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Bill Spence

Ali Smith, who has won the Goldsmith Prize for her novel, HOW TO BE BOTH..


Newsletter No 127

December 2014

?Happy or unhappy, families are all mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be described - and will be, after our deaths - by each of the family members who believe they know us.? Gloria Steinem

The Book of the Month is WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES by Karen Joy Fowler - a wonderful, challenging, moving and thought-provoking novel about family and who we are.

Read an interview with the author.

The other recommended titles are: THE GOLDFINCH, the latest epic by Donna Tartt, THE VISITORS, an eerie first novel by Simon Sylvester, and LAMENTATION, an atmospheric Tudor drama, by C J Sansom.

Go to the competition page to win a copy of THE GOLDFINCH.

The five lucky winners of Ex Libris  pack of OG games are: Kathryn Grayson, Camberley; Sue Berwick, Staines; Maria Ellis, Welling; Linda Warman, Oxford and Jan Wroblewski Deptford, London. Many thanks to Ex Libris, the publishers.

The 10 lucky winners of THE HUMANS by Matt Haig are: Jane Clark, Solihull; Cathy Gordon, Southampton; Claire Carstairs, Westcliff on Sea; Helen Iddenden Smith, Swaffham; Fiorentina Giannitto, Stoke on Trent; Kiran Parry, Aberdare; Rachel Colclough, Kings Lynn; Eleri Jenkins, Llanelli; Marcus Cunningham, Lincoln and Simone Kowitz, London. Thanks to Canongate, 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.

Read all about the Bookgroup of the Month the gregarious Longlevens Bookclub, Gloucester, who are looking for new members.
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: Loglevens Bookgroup, Gloucester; Saltdean Bookclub, Brighton; Bexhill Bookgroup, Bexhill-on-Sea; Northampton Reading Circle; Bishop?s Waltham Readers Group; The Eltham Irregulars, London; Horsham Bookgroup; Ise Lodge Bookgroup, Kettering and Infinite Jest, Withington, Manchester.
So if you're looking for a group in any of those areas, get in touch with them through their page on the directory.

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

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 

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  for more information.

The 2015 Bristol Short Story Prize is now open for entries. Go to the website for all the details. The closing date is April 30th.

Joshua Ferris has won the Dylan Thomas prize for young writers, beating favourites Eleanor Catton and Eimear McBride to win the £30,000 for his novel, TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR. Read more here.

This year?s Bad Sex in Fiction award winner is Ben Okri for an ?ecstatic? love scene featuring a stray rocket going off somewhere in the night. Booker winner Richard Flanagan is among its shortlisted targets. See some other famous names here! The Literary Review the donors of the prize say ?The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them.? Hear hear!

Ali Smith takes the Goldsmiths prize for her novel, HOW TO BE BOTH. The novel, which has won the £10,000 award for mould-breaking works, comes in two versions: one starting with a Renaissance fresco painter, one with a modern-day teenager in mourning. Fascinating stuff. Read more here.

The December edition of BBC Radio 4 Bookclub features Patrick O?Brian discussing MASTER AND COMMANDER on Sunday 2nd (4pm) and Thursday 6th (3.30pm) and the January edition features A SHORT HISTORY OF TRACTORS IN UKRAINIAN by Marina Lewycka on Sunday 4 (4pm) and Thursday 8 January (3.30pm). Don?t forget you can always listen again on the BBC i-player.

In a very rare interview Anne Tyler will be discussing her novel DINNER AT THE HOMESICK RESTAURANT at her Baltimore home in the US in January 2015. Grab your chance and send World Bookclub your questions for Anne Tyler by 15th January to

And finally, RIP P.D. James, creator of the wonderful detective (and poet) Adam Dalgliesh. Read an obituary here.

Please do remember to forward the newsletter to other members of your group so that they can take advantage of the offers and competitions. 
A Very Happy Christmas and New Year to all our readers and we?ll be with you again in February.

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

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