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Bill Spence

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel Laureate, who has died aged 87..

Newsletter No 121

March 2014

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” 
― Cicero

The Book of the Month is THE LIE, by Helen Dunmore a haunting First World War novel set in Cornwall.
Go to the competition page to win a copy and read an interview with the author.

The other recommended titles are: A PERFECTLY GOOD MAN, a moving story also set in Cornwall by Patrick Gale and OCTOBER by Zoe Wicomb.

Let us know what you think of our reviews. Leave your comments at the bottom of any review - we’d love to hear them.

The 5 lucky winners of THE WIND IS NOT A RIVER by Brian Payton, are: Janet Bell, Hampton Wick; Lisa Pepper, Cambridge; Warren Li, Cheadle; Alison Johnson, Bedworth and Gwen Joyce, Gateshead. Many thanks to Mantle, the publishers.

Welcome to all the new groups who have recently registered with us. Now is the time to request your FREE BOOKS! Just go to the offers page. This is for ALL registered groups (sorry, UK and N. Ireland groups only) not just new ones. If your group is not registered then just fill in the form. It’s a very simple process.
N.B. You only need to register once.

Do your bookgroup details need updating? Email us at info@bookgroup.info and we’ll amend your directory entry for you.

Do you want to be our BGoTM? Just fill in the questionnaire and win a £10 voucher if you’re chosen.

Here are some new groups recently registered with us who are looking for members: Forncett Reading Group, Norwich; Barnes Bookclub, London;
Swansea U3A Bookgroup No 7, Swansea; Murder Ink Crime Reading Group, Dudley; Stilettos Network Bookgroup, Birmingham.
So if you're looking for a group in any of those areas, get in touch with them through their page on the directory.

See what’s on in your area on our list of festivals and events. If you want us to include something free on the listings page then complete the registration form or contact us at info@bookgroup.info

If you’re looking for an independent bookshop in your town our list could tell you if there’s one near you, or if you own or manage an independent bookshop we can list your shop free on the site. Just complete the registration form or email us at info@bookgroup.info for more information.

Showcase Cinemas are offering 4 pairs of tickets to see George Bernard Shaw's witty interpretation of CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA on 26 May at selected cinemas. See our offers page for details of how you can win tickets.

Studio Canal is offering a book and film poster of THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY. The film of this terrific story by Patricia Highsmith will be released on May 16th. Read more about it here and go to the offers page to win the goodies!

George Saunders, an award-winning writer of short stories, essays, novellas and children’s books, is the winner of the inaugural Folio Prize for his short story collection, TENTH OF DECEMBER.

The Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction has published this year’s shortlist which includes several of Bookgroup Info’s featured authors including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jhumpa Lahiri and debut author Hannah Kent for her novel BURIAL RITES (see our review). The winner will be announced on June 4th.

The average British household has 138 books, but over half have never been read. A survey of 2,000 adults, published on World Book Day, showed that two-thirds kept books because they were emotionally attached to them, while over one in four said they hated throwing anything away. Read more here.

Another study, this time from Booktrust, has shown that the UK is divided in terms of reading, with those who read less more likely to be male, under 30 and with lower levels of qualifications, happiness, and satisfaction in their lives. Read about their findings here.

 “Bland, dull and repetitive” and obsessed with the lives of thirty-somethings in north‑west London – that is the parlous state of new literary fiction. Do you agree with A L Kennedy’s assessment of new literary fiction in the UK? 

Read the latest on the sending books to prisoners scandal. Geoffrey Robertson QC says the government's ban on sending books to prisoners is unreasonable and counterproductive while campaigners fighting the Ministry of Justice over a ban on books being sent to prisoners threatened to take their battle to the courts. If you feel strongly about this then sign the online petition.
The April edition of BBC Radio 4 Bookclub on Sunday 6th at 4pm and Thursday 10th at 3.30pm features John Banville discussing his novel THE SEA. Read our review before tuning in. Remember, you can listen again on the BBC i-player.

Bookclub has places for two recordings in May – incidentally with two of Bookgroup Info’s favourite authors. Tim Winton will discuss DIRT MUSIC on Tuesday 20th May at 5.40pm at BBC Broadcasting House, London and Lorrie Moore will discuss WHO WILL RUN THE FROG HOSPITAL? on Tuesday 27th May at 5.40pm also at BBC Broadcasting House. See the Bookclub website for how to apply for tickets.

World Book Club has two programmes coming from Norway in May.  On Thursday 22nd May 2014 at 5.00pm award-winning Norwegian novelist Per Petterson will be talking about his novel OUT STEALING HORSES (see our review) and on Friday 23rd May 2014 at 4.00pm Jostein Gaarder will be talking about his novel SOPHIE’S WORLD.
If you wish to attend either recording in Oslo please send in your name for the guest list - they don’t issue tickets.
Send in your questions for the authors to worldbookclub@bbc.co.uk

Please do remember to forward the newsletter to other members of your group so that they can take advantage of the offers and competitions.

Please email us at info@bookgroup.info if you wish to unsubscribe to the newsletter.

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