Some bits and bobs

27 October, 2011

I haven’t done a miscellaneous post for a while and just in case you thought I’d gone all seriousy and reviewy, here is a list of things to tickle your fancy:

Claire and Verity are once again organising the Persephone Secret Santa. I’m pondering whether to participate this year, as I have a stack of Persephones I still need to read, but it was a lot of fun last year and if you do want to join, make sure you contact Claire by November 6th.

Some of us book bloggers have actually met each other in real life. Do check out Lyndsey and Alex‘s posts on when Alex and Iris came to London Town and we all met up for brunch. It was a lovely day and I can only say I was impressed at how restrained they were in Waterstone’s.

In bookish news, World Book Night 2012 have announced their list of 25 titles which were chosen by book lovers to be distributed on April 23rd next year. What do you think? I for one am happy to see Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks on the list although the selection isn’t exactly global.

And last week was, of course, the announcement of the Booker Prize won by Julian Barnes for The Sense of an Ending which has had some wonderful reviews. I haven’t actually read anything by Barnes although a good friend of mine had read The History of the World in 10 1/2 chapters and Violet has also recommended Metroland. But I haven’t read the shortlist so can’t say anything about the win although there was the usual hoohah about it. What about you?

I’m currently reading Pinball 1973 by Haruki Murakami which I’m rather enjoying in preparation for the hefty 1Q84. I’m not sure why as I’m pretty sure they don’t have anything to do with each other…

I’ve also discovered the hit Italian crime drama Romanzo Criminale when I was babysitting my nephews and have become captivated by the energy and, ahem, the ‘taches. Since I don’t actually have Sky at home, I’ll be waiting for the DVD boxset to come out with English subtitles. And maybe I’ll get the book by Giancarlo de Cataldo on which the series is based.

And I seem to have come down with a crappy cold when I need to prepare for Nanowrimo this year, maybe sneak in one more book to read for R.I.P. VI and carve a suitably scary pumpkin for my nephews.

So what have you all been up to?

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18 Responses to “Some bits and bobs”

  1. Steph Says:

    I didn’t read anything off the Booker Short (or long!) list this year, though I did attempt the latest Alan Hollinghurst novel that was longlisted and found it really dry and not my cuppa. I gave up after about 100 pages (which barely made a dent!). BUT, I do really love Julian Barnes, having read and been totally blown away by his History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters (trust your friend! It’s amazing!)… now I kind of want to read everything he’s ever written so I’m sure I will eventually read Sense of an Ending.

    • sakura Says:

      That’s good to hear, Steph! I’ll hopefully be checking out some of his writing too but maybe next year. Shame about the Hollinghurst although I have seen lots of mixed reviews. However, I have been curious about it so will be giving it a try too.

  2. Fëanor Says:

    Hiya! BBC Four recently showed some of the Italian TV series Inspector Montalbano – good fun. I saw Romanzo Criminale a while ago. A bunch of cool-looking villains, eh? (Speaking of uber-cool, did you see the Ryan Gosling film ‘The Drive’?)

    • sakura Says:

      Hello. I did see the Inspector Montalbano episodes which I really enjoyed too, especially the humour and the food! I haven’t seen Drive but lots of people have told me it’s an amazing film (and I like films about cars) so I am hoping to watch it soon. And yes, lots of cool-looking villains in Romanzo Criminale although if you read about the organisation that they are based on it does take away some of the shine…

  3. Nish Says:

    I have only read Love, etc. by Julian Barnes and didn’t find it particularly interesting. When I read that he won a Booker, all I could think was he must have improved tremendously as a writer since then.

    The World Book Night book selection is interesting. But, you’re right, I would not call it a ‘global’ list at all.

    • sakura Says:

      When I read that he won a Booker, all I could think was he must have improved tremendously as a writer since then. – that made me laugh!

      In some ways I think they went for the most ‘literary’ of the lot as there was a huge debate about readability vs literary merit. But I’ll have the books myself to find out!

  4. Rikki Says:

    I never knew Don’t look now is by Daphne du Maurier. Only know the movie and found it quite disturbing.


  5. I bought Arthur & George by Julian Barnes this week – my first book by him.
    I’m thinking about Persephone Secret Santa, it sounds a lot of fun.


  6. Thanks for the link to Persephone Secret Santa; I do hope that you can join.

    I’ve read The Sense of an Ending (Barnes was the “Irish” novelist that I read!) I thought it was well-written, evocative and dark but I didn’t necessarily enjoy it; it’s a very short read though so worth it for curiosity’s sake.

  7. winstonsdad Says:

    I enjoyed pinball 1973 when I read it I m avoid 1q84 for a while til hype dies down ,my recent tv find is the slap which I watched in week hated the book but enjoyed the tv show ,all the best stu

    • sakura Says:

      I think I was subconsciously trying to avoid the hype too (it’s very difficult if you are online) so am reading his earlier novels first. I’ve downloaded The Slap on my iplayer and hoping to watch it even though I didn’t read the book (I know it’s had lots of mixed reviews). These days it’s hard to keep up with the books before watching the screen adaptations – I’m always SO slow!

  8. Hayley Says:

    Nice to hear about someone else who’s participating in NaNoWriMo this year. Is this your first year? It’s my first time and I’m terrified about fitting University work around it.

    • sakura Says:

      Good luck Hayley! It’s my fifth year (did well in the first three and fizzled out last year) and I think I may have stumbled on a good idea this year! As they say, the busier you are, the more you get done. November is always such a busy month for me but somehow you find the time:)

  9. Iris Says:

    I think I was so restrained at Waterstones because the sheer amount of English books overwhelmed me a little 😉 I now regretting not going on a spree..

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo!


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