Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Vote for February's Book Choice!!!

Vote above for February's book! 

One Day by David Nicholls 
‘I can imagine you at forty,’ she said, a hint of malice in her voice. ‘I can picture it right now.’ He smiled without opening his eyes. ‘Go on then.’
15th July 1988. Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year which follows?
One Day is a funny/sad love story spanning twenty years, a book about growing up – how we change, how we stay the same. 
‘One Day is a wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate and often unbearably sad. It’s also, with its subtly political focus on changing habits and mores, the best British social novel since Jonathan Coe’s What A Carve Up. – John O’Connell, The Times.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

It is 1940, and bombs fall nightly on London. In the thick of the chaos is young American radio reporter Frankie Bard. She huddles close to terrified strangers in underground shelters, and later broadcasts stories about survivors in rubble-strewn streets. But for her listeners, the war is far from home. Listening to Frankie are Iris James, a Cape Cod postmistress, and Emma Fitch, a doctor’s wife. Iris hears the winds stirring and knows that soon the letters she delivers will bear messages of hope or tragedy. Emma is desperate for news of London, where her husband is working – she counts the days until his return. But one night in London the fates of all three women entwine when Frankie finds a letter – a letter she vows to deliver . . .

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. 

is an appropriate one for Mark Haddon's ingenious novel both because of its reference to that most obsessive and fact-obsessed of detectives, Sherlock Holmes, and because its lower-case letters indicate something important about its narrator.
Christopher is an intelligent youth who lives in the functional hinterland of autism--every day is an investigation for him because of all the aspects of human life that he does not quite get. When the dog next door is killed with a garden fork, Christopher becomes quietly persistent in his desire to find out what has happened and tugs away at the world around him until a lot of secrets unravel messily. 
Haddon makes an intelligent stab at how it feels to, for example, not know how to read the faces of the people around you, to be perpetually spooked by certain colours and certain levels of noise, to hate being touched to the point of violent reaction. Life is difficult for the difficult and prickly Christopher in ways that he only partly understands; this avoids most of the obvious pitfalls of novels about disability because it demands that we respect--perhaps admire--him rather than pity him. --Roz Kaveney

Friday, 19 November 2010

and the WINNER is....


Well done Sydney, who's read the most books off the BBC book list. She's getting a copy of something a touch less high brown than the books she's obviously been reading! Chick Lit!!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Book Recommendations Anyone?

If you have a book recommendation then please comment below. If your book is chosen as this month's read then you'll receive the book for free! Please feel free to add as many recommendations as you like. We'll try and get through them all. We support all sorts of genres including non-fiction.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Big Read!

BBC booklist: Apparently the average Brit has only read 6... how many have you read?!Prize to whomever has read the MOST books! Submit your answer to londongbclub@gmail.com

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen -  2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - 3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - 4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling -  5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee – 6 The Bible 7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte -  8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell - 9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - 10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - 11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy- 13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller - 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - 15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - 16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - 17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk - 18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger- 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger - 20 Middlemarch - George Eliot - 21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - 22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald- 23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens – 24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy - 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - 27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - 29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - 30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame - 31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - 32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - 33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - 34 Emma - Jane Austen - 35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - 36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - 37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres- 39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - 40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne – 41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - 42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - 44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving - 45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins 46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - 47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy - 48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood - 49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - 50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - 51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - 52 Dune - Frank Herbert - 53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons 54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen - 55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth - 56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zifon 57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon - 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez - 61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck- 62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov- 63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt -64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - 65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas - 66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - 67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - 69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie - 70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - 71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens - 72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - 73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - 74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson- 75 Ulysses - James Joyce - 76 The Inferno - Dante - 77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome - 78 Germinal - Emile Zola 79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray - 80 Possession - AS Byatt - 81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - 82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell  83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker - 84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro - 85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - 86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - 87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom - 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur  Conan Doyle - 90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton - 91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - 92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - 93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks 94 Watership Down - Richard Adams –95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole -96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute 97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - 98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - 100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo –

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

How to make money from books

Turn your bookshelf into an investment

In a week where a first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice sold for a record £139,250, its clear books can be so much more than a great read. Rare book expert Clive Farahar reveals the secrets to investing in your bookshelf.
Buy the books you love
Book values fluctuate. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings went through the roof after the film came out, with a set selling for as much as £25,000. But that market won’t last. So pleasure, enjoyment and enthusiasm for what you buy is the most important thing.
Start with 18th and 19th century classics
Authors from this period are incredibly reasonable; you can pick up a first edition Jane Austen for around £150. Try 19th century travellers like Livingston, Stanley, Parry and Cook or authors like George Elliot or Charles Dickens they're some of the cheapest books to invest in.
Consider childhood
People will always want classicslike Beatrix Potter, because it reminds them of their childhood. There was a 1902 first edition that I valued it at £25,000. And in American the hippy generation has now grown up, got rich and they’re buying beatnik authors like Jack Keurouac because it was part of their youth.
Condition is key
You want the book to be in as original condition as possible, so look carefully at the cover, the printed labels and the bindings. An original condition book may not be the prettiest on the bookshelf but it is the most rare, and therefore worth the most.
Do your research
Make yourself asknowledgeable about the market as possible. Look through eBay, browse online and talk to your friendly local book seller. If they are a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, they’re obliged to give you the best advice that they can.

Our Top Spots for Discovering Book Bargains

From Stylist.co.uk 

Events for Aspiring Writers

There’s an entire weekend of inspiration at Brighton Dome between 19-21 November. In between talks by Bonnie Greer and Lionel Shriver, newly published authors will be available and Catherine O’Flynn will take questions on how she went from having her manuscript rejected by scores of publishers to winning the Costa First Novel Award. From £8
For more info

A great agent can send a writer into the stratosphere. Meet two of the best at the excellent London Writers’ Club events. On 16 November Francesca Main of Simon & Shuster takes the floor for questions, and on January 25th it’s the turn of Caroline Hardman of the Christopher Little Literary Agency. £10

For more info

On 13 November join Malaysian-born, London based writer Francesca Beard for an innovative creative writing workshop. London Tales is inspired by the Canterbury Tales, and uses Londoners' own stories to create a poetic map of the city. £20
For more info

Need an ideas jump-start? On 3 November the London School of Journalist is running a three-day creative writing crash course. Tutor Andrew Taylor will take you through characterisation, plot, genres and all important business relationships within the industry. £325
For more info

From: Stylist.co.uk

Monday, 18 October 2010

November's Book Selection

Next month's bookclub is scheduled for Nov 22nd, the book is: The Legacy by Katherine Web, you can purchase it here on Amazon for £4.79 BUY 

What did you think of the book? Love it? Hate it? Let us  know!!! 

Single in the City : Review

So ladies, it was an absolute treat having Michele with us tonight at the book club meeting. If you didn't make it the meeting but read the book we'd still love to hear your thoughts! You can comment without registering!

Most of the ladies thought it was a really good read. Did you? We discussed a lot of the different characters and most everyone loved the main character Hannah. Michele also told us about the publishing industry and how difficult it is in this day and age to get published which was really interesting.

Feel free to comment and keep the discussion going as I know Michele would welcome the feedback!

BOOK AID International: Our Charity of Choice

Hi Ladies,

Well it's official we've hit 1000 + members  ... I think it's likely we are London's BIGGEST women's book club! Hooray!

Tonight's meeting was really great with the author Q & A, the book swap and a presentation on our NEW charity of choice BOOK AID. Thanks to Anne who did a short presentation on Book Aid International. We're hoping to host some events over the next couple months to raise fund for this worthwhile charity. Stay tuned!

Monday, 11 October 2010

To Kindle or not to Kindle... thoughts?

I saw a kindle for the first time on Friday and I have to saw I was fairly engaged... I might want one... but then I think to myself.. surely enough of my life is already fixated on a computer screen? ... and then I romanticize the real "once tree" pages of a book and find myself worrying about the future of the paperback...

I just don't know... thoughts?


Friday, 8 October 2010

Recycle your books through Green Metropolis!

It PAYS to go GREEN!

Books can’t be recycled in the same way as newspapers and magazines, however, they can be recycled in a very sustainable way! You simply need to ensure that they stay in circulation by finding them a new home. By doing this you're not only helping the environment, you're also increasing the pleasure a good book can give and doing your bit for charity! 


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

1000 Members Celebration in Shoreditch.

On Friday we'll be celebrating reaching 1000 Book Club Members! Join us for some Mexican at the Green & Red Cantina in Shoreditch as we celebrate our great success!!!


Friday, 1 October 2010

Author Michele Gorman to attend book club in Oct!

I have GREAT news! The Author of Single in the City, Michele Gorman is going to join us for the book club meeting in Oct! Any questions you might have feel free to bring along with you!

She's currently working on the sequel.

Visit her site HERE

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

ASA 'assessing' complaint over Richard and Judy WHS advert


Doris Lessing

The British author Doris Lessing has won the 2007 Nobel prize for literature. Lessing, who is only the 11th woman to win literature's most prestigious prize in its 106-year history, is best known for her 1962 postmodern feminist masterpiece, The Golden Notebook.

Announcing the award, the Swedish Academy described Lessing as an "epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny". It singled out The Golden Notebook for praise, calling it "a pioneering work" that "belongs to the handful of books that informed the 20th-century view of the male-female relationship." Lessing, who was shopping at the time of the Nobel announcement, was typically irreverent in her response to the news. "I've won all the prizes in Europe, every bloody one. I'm delighted to win them all, the whole lot," she said to the reporters gathered outside her home in north London. "It's a royal flush."

Lessing was born in Iran (then Persia) in 1919 to British parents and grew up in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). Self-educated from the age of 15, she moved to England in 1949. In 1950 she published her first novel, The Grass is Singing, an exploration of the relationship between a married white Rhodesian woman and her black houseboy. Her razor-sharp dissection of the fear and power that she saw as underlying the white colonial experience made the book an instant success.

She continued to draw on the experiences of her childhood in her series Children of Violence (1952-1969, better known as the Martha Quest books), which is also set largely in Africa. In these five novels, the themes which would later come to dominate her work come strongly to the fore. The series provides a portrait of the awakening and development of its central character, Martha Quest, over the course of an imagined 20th century which ends with the globe in the grip of a third world war. By combining literary science fiction with a stringent, pioneering brand of feminism, Lessing gave a glimpse of the qualities for which she was to become famous.

After following The Golden Notebook with several other novels dealing with similar themes of social pressure and personal disintegration, Lessing turned her attention to science fiction with her 'Canopus in Argos' series, in which she traces the development and decline of species and societies on the space-age stage. In 1984, irritated by the limitations of writing under her own name, she sent a novel (If the Old Could ...) to her publisher under the pseudonym Jane Somers, and was reportedly delighted when it met with only cursory attention in the press. Her more recent fiction has been punctuated with the two volumes of her critically acclaimed autobiography; a third volume was long believed to be in the offing, but she announced in 2001 that she had finally abandoned it as she did not want to offend so "many great and eminent people by reminding them of their silliness. I just can't be bothered, to be honest".

Her longtime agent, Jonathan Clowes, was "absolutely delighted" at the news of the award, worth £766,000, which was, he said, "very well-deserved". Speaking to Reuters, her editor at Fourth Estate, Nicholas Pearson, called it "thrilling" and claimed that her early books "changed the face of literature through the description of the inner lives of women". Jane Friedman, chief executive of HarperCollins (of which Fourth Estate is a division), described her as "an icon for women".

The veteran US literary critic Harold Bloom has so far provided the only voice of dissent. Describing the academy's decision as "pure political correctness", he said to the Associated Press today that "although Ms Lessing at the beginning of her writing career had a few admirable qualities, I find her work for the past 15 years quite unreadable ... fourth-rate science fiction."

In recent years, Lessing has certainly moved away from the feminism and social realism for which she was celebrated in the 1960s and 70s, both in ideological and literary terms. Her latest novel, The Cleft (2007), a pre-historical fable which depicts women as slothful and complacent and men as adventurous innovators, was greeted with horror by sections of her fan base, while its critical reception was decidedly mixed. She herself, however, has made no secret of her desire to distance herself from the iconic status she acquired after the publication of The Golden Notebook, which she has described in the past as her "albatross". Her appearance at the 2001 Edinburgh festival, in which she criticised elements of 21st-century feminist culture as "lazy and insidious" and claimed to be "increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture", caused uproar.

Just 11 days shy of her 88th birthday, Lessing is now the oldest person to have been awarded the prize - a title previously held by Theodor Mommsen, who was 85 when he won the award in 1902. Lessing's laureateship makes this the second time in three years that the award has gone to a British author, following Harold Pinter's in 2005. The prize was awarded last year to the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk.

Doris Lessing: On NOT winning the Nobel Peace Prize

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Other Hand: Chris Cleaves

So, well .... hmmmmm. I've read the book. I just finished last week actually which is nice because normally I finish the book months before it becomes "THE BOOK" and then during the discussion which I inevitably lead I have no idea what actually happened in the book. Which needless to say, (yet I still will) doesn't lend itself well to guiding an hour long conversation on it. Having just completely exaggerated how long the London Girly Book Club actually spends in pursuit of literary analysis, I'll now go on to say that I am indeed ready for an in-depth scrutiny of Little Bee and all her anomalies.

This book came HIGHLY recommended. But, I have to say... I didn't LOVE it. I found it tough to get into. Not James Joyce tough but it was a far cry from Sophie Kinsella easy. The story was interesting but for me it was almost two completely different stories half haphazardly put together. The author, very cleverly (perhaps) doesn't give away anything on the back of the book..and the book came as mysteriously recommended to me. "I can't tell you about it... but READ IT" she gushed. So you're taken through the first hundred pages as you learn exactly what happened THAT DAY on the beach... and then it seems to be a completely different story where the author grasps to pull together the current realities of his characters.

Something has to be said about the subject, it was certainly a very sad, true depiction of events that many of us don't realize or recognize. And I will certainly give Cleaves credit for bringing to light an injust system.

Share your thoughts with comments below.


Someone asked me for my top ten the other day... it was hard... but I think I figured it out... Here are my favorite top ten books of all time. Would love to hear yours!

1.The Book Thief: Markus Zusak
2.The Help: Kathryn Stockett
3.Shantaram: Gregory David Robert
4.Night: Elie Wiesel
5.The Glass Castle: Jeanette Walls
6.The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
7.The Various Flavours of Coffee by Anthony Capella
8.Call The Midwife: A True Story Of The East End In The 1950s by Jennifer Worth
9.Three Cups of Tea: Greg Mortensen
10.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows


So our next book is an easy read... Single in the City by Michelle Gorman. You can purchase the book from Amazon HERE for £4.39