So if you haven’t heard of the Not the Booker Prize, here’s a quick summary for you… Not the Booker was created as a counterpoint against the Man Booker prize by The Guardian – with the same selection criteria as the Booker – but with one key aim: to be a truly democratic, all-encompassing prize. Books can be any length and any genre, and are voted for by the public.
Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman
Grimm Tales: For Young and Old by Philip Pullman
Penguin Classics: hardback published 2012: 421 pages
In this enchanting selection of fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman presents his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm in a ‘clear as water’ retelling, making them feel fresh and unfamiliar with his dark, distinctive voice. Continue reading
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Gollancz: paperback published 2011: 390 pages
This is London as you’ve never seen it before. A city full of wonders and terrors.
London is a city of ancient secrets, a city haunted by its past. A city where you are never far away from the magic.
And now meet the person who will show you the city you never suspected…
My name is Peter Grant, and I used to be a probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth.
My story really starts when I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead.
There is something dark at the heart of the city I love… Continue reading
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic: paperback published 2011: 458 pages
May the odds be ever in your favour.
“If we burn, you burn with us”
Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But she’s still not safe. A revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans – everyone except Katniss.
And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle. Katniss must become their Mockingjay – the symbol of rebellion – no matter what the personal cost. Continue reading
Headline review: paperback published 2005, 194 pages
In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall. Young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester, but Victoria is as cold and distant as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky one evening. For the prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the star for his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the town’s ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining…
Okay, so where do I begin?
It’s nothing like the film, so don’t even go there. It’s not quite a short story and not quite a novel. I love Neil Gaiman – American Gods and Neverwhere are two of the best books I’ve read – and to be fair, this is a good Neil Gaiman. But I’m really not sure what to think of it. I think because I saw the film I was hoping to read about the cross-dressing Captain Shakespeare of the sky-ship (as played by Robert De Niro), but this never happened. But then Tristran is better, and there are other characters to fall in love with. So… Hm… I’m not quite sure what I think yet.
Next book: I couldn’t help it – I’ve got to go back and find out about my Starks… so it’s A Storm of Swords: 1: Steel and Snow I go. I will eventually emerge from my Seven Kingdoms cocoon, but I’m not quite ready yet!
Harper Voyager: Paperback published 1998: 873 pages
The price of glory.
From the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns as pretenders to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms prepare to stake their claims. As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky – a comet the colour of blood and flame – five factions struggle for control of a divided land. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory is measured in blood.
I will warn you now – there is no escaping how awesome this series is. If you’re a fantasy writer, just avoid writing whilst you read these as you will inevitably feel inadequate. If you’re a socialite, just accept you will become a hermit for the entire series. Whatever you’re doing, stop right now. Go and read this series. Immediately. In fact, I will not even write a review for it because that means you might find an excuse not to read it. Just go and read it. Go, go, go!
Next book: I can only express the sorrow I have at not owning the next book in this series. Instead, I am indulging in some lighthearted Neil Gaiman – Stardust. After the intensity of A Clash of Kings, I think I need a break!
World Book Night is now in its second year. For those of you not in the know, WBN is one night where volunteers hand out free copies of books. Not just any book – there is a selection of books chosen. These are carefully picked as “excellent reads” to encourage a new generation of readers and celebrate the joys of reading and literature and everything that goes with it (yayness). Each volunteer aims to give away 48 books of 25 chosen titles. Well, without further ado, the titles have been chosen…
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Player of Games by Iain M Banks
Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Take by Martina Cole
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell
Someone Like You by Roald Dahl
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Room by Emma Donoghue
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Misery by Stephen King
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Let the Right One In by John Ajvde Lindqvist
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell
The Damned Utd by David Peace
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak
I have read a total of 6 books from this list (woefully shameful considering these books have been selected as the “best selection to illustrate modern literature”). How many have you read? There is one book on the list that I’m ridiculously excited about… you may have guessed which one it is. I loved The Book Thief so much, that when I had finished it, I literally turned it over and started again because I couldn’t bear for it to end. Sensational. And I’m also really pleased to see Neil Gaiman up there – the guy is literally a genius. You can follow him on Twitter too.
If you had 48 copies of a book to giveaway, what would you choose and why?
World Book Night is on 23rd April 2012, and you can sign up to be a volunteer here.