Archive | August, 2010

Book clubs in the most unlikely places.

31 Aug

You can find people to share and discuss books with in the most unlikely of places. Today, as I spent another long morning in toddler group, I spotted an announcement.  My toddler group is starting a book club for the mum’s.

Having collected a list of books available to borrow in bulk from the local library, our first book club gathering takes place in a few weeks. The idea is to keep the minds active (because chasing a toddler around just doesn’t do that).

I’m not sure toddler group is the place to push this thing. It is intriguing, however, to learn that the library offers this service. Basically, the book club ‘organiser’ collects the books and dispatches them to the group. It is then the organiser’s responsibility to return the books after a lend of up to three months. I’m not a member of the local library, but I’m pretty certain this is a longer lend than average.

Having never been involved in a book club, I had never considered the need to borrow multiples of the same book. To be honest, I figured everyone just bought their own copies. With this new revelation, I salute the local library. If more people read because of this service, it can only be a good thing.

No matter how great the service is however, it would seem nothing is immune from cuts. Libraries in particular have already had a blow, with central government giving local authorities the right to decide if the service is required in the local area. Many libraries are closing. To find out if yours is one, read this blog. It contains a map of closures and up to date information on all library related news.

Lucky for our book club our library is not one that is currently under threat of closure. That aside, as to whether mums of young children are able to read within the time constraints of book club, only time will tell.

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Latest search by TV controllers

29 Aug

If you are like me, and hoping to break into the world of writers, this article will be of interest to you. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/aug/23/tv-controllers-plans Providing details of what the major television channel controllers are sourcing for this coming year, it is an invaluable source of information.

I for one will be considering their requirements before staring my next major script.

Nobody likes you – Marc Spitz

27 Aug

This is one for die-hard Green Day fans. Well maybe.

Following Green Day through their career from early childhood, to their Gilman Street days, finishing at the success of American Idiot; a fascinating insight into the bands turmoil with their punk/pop fans.

It has a slow start, hence why it’s one for die-hard fans. Anyone else may just lose interest within the first chapter. It does get better, needless to say the more recent happenings in the band’s history hold the most appeal. Probably because it is most fresh in the mind.

Having said that, whether you like Green Day or not, if you have ever had an interest in punk, you should find this informative. Even from just a punk progression viewpoint. This is purely about the music, and the characters that make it. Merely mentioning family life, if only for how it has affected the music. No filler, just production, promotion and the emotions that arise. Friends from past and present; and how they hold the key to a continuing successful band.

I’m probably biased. It stands to reason that I am a fan else I wouldn’t have picked up this book. But it has good interviews, fascinating insight, and simply; a well written record of punk music history.

Sphere 2006

Amazon Kindle – another e-book reader (sigh)

23 Aug

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/amazon/7959715/Amazon-Kindle-review-the-e-reader-for-the-mass-market.html

The new Amazon Kindle is available to the UK market from Friday. It is smaller, cheaper and faster than the original, with, get this, a whole months battery life.

Guess that’s my argument for forgetting to charge out the window.

But wait a minute; apps will soon make gaming on this device possible, alongside web browser, and an mp3 player. Great. Hmm, I think this tells me a lot more about these products than they are willing to admit. Sure we all want to have just the one hand-held device that can sing and dance, but these were designed for e-books, and if, as claimed, e-books are such a success, why are they looking to diversify so soon?

I’m negative, I know. But until they can fold up as small as a mobile and be used as a mobile, alongside playing games, mp3…and whatever else it is we all want these days, I just can’t see how they can last.

The Pelican Brief – John Grisham

23 Aug

When two Supreme Court Justices are murdered, law student Derby Shaw writes her own speculative brief. Unknowingly, she has come closer to the truth then she dared imagine. Passed onto the wrong hands by her boyfriend, he is shortly a victim of a bomb attack, intended for her.

On the run, Derby meets investigative reporter Gray Grantham. Hidden behind disguises, staying in countless hotels and cities, they must try to stay alive in the hope they can expose the truth.

With more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, this is another great novel by Grisham.

Arrow Publishing 1992

http://www.jgrisham.com/books/

The Firm – John Grisham

23 Aug

Mitch comes from an under privileged background. As a graduate of Harvard, he receives offers from various law firms across America. Finding himself at an interview with a firm he has never heard of, in a town he would never have considered, he is offered a contract beyond his wildest dreams.

Soon, his dream becomes a nightmare. With his office, home and car bugged, it looks as if there is no way out. Realising colleagues have been victims of murder, Mitch fears for not only his, but his family’s safety.

A slow starter, this novel will soon have you hooked, turning each page with expectation.

Random House 1991

http://www.jgrisham.com/books/

Charlie – Lesley Pearse

23 Aug

Charlie is sixteen when her father mysteriously disappears and she is left with her Mum, an apparently selfish, yet party loving woman. Yet there is more, Mum is suffering from depression. With their privileged life style it is unclear what is making her so unhappy.

Shortly after Charlies fathers disappearance, her mother is brutally attacked. Although alive, her Mum has lost all will to fight back, and wallows in her misery. At the same time, Charlie discovers that the family are bankrupt, before too long, a dark family secret begins to leak.

As the story follows Charlie fight for survival, along with her need to find out the truth, the reader follows Charlie as she learns who to trust. Unexpected twists, you want to scream at the book in the hope that Charlie won’t walk into the traps that are inevitably there.

A good page turner, ideal for a lazy day.

Penguin Books 2003

First published 1998

http://www.penguin.co.uk/static/cs/uk/0/minisites/lesleypearse/index.html