Monthly Archives: December 2016

Bristol Book Group Social – next meeting

The next meeting for Bristol Book Group Social

Time: 8pm, Thursday 19th of January 2017

Place: King William Pub. 20 King St, Bristol, Avon BS1 4EF ‎(upstairs part)

Books: The Night Manager by John le Carré, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes and Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. Reading all of the books is not required, pick whichever one interests you the most.

Future plans

We’ll be meeting again in February, when we’ll be discussing Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene, His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet and The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller.

You can find Bristol Book Group Social on Facebook.

In sunlight or in shadow by Lawrence Block

in-light-or-in-shadow“Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within.”

So says Lawrence Block, who has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories: In Sunlight or In Shadow. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy.

Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. Even Gail Levin, Hopper’s biographer and compiler of his catalogue raisonee, appears with her own first work of fiction, providing a true account of art theft on a grand scale and told in the voice of the country preacher who perpetrated the crime.

In a beautifully produced anthology as befits such a collection of acclaimed authors, each story is illustrated with a quality full-color reproduction of the painting that inspired it.

What I thought: this collection of short stories promises a lot and delivers superbly. It’s hard to see how it could fail with such writers as King and Olen Butler amongst those chosen but it’s not only the writing. Hopper’s work is ideally suited for narrative explanation; for the befores and afters. A couple on a porch or a woman at a window. The paintings may have been left as ambiguous and undefined but these writers take up what was left unsaid.

This was one of my favourite books this year.

In Sunlight or in Shadow, edited by Lawrence Block.

Books for Christmas Lists

I have far too many half-written book reviews unposted so I’m going to ignore them for a second and post about books for Christmas from DK.  [NOT SPONSORED] They sent a list of their books to see what I thought and these are the ones I liked – and we have some of them.

star-wars_year-by-yearStar Wars Year by Year: A Visual History, Updated Edition presents the full story of Star Wars, including all the latest additions to the saga, just in time for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. £35

 

 

 

baby-touch-and-feelBaby Touch and Feel Christmas – £3.99 Ages 0-2 We got this one for Lois. It’s very sweet: explore the sparkly world of snowflakes and Santa together with this touchy feely book.

 

 

 

Disney Pixar Finding Dory Essential Collection – £14.99

Ages 6-12

dory-the-collection

The slipcase for the books lights up when you press a button to illuminate the sparkling coral reef and help find Dory.  It contains the Finding Dory Essential Guide and the Finding Dory Ultimate Sticker Book.

 

 

 

peter-rabbit-anniversary-edition

 

The Ultimate Peter Rabbit £14.99

This special anniversary edition celebrates 150 years since Beatrix Potter’s birth. Packed with artworks and insight from the Potter estate archives.

 

az-of-garden-plants

 

A – Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants £75

The ultimate garden reference book  that comes in a carry-box.

 

 

365-lego365 Things to Do with LEGO® Bricks – £16.99

Ages 6+

LEGO fun for every day of the year. This book is packed with fun and quirky activities, such as: build your own LEGO pet; challenge your friends to make the tallest LEGO tower against the clock; and learn how to make a stop-motion LEGO movie.

 

winter-wonderland-stickers-legoLEGO Winter Wonderland Ultimate Sticker Collection – £7.99

Ages 6+

Lots of Lego this year for Mersina but all while keeping in mind that anything Lois gets her hands on will be destroyed (or eaten). Nevertheless, this one also looks good – exploring wintery worlds and decking the halls with candy canes. I