On Saturday 13 April the Yorkshire Post devoted the front cover of its colour magazine and a feature inside to Andrew Vine’s new Yorkshire Coast Path walking guide. A second feature follows next week.
Every year Welcome to Yorkshire, the tourism organisation for Yorkshire, organises a huge conference for tourism providers, and this year, at Y19 at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, Yorkshire Coast Path’s author Andrew Vine was interviewed by BBC presenter Rob Walker about the book in front of no fewer than 1,000 delegates.
Such has been the influence of Paul Wood’s London Street Trees book that it has already inspired more than one community-led planting of new street trees, of species championed by the author in it. A line of Persian Silk trees now runs beside Brockley Station, while the author himself assisted with the planting of this new Kentucky Coffee tree in Deptford. The project was sponsored by the Deptford Folk, who also provided the picture.
A truly stellar cast assembled at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill for the How To: Academy’s event on Caroline Atkins’ What a Hazard a Letter Is. Two hundred people filled the converted church to hear Harriet Walter, Tom Hollander, Tuppence Middleton and Nina Toussaint reading out letters from the book, each introduced by Caroline. Highlights included Harriet Walter as Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde, Tuppence Middleton as Katherine Mansfield, and Tom Hollander reading Captain Scott’s last letter to his wife.
‘The unsent letter, as [Caroline] Atkins shows in her enjoyable range of examples,’ writes Frances Wilson on What a Hazard a Letter Is in her long review in the TLS of books about letters and letter-writing, ‘has a thrilling, virgin quality. It is by turns a non-event, a near-miss, a relief, a tragedy, a possibility, a loss, a gain, a potential, a deprivation and a spoilt story. The unsent letter also has an excess of immediacy and authenticity, which is usually why it is unsent.’
The new March edition of Sainsbury’s Magazine reviews What a Hazard a Letter Is and praises ‘this immaculately observed book’, and particularly noting the letters written by Virginia Woolf, and David O. Selznick to Alfred Hitchcock.
The new issue of Pilot magazine gives a half-page review to ‘a proper piece of literature, beautifully written and grabbing one’s attention from the first lines … The description of people and places,’ it goes on, ‘is the sort of thing you once wpould have expected from writers like Norman Lewis and Eric Newby - a wonderful read in its own right and journalism of the highest standard.’
On 19 February Graham Coster gave a sold-out talk on The Flying Boat That Fell to Earth as one of the first events to be held at Stanfords’ beautiful new Mercer Walk store in London’s Covent Garden. Anyone who hasn’t yet visited should go and take a look - everything that a bookshop in the 21st century should be…