Posts Tagged ‘ world book night ’

World Book Night UK and Ireland 2013 – April 23rd

WorldBookNight2013 Tonight is World Book Night UK and Ireland!

For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is “a celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands of passionate volunteers gift specially chosen and printed books in their communities to share their love of reading…World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: it’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways, through the sharing of stories.”

Basically, every year, some very generous authors and publishers try to get us reading by giving away millions of books. I got involved with this a few years ago and, although it was a little daunting at first,  it turned out to be a lot of fun. The initiative started in the UK but now it’s spread to the USA too. Click here for more info. There will also be flagship reading events in Liverpool, London, Edinburgh and Cambridge with lots of authors (and some celebrities) involved.

Books on offer this year (of which I am ashamed to say I’ve only read one) are:

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

A Little History of the World by E.H Gombrich

Little Face by Sophie Hannah

Damage by Josephine Hart

The Island by Victoria Hislop

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

Last Night Another Soldier… by Andy McNab

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

The Reader by Bernard Schlink

No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Road Home by Rose Tremain

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges by John Wagner

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Can You Top My 22

Ah, it’s that time of year again, WBN has opened its book list for readers to nominate their top 100 books. World Book Night 2013 Interactive Top 100 List

It’s an interactive (changing) list so will probably look quite different by the end of August when it gets frozen for the judges to decide the books that will be distributed in 2013. Exciting stuff! Last year when I did my “read” count, the list was fixed and I had read 26 out of a 100 books. I’m currently on 22 (31 if you count movie adaptations) but will check again at the end of the month to see if any of the books I’ve read have fallen off the 100 (or if new ones have been added).

I have to say though that I was quite shocked to see Fifty Shades of Grey on the list. I know everyone is raving about it and it’s now the most sold book in the UK ever (or something like that) but I have mixed feelings about this one being on the list. Although I’ve heard the story is compelling, I’ve also heard from numerous sources that the writing is basic/bad and that contrary to what a lot of women have said about it being liberating, the subject matter is pretty sexist and crude (this reader’s review says all there is to say really). I know what people might say, I shouldn’t really judge it till I’ve read it Continue reading

World Book Night – 23rd April 2012

Some of you might have read about my experience from World Book Night 2011 in my blog post Stop and Stare . Well, over a year has gone by (where did the time go?) and tonight is World Book Night 2012. A million copies of 25 books (click here for full book list) will be given away by volunteers in the UK, USA, Ireland and Germany. It appears the event has expanded since last year! I am not involved in giving away books this time – one night of shoving books in people’s faces outside a tube station is enough for me – but I thought I should mention the event this year so that people can look out for random people handing out books and empathise with them. They are FREE and there is no catch to taking them. All that is asked of you is to read them and pass on so that adult literacy is improved.

The book list is eclectic and ranges from romance classics like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to new tales like Sophie Kinsella’s The Secret Dreamworld of A Shopaholic, from renowned horrors like Steven Kings’s Misery to funny fantasies like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens (one of my favourites on the list). There is a Dahl book on there as well and an Ishiguro.   Continue reading

Can you top my 6?

A follow up to my Can you top my 28? post from September. I thought I did okay having read just over 1 in 4 of the books on that list so when the official list for World Book Night 2012 was released earlier this week, I was excited about the prospects of my ratio going up.

http://www.worldbooknight.org/about-world-book-night/wbn-2012/the-books

And yes, I was happy to note I have read 6 out of 25. Yay! Not quite 1 in 4 but close.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (loved it but then I love almost all Austen books)

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (overrated but not a bad book)

A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens (sad sad book but a good read)

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella (infuriating protagonist but I’ve read all the books in the series bar one so that’s saying something)

The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffeneger (very dark but good story, don’t watch the movie, read the book!)

Good Omens – Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman (probably my favourite on the list, really funny, dark and strangely thought provoking)

I think I have read Rebecca but can’t quite remember it so I haven’t added it to my list. Also I’m a huge Steven King fan so I’ve watched Misery but, again, can’t remember if I read it so I’ve taken it off my list.

Can anyone top my 6?

[If the list includes movies adaptations I’ve watched, my count goes up to 10]

Can you top my 28?

Those of you who read my Stop and Stare post from May will know that I got involved with the World Book Night movement in March this year. It was loads of fun and I might sign up again to participate next year (if I have the time and courage) but they are currently in the process of finding new books for next year’s big giveaway and I’ve been asked to vote for my top ten books from a list of 100 books.

http://www.worldbooknight.org/your-books

I was pleased to find that I have read 28 of the books on the list (not sure why they doubled up on The Time Traveller’s Wife and Little Women but hey, I’ve read them both so counting them both) but then found out one of my colleagues has read 55 of them and I didn’t’ feel so smug after all (she is a little older so I guess she’s allowed to pip me on this one).

Any readers out there who want to have a count for fun?

PS – it doesn’t count if you’ve watched a movie or television adaptation of the book. If we add those, I’d be closer to 40.

Stop and stare

A colleague sent this link to me last week which got me thinking about the way we perceive one another in our cities.

http://www.jeffbridges.com/perception.html

Don’t worry, it’s not a dodgy link, it’s a webpage from the actor Jeff Bridges’s website. It talks about an experiment in which one of the world’s finest violinist, Joshua Bell, went to busk (undercover) at a subway station in Washington, DC. As you would expect, the number of people that stopped to appreciate the world class music was slim to none and it raises the question – what are we missing out in our lives just because we’ve become accustomed to the things around us and have perfected our reactions towards them?

A few months ago I would have scoffed and empathised with the people who took no notice of the musician but after I found myself in a similar position in March this year, my reaction after reading the webpage was different. I volunteered to hand out free copies of the award winning book “Half of a Yellow Sun” as part of the new reading incentive World Book Night. That is of course nothing compared to what the violinist was trying to accomplish but the idea was – me outside a busy tube station handing out “free”…again, “free” books. Easy – or so I thought. I dragged along my sister for moral support and because there is safety in numbers and let’s be honest, London is too dodgy for me to be standing alone outside a station looking like a weirdo giving stuff out. Continue reading

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