Posted in books

Books left Behind in hotels

This really amused me, according to hotel chain Travelodge, approximately 7,000 copies of E.L. James’s erotic bestseller have been recovered from its rooms since its release earlier this year.The other two volumes in the trilogy – Fifty Shades Freed and Fifty Shades Darker – came fourth and seventh respectively on the firm’s annual “Books Left Behind” list, while titles by Stieg Larsson (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, The Girl Who Played With Fire) and Suzanne Collin (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire andMockingjay) also featured prominently.The Help, by Kathryn Stockett; Stephen Fry’s The Fry Chronicles; and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by John Le Carre, made the top 20.

In 2009, the most discarded novel was Katie Price’s autobiography Pushed to the Limit. In 2007, it was Alastair Campbell’s The Blair Years that was most frequently left behind, followed by Piers Morgan’s Don’t You Know Who I Am? Travelodge claims that a total of 21,786 books were found in its 36,500 hotel rooms during the past year. It also noted unusual reading material at several
hotels.Staff at a Scarborough property reportedly recovered a bag of Kama Sutra books belonging to an elderly couple, while a CEO in Peterborough is said to have left behind a suitcase filled with comics. Here are the Top 20 Books left behind in hotels

  •  Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James
  • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson
  • The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest Stieg Larsson
  • Fifty Shades Freed E.L. James
  • The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
  •  The Girl Who Played With Fire Stieg Larsson
  • Fifty Shades Darker E.L. James
  • Catching Fire Suzanne Collins
  • Mockingjay Suzanne Collins
  •  The Help Kathryn Stockett
  • One Day David Nicholls
  • A Tiny Bit Marvellous Dawn French
  • Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography Steve Jobs
  • Diary Of A Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
  • The Brightest Star In The Sky Marian Keyes
  • The Fry Chronicles Stephen Fry
  • Room Emma Donoghue
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0 Tom Rath
  • The Confession John Grisham
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy John Le Carre
Posted in Television

Line-up for Strictly Come Dancing 2012

The full line-up for this years Strictly Come Dancing was recently announced and this year it includes Kimberley Walsh, Victoria Pendleton, Fern Britton, Richard Arnold, Westlife singer Nicky Byrne, former EastEnders star Sid Owen, ex Emmerdale star Lisa Riley, Zoe Ball’s father Johnny, Denise Van Outen and Jerry Hall. The full line-up is:

  • Kimberley Walsh, Found fame on talent search show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002 and formed Girls Aloud with Sarah Harding, Cheryl Cole, Nadine Coyle and Nicola Roberts. Kimberley has also taken on a number of solo projects including starring as Princess Fiona in the Shrek the Musical.
  • Victoria Pendleton, gold-winning Olympic athlete who scooped up two golds and a silver at London 2012 rode in her first race aged just nine years old.
  • Denise Van Outen, Best known for her stint presenting early morning show The Big Breakfast alongside Johnny Vaughan and for portraying Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago.
  • Jerry Hall, American model and actress who is best-known for her relationship with Mick Jagger, with whom she was married for nine years.
  • Fern Britton British TV presenter who presented This Morning for ten years & is married to TV chef Phil Vickery.
  • Dani Harmer is the youngest female in the competition and is most known for her role in Tracey Beaker.
  • Lisa Riley, British TV presenter and actress best known for playing Mandy Dingle on prime time soap Emmerdale.
  • Louis Smith,  Olympic gymnast and competed as part of Team GB in London 2012. where he scooped a silver medal on the pommel horse and a bronze in a group event.Smith also auditioned for the X Factor in 2008.
  • Richard Arnold,TV presenter on ITV Breakfast and former journalist, who used to work at Inside Soap magazine and began his TV career in 2007.
  • Johnny Ball,  TV presenter who presented mathematical-based children’s shows in the 1970s and 1980s and is the father of radio DJ Zoe Ball.
  • Nicky Byrne,  The oldest member of the Irish boy band Westlife  used to be a professional footballer playing for Leeds United.
  • Sid Owen, Best known for his role as Ricky Butcher on EastEnders. The actor joined the soap in 1988 until 2000 and then from 2002 until 2004. In 2008 the actor returned to Walford and also appeared on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in 2005.
  • Colin Salmon,  British actor who has starred in no less than three James Bond films and is a big Man Utd fan.
  • Michael Vaughan, 37, is a retired cricketer who represented Yorkshire
Posted in books

Tribute to D.H.Lawrence

English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter David Herbert Lawrence was born 11 September 1885. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.Lawrence’s opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his “savage pilgrimage.”

Lawrence spent his formative years in the coal mining town of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire and his working-class background and the tensions between his parents provided the raw material for a number of his early works. Lawrence returned to this locality often, calling it; “the country of my heart,” and it became a setting for much of his fiction. The young Lawrence attended Beauvale Board School  from 1891 until 1898, and won a County Council scholarship to Nottingham High School in nearby Nottingham which he left in 1901. He developed a love of books, which lasted throughout Lawrence’s life. In the years 1902 to 1906 Lawrence served as a pupil teacher at the British School, Eastwood and went on to become a full-time student and received a teaching certificate from University College, Nottingham, in 1908.  He was also working on his first poems, some short stories, and a draft of a novel, Laetitia, that was eventually to become The White Peacock.  He also won a short story competition in the Nottingham Guardian in 1907, the first time that he had gained any wider recognition for his literary talents.

In 1908 Lawrence left his childhood home for London and taught at Davidson Road School, Croydon, he also continued writing and Some of the early poetry came to the attention of Ford Madox Ford,the editor of the influential The English Review, who commissioned the story Odour of Chrysanthemums which, when published in that magazine. This encouraged a London publisher, to ask Lawrence for more work. His first published novel The White Peacock appeared in 1910. In addition, a teaching colleague, Helen Corke, gave him access to her intimate diaries about an unhappy love affair, which formed the basis of his second novel The Trespasser and Later during a stay in Italy, Lawrence completed the final version of Sons and Lovers which, when published in 1913, was acknowledged to represent a vivid portrait of the realities of working class provincial life. Lawrence and and his wife Frieda returned to Britain in 1913 for a short visit, but went back to Italy, staying at Fiascherino on the Gulf of Spezia. Here he started writing the first draft of  The Rainbow and Women in Love. He and Frieda returned to Britain again shortly before the outbreak of World War I and were married on 13 July 1914. During this time, Lawrence worked with London intellectuals and writers such as Dora Marsden and the people involved with The Egoist (T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and others). The Egoist, an important Modernist literary magazine, also published some of his work and he was also reading and adapting Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto. In 1915 His novel The Rainbow  was published, but was suppressed after an investigation into its alleged obscenity. The novel Women in Love was also written during this time, which explores the destructive features of contemporary civilization through the evolving relationships of four major characters as they reflect upon the value of the arts, politics, economics, sexual experience, friendship and marriage. This book is a bleak, bitter vision of humanity and proved impossible to publish in wartime conditions. Not published until 1920, it is now widely recognised as an English novel of great dramatic force and intellectual subtlety.

In late 1917, after constant harassment by the armed forces authorities, Lawrence left Cornwall. This persecution was later described in the Australian novel Kangaroo. He spent some months  in the small, rural village of Hermitage near Newbury, Berkshire. He then lived for just under a year  at Mountain Cottage, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, where he wrote one of his most poetic short stories, The Wintry Peacock.  Lawrence escaped from Britain at the earliest practical opportunity, and along with his wife spent the remainder of his life travelling, visiting Australia, Italy, Sri Lanka, the United States, Mexico and the South of France. Many of these places appeared in his writings. New novels included The Lost Girl (for which he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction), Aaron’s Rod and Mr Noon. He also wrote shorter novels, such as The Captain’s Doll, The Fox and The Ladybird, and some of these were issued in the collection “England, My England and Other Stories”. During these years he also produced a number of poems about the natural world in Birds, Beasts and Flowers he also wrote Sea and Sardinia and Memoirs of the Foreign Legion. In 1922 the Lawrences left Europe behind with the intention of migrating to the United States. where they acquired the property  in Lamy, New Mexico, now called the D. H. Lawrence Ranch, in 1924 in exchange for the manuscript of Sons and Lovers. They stayed in New Mexico for two years and while in the U.S. Lawrence rewrote and published Studies in Classic American Literature and completed a number of new fictional works, including The Boy in the Bush, The Plumed Serpent, St Mawr, The Woman who Rode Away, The Princess and assorted short stories. A brief voyage to England at the end of 1923 was a failure and he soon returned, convinced that his life as an author now lay in America. However, in March 1925 he suffered a near fatal attack of malaria and tuberculosis and although he eventually recovered, the diagnosis of his condition obliged him to return once again to Europe. The Lawrences made their home in a villa near Florence, Italy and he wrote The Virgin and the Gipsy and  Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which was his last major novel and reinforced his notoriety,

By mid 1929 his health was failing and although he continued to produce short stories such as The Escaped Cock, and wrote numerous poems, reviews and essays   as well as a reflection on the Book of Revelation entitled “Apocalypse” and a robust defence of his last novel against those who sought to suppress it, Lawrence sadly passed away in Venawrencece, France, from complications of tuberculosis on 2nd March 1930 and At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. However E. M. Forster, , challenged this widely held view in an obituary notice, and described him as, “The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.” Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence’s fiction within the canonical “great tradition” of the English novel and he is now valued by many as a visionary thinker is also widely recognised as one of the finest travel writers in the English language and significant representative of modernism in English literature.

Posted in music

Happy Birthday Richard Ashcroft

Best known AS THE Lead Singer of English alternative rock band “the Verve”, English musician and singer-songwriter Richard Ashcroft was born 11th September 1971. He was the lead singer and occasional guitarist of The Verve from their formation in 1990 until their split in 1999.

The Verve were an formed in 1989 in Wigan by lead vocalist Richard Ashcroft, guitarist Nick McCabe, bass guitarist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury. The guitarist and keyboard player Simon Tong later became a member. Beginning with a psychedelic sound indebted to shoegazing and space rock, by the mid-1990s the band had released several EPs and three albums. It also endured name and line-up changes, breakups, health problems, drug abuse and various lawsuits. Filter referred to them as “one of the tightest knit, yet ultimately volatile bands in history”.

The band’s commercial breakthrough was the 1997 album Urban Hymns, one of the best-selling albums in UK Chart history, and the single “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, which became a worldwide hit. In 1998, the band won two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in March, and in February 1999, “Bitter Sweet Symphony” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. Soon after this commercial peak, The Verve broke up in April 1999, citing internal conflicts. During an eight year split, Ashcroft dismissed talk of a reunion, saying: “You’re more likely to get all four Beatles on stage.” The band’s original line-up reunited in June 2007, embarking on a tour later that year and releasing the album Forth in August 2008. In 2009, the band broke up for the third time

However Ashcroft continues as a lead vocalist working with guitars and keyboards and has become a successful solo artist in his own right, releasing three UK top three solo albums. The Verve reformed in 2007 but again broke up by summer 2009. Ashcroft then founded a new band, RPA & The United Nations of Sound, and released a new album on 19 July 2010.