Join a different kind of book club

NSCRC children with Book Aid boxI love giving books as Christmas gifts – there’s always that sense of offering up a whole world for your recipient to discover!

This year, why not go a little further and offer that gift to a young stranger who needs the light of fiction in their lives?

This Christmas, BookTrust will give 16,000 book parcels to children aged three to thirteen in the England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Book gifts will be sent to children in care and to children via foodbanks and other community organisations helping families facing financial challenges.

If you are donating on behalf of someone, you will be sent a special Christmas gift certificate that you can personalise.

£10 could send a book parcel to a child in care who is spending their first Christmas away from their family.

£50 could light up Christmas for five children who are vulnerable or in care.

£100 could send ten book gifts to a community foodbank for children facing a difficult time this Christmas.

Find out how to donate here.

Book Aid does amazing work to get books to people who need them, and you can help, Your donation will cover the cost of sending books to classrooms and libraries in the developing world to reach the minds hungry for all those page-bound possibilities, adventures and experiences.

How does it work?

You have the option of signing up for a monthly subscription of £6, £10 or £25, or donating the amount of your choice. You could also give in memory of a loved oneleave a gift in your will, or give in celebration. If you’re a publisher or other member of the book trade, you could even donate books.

Over the course of a year, a £6 monthly membership translates into 36 books to stock a community library, reaching children and adults who might otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy reading for pleasure or learning.

A £10 monthly membership could result in a hospital receiving 60 books.

A £25 membership could provide a starter library for a school, equipped with around 150 books.

Find out how you can help Book Aid change lives for the better.

Poetry review – Of Love and Hope

Of Love and Hope coverFewer subjects seem to inspire more poetry than the thorny topic of love, so it takes a lot for one book of love poems to jump out from the pile. Of Love and Hope does it rather beautifully though, without shouting for attention, but simply by being spilling over with thoughtful, evocative words.

The fact that this poetry anthology is sold in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Care certainly helps. Nothing assuages the guilt of paying out for yet another book (when your shelves are already packed with unread ones) like knowing the proceeds go to a good cause.

Plus you really are likely to read this one. Editor Deborah Gaye has brought together a carefully selected array of poems that twist, flip and sigh their way into your emotions.

The poets who contributed to the anthology are truly top-notch, counting among their number Seamus Heaney, Wendy Cope, Carol Ann Duffy, Victoria Wood, Arthur Smith, Sir Paul McCartney, Roger McGough, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch and Margaret Atwood. An impressive guest-list! Continue reading