Now that the holiday season is here and the glorious sunshine is begging to be soaked up in the company of a good book, the Wells Festival of Literature has some wonderful recommendations for your holiday reading.
To start with, there is Hannah Fry’s inspirational book Hello World which has just been shortlisted for the 2018 Royal Society Science Book Prize. Hannah, well-known to listeners of Radio 4 for The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry, asks whether our increasing reliance on algorithms is beneficial – or worrying. She will be closing the Festival on Saturday 27 October at 7.30pm.
But before then there will some fascinating discussions on a whole host of topics and now is definitely the time to start dipping into some of the books to see which ones appeal most. Lovers of the West Country, for example, will welcome the three-way discussion between Emma Craigie, Andrew Miller and Tim Pears who will be talking about the use of place in fiction on Saturday 20 October at 3.30pm. Lovers of crime-writing (the most popular genre in fiction) might prefer the event featuring three experts – Mick Herron, Sarah Hilary and Natasha Cooper – who will be laying bare the criminal mind as depicted in some extremely thrilling thrillers. That’s on Saturday 27 October at 5.30pm.
There’s a gentler form of fiction on Saturday 20 October at 12 noon when Lissa Evans celebrates the centenary of the suffragette movement with Miranda Glover in her funny yet moving story Old Baggage. And a work that defies the genres because of its huge scope is Lara Feigel’s wonderful exploration of the great Doris Lessing: 1.30 pm Saturday 27 October.
There are plenty of other topics to be discussed during the Festival, including history, politics, art, music, cookery and poetry. This is just a small selection to whet the appetite and to start you on your holiday reading list. The full brochure will be available in early September, but in the meantime you can find out more about what’s on offer if you look at the booking website.