Past Times and Parallel Universes: The BBC Oxford Book Club

Aha! I'm a bit more organised today, hence able to get this post out on the same day as the next Afternoon Book Club. Click here if you want to listen to Wednesday's show on the iplayer console, and as usual, fast-forward to about 1 hour 6 minutes to listen to the show. A big focus on children's book this month, what with World Book Day next week and everything. The books discussed today are:
  • Get Ahead Fred by Daisy Dawes (Picture book, PB, £5.99) - a cautionary and tragic tale of hubris, involving hats, cats...and the Queen. A delightful (and subversive) picture book by Daisy Dawes, published by Maverick Children's Books.
  • Lob by Linda Newbery (Fiction, HB, £10.99) - a poetic and magical story inspired by the myths and legends of the 'green man', who seems to inhabit the garden of Lucy's grandfather. But is Lob real, or an imaginary game? For 7+. Linda is published by Oxford's David Fickling books. Linda Newbery will be at Mostly Books tomorrow at 4pm, and also at Long Furlong School in Abingdon earlier in the afternoon.
  • Zombie by Tommy Donbavand (Fiction 9-12, reading age 8, PB, £4.99) - When Nathan and his sister visit their grandfather's grave the last thing they expect is to be accosted by a zombie. A zombie looking for some lemonade. For a party. Can they help him? Tommy Donbavand was a clown, and is now a highly successful children's author and screenwriter. Published by Barrington Stoke - for more about them, see our Can't Read, Won't Read event on Monday 1st March.
  • Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne (PB, £7.99) - based partly on her early life in Sri Lanka, Roma Tearne has written a moving and powerful story which explores themes of immigration, identity and the reality of upheaval in the face of war. Roma will be coming to talk to our Wednesday evening bookgroup on March 10th. This book is being discussed this weekend on the TV Bookclub incidentally.
  • In Search of the Multiverse by John Gribbin (HB, £20) - John Gribbin is the master of popular science writing, and in this tour de force he takes us on a highly readable journey into one of the more startling ideas of modern physics - that our universe is only one of many alternates. So if you are not a bestselling author in this universe, you might just be in the next...John Gribbin is appearing in the Abingdon Guildhall as part of the Abingdon Arts Festival on March 11th.
Really enjoyed the show today. I think I'm getting over the 'gosh, I'm on the radio' gushyness of previous shows, calming down a bit, and talking about the books...


  1. Have you roadtested any of them on your own kiddiwinks?

    Perhaps they should start posting reviews in your shop/on this blog.

  2. My boys are increasingly being used as 'guinea pigs' for books - although they both - already - have very strong opinions about what they will and won't read. At the moment Alex is very into the Cressida Cowell 'Hiccup' books, but also Linda Newbery's 'Cat Tales'. Timothy seems to want Gruffalo endlessly - but I'll slip in the occasional new book!