Milngavie Books, Travelling Editor, Water for Elephants

The first thing to know about Milngavie is how to pronounce it* (Mill Guy or Mull Guy to my untutored Southern ear).  A cold and wet evening outside Glasgow but all snug and cosy in the Susan Frize’s Milngavie Bookshop.

I’d just clocked over 4000 miles of train travel since I started the Travelling Editor.  As I’ve said, a lot of terrible railways tea but so many warm welcomes around the country. It might have been cold outside but the good showing of keen intelligent readers was undaunted.

Although I’ve discussed Water For Elephants with many groups before, I’m always amazed how different groups always bring something new to a book.  In this case many news things:

Milngavie Books, Travelling Editor, Water for ElephantsWonderful elephant biscuits, specially baked.

A story of a grandmother who actually ran off to the circus in her teens and was a bareback rider. Way ahead of their time, her enlightened (or exhausted) parents allowed her to stay there with a chaperone.

How circuses split groups down the middle – love ’em or hate ’em. Coulrophobia is the understandable fear of clowns, but that’s not what divides people  (and, by the way, clowns are just NOT funny).  No,  groups are torn by the concept of animal cruelty and WFE doesn’t hold back on that one.  But it is a portrait of the age and some difficult (unregulated) times.  Here are some links to circus history and the strange world of the circus train.

Milngavie Books, Travelling Editor, Water for Elephants

The portrait of old age is always affecting and seems to ring true with most readers and their experience.

Thanks so much to all for the great feedback and the questions and for inviting me.  Nice to come back next September for the Milngavie Literary Festival.

Thanks too to Susan & Gillian for looking after me so well.

*Scottish pronunciation de-coded

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