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Grammath
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Just before Christmas I received a small, beautiful looking book in the post; Sei, The Glassblower's Apprentice.

 

Does anyone know where this could have come from?

Hmmm. Let's have a think. You just got a copy of a book called The Poison That Fascinates by Jennifer Clement courtesy of Andrea at Canongate and the booklet, Sei, the Glassblower's Apprentice was no doubt, like mine, signed by Andrea. You know, I have no idea where it could have come from. ;)

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Hmmm. Let's have a think. You just got a copy of a book called The Poison That Fascinates by Jennifer Clement courtesy of Andrea at Canongate and the booklet, Sei, the Glassblower's Apprentice was no doubt, like mine, signed by Andrea. You know, I have no idea where it could have come from. ;)
OK OK - enough of the sarcasm. It all rang bells but I just hadn't put 2 +2 together. Too many Christmas tipples has numbed my intelligence :P

 

However now I know I shall say a big THANK YOU to Andrea x

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Have been spending my book vouchers I received for christmas on the following:-

 

Notes from an Exhibition - Patrick Gale

The Rose of Sebastopol - Katherine McMahon

Then We Came To The End - Joshua Ferris

The Visible World - Mark Slouka

A Quiet Belief in Angels - R.J. Ellory

Random Acts of Herioc Love - Danny Scheinmann

The Welsh Girl - Peter Ho Davies

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Popped into Tesco for the weekly shop and couldn't resist Bethany Roberts' The Pools, after a reader named it their best read of 2007 in the Guardian yesterday. I always favour the readers that sound like real people rather than pretentious wannabes. I think last year, I singled out a reader for liking Winton's Dirt Music and it turned our to be our very own Chuntzy. If the same happens again, and I have singled out a BGO member, then...thank you for the 'real' recommendation!

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Now that the celebrity biog buyers are out of the bookshops, it's now time for us proper bibliophiles to return to the shelves.

 

Two cheapos from Fopp:

* "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" by Andrew Collins

* "Erasure" by Percival Everett (have been picking up and putting back this guy's books from the shelves for months, but he sounds right up my street).

 

Borders yielded:

 

* "Lust, Caution" by Eileen Chang

* "A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers" by Xiaolu Guo

* "The Jeeves and Wooster Omnibus" by P. G. Wodehouse (contains "Mating Season", "The Code of the Woosters" and "Right Ho, Jeeves!" Read Hugh Laurie's top hole introduction on the train on the way home which whetted my appetite so much I might have to dive into this one straight away. It's not often an introduction does that).

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The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing

The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay, Michael Chabon

Gentlmen Of The Road, Michael Chabon

Then We Came To The End, Joshua Ferris

A True Story Based On Lies, Jennifer Clement

The Invention Of Morel, Adolfo Bioy Casares

 

I can't stop buying. :(

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The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay, Michael Chabon

Then We Came To The End, Joshua Ferris

 

I can't stop buying. :(

 

Recent purchases of mine too Stewart. 3 days in and you've broken a resolution! Then, you didn't hold out much hope for holding that one did you? ;)

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Recent purchases of mine too Stewart. 3 days in and you've broken a resolution! Then, you didn't hold out much hope for holding that one did you? ;)

No, I didn't. Technically it was on day one that I bought one of them through Amazon marketplace and thought I could get away with not admitting to it. The rest were day two.

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The Great Vegetable Plot - by Sarah Raven, a companion book to her Garden Cookbook, which I was given for Christmas.

I've also bought Here To Eternity, a poetry anthology compiled by Andrew Motion - but it's not for me. It's a present for my elder son & DiL on their 4th (book) anniversary.

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Went to the sales today. I should have been buying bed linen, but I came home with:

The Kite Runner (half price in Borders)

A Concise Chinese English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Children of the Revolution by Dinaw Mengustu

How We Built Britain by David Dimblebey (I got into the holiday repeats of the TV series and was fascinated.)

 

In my defence, I've not made any resolutions about not buying books - I know that's hopeless!

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I was in town yesterday, with money to burn, my mum to look after the boys while I book-browsed, book sales a go-go, and...nothing. I didn't come home with one, single, solitary book. Every book shop; Borders, Waterstones...W H Smiths, were completely devoid of inspiration, so stacked they were of the latest R&J choices, 3 for 2 on average bestsellers, and absolutely no offers on any books out of the mainstream. I was hugely frustrated. Hugely. Even the 'in translation' section of Waterstones bored me to tears, with the booksellers' blurbs attached to various books all spouting tripe and cliched, hackneyed phrases and liberally wrapped in shiny sellotape. None of the shops stocked any of the books currently residing on my wishlist...(no surprises there for WHS of course!). What a sad state of affairs. :(

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Even the 'in translation' section of Waterstones bored me to tears, with the booksellers' blurbs attached to various books all spouting tripe and cliched, hackneyed phrases and liberally wrapped in shiny sellotape.
That's a shame. When it comes to translated fiction, I tend to put mty faith in the publishing houses that have produced them. Thus anything from Pushkin, Marion Boyars, New York Review of Books (NYRB), Peter Owen, and Twisted Spoon Press are marks of quality that will have me picking it up, regardless of how bored I feel by the blurb. I love that table in Waterstones.
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Every book shop; Borders, Waterstones...W H Smiths, were completely devoid of inspiration, so stacked they were of the latest R&J choices, 3 for 2 on average bestsellers, and absolutely no offers on any books out of the mainstream.

I wonder what the book selling business would be like if they still weren't allowed to discount books. I can't help thinking that the book world would be a much better place and the bookshops more inspiring. Certainly more diversified.

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