Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been a staunch supporter of the book trade and arts overall since she began her role in 2014. After first launching a reading challenge for primary schools with Scottish BookTrust in 2016, this year the initiative is expanding to include secondary schools. With much of her days spent dealing with governmental issues, the First Minister still finds time to participate in the book trade, from visiting schools and libraries to interviewing high-profile authors and sharing book recommendations on Twitter. We spoke to her about her involvement in the trade, Brexit and her reading tastes.
July: Five SongsMusic
Here are five songs that have been killing me this month.
Back to ChetLife, Music
So I was asked to chair a panel event a couple of months ago, which was terrifying but also awesome. It was in Waterstones Piccadilly and it was on the subject of identity in literature. On the panel were three pretty awesome authors: Vu Tran, Leye Adenle and Frances Mensah Williams.
But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
On Syd tha KydMusic
Sydney Bennet aka Syd the Kyd is so hot right now.
Riding on the coattails of a Grammy-nominated third album (Ego Death – it’s worthy), and a sold-out European tour that kicked off a few months ago, front woman of neo-soul group The Internet, Syd is one of those people who is so attractive because she’s just unapologetically herself. Which is a big deal.
So I’ve decided to challenge myself to write in this gosh darned blog every single day for the whole entire month of April. That is (thirty days hath September, April June and November…) thirty whole days. I think I need to do this because it was about nine months since my last post (and that was on Kanye West and it’s not even like he’s been quiet lately; like at all) and I used to call myself a ‘writer’ (at least I did in my Twitter bio, until I decided to stop lying to myself. It now says ‘tooth fairy’. I guess that’s more honest).
So K. Wizzle performed an eclectic headline set at Glastonbury and may have said he was the world’s greatest living rockstar or whatever. I mean, that’s no big deal though, is it really? Kanye’s likened himself to, like, God. Like, the Messiah. The Head Honcho. The Big Cheese. Saying he’s the world’s greatest living rockstar shouldn’t be nearly controversial enough to tweet about.
I don’t disagree; I think everyone should believe in themselves as much as Kanye does. What a world it would be. Some might call him a narcissist, I call him, incredibly woke. He thinks Beyonce had the greatest video ever? He’s gonna tell you. He thinks the Grammy’s are being whitewashed? You’re gonna hear about it.
On Kanye WestMusic, Opinion
On WanderlustLife, Travel
I’ve always kinda thought that traveling was hella long. The idea of traipsing from place to place carrying all your shit in a strange environment just didn’t scream “fun” to me. I don’t really know what happened but now I’m itching to explore the world beyond my own front door. I’m really excited at the prospect of enlarging my narrow vision of the world and experiencing something other than huge, ultra-diverse London.
My girl Eman (@emankwen), has a podcast series about issues that 20-25 year old’s face. It’s called, aptly, 20/25. As a series that focuses on the issues of young people, facilitated and discussed by these people – whose problems and prospects are some of the most urgent on the planet and don’t often get a platform—it’s a very insightful and necessary series full of wisdom and great chat.
Nigeria 2014 (Part One)Travel
So, I went to back to the motherland last summer when Ebola was still a thing and people were all freaking out about it. (Is Ebola still a thing? This is information I should have.) During both of the internal flights my family and I made (Lagos to Abuja, then Abuja to Asaba) and then when we were flying back to London, scary looking airport staff in flu masks or whatever took our temperature via weird lazer themometors that they pointed at our mouths to check whether or not we were harbouring any dormant Ebola-like parasites or whatever. I don’t really have much to say about this subject, I just thought I’d paint a picture of the sort of thing that was gwaning at that time of my life.
On Chet FakerMusic, Reviews
A quick google image search of Chet Faker will tell you everything you need to know about him, superficially I mean. Not that he’d fit right in Brixton village, but that he is essentially, unequivocally, my type. I guess it goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it: Australian? check. Bearded? Check. That’s all. That’s all my criteria. Mr. Faker first massaged his way through my ear canals and into my heart when he burst on the scene with a slick, dulcet cover of No Diggity by Blackstreet. Now, he’s not the first guy to cover this song, but he smashed it.