Stuck-in-a-Book’s Weekend Miscellany

Gosh, it’s been a while since I did one of these, so I have quite a few things to catch you up on!  Here are just ten of them…

1.) Angela Young’s brilliant novel Speaking of Love is now available as an e-book for Kindle (etc.? I don’t know how these things work.)  You can see/buy it here, and it’s only £1.99, which is crazy cheap for such a good book.  Go give it a try!

2.) National flags created by the foods the countries are associated with!

3.) Daunt Books recently sent me a beautiful new edition of Virginia Woolf’s The London Scene.  I reviewed this collection of stories back in 2007, and highly recommend this really lovely edition – maybe as a Christmas present?

4.) Jura Whisky are running some flash fiction competitions #WinningWords – more info here.

5.)  If you haven’t see Blue Jasmine and get the chance, do.  It’s the best film I’ve seen this year, and Cate Blanchett is astonishingly good.

6.) Jennifer Walker has written a biography of bloggers’-favourite Elizabeth von Arnim (called Elizabeth of the German Garden: A Literary Journey) – I’ve not started it yet, but I’m excited about reading it.

7.) An interesting book bloggers’ survey (to which I contributed) has results here (four results posts linked from that link).  I was mostly surprised by what a high percentage of bloggers are paid to write reviews for publications or other sites.

8.) I loved Susan Sellers’ Vanessa and Virginia (review here) and thought that you might like to know that she has a new book out – Given The Choice – published by Cillian Press.

9.) I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t heard of Elie Wiesel, whom the good people of Souvenir Press assure me is one of the best-known European writers, but I shall find out more with The Testament (trans. Marion Wiesel) which they’ve sent me.

10.) Someone sent me Amazon.com’s 100 Best Books of 2013.  I have heard of 4 of them, and read none.  I do quite want to read three of those four – the Tartt, Rowling, and Humans of New York.

22 thoughts on “Stuck-in-a-Book’s Weekend Miscellany

  • November 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm
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    Love the flags made of food! I was surprised (though I shouldn't be) that I, too, have read none of the Amazon 100. I may have fewer than you that I'm interested in…none that I'm willing to purchase.

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  • November 9, 2013 at 5:17 pm
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    Interesting links, Simon. Alas, I had heard of very few books on the 100 best books of 2013, but then I tend to read old fiction! However, I *am* looking forward to the Tartt!

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    • November 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm
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      I still have her 2nd novel on my shelf, so perhaps I should read that first!

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    • November 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm
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      Oddly enough, I didn't like "The Little Friend" that much – I loved "The Secret History" so maybe it just failed to live up to the first novel!

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  • November 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm
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    The opposite for me, Simon, I was surprised by how few book bloggers make money from their blogs, that so many people are devoted to an activity that doesn't result in lucre. Only 5% get paid for book reviews elsewhere, and the rest either put ads on their site or write for things like Amazon, which surely doesn't pay much. That doesn't seem like a high percentage to me.

    Diana Birchall

    Secondly, I was tickled that neither you nor your commenters have read many of the Amazon 100 nor have great interest in doing so. I said that on the Doves list and thought I was being singular! Guess not.

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    • November 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm
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      I just don't know how people *do* get money from these things! And I remembered it being much higher than 5%, so I must have misremembered.

      And my readers do tend away from the modern :)

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  • November 10, 2013 at 2:47 am
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    Simon, do you know you can Friend Real humans of New York on Facebook and get his daily post? I'll bet you do. Night is still Wiesel's most important book.

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    • November 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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      Oh yes, absolutely! I can't remember how I got into it, but I started following him a while back – I even have one of his prints on my wall.

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  • November 10, 2013 at 4:43 am
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    I have the Elizabeth von Arnim bio sitting right beside me as I type and I can't wait to get into it! Also, excited to hear about Susan Sellers' new book.

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    • November 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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      Looking forward to your thoughts on the E von A biog! I actually have an older biog of her, with the same title – I should compare and contrast…

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  • November 10, 2013 at 8:49 am
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    Me too (the amazon 100 Best Books of 2013). But I wonder if it's because it's amazon.com. On amazon.co.uk's same list (I think it is) http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/bestsellers/2013/books#3 Hilary Mantel comes 41 … among many cooking and baking books! I'm about to order Khaled Hosseini's latest and I have got Kate Atkinson's Life after Life on my kindle … which prompts me to thank you for Speaking of Love's kindle inclusion here: thank you.

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  • November 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm
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    Do read 'The Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt. I finished it this morning. It's brilliant!

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    • November 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm
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      It's on my list! But I should read The Little Friend first…

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    • November 12, 2013 at 1:21 pm
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      That's a good read too. Although, I think that 'The Goldfinch' and 'The Secret History' are much better – more interesting characters, better narrative voice, more appealing plot. N.

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  • November 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm
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    I'm reading one of the list at the moment, Life after Life by Kate Atkinson, and recognise eight other titles, some of which were on the Booker shortlist. But it is amazon.com, as mentioned above.

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    • November 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm
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      I've heard good things about the Kate Atkinson… I've only read one of hers, and should try more.

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  • November 11, 2013 at 6:12 am
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    Thanks for the link to the Amazon list. Book lists are like catnip to readers, aren't they? I've already read three that were listed and there are quite a few others I am interested in/plan on reading, I have a copy of The Goldfinch on my bedside table, but haven't started it yet.

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  • November 14, 2013 at 6:49 am
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  • November 19, 2013 at 7:32 am
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    Hi there! I'm a fairly new reader, but I wanted to comment on this post because you mentioned you've not read anything by Elie Wiesel. I'm really glad you've discovered him! He's a great writer. I'm sure his fiction is great, but it's his memoir, "Night," that most people know him for here in the US. I hope you add it to your list. It's barely one hundred pages, but it packs a punch even in its brevity.

    Also, since I'm already saying hello, I want to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Thanks for taking the time to maintain such a lovely little space of the internet. I find your reading lists and reviews both inspiring and intimidating. And let us know if you ever publish your thesis. I'm in my first semester of a graduate program, and I think your thesis sounds wonderfully interesting.
    :)

    Reply

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