Saturday, February 18, 2012

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop - come and get a book!

Today marks the start of the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop, hosted by Judith at Leeswammes' Blog.  With nearly sixty participating blogs, there are sure to be a veritable mountain of literary goodies out there up for grabs.  The giveaway runs until the end of Wednesday, 22nd February so please do stop by as many of the participating blogs as possible, enter the giveaways and check out the many wonderful book blogs of which I hope at least a few will be new to you.  Assuming my computer skills are up to it (always a risky assumption to make), links to all the participants can be found at the bottom of this post.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can hear you saying – cut to the chase, what’s up for grabs?  Well, being possessed of a butterfly mind and also being generally in favour of choice, I’m going to give you lucky people a selection of books from which to choose.  Listed below are ten books that are currently sitting on my shelves in the basement of Falaise Towers.  All you have to do is to leave me a comment saying which one you would like.  If you can’t choose or enjoy surprises, just leave a comment to that effect and, if you are the lucky winner, I will make a selection for you.  And, as a final enticement, the poster with the best comment (as decided by me, in my sole, despotic opinion) will win a mystery book-related gift.  That’s all there is to it (although do feel free to follow the blog as well!).  The winner of the book will be chosen at random and, although  I'm happy to send anywhere, if you are a long way away from the UK, the book may take a while to get there!

The rules we’ve been given are pretty relaxed.  The giveaway has to be book-related and if it’s a book, it has to have some literary merit.  No romance, supernatural or urban fiction or YA. Non-fiction and poetry are also fine, as are standard contemporary fiction books and well-written mysteries or thrillers.

So, as you can see, it’s a pretty big universe from which to choose.  I’ve not tried to be clever and theme the books in my list.  Equally, I’m not claiming that these comprise my favourites or that they have any particular quality over and above the required literary merit, something which I believe can exist in non-fiction books.  The only link between the books in my list is that each of them is about to catch my eye as I now take a break to go downstairs on this wet and grey London afternoon and make my choices – feel free to go and make a cup of tea,  I shan’t be long.............

...................OK, I’m back, with a list at least twice as long as I had intended – spending time amongst bookshelves can be dangerous.  So here are your choices, get commenting!

1.             The Sword of Honour Trilogy by Evelyn Waugh.  I really believe that this trilogy ranks as some of Waugh’s best work but it doesn’t seem to get the same attention as books like Brideshead Revisited, Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies or Scoop.  It is the partially-autobiographical, blackly humorous yet touching story of Guy Crouchback, a middle-aged officer in the British Army during the Second World War.  It’s probably my favourite Waugh.

2.       Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.  It’s February 2012 and so it only seems fair to include a Dickens in this giveaway and Oliver Twist is quintessential Dickens and a incredibly vivid portrayal of the underside of Victorian London.  It’s simply fabulous and Mrs F and I often used to pass Nancy’s steps in Southwark on our weekend walks on the South Bank when we lived in Bermondsey.

3.       Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best by P.G. Wodehouse.  Given my near religious devotion to Plum, it was pretty unlikely that I would be able to resist the temptation to include him in this giveaway.  This is the complete collection of Blandings short stories.  All the gang are here: Lord Emsworth, Gally, the Empress of Blandings and the rest of them.  If Blandings isn’t your Wodehousian cup of tea, then I offer you as an alternative either a classic Jeeves and Wooster story – The Code of the Woosters – or, for the adventurous amongst you, Uncle Fred in the Springtime, featuring the incorrigible Earl of Ickenham.

4.       Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.  I just love this one.  The story of Phileas Fogg’s wager and race around the world pushes a lot of my hot buttons – travel, adventure, humour and Victorian clubland.  Lovely and fun.

5.       The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux.  Another book about which I am quite evangelical and continuing the travel theme, Paul Theroux’s railway journey around the world is a true travel classic.  If you’ve already read it, or would prefer a more contemporary account, you may instead choose Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, his recent revisiting of the journey.

6.       The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.  Probably his most famous novel, this medieval-set mystery with a heavy seasoning of Sherlock Holmes has oodles of secret codes, hidden manuscripts, grotesque characters and, in William of Baskerville, a memorable hero.  It is completely and utterly satisfying.

7.       Stamboul Train by Graham Greene.  Stamboul Train  is one of Greene’s earlier novels and, I think, is unfairly overlooked these days.  It’s really a collection of loosely linked vignettes or short stories about a motley cast of characters who have gathered together on the old Orient Express which comes together to form a coherent narrative.  Lots of political and social comment as well as elements of travelogue.

8.       The Dumas Club by Arturo Perez-Reverte.  The protagonist, Lucas Corso, is a kind of literary detective, hired to authenticate a rare copy of The Three Musketeers and a 17th Century manual for summoning the Devil.  The more he investigates, however, the more the texts appear to be linked.  Opinion in the blogosphere on this mystery set in the world of antiquarian booksellers and rare manuscripts is divided – some love it, some loathe it.  I’m in the former camp.

9.       The Master of Go by Yasunari Kawabata.  On the surface, this is the fictional chronicle of a Go match between a revered champion and a younger challenger.  Underneath, it is a treatment of the 20th Century collision of values between Imperial Japan and the modern country.  Kawabata was a Nobel prizewinner and it’s easy to see why.  This book is both elegiac and suspenseful, almost peaceful in its style, whilsr dealing in deep emotions.

10.     Documents Concerning Rubashov the Gambler by Carl-Johan Vallgren.  So what would happen if one had immortality thrust upon oneself?  Rubashov, a degenerate gambler finds out in this amazing picaresque novel, translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death.  It is New Year’s Eve, 1899 and Rubashov challenges the Devil to a game of poker.  He loses, naturally but, instead of sending him to Hell, the Devil gives him immortality.  The novel follows him through 20th Century Europe and some of its best-known events.

So that’s your lot, I’m afraid.  Tell me what you’d like and once you’ve done that, hop off and visit these other participants.  Good luck! 

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Curiosity Killed The Bookworm
  3. Lit Endeavors (US)
  4. The Book Whisperer
  5. Rikki's Teleidoscope
  6. 2606 Books and Counting
  7. The Parrish Lantern
  8. Sam Still Reading
  9. Bookworm with a view
  10. Breieninpeking (Dutch readers)
  11. Seaside Book Nook
  12. Elle Lit (US)
  13. Nishita's Rants and Raves
  14. Tell Me A Story
  15. Living, Learning, and Loving Life (US)
  16. Book'd Out
  17. Uniflame Creates
  18. Tiny Library (UK)
  19. An Armchair by the Sea (UK)
  20. bibliosue
  21. Lena Sledge's Blog (US)
  22. Roof Beam Reader
  23. Misprinted Pages
  24. Mevrouw Kinderboek (Dutch readers)
  25. Under My Apple Tree (US)
  26. Indie Reader Houston
  27. Book Clutter
  28. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (US)
  29. Lizzy's Literary Life
  30. Sweeping Me
  1. Caribousmom (US)
  2. Minding Spot (US)
  3. Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea
  4. The Book Diva's Reads
  5. The Blue Bookcase
  6. Thinking About Loud!
  7. write meg! (US)
  8. Devouring Texts
  9. Thirty Creative Studio (US)
  10. The Book Stop
  11. Dolce Bellezza (US)
  12. Simple Clockwork
  13. Chocolate and Croissants
  14. The Scarlet Letter (US)
  15. Reflections from the Hinterland (N. America)
  16. De Boekblogger (Europe, Dutch readers)
  17. Readerbuzz (US)
  18. Must Read Faster (N. America)
  19. Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry
  20. carolinareti
  21. MaeGal
  22. Ephemeral Digest
  23. Scattered Figments (UK)
  24. Bibliophile By the Sea
  25. The Blog of Litwits (US)
  26. Kate Austin
  27. Alice Anderson (US)
  28. Always Cooking up Something


Andrea L. said...


Well to me like winning The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco as it is a book I wish a long time that have brought more to my country, I like the writing of this author and this mystery involving in their books .

You have a pretty nice blog

I do not speak English very well, excuse me if you find any errors

Lisa (Adventures of 2.0) said...

Can I just say, pick one at random for me? They all look equally good so I don't know! :)

deanna_boocock said...

I would so love if it was warm enough here for rain. I am in the freezing Rocky Mountains of Canada so hoping it's international. If not, Sorry!
I am sure that my mum, from Leicester, has read every Jeeves that's ever been written. I would love to be able to give her a new hero to try - Uncle Fred in the Springtime. Thank you!
deanna_boocock (at)

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

What a great selection of books - I like the sound of Stamboul Trai.

Mekaela said...

The Name of the Rose, so I can stop thinking of it as that one with Sean Connery :)

BlakeHerz said...

I like to get a this well post. I like to read books of free times. It give a good idea for the different category of books. This is really useful to get your preferable books.

photo books

Nose_in_a_book said...

What a great choice of books! It's a tough choice but I think I'd most like to read The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux out of them. Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I'd like to win the P.G. Wodehouse book. He seems to be the favorite lesser-known author of several people I know, but I've yet to read anything by him. I have to catch up with my English teacher/librarian relatives...

susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

Sara Kovach / Dare to be Different - Teach! said...

The Dumas Club by Arturo Perez-Revert sound wonderful.

skovach717 AT gmail DOT com

Rikki said...

I would go for The Dumas Club because I liked the film with Johnny Depp. Now, isn't that a good reason, :)?
rikki at rikkidonovan dot com

Unknown said...

I would love to win Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best by P.G. Wodehouse. Nice list to choose from!


Leeswammes (Judith) said...

What a great list of books! I've read several of them already and can't choose otherwise. So, if I were to win, could you decide for me between 1, 9 and 10?

Thanks for the giveaway!

Judith @ Leeswammes' Blog

Lilian said...

Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best by P.G. Wodehouse

I have never read anything by him, and I only recognized his name because Sophie Kinsella (my favorite chick-lit author, one of the extremely rare ones that actually made me laugh with her writing) commented that people saw similarities between her writing and that of Wodehouse's.
While I haven't read anything else by Wodehouse, I felt a collection of short stories might be an easier read, but honestly I just want the most hilarious book...whichever one that is.

Thanks for the giveaway. I've been craving blogs to feature more "serious" writing and this giveaway hop came to my rescue!

Okay, I might not have the "best" comment, but I typed a lot. I reckon there should be a longest-comment award for my hard work at expanding sentences in a long, verbose jumble, a skill I've mastered from college to reach page counts.

lilianxcheng AT

Miri said...

Wow, these are some really awesome books! And I've heard some good things about nearly every single one of it, really. So I really can't choose. Maybe you'd like to pick one for me? Just not Oliver Twist, please, because I've already got a copy of that one.

Thank you so much!

miriamreads [at] web [dot] de

Debbie Rodgers said...

I heard Umberto Eco interviewed on the CBC recently. He was witty, intelligent and somewhat humble. I've never read any of his work so I'd love to win The Name of the Rose.

Nova Scotia isn't such a long way from the UK - just a hop, skip & a jump over the water - but I'm willing to wait a while anyway.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Lena M. said...

Oh, I´d love to have my own copy of Oliver Twist, that´s one of few Dicken´s masterpieces that I don´t have in my library yet :)


Nenna said...

Hi! I would choose The Name of the Rose :)

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

The Great Railway Bazaar would be a great read.
Thanks for the chance to win.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

NovelKatie said...

I have never heard of those Evelyn Waugh books so you have me intrigued. Please put my 'name in the hat'!

Thanks for sharing your books!


Nina said...

I would love to finally get around to reading some Charles Dickens!

My email is nms 285 @ gmail. com

Anonymous said...

I'd love to try The Sword of Honour Trilogy by Evelyn Waugh. I've just started reading Waugh, but I hadn't heard of this. Oops.
Thanks for offering such great choice!

Cayce said...

You have some of my favorites on your list: Oliver Twist, Wodehouse, The Name of The Rose, The Dumas Club. :)
And it still was a hard choice, but I think I'd pick Around the World in 80 Days. :)

Thank you for the giveaway!
cayce006 at yahoo dot com

Dinda said...

If I win, I would love to get The Name of the Rose or Oliver Twist. You can decide the book for me.
Thanks for the giveaway!


Kara D. said...

Wow, I would love to win The Great Railway Bazaar considering my dad and I have always been very fond and interested in Railroads.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I would like Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best by P.G. Wodehouse if I win :)


Steph said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I am a new fan of Umberto Eco, and have not read The Name of the Rose yet. I would love the chance to win it from you!! :)

Sophia Rose said...

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. If I were to win, I would like 'Around the World in 80 Days'.

Unknown said...

I'd love to win Oliver Twist. Thanks for the giveaway!
GFC: Debbie W.


Cat said...

What a wonderful selection but so difficult to choose from. I've decided on Paul Theroux - The Great Railway Bazaar.
Thanks for a great giveaway opportunity.

Ellie said...

'Sgotta be THE NAME OF THE ROSE for me, I think... I keep waiting for it to drift its way into our second-hand bookshop so I can, er, 'borrow' (*cough*steal*cough*) it but so far I've been unlucky! It might be nice to obtain it in a civilised non-dodgy way that doesn't make me look like a rampant kleptomaniac. Sign me up!

Ellie @ Musings of a Bookshop Girl
emp501 (at) hotmail (dot) co (dot) uk

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

If I have to pick one it would be The Name of the Rose. I like mysteries and all things Sherlock Holmes.

AnnaZed said...

'The Sword of Honour Trilogy' by Evelyn Waugh. I have read Brideshead but not the rest (to my eternal shame), but maybe not eternal if you send me the book.

Anonymous said...

I love that you're offering so many books, but I couldn't possibly decide on just one! So if I'm lucky and win, you choose for me. :) Thanks for the giveaway! Hope you take home a few books, yourself!

The Book Whisperer said...

Great choices! I'd love to win The Great Railway Bazaar please :)

bexxxb at googlemail dot com

Nancy said...

The Sword of Honour Trilogy by Evelyn Waugh. Thanks for the chance to win.

Unknown said...

I'd love to read The Sword of Honour Trilogy!

elizabeth @ bookattict . com

Julie D. said...

I would like to win The Name of the Rose because it sounds interesting to me.

Kiana Smith said...

I would definitely be interested in The Sword of Honor Trilogy series as I'm interested in classic literature. Thanks for supporting this giveaway.

Nina C said...

Thanks for running the giveaway.

I'd love to read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco because I love period fiction and especially those set in medieval times.

LAMusing said...

I'd love to read Documents Concerning Rubashov the Gambler by Carl-Johan Vallgren or The Dumas Club by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Norma said...

I love surprises :)

Shelley said...

Such great choices it's hard to pick. I'll go with the Greene one because I love his writing. Thanks!

saz AT chainreader DOT com

Lisa said...

What a great giveaway! I would love a copy of The Great Railway Bazaar.


Doodle said...

Great Giveaway!!

Oliver Twist


Mystica said...

The Great Railway Bazaar would be my choice!

Thank you for offering such a wide range to choose from. Something for everybody.


Anna said...

Hey! thankyou!!
I would like around the world in 80 days by jules verne!

Ryan said...

I had a hard time picking between In The Name of the Rose and Around the World in 80 Days.

On one hand, I've read the first one before, but don't own it.

On the other hand, I haven't read the second book, but have read Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

I loved In the Name of the Rose but only just like the two Jules Verne books.

That is my dilemna. What to do, what to do.... I think becauase everyone says Around the World in 80 Days is his best work, that's the one I'm going for.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Dovile said...

The Master of go sounds interesting. I love reading about Japan.

spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I'd like to try for the P.G. Wodehouse one!

Thanks :)

Jennifer Haile said...

I'd love to read Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux.

volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

Aik said...

I'd love to win The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

michelle130 said...

I'd would love to win The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux.

Chinoiseries said...

I really like the collection you've put up for your giveaway, so many books I haven't yet heard of! (Although I liked Go). I would love to be entered for The Name of the Rose.

ZaraAlexis said...

It's a tough call---only because I'm a greedy bibliophile who hoards books and hides them for safekeeping in my bibliotaphe closet.

Let's see...I'm going to take my chances with "The Master of Go" by Yasunari Kawabata. Why you ask? Well 1) I haven't read it yet 2) I don't own it 3) I enjoyed your short synopsis (How's that for a bit of "butt" kissing? I told you, I'd do almost anything for a book.)

Also, I trust the stamp of a Nobel prize winner. I'm a bit of a literary snob that way. But, don't get me wrong, I'll step a few rungs lower to enjoy a YA book with a really pretty cover.

You mentioned in your blurb that the book is "elegiac and suspenseful, almost peaceful in its style, whilst dealing in deep emotions." Peace and depth. I can always use a little more of that in my reading life.

And if you must really know, I just want to be able to read the author's name over and over because I like the challenge of pronouncing Japanese. (I am Asian, so that remark is not meant to be a racist one!)

If you'd like to take a look at my book blog, please drop by:

How is London, by the way? Say hi to my cousin, Vincent Lopez, if you run into him. Last I checked, he was living in Liverpool.

I'll see you at the end of the hop, should I still have the stamina or callous-free feet. Otherwise, I'll be in my closet, reading.

I'll come back and "follow" you. Need to hop to the next blog.

Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez
Email: zgarcia(dot)alvarez(at)gmail(dot)com
On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

Virginie Menzildjian said...

Hello ! thanks for this nice giveaway, I think I'd love a copy of Oliver Twist...I know ther story but never read it and am sure I'd love it!

Gnoe (@Graasland) said...

Well, it is that I just gave Mr Gnoe 'The Master of Go' for his birthday (along with a go game)... I'm not entering but thanks for the giveaway anyway!

Katrina said...

The Name of the Rose sounds like I should read it. :) Thanks.
oneagainst at hotmail dot com

miki said...

i would love to discover The Sword of Honour Trilogy by Evelyn Waugh
it seems to be a great book

thanks you for opening this to international

all the best


ikkinlala said...

I'd love a chance to read The Master of Go - I've never heard of it before and my local library doesn't have it. Thanks for the opportunity!

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Unknown said...

The Dumas Club would be great, thanks :)

valca85 at

Helen said...

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco sounds interesting
helldog3 at

desitheblonde said...

wow you gt some great book give way
and then i would love to blog on it and then let everyone now about it

Anonymous said...

I'd pick The Name of The Rose. I loved Eco's Foucault's Pendulum and have read it way too many times!

neer said...


Thanks for the choice. I'd love to win The Dumas Club.

Iris said...

I'm love to try my first P.G. Wodehouse. I'm not sure if the short story collection is the one to start with, but in case I win, I'll let you decide ;)

irisonbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

Joanna said...

I like the sound of the Evelyn Waugh books. Thanks!

Darlene said...

If I won, I'd choose: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I have never heard of this book, but it certainly sounds wonderful!

Thanks so much for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com
GFC Darlene

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