The true university these days is a collection of books.
-Thomas Carlyle

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

This lovely picture is a still from the current movie version of A Christmas Carol. It is probably one of the most well known Christmas stories (apart from the one in the bible) and is certainly one of my favourites, although I have never read the original. I have loved all of the different films, the Alistair Sim movie, the Disney cartoon, the Muppets, the musical version. I have still to see the Jim Carrey one above, although the 3D graphics look amazing.
Here's wishing you all have a very Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year, and that you get to enjoy one version or another of this tale, or some other favourite, over the holidays.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

A bookish gift idea.

I wanted to share a gift idea coming up to Christmas. It is something that I used last year and is a great way to solve a gift problem while promoting reading and sharing books.
BookCrossing is a website that encourages you to leave your used books in a public place for someone else to find them, read them, and then leave them for someone else. By registering the book with the website you can keep track of the books you have released or encountered because you can log your thoughts about the book in question through its own unique number.
Anyway, BookCrossing sells starter packs online, which include attractive bookplates to write your books number on it, bookmarks and sticky notes to let whoever finds your book know that it is a travelling book and they can take it home and read it for free. A starter pack to accompany 25 books costs £6.12 or $9.95.
I think the pack makes a nice gift on its own, but accompanying a new book to read it makes a really fun and unusual present that doesn't cost the earth. BookCrossing also sells other accessories to help you share your used books.
You can find out about the packs and other merchandise by going to their website and visiting their supply store, or by clicking on the link below...
Here's to promoting reading, books and literacy for Christmas!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

November Roundup

This wonderful photo of the Menin Gate in Belgium this memorial day was taken for The Guardian by Brian Harris. I find the days around Remembrance Day very moving and emotional, especially when there are fewer veterans left, and hardly any from the Great War. I am a big fan of the poetry from World War One, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Here is my summary of reading from November...

Read - One and a bit books
Completed - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Currently Reading - Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
TBR Pile - currently on 72 (according to Good Reads), with 2 more added...
An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
The Light of Day by Graham Swift
Wishlist Additions -
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Bloom's Literary Guide to London
Discoveries -
Halcyon Books in Greenwich, London
Events -
Seeing the wonderful Con O'Neill in Prick Up Your Ears at The Comedy Theatre in London's West End.

Christmas is coming and I've got a big old tome to get through for my course in January. Best get to it...

Hay on Wye

Hay on Wye