Sunday 5 December 2010

"I went outside for a fag and my snowman was gone"

Saturday 5th March 2011 is World Book Night. I think it's a brilliant idea. 1 million books to be given away by passionate readers. 20,000 readers who apply will be chosen to give away 50 copies of their chosen book from a list of 25 titles. As I say, brilliant. I was, however, a bit disappointed by the list of books. Not because they're bad books. But because they are, on the whole, big, well-known books. They've either won awards, or had a lot of press for one reason or another, so most readers will at least already have heard of them, even if they haven't read them.

So, dear reader, how about an Alternative World Book Night? Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't afford to give away a million books. Or 50 books. But I can afford to give away one book. A book that maybe isn't so well known but which I love and which deserves to be far better known - maybe Eddie Muller's THE DISTANCE, or Donald Ray Pollock's KNOCKEMSTIFF, or John Welter's NIGHT OF THE AVENGING BLOWFISH, or one of Douglas Lindsay's Barney Thompson novels, or one of Paul Johnston's Quintilian Dalrymple series, or Declan Burke's EIGHTBALL BOOGIE or...or...or... So many choices. Books I have either bought copies of for people, or thrust my copy into peoples' hands saying "Here, you have to read this book."

Any bloggers fancy joining me on 5th March and giving away a book you love which other people may not have heard of? I know it's a long way away, but I'll remind you :o) All you have to do is post on 5th March with a summary of the book, why you love it and offer it to someone (however you want, competition, draw it out of a hat...whatever). If you're joining in, let me know, and I'll link to them all here. Anyone without a blog who wants to join in, also let me know and I'll host your book rave here. So, what do you think? Anyone in?

And now, some Scottish crime fiction stuff.

Ian Rankin on family. Lovely stuff.

The Times Colonist on Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG. And Book Bird Dog reviews M C Beaton's BUSY BODY.

Over at Type M For Murder, Peter May introduces Aline Templeton. And Murder By Type takes a look at Peter Turnbull.

An article on Alexander McCall Smith at Jumeirah.

New of the Danny Boyle Trainspotting sequel.

Congratulations to Louise Welsh, who has been appointed Writer In Residence at Glasgow University.

And, finally, a couple of snow stories. I'm just imagining my mum's reaction to the video one...


  1. Count me in, glad to donate a book I love that is under-known, and talk about it. And yes, there are many to choose from. That said, I am still laughing about the snow video--I think that your mum and the mum in that video would think the same. :-) And someone called 999 about a snowman gone...sigh....

    Good article by Ian Rankin, thanks for that, and the others also. You have a way of making Sunday a good start to my week. :-)


  2. I would love to join you. Just remind me at a bit before. Thanks!

  3. I can give away 50 copies of THE DISTANCE, in your honor. Let me know how it works, and I can provide the books. Miss you!

  4. I'm up for it. Does it have to be a crime book, since this is a crime fiction blog?

  5. Donna, this is a lovely idea. My problem is that most of the books I read are already quite well known. The one that springs to mind that I have shoved into someone's hands and insisted that they read is Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, but that was made into a film so it must be pretty famous. Keep the reminders coming and I'll see if anything less well known comes to mind.

  6. Bobbie - you have recommended so many books to me and we have discussed them and raved about them - it's a great feeling, isn't it? Thank you.

    Patti - thank you! I shall definitely be in touch!

    Everyone - meet Eddie Muller - one of the loveliest, most generous people in the world, as I'm sure you will agree. There's one person in the world guaranteed to always makes me cry, and that's Eddie. Thank you x

    Andrea - most definitely doesn't need to be a crime book, just a book that you love. Thank you so much - glad to have you in!

    Helen - that's brilliant - thank you!

    Michael - shame it's too early for it to be one of yours. Thank you.

    You are all lovely people and I wish I could give you a hug. xx

  7. I read about World Book Night the day it was announced, so went straight on and applied to have The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson considered for inclusion on the list. 25 titles, 1 million books, presumably means 40,000 copies of each title. The publisher has to pay for them, and can't just give away copies they already have but print special World Book Night editions. So, you know, I can't really afford to do that, but thought what the hell, I'll give it a go. Anyway, I suppose I did it under the assumption that it wouldn't get selected and sure enough.... it wasn't. The longlist of 100 titles was chosen by "the industry", whoever they are. It was worth a try.
    Thanks for the mention, appreciated as always. douglas

  8. Douglas - you are most welcome. And good for you attempting to get on the list! You're on mine - I know that's not much of a consolation :o)

  9. As I said within the cozy confines of Michael's blog, you may consider me cheerfully to be all over that.

  10. Thank you Mr Nevets - very glad to have you on board!

  11. You're quite welcome! Love the idea of helping people read books they, um, haven't already read.