Thursday, 8 November 2012

World Book Night 2013

Today the 20 titles selected for World Book Night 2013 (for the UK) have been announced. Last year I gave away copies of The Book Thief, a book that made my top ten reads for 2011. I was adamant I'd choose a thinner book if I applied to be a giver again...24 copies is a lot to carry around! Would love to form a little Bournemouth group of givers next year so so perhaps we can roam in public. I really wanted to hand out The Raw Shark Texts on the beach but alas it didn't make the final list.

The Road Home by Rose Tremain

I have this on my TBR; an interesting sounding story about immigrants in the UK. A great topical and relevant book for the UK list. My copy is second hand so it's either from my book-swapping days or sourced from a charity shop.

Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges by John Wagner

It's so good to see a graphic novel on the list this year and it will be great to see givers handing them out to readers who are perhaps a little prejudiced to this format. It's probably one of the titles I'd be most likely to beg a copy of (and I know I'm not the target audience of WBN).

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

I think I do have an ebook copy of this that came bundled with one of the Kindle apps. Whilst I know the story well I have never read it...maybe next year!

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This series has been a huge success but this book didn't really draw me in much. It's very much in the vein of cosy mystery though so is a perfect choice for reluctant readers, with a far-flung setting and easy prose.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

On my TBR however I really wouldn't have been able to tell you what it's about! I think in my mind I get it confused with another book, which also happens to be on this list.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

My reading of this suffered a little from everyone telling me how amazing it was. It is clever and unique and still an excellent read. It's also good to see a young adult title that will maybe challenge readers' preconceptions of what YA is. You can read my review here.

The Island by Victoria Hislop

I had to double check to see if I had this one or not. I don't, but a lot of my Goodreads friends have read it and loved it. A WWII story of family and loss set in the Mediterranean. The area, not the actual sea, well I hope not.

Damage by Josephine Hart

Never heard of this one before (and apparently it's been made into a film). I have a feeling it might have lots of sex in it but is otherwise described as a dark, psychological thriller.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

I have the whole trilogy on my TBR and maybe WBN will be a kick up the arse to make me read them. I love her historical research and think she proves that just because the cover features a corseted woman, doesn't mean it's all heaving bosoms and being saved by princes. Her books are wonderful fictional representations of actual events, adding a bit of personality to history.

A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich

The entire history of the world told as a story. Is either going to be brilliant or far too brief for me. Depends on what that story-telling is like...

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

I think this is going to be the one I apply to give... At first I was a little sceptical as Jasper's books are very much for bookish people but it might just show that books and literature can be a lot of fun too and you don't need to take them seriously. You do need a bit of knowledge of Jane Eyre but enough people have probably seen TV or film adaptations for it to work.

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

OK this is the book I get The Reader mixed up with, I don't know how as they sound nothing alike. I think they must have been doing the internet rounds at the same time and well they both have vauguely book related titles...I don't know but I do also have this on my TBR.

Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay

The only memoir on the list and another I haven't heard of before. I'm not sure the topic, a child realising she's adopted and her resulting search for her biological parents as an adult, is one that I'm that interested in. I'm not a big reader of memoirs though and as Jackie is a novelist and poet, I'm sure it's well written.

Last Night Another Soldier... by Andy McNab

This looks like a Quick Reads title which is a great thing to grab the attention of those who profess they don't have time to read. I've never been inclined to read his books but his high profile name is bound to be popular.

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

An ideal book for WBN. Bond is high profile enough to draw attention but it's also a classic and I hope enough people will be intrigued by the origin on Bond to turn off the telly and read about him instead. I also have this on my TBR (I keep telling you it's out of control).

Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

I've only read one of Winterson's books, her Canongate Myth contribution, Weight. I'd quite like to read her other work but just never got round to it so WBN might push me in her direction.

Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I had only heard about this series when the reissues came out earlier this year but there are so many fans, it's good to see one on the list. And, of course, another YA title. Yes, this and book two are on my TBR.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Remarkable Creatures is one of my favourite books so I don't know why I haven't read more of her work. I guess some of the hype around the film adaptation put me off a bit but that's long gone and I should really pick this up (I don't think I have this on my TBR).

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I have already forced this book on so many people, I don't know if there's any left to give to so it wouldn't be my first choice but you all know I love this. One of my favourite books of this year and I hope givers will also be handing out packs of tissues with it. A big bestseller is often a good gauge of if you're recipient is a big reader or not. To think, I only read it because I wanted to win some biscuits... Read my review here.

Little Face by Sophie Hannah

On my TBR and she's such a popular author, it's probably one of those books I have put off a bit because of hype but by the sounds of it, she deserves it.

To find out more information and read proper descriptions of the books (instead of my waffle), head to the World Book Night website. Which book would you choose to give? I'm going to make an attempt to read the ones I already have next year, although no promises as I suck at sticking to lists. Feel free to leave a link to your WBN related posts in the comments.


  1. I haven't read a single one of these... Though wouldn't mind finally picking up Me Before You, and then the ones I actually one and haven't read: The White Queen, Eyre Affair, and Knife of Never Letting Go.

    1. I worked that out...I speak typo :) I was quite surprised by how many I have already or would be prepared to read.

  2. Hi Ellie

    A great selection for next year with diversity in subject matter and reading range.

    As for the Andy McNab book, it is a Quick Reads choice. I organised a series of Adult Education events where I work a couple of years ago and it was one of the choices in 2010.

    Do you get to choose which books you will be handing out and, if so, which ones will you be applying for this year?

    1. Yes you get 3 options in order of preference. They don't want anyone handing out books they don't like! I think in cases where all 3 are unavailable but you are in an area without many givers, they will offer you another choice.

      On the grounds that I can always back out at a later date, have put in my application for The Eyre Affair, Me Before You and then The Dark Judges (not read but might be fun to hand out a graphic novel).

    2. Good luck with your choices.

      By the way, what is your opinion of The Eyre Affair and the other books in the series? I have them on my wish list, but I could do with an opinion that I trust.

      Many thanks.

  3. Oh, A Little History of the World is just fabulous. I would give out 100 copies of that book if I could.

  4. Ah, you guys have a completely different list than the US. I really enjoyed Girl with a Pearl Earring.

  5. I've read 6 of these. I think I'd give away The Island. It's not the most fantastic book, but I enjoyed it a lot and I think a lot of women that don't read much normally would be pleased to read this book.

  6. I think I like the US choices more than the UK ones (would love to give away City Of Thieves or Fahrenheit 451). Of these I will be applying to give copies of The Secret Scripture as I really enjoyed it and think it's quite accessible and intriguing for those who don't normally read much. Noughts and Crosses is great too.


    1. There are a few stand out titles on the US list but overall I prefer the UK one. Perhaps that's because I'm not so familiar with some of the titles but I wouldn't want to be giving something unknown. I think it's important that they are books that have been around the block a bit (but maybe not those that scared people off reading in school).

  7. It's my first time applying to be a giver this year, and I've had issues, but managed to apply today. The Eyre Affair is top of my list because a) It's one of my favourite books b) It's an easy read for those who don't read c) It gives lots of scope for further reading.

    My second choice is The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and my third is The Secret Scripture

    I hope I get chosen!


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