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Archive > Group Read -> Sept 2018 -> Nomination thread (A book about broadcasting won by Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald)

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message 1: by Nigeyb (last edited Jun 29, 2018 01:48AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
Every month we discuss a book on a specific era or a theme. This book will be the winner of a group poll. The approximate timings are...


Start of the month - request nominations
6th of the month - publish poll
11th of the month - announce winner

Our next theme is Broadcasting (1900-99) and we will be reading and discussing the winning book in September 2018

If you feel inspired, please nominate a book about broadcasting that you would like to read and discuss.

It can be either fiction or non-fiction.

Please supply the title, author, a brief synopsis, and anything else you'd like to mention about the book, and why you think it might make a good book to discuss.

If your nomination wins then please be willing to fully participate in the subsequent discussion.

Happy nominating.







message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
OK, a renomination from me:

Human Voices Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald

From the Booker Prize-winning author of ‘Offshore’, ‘The Blue Flower’ and ‘Innocence’, this is a funny, touching, authentic story of life at Broadcasting House during the Blitz.

The human voices of Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel are those of the BBC in the first years of the World War II, the time when the Concert Hall was turned into a dormitory for both sexes, the whole building became a target for enemy bombers, and in the BBC – as elsewhere – some had to fail and some had to die.

It does not pretend to be an accurate history of Broadcasting House in those years, but ‘one is left with the sensation’, as William Boyd said, reviewing it in the ‘London Magazine’, ‘that this is what it was really like.’

If it fails to win the vote, I am keen for a buddy read, if anyone is interested...


message 3: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
Thanks Susan


Human Voices sounds like a great suggestion


NOMINATIONS SO FAR....

SUSAN: Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald


message 4: by Nigeyb (last edited Jun 29, 2018 03:43AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
I'd be interested in reading a novel or factual book about UK Pirate Radio in the 1960s. Everything I have turned up so far is either expensive or not readily available.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me to mull over, or even to nominate themselves?


message 5: by Val (last edited Jun 29, 2018 03:56AM) (new)

Val | 1709 comments I would like to read that one, so I will join you in the buddy read if it doesn't win.

In the meantime, here is a non-fiction alternative: This New Noise: The Extraordinary Birth and Troubled Life of the BBC by Charlotte Higgins.
'Charlotte Higgins traces the origins of the BBC, celebrating its early pioneering spirit and unearthing forgotten characters whose imprint can still be seen on the organisation today. Exploring how it forged ideas of Britishness both at home and abroad, she shows how controversy is in its DNA and, through interviews with grandees and loyalists, embattled press officers and high profile dissenters, sheds new light on recent feuds and scandals in this intriguing portrait of an institution at the heart of Britain.'
Lots of UK and some US libraries have copies. It is also available in kindle versions.


message 6: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
Further research has yielded....


Radio Caroline: The True Story of the Boat that Rocked by Ray Clark

...so that's my nomination

Here's the blurb...

Radio Caroline was the world’s most famous pirate radio station during its heyday in the 1960s and ‘70s, but did the thousands of people tuning in realize just what battles went on behind the scenes? Financed by respected city money men, this is a story of human endeavor and risk, international politics, business success, and financial failures. This is a story of innovation, technical challenges, changing attitudes, unimaginable battles with nature, disasters, frustrations, challenging authority, and the promotion of love and peace while, at times, harmony was far from evident behind the scenes. For one person to tell the full Radio Caroline story is impossible, but there are many who have been involved over the years whose memories and experiences bring this modern day adventure story of fighting overwhelming odds to life. Featuring many rare photographs and unpublished interviews with the "pirates" who were there, Ray Clark, once a Radio Caroline disc jockey himself, tells the captivating story of the boat that rocked







NOMINATIONS SO FAR....

NIGEYB: Radio Caroline: The True Story of the Boat that Rocked by Ray Clark
SUSAN: Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald


message 7: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 5688 comments Mod
There are these on Radio Caroline:

The Ship That Rocked the World: How Radio Caroline Defied the Establishment, Launched the British Invasion and Made the Planet Safe for Rock and Roll (The story of Radio Caroline in the 1960s by one of its foremost DJs)

Radio Caroline: The True Story of the Boat that Rocked (A history of Radio Caroline by a former DJ)

Both have somewhat mixed reviews on here...


message 8: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 5688 comments Mod
Haha, our posts crossed!


message 9: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 5688 comments Mod
I'll nominate Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV, a cultural history of British TV.

Here's the blurb:

'But what does your furniture point at?' asks the character Joey in the sitcom Friends on hearing an acquaintance has no TV. It's a good question: since its beginnings during WW2, television has assumed a central role in our houses and our lives, just as satellite dishes and aerials have become features of urban skylines. Television (or 'the idiot's lantern', depending on your feelings about it) has created controversy, brought coronations and World Cups into living rooms, allowed us access to 24hr news and media and provided a thousand conversation starters. As shows come and go in popularity, the history of television shows us how our society has changed.

Armchair Nation reveals the fascinating, lyrical and sometimes surprising history of telly, from the first demonstration of television by John Logie Baird (in Selfridges) to the fear and excitement that greeted its arrival in households (some viewers worried it might control their thoughts), the controversies of Mary Whitehouse's 'Clean Up TV' campaign and what JG Ballard thought about Big Brother.Via trips down memory lane with Morecambe and Wise, Richard Dimbleby, David Frost, Blue Peter and Coronation Street, you can flick between fascinating nuggets from the strange side of TV: what happened after a chimpanzee called 'Fred J. Muggs' interrupted American footage of the Queen's wedding, and why aliens might be tuning in to The Benny Hill Show.


I checked and it's available on Kindle, there are accessible second-hand copies available and it's the sort of book that might be stocked in your local library.


message 10: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
Hurrah - thanks RC


Serendipity


message 11: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 752 comments Human Voices is a very entertaining book, so I won't nominate.


message 12: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
Roman Clodia wrote: "Radio Caroline: The True Story of the Boat that Rocked.....(has) somewhat mixed reviews on here"

I've not looked, however the Amazon UK reviews are almost universally v positive, which is partly what convinced me to nominate it.

Thanks for your nomination RC - Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV looks fab


NOMINATIONS SO FAR....

ROMAN CLODIA: Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV by Joe Moran
NIGEYB: Radio Caroline: The True Story of the Boat that Rocked by Ray Clark
SUSAN: Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
Did you miss out Val's nomination?


message 14: by Nigeyb (last edited Jun 29, 2018 06:59AM) (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Did you miss out Val's nomination?"

Yes! Sorry Val. It popped up in between two posts I made so I didn't notice it.

This New Noise: The Extraordinary Birth and Troubled Life of the BBC by Charlotte Higgins is yet another tempting nomination. This is going to be very tricky.


message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
They all look interesting. I really want to read the Fitzgerald, but am extremely tempted by Radio Caroline...


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
I could happily read any of those.


message 19: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4674 comments Mod
Me - I’ve been looking for something about Nazi radio propaganda, but have drawn a blank so far!


message 20: by Susan (last edited Jun 30, 2018 01:06PM) (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
The nearest I can think of is a biography of Lord Haw-Haw, such as Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce, or The Traitors: A True Story of Blood, Betrayal and Deceit. Of course, there is always Goebbels? Their Finest Hour and a Half has a British slant.


message 21: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4674 comments Mod
Thanks for mentioning the Haw-Haw books, Susan, but I was wondering if there was anything also including the other broadcasters? I suspect there isn't anything suitable in print, as I can't find anything at Amazon.

I loved Their Finest Hour and a Half, and also the film Their Finest, but am not sure if it would count as it is about a feature film - I don't really think of that as broadcasting.

Anyway, still pondering my nomination. :)


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
There's a lot about propaganda, but less about broadcasting.


message 23: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
Ponder away Judy


message 25: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4674 comments Mod
Are you nominating Axis Sally, Jan? I hadn't heard of her previously, but it does sound interesting and it is available in the UK.

I just decided to nominate Armchair Nation - then belatedly realised that RC has already done so! I've therefore decided not to nominate after all, as I really want to read that one.


message 26: by Jan C (last edited Jul 01, 2018 02:25PM) (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1290 comments I suppose I could nominate Axis Sally: The American Voice of Nazi Germany by Richard Lucas. I was mainly letting you know tha there was another book out there about broadcasting during the war.

I was originally going to nominate The Panic Broadcast by Howard Koch but I wasn't sure about availability. Not on kindle here and I have a paperback copy I received from a friend.


message 27: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4674 comments Mod
Ooh yes, the Orson Welles War of the Worlds is another fascinating area of broadcasting. I’d also like to read something about that, Jan.


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
Different book, but The Martians are Coming!: The True Story of Orson Welles' 1938 Panic Broadcast The Martians are Coming! The True Story of Orson Welles' 1938 Panic Broadcast by Alan Gallop is available on kindle in the UK.


message 29: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 1290 comments Susan wrote: "Different book, but The Martians are Coming!: The True Story of Orson Welles' 1938 Panic Broadcast [bookcover:The Martians are Coming!: The True Story of Orson Welles' 1938 Panic Br..."

Looks like it is available on Kindle in US too.


message 30: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
Would you like to nominate that title, Jan? It is certainly an interesting aspect to the theme.


message 31: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
I'll provisionally include it in the list.


I'll get the polls up in about 24 hours by which time, hopefully, Jan can confirm if it's a definite nomination


NOMINATIONS SO FAR....

JAN: The Martians are Coming!: The True Story of Orson Welles' 1938 Panic Broadcast by Alan Gallop
VAL: This New Noise: The Extraordinary Birth and Troubled Life of the BBC by Charlotte Higgins
ROMAN CLODIA: Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV by Joe Moran
NIGEYB: Radio Caroline: The True Story of the Boat that Rocked by Ray Clark
SUSAN: Human Voices by Penelope Fitzgerald




message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
I am desperate to read Human Voices, but also very keen on the Radio Caroline book - and all of the others look really interesting too! Choices, choices...


message 33: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
I agree Susan - let's console ourselves with the thought that we really can't go wrong.


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
Good though, Nigeyb. Great nominations too, from everyone involved.


message 35: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
I'm going to assume that was a nomination from Jan - polls up later today


message 36: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10397 comments Mod
It's time to vote.....



https://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/1...




message 37: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4674 comments Mod
Great photo, Nigeyb.


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan | 10642 comments Mod
Oh, good. It goes SO perfectly with our Mod-Led Read too:

Auntie's War: The BBC during the Second World War Auntie's War The BBC during the Second World War by Edward Stourton

BBC RADIO 4 'BOOK OF THE WEEK'
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British institution unlike any other, and its story during the Second World War is also our story. This was Britain’s first total war, engaging the whole nation, and the wireless played a crucial role in it. For the first time, news of the conflict reached every living room – sometimes almost as it happened; and at key moments – Chamberlain’s announcement of war, the Blitz, the D-Day landings – the BBC was there, defining how these events would pass into our collective memory.

Auntie’s War is a love letter to radio. While these were the years when 'Auntie' – the BBC's enduring nickname - earnt her reputation for bossiness, they were also a period of truly remarkable voices: Churchill’s fighting speeches, de Gaulle’s broadcasts from exile, J. B. Priestley, Ed Murrow, George Orwell, Richard Dimbleby and Vera Lynn. Radio offered an incomparable tool for propaganda; it was how coded messages, both political and personal, were sent across Europe, and it was a means of sending less than truthful information to the enemy. At the same time, eyewitness testimonies gave a voice to everyone, securing the BBC’s reputation as reliable purveyor of the truth.

Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed, wry and affectionate companion on the BBC’s wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for. Full of astonishing, little-known incidents, battles with Whitehall warriors and Churchill himself, and with a cast of brilliant characters, Auntie’s War is much more than a portrait of a beloved institution at a critical time. It is also a unique portrayal of the British in wartime and an incomparable insight into why we have the broadcast culture we do today.


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