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Festival Favourites Family

Every Friday we bring you our "Festival Favourites", a short weekly video highlighting books along a theme that members of our LitFest family and friends are particularly excited about. Here are some of our regular and key contributors. We thank them for sharing their book love with us all.

Festival Favourites: Cosy Crime and Her Majesty, The Queen, Investigates Series

Liz Robinson

Liz has been an Editorial Expert writing reviews for LoveReading since 2014. Reading has always played a huge part in her life and she can quite happily chat books all day. She previously spent twenty years working as a member of police support staff, including roles as Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer, and Crime Reduction Advisor. She relishes her time spent exploring all genres of fiction and non fiction. She video reviews her selections for the LoveReading LitFest Festival Favourites and is also a Presenter for their events. Liz has previously judged the Romantic Novelists’ Association Goldsboro Romantic Novel of the Year Award, the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival Short Story Competition, the LoveReading Very Short Story Award, and the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Gold Dagger Award. Her next judging stint sees her joining the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Award 2023-2025. She describes herself as a reader, a lover of all things books, and can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @LRLizRobinson.

Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski is a London-based novelist and editor. He was born in the UK and educated in France. He worked for many years in publishing in editorial director positions for Virgin, the Thomson Organisation, Penguin and Ebury Press before opening the world-famous Murder One bookshop in 1988. He has written on and reviewed crime for Time Out, The Guardian, the Times, the Daily Telegraph and The Bookseller, amongst other publications, and is a regular broadcaster on radio and TV, and lectures on both crime and mystery fiction, and erotica. He also runs CRIME SCENE, London’s annual crime film and literature festival, and is an adviser to the International Mystery Film Festival.

Greg Hackett

Greg has always loved to read, but also loved to collect, store, stack and deposit books on every available shelf, table and unoccupied seat in his home. Earlier in his life he was most interested in crime and thrillers, but as time has done its thing he's become more drawn to non-fiction and in particular to books which explain the natural world and our relationship with it, quite often through the biographies of extraordinary people. Most of Greg's working life has been dedicated to creating live events and in particular curating programmes of fun and informative content. He is currently Festival Director for the London Mountain Film Festival where he is privileged to be involved with London’s thriving adventure and outdoor communities and with documentary filmmakers on every continent.

Emma Milne-White

Emma Milne-White has been a bookseller for over 20 years and has owned Hungerford Bookshop in West Berkshire with her husband for 16 years. She regularly organises author events and writing workshops as well as local arts events for the town. She has been an adviser for a literary magazine, a Costa Book Award judge and is an active member of the Bookseller's Association. She loves music, film, art, and talking about books over wine.

Andrea Reece

Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams.

She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal.

She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

Joy Court

Joy Court is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

Previously she managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, but now just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant.  She has chaired and spoken on panels at festivals and conferences around the UK. She is also a Trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association.

Author of Read to Succeed: strategies to engage children and young people in reading for pleasure (2011) and Reading By Right: successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed (2017) FACET and author of several Riveting Reads annotated booklists for the School Library Association, most recently, with Daniel Hahn, Riveting Reads- a world of books in translation (2017)

Justine Solomons

Justine Solomons runs Byte the Book a membership organisation for authors, agents, publishers and those connected with the book industry. The network is focused on helping its members meet each other, connect with other industries and learn about the latest developments in technology. They run hundreds of events online, at private member clubs in London and at book fairs across the world. Justine also consults to various technology companies operating in the publishing sector, and has built an enormous network of authors, publishers, technologists and investors working in this space. 

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