Monday, 17 August 2009

There is an emerging trend in stories for The Book That Changed My Life - Asterix!

This week we have received two stories about how Asterix books have changed reader's lives. Read children's author Thomas Docherty's inspiring story about how 'Asterix in Britain' sparked a love of books here

Jane Ryan has written her story about how the small mustaochioed Gaul and his wine-sloshing friend had her hooked from the outset - read it here

Read more about Asterix the Gaul at his official website.

Has a Graphic novel changed your life? Or are you yet to discover the pleasures of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Koike?

Tell us about a book that changed your life. We want to know!

Nick Cave- touring to launch 'The Death of Bunny Munro'

'The Death of Bunny Munro' is the latest offering by multi-talented enigma Nick Cave.
This autumn's most hotly tipped publication has only been made more exciting by the tantalising release online of chapters being read by Nick Cave - accompanied by a 3d spacial soundtrack - composed and recorded by Cave for the audiobook. If the cool credentials mean nothing to you - no matter; the book is a darkly funny, postmodern triumph.

UK tour dates for Nick Cave's book tour have just been released!

Here is Nick reading from chapter 10.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

'The Wasp Factory' is "a dangerous, unpredictable friend."

Author of the hilarious Mr Gum books Andy Stanton has revealed how he was introduced to the dark side of books through Iain Banks' twisted novel 'The Wasp Factory' and found it to be "a dangerous, unpredictable friend."

Many young Scots are introduced to the dark delights of 'The Wasp Factory' through high school English lessons - that is certainly where I discovered it- I went on to read everything by Iain Banks that I could get my hands on, followed by the science fiction novels he writes as Iain M. Banks. Although by that age like most teenagers I had seen quite a few gory horror films and become inured to violence by endlessly playing Grand Theft Auto, there was nothing that quite compared to the chilling menace of Banks' descriptions. A horror film would have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat that calibre of writing.

Here is a link to a Guardian Book Club podcast of Iain Banks discussing 'The Wasp Factory'. Interesting stuff!

Andy Stanton's story about his first encounter with 'The Wasp Factory' can be read here

What I want to know is - was this what laid the foundations for the nastiest piece of work in children's fiction, the meanest of scheming so'n'so's, the baddest of baddies, that BAD Mr Gum...?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Nothing against a bit of chick lit- but this is not far off the formula.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' Changes Lives

Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' has been a seminal book in many lives, at the time of it's publication it was a narrative for the disenfranchised beat era of America and broke taboos; left, right and centre.

The story of how Kerouac came to write 'On The Road' is an interesting tale in itself - read it here.

Here is an excerpt of Kerouac's work read by celebrity fan Johnny Depp. I certainly think his writing is enhanced by being read aloud.