Tag Archives: George Elliott

The Prose Practice – Books for Book Groups

I am currently ‘oop north’ in Manchester and have been joined at my aunties by the lovely Granny Savidge Reads (though she does prefer to be known as simply Gran) and last night she was asking me my advice on possible choices for one, of the three that she is a member of, book groups and their choices of reads next year.

They already have a list of possible options and the idea is that each member of the group chooses twelve of the titles from the list giving them points in order of preference (twelve being the maximum and working down) and the ones that get the most votes are the twelve they head for in 2011.

Naturally I thought that all of you would make a wonderful panel who could recommend a title of twelve from the list, rather than just me. So here without further ado, and in order of authors first name, is the list of the possible reads, I have crossed some out as Gran had already read them and didn’t fancy them again or just didn’t fancy end of – though I am sure she could be persuaded by you all…

  • The Children’s Book – A.S. Byatt
  • The Yacoubian Building – Alaa al Aswanny
  • La’s Orchestra Saves The World – Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Long Song – Andrea Levy
  • The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga
  • The Card – Arnold Bennett
  • Dreams From My Father – Barack Obama
  • Our Mutual Friend – Charles Dickens
  • Last Train From Liguria – Christine Dwyer Hickey
  • Short Stories – D.H. Lawrence
  • Death Sentence – David Lodge
  • Counting My Chickens – Deborah Devonshire
  • These Foolish Things – Deborah Moggach
  • The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
  • Girl in a Blue Dress – Gaynor Arnold
  • Adam Bede – George Elliott
  • Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson
  • Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
  • Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
  • Family Romance – John Lancaster
  • Paradise Postponed – John Mortimer
  • The Plague of Doves – Louise Erdrich
  • An Education – Lynn Barber
  • The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble
  • The Memory Box – Margaret Forster
  • The Glassblower of Murano – Marina Fiorato
  • Florence Nightingale – Mark Bostridge
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  • The Hamilton Case – Michelle De Krester
  • Memento Mori – Muriel Spark
  • The Wasted Vigil – Nadine Aslam
  • Great Fortunes – Olivia Manning
  • Border Crossing – Pat Barker
  • Peripheral Vision – Patricia Ferguson
  • The Law of Dreams – Peter Belling
  • Trespass – Rose Tremain
  • Sacred Hearts – Sarah Dunant
  • The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters
  • Engleby – Sebastian Faulks
  • Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  • The Beacon – Susan Hill
  • Restless – William Boyd
  • A Whispered Name – William Brodrick
  • The Believers – Zoe Heller

That’s quite a list isn’t it? I am sure you can understand why I thought opening this up to all of you would be much more helpful as I haven’t heard of half of the authors. Which is also an apology if therefore I have spelt some titles and authors wrongly, I am going by the spreadsheet Gran brought with her. I did recommend ‘The Little Stranger’ oddly as though I didn’t initially love it, it grew on me over time, I would have loved to have read it and been able to discuss the ending and what it all seemed to mean.

So which twelve would you pick and why? I know Gran will be popping by and checking, as will I as I have some of these on Mount TBR which I have been itching to get around too. Let us know, if you could suggest twelve in orderof preference and why that would be amazing…


Filed under Book Group, The Prose Practise

Books of Birmingham

Finally I have managed to get myself on the internet – hoorah! I can now finally show you the view form the suite (I nearly called this post ‘A Room With A View”  but thought that was too cheesy, even for me) which you will see is very apt for this blogger! Now before I show you let me set the scene. Imagine you have been on a two hour train journey where a baby cried so much and so loudly you couldn’t read (the quiet coach was full) so you have slight book rage. Imagine that then you end up having a conversation with your partner about how many books you own, the fact there are too many and that really you should avoid all bookshops this weekend (even though shopping is on the cards) and ‘isnt it good you wont be able to by books for a week in Tel Aviv’ to then get to your lovely penthouse suite and be greated by this view…

The Wickedly Taunting Waterstones

Now some would call that a calling, or fate. I call it meanness. I almost asked if we could change rooms. It was even haunting me with its neon name in the night…

Wicked Waterstones by Night

Oh that wickedly placed Waterstones!!! It’s a marvel that I didn’t by a single book yesterday, mind you there is still a day of shopping left (travel guides don’t count do they?)! I was even more impressed with myself when I happened to pass this shop which normally would send me into some sort of book-a-holic trance…

The £2 Book Shop of Birmingham

It didn’t which considering books were actually only £1 a pop is quite something especially as I accidentally somehow fell into the shop (how do these things happen?) I was only tempted by one book, which I have now forgotten so clearly I didn’t actually want it, I only remember it had some great quotes and was a author’s memoir, though not an author I had heard of ! I did see a selection of books which I thought I would share and seemed good for book discussion that were on show in this  little book lovers site of intrigue…

The Cheating Guides To Reading Classics

Yes these little gems, of evil in my opinion, are ‘Compact Classics. Which in my head I would call “The Cheats Guide To Reading”. You could cheat your way through ‘the best bits/half of’ Hermen Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’, Elizabeth Gaskells ‘Wives & Daughters’, George Elliott’s ‘Mill on the Floss’ or Thackeray’s ‘Vanity Fair’. Is it me or does that seem a little bit wrong and slightly cheat worthy? If you agree do let me know and if you don’t do tell me why?

I am now off to not shop in that Waterstone’s ‘Tower of Temptation’. I must also somehow avoid one of the biggest Borders store’s I have ever seen (from the outside only) in the Bull Ring. Wish me luck, I fear I may need it. Or as support do let me know of your tales of triumph of overcoming a bookstore that just couldn’t stop inviting you when you were on  a book ban!  Support and thoughts are much needed, ha!


Filed under Book Thoughts