A visit to the London Library is high on my bucket list. (One day. Somehow. Perhaps if there is a festival next year?) In the meantime I’ll settle for the virtual trip enabled by the festival that ran over the weekend to celebrate 180 years of the library’s existence. I bought a festival pass, and I’ll say this now, it was probably the best £25 I’ll spend this year!

I haven’t yet seen every event that interests me. Events are available on catch-up until May 13, and it’s going to be wet here in Scotland over the next week or so, so I have plenty of time to catchup. This really is my kind of festival. Too many highlights to mention, but yesterday afternoon’s programme was superb with talks on Zweig in London including some very illuminating readings from his letters, followed by an unmoderated conversation between Edmund de Waal and Tom Stoppard about the Jewish experience in Nazi Vienna and Paris that was astonishing in its depth, intensity and candour.

Watching live and chatting online with internet pals about book recommendations was an added bonus, albeit a dangerous one! 😉 Three books I never knew I wanted are now making their way to me: a collection of Rebecca West’s journalism, a copy of Stoppard’s play Leopoldstadt and one – only one (I do have a modicum of willpower) – from the recommendations made by Scott Pack and Judith Robinson during their Around the World in 10 Books event.

The titles are listed below because I know everyone loves a good book list, and this is a great one with plenty of literary avenues to explore. I’ve reviewed the hyperlinked one, and now have three TBR (asterisked below).

Country of Origin




Ahmed Saadawi

South Africa

The Book of Happenstance *

Ingrid Winterbach


The Adventures of China Iron

Gabriela Cabezón Cámara


Avid Reader

Robert Gottlieb


The Wall *

Marlen Haushofer



Niviaq Korneliussen


When Death Takes Something From You, Give It Back

Naja Marie Aidt



Naoya Shiga


The Three-Body Problem

Cinix Liu


Their Brilliant Careers *

Ryan O’Neill

Now I’m a great fan of travelling round the world through my reading, and last year I went around the world in 5 novellas, visiting Argentina, Egypt, France, Java and Japan. (Part 1, Part 2). Of course, I’m now creating another list of 10 ….