Monday, 19 December 2011

What the Dickens?

2012 sees the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth and the celebrations start with some TV adaptations this Christmas.
But how many of his books have you actually read? And do you have a favourite?
Would it be the ever popular Christmas Carol?
or Great Expectations with the unforgettable Miss Havisham?
Or the boy who wanted more - Oliver - which is next year's City Read.
City Read London is a campaign to spread a love of books and reading to the widest possible audience throughout our capital. By choosing one book - Oliver Twist - for the whole city to read, discuss and debate, it aims to bring Londoners together in a series of special events, across London and online.
City Read London will launch on 2 April 2012.
 Follow the link from the front page of Bex-L to read 'A daily dose of Dickens' online.

Monday, 7 November 2011

All I want for Christmas is .............

All I want for Christmas is...........a book - or should I say, several books!
What's on your wanted list this Christmas?
Is it the latest TV blockbuster?
 A new crime novel like the new Sherlock Holmes by Anthony Horowitz?
A true tale of heroism such as Ian Fleming's Commandos?
Or a book about your favourite hobby. Maybe baking? Football? Ballroom Dancing?
Let us know what is on your wish list this Christmas.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Is one enough ? - singles and sequels

This month we're wondering whether you can have too much of a good thing?
Was Doctor Zhivago enough as a stand alone novel?
Do the various spins off from Gone with the Wind by other authors match up to the original?
Was the 9 year wait worth it for the last in Jean Auel's The Earth's Children series?
 Let us have your views on singles and sequels.


Thursday, 1 September 2011

Desert Island Books : your best reads of all time

Now that many of us have had our summer holidays we wondered if any of your holiday reads were special enough to take with you to a desert island?
If you could only take 5 books would you choose a classic? A book on your "must read" list? 
A brand new title by a favourite author? An old well thumbed novel? A non fiction favourite?

Or if you had a suitcase washed up with a lucky dip selection what would you like to find inside?.....

Your moderator this month is : Jill

Monday, 1 August 2011

The books that got away...


We really enjoyed chatting about our favourite children’s books with you last month – lots of happy memories, most of them involving exotic adventures far removed from our everyday lives.

This month we’re chatting about the ones that got away – the books you started and couldn’t finish or the books you keep meaning to read but something else always gets in the way (usually another book you know you’ll enjoy more).

One of the authors who visited Bexley Libraries was asked if he always read to the end of a book. He told us he'd worked out how many books he was likely to be able to read in his lifetime:

"The resultant total was so pitifully small that, with an exultant cry of ‘Life’s too short for Midnight’s Children!’, I hurled the book across the room."
I can certainly relate to that, having only managed to get through the first few pages. More books that got away from me (these are my personal opinions only – if you enjoyed them, we'd love to hear from you):

The Night Watch: Poorly written with wooden characters and awful dialogue.

Suite Francaise: A lot of hype attached to this one but I found the characters unappealing and didn't care enough about them to finish the book. 

Scoop: In my early 20s, I read all the Evelyn Waugh books I could get my hands on and loved them. When I tried this recently, I found it tedious and unfunny.

So, some questions:
  • Do particular books appeal at different times of our lives?
  • Does it depend on the mood we’re in? 
  • Which books just don't live up to the hype surrounding them? 
  • And which ones have you hurled across the room or simply avoided?

This month's moderator: Sharon 

Friday, 1 July 2011

Childhood Classics


The summer holidays are almost here so it's the perfect time to reflect on those books which meant so much to you in your childhood.

Which books speak to you of those long summer holidays? Maybe you even have treasured, if somewhat battered copies, still on your bookshelf at home somewhere?

What would you choose :

·         Tom's Midnight Garden or Mary Poppins?
·         Treasure Island or The Famous Five?
·         Anne of Green Gables or Winnie the Pooh?
·         The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or the BFG?

Join us in a nostalgic look back at those timeless treasures from the days of our youth.

This month's moderator: Val

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Books we'll never forget...

This month we thought we’d tell you about our favourite books, so here are three of mine:

The Re-invention of Ivy Brown is like a jigsaw – set in the past and the present, with the hint of a mysterious happening which is not fully revealed until the end.  

Carry on Jeeves – any Jeeves title takes the reader into a world of country houses, landed gentry and Bertie Wooster, well-meaning gentleman about town who regularly needs rescuing by his manservant, Jeeves.

Oliver Twist – have you seen 'Oliver!' but never read the book? You’d be surprised how much more happens to Oliver. I was also surprised how much humour there is in it, despite it being the story of a mistreated workhouse boy.

Share your favourites with us and introduce others to books they’ll never forget by clicking on 'comments' below. 

For more reading choices try the Read and Relax pages on Bex-L. 

Next month, in time for the summer holidays, we'll be chatting about books we loved as children.

This month's moderator: Jill

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

From page to screen

What do you think about books that have been adapted for the screen?  Was your favourite book ruined or did you actually prefer the film version?

Here are a few examples of books which have appeared on the big screen recently:

And we can also look forward to adaptations of:

Are you a fan of film adaptations or do you avoid them at all costs?  Did a favourite book work well on the screen?  And how do you feel when screen writers change the ending?

Let us know what you think by clicking on the ‘comments’ link below!

This month’s moderator: Rachel            

Friday, 1 April 2011

Top of the Cops


Top of the Cops
or the Body in the Library...

Who would win the vote for your favourite fictional detective?

We've put on our thinking caps  (or deerstalkers) and come up with our Top Ten fictional detectives (click on the names for details of the books) :

But we’ve had to leave out lots of other Top Cops too, including :

So when you find a Body in the Library – who you gonna call?

We’d love to hear what you think - join in the debate by clicking on 'comments'  below. Let us know who's your favourite. It's elementary my dear Watson!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Bexley Book of the Year 2011 - part two


Thank you to everyone who joined us last month to chat about the first four books on our Bexley Book of the Year shortlist. We really enjoyed chatting with you.
This month, we're talking about the other four and we think you'll find them just as interesting. If you've read any of them, let us know what you think. If you haven't had time to read them yet, which one appeals most to you? Have you decided yet which one you'll vote for?

You can find out more about the books and the reactions of our shortlisted authors on Bex-L.

This month's moderator: Sharon

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Bexley Book of the Year 2011 - part one


Our shortlist has been announced and we'll be chatting about four of the books this month and the other four next month. We'd love to hear what you think:

  • Have you read any of them?
  • Did you enjoy them?
  • Do you have a favourite?
  • Will you try to read all of the books on the shortlist?
  • What do you think of the shortlist?
Just click on 'comments' below and follow the instructions. We look forward to chatting with you.
The shortlist (click on the links below to find copies of the books in Bexley Libraries):
You can vote for your favourite on Bex-L (closing date 30th April 2011).
This month's moderator: Sharon