but not the BBC we all know and love (most of the time). This BBC is the British Book Challenge. Now I’d never heard of this until I read a super blog by @JuniperJungle about the book challenges she was taking part in this year. And I thought, why not! I’m already doing photos, blogging and a reading challenge sounded great. I tend to read anything and everything but favouring crime, forensic science, fantasy and science fiction. Overly romantic fiction ie Barbara Cartland is a definite no-no though.
The British Book Challenge sign up is here and outlines the challenge itself. In a nutshell, there are two entry categories. Home Grown for British Bloggers and International Friends for everyone else!
I will be going for the Home Grown which is to read 12 books in 2011 by British Authors. Any genre. Equates to about 1 book a month.
If you manage to read 50 books in the year you can also earn yourself a Crown.
Obviously reading the books is fine, but you also have to blog about it and give a review and then post your blog back the BBC blog. Simples!
So, having signed up, I then looked around for inspiration. There are so many good British Authors out there, how do you narrow down a reading list. For me it’s the opportunity to actually read books I have bought and never got around to reading for instance
Zadie Smith – White Teeth
China Mieville – The Scar (sequel to Perdido Street Station)
Georgina Harding – The Solitude of Thomas Cave
Some I’ve flagged as “to buy” for our fiction shelves such as
Daren King – Jim the Giraffe
But this challenge also gives me a great opportunity to discover new fiction, and some of the best, new fiction which is gritty, dirty, shocking, and gloriously funny is coming out of Wales. There are some outstanding young Welsh writers out there, notably Rachel Trezise Dial M for Merthyr); Roger Granelli (Dead Pretty) and Niall Griffiths, described as “passionate, poetic and obscene” (wonderful). His debut novel Grits was described as “an unholy cocktail of heroin and geology”. Can’t wait to read it.
More welsh fiction and authors I shall be reading come from the New Stories from the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion, comprising eleven stories, comes from two medieval Welsh manuscripts, with roots dating back to centuries earlier. Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, the stuff of legends. The New Series was commisioned by Seren (Welsh Publishing House). Each author reinvents a story in their own way, creating fresh contemporary tales. So far there are four in the series
White Ravens by Owen Sheers (read Resistance while you are at it. Stunning WW2 fiction)
The Ninth Wave by Russell Celyn Jones
The Meat Tree by Gwyneth Lewis and
The Dreams of Max and Ronnie by Niall Griffiths.
and if you’re looking for more why not look at the wonderful list of 10 welsh underground book recommendations from Rachel Trezise which she put together for the Guardian last summer. I have a few on this list that I shall be rushing down the Library to order.