The Aardvark Blog

The Aardvark Blogger is always busy!

Lots going on with events and visitors to the bookshop. Not to mention plans for next year, markets and fairs, author events, live music and much more. Keep looking in to find out about everything that is happening in the bookshop in the middle of nowhere.

Hurrah its a New Year and I for one am glad of it5th January 2019

I think that most people would agree that 2018 was not a fabulous year for the planet or indeed for our particular corner of  it, but at the start of this most unheralded of years I feel myself overcome by feelings of excitement for the year ahead. Yes I am sure that there will be many times when one's instinct will be to pull the duvet over one's head and mutter - in the word's of Beatrix Potter's infamous Mr John Dormouse - 'very snug, very snug'. But  to do so would be an error, because there are always many things to be thankful for, and here are a few that I myself have discovered in the last few days.

1) Aberdovey. How had I gone my whole life without discovering this little church-infested gem. Nestling along a couple of miles of the Dovey estuary, the town is filled with shops (including one exclusively for dog products), restaurants, ice cream parlours and best of all an old-fashioned Literary Reading Room. On the way to Aberdovey why not stop off at Machynlleth (impossible to spell but wonderful to visit), with two bookshops, a wonderful paint shop and even a shoe-maker.

2) The Beatles. Yes I know that everyone knows their music and has an opinion of the respective merits of Paul and John as song-writers, but I am afraid that this is a case of thinking we know about them, when we really don't. The latest pile of CDs to come into the shop included a copy of 'Revolver' which I realise to my shame that I have never listened to in its entirety. There at the beginning on 'Taxman' is the riff that The Jam transmogrified into the immortal 'Start'. Then later on in 'Got To Get You into My Life' is the greatest example of a white soul song ever recorded. So much creativity, and this is just one of the five albums they released over a two year period. My MODEST PROPOSAL for 2019 therefore is that Radio 2 take a leaf out of Radio 3's book and repeat with the Beatles what R3 has done with Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. Play everything the Beatles ever recorded (and everything produced by the solo members upto John Lennon's death) over next year's festive period. There were an incredible 12 studio albums, plus live albums and EPs, plus the Wings albums, Double Fantasy and the Concert for Bangladesh. What could be a better reminder of everything that this country is capable of (and of how we are at our most ourselves when we are at our most outward looking and internationalist).

3) Michael Connelly is back. Yes the new Connelly - Dark Sacred Night - is truly his best in years. Don't take my word for it run to the nearest bookshop and get a copy.

4) Burn Notice was the greatest unknown TV delight (always scheduled ridiculously late on minor channels) and now the whole lot - all 111 episodes - is available on a certain large streaming service. Take a deep breath and dive right in. A truly brilliant series with great acting, witty scripts and fantastic Florida locations. If I were to cavil I would raise the issue of the level of incidental sexism, but at its core the show had its heart in the right place and the strength of its female characters is one of the things I like most about it.

5) Borderlines; yes, Central England's biggest and best film festival returns for another year and AARDVARK is sponsoring the only performance of the festival premiere of David Hare's new film White Crow. The film is directed by Ralph Fiennes and tells the story of Rudolph Nureyev. On the 9th of March festival-goers will have the chance to see this film before anyone else, and when I tell you that it also stars the fabulous young dancer Sergei Polunin you will want to get your hands on a ticket as soon as possible.

6) Aardvark's own Katy Moran publishes her new novel in the autumn. 'Wicked by Design' comes out in September and we are so excited to see how the story develops from her previous novel, "False Lights". Needless to say signed copies will be available at Aardvark and we will be starting the countdown to September publication in the summer, with a special competition!

There are many other things I could add, but the need to run a bookshop intrudes. Hurrah for 2019 and I hope that all customers and readers of this blog have a fantastic year!

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