Monthly Archives: November 2013

World Book Night 2014

2014 books

Save the day – 23rd April 2014 is World Book Night and it’s not too early to start thinking about it because the list of books has been published. You can see the list here and read about how you can apply to be a giver and share a love of reading with people you may know who haven’t discovered it yet. There is an application form to fill in and return by 23rd January and you will be able to collect the books from libraries in Wakefield. What do you think of the choice of books? Is there one you’d love to share?


Book review

From the Book review pages:

It’s long (3,200 pages), it’s big (2000 characters), it doesn’t have much in the way of action (the first 50 pages basically describe the narrator turning over in bed), it’s just turned 100 years old and it’s probably the greatest work of fiction ever written. This month marks the centenary of Vol. 1 of Marcel Proust’s ‘A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu’ (aka ‘Remembrance of Things Past’ or ‘In Search of Lost Time’ depending on the translation – a long story in itself!). A famously daunting read with sprawling sentences and paragraphs with more building work than some schools of architecture, no novel I’ve ever read is so rewarding in the way it gradually pulls you in then takes over your life. So go on, in this centenary year, give it a try, and enhance your literary bragging rights for ever more! Maybe our libraries should hold Proustian birthday parties with tea, madeleines and borrowers swapping involuntary memories…..

‘In Search of Lost Time Vol 1 – Swann’s Way’ by Marcel Proust.

Specsavers National Book Awards


The shortlists for the Specsavers National Book Awards have been announced. Pictured above are the nominations for the ‘Books are my bag’ New Writer of the Year award. Have you read any of them? I will be hoping for a win for Gavin Extence. I had the pleasure of a morning with him during the Wakefield Lit Fest and enjoyed discussing his fascinating and original novel.
There lots of categories including popular fiction and non-fiction books, crime novels, childrens books and many more so take a look and tell us your picks for the winners.
I couldn’t choose the Waterstones UK Author of the Year from Kate Atkinson, Patrick Ness, Maggie O’Farrell, Iain Banks, Jim Crace and Neil Gaiman. Could you?

Talking Rugby

Try Reading
Rugby fans are in for a treat with another Try Reading event on 26 November!
Join the panel of Rugby experts for an lively and entertaining view of Rugby League today. A must see event for any sports fan!

Panel includes:

Phil Caplan and Tony Hannan, co-directors of Scratching Shed Publishing and Forty-20 magazine, the alternative voice of Rugby League.

Richard Mathers, player for Wakefield Wildcats. Richard rose from the ranks of the Leeds Academy to play the game at the highest level, winning a Grand Final with Leeds and Challenge Cups whilst at Warrington. He also had a spell at Gold Coast Titans and Wigan.

David Hinchcliffe played rugby from the age of 8 and his career included playing hooker for Walnut Warriors Wakefield. He was MP for Wakefield from 1987-2005. He has written a number of books on the game, most recently ‘They Walked on Water: The Untold Story of Wembley 1968.’

Mick Martin is the author of the play ‘Broken Time’ that tells the story of the momentous split of 1985 and the birth of Rugby League. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of the game.

This event is being organised as part of Try Reading, a libraries project celebrating and promoting RLWC2013.

Tuesday 26th November

Wakefield One Library & Museum
Burton Street, Wakefield, WF1 2DD
Tuesday 26th November, 6.30-8pm

Booking is essential, to reserve a free place email or call 01924 305376

Try Reading Rugby Night

RugbyDo you like writing? Do you like rugby? If so come along to Wakefield One Library & Museum on Wednesday 13th November, 6pm-7.45pm and meet Geoff Lee author of the Four Seasons Series who will discuss how he started writing and talk about his novels based on rugby, romance, family and rock ‘n’ roll. You don’t have to be a rugby lover to enjoy this event as Geoff will entertain you with humorous tales from his own life and how he used these experiences to write novels.

There will also be an opportunity to meet and have a chat with Wakefield’s Museum Curator John Whitaker who will be displaying a fascinating selection of Rugby artefacts and with Featherstone Rovers Heritage Project Manager Melissa Schiele who will be giving a talk on small museums management – and how you can apply this to small collections of objects in the home, rugby or otherwise.

Booking is essential, to reserve a free place email or call 01924 305376

D’Annunzio biography wins Samuel Johnson Prize





A biography of “repellent” Italian poet and politician has been awarded the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Author Lucy Hughes-Hallett was yeserday  announced winner of the £20,000 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, for her biography The Pike, published by 4th Estate.

The Pike is the story of the controversial life of Gabriele D’Annunzio, the debauched Italian artist who became a national hero. His evolution from idealist Romantic to radical right-wing revolutionary is a political parable. Through his ideological journey, culminating in the failure of his attempt at Fiume to establish a utopia based on his fascist and artistic ideals, readers witness the political turbulence of early 20th-century Europe and the emergence of fascism, while also following a personal story of an outrageous career.

The winner was announced by Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and chair of judges, at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Martin’s fellow judges were classicist, Mary Beard; Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti; historian, Peter Hennessy; and writer and non-fiction reviewer, James McConnachie.

The Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction is the UK’s premier prize for non-fiction books.samjohnprizelogo

The prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of all non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

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