Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

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Valentine’s Day: buying books as love tokens

heart-bookloverIf books be the food of love, read on: sharing books with the people in your life

Part 1: buying a book

As the Book Bulletin online catalogue crowdfunding campaign for reading recommendations and gift suggestions comes to an end on International Book Giving Day (also known in some quarters as ‘Valentine’s Day’), Christopher Norris from the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign asked friends, fans and followers of the initiative how they would feel about exchanging books with significant others on 14 February.

Which book would you choose to give to a loved one on 14 February?

Hannah Bellamyreading-oasis-1, CEO, United Way Reading Oasis: I would give A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara because it is unforgettable. It is brutal, relentless and exhausting. But despite all of this there is a message of love, accepting the faults of a loved one and making the most of time together…

Catherine Clover, author, forthcoming multimedia Aldus Cervus series: For February 14 I would give an adult loved one a copy of Jane Eyre, the ultimate love story in my opinion, and one that heavily inspired my novel, The Templar’s Garden.

Andrew Hayward, Managing Director, Ether Books: I would give The Great War by Aleksandar Gatalica. It is an absolute classic, was runner-up in the Oxford Weidenfeld Prize and has been read by very few in the UK.

Jessica Norrie, author, The Infinity Pool: I would choose something about an elderly couple who’ve been through a lot together and still love and value each other. I’m writing such a couple into my second novel at present, but since that won’t be ready in time for this year, I’ll go for Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs.

dhl-haystacksLesley Pollinger, author and Literary Executor and Trustee for the Estate of Frieda Lawrence Ravagli: The authorative Cambridge University Press edition of Love Among the Haystacks and Other Stories which is a beautiful collection of D H Lawrence’s early short stories, and all manner of ways in which love and loss can be expressed.

Nick Quantrill, crime writer and Hull Noir 2017 team, international crime writing festival: As a crime writer, it would have to be something from my genre. Despite all the murder and mayhem associated with it, at its best, it’s a genre of great heart and hope. I’d share a book by George Pelecanos, as he writes about families and relationships with great compassion and clarity.

Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, award-winning author: I would give The Good People, by Hannah Kent. It is incredibly strong, moving and well written.

Karen Sullivan, Founder and Publisher, Orenda Books: I would give a loved one three books, because I am usually over the top. They are Amanda Jennings’ In Her Wake, Su Bristow’s Sealskin and Louise Beech’s The Mountain in My Shoe, because they are ultimately about the power of love and its ability to offer redemption.

Hildur Sif Thorarenseneinfari, author, Einfari: I would either give my partner a romantic story, because it’s Valentine’s Day, or something about marketing since he’s extremely interested in that subject at this time.

Victoria Wicks, actress, granddaughter of H E Bates: If I gave a book to someone on Valentine’s Day I’d probably want to give them a second-hand first edition of a book with a great dust-jacket. If they didn’t agree with me about the content I’d be hoping they loved the look of the book. Otherwise, I have always loved my grandftaher’s book, Love for Lydia, so that would make a perfect gift.

Christopher Norris is the Founder and Curator of the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign (twitter: @Jolabokaflod). There is still time to make a contribution to the Book Bulletin cause and receive promotion for you and your passions, projects and interests. Please give generously by 14 February 2017.

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The Cuckoo Club: new sponsorship partner

logoThe Jolabokaflod Book Campaign is proud and delighted to announce a new partnership with The Cuckoo Club to have the hip and glamorous London club and bar as an official sponsor.

The Cuckoo Club has organised a complimentary afterparty to follow the Jolabokaflod Gala Party, held at the Hotel Café Royal on 2 February 2017.

Situated in the Mayfair-Soho border, The Cuckoo Club is a chic destination with interiors that are contemporary and lush. Think ‘Slash meets Alice in Wonderland’: an interior of mirrors, rich mahogany and plush velvet with a hot-pink dance floor. This ostentatious rock-chic inspired venue is 5000 square foot of Member’s Club heaven.

Recently refurbished in collaboration with Seventies design and style icon, Barbara Hulanicki of BIBA fame, The Cuckoo Club is one of the hottest nightspots for the people who enjoy the high life. Coated in luxury, The Cuckoo Club is a playground of cool and quirky decor where you’ll find two floors of creative eccentricity and the chance to hang out with celebs relaxed on a classy night out. The venue fuses the barworlds of intimate clubbing and refined cocktail supping: it is a den for bespoke nightlife and stylish partying. Pink, burgundy and purple hues decorate the walls; The hazy colours spell out debauchery and decadence everywhere but that’s precisely what was intended!

Ground Floor is decorated in soft, light, gorgeous velvets and has a glamorous theatrical opulence to it. The Basement has recently been redecorated and is now a stunning Secret Garden, with the most exquisite decor and lighting, this refer is unlike any other in London.

The music is always varied just like the varied clientele that flock to its doors; by 11.00 pm the crowds are lining up. From Hip Hop to Trap; Dance to House; and RnB to Rock ‘n’ Roll, The Cuckoo Club has it all. Different nights and two dance floors means diverse music; there’s certainly room for choice.

neon-signThe Cuckoo Club has been the exclusive host for a range of renowned events; extravagant Halloween parties drawing in the likes of Lindsay Lohan to London Fashion Week nights where Kate Moss was spotted dancing away.

What’s more the 2016 NME Awards After Party was also hosted at The Cuckoo Club with an impressive number of artists attending including Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX, Katy B, Tallia Storm, Vicky McClure and many more. In fact singer and songwriter Charli XCX celebrated her team-up with fragrance brand Impulse exclusively at the club and more recently after parties for the West End revival of Dr Faustus, with Game of Thrones actor Kit Harrington (who plays Jon Snow in the series).

dj-set-2Voted the Best Boutique Club at The London Club and Bar Awards in 2009, The Cuckoo Club buzzes with a fashionable crowd, late night giggles, and a routine gathering of celebrities. Read this interview in Paper magazine (14 October 2013) for some background on winning this award: ‘Catching up with past nighttime awards winners: Cuckoo Club

The Cuckoo Club lends an atmosphere of glamour and class to any brand or company event hosted there. The venue can be hired to accommodate over 400 guests over both floors and is flexible enough to host a variety of small or large events. The venue is also an exclusive private members’ club where people are invited to join by directors, committee members or existing members.

party-1Frederick Szydlowski, Head of Marketing and Communications at The Cuckoo Club, says: ‘The Cuckoo Club is one of the few hotspots for successful young professionals to mingle on the dance floor in equal measures. We have a smart-casual dress code, so be sure to dress head-to-toe in suitable attire. Leave your sneakers for the gym and get ready for a lavish night.’

Christopher Norris, Founder and Curator at the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign says: ‘Jolabokaflod is thrilled to be partnering with The Cuckoo Club. The sumptuous afterparty at this prestigious, luxury venue will round off the Jolabokaflod Gala Party in style for guests who do not want the evening to end. The generosity of gift from The Cuckoo Club showcases how goods and services in-kind can integrate with crowdfunding projects like our Book Bulletin initiative with at CrowdPatch. We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with The Cuckoo Club at our Gala Party at Hotel Café Royal and with respect to future Jolabokaflod Book Campaign events.’

For more information about The Cuckoo Club, please visit their website. You want also ‘Like’ The Cuckoo Club on Facebook and follow them on TwitterInstagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

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Lumio: new sponsorship partner

lumio-logoThe Jolabokaflod Book Campaign is proud and delighted to announce a new partnership with Lumio, to have the US luxury lamp company as an official sponsor.

Lumio has provided lamps that are ideal for reading books as prizes that will be presented to worthy award-winners during a short ceremony at the Jolabokaflod Gala Party held at the Hotel Café Royal on 2 February 2017.

Designed by Max Gunawan, Lumio is a modern lighting solution that lets you experience beautiful lighting wherever you are. Closed, the lamp takes the shape of a hardcover book. Open, it becomes a sculptural lamp with the versatility to fit any space.

manLumio is the first product from Max’s design studio, which is dedicated to helping people live large with less. His work employs minimal and clean-line design, and centres around optimising the use of small spaces.

In October 2013, Lumio was named by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the top 10 best crowdfunded products in the article, ‘10 of the Most Innovative and Bizarre of the Top 100 Crowdfunded Companies‘. Lumio raised USD $578,387 from a successful crowdfunding campaign at Kickstarter backed by 5276 pledges of financial support in exchange for a range of perks and rewards. Lumio received further investment after a memorably successful pitch in January 2015 on the ABC television show, Shark Tank (known as Dragons’ Den in the UK).

desertNicole Lee, Business Development & Brand Visual Ambassador at Lumio, says: ‘At Lumio we have one goal: make life better by making simple, beautiful, and functional products. We bring a modern design aesthetic, combining craftsmanship and technology to simplify modern living. We make products that make life easier, more enjoyable and delightful.’

Christopher Norris, Founder and Curator at the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign says: ‘Everyone at Jolabokaflod is delighted to be associated with Lumio. This fabulous lamp is ideal for reading, it makes for a wonderful prize, and it fits our enthusiasm for crowdfunding projects, such as our Book Bulletin initiative with CrowdPatch. We look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with Lumio for our forthcoming Gala Party at Hotel Café Royal on [2 February 2017] and to Jolabokaflod Book Campaign events.’

girlFor more information about Lumio, please visit their website or download this beautiful and informative brochure. You want also ‘Like’ Lumio on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.



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What our fans read over Christmas

We put out the word on social media around the festive season that we were keen to find out which books our friends and followers were reading on Christmas Eve – and beyond – in the spirit of Jolabokaflod. Here is a review of the responses we received. As always, all the books we mention can be purchased in the UK via the Booksellers’ Association’s My Local Bookshop search engine.

161225-books-asThe avid-reader Mum

Alyson Shipley in East Yorkshire was feeling optimist. Christmas for her was a read-fest of the titles in the picture opposite, which she sent us via Facebook. Hopefully her whole family joined in. Alyson says she is already into the seventh book in her haul of books. Here is a list, from top to bottom, for everyone unable to enlarge the photo.

  • Akram’s War, Nadim Safdar (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Then She Was Gone, Luca Veste (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Sweet Home, Cathy Bray (Amazon: UK | USA kindle)
  • Far From True (Promise Falls: book 2), Linwood Barclay (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • The Travelers, Chris Pavone (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Slow Horses (Jackson Lamb: book 1), Mick Herron (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Dead Lions (Jackson Lamb: book 2), Mick Herron (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • My Name is Leon, Kit de Waal (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Long Way Home (DI Zigic and DS Ferreira: book 1), Eva Dolan (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • The Museum of You, Carys Bray (Amazon: UK | USA kindle)
  • Cold Earth (Shetland: book 7), Anne Cleeves (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • The Blood Card (Stephens and Mephisto: book 3), Elly Griffiths (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • The Twenty-Three (Promise Falls: book 3), Linwood Barclay (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • A Divided Spy (Thomas Kill: book 3), Charles Cumming (Amazon: UK | USA)

ln-linkedin The booktuber

Meanwhile, Leena Normington at Just Kiss My Frog posted her thoughts via YouTube. These are the books she was thinking about buying family and friends for Christmas. Maybe Leena will share which titles she actually gave as presents this year and how her loved ones are getting on with reading them. Here’s a list of the books she mentions in the order in which she talks about them

  • How to be Parisian, Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Feral, George Monbiot (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • How to Survive the End of the World as we Know It, James Wesley Rawlesa (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Introducing George The Poet: Search Party, A Collection of Poems, George the Poet (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Wildflower, Drew Barrymore (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Zayn: The Official Autobiography, ZAYN [Zayn Malik] (Amazon: UK)
  • The Descent of Man, Grayson Perry (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Bitten by Witch Fever: Wallpaper and Arsenic in the Nineteenth-Century Home, Lucinda Hawksley (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual (For a Sexist Workplace), Jessica Bennett (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries, Helen Fielding (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, Alisha Malik (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Our Lives, Anna Kessel (Amazon: UK | USA kindle)
  • Let Them Eat Chaos, Kate Tempest (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • The Elements of Eloquence, Mark Forsyth (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • The Myth of Meritocracy, James Bloodworth (Amazon: UK | USA)

161225-books-abThe book blogger

Adele Blair writes the Kraftireader blog, which shares her ‘love of reading, crafting, recipes, music and shopping bargains. Adele tweeted that she had bought ten books this year as present and was, in return, enjoying reading books she had received as gifts:

  • The Phantom Tree, Nicola Cornick (Amazon: UK)
  • The Liberation, Kate Furnivall (Amazon: UK | USA kindle)
  • a treasured child’s picture-book
  • a prized cookbook

The main photo on her blog’s home page shows a haul of favourite books. Adele must get through many cups of tea and have a generally sunny disposition. Here are the books she has highlighted:

  • Me Before You, JoJo Moyes (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers, Lynda Renham (Amazon: UK | USA kindle)
  • The Teashop on the Corner, Milly Johnson (Amazon: UK | USA kindle))
  • Just for Christmas, Scarlett Bailey (Amazon: UK | USA kindle)

lc-twitterThe tweeter

Luke Conboye announced on Christmas Day via Twitter – his handle is @Someronrebel – that he was reading Nightblind by Ragnar Jónasson. Excellent choice, sir.

  • Nightblind (Dark Iceland: book 2), Ragnar Jónasson (Amazon: UK | USA kindle)

The authors

Valerie Galantevg-twitter is a licensed psychologist who tweeted via @ValGalantePhD to tell us that she was reading The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A Singer over Christmas:

  • The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Michael A Singer (Amazon: UK | USA)

Valerie is a self-published author. Here are the books she has written:

  • Finding Your Way, Valerie Galante (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • Spirit Manifested: Poetic Reflections on Life, Valerie Galante (Amazon: UK | USA)
  • The Way of Yeshua, Valerie Galante (Amazon: UK | USA)

le-twitterLynne E Blackwood is an as-yet unpublished novelist (RINGS OF CHALK) and a prize-winning writer of short stories and poetry. She began writing in April 2012 after illness terminated her professional activity as a community project development consultant working with women asylum seekers and ethnic minorities.

Lynne told us she was reading Marlon James novel A Brief History of Seven Killings and spending part of the holiday season revising her thriller set in the Caucasus, RINGS OF CHALK

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James (Amazon: UK | USA)

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What Jólabókaflóð means to me: Hallgrímur Helgason

hallgriemur-helgason-2016-ljosm-gassiHere is the second in our Icelandic Perspectives series of reflections by famous writers and prominent public figures on their memories, thoughts, opinions  and anecdotes about the long-standing national tradition of Jólabókaflóð.

The second writer to feature in the series is award-winning novelist, playwright, columnist and painter, Hallgrímur Helgason.

Read Hallgrímur’s personal take on the Christmas Book Flood – ‘Book lives matter‘ – and compare his thoughts with his compatriots’ reflections as they are published in the Icelandic Perspectives section of this website.

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Book Bulletin: Hall of Fame

bokati%e2%88%82indi-4-bathtimeWe are marking the start of the crowdfunding phase of the Book Bulletin campaign – to raise money for next year’s Jolabokaflod UK events and marketing – by adding two new features to the website. Here is the second of these new features.

Hall of Fame

We have add a new section – our Hall of Fame pages – to recognise the financial contributions of supporters of Jolabokaflod Book Campaign crowdfunding projects, including the Book Bulletin.

Anyone who purchases a reward valued as £10 or more gets their name, company and/or project details uploaded for display on these pages as our way of saying ‘Thank you’ by way of public recognition.

We value everyone’s contributions and, in return, we are delighted to support you and your companies/projects with links and digital media promotion.

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Book Bulletin: books in other languages

bokati%e2%88%82indi-5-sofaWe are marking the start of the crowdfunding phase of the Book Bulletin campaign – to raise money for next year’s Jolabokaflod UK events and marketing – by adding two new features to the section. Here is the first of these new features.

Books in other languages

Inspired by the book recommendations sent to us by digital marketer and blogger, Dovilė Malachauskaitė (born in Vilnius, Lithuania, but living in London), we realised it would be great to include books not written in English in the Book Bulletin.

Our new Books in other languages section features books not yet translated into English that are the favourite reads of some of our contributors. Dovilé’s choices are published in French and Polish respectively, so we have added pages for these languages, with the potential to add books in any language that are available in the UK and/or the USA via Amazon.

Please send us your recommendations, irrespective of the language in which they are published, and we shall add them to the new section on all occasions when an English translation is not available.