Posted by: Lisa Hill | November 17, 2013

The kindness of friends you’ve never met, and other wonders of book blogging

Stonnington LitFestIt was my pleasure today to  chair a panel of authors to discuss the theme of Love and Laughter at the Stonnington Literary Festival and I had a lovely time chatting with

The session went well due in no small part to the excellent organisation of the staff at Stonnington, especially Chelsea Hughes the library development officer, and also of course the authors, who had everyone laughing as they shared the secrets of writing comic novels.

Afterwards I also had the pleasure of catching up again with fellow-bookblogger Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and author Jenny Ackland who I first met at the 2013 Melbourne Writers Festival.

And there was also one of those very rare and special connections that only come about because of the internet:

Back in August, I read a review of The Passenger at Reading Matters, the book blog of expat Aussie Kim who now lives in London.  We’d been reading each other’s  blogs for ages when we finally met up for a cup of tea on my last trip to London in 2010, and because she knows my taste in reading, Kim very kindly offered to bring a copy of The Passenger in her suitcase next time she was back in  Australia, visiting her parents.  But things went awry and we couldn’t organise a meet-up while she was here because I was in Queensland, visiting my parents.

But that’s not the end of the story.  Because ‘Sharkell’ (whose real name I won’t use here without permission) who often drops by to read reviews and chat about books here at ANZ LitLovers, is also a friend of Kim’s.  And she has connections not far from Kim’s parents.  So the book went from one suitcase to another – and was finally delivered to me, person-to-person, at today’s literary event!

I think I’m always going to have a smile on my face whenever I look at The Passenger.  It’s only a little book, but it’s had a very long journey to get to me, and I think I’m privileged to have it!

 


Responses

  1. Nice story Lisa … and sounds like a fun event.

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  2. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you today Lisa. I couldn’t stop smiling during the panel discussion – you raised some very interesting issues to be discussed and I was touched and humbled by the down-to-earth attitudes of each of the authors – they were all totally amazing! This is the first literary event I have attended and now that I have the taste of it there will be many more to come. I do hope you enjoy The Passenger as much as I did and I’m looking forward to meeting you again over a cup of coffee.

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    • I’m looking forward to it too:)

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      • So glad this book has enabled the two of you to meet! :-)

        Not sure I can take much credit for getting the book to you though, Lisa, as it was largely Sharkell’s idea to pass it on to you, which was really kind and thoughtful of her. So pleased it finally reached your hands and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The publisher here in the UK will be chuffed that it has finally made it Down Under!

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        • All credit to both of you xo

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  3. Great story about this book and the brotherhood of bookworms and book bloggers.

    I had the opportunity to meet in person two of the regular readers of my blog and it was a lovely moment, both times.

    I don’t plan on visiting Australia any time soon but I’d love to have a cup of coffee with you too.

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    • Hi Emma, I didn’t manage meeting up with you on our last trip because we were only in Paris for a couple of days, but next time we’re planning to spend about 10 days in France so that cup of coffee looks more likely!

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      • Hopefully, you’ll visit Lyon during your stay in France. It’s a beautiful city.

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        • If I live long enough, I’m going to visit every beautiful city in France!

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          • Have you already contacted the devil to have eternal life? That’s what it will take to visit all the nice places here! :-)

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        • Ah, I couldn’t remember where you were Emma. I spent 1 night in Cerbere, 3 in Avignon and 2 in Dijon in September. We changed trains at Lyon. (It was supposed to be 4 nights in Avignon but a French train strike changed that). We loved it. I’ve only been to Paris – oh and Chartres – before. We’ll be visiting country France again.

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          • Next time you need to visit Lyon and Metz.

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            • We will aim to … Next year is North America to see our daughter in Toronto and friends in California but the trip after that will probably be focused on France.

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              • Our next big trip is in 2015, we hope….

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  4. Thanks for the mention above Lisa. Great to see you as well and it was a really interesting – and funny – session. I’ve seen Graeme speak before and was keen to see Paddy speak, and Lesley too. And you were a terrific moderator.

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    • Thanks, Jenny:) I loved doing it!

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  5. I ve meet some wonderful people via book blogging and got some great chance because of it ,all the best stu

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  6. What a great session that must have been. I so wish I could have attended. And a lovely story of book bloggers and a book looking for a home.

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    • It’s ages since we’ve caught up, maybe next time you’re in Melbourne? We can’t go anywhere much at the moment, our poor old dog is just too fragile to leave with anyone now, so one of us always has to stay home to look after her.
      Still, we owe her: she’s put in plenty of hours guarding our place from burglars LOL.

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