A bit later than usual this week, mea culpa, but I hope you've all settled into a nice weekend. I had fun this week, going up to London for a celebratory meet-up of an online reading group I'm in: five years together. Actually a bit longer than that, but five years since we changed our name. A lovely tea at the Orangery at Kensington, and some, ahem, moderate book-buying... I'll treat you to a list later in the week. Whilst I London I also met up with Simon S (Savidge Reads) and Claire (Paperback Reader) for a quick coffee - which was good fun. We chatted and gossiped about blogs, I mentioned Miss Hargreaves two or six times, and a good time was had by all.
Without any further ado... the link, the book, and the blog post. A bit like the good, the bad, and the ugly - except instead it's the good, the good, and the good.
1.) The link - You might remember that I'm a fan of the gals behind 3191. Two ladies have been inspired by 3191 to start their own daily comparative photograph site - but one showing the charity work of SOS Children. The charity works on a huge scale, securing homes for millions of children and helping thousands of families stay together - but when we hear 'millions' it all seems too vast to understand. Using photography, they can show the detail and the individuals affected.
Every day two new photographs will appear side by side, as well as a few paragraphs on what the photograph represents, and what the charity is doing. It's a great idea, do have a look - the website is www.twotalk.org.
2.) The blog post - Kirsty at Other Stories writes about secondhand bookshops, following the Guardian's list of the ten best in the UK. Might inspire me to write something similar soon... I was pleased and surprised to see my local bookshop in Somerset, Gresham Books of Crewkerne, make the list. And, with Kirsty, I mourn the absence of any great independent secondhand bookshop in Oxford, since Waterfield's closed. We just have charity bookshops, and the hugely overpriced secondhand department of Blackwell's.
3.) The book - I told, or warned, readers about a new Winnie the Pooh book, back in January. Well, it's coming out on Monday. The Telegraph printed the first story, about Christopher Robin coming back from school, and you can read it by clicking here. I have surprised myself by liking both David Benedictus, the author, and his story. He's obviously done a lot of research (he even tried to use the word convolvulus in another story, which might be a reference to the novel-within-a-novel 'Bindweed', in AA Milne's Two People) and the story has a good tone. It makes more in-references than Milne ever did, and it's obviously not from Milne's pen, but I don't think an imitation could be much better. Of course, it's still up for debate whether a sequel is wanted, but given that one's being written... I think it might be ok. Doubtless forgotten in a decade, but fun for the moment. Though I'm still worrying about the illustrations by Mark Burgess... the one accompanying the story is ok, but has nothing of EH Shepard's wonderful spirit. Well, we'll see.