Saturday, 31 December 2011

Best of 2011

I haven't attended or done as many cultural events this year as the previous years, but I tried my best. The following are some of the highlights (*some of the items below are quite dated, like Cloud Atlas, but I read it this year):

  • Films: Jane Eyre, Where the Wild Things Are, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Midnight in Paris, MI4 (Hehe)
  • Books: Teach Us to Sit Still, Cloud Atlas, The Wilderness, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, It's a Book, Stranger's Child
  • Poetry: Family Values
  • TV: Mad Men Season 4
  • Events: Bath Lit Fest, Chelt Lit Fest, Decemberists Concert, Feist Concert, Secret Cinema, Stoke Newingham Lit Fest, Eels Concert, Magritte Exhibit at Liverpool, Thanksgiving in Dorset, Sylvia Plath's drawings at Mayor Gallery, Cirque du Soleil - Zaia, Some like it Hip Hop at Sadler's Wells
  • Places: Google HQ, Casa Batllo, Saltaire, Big Buddha
  • Food/Beverage: Schwartz's in Montreal, Manpuku in Toronto, Magdalen Arms in Oxford, Hotel Bellevue at Sorrento, Printer's House, Lang Fong Yuen in HK, Isis Farmhouse in Oxford, Mercato Caterina in Barcelona

Low points:

  • Books: Time Traveller's Wife, Hunger Games Trilogy (don't ask), Great House
  • Events: RADA's Reigen (ugh!)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

World Book Night giveaway

Event: World Book Night (Saturday 5 March)
Locations: All over the UK

'm really excited to be participating in the World Book Night giveaway. Yes, there have been concerns that the book industry will be inundated with a million free books, and that authors and independent bookshop owners would suffer because of this event, but I think there's a lot going for it, and I for one am very happy to be involved!

The book I'm giving away is Love in the Time of Cholera, by G G Marquez.

Have you heard of this book only because of the film? (I wouldn't really recommend seeing the film first though. Not as good as the original!) The synopsis is as follows:
Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Arizo’s impassioned advances and married Dr. Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half century, Florentino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again.

When Fermina’s husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?

My grand plan is to try and leave the majority of the 48 books that I'm given in random locations around different cities (I travel frequently) and hope that people, book lovers or not, would pick them up and take care of them. Also, what I'd love to see is people discussing the book after they read it, so I'll be leaving a note inside each book. I will also name a few suggestions for further reading for those who enjoyed the book. I will also donate the books to local charities and friends who have not read the book before.

If *you* are interested in reading this book, please let me know! I'm open to mailing out a few copies! Please leave a message with your email if so.

Who would like this book?

In my opinion, readers who enjoy a bit of Latin American history, a bit of magic, a bit of romance, would like it.

More about the event:
One million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland. The book give-away will comprise 40,000 copies of each of the 25 carefully selected titles, to be given away by 20,000 ‘givers’, who will each distribute 48 copies of their chosen title to whomever they choose on World Book Night. The remaining books will be distributed by World Book Night itself in places that might otherwise be difficult to reach, such as prisons and hospitals.
There are also lots of interesting programmes on BBC relating to World Book Night. You can find out more here: