Tuesday, 29 December 2009

BOOK NEWS: JK Rowling the best selling author of the decade

The Harry Potter author has been confirmed as the biggest-selling author of the past ten years

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has topped the list of best-selling authors of the Noughties.

Following the release of her debut title, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the author went on to rack up sales in excess of 29 million copies, more than twice the number of books shifted by Da Vinci Code writer Dan Brown over the decade.

The Harry Potter series generated sales worth £225.9 million for its publishers, the end-of-decade figures from Nielsen Bookscan show, making Rowling the most profitable author, well ahead of second-placed Jamie Oliver in this respect.

However, while the usual suspects, including Terry Pratchett and John Grisham joined Rowling and Brown in the top ten sales list, there were a number of surprise inclusions.

For example, sales of 14 million helped Roger Hargreaves, the author of the Mr Men series of books, into second spot, while Jeremy Clarkson beat the best-selling US thriller writers Jeffrey Deaver and Lee Child, while Carol Voderman is placed one spot above William Shakespeare.

Just recently, the actor Michael Thompson donated his first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to the British Heart Foundation to auction off.

For full article see lovereading.co.uk

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Book Review: Between Me and the River by Carrie Host

Genre: Personal Memoir

Publisher: Harlequin (Aug 2009)

Pages: 298 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 9/10

Between Me and the River: Living Beyond Cancer: A Memoir by Carrie Host


When told at forty, with her youngest child just ten months old, that she had carcinoid tumor, Host felt as if she'd been hurled into a raging river, stripped of all forms of potential rescue. The voyage of this strong-minded, openhearted woman out of that river and onto safe shores is told with uncompromising honesty and respect for the miracles that medicine and love can work.

While dealing with practical issues such as how to find the best medical team and what to tell the children, Host also recounts the many spiritual and eye-opening lessons that made her journey so bearable: how to see what is available rather than what is absent, how to free up energy to heal by letting go of anger and fear, and how to believe in the future.

My Thoughts:

This is an incredibly moving story of how Carrie Host deals with the most devastating news anyone could have.........being told that you have cancer, particularly when your youngest child is not even one.

One minute I was in tears as she was preparing herself for how to gently tell her two teenage children of her diagnosis and the treatment she would be having, and the next I was smiling as she describes her husband, Amory, getting the car ready --

Amory is already dressed and scraping ice and snow off the car, shoveling a clear path for me. Before I can even get my coat from the closet, I hear the engine turning over .............. sadly, he has become accustomed to my waking him at all hours........ he's never annoyed or put out, he's just constantly bailing out my boat as it begins to fill with water.

Throughout the book I kept thinking how lucky she was to have such a wonderful husband and loyal friends who looked after the children at the drop of a hat, even though some of her friends did disappear as some people just couldn't cope with seeing her battle. She was incredibly philosophical about this and understanding - which to me sums up her whole attitude to her situation.

As I followed this warm, likeable and very strong woman as she dealt with her cancer, I loved the way she constantly compared her life to being in a raging river -- sometimes she felt like she was being pulled under the water, at other times she felt as if someone was pulling her out.

This is a lovely, feel good story full of hope and compassion.

Special Thanks to Carrie Host and Lisa Roe at OnlinePublicist.blogspot.com

Monday, 21 December 2009

BOOK NEWS: Enid Blyton book sells for £600

An Oxfam charity shop strikes it lucky with rare donation.

A copy of Enid Blyton's Five on a Treasure Island has been sold on eBay for nearly £600, it has been revealed.

The book, which was anonymously donated to a charity shop in Oban, Scotland, was auctioned on the internet marketplace for £568 after it was identified as valuable by staff at the town's Oxfam store.

The book is a 1942 first edition reprint and still displays the original price – a less costly five shillings (25p).

Olwen Rowlands, store manager, said that the decision to sell the book on eBay rather than in-store was a good one as it fetched more than twice its minimum price of £250.

She said: "At the last moment there were a flurry of bids and it finished at £568. That's more than double what we estimated, and around half of what we would bring in a normal week.

"That kind of money will give us a real boost heading for Christmas."

Books by Enid Blyton include The Magic Faraway Tree and Noddy and the Farmyard Muddle.

Article taken from lovereading.co.uk

Sunday, 20 December 2009

BOOK NEWS: Philip Pullman disappointed over film prospects of His Dark Materials

Philip Pullman disappointed over film prospects of His Dark Materials

The author Philip Pullman has expressed his disappointment that the second two novels in his fantasy trilogy have not yet made it to the big screen

The Golden Compass

Once more, with feeling? … A scene from The Golden Compass

The author Philip Pullman has spoken of his disappointment over the failure of Hollywood to complete the film trilogy of his series of fantasy novels, His Dark Materials.

  1. The Golden Compass
  2. Production year: 2007
  3. Country: Rest of the world
  4. Cert (UK): PG
  5. Runtime: 113 mins
  6. Directors: Chris Weitz
  7. Cast: Dakota Blue Richards, Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Nicole Kidman, Sir Ian McKellen, Tom Courtenay
  8. More on this film

The actor Sam Elliott, who starred in the 2007 adaptation of the first novel, Northern Lights (the film was called The Golden Compass), said earlier this week that books two and three were not being filmed due to a successful campaign by America's religious right. The Golden Compass grossed more than £230m around the world, but was less successful in America, where the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights called for a boycott on the grounds that Pullman's books introduced children to atheism.

Pullman, 63, told the Western Mail: "If Sam is right then I am very disappointed because it obviously would have been very good to have seen the other two films made."

Catholic League leader Bill Donahue has said he is "delighted" by the effectiveness of his religious boycott – "I knew if we could hurt the box office receipts here, it might put the brakes on the next movie."

Pullman said of Donahue's triumphalism: "It's disgusting, but only the sort of behaviour I expect of these people. It's rubbish [that the Golden Compass introduces children to atheism]."

He added that he was particularly disappointed because the film adaptation of Northern Lights finished about three quarters of the way into the book. "So there were a number of very important scenes that were shot and were very good, but we didn't see them in the film.

"Their justification was that they were going to use the scenes they'd shot, but at the start of the second film. It sort of made sense, but if what Sam Elliott says is true we won't see those scenes."

The failure to complete His Dark Materials, which would have continued with The Subtle Knife and finished with The Amber Spyglass, echoes the travails of film-maker Ralph Bakshi, who completed the first film in his two-part Lord of the Rings adaptation in 1978, but failed to find funding for the sequel due to poor box office receipts. The series was later completed - in three films - by Peter Jackson.

Article taken from theguardian.co.uk

Wednesday, 16 December 2009



Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (2007)

Pages: 432 (Paperback)

My Rating: 8/10

About the Book:

Sundial-maker Naomi Jenkins is used to living with secrets: three years ago something terrible happened to her, so terrible that she never told anyone...

Now, Naomi has another secret: the man she has fallen passionately in love with, unhappily married Robert Haworth. When Robert vanishes without warning or explanation, Naomi knows he must have come to harm. But the police are less convinced, particularly when Robert's wife insists he is not missing.

In desperation, Naomi has an idea. If she can't persuade the police that Robert is in danger, perhaps she can convince them that he is a danger to others. Then they will have to look for him - urgently. Naomi knows how to describe in detail the actions of a psychopath. All she needs to do is dig up her own traumatic past...

My Thoughts:

I read Sophie Hannah's debut novel 'Little Face' (which I loved) so I knew what to expect ....... each chapter alternating between the main protagonist and the police, the same high standard of writing, and the suspense being slowly and steadily built up.

The 2 police officers (Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer) who we were first introduced to in 'Little Face', didn't take her seriously at first until Naomi decides to take matters into her own hands with devastating consequences.

One of the things I love about Sophie Hannah's characters is that no-one is as they seem, so you're never sure what to believe and I was completely confused by the many twists and turns throughout until all the ends are neatly tied up.

Though not as gripping as 'Little Face' I was still turning each page eagerly.

Monday, 14 December 2009



An Expert in Murder by Nicola Upson 8/10

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (Audiobook) 5.5/10

Across the Pond by Storyheart 7/10

Hoodoo Sea by Rolf Hitzer 8/10

The Piano Teacher by Janice YK Lee 8.5/10

Sunstroke by Jesse Kellerman (Audiobook) 8/10

I think my favourite book this month was probably Hoodoo Sea by Rolf Hitzer ....... a paranormal fantasy sci fi kind of book that pleasantly surprised me by how good it was ...... one I would definitely recommend

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Book News: Ringing the changes: phone box becomes mini-library

Village that was set to lose its traditional red phone box and library service comes up with plan to save both ....................

phone box The inside of the converted phone box/library in Westbury-sub-Mendip. Photograph: swns.com/ SWNS

When the mobile library stopped visiting, it was a blow for the villagers of Westbury-sub-Mendip. And when they found out they could lose their beloved red phone box, there was something of an outcry.

Happily a bright spark in the Somerset village (population 800) hatched a clever plan to tackle both difficulties. Why not buy the phone box and use it to set up a mini-library?

Today, the small but perfectly formed Westbury book box was doing a brisk trade. Adults were bringing in thrillers, romances and true-crime books, leaving them on the four wooden shelves and choosing another to take home. Young book fans were hunting around in the children's section – a big red box on the floor – for Roald Dahl and Horrid Henry favourites.

Parish councillor Bob Dolby, who cleans and polishes the phone box/library with his wife, Lyn, beamed with pride. "It has really taken off," he said. "Turnover is rapid and there's a good range of books, everything from reference books to biographies and blockbusters."

The scheme was the brainchild of resident Janet Fisher, who lives opposite the phone box. She floated the idea at a village tea party in August and the concept was accepted on the spot.

So the parish council bought the box, a Giles Gilbert Scott K6 design, for £1, and Dolby screwed the four shelves into place. A local business donated a sign and a wag added a "Silence please" notice. Residents donated books to get the project going and it became an instant hit, all for an outlay of just £30.

To read the full article in The Guardian click here


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