Tag Archives: Reading

I confess to a Transworld Crime Caper!

Crime Caper Thumbnail

Late last week my favourite Irish writing blog (not about Irish writing, just from Ireland. We all have favourites, why don’t you?), that of Catherine Ryan Howard, published news of her participation in a publishing lines promotional reading challenge. The Great Transworld Crime Caper as they have called it involves bloggers reading between one and three books of their selection – gratis – in exchange for a review to be posted on their blog. You may recall that late last year I reviewed a couple of nonfiction children’s history books for Usborne. Well, this little caper was not going to escape, so I cut myself in on Catherine’s little scheme and volunteered at the weekend to read three of their crime thriller’s;

1 Past Caring by Robert Goddard

2 The Business of Dying by Simon Kernick

3 The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett

In order for me to meet this reading challenge on tight deadlines I am going to have to ramp up my reading still faster than I already have been. Not only that but I will have to learn how to turn paper pages again! I’m so used to pushing buttons on my Kindle I’m kind of afraid I might get a paper cut with some old fashion tree based reading material. I shall risk it though, and so should you. To read the original article on Transworlds blog click here.

Just make sure you have your getaway planned.

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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Publishing, Reviews


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England’s Bookstart Stops

Boy reading a book

No book gifting anymore...

It is with immense disappointment that many of us all logged online to that stream of consciousness that is twitter to learn that the Department for Education, the body responsible for broadening the minds of our young and inspiring them to success has cut its funding to the English book gifting programmes (Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up) by 100%. Which is a novel way of saying, they’ve scrapped the programme. Oh, and it only applies.. you guessed it.. to England.

Bookstart was established by the Booktrust in 1992 and has gifted an untold number of books to schools and parents over the last eighteen years. It was almost ritual to receive a token at school once a year and head on either to the school library to trade it in or to the local bookstore depending on its organization that year. I am not amongst the crowd crying out that this is the sign of the end days, as I believe the majority of parents can and should be investing in their own child’s future – charity stores often have cheap books and the library is both free and tends to have a collection of books they are disposing of.

However the fact that some parents are bone idle enough not to do this meant programmes such as Bookstart and its ilk were a way to encourage book reading in groups who weren’t surrounded at home by a general love of reading. Why do I think reading is important? Well because it is the reading of ideas. I believe strongly that the most important faculty of a child to nurture and encourage is their imagination. What this imagination, fueled at a young age, can turn itself towards as the child grows up is limitless. Ideas have no boundaries and a life totally of their own. For the considered cost of this programme I cannot see any justification for it being axed when our biggest performing companies are dodging billions in tax, and council services are wasting needless millions on branding. Where is the David Cameron’s fair society in that? I forgot, that was just a silly idea. And ideas have a price.

At least 1,000,000 adults who would not have normally picked up a book shall have the opportunity in 2011 on World Book Night as previously mentioned on here.

Shame about their kids.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the cancellation of the programme and the general state of book reading in the UK and abroad. If you live in America or Europe, do you have similar schemes? Have they been affected in the downturn?

Perhaps this is just not a big deal and it’s been blown out of proportion. Share your thoughts below.

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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Reading Initiatives


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A World Book Night In

WBN SUPPORTEROn Saturday, 5th March 2011, two days after World Book Day a new event has been added to book loving calendars worldwide. This is World Book Night – the biggest celebration of adult books and reading ever attempted. A night in which 1,000,000 books will be given away by readers just like you to encourage people to pick up and start reading.

I think this is a genuinely lovely campaign as the drive to get people reading shouldn’t be focused on children alone. Just think almost 1 in every 60 people in the country will be given the opportunity of reading some of the best literature around. The books can be donated by ‘givers’ to individuals, groups, libraries etc.

As well as giving books away, the campaign is providing information on accessing local libraries and reading groups and promoting such a worthy aim is always good.

The 25 books being given away this year are;

Kate Atkinson – Case Histories (Black Swan)

Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin (Virago)

Alan Bennett – A Life Like Other People’s (Faber/Profile)

John Le Carré – The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (Penguin)

Lee Child – Killing Floor (Bantam)

Carol Ann Duffy – The World’s Wife (Picador)

Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage)

Seamus Heaney – Selected Poems (Faber)

Marian Keyes – Rachel’s Holiday (Penguin/Poolbeg)

Mohsin Hamid – The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Penguin)

Ben Macintyre – Agent Zigzag (Bloomsbury)

Gabriel García Márquez – Love in the Time of Cholera (Penguin)

Yann Martel – Life of Pi (Canongate)

Alexander Masters – Stuart: A Life Backwards (Fourth Estate)

Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance (Faber)

David Mitchell – Cloud Atlas (Sceptre)

Toni Morrison – Beloved (Vintage)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of a Yellow Sun (Fourth Estate)

David Nicholls – One Day (Hodder)

Philip Pullman – Northern Lights (Scholastic)

Erich Maria Remarque – All Quiet on the Western Front (Vintage)

C.J. Sansom – Dissolution (Pan)

Nigel Slater – Toast (Fourth Estate)

Muriel Spark – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Penguin)

Sarah Waters – Fingersmith (Virago)

To read the official press announcement click here.

To register as a potential ‘giver’ of books click here.

Closer to the date I intend on posting a review of my favourite choice of the available books on their list. Of the listed books to be given away, which is your favourite? Is there a book you would have liked to have seen on the list as an example of a ‘reading-turn-on’?

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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Reading Initiatives


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