Welcome to the Transworld Reading Challenge

Do you love to review books? Do you post reviews on Amazon? Are you an avid blogger? If you answered yes to any of these questions then the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge is for you!..  Back by popular demand we have reinstated the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge! With a new set of completely fabulous titles.

Running from August to October we’re letting bloggers pick four titles from the list below to be sent for review. Review the book on your blog or on Amazon and send us the link, then we’ll send you out the second book on your list.* It’s as easy at that!

Which 4 books from this impressive line-up will you choose?

My choices are:

Crippen – John Boyne

Teacher, Teacher – Jack Sheffield

Black Swan Rising – Lee Carroll

Twelve – Jasper Kent

Wonder which one will come first?  I’m hoping it’ll be ‘Twelve’ as I’m a sucker (no pun intended!) for a vampire story…

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Julietta,’Gloopers’ and Lord Byron

Those of you who read my earlier posts will know that I entered and won a competition in March’s ‘Good Reading’ to win copies of Julietta Jameson’s book, ‘Me, Myself and Lord Byron’ for my book group (The Gully Gloopers) and, best of all, won the opportunity for Julietta herself to come to our book group…

At first, you may be tempted to think that ‘Me, Myself and Lord Byron’ is in the vein of ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’  Poles apart, let me tell you.  EPL is more on the lines of a self-help, ‘preachy’ book whereas MMLB allows and encourages you to explore your relationships whilst being candidly honest about her own.  Having now met Julietta in the flesh – and what a welcome addition she was to Gloopers – the book is very much written in ‘her voice’ and is honest, open and insightful both concerning Lord Byron and herself.  The two threads seamlessly run alongside each other, giving two very different but equally interesting storylines.  I learnt more about Lord Byron reading MMLB than I ever did during those boring Literature lectures at Uni!  Julietta is clearly a poetry fan (something I can not honestly say I have a passion for) and Lord Byron, in particular, rocks her boat – as seen here by her well used copy of his works.  The woman has some stamina to have sat and ‘tackled’ this monster of a book!

‘Me, Myself and Lord Byron’ tells the true story of Julietta, who decides to follow Lord Byron’s footsteps as he travelled and lived in Italy and Greece.  She visits his ‘haunts’ and shares with the reader ths scandalous life he led, whilst also telling us about her family history and in particular, about her relationship with her father, and about her childhood.

“I was sitting… listening to a woman share a story of her childhood misery when a box,

marked ‘Do Not Disturb’, packed away in a dark recess of my subconscious,

came into view and sprang open.”

Even though the book is sad in parts and as a reader, you see her pain quite obviously, it is also delightfully funny and charming.  I love this description of the look she – or rather her shoes – is given when she walks into an Italian shoe shop:

“The sales girl looked down at my feet (Rockports with a Mary Jane look with a sport shoe sole) with such a violent tilt of her head

and shocked expression you would think I had killed two cats, split them down the middle,

shoved my feet into their gizzards and sauntered into the shop so shod.”

Remind me never to go into an Italian shoe shop in my Converse or Havaianas!

MMLB isn’t a ‘travel book’ as you know it, but I have to admit to being partial to any form of travel writing and especially when I read about the yummy delights the authors ‘find.’ Julietta is no exception and enjoys a sweet treat as much as the next person.  Just as well in fact that we tend to hold our Gloopers meetings at a local chocolate shop, where the owner offers a tray crammed full of handmade chocloates for us all to choose a complimentary one to go with our coffees.

Anyone for chocolate?.. as served at Gloopers this week.

“Five minutes from my apartment was Nobile Pasticceria.  Their ‘marmalata’, a flaky, buttery croissant, filled with marmalade, was pure genius. 

And then there was the gelateria Leonardo; it should have been criminalised… Their ‘fragola’, strawberry, caused delirium, popping with fruit

and the sweetness of summer.  They also did a yoghurt and honey that would have knocked my socks off were I wearing any!”

Summer was the last thing on our minds though as we eagerly gave Julietta our books to be signed, in front of a warm, toasty fire that the chocolate shop owner had lit for us (and he very kindly kept the shop open past closing time, just for us, too.  Oh, the joys and benefits of having a celebrity come to our humble book group!)

Julietta book signing our copies

Cockle warming fire!

Thank you so much, Julietta (and her Sales Rep, Liz) for joining us to share more of your stories and being there for a great discusison of a great book!  Check out Julietta’s Blog, at: (below)

http://juliettajameson.blogspot.com  (We get a mention! Yay!)

 

A date with Julietta

I must spend a small fortune each year buying raffle tickets for one charity or another, and on stamps posting completed crosswords and magazine competitions off… to no avail. Until now – yeah!  I swear, this is the last time my friends and family will ever hear me moan about how I never win anything as something VERY exciting has just happened…

There is a monthly Australian magazine called ‘Good Reading’, which is obviously a book lover’s magazine. Last month, there was a competition, asking you to write in about your Book Group. I did so, and was very surprised and delighted to receive an email from the Good Reading team and from new author, Julietta Jameson… The winner of the competition got a copy of Julietta’s book for every member of their Group and best of all, Julietta joins us in person when we meet to discuss the book! What a totally awesome prize!

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