Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Happy Days! Bookclub Week 3

Toa issued The Infects, which I've previously reviewed over here.

Bobbygrace issued Razorhurst and The Realm of Possibility.

Rose issued Ruined and Unnatural Creatures by (the best author in the history of the world ever true story) Neil Gaiman.

Teuila issued The Impossible Knife of Memory which has some cute homemade booktrailers online and as well as one from the publisher here. She also chose Just Listen by Sarah Dessen.

Isaac is cracking along with The Secret Life of Bees

Kim is currently in between books but is thinking of maybe getting a book sometime.

Mele is reading What I Was from last week as well as issuing Small Steps (review from The Guardian here), the sequel or follow up novel to Holes by Louis Sachar.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Cover flip & Maureen Johnson

Hey everyone! Remember last week when we had a bit of a chat about what makes a book look like a 'girl' book and a 'boy' book? Check out this article about coverflips- redesigning covers to comment on the way the books are presented.

Here's an interview that I heard on National Radio with Maureen Johnson who called for the coverflips on twitter. I have read a couple of her horror novels set in London, and would recommend them.

Have a look at your current novel- could it do with a flip?

Ms M

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Staff Picks- Mr Harris

Mr Harris is reading The Little Book of Talent. It's about sport but it goes much wider than that. It's about skills and how we learn. In everything we do there are two types of skills. First things first: Are you born with talent or do you develop it? If you develop it, where does this happen? Daniel Coyle splits these skills into hard and soft.

Hard skills are skills that to be proficient at you need to be consistent. There's no dynamic change. Examples would be a golf swing; playing the correct chord; writing the letter R. These require repetition to obtain proficiency.

Soft skills require change and adaptation. They are dynamic. Coyle calls these the '3 R's': read, recognise, react. These need to be learned through trial and error. Examples would be a novelist shaping the twist of a story; a singer twisting the tune to elicit emotion; a CEO reading the room.

Coyle argues that you need to build the hard skills first and then refine with the soft skills on top.

Here's a slideshare with the key points from the book.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Book list challenge

We discussed some booklists that might be good to read through. Salome suggested everything that was in Perks of Being a Wallflower.

In the novel, Charlie's teacher, Bill, assigns him various books to read. Charlie describes them all as his favorites.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Stranger by Albert Camus
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

The book also references a book of poems by E. E. Cummings, The Mayor of Castro Street by Randy Shilts, a book by Anne Rice, and an autobiography of a woman who was a character in Reds, most likely Emma Goldman. The poem "A Person /A Paper /A Promise" by Dr. Earl Reum is also mentioned.

Ms Wethey and Ms Metcalfe are (slight) Gilmor Girls fans. Here is the list from that TV series. A challenge!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Happy Coconut Vanilla Cupcake Day!

Precious has just issued Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.

Rachel is reading Misty Falls by Joss Stirling. Here's a competition from the author's page to win a copy of the novel!

Lana finished Unbroken by Paula Morris, the second in this series. Today she chose I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

Kim read Enmity- still not sure how she feels about it. Now she’s falling back into love with John Green.

Isaak just read Burning Secrets and is just issued Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figel and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

Mele is getting Spark by Rachel Craw and is currently reading What I Was by Meg Rosoff.

Ms Metcalfe is reading Neuromancer by William Gibson.

Ms Wethey is unsure what to read- you should all email her at to give her suggestions!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wish You Were Italian *cough*

My latest book-crush has been on 'Wish You Were Italian' by Kristin Rae. And yes, it does sound terribly cliché, but as they say, you can't judge a book my it's cover. When I first saw this book in the library I only got it to pass the time, but by the first chapter I was totally intrigued. 

A 17(ish) year old girl, Pippa, is sent to Italy over the summer holidays to go to an art history class by her mother, but all she really wants to do is spend time with her best friend. When she gets to Italy, she finds out her friend has created a project for her to do each day, like to write down 10 goals she wants to achieve. Just for fun, Pippa includes a goal of falling in love with an Italian guy.
With no parents and a large stack of cash, courtesy of her father, Pippa realises there is no actual need for her to go to her art class, so she decides to explore the beautiful country of Italy. She makes a friend, Darren, on her first day in Rome and somehow she runs into him everywhere she goes, but her attention is compromised by a gorgeous Italian, just what she was looking for in her goal. 
She ends up learning a lot about herself, love, and life throughout her 3 months in Italy.

I think this book is absolutely wonderful; it made me laugh, cry (no joke,) and fall in love with all the characters *cough* Darren *cough*.
I would recommend this book to everyone who wants a not-quite-cliché love story, or just to get beautiful imagery of Italian scenery.

Kim Darbyshire

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Today's reading list of awesome people

Kim is reading Enmity  by E.J Andrews. She's not yet sure if she likes it or not.

Lana is reading Unbroken by Paula Morris. She really enjoyed the first book in the series and is happy there is a sequel.

Racheal is reading The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. She just started, so we'll see what she thinks next week.

Mele is reading Head Over Heart by Collette Victor. It's a love story and she likes it.

Ms Metcalfe is reading Catcher In The Rye  by J.D. Salinger because she finally feels like an alienated teenager.