Monday, 22 February 2010

Beautiful book covers

From a collection here.

I particularly like these two:

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

England Vs. Argentina, World Cup 2002

This is highlights of the match they're watching in Heartland

The Beckham's celebration still feels so emotional!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Waterstones Book Circle - a virtual book group

Book Circle is a new virtual book group for Waterstones card holders.

Each month one of them picks a book (from the books new out in paperback that month, I'm assuming) and then Waterstones produces a reading guide for you to download.

This month it's Hearts and Minds by Amanda Craig.

You can download the reading guide here, including an 8 page guide, and 12 questions.

In fact Hearts and Minds looks really good!

Monday, 8 February 2010

On The Road, re-told by Google

Another example of storytelling:

This was a book that really polarised the group - the boys liked it, the girls hated it...

Monday, 1 February 2010

Review of the TV Book Club

We wrote about the new TV Book Club in January when it was first announced. Now, 3 weeks in, it's finally a proper discussion of books.

The first two weeks felt pretty weak and frustrating because too much time was spent on the celebs (Chris Evans and Alan Davies) with the book under discussion squeezed into too much time at the end. Also the interaction between the panelists seemed a bit false.

The third week was a lot better, though. Either by luck or design Gok Wan wasn't there, and one fewer person in the studio made it easier for the others to really get stuck into the book. They also seemed more natural together, and acting more like passionate readers and less like celebs ticking demographic boxes. You don't need to people to be famous, just to have strong opinions, articulately expressed.

For example, I really like Newsnight Review (now re-named The Review Show) on BBC 2, and as you get used to the people on it you look forward to seeing what they're going to think of the items under discussion. The classic line up of Tom Paulin, Tony Parsons and Alison Pearson in the late 1990s was really successful despite the fact that at the time none of them were well known before being on the show. I really wanted that for the TV Book Club, and although they've gone the celeb route, I really want people like Nathaniel Parker and Laila Rouass (neither of whom are really known to me) to live up to that. Hopefully by the time they get onto Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook I'll be anticipating the stands they'll take on different aspects of the story.

Anyway, it's now starting to feel like a real book club, rather than a plugging machine, and I'm actually looking forward to seeing what they make of Juliet Naked, the only one of the books on the list that I've actually read.

For another example of the TV Book Club, have a look at what they do in Australia. They really get stuck in!