Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

8 December

Book of the day

fiveawaydayFive Go On A Strategy Away Day
(Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups series)

Bruno Vincent
(UK: Quercus, 2016; USA: Quercus [kindle], 2016)

Enid Blyton’s books are beloved the world over and The Famous Five have been the perennial favourite of her fans. Now, in this new series of ‘Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups’, George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy confront a new challenge: what exactly is this puzzling scrape referred to as a ‘strategy away day’?

The Five have gone on their greatest adventure yet – to become an even better team! They are booked into an exciting hotel right next to the jolly motorway services, where the nice (if somewhat nervous and sweating and depressed) man teaches them a number of exercises that will make them work better. But wait! Who’s been sneaking messages through the hotel dumb waiter about secret assignations? Is there a smuggler’s plot afoot? Or is Shelly from Production shagging Postroom Luke? All will be revealed …

Ideal for those who are allergic to corporate jargon and will throw a sickie before having to play a trust game with colleagues.

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Five Go On A Strategy Away Day)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Five Go On A Strategy Away Day)

readers-4-sunFacts of the day

8 December

1915 John McCrae‘s poem ‘In Flanders Fields‘ appears anonymously in “Punch” magazine. Within months, this poem came to symbolise the sacrifices of all who were fighting in World War I. The poem spawned the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance in many countries around the world.


Around 11% of Iceland is covered in glacial ice.


Boxing Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor – a far cry from the traditional First Day of the Christmas Sales it has become in recent times.


L Frank Baum – author of The Wizard of Oz – wrote his first book about chickens, in 1890. It had the odd title The Book of Hamburgs: A Brief Treatise upon the Mating, Rearing and Management of the Different Varieties of Hamburgs. His love for the bird was so strong that he ran a regular trade journal about chickens before he published his famous book.

Writers birthdays

65 BC Horace (Italy, in Roman Empire era)
1715 John Althuysen (The Netherlands)
1728 Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann (Switzerland)
1862 Georges Feydeau (France)
1872 John Cowper Powys (UK)
1881 Padraic Colum (Ireland)
1889 W Hervey Allen Jr (USA)
1894 James Thurber (USA)
1894 E C Segar (USA)
1903 Kitty Muggeridge (Switzerland/UK)
1906 Richard Llewellyn (Wales)
1911 Nikos Gatsos (Greece)
1912 Jura Soyfer (Ukraine)
1913 Delmore Schwartz (USA)
1915 George Scheuer (USA)
1915 Ernest Lehman (USA)
1925 Carmen Martín Gaite (Spain)
1929 Goffredo Parise (Italy)
1930 John Morressy (USA)
1943 Jim Morrison (USA)
1945 John Banville (Ireland)
1947 Kati-Claudia Fofonoff (Finland)
1949 Mary Gordon (USA)
1951 Bill Bryson (USA)
1953 Norman Finkelstein (USA)
1961 Ann Coulter (USA)

Jokes of the day

Light bulb jokes…

How many science fiction writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Two, but it’s actually the same person doing it. He went back in time and met himself in the doorway and then the first one sat on the other one’s shoulder so that they were able to reach it. Then a major time paradox occurred and the entire room, light bulb, changer and all was blown out of existence. They co-existed in a parallel universe, though.

How many publishers does it take to screw in a light bulb? 

Three. One to screw it in. Two to hold down the author.

How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb? 

Two.  One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

How many screenwriters does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Why does it *have* to be changed?

How many cover blurb writers does it take to screw in a light bulb? 


Cartoons: Various cartoonists, Writing novels, Antoo Cartoons

Quote of the day

Roald Dahl: ‘I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.’

Bauble; gold; green