The Thing about December by Donal Ryan

Posted by Guy Pringle, 27th November 2013

This book reeks of cowshit and . . . it’s brilliant! Anybody who’s ever tiptoed across a farmyard, hoping to reach the other side with their footwear unsullied, would recognize the Cunliffe’s farm in Tipperary. Johnsey is our hero, a big, quiet late adolescent with Special view...

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When Mr Dog Bites

Posted by Guy Pringle, 27th September 2013

I had insider information about this book as Helen Boyle, editor of tBkmag, had raved about it. In fact, wearing another hat she had bid for the publishing rights only to lose out to Bloomsbury. Shame about that, Helen.   Anyway, what a rip-roaring ride it is! 16 year old Dylan Mint has view...

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Longbourn

Posted by Guy Pringle, 1st August 2013

I can't be the first person to wonder why an established author would choose to write a sequel, prequel or alternative version of a much loved classic. Yet many have done so. Indeed, the estate of Ian Fleming has turned the writing of further James Bond books into something of a franchise for which view...

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Eye Contact by Fergus McNeill

Posted by Guy Pringle, 21st June 2013

Just finished Eye Contact ahead of meeting Fergus this afternoon (as prep to tomorrow’s readers day) – and delighted to say Rose was absolutely right; it’s a cracking read!   Graham Harland is set to be another police Detective on your screens very soon with issues galore view...

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We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Posted by Guy Pringle, 30th May 2013

The title is palpably wrong with a cast of delightfully named characters such as Bastard (11), Godknows, (10), Sbho (9) and Stina who doesn’t have a birth certificate. So we’re informed by our narrator, Darling (10) and not forgetting Chipo (11) who we learn in chapter one is pregnant. view...

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Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

Posted by Guy Pringle, 3rd May 2013

For me this is comfort food or a warm blanket beside the fire – or better still a glass of Lucozade when I was a kid ‘cos it proved I really was ill.   Just the thought of Diggory Venn, Reddleman is enough to make the hairs do what they do. Each time I return to this book view...

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The Burial by Courtney Collins

Posted by Guy Pringle, 25th April 2013

Some books are just destined to find you and so it was with The Burial. Anne is the Kiwi of reading group 1 – or is it two? – and her daughter, Antonia, lives in Australia where she just happens to be a friend of Courtney Collins, the debut author of  . . . The view...

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My books of 2013 which are

Posted by Guy Pringle, 14th December 2012

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan – best Irish book since Angela’s Ashes to my mind. The Universe Vs Alex Woods by Gavin Extence – you’ll hear Curious Incident mentioned when it hits. Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher – My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was an view...

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The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

Posted by Guy Pringle, 21st November 2012

My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see if he is dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn't yet missed a day of letting me down. With an opening like this things can only get worse - and they do.   On the eve of the view...

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The Universe vs Alex Woods

Posted by Guy Pringle, 14th November 2012

OK, I got the title the wrong way round last posting but this is a book to watch in 2013 if I have anything to do with it. I can't reveal much of the plot without risking spoiling it for you, but suffice to say that 17 year old Alex goes out of his way to help the laconic American, Mr view...

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Ben Aaronovitch

Posted by Guy Pringle, 4th September 2012

Once upon a time, many decades, let alone years ago, when I discovered a new author I would proceed to devour everything with their name on the jacket. I suspect, like a lot of us, that started with Enid Blyton, and progressed to the likes of Alistair MacLean and Ian Fleming, to name some obvious view...

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May I introduce . . . Laurie Graham

Posted by Guy Pringle, 19th July 2012

Perhaps you’re already aware of Laurie Graham. It’s entirely possible being the inquisitive reader you are. But then again, I get the feeling she’s something of a well-kept secret. Ms Graham seems to have had a chequered career - the 12 books on her website (4 of which I’ve view...

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Betrayal by Gregg Olsen

Posted by Guy Pringle, 9th July 2012

I’ve been rattling through a clutch of young adult novels in the last few months, Betrayal being the latest and it’s right up there with My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Saving June and Maggot Moon/I, Coriander – all books with much to commend them to adult readers and reading view...

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Holiday reading?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 25th June 2012

I loaded up the Kindle for a brief week away and set to on At Home, the story of how our houses became the places they are. As a long time Bill Bryson fan I persevered as long as possible but the lists of information and the shortage of his dry sense of humour weighed heavy. So I diverted in to view...

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The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

Posted by Guy Pringle, 8th June 2012

In the trade it’s called hand-selling – you may have had it done to you? It’s where the bookseller physically puts a book in your hand with a heartfelt recommendation. And the really smart operators make sure there’s some kind of physical contact – just hand on hand, view...

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Nightwalk by Chris Yates

Posted by Guy Pringle, 10th May 2012

Mr Yates hasn't appeared on my radar previously, probably because I'm not an angler, a theme that runs extensively through his media work and his writing. However, in his new book he's moved away from that interest to exploring the countryside at night and without the aid of a torch. Book blurbs view...

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Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd

Posted by Guy Pringle, 22nd February 2012

One of three books I agreed to read for this year’s Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance shortlisting, I really enjoyed it! (A veil will be drawn over the other two as I didn’t even make it past chapter two of either – but then I’m not exactly target market for this kind view...

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Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Posted by Guy Pringle, 4th January 2012

Back in the early 90s, as the new Marketing Director at Collins’ Educational division I was acutely aware of the public’s ‘brand recognition’ of Collins dictionaries and road atlases. It was a no-brainer to ‘extend the brand’ ie pinch it for the division’s view...

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Pyg, the Memoirs of a Learned Pig edited by Russell Potter

Posted by Guy Pringle, 13th October 2011

This is a brave piece of publishing by Canongate who are renowned for their willingness to tackle projects more cautious heads might let pass. Fortunately for them their track record is good – securing Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father way, way ahead of his success in the US view...

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A problem for Kindle - or just one book?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 12th September 2011

Given that William Goldman wrote the screenplays for 3 of my all time top 10 films - All the President's Men, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid and The Princess Bride -  I indulged my shiney new Kindle with a download of his novel, Magic. This, too, has been made into a film view...

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Edge of Heaven: The Yorkshire Coast

Posted by Guy Pringle, 1st July 2011

Growing up in the north east I got to know the Yorkshire coast well. Family holidays at Marske – sand, spade, toe incident apparently – and Scarborough (in the rain). As a boy scout I vividly recall sleeping under a tarpaulin on the coast path and walking, shortly after daylight, into view...

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Holiday reading without the weight!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 30th June 2011

I’ve finally succumbed to a Kindle which has brought a dilemma. As someone lucky enough to be surrounded by a choice of – physical - new books every day, what do I load on to this new device for my short holiday?   So here goes: The Dark Tower 1 by Stephen King because I enjoyed view...

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Why am I buying books???

Posted by Guy Pringle, 27th January 2011

In reading group 1 the other day - or was it 2? – we got onto the ‘why buy books from bookshops when there’s Amazon, charity shops, friends to borrow from’ debate. And I surprised some of the others by railing slightly at all three.   I’ve left libraries off view...

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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Posted by Guy Pringle, 7th December 2010

A somewhat curious choice in that Anne talked about this book enthusiastically at reading group, having re-read it recently. At the next meeting - which Anne was unable to attend - we were raking around for something to add to our programme when the idea of The Fountainhead was suddenly centre view...

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A prejudice laid to rest

Posted by Guy Pringle, 1st December 2010

It was John Harding at this year's Guildford Readers Day who made me face up to my long-standing prejudice. John is the author of One Big Damn Puzzler, a featured book in nb33, and, most recently, Florence and Giles.   His brief on the day was to talk about his favourite reads of 2010 view...

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Wolf Hall - finished at last!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 15th September 2010

I wouldn't say I understood all of Wolf Hall but I did want to finish it and found myself sad when the end arrived. Whether I'll be up for reading the continuation Ms Mantel is currently working on is yet to be decided but there's no denying the quality of her writing. Here at newbooks Towers, view...

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My favourite read of the last 10 years

Posted by Guy Pringle, 1st September 2010

For our forthcoming 10th birthday issue, some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to ask the team one of those impossible questions. Now I know what it feels like to be on Desert Island Discs – of course it’s invidious to only be allowed one from so many. One of the biggest view...

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One of our own featured books

Posted by Guy Pringle, 24th August 2010

I can't resist a wry smile when someone in the two reading groups I belong to here in Winchester suggests as a group read a book we've featured in newbooks. Pleasingly, (smugly???) those selections usually turn out well (although we did draw a veil over Howard Jacobson's Kalooki Nights which nobody view...

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Fair Stood the Wind for France - how did that suddenly turn into such a good book?

Posted by Guy Pringle, 20th August 2010

As part of the build up to our readers gathering in early October, I'm working my way through a selection of books on the theme of war. I daren't think how long ago it was I last read HE Bates but suffice to say I thought The Larkins were old hat (until I saw Catherine Zeta Jones in the TV view...

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Naugahyde part two

Posted by Guy Pringle, 6th August 2010

Having finished All Quiet of the Western Front – brilliant, don’t put off reading it – I’ve moved on to The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman. This is a graphic novel about the Holocaust and equally as gripping as All Quiet although its a very different experience to view...

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I'm sorry, I tried, I really did . . .

Posted by Guy Pringle, 3rd August 2010

I’m happier to give up on books than I used to be – too many to read, not enough time etc. However, a deeply rooted Protestant work ethic insists I can’t do it lightly. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese is tomorrow night’s discussion book for reading group 1 – view...

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I bet you've never quite got round to reading it either

Posted by Guy Pringle, 29th July 2010

In choosing the books for our first Readers Gathering, I have to admit to an element of self-interest. Once we'd decided on a theme of war, we needed a reliable selection of books on a variety of criteria. They had to: • be in print and easily/cheaply available • be highly view...

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To begin . . .

Posted by Guy Pringle, 7th July 2010

The What We're Reading page in the magazine is regularly praised when our readers tell us what they think of newbooks. So our spanking new website is the obvious place to add further information about the books we're loving - and not - and who knows, spark some debate about what's worth seeking view...

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