THE United States of America celebrates its Independence Day on July 4.

Brendon Books in Bath Place celebrates its Independence as a book seller every day but likes to put down a big marker for small business when it stages the Taunton Literary Festival.

Now in its seventh year, the festival has become a landmark on the social calendar in Taunton and for book enthusiasts across the country.

The owner of Brendon Books, Lionel Ward has nurtured the festival so all the profits go back into the festival to make it more and more successful.

This year he believes he has put together a literary feast to serve before the Somerset public which will make them hungry for the 2018 festival when this year’s is over.

Somerset County Gazette:

The 2017 Taunton Literary Festival which kicks off in November has a strong and eclectic mixture of authors who will be appearing.

This includes: - The Genius of Jane Austin: Paula Byrne and Imogen Smith; Being David Archer : Tim Bentick; Time Pears - The Horseman; Gary Cox - Existentialism ; War and the death of News - Martin Bell; Thomas Hardy, poet with Graham Fawcett; Terry Waite - Out of Silence; The story of Egypt with Joan Fletcher; The Long and Winding Road - Alan Johnson; Crime panel: Sanjida Kay, Debbie Young and Lionel Ward; The Reality Frame - Brian Clegg and Andy Hamilton - The Star Witness Venue: The Castle School

Lionel said: “I have always thought the literary festival is so important in all sorts of ways.

"There is lots of evidence the more you read the better you do academically.

"Literature is very important and what I love about this festival is it gives a special connection to the area.

Somerset County Gazette:

"I think this literary festival is a great way of highlighting current issues which are going on in the world today such as Fake News.

"This will be covered in the talk given by former BBC correspondent Martin Bell who will be speaking at the festival.

“We always try and get people who are good, who will be interesting and have something to say.”

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