Thursday, March 31, 2011

An undeserved piece of luck and a rare bout of generosity - would you like a book?

World Book Night took place here in the UK recently on 5 March.  A committee of writers, publishers and booksellers selected 25 titles, comprising both fiction and non-fiction, based on recommendations from both the book industry and the general public.  40,000 copies of each of the titles were then given away by 20,000 volunteers to members of the public in order to encourage reading and to share the love of books with others, including many who are not regular readers.  In total, 1,000,000 books were given away.  Many events took place around the night, including a huge celebratory reading in Trafalgar Square and several TV programmes.

The night didn’t turn out quite as expected for me. I had originally intended to be one of the volunteers but, with my usual lack of organisation, failed to get my application form done in time to be considered.  Instead of giving out books, I ended up being a recipient as I was lucky enough to win an entire set of the 25 titles from The Times newspaper!  I’m not generally very lucky when it comes to competitions, draws or lotteries so I was really chuffed with this.  Here is a photo of the books which arrived last week:

If you don’t want to strain your eyes looking at the spines of the books in the photo, the selected titles are:

Kate Atkinson - Case Histories
Margaret Atwood - The Blind Assassin
Alan Bennett - A Life Like Other People’s
John Le Carré - The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
Lee Child - Killing Floor
Carol Ann Duffy - The World’s Wife
Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Seamus Heaney - Selected Poems
Marian Keyes - Rachel’s Holiday
Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Ben Macintyre - Agent Zigzag
Gabriel García Márquez - Love in the Time of Cholera
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
Alexander Masters - Stuart: A Life Backwards
Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
Toni Morrison - Beloved
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Half of a Yellow Sun
David Nicholls - One Day
Philip Pullman - Northern Lights
Erich Maria Remarque - All Quiet on the Western Front
C J Sansom - Dissolution
Nigel Slater - Toast
Muriel Spark - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Sarah Waters - Fingersmith

This little piece of good luck has given me a bit of a warm glow inside and has nudged me towards an extremely rare gesture of generosity.

On Tuesday, I wrote a post as part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme, listing ten authors whom I consider get less appreciation than they deserve.  I’ve decided to unpadlock my wallet and put my money where my mouth is by having a small giveaway to introduce these authors to a new audience.

I am, therefore, giving away a brand, spanking new copy of a book by one of the authors on my list of underrated writers.  If you would like to try out one of them, just leave a comment below stating which of my ten authors you are curious to sample.  I will use a random number generator to determine who is the winner and will send a title (of my choice) by their chosen author to them.  I am happy to send it to anywhere with a functional postal service, although can’t guarantee how quickly it will arrive.

The closing date for requests will be 23.59 (London time) on Friday 22nd April (Good Friday) and I will reveal the winner the following day.  Please feel free to pass on the details to other people and please comment away!


anarmchairbythesea said...

Awesome idea :-) i'd love to try some PG Wodehouse, as I never have and feel really bad about it!

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I'm the second contender! This is a great idea, Falaise - pass it forward and all that :)

I'd like to try G.K. Chesterton.

Anonymous said...

G.K. Chesterton or Robertson Davies for me. How many of the books that you won are on your 1001 books to read before you die? How many have you already read? Thanks for your generosity, btw.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Congrats to you! I never seem to win any lottery or draws either, I wonder why that is. Love the giveaway though. When you posted the list I immediately added the authors I hadn't read yet to my TBR, so this would be awesome. I'd love to try Geoff Dyer or Robertson Davies, they both sound great.

Ann Summerville said...

What a wonderful gift. We attended the Austin Book Festival here in Texas last year and received a bagful of books from Vintage Books. There were several books that I would not have picked and they turned out to be very good.

Sarah M said...

Congrats on winning the books. And thanks for sharing the wealth. I'd love to read Walter Moers.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

What a fantastic haul! How can you possibly decide which book to read first in a circumstance like this?

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Y'know, I've actually not read most of the authors on your top ten list, but I suppose if I had to pick one, I'd be neighborly and want to read Robertson Davies. It's sad to me how few Americans read Canadian authors, Margaret Atwood perhaps being the main exception.

Bev Hankins said...

Congrats on your terrific win! That's quite a stack of books. Hope a lot of them are on your list that need reading! I love Wodehouse, Davies and Chesterton--so I've thrown a lot of support their way. I think I'd like to say Max Beerbohm. That book of his sounds wonderful.

Bellezza said...

Love the Moomins, myself, after being reminded of them on your top ten post. I think you have a wonderful treasure trove pictured above, too, being especially fond of Atwood and Haddon's work. If I should be so lucky, I'd love to dip my fingers into either Sparks or Wodehouse; sadly, I should be far more knowledgeable about them than I am now!

Robyn Ryle said...

What a great list of books and a lovely bit of luck. I would love to try H.H. "Saki" Munro. Great giveaway idea!

KarenSi said...

Congratulaions. Looks like a fantastic list. Cloud Atlas and The Blind Assassin are two of my favourite books. Hope you like them.

Sharon said...

What a great giveaway! Thanks for this chance. I sure would like to try The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

Weatherly said...

That's the best haul ever! (What an argument for being disorganized!) I would love Walter Moers-- I saw that book in B&N the other day and it looked absolutely hilarious and weird. Just my type!
Thanks :)

The Literary Nomad said...

What a great and generous idea Falaise! Talk about "paying it forward"! I loved your list of underrated authors and particularly the inclusion of Robertson Davies who is one of my faves. I'd been keen to read Reverte - I could count him for Spain! Thanks!

Red said...

Congrats on that book windfall! And what a nice way to spread the good book karma! I'd love become familiar with some Wodehouse. I'm embarrassed I haven't read any yet

Ben Carroll said...

I'm a bit late to this party, but it's an awesome idea.

If it's still open; I'm already a massive Wodehouse fan, so I'm okay there. I'd love to try Geoff Dyer -- or maybe Saki.

Blogger said...

Did you know that you can generate dollars by locking special pages of your blog or website?
To begin just open an account with CPALead and run their content locking plugin.