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Lifeline Bookfest

The last Lifeline Bookfest at Caboolture was held from September 26 to 28. Norman Wallis delivers this solemn valedictory report. The Lifeline Bookfests will continue selling second-hand books though. Lifeline is a charity providing services like phone counselling. Literally millions of these paper- and hardback treasures will go on sale at the Brisbane Bookfest in January 2015. So plan your trip now.

I have always felt that charities worldwide should initiate events like the Lifeline Bookfest. Is there anything more intriguing to the bibliophile than strolling along table after table of second hand books, never knowing what they’ll find. It is one of the few adventures I bother embarking upon. And quite frankly it’s more than enough.
But when I parked my car in my usual spot by the football field and walked up to the Centenary Lakes Indoor Basketball Courts on September 27, little did I realise it would be my final visit to the Lifeline Bookfest at its Caboolture venue. Lifeline is transferring the Caboolture Bookfest to somewhere on the Sunshine Coast. But I will always have the memories of that little basketball court packed with tables of books. And of course there is always the Brisbane Bookfest coming up in January at the Brisbane Convention Centre in South Brisbane. So there is no need to get too elegiac about it.
The Percy Anecdotes by Reuben and Sholto Percy was an interesting find. A miscellany of humorous and other true stories by English journalists Thomas Byerley (Reuben), who died in 1826, and Joseph Clinton Robertson (Sholto). The copy I found at the Caboolture Bookfest looked Victorian, with its rock hard green cover and dusty tissue paper pages. Fascinating, tightly written paragraph-long tales.
Waterfront by Phillip Lopate. A belle-lettrist and academic visits and revisits riparian locations around Manhattan. He sprinkles his observations with memories and history, of things like the wharves, community activism, North Brother Island, ferryboat disasters, the Native Americans on the Harlem River, Robert Moses. I have been fascinated by New York for some time, and this book has helped me obtain a handle on its geography, which, I confess, I still find perplexing, despite the grid street pattern, introduced in 1811 for the development of Manhattan north of Houston Street. I need to revisit the city to conduct further research.
G. K. Chesterton, The Man who was Thursday. Kingsley Amis reportedly said it was his favorite novel, as did Neil Gaiman on one occasion. I thought I’d give it a go.
Surprised by Laughter, the comic world of C. S. Lewis, by Terry Lindvall, was another tome I picked up. It’s a funny thing, humor.
The English Assassin by Daniel Silva. A computer game voice actor once recommended this author, and I have read a few of Mr Silva’s novels featuring Gabriel Allon, a retired Israeli spy and assassin who keeps getting called back from his art restoration career to prevent some act of terrorism. The books always have a smattering of Middle East history which I like reading. The novels are quite timely in light of the silly sods running around at the moment.
I also picked up Great British Tales of Terror, edited by Peter Haining – Gothic Stories of Horror and Romance 1765-1840. Sounds like one of those bachelor reality shows. Here’s looking forward to the next Brisbane Bookfest in January, 2015.

– copyright Simon Sandall.