Last week was a special one – not only because it was Valentine’s Day, but also because we officially launched A Little, Aloud with Love!
Our destination was Waterstones Liverpool ONE – a beautiful and suitably intimate setting for book lovers. Before things got underway, guests were treated to fizz, nibbles, chocolate and even Love Hearts, if they took their fancy, and were serenaded with live love songs from our musicians playing everything from The Beatles to Ed Sheeran – the mood was perfect to make us feel full of love.
Owner of one of the smoothest voices on radio, BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips played host for the evening, leading us effortlessly through the many aspects of love the book contains and posing some romantic teasers to our guest readers. Starting the evening in style actor, performer and presenter Mike Neary read Haruki Murakami’s On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning, causing sighs and contemplation, giving lots to think on the topics of love at first sight and feelings of romantic deja vu. Mike also spoke about the beauty of reading aloud, which is something we definitely agree with!
The evening took a more poignant turn with paired readings from A Little, Aloud with Love’s editor Angela Macmillan and Professor Philip Davis, Director of the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society at the University of Liverpool. Angie read a heartwrenching extract from Under Storm’s Wing, written by Helen Thomas in memory of her husband, the poet Edward Thomas, who was killed in World War One. Hearing it next to a poem from Edward – emotionally titled And You, Helen, and read by Professor Davis – made the selection all the more moving.
After a break for more treats amongst the rose petals, tears of sorrow quickly turned ones of laughter as Gogglebox favourites and veterans of love June and Leon took to the stage to read to one another and the eager audience – June’s choice being My Lover by Wendy Cope and Leon replying with Love Poem by John Frederick Nims. The local lovebirds – married for over 60 years – told us about the most ‘unromantic’ things they do for one another and shared some of their secrets of what makes such a long-lasting relationship.
The night was rounded off by none other than The Reader’s Founder and Director Jane Davis with plenty of words of love to set A Little, Aloud with Love out into the world. There was even an extra treat for a lucky crowd member thanks to a sumptous hamper donated by Delifonseca, all for buying a copy of the book on the night.
We’ll be celebrating the book in London later this year – another love-filled event for us to look forward to, and there’ll be further details to come right here on the A Little, Aloud blog in the coming weeks. There’s no need to wait to get your hands on a copy however, as they’re available to buy now, in stores and online.