Archive for Big Readers A place for discussing books and all things bookish.
 

The free forums are now under new ownership, a full announcement will be made shortly

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Things that don't fit anywhere else
Rebecca

World Book Night

I was surprised not to find a thread regarding World Book Night...or have I just missed it? Or shall I begin?  Smile
TheRejectAmidHair

This one has passed me by, I'm afraid. What's World Book Night? For many of us here - every night is Book Night anyway!  Very Happy
Rebecca

"The inaugural World Book Night will take place on Saturday, 5 March 2011, two days after World Book Day.

With the full support of the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, the Independent Publishers Guild, the Reading Agency with libraries, World Book Day and the BBC, one million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland – and you could be one of them!"

Here's the link  http://www.worldbooknight.org/
Evie

I considered applying to take part, but was disappointed by the 25 books chosen.
Hector

As a sort of lead up to this, the beeb are to do a form of desert island discs for books (with, err, Anne Robinson hosting).

Some of the other 'Books on the BBC' programmes look good though:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-...1/jan/23/anne-robinson-bbc2-books
Rebecca

I did apply to take part; I was a little miffed when the deadline was extended!
I like the idea of My Life in Books but would have preferred a different host, although, Ms Robinson may do a fine job.
I've been searching for quite a while for details of the re-run of Faulks on Fiction so I don't miss it. I watch very little TV so I don't see on-screen ads. I had no idea about "Books on the BBC" year...now I'm like a child waiting for Christmas!  Surprised)
Evie

I too like the idea of My Life in Books, but would also have chosen a different host!  But will certainly be watching.  I haven't really liked any of the presenters of Desert Island Discs, but still love the programme - it depends more on the guest, I think, than the presenter, so as long as Anne Robinson doesn't get in the way too much, it might be good!
Rebecca

A Fine Balance heading my way. This will be a real challenge; mine is not a literary town and so far I have found it to be narrow minded, so maybe this is just the place to do this
Sandraseahorse

Re:  World Book Night. I've just heard that I've been allocated the Alan Bennett book.  (I asked for Nigel Slater's "Toast" but this was over-subscribed.)

Two problems:  first, my book group has already read it so I can't see myself handing out copies there.
Second, it appears that you don't just have to hand out the books but be around for publicity on the night of 5 March.  This might clash with family commitments.

Yasmin, do you have any idea of what we are expected to do?  I find the communication rather hazy.
Chibiabos83

I looked at some of the paraphernalia but didn't quite understand what was required of one. So you get 25 (?) copies of the same book, then? I imagined getting one copy of each book and being able to give people a choice. I had pictured approaching a man in Cambridge city centre and saying "Do you happen to have Toast?". But if it's over-subscribed he may be handing out Marian Keyes instead.
Rebecca

From the WBN website I knew I had to choose a book which I wanted others to read, something which had had an impact on me and would do the same for them. With regard to actually handing them out, as yet I don't know if there will be restrictions or requirements to fulfill. I shall wait to be told.

I know some participants will be giving their books en masse to an entire school class or reading group. Some people plan to stand on a busy corner or monument and hand theirs out. I'm not sure, yet, how I shall give mine; definitely a couple of copies each to the local secondary schools and the local library, assuming this meets with WBN criteria.
Castorboy

Intriquing idea so I couldn't help noticing that in the WBN choices http://www.worldbooknight.org/titles/ that I have read three of the novels and that two more by Alan Bennett and David Mitchell are on my TBR list.
Julia

greetings to all - my first post! I was hunting to see if anyone else has posted anything about World Book Night, as I am not sure if there are any plans to provide means for recording what happens to these books and feedback after the event.
I was interested to see that a couple of contributors mentioned Nigel Slater's "Toast". Apologies to you - I was one of those selected to give out this title! I was pleased as it allows me (potentially) to achieve something that I wanted to do ever since first reading this title some years ago.  I remember laughing out loud at a bit about his Mum deeming Waggon wheels too common to allow in the house. Laughing, because my Mum used to hold exactly the same prejudice. Mentioned this to a friend brought up at the other end of the country and she said her Mum had also banned them as being common. Ever since then I have wondered... was this a universal thing, did many Mums in the 70s attribute social status to random foods, and were Waggon wheels banned in the kitchens the length of ths country? I might just get a chance to find out!
Chibiabos83

Welcome! I hope you enjoy finding your way around the board. I'm not interested in giving away copies of Toast, but I would dearly love to receive one, so if you have any left over at the end... Wink
Evie

Yes, welcome to the board, Julia!

Chibiabos, I wish I'd known about you and Toast - can't remember what I did with my copy, but I gave it away.  I enjoyed some of the bits about food, as it was exactly the era of my growing up, but it really put me off Nigel Slater.  It's quite an unpleasant book, to me at least, and hugely self-centred.

Sorry, Julia, you clearly love it!  I know lots of people do, but I was glad to get rid of my copy.  Then again, I don't much like biographies or (especially) autobiographies, as a general rule.
Chibiabos83

Oh, I didn't get interested in it until a couple of months ago when I watched the TV adaptation, which I really enjoyed. I'm sure we've got a copy in the family I can borrow, and I've got many other books to be getting on with, as you can imagine...
Sandraseahorse

I applied to distribute "Toast" but I've been allocated the Alan Bennett instead.
If anyone wants a copy and lets me know, I'll try to send them a copy.
Castorboy

Sandraseahorse wrote:
I applied to distribute "Toast" but I've been allocated the Alan Bennett instead.
If anyone wants a copy and lets me know, I'll try to send them a copy.

Please Miss can I have one! If only I lived in the UK.....................
Julia

Does everyone stay up through the night? Some very late night replies!

Yes I loved Toast - but nobody has to agree with me - I am a member of a very longstanding book group, and well used to hearing frank exchanges of opinion!!
Actually the main reason I loved Toast was probably very personal - his life story mirrors my own very closely so it was very amusing. My own Mum held the same mad prejudices and the present incumbant  - well lets just say she prices everything in the room whenever she visits. I find humour the best way forward! As I said I was also intrigued by this whole idea of attributing social status to random foods.
I am planning on giving my books out within some of the groups I attend with some seeded further away - although I am trying to hit people who experienced the 70s personally. I was also thinking of attaching a sticker requesting they keep passing the book on and if possible, contribute to a blog to share experiences and reminisce a little. The World Book night site isn't very clear as yet as to whether or not this will be possible through a central site, or if I will have to put one together myself.
Green Jay

I've already got a copy of Toast and enjoyed it very much. But then it was my era and it reminded me of lots of food - and attitudes - I had forgotten.
Evie

Yes, the food bits were great - definitely my era too, though I am afraid my mother was common...or at least, she gave us Waggon Wheels in our packed lunches!  They were cheap and big...  :0)

I love Nigel Slater's attitude to cooking, but haven't been able to watch him in person since reading that book - I still love his cookery books though!
Rebecca

Hello Julia

I'm giving away A Fine Balance
blackberrycottage

Quote:
They were big
......but not as big as they used to be.

I can remember a big map of America showing all the indigeneous tribes and their locations which I got by sending off tokens from Waggon Wheels
Evie

Yes, *were* big, as I wrote - they are much smaller now - I am talking c.1972 - definitely bigger back then!  Not that I've had one for ages - do they still make them?  I used to love 'em.
Mikeharvey

Penguin biscuits and Crunchie as well as Waggon Wheels are definitely smaller than they used to be. Or have I got bigger?
Julia

I think that Mars bars and Crunchies are supposed to be 20% smaller than they used to be as a means of holding the price rather than charging more for them - mind you I probably need to eat 20% less than I used to!

Have to say Yasmin - A Fine Balance is a far better book - a haunting book it made a profound impact on our group and was a contender for one of the best reads we have had - I don't think there was a consensus on the winner but a lot of amicable argument!
county_lady

Everything is smaller now. Confused
I enjoyed Wagon Wheels from my junior school tuck shop (in the 50s!).
Twenty years later when my sons ate them I thought they tasted awful, very much like cardboard. But someday I  do very much want to read Toast.

edited to add link http://www.nicecupofteaandasitdown.com/biscuits/previous.php3?item=18
Evie

I love that website, county lady - thanks for the reminder!  I think it was Tristans Ghost or David McCabe or someone who mentioned it aeons ago.

And that is as perfect a description of a Waggon Wheel as you could hope to find!  Fabulous.

The very idea of a 'biscuit of the week' is perfect too.
Evie

PS - do read the bit about the Bourbon biscuit too, two biscuits down - wonderful!
county_lady

Two more pages for browsing

http://news.uk.msn.com/features/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=156329333
http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/seasons/books/sorry about the main pic on this one.
county_lady

Today my husband was a lucky visitor to our village hall where he was handed a copy of Alan Bennett's A Life Like Other People.
Have any big readers fared as well?
Rebecca

There were no events locally and this isn't the sort of town where we could give away books in the street or pub without finding them in the gutter or bins five minutes later. So, I still have 48 books to give away. I feel a bit deflated but hey ho.

I'm going to give a couple to the local library manager who had wanted to support WBN but although she submitted the library details they got lost in the system (I shall liaise with her next year); the rest I shall give/leave as and when in the BookCrossing spirit.

Bit of a non-event on the night but maybe I'll be able to take more time talking to people over the next few weeks as I give them a book and I'm going to make sure every book counts  Very Happy
mike js

Best wishes with the book distribution, Yasmin. I managed to miss any events locally.
Evie

Yasmin, it's a shame the evening wasn't more exciting for you - but I hope you can find some good ways to give your books away over the coming days and weeks.  Like birthdays, it's fun to make it go on longer than the day itself.
Green Jay

I was given a copy of Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes  by the man who was working in the coffee shop on Haywards Heath station! He saw I was reading a book at one of his tables and said he had been left this one but would not read it himself. Nor would I but I said thanks anyway. I will have to Book-cross it, I think.
Mikeharvey

I saw some of BBC's coverage of World book Night on Saturday and thought it a damp squib.  I see what Evie means about Sue Perkins whose relentless facetiousness became wearisome in 'The Books We RELLY Read'.
Castorboy

WBN did not make our national news bulletins as they are still concentrating on the 'quake which as of now has reached 166 dead and at least 10,000 houses scheduled for demolition.
However some print firms, a TV channel and a paper have sponsored a  NZ Book Month where each resident is receiving two vouchers through the post giving NZ$5 per voucher - about two pounds -  off the cost of any new book. I think it the first time this has happened on a nationwide basis.
Evie

We are still getting reports on the earthquake, Castorboy - it's not forgotten.
Castorboy

Castorboy wrote:
Sandraseahorse wrote:
I applied to distribute "Toast" but I've been allocated the Alan Bennett instead.
If anyone wants a copy and lets me know, I'll try to send them a copy.

Please Miss can I have one! If only I lived in the UK.....................

Hi Sandra, just checking if you received my PM last week. If not then I will re-send it. Cheers
Sandraseahorse

Yes, I did.  I posted the Bennett  today. (Not sure how long the post will take).
Castorboy

Sandraseahorse wrote:
Yes, I did.  I posted the Bennett  today. (Not sure how long the post will take).

Thanks again - it should only take about five days - there doesn't seem to be old-fashioned sea mail any more.
storrrm

Despite registering for this almost immediately, I was informed that the book I had chosen was over-subscribed. Then a week before the event I got an email asking me to be a reserve giver. Long story short I didn't get any books until the actual day so had no time to plan anything. So now i've got 40 copies of The Reluctant Fundamentalist still to give away! Still considering how to distribute them, but overall the organisation for World Book Night was  poor to say the least. Anyway if anyone here wants a copy you're welcome to have one. I'm thinking of picking random addresses from the phone book and just sending them out!
Rebecca

I think the logistics of delivering a million books to twenty thousand different people caused more problems than anticipated; I know some people had to cancel planned events as their books didn't arrive.

I was lucky, I received my chosen book nine days before the night. The problem I had was total apathy in my area. I still have most of my books as there were no local events on the night, but I'm now able to take time talking to the people I'm giving them to, which I'm enjoying.

Next year, if I'm selected as a giver again and I really do hope I am, I shall organise something myself.
Green Jay

Yasmin wrote:
Next year, if I'm selected as a giver again and I really do hope I am, I shall organise something myself.


Is there going to be a next year, or was the million books a one-off event?
Castorboy

Thanks Sandra, the book arrived a few hours ago - only four days in the mail! I like the idea of registering the copy on the website so that there is a record of where it goes, hopefully around the world! Don't know about writing reviews and then connecting with other readers - keeping up with this Board is enough for me. Unless worldbooknight.org would like to sponsor us! Cheers
Sandraseahorse

Thanks, Castorboy.  I'm pleased it arrived so promptly.  You may find it difficult to register on the World Book Night website - that seems to be having problems.  I still haven't managed to register with it  - but the WBN Facebook page is easier to access.  I've also registered with bookcrossing - so it will be fun trying to keep tabs on the books.

I hope you enjoy the book.
Castorboy

The earlier posts on this topic about biscuits reminds that there is a NZ writer, Sara-Kate Lynch, who has titles such as Blessed are the Cheesemakers, By Bread Alone, Eating with the Angels not forgetting Stuff it!: a wicked approach to dieting.
I haven't read her but she may bring .........food for thought!
Sandraseahorse

I see  from the World Book Night website  a World Book Night has been scheduled for 2012 - this time the date shifted from March to April 23.  (I'll leave to to readers to spot the significance of that date).

The organisers say that they want to leave a bigger gap between World Book Day (aimed at children) and WBN as there was some confusion this year.

Also, to generate more interest and publicity, from June this year they will be asking the public to nominate which books they would like to see on the give away list.  The top 100 list will be drawn up - I presume a panel of worthies will then select from that list.  Also, one book included will be from the Nobel Prize for Literature winner for 2011.  

Has anyone any ideas of which books they would nominate for the give away in 2012?
Castorboy

I would like to see the soon to be published A Man of Parts by David Lodge and anything by Jane Gardam on the new list. And one of Anthony Powell's novels, maybe one from his monumental A Dance to the Music of Times series. He was an admirer of Marcel Proust and the following year, 1913, is the 100th anniversary of the publication of his Du cote de chez Swann novel.
county_lady

I'd like to recommend Henry James' The Golden Bowl or Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys.

And Leila Aboulela's book The Translator would complement this year's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

BTW I've ordered a copy of David Lodge's Man of Parts, both the paperback and hardback editions were published here last month.
Caro

Well, I loved Anansi Boys but I wouldn't thank you for The Golden Bowl!  

Castorboy, I have read a couple of Sarah-Kate Lynch's books - they are hugely entertaining.  I suppose they fit under the genre of chick lit but as I haven't read much of this, I am not sure if the humour of Lynch's books are typical or not.  Very funny, food-oriented, sort of romances.  Though the romance seems to be very secondary to the themes of sexual tolerance, food enjoyment, and feminine solidarity (makes them sound 'worthy' but they are anything but!).  My husband has really enjoyed them too.  Nothing wrong with her writing either.

Cheers, Caro.
Sandraseahorse

My suggestions are:
The Diary of a Nobody - George and Weedon Grossmith
or a classic P.G. Wodehouse
"Cider with Rosie" Laurie Lee
"An Equal Music" Vikram Seth

BTW I see that a letter of protest has been sent to the BBC over its coverage of World Book Night.  Authors, including Iain M. Banks and crime writer S.J. Bolton, say that the programmes "The Books We Really Read" and "New Novelists" were sneering and counter-productive to the aim of the campaign to get people reading more.

I didn't see either of the programmes but I know people have complained on this board about Sue Perkins' irritating presentation.
TheRejectAmidHair

Sandraseahorse wrote:
BTW I see that a letter of protest has been sent to the BBC over its coverage of World Book Night.  Authors, including Iain M. Banks and crime writer S.J. Bolton, say that the programmes "The Books We Really Read" and "New Novelists" were sneering and counter-productive to the aim of the campaign to get people reading more.


Is that what the programme was called? Books We Really Read? What a curious title! I wonder what the books are that we don't really read!  Smile
Rebecca

Here's the BBC item:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13128769
TristansGhost

Anyone dislike the Sue Perking program on books?

I see it was covered in the media a bit at the time but thought she was a bit pretentious talking down on best sellers. Not exactly like she a cultural heavy weight hereself (e.g. voice over for Don't Scare the Hare!?) and given and after her sneering tones (as it was reported) it turns out she likes a lot of popular fiction.

I lean more to popular fiction but do read literary books and think her program was a real waste and missed opportunity to encourage people to read.

Edit: Reading back I see a few comments


I did enjoy the Anne Robinson series in which Sue Perkins did come across  much better.
Evie

I think Sue Perkins was taking a stance - that many people *do* look down on popular fiction, and yet it's....popular!  She had her own prejudice, and was trying to find out why certain books and authors are so popular - and she gave the authors she interviewed plenty of time and space to talk about their work.  And in one or two cases to shoot themselves in the foot...

She is not one of my favourite presenters, and I didn't like everything about the programme, but I thought it was much more interesting to take the stance she did, and be a bit provocative, rather than just try to give some neutral overview.

On the subject of the Anne Robinson programmes - AR was on the radio the other day, on Chris Evans' show I think, and said they are making ten more of those programmes for the autumn, which is great news - I really enjoyed that series, and am glad it might become a regular thing.
TristansGhost

I wouldn't mind the Sue Perkins programme so much if it was out on it's own rather than part of the day to try and encourage people to read books when that programme could have done the exact opposite for people whose curiosity had been raised.

Great news that the AR book program will be back, and so soon.
Ann

I missed the Sue Perkins programme. Can anyone kindly give me a link to it? Was it on the Beeb?
Evie

It was part of the World Book Night programmes - not sure it is still linkable!
Ann

Sorry I asumed it was something new I'd missed this week. Don't worry about it.
I was interested as I think there is something interesting  to discuss of the  importance of popular fiction - not all of which is rubbish. I have an enormous respect for well written light fiction, like Wodehouse for example, which I suspect is much harder to write than it looks.
Evie

She was talking about the kind of books you get at airports, with the lettering embossed in gold, etc.  She did go and talk to Dick Francis's son, and talked to someone - James Patterson, I think - who said something utterly ridiculous about literary fiction that I now forget but which made him look a fool.  I think she also talked to Jilly Cooper (who is of course a very intelligent woman and no fool!).  

Wodehouse is light, but he is highbrow really, compared with current chicklit, etc.  I understand - from Stephen Fry on Twitter - that Terry Wogan is currently making a TV programme about Wodehouse - sounds interesting!
TristansGhost

Didn't pick up James Patterson was quoted. He would been the best argument against popular fiction. The one book of his I read is the worst book I've ever read. A friend I respect said his book are usually better, but that's put me off.
Sandraseahorse

Anybody any thoughts about the books selected for the 2012 World Book Night (they are currently on the WBN website)?

Last year some of the elderly people I gave the Alan Bennett biography to said that they found it depressing with his description of his mother's dementia, etc. I put on the WBN's Facebook page that many of the recipients are likely to be elderly people living alone and the feedback was that they wanted a read that was light-hearted and life affirming.  Such were my powers of persuasion that WBN has responded with a list that includes the dystopian "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King's "Misery".  (Actually I rather enjoyed "Misery" but it's not exactly a light read.)
Chibiabos83

I think it's a pretty good list. I haven't compared them like for like with the 2011 books, but my instinct is that it's an improvement. Hard to cover all the bases, but plenty of books I wouldn't mind giving a go. Though I have nightmares of ending up with The Alchemist.

Here's the list:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Vintage)
The Player of Games by Iain M Banks (Little, Brown)
Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (Transworld)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins)
The Take by Martina Cole (Headline)
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell (HarperCollins)
Someone Like You by Roald Dahl (Penguin)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Penguin)
Room by Emma Donoghue (Pan Macmillan)
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (Little, Brown)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)
Misery by Stephen King (Hodder)
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Transworld)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (Headline)
Let the Right One In by John Ajvde Lindqvist (Quercus)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Pan Macmillan)
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Vintage)
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell (Headline)
The Damned Utd by David Peace (Faber)
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (Transworld)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (Penguin)
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (Vintage)
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Vintage)
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak (Transworld)
county_lady

Not a bad list, I'm so glad to see 'Good Omens' is there. Wink
  In 2011 hubby was given the Alan Bennett which we both enjoyed even though I already owned the full edition in hardback. This year the book by Iain M Banks interests me as I think the only thing I've read of his was a random(?) short story.
Ann

I read 'Room' this year and found it excellent. It is one of those books I would like to read again which may mean I will buy it  sunny

       Big Readers Forum Index -> Things that don't fit anywhere else
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum