You Had Me At Happily Imperfect Host

If you have a love for writing you’re more than likely to be an avid reader too. I must admit I mostly read and borrow books from my local library but I always have my eye on a few different book stores and read about new release books in the weekend newspaper.

On holidays I have used little free libraries, or have gone to the library in the town where we are staying and bought books that are being sold to clear out older stock. When my local libraries have sales I don’t mind rummaging through the books spread over many tables to pick up a few bargain buys. These books are the ones that I will then usually leave at a caravan park for someone else to enjoy.

There is however, a great bookshop in the Adelaide Hills called Matilda Bookshop in the town of Stirling. A few times throughout the year they organize book launches and meet the author evenings which are held at different venues. Sometimes they are held at the shop, other times at the local library or in some cases, at Deviation Road Winery which has been my favourite venue to attend so far.

I have been to two of these author events now at the winery and they are an extremely entertaining evening. They are small enough that your feel really privileged to hear and see the author in an intimate setting and what a picturesque setting it is.

On arrival at the event you are given a complimentary glass of their wine and can help yourself to a grazing table of food. If you’ve pre-purchased the book you can pick a spot to settle into and browse the book while you are waiting for the author to take to the stage. Of course you are welcome to buy more wine as you prepare to sit back for an hour or so and listen to the author in conversation.

On Thursday of last week I grabbed the opportunity to see one of these events with the author and political journalist Annabel Crabb as the guest. Annabel is well known on the ABC and in the corridors of Parliament House in Canberra.  A while ago she made an interesting series called ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ where she went to a politicians home and interviewed them in their homes while they made lunch for her. A fantastic idea for getting to see the person behind the suited talking head in Parliament.  The finale was always Annabel bringing a dessert to finish the meal and thereby the interview.

Her latest book is called ‘Special Guest – recipes for the happily imperfect host’. So with a title like that, screaming out to me to buy it and all the other elements of the evening combined, I was definitely in. She was as fascinating as expected as she shared stories behind some of the recipes in the book as well as spilling the beans on what it is really like in our nation’s capital Canberra, in the bubble of our parliament.

After the interview style book launch there were questions from the audience, many of who wanted to hear more dirt on particular pollies (and we weren’t disappointed) then Annabel very graciously chatted and signed copies of her book.

If you are a book lover keep an eye out for author events in your neighbourhood, they can be a fun few hours of entertainment. And the recipes themselves, well I think I will be trying some of them out in the caravan in my imperfect way soon.