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

Monday, 30 September 2013

Sharing Stories Podcast

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Leeds Book Club will be participating in the Arts and Minds Network's new project on raising awareness of mental health issues. 

LBC is joined this week by Tom of @ArtsMindsLeeds to discuss #SharingStories.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Chat with Peter Bullimore
Mental Health Reading Challenge
Blurbs for the books!

Podcast with Tom at Arts and Minds Leeds

Write Up's

Dec - Jane Eyre - GUEST
Nov - A life too short - GUEST
Oct - Notes from an exhibition - GUEST
Sep - Day - GUEST
Aug - Tender is the Night - GUEST
Jul - Ariel - GUEST
Jul - Birthday Letters - GUEST
Jun - Poppy Shakespeare - GUEST
May - Why be happy when you can be normal - GUEST
Apr - I had a black dog - GUEST
Mar - The Psychopath Test - GUEST
Feb - The Silver Linings Play Book - GUEST

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Table of Contents - Guest Stars

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Man Booker Shortlist - Book 01 - The Testament of Mary - Colm Toibin

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WoodsieGirl's 
Man Booker
Challenge

Our good friend WoodsieGirl has read all the books on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize for the last few years. This is not because she is an avid reader, with varied interests and is constantly on the lookout for new great fiction. She does this purely to mock my inability to organize my book list. Honestly. It's evil. 

Anyhoo, once again, she has kindly written up reviews of each book for us.  


THE TESTAMENT OF MARY
COLM TOIBIN

THE BLURB (Amazon)
Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary is the moving story of the Virgin Mary, told by a novelist famous for writing brilliantly about the family.
From the author of Brooklyn, in a voice that is both tender and filled with rage, The Testament of Mary tells the story of a cataclysmic event which led to an overpowering grief. For Mary, her son has been lost to the world, and now, living in exile and in fear, she tries to piece together the memories of the events that led to her son's brutal death. To her he was a vulnerable figure, surrounded by men who could not be trusted, living in a time of turmoil and change.
As her life and her suffering begin to acquire the resonance of myth, Mary struggles to break the silence surrounding what she knows to have happened. In her effort to tell the truth in all its gnarled complexity, she slowly emerges as a figure of immense moral stature as well as a woman from history rendered now as fully human.
THE REVIEW
 This is author Colm Toibin's third time on the Booker prize shortlist - he was nominated in 1999 for The Blackwater Lightship, and in 2004 for The Master (neither of which I've read!). The Testament of Mary is a novella (only 104 pages), telling the story of Jesus' last days and crucifixion from the point of view of his mother, Mary. It's written as a monologue - it actually started life as a one-woman play, which shows in the writing. Now elderly and living in exile, Mary is visited by two men (never named, but we can presume they are two of the writers of the Gospels) who want her to recount the story of her son's life in a way that fits in with the legend that is already growing around him.

Mary, however, is not so co-operative. She is sceptical of her son's claims to have been the son of god, and distrusts his disciples and their motives. Mostly though, she is filled with grief and anger over her son's death. She recounts her sense of dread during the tumultuous times that led to his death, and her shame at how it all ended.

This is an incredibly powerful account, and one that feels much weightier than such a slim novella should allow. Mary's anger and moral strength shine throughout. I particularly liked an early scene where Mary tries to stop the gospel writers from sitting in a chair in her house, a chair that no one sits in because it is "left for someone who will not return". The two men assume she is referring to her son, and assure her that he will return - but in fact, she means her deceased husband. On learning this, the men dismiss her and one goes to sit in the chair, at which point this happens:

"I was waiting. Quickly, I found the sharp knife and I held it and touched the blade... 'I have another one hidden,' I said, 'and if either of you touch the chair again, if you so much as touch it, I will wait, I am waiting now, and I will come in the night, I will move as silently as the air itself moves, and you will not have time to make a sound. Do not think for a moment that I will not do this.'"

The sense of unrest and social upheaval Jesus and his disciples have caused is vividly drawn, as is Mary's fear at the inevitability of what is rushing towards them. She knows early on that her son is doomed, and tries to save him, but matters are out of her control.

"I sensed a thirst for blood among the crowd... There was a dark vacancy in the faces of some, and they wanted this vacancy filled with cruelty, with pain and with the sound of someone crying out."

The crucifixion, when it comes, is starkly and graphically described. Toibin gives a real sense of the brutality of it, and of the suffering inflicted. Mary's account takes in not only the pain and suffering of her son, but also strange details of the crowd around him: such as a man with a bird of prey in a cage, feeding it live rabbits from a sack. Details like this give an impression of what a strange, violent and bewildering time it must have been.

Ultimately, Mary's story is a simple one: that of a mother, grieving the loss of her son. But it is implied that she lost him much sooner than his actual death: when she meets him at the wedding at Cana, he does not recognise her as his mother. She herself does not recognise the man her son has become: she struggles to reconcile this confident preacher who gathers followers around him and says he is the son of god, with her memory of the boy who "was beautiful then and delicate and awash with needs". She also resents the intrusion of the gospel writers, and what she sees as a dishonest attempt to rewrite the events of her son's life and death in a way that fits their goals.

"'I was there,' I said. 'I fled before it was over but if you want witnesses then I am one and I can tell you now, when you say that he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it.'"

The book doesn't really attempt the question of whether or not Jesus actually was the son of god, and whether he really performed the miracles described. Mary considers these points irrelevant, and so apparently does Toibin. The Testament of Mary is not an attempt to argue the religious or the secular side: just the human side, the story of a mother who couldn't protect her son.

I'd say this book is near-perfect. The writing is flawless, powerful in its simplicity. I haven't read any other of Colm Toibin's books, but I certainly would on the strength of this. It's hard to judge without having read any of the rest of the shortlist yet, but I would tentatively say that this could be a winner.


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

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Guest Stars - Table of Contents
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Full - Table of Contents
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Sunday, 29 September 2013

WSwan LBC - The Fictional Man Review

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White Swan LBC


Date:  Sunday 14th of July 2012
Time:  6:00pm
Address: Swan Street, Leeds



Discussing:

THE FICTIONAL MAN
AL EWING

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THE BLURB (from Amazon)

One of the most exciting new voices in British fiction has written an extraordinary novel. In an L.A. where fictional characters are cloned into living beings, the author Niles Golan is on the verge of hitting the big-time - if he can just stay on top of reality long enough to make it. 
Hollywood: Niles Golan is writing a remake of a camp classic spy movie. The studio has plans for a franchise, so rather than hiring an actor, the protagonist will be 'translated' into a cloned human body. It s common practice Niles' therapist is a Fictional. So is his best friend. 

So (maybe) is the woman in the bar he can’t stop staring at. Fictionals are a part of daily life now, especially in LA. In fact, it's getting hard to tell who's a Fictional and who's not...
THE BLURB (from Goodreads)
In Hollywood, where last year’s stars are this year’s busboys, Fictionals are everywhere. Niles Golan’s therapist is a Fictional. So is his best friend. So (maybe) is the woman in the bar he can’t stop staring at. 
Fictionals – characters ‘translated’ into living beings for movies and TV using cloning technology – are a part of daily life in LA now. Sometimes the problem is knowing who’s real and who’s not. 
Divorced, alcoholic and hanging on by a thread, Niles – author of The Saladin Imperative: A Kurt Power Novel and many others – has been hired to write a big-budget reboot of a classic movie. If he does this right, the studio might bring one of Niles’ own characters to life. Somewhere beneath the movie – beneath the TV show it was inspired by, the children’s book behind that and the story behind that – is the kernel of something important. If he can just hold it together long enough...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Al Ewing is a major new writer whose work in US and UK comics has seen him hailed as the most exciting new voice in the field. His work for Abaddon Books has been equally lauded and his unique visions of pulp fantasy have found their home in five different novels for Abaddon Books. This is his first novel for Solaris and is one of the list's most keenly awaited books of the year.
“Your personality’s just as ‘imaginary’ Niles. It’s just as much an invention as mine is. Except, you know what? I was thought up by a good writer”

This latest read for book club is a sc-fi classic based in the 60s and 70s about a chap called Niles (who is human, of course) who wants his ‘creation’ his writings to come to life. By this he means that in his world there a people called ‘ficitonals’ brought to life from the written page via tubes to star in films and TV shows. The idea of a ‘fictional’ is that they didn’t know when they would ‘expire or die’. How fictional aren’t real because they came from a tube, creating bigots out of humans thinking they were better than the fictional, even though sometimes they were no better themselves. Which then brought up the subject of Dolly the sheep the famous animal cloned from two sheep and lived until the age of 6? 

This led to the discussion of whether it’s best you know going to die at some point or to be young all the time, not age and live eternally. 

R.I.P. Dolly the sheep 1996-2003 Dedication HERE

‘Back to the book!’

 “”It wasn’t that Bob wanted to be a human being. It’s that he already felt he was human. And he didn’t see why he had to limit himself to what he’d been born with.”

The whole idea of fictional was that they were to create a character to play a part in a movie, unfortunately this limited what they could do when the filming finished, or a newer model replacing them, leaving them out of work and left to expire. This brought up issues of how the characters felt to be replaced, it happens in our own lives, it can happen at work when newer, younger sometimes cheaper employees can be found or as in supermarkets the self- service machines replacing checkout - people to get more tills in and losing that one to one contact and screaming at a machine when it says ‘please place item in the bag’ when it’s already in. We also liked the idea of how our ‘personality’ is just a thing that can be thought up. That however hard we think it is to change, we just need to find a way to re-write ourselves to be better. But to be scripted as in the book, you wouldn’t be responsible for what you said or did , it would be like the adventure books they brought out where you got to a page and it said to go this path choose page 233 or to go down this path choose p62. This is what the woman in the book wanted to be told what to do say, to be controlled like a puppet, but this is not who we are and is not what makes us individual people so unique.




I think most of us agreed it would be better not to live eternally, although there would be plenty to read lots of things to see and do but it might just get a bit boring after a while, a bit overcrowded and a bit repetitive don’t you think?

“You’ve got your reality, I’ve got mine. I’m perfectly content if never the twain shall meet, in fact, I’m a lot happier that way.”

‘Back to the book!’


Also in life we have an inner monologue similar to this book, some of us got lost to which was Niles and his actions and I think a few of us agreed that we wanted to shout ‘Stop narrating, just do it!’, as sometimes I got lost in his action for him to turn round and do something not as cool. It was almost as if we kept coming to a standstill. This book had so much to give, so many ideas in it, such as what makes us individuals, how we come to hate a particular ‘type’ of people mostly because we’re scared or led to believe we should. Such as the whole idea that if you slept with ‘imaginaries’ that it was disgusting and that people would shun you for doing such a shameful act. Or how we as humans have a bad habit of assuming things, in the book it mentions ‘He was gay by appearance’. 

‘Names I have been told, are magic. 
To name a thing is to bind it’

In the end, you could say we are all ‘fictionals’. The character Bob who was a fictional and was Niles ‘life coach’ was a far better man than what Niles could ever be. It doesn’t matter where we come from whether it is a tube (for the fictional), a small town, a wealthy family, nobody is better than anyone else unless we let them think they are.

And of course we couldn’t have a book /review without Fifty Shades of Grey being mentioned. Because apparently all people want is sex. Really?

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

The Pub can be contacted on @WhiteSwanLeeds
And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #WSwanLBC!


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WSwanLBC

23 - Dec - 
22 - Nov - The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng
21 - Oct - Regeneration - Pat Barker
20 - Sep - Consider Phlebas - Iain M Banks
19 - Aug - Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
18 - Jul - The Fictional Man - Al Ewing
17 - Jun - The Fire Gospel - Michel Faber
16 - May - The Eyre Affair - Jasper FForde
15 - Apr - The Waterproof Bible - Andrew Kaufman GUEST
14 - Mar - The Book Thief - Marcus Zusak GUEST
13 - Feb - Weight - Jeanette Winterson GUEST
12 - Jan - Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates

11 - Nov - Lighthouse Keeping - Jeanette Winterson
10 - Oct - Winter's Bone Daniel Woodrell
09 - Sep - The Wind Up Bird Chronicles - Haruki Murakami 
08 - Aug - The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman
07 - Jul - American Gods - Neil Gaiman
06 - Jun - The Travelling Hornplayer - Barbara Trapido
05 - May - Atomised - Michel Houellebecq - GUEST

I'm just full of good ideas...WSwanLBC  


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Book Club - Table of Contents

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An Awesome Austen Event!

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Are you an Austen fan? 
Are you THE Austen fan?
Would you like to meet and mingle with other like minded souls?

Then the Bristol Women's Literature Festival is about to make your day...
We’re looking for a young person aged 16-25 who has a passion for Jane Austen to take part in our next event. 
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice remains one of the UK’s best-loved novels 200 years after its publication. And to celebrate the fact, the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival want to invite young people aged 16-25 who love Jane Austen to take part in our film and panel event later on in the year.
We’ll be bringing together novelists, critics and lovers of Austen to explore the importance of her work and to understand why this wonderful novel and the five fabulous Bennett sisters still maintain a hold on our imaginations.
But most excitingly of all, we want you to be on our panel. 
We’re looking for the biggest Austen fan aged 16-25 to join our panel and celebrate Pride and Prejudice with us. All you need to do is tell us why you love Austen, and why you deserve a place in the panel, in 50 words.
If you can prove you’re Austen’s biggest fan, then there’ll be a seat at our table with your name on it.
Simply email sianandcrookedrib[at]gmail[dot]com to tell us in 50 words why you want to be part of the panel before 30 October 2013.
You need to be aged 16-25 to take part and to be free on Tuesday 26th November 2013. Travel and accommodation is not included in the prize.
Remember, follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me I own, and I laugh at them when I can. So make your entries as imaginative, creative and Austen-worthy as possible!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Enid Blyton Challenge Book 07 - The Adventures of the Wishing Chair

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One of our Superstar Guest Stars has agreed to a new challenge based on our chats relating to #LBCPuffins.

Can't wait to read each review as they come! Huge thanks - as always - to Helen...though now I think on it...missing out on all these wonderful stories... Clearly we need each other!

Helen's Enid Blyton Challenge



About the Author

The Adventures of
the Wishing Chair

I’ve fallen behind on my challenge. A lot behind. I started to struggle with a couple of Enid’s books and decided to get back into it. This was June’s choice and I have fallen in love with this. I had to remember this is a book for children and to not be as critical over as I was with the enchanted wood which felt a bit strange. I’m convinced I read this as a child but I can’t remember. The illustrations look so familiar and the chair growing wings brought something back. I’ll get on to that a bit more in a moment but here’s part of a review I found which summed it up completely.

The Story: (Goodreads)

Once Mollie and Peter have discovered the Wishing-Chair, their lives are full of adventure. It takes them to all sorts of magical places, from the giant's castle where they rescue Chinky the Pixie, to the amazing party at Magician Greatheart's castle.

What others thought:

 ‘People seem to think that using simple English is talking down to children or having a rather simplistic story line is somehow patronizing to kids. Which seems to be the more common complaints against Miss Blyton.

I strongly disagree with this reasoning. Sometimes kids need a simple story so they can grasp it easily and get straight to the fantasy. Sometimes they just need a book that doesn't seek to teachthem a bunch of words. Using simple English doesn't necessarily mean patronizing, it's often far easier for the child to be immersed in the story. Immersed being the key word there.

Enid Blyton has this knack for knowing a child's wildest fantasies and tapping into their desires. Her simple but direct manner of writing is easy for a young child to get into and there's a sort of whimsy and wonder found in her words.

Her worlds offer a place of escape for the child and the simple manner it is delivered makes it easy for the child to immerse themselves into whatever faraway world is on offer.

I think that's why she's so endearing even to modern audiences. Her books offer all the places of magic and wonder we were already wishing to travel to in our youth.’

“We have been given two ears and only one mouth, so you should talk only as half as much as you hear - Mollie

This is so far one of my favourites besides the brownie book. I loved it. From the moment Mollie and Peter go in search for something for their Mother’s birthday and wonder off into a shop to find it run by a wizard, almost made me wonder if J.K. Rowling had read Enid Blyton’s work as a child.

The children get scared by the little man in the shop and end up sitting on a chair and are very frightened when suddenly Peter says ‘Oh, I do wish we were back home’  only for the chair to sproutwings and fly out the window. They land safely back home and decide to leave the chair hidden in the playroom. After that day they wait for it to grow wings and fly off for an adventure where they rescue Chinky - the elf/pixie - which then leads to lots of magical adventures. They gain a new friend; learn to be careful what they wish for.  Because sometimes they landed in some rotten places. They discover the rewards from helping each other out, even complete strangers. That how we treat each other is important and we shouldn’t be horrid to each other because we’re not happy or don’t get what we want.

This is a fantastic adventure - at some points it was too fast for me but if I was reading this as a child I wouldn’t want to stop nor get whoever reading it to me to stop. So please pick it up and read it and meet the wonderful characters as I don’t want to give too much away.

Oh and one last thought, I like the idea of fairies being at the bottom of the garden. One day I might find them.

Check out The Enid Blyton Society page for more history on the book


Next book: The Boy Next Door

The Book List

Dec - The Twins at St Clare's
Nov - The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat
Oct - The Naughtiest School Girl
Sep - Mr Galliano’s Circus
Aug - The Boy Next Door
Jul - Adventures of the wishing Chair
Jun - The Magic Faraway Tree
May - The Enchanted Wood
Apr - The Adventures of Scamp
Mar - Secret Seven
Feb - Five on a treasure Island
Jan - The Book of Brownies

Helen tweets from @isfromupnorth and has her own blog Hello from me to you. It's worth bookmarking because Helen knows EVERYONE and is involved in all sorts of lovely events!

The Hobbit (book) review


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Friday, 6 September 2013

Enid Blyton Challenge Book 05 - The Enchanted Wood

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One of our Superstar Guest Stars has agreed to a new challenge based on our chats relating to #LBCPuffins.

Can't wait to read each review as they come! Huge thanks - as always - to Helen...though now I think on it...missing out on all these wonderful stories... Clearly we need each other!

Helen's Enid Blyton Challenge



About the Author
About the Author
Born in 1897 in South London, Enid Mary Blyton was the eldest of three children and showed an early interest in music and reading. She was educated at St. Christopher's School, Beckenham, and - having decided not to pursue her music - at Ipswich High School, where she trained as a kindergarten teacher. She taught for five years before her 1924 marriage to editor Hugh Pollock, with whom she had two daughters. This marriage ended in divorce and Blyton remarried in 1943, to surgeon Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters. She died in 1968, one year after her second husband.

Enid Blyton was a prolific author of children's books, who penned an estimated 800 books over about 40 years. Her stories were often either children's adventure and mystery stories, or fantasies involving magic. Notable series include: The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Five Find-Outers, Noddy, The Wishing Chair, Mallory Towers, and St. Clare's.


The EnchantedWood
The Book
Jo (Joe), Bessie (Beth) and Fanny (Franny) move to the country and find an Enchanted Wood right on their doorstep. In the magic Faraway Tree live the magical characters that soon become their new friends – Moon-Face, Silky the fairy, and Saucepan Man. Together they visit the strange lands (the Roundabout Land, the Land of Ice and Snow, Toyland and the Land of Take What You Want) atop the tree and have the most exciting adventures – and narrow escapes.
 My Review

The copy I have been reading was loaned to me along with t he wishing chair books by the lovely Kirsty aka @Kayelle5 on Twitter.

We open the story where we meet three children on the day their family are moving from the town to the country. From the edition I’m reading I did actually think this was about three girls, their names being Jo, Bessie and Fanny you know Jo being as in Joanne but apparently it was short for Joseph. In later editions it has been changed to Joe, Beth and Franny.
‘‘wisha-wisha-wisha-wisha!’ 
said the trees in the woods’
First written in 1939 it is classed as a piece of fantasy writing and you can see why. Not one chapter allows you to stop and think for a second, it’s crazy! It is a wonderful book for kids, the thought that you climb up a ladder from a tree and at the top will be a different ‘land’each time you go. Not always nice, pleasant ones but ones that will always give you an adventure. The children get to learn of other lands and their inhabitants and their different characters like Moon Face and the strange Mr Saucepan Man and the not so nice Mrs Snap or again in later editions Mrs Slap.  Who had a school for naughty pixies, fairies and brownies with horrid punishments.
“up the lane and down the lane and around the lane.”
It is the classic story of children being warned not to do something and they do it. 

The tree they find is apparently the oldest and most magic tree in the world and it turns out to be the faraway tree which once you reach the top can fill you with all sorts of surprises. 

And of course the three children have nothing better to do but explore and are determined to find out whats at the top and find all sorts of characters and objects and another world.


‘But everybody cheered up a little at the thought of tea’
Reading this as an adult I did find it quite difficult with the constant changing of lands and characters and perhaps as I’m getting old the pace of the book was just to fast for me. All the silly names as well threw me but if I were to read this as a child or to children it would have them absorbed I am sure of it as it’s such a lovely little book. And as  with all Enid Blyton’s stories there are lessons to be learnt is that life is full of  scary adventures and most of all you should be thankful for what you have and be careful what you wish for!

Next book: The Magic Faraway Tree
The Book List

Dec - The Twins at St Clare's
Nov - The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat
Oct - The Naughtiest School Girl
Sep - Mr Galliano’s Circus
Aug - The Boy Next Door
Jul - Adventures of the wishing Chair
Jun - The Magic Faraway Tree
May - The Enchanted Wood
Apr - The Adventures of Scamp
Mar - Secret Seven
Feb - Five on a treasure Island
Jan - The Book of Brownies

Helen tweets from @isfromupnorth and has her own blog Hello from me to you. It's worth bookmarking because Helen knows EVERYONE and is involved in all sorts of lovely events!

The Hobbit (book) review


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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Podcast - Interview with Ross Young

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LeedsBookClub is delighted to welcome Ross Young to the LBC Podcast. 

Ross is an English author based in Egypt, currently spending most of his time in the fictional afterlife world of Gloomwood. 

We discuss Dead Heads, Ross writing techniques and the slippery slidey world of self publication. 



LANGUAGE - well...I'm hosting so usual warnings apply!

SPOILERS - mostly just hints to entice you to read Dead Heads!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you'd prefer to listen on your mobile device, click HERE! The second in the Gloomwood series – Get Ted Dead – will be out soon...

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Check out our review of Dead Heads HERE Visit the Gloomwood website HERE Stalk...Chat with Ross on twitter HERE. He's very friendly. 
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Table of Contents - Podcasts!
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Our Podcast Page 
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Sunday, 1 September 2013

September 2013 - W.B. Yeats

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September 1913 

W.B. Yates

What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone;
For men were born to pray and save;
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet they were of a different kind,
The names that stilled your childish play,
They have gone about the world like wind,
But little time had they to pray
For whom the hangman's rope was spun,
And what, God help us, could they save?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Was it for this the wild geese spread
The grey wing upon every tide;
For this that all that blood was shed,
For this Edward Fitzgerald died,
And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
All that delirium of the brave?
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone,
It's with O'Leary in the grave.

Yet could we turn the years again,
And call those exiles as they were
In all their loneliness and pain,
You'd cry `Some woman's yellow hair
Has maddened every mother's son':
They weighed so lightly what they gave.
But let them be, they're dead and gone,
They're with O'Leary in the grave.


In one of his most celebrated works, Yeats laments the death of Ireland's nobility and honour; seemingly replaced by a less tangible and decidedly less moral materialism. 

This poem was written to mark the occasion of the Dublin Lockout (details of the centenary in the Independent HERE) and to protest the Dublin Corporation's refusal to house a collection of art belonging to Sir Hugh Lane (for more details see this excellent article on the Irish Times site HERE). 

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Table of Contents - A Poetry Moment
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Table of Contents - Full
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