I am devastated! I missed last week’s topic! Books I wish I had read as a child. It is such a good topic! Fun (I mean if books for children cannot be fun, then what sort of world do we live in?) but also important: it raises all sorts of questions about representation and diversity and ethics… I have decided that rather than rush a half-hearted post out, I am going to give it the time and thought that that important topic deserves.

And this week’s topic sounds like sheer wonderful fun – if we lived in a world where parties were permitted (or perhaps a Zoom or HouseParty virtual get-together) what would we need at our bookish party?

Location:

At the moment, there is only one option! At home! In fact, even on the assumption that lockdowns might be lifted and people could be able to meet up in real life, I’d probably still say at home. For me, I much prefer to be the host than the guest: I like to bustle and to cook and to care for people. Yes, that does mean that at many parties I would be found in the kitchen for at least some (probably most) of it.

The other place might be in the park opposite my house where I could do all the same cooking and hosting but enjoy perhaps paddling in the river, the sunshine, the shade of trees, the sound of birdsong and lowing of cattle. A little dependent on the weather, but there you go!

Real Life Guests:

Bookish friends so anyone who reads this blog post, consider yourselves invited!

What authors might I want to invite? Just to limit numbers, I shall limit myself to writers who are still living.

Lisa McInerney as the author of The Glorious Heresies and The Blood Miracles.

She writes with such an Irish sense of humour: dark, unsentimental, unromanticised and one of those books where I really did laugh out loud.

Akwaeke Emezi, author of Freshwater and Pet for being such an amazing, courageous and brave person. They write so powerfully and personally and with such passion! I am sure they would bring fantastic conversation!

Natalie Haynes, author of A Thousand Ships, The Children of Jocasta and the wonderful Stand Up For the Classics series on Radio 4, as a witty, genuinely hilarious and – and I mean this in the best way – wonderfully well read and geeky. A fan girl for the ancient classics. Her Ovid not Covid videos on Insta and Twitter are a weekly must!

China Miéville for his fantastic and fantastical imagination – oh! the haruspices elbow deep in the entrails of London in The Kraken – and the genre-bending wonders of the New Crobozon trilogy!

Also, I suspect that he would ignore the traditional taboo on speaking about politics at a party!

Fictional Guests:

And why limit myself to simply actual people – fictional characters haunt my mind, memory and consciousness so much, let’s invite some of them too.

So I’d love to break bread with

Thomas Cromwell from Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Trilogy and Queenie Jenkins, the eponymous protagonist of Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie. Just for giggles, I’d also like to invite someone from the fantasy genre and – whilst Gandalf is tempting, I’ll call on Kvothe from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I mean, when your introduction runs like this

‘I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me’

You can guarantee some good tales as the night wears on – plus some good music and song.

Food:

A party is not a party without cake, for me – forget the alcohol, it is cake. And, of course homemade. If I can give an example: even though I am on a diet, even though I am the only one who eats it, I made three Christmas cakes last year. Three. I have not finished the first one yet so it is a good job that they’ve been fed with more alcohol that I have in the last six months!

I love these fabulous bookish cakes stolen from the internet!

I might try to emulate some of those but am more likely to resort to my staple party food of a roulade. Look far fancier and more impressive than they really are. Chocolate perhaps, or my favourite, strawberry and meringue roulade, especially in the summer. Mind you, my chocolate fudge cake was rich and satisfying too.

Drink:

For me, books go with teas and coffee! A quiet nook or a place under a tree, a book in one hand, tea in the other. Bliss.

And looking at the guest list above, I’m not sure that alcohol will be needed to get tongues loosened or conversation flowing. And I know next to nothing about alcohol: I rarely drink it and when I do buy it, it is usually for cooking purposes. My wine buying strategy runs along the lines of “biggest discount; lowest price”. Feel free to bring your own if you want!

Dress Code:

Informal.

Loungewear.

Pyjamas welcome if not encouraged.

So, I hope to see you there…

Again, a David Mitchell book is an event, and a thing of beauty! But the music industry is not my natural setting and again I was caught between this and another book – Daisy Jones and the Six in this case – and Daisy Jones was read first. This time, because it was nominated on a book club I was part of.


Bonus: The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch

They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.

Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.

This one has been on my TBR for years. Literally years. I have heard nothing but praise for it, but so far have never quite got around to reading it! Go figure!

So, there we go: a range of books that I got in 2020 – save for the Scott Lynch – and do regret not reading during the year. Is regret the right word? Probably not to be honest: I do not regret the reading that I did do last year at all. But these are books that I would like to find time to catch up with this year – before prize season hits us again!

Pop in the comments below your thoughts on these – maybe let me know which I should read first!

FORTHCOMING TOP TEN TUESDAY TOPICS:

  • May 12: The Last Ten Books I Abandoned (this could be books you DNFed, books you decided you were no longer interested in, etc.) (submitted by Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza)
  • May 19: Reasons Why I Love [insert your favorite book title, genre, author, etc. here]
  • May 26: Opening Lines (Best, favorite, funny, unique, shocking, gripping, lines that grabbed you immediately, etc.)
  • June 2: Books that Give Off Summer Vibes (or winter if you live in the southern hemisphere) (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)
  • June 9: Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why (stolen from Louise @ Foxes & Fairy Tales)

26 comments

  1. Why, thank you for an invitation. This party sounds wonderful. 😉 The park across from your house sounds like the perfect locale for it, too! Not that there’s anything wrong with it being at home, but I’m sick of seeing homes right now. xD Your guest list looks fabulous, and of course a party isn’t a party without cake! I’d almost feel bad eating any of those cakes, though, because they’re so gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

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