Hello my literary lovelies!
I hope that you are all having a wonderful week. It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through July. After months of complaining about the cold, the entire British population has, true to form, turned to moaning about the heat. No dispelling of stereotypes to be found here, friends. Here’s hoping that you are all finding more success in dealing with the weather, wherever you happen to be living.
‘JK Rowling’s Crime Novel Becomes Bestseller’ – The Guardian
If you have not already heard the news about JK Rowling’s subterfuge, I can only assume that you are living in a Harry Potter-style cupboard-under-the-stairs. JK Rowling has once again astounded the literary world, with the revelation that she is the author behind the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The Cuckoo’s Calling, released in April, was Galbraith’s debut crime novel, selling just 1,500 copies. Since Rowling’s responsibility for the book has come to light, it has jumped straight onto bestseller lists. Hardly a surprise. Having met with critical acclaim at the time of its release (and while Galbraith’s identity was still concealed), The Cuckoo’s Calling serves as something of a response to those disappointed with The Casual Vacancy.
‘3 Steps To Reading Harder, Faster, Better, Stronger’ – Book Riot
This is one of the best book-related articles that I have read in a while. Following on from a report that the average American reads just four books a year (I cannot express quite how depressed this makes me), Peter Damien outlines tactics for more consistent and involved reading: don’t do all your reading in bed; find your best format; carve out your reading time, then protect it. I think that each of these three points are extremely well made and, in my experience, prove absolutely true for enhancing the enjoyment and volume of reading achieved. For me, carving out reading time is an absolute necessity. I completely understand the desire to spend the evening in front of the TV, and it is an occupation that I indulge in frequently. But, if you want to get through a good number of books, you absolutely must turn over some of your ‘passive activity’ time. While I will never be a 300 book a year reader, my substantial annual book average is entirely the result of some daily book-devoted time.
‘The Top 10 Literary Works About Ancestors’ – The Guardian
Guardian Books excel in the production of ‘Top 10’ lists on various themes. This one struck me as a little random but, as someone who appreciates a good bit of history, I applaud the thought. With a focus on English culture, these 10 books are chosen for their reflection on human inheritance. Several of them are books that I certainly would have chosen myself. I am sure that those familiar with the Jarndyce v Jarndyce mind-haze of Bleak House would agree that its place on this list is well earned!
‘Three Men In A Boat’ 26 July – Knebworth House
You may recall my review of Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat a couple of weeks ago. Inspired by the upcoming event at my place of work, I threw myself into this classic with enthusiasm. On Friday 26 July, we are playing host to Keith Baldwin as he reads the book aloud in the Banqueting Hall. If you are Knebworth-way and are literary-minded, it promises to be a fantastic evening (complete with Pimms and fruit tarts). Plus, if you enter promotional code TMB13 on the website you will be able to get tickets at a reduced price – £15 rather than the full £20. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you will also get to see me hanging around looking helpful. What a bonus!
Top In Book Fetish
This week’s theme sees us explore the joys of literary-themed tote bags. It is no secret that I am in LOVE with book-related bags, and am accruing a pretty substantial collection. And what is The Book Habit for if not to share my strange obsessions with a global audience?
‘Mr Darcy Proposal Pride And Prejudice Tote Bag’ – Rachel Walter
This requires NO explanation. My two great loves combined.*
* Mum, if you’re reading this, birthday list.
‘Mr Darcy Tote Bag’ – The British Library
See above. Quite possibly the best tote bag I ever seen.*
* Seriously, take the hint.
‘Keep Calm And Read On Tote Bag’ – Strand Books
The highlight of my 6 month stint in New York was undoubtedly the discovery of the Strand Bookstore, thanks to my fantastic friends (shout out to Katie and Sarah!). Other than literally miles of fabulous books, the Strand also offers a collection of amazing totes – of which the above is one of my favourites.
‘Alice In Wonderland Tote Bag’ – Rachel Walter
I did not purposefully set out to feature the above seller twice. But she is clearly a master of the literary tote bag. This one is super fantastic.