News: Books on Tyne @ Lit & Phil and Newcastle Library | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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I was watching Neverending Story the other day and it made me reflect on the absolute vital importance of books and how they educate, entertain and inspire us. As I washed the dishes to hide my face so that no one noticed the tears that trickled down my cheeks after witnessing the death of poor Artax, I was thinking we should celebrate books more and then an e-mail about the Newcastle book festival arrived in my inbox. I looked around suspiciously, surely the kingdom of Fantasia wasn’t shaping my life around my book-fuelled imagination?

Anyway, Books on Tyne returns for the ninth time from 23rd-30th November and promises to be the biggest one yet, taking place at both the lit & Phil and Newcastle City Library. There’s something for fans of all types of literature from crime fiction to poetry and local history, the graphic novel to the contemporary ghost story, wartime writing to children’s fairy tales, rock ‘n roll biography to classic literature and many more.

Highlights include a celebration of the 300th Anniversary of Robin Crusoe, an audience with ‘46th Beatle’ Bob Smeaton, popular broadcaster John Grundy, the UK’s foremost forensic pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd and record-breaking athlete and ex-marine Andy Grant. Critically acclaimed crime writer Paula Daly, popular science author Steve Jones and 2019 Hawthornden Prize winner Sue Prideaux will all be discussing their current and forthcoming books as will some of our region’s most influential authors Dr Deborah Smith (The James Losh Diaries), Yvonne Young (Cobbled Streets and Penny Sweets) and Pip Harrison (Look at me now!).

And if that’s not enough there will creative workshops for budding young authors and free guided tours of the historic Lit & Phil. Sound good? Well, Lit & Phil librarian and programme director Kay Easson certainly thinks so: “We are excited to launch our ninth festival, and the wealth of events this year is testament to its growing popularity.  We have continued to build on our partnership with Newcastle Libraries and together offer a broad range to suit all tastes an ages across two venues – one contemporary, one historic.  Newcastle and the North East have a long literary tradition and there can be no better way to celebrate this than with Books on the Tyne.”

Many events at the festival are FREE or from as little as £3, but booking for all is essential. To book, call 0191 232 0192 (Lit & Phil events) and 0191 277 4100 (City Library events) or book online at Eventbrite.

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