It’s World UFO Day! So which books did Rob and Kate pick as their favourite science fiction or fantasy reads? (more…)
So, sometimes you forget you already had it and you buy it again. Sometimes you get it as a gift. Sometimes there’s a special reason for it – we’ve both got more than one copy of a book. For Rob, it’s Room by Emma Donoghue and for Kate it’s Feersum Endjinn by Iain M Banks. (more…)
Onto day 3, a book with a blue cover, and Rob has chosen Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis and Kate has chosen Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks. (more…)
It was while out with friends, in a break between an impromptu game of rounders and a very British picnic involving a flask of tea, cherries and little sausages, that I heard the heart-breaking news of the death of Iain Banks. The strangeness of the contrast between this awful loss and the time and place left me baffled – numb, I took it in in silence, and then put it to one side, to deal with later. It wasn’t the moment.
Some time has passed and it’s given me a chance to consider the impact that Banks and his work have had on me as a reader, but also as a person, and a citizen of the world; universe, even. Perhaps that sounds a bit hyperbolic, but in fact, I think my reading of Banks’ incredible fiction, scientific or otherwise, has been fundamentally important. (more…)
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.
Lededje Y’breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body being witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.
It begins in the realm of the Real.
It begins with a murder.
And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself. (more…)
Rob and Kate discuss deleting words from the dictionary, looking up their meaning and made-up words!
April 23rd is no longer just St George’s Day or the anniversary of the birth and death of Shakespeare; for the last two years, it’s also been World Book Night, where a million books of all genres have been given away free to members of the public around the UK, and elsewhere.
This year, the shortlist was a little longer than in 2011, with twenty-five titles for givers and receivers to choose from. I was lucky enough to have a box full of The Player of Games by Iain M Banks to distribute, AWW originator Rob gave Misery by Stephen King, and on a very rainy evening, we took our novels to The Big BookBang at Slack Space, a not-for-profit arts space in Colchester. We had the privilege of advocating and reading passages from our books, along with eight or nine other givers. This was interspersed with an introduction to Book Crossing, plus local poets Fred Slattern and Mark Brayley, some stand-up comedy and even a local author.
Rob was first up to introduce his book. I was the last to advocate their book in person. The event was really well attended, with over a hundred people braving the dreadful weather to leave with a couple of lovely new free books, as well as some pre-loved copies from the Book Crossing tables at the back of the hall.
The full list of books runs like this:
- Pride & Prejudice Jane Austen
- The Player of Games Iain M Banks
- Sleepyhead Mark Billingham
- Notes from a Small Island Bill Bryson
- The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
- The Take Martina Cole
- Harlequin Bernard Cornwell
- Someone Like You Roald Dahl
- A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
- Room Emma Donoghue
- Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier
- The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro
- Misery Stephen King
- The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic Sophie Kinsella
- Small Island Andrea Levy
- Let the Right One In John Ajvide Lindqvist
- The Road Cormac McCarthy
- The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
- The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Maggie O’Farrell
- The Damned Utd David Peace
- Good Omens Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
- How I Live Now Meg Rosoff
- Touching the Void Joe Simpson
- I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith
- The Book Thief Markus Zusak
Kate Neilan @magic_kitten