Another miscellaneous post for Monday, catching up with bits and pieces which may be of interest.
My goodness me, that Dickens passage gave rise to a wealth of wonderful comments! To answer a few, I don't know why I've never read him - it's certainly not down to deliberate avoidance. There have always been many of his books on our shelves, but for some reason I have yet to read them (and they are on this 'list' - with which I've yet to make any progress, I admit). No, he wasn't studied at my school, and nor was Scott read (we did, as far as I recall, no Scottish literature and no Scottish history), but we did read a lot of Shakespeare, much poetry, Austen and Hardy. (By the way, and in case you haven't seen them, the Dickens commemorative stamps are now available.)
I gave a brief introduction to Jane Rusbridge's new novel Rook yesterday. It won't be published until the beginning of August, but you can be in with a chance of winning one of five copies of the book by 'liking' and sharing this Facebook post or re-tweeting @circusbooks' tweet on it. Get in quickly, though, as the competition closes at 5pm today.
Next, Sandy at Scone: Alexander McCall Smith will be launching Sunshine on Scotland Street, the latest in his very popular 44, Scotland Street series, in the lovely surroundings of Scone Palace on Thursday, 2nd. August at 7pm. Ticket details here.
Any more entries for our Shadow of Night draw? Get your comments in as I'll be picking the winners soon, and if you haven't read the first book in the series - A Discovery of Witches, which is tremendous fun - then this clip of the author Deborah Harkness leading a walking tour of the book's Oxford locations might whet your appetite.
Speaking of walking tours, currently in progress is The Sillitoe Trail, a literary journey through the Nottingham locations of Alan Sillitoe's 1958 novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning via app, web, and so on - more details here.