Top Ten Tuesday: Book Events/Festivals I’d Love to Go

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.


This week’s list, courtesy of Nandini @ Unputdownable Books is a bitter-sweet affair: to be considering book events and festivals I’d love to go to someday whilst is lockdown is a reminder of how much covid-19 has closed and affected the world… but it is also a reminder of how creatively people – especially bookish people – have adapted and compensated for the lockdown, and a promise to ourselves that a brighter future awaits us.

So, considering what I would like to go to after the lockdown eases – and on the assumption I cannot just say “all of them!” – let’s look at the UK first and we have

Hay Festival  Thu, 27 May 2021 – Sun, 6 Jun 2021

The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts better known as the Hay Festival, is an annual literature festival held in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales, for ten days from May to June. Devised by Norman, Rhoda and Peter Florence in 1988, the festival was described by Bill Clinton in 2001 as “The Woodstock of the mind”. 

I attended this back in 2002 I think it was – it was wonderful and warm and pastoral and I would love to go back again.

Edinburgh International Book Festival Saturday 15 – Monday 31 Aug 2020

Set in a specially created tented village in the heart of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh International Book Festival offers something for just about every age and interest, bringing readers and writers together for inspiration, entertainment and discussion. 

The Book Festival welcomes around 900 authors from over 60 countries in more than 800 events for adults and children each year including novelists, poets, scientists, philosophers, sportsmen, illustrators, comic creators, historians, musicians, biographers, environmentalists, economists, Nobel and Booker prize-winners and many more besides.

Cheltenham Festival of Literature

For book lovers everywhere, The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival is the only place to be each autumn. The Festival returns from 2-11 October 2020, welcoming the world’s greatest writers and thinkers to Cheltenham.

Doesn’t this just look so sedate?

Stratford Literary Festival

Started in 2008, The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival is an exciting mixture of debate, ideas, celebrity author events, workshops and humour with nine days of events in spring and a winter weekend of events in November. The Festival is also a charity with aims to promote the benefits of reading and writing on education, literacy and well-being, and run a programme of education events in the community and regional schools as well as workshops in prisons helping prisoners write bedtime stories for their children.

Cambridge Literary Festival

From poetry to politics, fiction to finance, history to hip-hop and comedy to current affairs, Cambridge Literary Festival brings an eclectic mix of today’s best writers, thinkers and speakers to Cambridge all year round. Established in 2003 as “Wordfest” before re-branding as Cambridge Literary Festival and becoming a registered charity in 2014, we deliver two literary festivals each year: our main Spring Festival in April and our weekend Winter Festival in November.

That line up – Ali Smith, Elif Shafak, Tayari Jones – is enough to get me excited. Plus, it would be like returning home to my old alma mater.

Bath Children’s Literature Festival

The Bath Children’s Literature Festival (also known as Bath Kids’ Lit Fest) is an annual book festival held in Bath, Somerset aimed at children’s books. The festival features a variety of authors, poets, illustrators and storytellers. It typically lasts ten days, spanning two weekends. Various events are organised in the city during this time, as well as events at local schools in the central week.

AND look at the image – Amelia Fang! My daughter loves Amelia Fang!

Noirwich, Norwich

The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival is the region’s largest annual celebration of crime writing and one of the fastest growing literary festivals in the UK. Many incredible crime writers have attended the festival in recent years, including Val McDermid, Sara Collins, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Louse Doughty, James Runcie, Lee Child, Ian Rankin, Peter James, Anthony Horowitz, Nicci French, Paula Hawkins and Benjamin Black.

And, to be honest, the pun in its own right is worth a visit, isn’t it?

The Ledbury Poetry Festival

Ledbury Poetry Festival is the biggest, brightest, most superlatively international celebration of poetry and spoken word in the UK. Surrounded by woods, orchards and hills, poets from all over the world gather in this independent market town to perform, write, read and listen to poetry. Contemporary literary titans stand alongside upcoming talents to illuminate a thrillingly electric mix of events, from readings, performance poetry, masterclasses, walks, talks and films through to breakfasts, music, exhibitions and bike rides. It’s all yours at Ledbury – dig deep into interesting ideas, take in poetry over a pint, craft your own writing style, or showcase your skills in the slam.

Bloomsday, Dublin

Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, observed annually in Dublin and elsewhere on 16 June, the day his 1922 novel Ulysses takes place in 1904, the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, and named after its protagonist Leopold Bloom.

I love Dublin. Joyce – Bloomsday! – and Beckett and Swift… Dublin is awash with literary greatness… Oh! and there is Guinness. Guinness and books.

And of all fictional bookish events, anything occurring here must be worth a visit.

A. Z. Fell and Co, Bookshop, Soho

I mean any shop with the following opening times must be wonderful.

“I open the shop on most weekdays about 9:30 AM. perhaps 10AM. While occasionally I open the shop as early as 8, I have been known not to open until 1. Except on Tuesday. I tend to close about 3:30 PM, or earlier if something needs tending to. However, I might occasionally keep the shop open until 8 or 9 at night, you never know when you might need some night reading. On days that I am not in, the shop will remain closed. On weekends, I will open the shop during normal hours unless I am elsewhere. Bank Mondays will be treated in the usual fashion, with early closing on Wednesdays, or sometimes Fridays.

(For Sundays see Tuesdays)

A. Z. Fell, Bookseller”

I look forward to hearing about your real or fictional dream literary and bookish events! Please do drop me a comment.

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

  • July 28: Freebie (This week you get to come up with your own TTT topic!)
  • August 4: Books with Colours In the Titles
  • August 11: Books I Loved but Never Reviewed
  • August 18: Books that Should be Adapted into Netflix Shows/Movies (submitted by Nushu @ Not A Prima Donna Girl)
  • August 25: Questions I Would Ask My Favorite Authors (Living or dead. You can post 10 questions for one author, one question each for 10 different authors, or anything else!)

51 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Events/Festivals I’d Love to Go”

  1. The Cambridge Literary Festival sounds like so much fun! I absolutely love it when they include various literary traditions from many different cultures and communities.

    Thanks for stopping by earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My dream is to have enough money to stay in Hay On Wye for a couple of weeks so I can attend every day of the festival! I can’t imagine how many books I would come back with though…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d love to go to the Edinburgh festival one day. That would be near the top of my list of bookish events- such a beautiful looking city and so much history.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A brilliant list of even more events I would love to go to when in the UK. As you know, Hay is on my TTT list, as well, Thanks for visiting me earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So many of these events look fantastic! I can see why you’d want to go. Noirwich looks like it’d be really fun, especially (and I do so love a good pun). The Children’s Festival looks super fun, too! And the first thing I noticed was Amelia Fang. My daughter loves that series, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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