Yesterday evening I attended an extremely snazzy book launch. And I wasn’t even invited! No, no… I didn’t gatecrash. No chance of that, as there were several burly security guards at the venue. My publisher, Paul Collins over at Ford Street Publishing, was invited… and he brought me along.
The book being launched was Janet De Neefe’s Bali: The Food of My Island Home. More than just a cookbook, it explores culture and ingredients, accompanied by an amazing array of spectacular photographs. I had a good look through the book, and it’s definitely the sort of book I’d be more than happy to own.
But I don’t own it yet. [hangs head in shame] You see, I committed a major book launch faux pas last night — I didn’t buy a copy of the book being launched. Not because I didn’t want to — rather it was simply because I was somewhat short of cashola. Pity, as it would have been nice to get Janet to sign a copy. But I will pick up a copy eventually and then maybe I could stalk her until I get that autograph. 😉
Janet De Neefe, by the way, is more than just an author. She also happens to be a restauranter, proprietor of a cooking school and the brains behind the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.
Anyway… back to the launch. It was held at Rosati Restaurant in Melbourne. The highlight of the evening was definitely the food. An amazing array of Balinese inspired finger food, including an absolutely sublime mushroom risotto.
Another interesting aspect of this launch was the entertainment. Aside from the usual speeches that you get at these sorts of functions, we were also treated to some Balinese dancing, a band and some performance poetry. I felt very sophisticated, sipping my drink as I listened to the poetry.
There were lots of people there! More than at your average launch. Although there was at least one familiar face (a big ‘hello’ to fellow blogger Angela Meyer), I did not know anyone else. I’m not especially good in social circumstances where I don’t know people (it’s the hermit-writer syndrome), so the sea of unfamiliar faces was a little daunting at first. But, as I’ve mentioned, my publisher brought me along so I wasn’t left to fend for myself. I got to meet and chat with a bunch of interesting people (including the editor of Bookseller and Publisher). All up, a very enjoyable evening.
Of course, I forgot to bring my camera along… so I have no evidence to back up anything I’ve just said. You’ll have to just take my word for it.
It’s not often that a book launch like this comes along. Most of the time, launches are much more low-key affairs, usually held in bookshops or libraries, with some basic drinks and nibbles. Now, I’m not suggesting that elaborate launches are always necessary… but I will certainly remember Janet’s launch for a long time to come… and, as a result, her book is likely to stay in my memory until I have the opportunity to purchase a copy.
Catch ya later, George
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