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“Let us read, and let us dance;
these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Arcadia LBC - The New York Trilogy Write Up - GUEST

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Arcadia LBC

Venue: Arcadia Bar
Date:  Sunday, 21st of October 2012
Time:  5pm - 7pm


Discussed:

THE NEW YORK TRILOGY
PAUL AUSTER

* * * * * S P O I L E R S * * * * *
* * * * * S P O I L E R S * * * * *
 * * * * * S P O I L E R S * * * * * 
BLURB
Paul Auster's signature work, The New York Trilogy, consists of three interlocking novels: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room; haunting and mysterious tales that move at the breathless pace of a thriller.

This is definitely one of the more outlandish books we’ve read since I started coming to book club. The three ‘connected’ storylines seemed to fuel a very disconnected discussion – I’ve tried to give it some coherence but we spent a lot of time jumping around from topic to topic, looping and backtracking and generally nattering away to our heart’s content.

As a very general rule, most of the group seemed fairly apathetic about the first book, City of Glass, either loved or hated Ghosts, number two, and felt the most engaged by the third book, The Locked Room. We felt that overall, whilst we could appreciate the ways in which the books were connected, we wanted a little more information and a more satisfying resolution at the end to bring everything together even more. However, please bear in mind that for every such statement I make in this review, there was always at least one person who disagreed vehemently!

One of the themes of the book seems to be names and identity. We saw some characters with the same names, and others that went by a series of different names. One character had a little discussion with himself about umbrellas, and whether a broken umbrella, which doesn’t fulfil the function of an umbrella, could still be called an umbrella. (The general consensus at book club was, yes, it would be called a broken umbrella. Duh.) The last few pages of the book state that these three stories are essentially the same story at different levels of awareness/understanding (or something like that) which would
imply that various characters in each story should have equivalents in the other stories, but we didn’t really get into that beyond identifying the fact that in each story there
was a detached puppet master with shady or unclear motives. (On the topic of identity, several people stated that having the author appear in his own book once came across as
egotistical and arrogant. Having four characters named Paul Auster was just beyond a joke.)

One thing that most people seemed to like about the book was the regular asides, telling little stories apparently unconnected to the narrative read by the characters in books or newspapers. We found them diverting and often intriguing, and one in particular (about a man who leaves his wife, essentially as a practical joke, and doesn’t return until many years later after she has held his funeral) caught our attention – it foreshadowed the
overarching narrative of the third book quite neatly and served as a nice example of the way the stories intertwined in so many ways. Another such interesting story concerned the building of the Brooklyn Bridge – we had all wondered whether that was true when we read it.(LBC - TURNS OUT IT WAS)

Other things which we felt were features of all three books were the unreliable passage of time, characters losing themselves in obsession, writing – including notebooks and reports – and men abandoning women. We didn’t feel keen on Auster’s portrayal of
women in general, actually, and noticed a few offensive phrases. Although some found this quite organic, and in keeping with the stylistic play on the detective novel, others felt certain words jarred a little. Most of us agreed that the women featuring in the book felt quite unrealistic and idealised, in particular Sophie, who despite a three month old child and a missing husband has a body to die for, along with being graceful, kind and understanding.

We didn’t seem to discuss City of Glass too much, confirming initial impressions that people weren’t really too fussed about it. We wondered whether there had ever actually been a case, or whether it was wishful thinking on behalf of Daniel Quinn, the unfulfilled protagonist. Although the plot was quite interesting, we didn’t feel that the characters particularly engaged us, and we didn’t think this first book was very memorable.

Ghosts was a lot more polarising. Some found it fascinating, with an interesting concept and a clever way of playing on the detective novel archetypes; it had a very visual New York detective genre feel, and maintained a mystery successfully, but the mystery ended up to be something completely pointless. Others, however, thought the colours as names were a bit gimmicky and had trouble assigning any significance to the various colours.

We weren’t sure in the end whether Black and White were the same person – had Black, masquerading as White, hired Blue to watch him so that he could feel he had a purpose to his life?

The Locked Room seemed to be received quite well. We felt it had much more in the way of plot, and that the characters (particularly the unnamed narrator and the absent Fanshawe) were developed really well. We universally cringed at the hugely
inappropriate and unbelievable sex scene between the narrator and Fanshawe’s mother, but we were definitely intrigued by developments and we really wanted to know what happened to Fanshawe. We did agree though that there was a lack of resolution within the story and that desire to know what happened was left unsatisfied!

We agreed that the three books could stand alone quite easily, although possibly Ghosts would feel a little thin. Some even thought they would enjoy the stories better had they
read them in separate volumes a few months apart. Because most of us had read them in a single book, we thought of it as a book with three parts; perhaps thinking of it as three separate books that interlink would have helped us to consider them separately.
This might have got the book some higher ratings, as it seemed like the majority of the frustration with this book came from the lack of resolution and connection between the stories.  

Score  
5/10


Book the Next:
 
HARD TIMES
CHARLES DICKENS

Venue: Arcadia Bar
Date:  Sunday 18th of November 2012
Time:  5:00pm - 7:00pm


For further details, please email me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com or tweet me @LeedsBookClub!

Contact the bar on @ArcadiaBar

And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #ArcadiaLBC!


* * * * * 
Arcadia LBC


21 - Nov - Hard Times - Charles Dickens
20 - Oct - The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster GUEST - @CultureLEEDS
19 - Sep - The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins GUEST - @CultureLEEDS
18 - Aug - The Princess Bride - William Goldman
17 - Jul - A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini GUEST
16 - Jun - Cry the Beloved Country - Alan Paton
15 - May - 1984 - George Orwell GUEST - @CultureLEEDS
14 - Apr - BloodChild and Other Stories - Octavia Butler
13 - Mar - The Year of the Hare - Arto Paasilinna
12 - Feb - Heat Wave - Richard Castle
11 - Jan - The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint - Brady Udall
10 - Nov - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
* * * * *
Book Club - Table of Contents
* * * * *

A Child's Garden - Rudyard Kipling

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A Child's Garden

R. L. Stevenson


Now there is nothing wrong with me
Except -- I think it's called T.B.
And that is why I have to lay
Out in the garden all the day.

Our garden is not very wide
And cars go by on either side,
And make an angry-hooty noise
That rather startles little boys.

But worst of all is when they take
Me out in cars that growl and shake,
With charabancs so dreadful-near
I have to shut my eyes for fear.

But when I'm on my back again,
I watch the Croydon aeroplane
That flies across to France, and sings
Like hitting thick piano-strings.

When I am strong enough to do
The things I'm truly wishful to,
I'll never use a car or train
But always have an aeroplane;

And just go zooming round and round,
And frighten Nursey with the sound,
And see the angel-side of clouds,
And spit on all those motor-crowds! 
Rudyard Kipling
* * * * * 
 A Poetry Moment - Table of Contents 
* * * * * 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Christmas Read-a-Long - Week 2

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The Wind in the Willows
KENNETH GRAHAME


BLURB from Amazon
When Kenneth Grahame first entertained his son with letters about a petulant character named Toad, he had no way of knowing that his creation—together with his friends Mole, Rat, and Badger—would delight children for nearly 100 years. 
Here they are once more, pursuing adventure in gypsy caravans, stolen sportscars, and prison, but always returning to their beloved Wildwood. And although Grahame’s characters are unmistakably animals, they remain endearingly human in their eccentricity, folly, and friendship.

FREE eBooks!
Amazon:               THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
iTunes:               THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Project Gutenberg:    THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

FREE Audiobooks!
LibriVox:             THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Books Should Be Free: THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

I'll be sending out regular updates regarding what chapters and when, but for those of you who like to be organised in advance - 

THIS WEEK!
29/10/2012 - Chapter 3  - The Wild Wood
             Chapter 4  - Mr Badger


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Review

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SUMMARY from the WY Playhouse
Brick and his wife Maggie are gathered on the family plantation in the Mississippi Delta to celebrate patriarch Big Daddy's sixty-fifth birthday. As the evening unfolds, cracks begin to appear in the wealthy family's Southern gentility as tensions mount, secrets are revealed and unpleasant truths emerge. 
Brimming with emotional intensity, family politics, greed, hypocrisy and suppressed sexuality, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof won the Pulitzer prize in 1955 and was made into a film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. Following her magnificent production of Death of a Salesman in 2010, and The Deep Blue Sea with Maxine Peake in 2011, Associate Director Sarah Esdaile returns to West Yorkshire Playhouse to direct this rich and timeless American classic, featuring Zoe Boyle (Downton Abbey's Lavinia Swire), and Jamie Parker (Brownlie in Parade's End).



From the moment the lights go down, Leeds and your daily life fades away. The scene is set by a sumptuous and at once detailed-yet-sparse set, which creates a warm, if cloying atmosphere. 

Then the play begins.

From the outset, I was fascinated by Maggie and her rather one-sided conversation with Brick; her taciturn near-alcoholic husband. Zoe Boyle owned the stage and her fast-talking, mood swinging, opinionated Maggie delights with her passion and repulses with her desperation in equal measure. Jamie Parker’s Brick was compelling during the first set, though his replies were primarily monosyllabic grunts. Indeed, the director stated afterwards that Maggie carries some 85-90% of the dialogue (at break neck speed) during that opening volley!

By the time the first interval was called, I was utterly involved, leaning forward at a very uncomfortable position and couldn't believe that nearly an hour had passed. There was a moment of silence before the entire room started to hum with people eagerly discussing what they had seen. By pure coincidence I had been sat beside a twitter buddy, who happened to have stage experience and her insights into the set and the stage were fascinating. Even more so was how different our interpretations were! An excellent sign in a play that was only a third of the way through.



The second part expands the world by introducing the (often repugnant) extended family. As intense as the preceding; I found the incredibly accurate portrayal of Brick - a man who deliberately dulls his senses with booze - exhausting and emotively charged. Full credit must also go to Richard Cordery - who played a dominant and abusive character with an extraordinary mix of aggression and charm to great effect. As the plot began to unfold; he managed to create pathos despite increasingly unforgivable actions.

Another interval. This time there was less conversation and more racing to the facilities!

The concluding segment brings all the players back together with an explosive revelation. Once again, I was riveted. By now, my heart and soul belonged completely to Maggie and my eyes followed her, even as I strained to follow the other, sometimes overlapping, conversations on the stage. She and Brick seemed hyperaware of one another, even when in the middle of a fight – revealing volumes into their relationship. By the time the curtain (metaphorically) fell, I felt satisfied with the conclusion...or lack thereof, but sad to leave the world so detailed and lovingly created by Tennessee Williams and brought to life by Sarah Esdalie.  



I don't know my arse from my elbow when it comes to the techniques used on stage or behind the scenes. Whatever the tricks utilised; this was a powerful viewing experience for me. The set and the perfectly chosen soundtrack together transport the viewer to a particular time and place, yet still allow you to reflect on the differences between the actions and responses then and now in a way that only enhances the viewing experience.

It's a minor tragedy that I won't be able to attend one more showing before it closes on Saturday. Nevertheless, I shall be mulling over the intricate themes for some time.

My one quibble – some eijit in the audience left their phone turned up. At a tense and vital moment in the second scene – immediately after an on-set phone call, it went off. That was really annoying. Of course it was made worse when the same thing happened (by either the same person or someone with an identical ringtone) in the third segment too!

Afterwards, the Guardian's Andrew Dickson had organised for a chat with the Director and three chief actors, which I hope to blog about this weekend. 

Visit the West Yorkshire Playhouse HERE
Visit the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof HERE

Monday, 22 October 2012

Christmas Read-a-Long - Week 1

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The Wind in the Willows
KENNETH GRAHAME



BLURB from Amazon
When Kenneth Grahame first entertained his son with letters about a petulant character named Toad, he had no way of knowing that his creation—together with his friends Mole, Rat, and Badger—would delight children for nearly 100 years. 
Here they are once more, pursuing adventure in gypsy caravans, stolen sportscars, and prison, but always returning to their beloved Wildwood. And although Grahame’s characters are unmistakably animals, they remain endearingly human in their eccentricity, folly, and friendship.

FREE eBooks!
Amazon:               THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
iTunes:               THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Project Gutenberg:    THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

FREE Audiobooks!
LibriVox:             THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Books Should Be Free: THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

I'll be sending out regular updates regarding what chapters and when, but for those of you who like to be organised in advance - 

THIS WEEK!

22/10/2012 - Chapter 1  - The River Bank
             Chapter 2  - The Open Road 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

ArcadiaLBC - The Hunger Games Write Up - GUEST

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Arcadia LBC

Venue: Arcadia Bar
Date:  Sunday, 19th of August 2012
Time:  5pm - 7pm


Discussed:


THE HUNGER GAMES
SUZANNE COLLINS

* * * * * S P O I L E R S * * * * *
* * * * * S P O I L E R S * * * * *
 * * * * * S P O I L E R S * * * * * 

Huge thanks once again to @CultureLeeds for writing this up! A wonderful job as always!

BLURB 
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love

Although the book this month was The Hunger Games, first in a trilogy, most of the group had either already read all three books, or did so this month. I read the three in about four days, so they kind of blurred into each other, and the discussion ended up roaming across the whole trilogy leaving one or two people a bit confused. Anyway, you should know that there may well be spoilers for all three of the books here.

The Hunger Games has really been a bit of a phenomenon in the YA fiction world, its build in popularity culminating in the release of a film adaptation in March this year. Several of us commented that whilst we enjoyed it, reading it as adults was definitely a different experience than the one we would have had reading it as teens. We found we read it in a different way: we enjoyed figuring out which Panem districts corresponded to which areas of North America, and drawing (sometimes unflattering) comparisons with similar works we’d read.

Even as adults, though, many of us found The Hunger Games surprisingly graphic in its violence – one member didn’t actually believe when he started reading that the Games would go ahead, and another thought death as a central concept for a ‘children’s’ book was very strange. We thought the violence was actually made more palatable thanks to the reality TV-style device of the Games; as the Panem president points out at some point, the Games give the inhabitants of the districts hope. If he just took 24 kids each year and shot them in the head, it would probably have a slightly different effect on morale. We also found the psychological aspect of the violence unsettling, in particular the eyes of the big dogs, and the history of the tracker jackers.

The main character, Katniss, remained something of an enigma even after three books in the first person. We thought many of the supporting characters were actually more rounded than she is, perhaps reflecting Katniss’ dislike of talking about herself. Still, we seemed to like her in general, finding her quite sharp and funny in a very dry way, if a little cold and emotionally immature. We thought her reasons for volunteering for the Games to be admirable, although we questioned her personal morals as she regularly acted based on what the audience would like to see rather than based on what she thought was right. She was compared to Harry Potter, as a character that regularly makes mistakes, but grows and learns. Beyond this, we didn’t have a lot to say about her, which is probably a bit unusual for a character that murders several teenagers. We thought it helped that her weapon of choice, the bow and arrow, was quite an indirect weapon; had
she been running around slicing people’s throats, we might not have felt so lenient. We also liked that she focussed on survival skills more than adding new, violent tricks to her arsenal in the training. Having said that, when she did kill it was often in cold blood, and the incident with the tracker jackers in particular chilled a few of us.

Peeta seemed to be a real favourite among the supporting characters (for the ladies, at least). He was described as honest and kind, and he seemed to be a lot more concerned with the ethics of the Hunger Games that Katniss was. Katniss simply wanted to live through it, whilst Peeta wanted his integrity to survive. Most preferred Peeta to Gale, who they saw as a bit sulky and a bit extreme in his views. Everyone liked Haymitch as
a character too, and wanted to see more of him. We felt he was the only one who saw the Games for how terrible they were, and was genuinely disgusted at the situation and the role he had to play in it. We thought he and Katniss were very similar, which added to his appeal. 

When it came to the concept and how well it worked, there was a bit of debate. Some found it too contrived and therefore not believable: it seemed a bit gimmicky to them and they couldn’t believe that such a system could exist without a rebellion having risen up earlier. One reader, who had recently read The Running Man for another book club, said that he simply thought King had done a better job of a similar concept. Others leapt to the book’s defence, pointing out that actually we have seen similar oppressive governments in the past, and that Collins does a reasonably good job of explaining why the Capitol hasn’t been overthrown in the past – the population is largely uneducated, some districts actually like the Hunger Games, and train their children to compete, communications between the districts are heavily restricted, and the inhabitants of the districts are largely too hungry and tired from manual labour to be staging coups. Regardless, everyone agreed that you do need to buy into the history and the political situation if you’re going to enjoy the book.

Overall, book clubbers generally agreed that the story was better than the writing. There was a wide spread of rates – a few really enjoyed it, a few were distinctly underwhelmed but most lingered around the middle ground, acknowledging that had they read the series as teens, they would have been a lot more enthusiastic.  

Score  
7/10

For further details, please email me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com or tweet me @LeedsBookClub!

Contact the bar on @ArcadiaBar

And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #ArcadiaLBC!


* * * * * 
The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - Book 1 - The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games - Book 1 - Podcast
The Hunger Games - Book 2 - Catching Fire
The Hunger Games - Book 3 - Mockingjay

* * * * * 
Arcadia LBC


21 - Nov - Hard Times - Charles Dickens
20 - Oct - The New York Trilogy - Paul Auster GUEST - @CultureLEEDS
19 - Sep - The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins GUEST - @CultureLEEDS
18 - Aug - The Princess Bride - William Goldman
17 - Jul - A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini GUEST
16 - Jun - Cry the Beloved Country - Alan Paton
15 - May - 1984 - George Orwell GUEST - @CultureLEEDS
14 - Apr - BloodChild and Other Stories - Octavia Butler
13 - Mar - The Year of the Hare - Arto Paasilinna
12 - Feb - Heat Wave - Richard Castle
11 - Jan - The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint - Brady Udall
10 - Nov - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes


* * * * *
Book Club - Table of Contents
* * * * *

Man Booker Shortlist Book 06 - Umbrella - GUEST

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WoodsieGirl's 

Man Booker

Challenge




I'm reading through all six of the Booker Prize shortlisted novels  - attempting to finish before the winner is announced, although given the size of the books that is looking unlikely at the moment! Here's the final of my reviews, for Umbrella by Will Self.


BLURB

Recently having abandoned his RD Laing-influenced experiment in running a therapeutic community - the so-called Concept House in Willesden - maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner arrives at Friern Hospital, a vast Victorian mental asylum in North London, under a professional and a marital cloud. He has every intention of avoiding controversy, but then he encounters Audrey Dearth, a working-class girl from Fulham born in 1890 who has been immured in Friern for decades. 
A socialist, a feminist and a munitions worker at the Woolwich Arsenal, Audrey fell victim to the encephalitis lethargica sleeping sickness epidemic at the end of the First World War and, like one of the subjects in Oliver Sacks' Awakenings, has been in a coma ever since. Realising that Audrey is just one of a number of post-encephalitics scattered throughout the asylum, Busner becomes involved in an attempt to bring them back to life - with wholly unforeseen consequences. 
Is Audrey's diseased brain in its nightmarish compulsion a microcosm of the technological revolutions of the twentieth century? And if Audrey is ill at all - perhaps her illness is only modernity itself? And what of Audrey's two brothers, Stanley and Albert: at the time she fell ill, Stanley was missing presumed dead on the Western Front, while Albert was in charge of the Arsenal itself, a coming man in the Imperial Civil Service. Now, fifty years later, when Audrey awakes from her pathological swoon, which of the two is it who remains alive? 
Radical in its conception, uncompromising in its style, Umbrella is Will Self's most extravagant and imaginative exercise in speculative fiction to date.
I have to apologise up front for this review, because it isn't really going to be much of a review, as I only managed to get about 30 pages into this one! My warning bells started ringing before I'd even started this book, as all the reviews tended to use phrases like "challenging" and "experimental" and, in more than one place, "defiantly unreadable". Now, maybe this is just me, but I don't actually consider "unreadable" to be a praiseworthy trait in a book!

On starting it, my fears were realised. I was confronted with page upon page of dense, almost nonsensical text, with barely a paragraph break to be seen, sentences filled with ellipses, random interjections in italics and words spelled phonetically. Flicking ahead, I realised that the entire book was like this. Umbrella is almost 400 pages of unbroken stream-of-consciousness.

Now, for some people that may be a good thing, or at least not as bit a turn-off as it was for me, but I just couldn't do it. I got to page 24 on my first morning of reading it, and stopped when I realised I was losing the will to live. I couldn't follow it at all - points of view, characters, scenes and even time periods shift mid-sentence without warning, so I couldn't follow what on earth it was supposed to be about. I tried picking it up later, read a few more pages and realised I had no idea what had happened prior to the point at which I'd stopped reading previously. I briefly toyed with the idea of starting again from the beginning, but the prospect of doing so made me want to cry, so I decided to cut my losses and give up on it instead.

All of this is not to suggest that Umbrella is a bad book. It may well be a masterpiece: I really couldn't judge. Clearly, the Booker judges saw something worthwhile in it, and I've seen enough glowing reviews to know that my opinion of it is far from the consensus view! It just wasn't my cup of tea. I'm not a fan of experimental fiction generally - there's a reason I've never attempted to read Ulysses! I have no objection to reading challenging fiction - I'm with Jeanette Winterson on this one - but ultimately, I read for pleasure. I'm not going to force myself to slog through a book I'm not following, not enjoying, and that the thought of reading fills me with dread, just because I think I should.

So, unfortunately I don't think I can give a rating for this one! Anyone else out there read it all the way through and feel like adding their tuppence worth?

For an alternative view to mine, here's a great video from the Guardian giving the argument for why Umbrella should win the Booker prize (it didn't, as we all know, but still a good argument!)



The @WoodsieGirl Challenge 2013

Shortlist 06 - The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton
Shortlist 05 - The Lowland - Jhumpa Lahiri
Shortlist 04 - We need new names - NoViolet Bulawayo
Shortlist 03 - A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
Shortlist 02 - Harvest - Jim Crace
Shortlist 01 - The Testament of Mary - Colm Toibin


The @WoodsieGirl Challenge 2012

Shortlist 06 - Umbrella - Will Self
Shortlist 05 - Bring up the Bodies - Hilary Mantel
Shortlist 04 - The Lighthouse - Alison Moore
Shortlist 03 - Swimming Home - Deborah Levy
Shortlist 02 - Narcopolis - Jeet Thayil
Shortlist 01 - The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng

Visit her blog HERE
Visit her other blog HERE

* * * * *
Guest Stars - Table of Contents
* * * * *

Full - Table of Contents
* * * * *

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Wind In The Willows Christmas Read-a-long

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Last year, we read A Christmas Carol in lieu of book clubbing in December. This year Leeds Book Club would like to invite its members (and anyone else!) to join in the 2012 Christmas Read-a-long of...drum roll please...



The Wind in the Willows
KENNETH GRAHAME

First published in 1908; this novel has become a children's classic - it's wonderful mix of friendship, adventure, heroism and magic enchanting children around the world!
AAlso, a personal favourite of mine - I had the most beautiful illustrated copy growing up - and I can't wait to rejoin Ratty, Mole and Badger once more!

BLURB from Amazon
When Kenneth Grahame first entertained his son with letters about a petulant character named Toad, he had no way of knowing that his creation—together with his friends Mole, Rat, and Badger—would delight children for nearly 100 years. 
Here they are once more, pursuing adventure in gypsy caravans, stolen sportscars, and prison, but always returning to their beloved Wildwood. And although Grahame’s characters are unmistakably animals, they remain endearingly human in their eccentricity, folly, and friendship.

FREE eBooks!
Amazon:               THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
iTunes:               THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Project Gutenberg:    THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

FREE Audiobooks!
LibriVox:             THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
Books Should Be Free: THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS

I'll be sending out regular updates regarding what chapters and when, but for those of you who like to be organised in advance -  

TIMELINE

22/10/2012 - Chapter 1  - The River Bank
             Chapter 2  - The Open Road
29/10/2012 - Chapter 3  - The Wild Wood
             Chapter 4  - Mr Badger
05/11/2012 - Chapter 5  - Dulce Dormum
             Chapter 6  - Mr Toad
12/11/2012 - Chapter 7  - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
             Chapter 8  - Toad's Adventures
19/11/2012 - Chapter 9  - Wayfarers All
26/11/2012 - Chapter 10 - The Further Adventures of Toad
03/12/2012 - Chapter 11 - 'Like summer tempests came his tears'
10/12/2012 - Chapter 12 - The return of Ulysses



By pure co-incidink, LBC buddies, the West Yorkshire Playhouse,  will be showing their production of the Wind in the Willows over the Christmas period.

Subtle, ain't I?
 

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