Category Archives: Books

Cityread London

My DearCoverMy Dear, I wanted to tell you

by Louisa Young

has been chosen as the Cityread London book this year.  This London-wide celebration of literature is designed to promote reading for pleasure and the whole capital is invited to get reading the same book during April.

Free copies of the book are available from libraries iCityread London Logo 120107n participating boroughs and there are events and workshops throughout the month.

So pick up your free copy and let us know your thoughts.

To find out more visit


World Book Night

World Book Night is on April 23 in the UK, Ireland and the USA.

images[4]World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging those who have lost the love of reading – or are yet to gain it

It is a celebration of reading and books, where volunteers gift books to people in their communities and is run by The Reading Agency.

Look at the 20 books that have been chosen for this year – and borrow them from one of our libraries if you are not lucky enough to be given one.

Do you think it is a good choice which will appeal to those who are being encouraged to read?

Have you applied to be a book ‘gifter’? What title did you choose and who will you give them to?


Talk to the author

The Mists of Simla by Balraj Khanna

Mist of Simla by Balraj KhannaRahul Kapoor is about to take his final exams to enter college in Simla in the foothills of the Himalayas, it is 1962,  it is hot, there is cricket to play, love is in the air and then the Chinese army arrive on the borders of North India.

A book to be read in our Indian summer during September and October – fingers crossed.

The author Balraj Khanna will be responding to any comments posted on Text Tribe.

The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby, by F Scott FitzgeraldOur next book:

‘There was music from my neighbour’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whispering and the champagne and the stars’.

Go back to a summer in the 1920’s Jazz Age by reading The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.

Amid the parties, the dancing, the drinking and the glamour – the American Dream went sour.

What went wrong?

Was Daisy Buchanan to blame?

Have you seen the new film? How does it compare to the book?

2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction

Today saw the much anticipated announcement of this year’s shortlist for the Women’s Prize For Fiction 2013 (formerly the Orange Prize).

Visit the Women's Prize for Fiction websiteThe shortlist:

  • Kate Atkinson – Life After Life
  • A M Homes – May We Be Forgiven
  • Barbara Kingslover – Flight Behaviour
  • Hilary Mantel – Bring Up the Bodies
  • Maria Semple – Where’d You Go, Bernadette
  • Zadie Smith – NW

The final Awards Ceremony will take place on 5 June 2013. You can find more information about this year’s prize and its nominated authors on the Booktrust website.

Have you read any of the nominated books?
Were there other books on the longlist that you think should have made it through?
If you would like to share your views and experiences of reading any of the titles on the shortlist (or indeed the longlist!) then please do!


A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks

A Week in December by Sebastian FaulksThe book chosen for April is A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks.
OK, it’s April, but it feels like December in the UK!

We’re not the only group reading it – it’s the Cityread London book choice, and book groups and individuals all over London will be reading it at the same time. Find out more about Cityread London, including loads of events for all ages throughout the capital.

Have you read it? Will you read it? And… is it any good?!?

Reading 1984 in 2013

1984-posterSt John’s Wood Library book group have been reading George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.  

But has Winston Smith’s wrestle with oppression stood the test of time and remained chilling?

And do you hear the term Big Brother and think ‘Oh great, when is that coming back on TV ?’ rather than ‘I really must read 1984’.  


His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

His Last Bow, by Sir Arthur Conan DoyleAnd for our next group read:
His Last Bow by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This is a spy story and one of the last outings for Holmes and Watson.  It is in a collection of 7 (or 8) short stories, you can read them all or just the title story – your choice.

There are copies in lots of our libraries and if you need to reserve one there will be no charges made for this service.

So grab yourself a copy and perhaps comment as you are reading, rather than waiting until you have finished it.

“There’s an east wind coming, Watson.”
“I think not, Holmes. It is very warm.”
“Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.”

A patriotic passage from the story which has often been quoted.

Reading anything good?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnything you would recommend?

An author you have just discovered?

Talk about it here!


[Please avoid posting spoilers if possible – or label them as such]

What shall we read next?

latest trainWe could celebrate the birth of the London Underground – 150 years on 9 January – by reading a book set on the Bakerloo line?  

253 by Geoff Ryman is a novel about 252 passengers and 1 driver during a journey from Embankment to Elephant and Castle. Their personal histories, thoughts about themselves and other passengers are described on one page for each character. Perfect to dip into when on the tube or the bus. 

Anyone have any other ideas?

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