BAMB 7Qs with James Hannah

James Hannah will be joining us on Books Are My Bag day - Saturday 10 October -  between 11 am and 12:30 pm! James will be enjoying cake as well as chats, photos and book signings!

Chosen as one of the ‘New Faces of Fiction’ by the Observer and one of the ‘Ones to Watch’ by the Huffington Post, James Hannah is the author of The A to Z of You and Me. A beautiful and heart breaking novel, The A to Z of You and Me tells the story of Ivo, a 40 year old living his last few days in a hospice with only his palliative care nurse Sheila for company. Through the premise of the A to Z game Ivo relives his life, unfolding his past and revealing what it is that has led him to the hospice. James Hannah is a local author and has long been a wonderful supporter of Wenlock Books.

1) Why are high street and independent bookshops important to you?

“Where to begin? They’re a place you can slowly unfurl, across many visits, and absorb ideas and enthusiasm from real people. It’s the true browsing experience (as opposed to an active interrogation the like of which one engages in online); they indulge all of your senses and embrace your thoughts. The really good bookshops engage with people of all ages and backgrounds in a multiplicity of ways; I have as much fun bringing my child to a Storytime session as I do browsing for something to read myself."

2) Name your three favourite independent bookshops (apart from us, of course!). What makes them special?

“I'm going to avoid Shropshire altogether, which has the best independent bookshops, hands down.

1. Barter Books in Alnwick has many personal memories, but is basically testament to what can happen when people with an incredible vision for books are let loose on a amazing venue.

2. Ystwyth Books in Aberystwyth - I spent many hours here as a student, and realised I would never have enough time or money to pursue all the avenues of thought I wanted to.

3. Daunt Books, Notting Hill - It will always be a special place for me, as this is where I launched my début novel in London, and the owners were very patient and accommodating when it came to us guerilla decorating their shop."

3) What is the best, funniest, quirkiest or most moving experience you have ever had in a bookshop?

“I’m going to cheat here, but my book launch at Wenlock Books in March 2015 was the best experience I’ve ever had in a bookshop. So many family and friends, as well as some amazing and thrilling people I’d never met before. I’ll never forget it."


4) What three words come to mind when you think of Wenlock Books?

"Head meets heart."

5) What has been your favourite book of 2015 so far?

“Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon."

6) What books are you looking forward to reading before the end of the year?

“A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara."

7) What are your top three desert island reads?

“1. Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut. I’ve chosen it over Vonnegut's Timequake, but I might regret that. I’m relying on the fact that just to be immersed around in Vonnegut’s voice will be balm enough for me.

2. I assume the Collected Shakespeare is included gratis, as per? If it’s not, I’m not going.
Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, because it’s a library in itself.

3. I would finish off with the box-set of Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson, and if I can’t have them, I’m not going.

Sorry, that wasn’t very quickfire, was it?"

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