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Christmas Night at Waterstones – 13th December 2023

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Santa Hats and Feliz Navidad

Santa hats, snowman jumpers and reindeer antlers are never obligatory at our Waterstones Christmas night, and yet some of us can’t resist turning up bedecked in sparkles and tinsel with an elf’s hat or a turkey plonked on our heads. This year was no exception – AWC members displayed fabulous festive finery and Christmas spirit.

Raffle tickets purchased, 50-word story entries submitted, and paper plates stacked with goodies, we settled down to listen to Waterstones’ bookseller, Emma. She’d prepared an excellent talk, filling us in on what’s been flying off the store’s bookshelves this year – Lessons in Chemistry, Fine Weather ,and In Memorium – to name but three. Crime novels are the shop’s best sellers, she informed us – Michael Malone’s The Murmurs and The Bookseller of Inverness being two of her “must reads.”

Speaking of “must reads,” after her talk concluded, Emma disappeared to read our Dribbles (not drivels) and choose the winner. Meanwhile, Maggie Morton’s fiendish quiz tested five teams competing for the golden gift bag prize.

Round one *– literary questions. Our brains were wracked. Who remembered the title of Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mocking Bird, or knew which famished insect was the title of a famous children’s book?

Round two* – Christmas trivia. Heads were scratched. Could we recall the name of the carrot in the Aldi TV ads…or how many swans were a ‘swimming in the well-known Christmas carol? And how do you say Merry Christmas in Spanish?

Round three*– picture round. Eyesights were tested. Was image two Angelina Jolie or Emily Blunt? And who was that bespectacled mole-like cartoon character?

Maggie’s answers caused hilarity and groans as we totted up the scores – and I’m delighted to report, team “All the President’s Women” (Carrie Watts, Marion Husband, Fiona Johnson and moi) were the winners.

It was definitely Fiona Johnson’s night – Emma awarded first prize (a box of chocs) to her 50-word story – After Midnight. Well done, Fiona.

Next, we drew our raffle. Lots of lovely prizes handed out to the lucky winners –wine, toiletries, notebooks and two beautiful Christmas hampers packed with tasty treats and a bottle for a wee festive “swally.”

After that, it was time for us to hit the bookshelves, have a browse, and indulge in some Christmas shopping. Waterstones’ till was soon a’ jingling as Emma rang through our many purchases. I worked on the principle – buy a book for a gift, buy a book for me (and why not?) So, I’ve added three new novels to my “must read pile,” one being the afore mentioned and intriguing sounding novel The Bookseller of Inverness.

Like every other Waterstones Christmas night, I’ve attended over the years, the evening passed at break-neck speed. All too soon, laden with books, we were out the door heading home, Santa hats and tinsel packed away for another year, leaving an exhausted Emma locking up behind us.

Many thanks to Waterstones for having us. And thanks too to all who came along and joined in the fun. Let’s do it all again next December!

Merry Christmas everybody!

Linda Brown


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