Elizabeth is Missing

Elizabeth is missingI was very lucky to go along to the Big Bookend event last night with Emma Healey. Emma’s debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing is a mystery story with a difference.  Maud, the main character is 81 years old and has dementia. She keeps remembering that her friend Elizabeth is missing, in fact she has pockets full of notes to herself that tell her just that. How will she convince anybody that there is a problem, when somedays she can’t even remember her own address?

The event last night, run in conjunction with Arts and Minds was excellent. Emma is a young writer and this is her first novel, but she spoke with confidence about her writing and the book. There was a good audience and at the end of the event there was a lively question and answer session. This raised some excellent points about the importance of books like this; those that normalise mental health problems so you read about the person, not  the illness.

The book is out today and I am happy to predict that it will be a summer smasher. I was fortunate to read a preview copy and I loved it. My grandmother suffered from dementia and this book really brought back mine and my families experiences with her, both good and bad.

Elizabeth is Missing is one of the  books that Arts and Minds are reading this year for their Sharing Stories project. All six books feature mental health, learning diability or autism. All the books are available through Leeds Libraries and Arts and Minds would love you to read them and comment on their blog.

This event was one of many Big Bookend festival events. There are lots more happening this weekend, check their website for details. www.bigbookend.co.uk

Big Bookend is on its way!

logo_finalWe are really pleased here at Leeds Libraries to be supporting the Big Bookend again this year. The festival is in its third year and has previously hosted events with Tony Harrison, Peter James, Joanne Harris and many others.

This year Central Library is hosting several events happening over the whole of Saturday 7th June. The day kicks off with a FairTrade mini Food and Drink festival, where you can come and sample all manner of yummy food. Later in the day there is a Time for Crime event with local authors Chris Nickson, Steve Mosby and Frances Brody who will be discussing the challenges of writing crime novels set in very different time periods.

To commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the First World War there is a discussion panel event with bestselling author Richard Van Emden (The Quick and The Dead, Tommy’s Ark, Meeting the Enemy) and Andrea Hetherington. Richard will talk about those left behind – wives, parents and children – and how the First World War changed their lives, and those of their descendants, for ever. Local historian and researcher Andrea Hetherington will bring a Leeds perspective to the story.

There are many other events happening over the day so please come along and make a day of  it. You can down load the festival brochure and buy tickets from the website. We look forward to seeing you there.

Leeds Big Bookend – this weekend!

A little bird tells us that there are still tickets available for some of the Big Bookend events at The Carriageworks this weekend.

It’s the perfect way to spend a wet weekend, especially with tickets starting at just £3, and family tickets available for many events at £10.

Head over to the Big Bookend website for the full line up, and grab your tickets now!