The Real Madrid of literary quiz teams….

The cover of Lloyd Jones' Mr Pip - but would you know it without the name and title on the cover?
The cover of Lloyd Jones’ Mr Pip – but would you know it without the name and title on the cover?

Recognising 15 out of 20 book covers isn’t bad, is it? Well, no, it’s pathetic compared to the scores of the serious contenders at last night’s literary quiz in Solihull.

I was invited to go along to Solihull Library’s World Book Night event (April 23) and read my story Lye Noon to the audience as part of the proceedings.

The quiz was great fun and very testing, but to be fair it had to be to challenge the competitors. There were two picture rounds – photographs of authors and covers of books (obviously without name or title on them) – were handed out.

I was asked to join a team and opted for the Rankins – no prizes for guessing their favourite genre or writer!

On reflection I think we did pretty well to identify the covers of Mr Pip, The Night Watch, The Grapes of Wrath and The Welsh Girl among others. In fact, we scored 14 or 15 out of 20.

We tried, but we were definitely championship material, play-offs at best, up against the Real Madrids and Barcelonas of literary knowledge. They scored 18 and 19!

It was great fun and rightly well supported. So, thanks to Lynda Williams and her colleagues at Solihull Library for making me welcome and thanks to the audience for listening to and appreciating my short story.

Also, thanks again to Roz Goddard of West Midlands Readers’ Network for her involvement and support.

The Rankins, by the way, came in fifth, swimming in the shoal. There were flashes of brilliance and schoolboy errors, but ultimately we came up a little short, just as Inspector Rebus would’ve wanted it.