The weather was great with the sun shining bright and warm on the crowds who attended the latest Mountains To Sea Book Festival in Dun Laoghaire. There was a superb programme in place with many interesting and entertaining events catering for readers of all ages and likes. Be it literature, fiction, non-fiction, seminars on publishing, workshops, literary tours and interviews with famous writers – all were catered for. And, of course, there was plenty for the young readers and poetry lovers. But even the sunshine could not mask the cloud of Seamus Heaney’s recent passing. He was scheduled to be ‘in conversation’ in the Pavilion Theatre, and his absence from the festival which he had so graciously supported for many years was obvious and raw.
Due to prior arrangements I was out-of-town for the start of the festival, and missed out on a few special events. Having been a fan of Margaret Atwood’s writing for many years, missing her appearance was a regret. And the stroll with Declan Hughes (Festival Writer) around Dun Laoghaire, taking in places that featured in his crime novels would certainly have appealed. I like his books and getting information about them from ‘the horse’s mouth’ as it were, well, there’s really nothing more to say. Another time, maybe! I did, however, attend the Great-Ad-App-Tations in the Assembly Hall and thoroughly enjoyed the lively and informative discussion.
Outside the grey clouds gathered, signalling a sudden end to our surprisingly, fine summer. The Festival Bookshop was busy, so I decided to head into the Pavilion Theatre and get a ticket to see Jo Nesbo, King of Nordic Noir, in conversation next week with Declan Burke as part of the DLR Library Series. It would be a crime to miss that, too!