At Bloggeration's Book Blogging Workshop last month I had the pleasure of meeting Stephenie from the Penguin Random House team and not only did she answer
While technically this was a vlogger party, as it was hosted by the Penguin Platform team who aim to engage with a younger audience through their various social media channels and campaigns, I'm glad that it wasn't strictly YouTubers only and bloggers were welcomed as well, as this was a party not to be missed!
As soon as Catriona and I arrived, we were drawn to the stacks and stacks of gorgeous books on display, which I definitely spent a little while ooh-ing and aah-ing over. However, because I am rubbish I forgot to bring my camera and so the pictures from the event are taken with my phone (and not great quality). I did take photos from the books I took home afterwards with my better camera so I'll include those at the bottom of this post instead.
Enjoying a nice glass of wine, the room started to fill up and the first author I spotted was none other than Sophie Kinsella herself! Before it got *too* busy Laura, her friend and I introduced ourselves to her and got our books signed, which was basically the evening made right there and then. But it didn't stop there as we also chatted to authors Jimmy Rice, Laura Tait and Claire Fuller, all before the official 'introduction' part of the evening had happened. So. Much. Fun. (Also, there were canapes, including delicious little lamb kebabs, nom nom nom.)
After about an hour we all sat down in a room for a quickfire intro to the authors in attendance (which i thought was fab as I wouldn't necessarily have recognised all of them otherwise) who were asked to share a Christmas story from past, present or future with the audience. The authors were introduced by vlogger extraordinaire and presenter Jimmy and they included Sophie Kinsella, Laura Tait, Jimmy Rice, Ruth Ware, Claire Fuller, David Hofmeyr, Tom Chatfield, Emma Kavanagh and Sarah Hyndman. Stories ranged from being forgotten by the family on a Christmas outing (Home Alone, anyone?!) to Sophie, rightfully so, advocating that during the month of December food shouldn't have calories listed on them, hear hear!
As I mentioned before, my phone pictures are a bit rubbish but I managed to take reasonably decent ones from Sophie Kinsella talking to Jimmy, as well as lovely writing duo Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice (see below).
After the fun, crazy and sweet Christmas stories of past, present and future – which was a really original way to quickly get to know all the authors without any dull and formal introductions – it was time for more mingling with writers, bloggers (including bumping into Claire, who I met at the Bloggeration workshop), and Random Penguins, while enjoying delightful nibbles (the dessert donuts you guys, omg!) and a gorgeous Penguin Platform tote to take home (which was much needed as the books I ended up choosing from the tables didn't fit in the single tote bag I'd brought in preparation!).
Also, there was the most adorable confetti scattered on the tables and books, including PENGUINS WEARING JUMPERS! Obviously, I had to take some of that home as well to include with a photoshoot of the books I ended up choosing, and I've now decorated my bookshelves with it – it looks amazeballs.
As for the books I took home, while I wanted to have all the books ever I managed to 'narrow it down' to the following: Shopaholic to the Rescue and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (the latter I got signed too, whoop!), Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit (to be published end of January), My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal (to be published June 2016), In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (so much buzz around this book!), The Book of You by Nora Rosendahl (a non-fiction title, which sounds like one I can really use in my life right now), The Best Thing That Never Happened to Me and The Night That Changed Everything by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice (I really wanted to get these signed but completely forgot to ask in all the excitement *sad face*), Escape to Christmas Past (because there is no such thing as owning too many colouring books), and a gorgeous hardback edition of Seven Brief Lessons of Physics by Carlo Rovelli.
Thank you so much to Stephenie for the invite to the Christmas Party and to the amazing Penguin Random House team for organising a brilliant event! I'm super excited to read all my gorgeous new books in the new year. What books are you guys looking forward to reading in 2016?