Putting Wales on the map



The Book Drum World Map has delighted readers and publishing commentators in more places than we have red pins. But regular contributor Siân Cleaver was perturbed to see that one of those pinless places was her native Wales.  Her response was exemplary: she immediately set about profiling that classic of Welsh literature, The Mabinogion. A collection of eleven mythic stories, The Mabinogion features Arthurian knights, gods and shapeshifters, and even a woman made entirely of flowers. Siân's profile is now published, and Wales looks a little less bare.

We hope readers in Australia, New Zealand, East Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America will respond with the same energy to the dearth of red literary pins in their regions!


The Drum Book Club takes on World Book Night 2012


We're pleased to see that the 2012 World Book Night choices include a number of titles already profiled on Book Drum.  But we'd like to profile a couple more before 23 April, and what better way of doing it than through the Drum Book Club?  The two titles we've chosen are Bel Canto for the US WBN and A Tale of Two Cities for the UK/Eire WBN

Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, is a truly beautiful tale set in a South American mansion seized by a band of terrorists.  Music becomes the only shared language as the assortment of international diplomats, business tycoons and their captors wait for the negotiators to reach a settlement.

2012 marks the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. A Tale of Two Cities stands tall among his many masterpieces.  Boasting one of the best opening lines and most heart-breaking endings of any novel, the book is a love story set against the violent backdrop of the French Revolution.

We will open the Bel Canto profile for contributions next week, and A Tale of Two Cities will follow a few weeks later.  If you'd like to take part, start reading!  You should be able to find both titles at your local bookstore or library, or you can get them here:

Bel Canto:  US edition   UK edition

A Tale of Two Cities:  US edition   UK edition    Free online edition


Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the inaugural profile of the Drum Book Club, Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence.  The profile is close to completion, but we still need a New York setting description and there's always room for a few more bookmarks.  If you would like to add your name to this fine collective effort before we publish it in a couple of weeks' time, you can still make a contribution here.


Planning ahead: please help us give English Literature students a fantastic study resource


In just a few months' time, English Literature students across the world are going to be searching for inspiration to get them through their exams.  Book Drum already offers illustrated profiles of a number of set texts, including Pride and Prejudice, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, The Kite Runner, The Bell Jar, To Kill a Mockingbird, David Copperfield, The Old Man and the Sea, Catch-22, The Grapes of Wrath and Lord of the Flies.  These proven study aids are invaluable for teachers and students trying to bring a set text alive in preparation for A-level, GCSE, HSC, AP, GRE, SAT or high school graduation exams.  The wealth of educational material available for free goes far beyond the typical character analysis, plot synopsis or summary found on most revision sites.

But there is much still to do!  We have no profile for The Scarlet Letter or Tom Jones, none for Jane Eyre, Little Women or Things Fall Apart.  And we still have no George Orwell or George Eliot profiles at all.  If you are one of the many teachers who has found Book Drum helpful in class over the last few months, please consider creating one of these essential profiles.  Your contribution will help generations of school kids across the world!  Choose your book here.


New Profiles


The Lessons by Naomi Alderman. Profile by Johanna Trew

The Mabinogion. Profile by Siân Cleaver