Very occasionally I will come home and find a package that I don't recognize as something I've ordered. On these rare occasions I might find a book (or this week, a set of four smallish paperbacks) that's been sent to me for possible review. These came as a nice surprise, and as I think the premise is really cool and the proceeds go to a good cause, I wanted to mention them here. The concept is explained in the preface:
"Ox-Tales: Earth is one of four original collections, featuring stories by leading British- and Irish-based writers. Each of the writers has contributed their story for free in order to raise money and awareness for Oxfam. The Four Elements provide a loose framework for the stories and highlight key areas of Oxfam's work: water projects (WATER), aid for conflict areas (FIRE), agricultural development (EARTH), and action on climate change (AIR). An afterword, at the end of each book, explains how Oxfam makes a difference. And in buying this book, you'll be part of that process, too."
By chance I had just mentioned Oxfam's Talking Books blog, but I don't want you to think the books are pay-off for the mention. I was just passing along a good, bookish link. As the books are going to be published here in the US soon they happened to come from a publicist--so I promise this was all very random. And as Oxfam does such good work helping people in need (like the earthquake victims in Haiti), I thought readers might be interested. And just as importantly they look like marvelous collections of short stories and I look forward to dipping into them soon.
Ox-Tales: Earth - Stories by Rose Tremain, Jonathan Coe, Marti Leimbach, Kate Atkinson, Ian Rankin, Marina Lewycka, Hanif Kureishi, Jonathan Buckley, Nicholas Shakespeare
Ox-Tales: Air - Stories by Alexander McCall Smith, Helen Simpsn, DBC Pierre, Al Kennedy, Kamila Shamsie, Beryl Bainbridge, Louise Welsh, Diran Adebayo, Helen Fielding
Ox-Tales: Fire - Stories by Mark Haddon, Geoff Dyer, Victoria Hislop, Sebastian Faulks, John le Carré, Xialu Guo, William Sutcliffe, Ali Smith, Lionel Shriver, Jeanette Winterson
Ox-Tales: Water - Stories by Esther Freud, David Park, Hari Kunzru, Zoë Heller, William Boyd, Michel Faber, Joanna Trollope, Giles Foden, Michael Morpurgo
There are lots of authors here that I've read and more that I've heard about and now will get a sampling of their work. A nice idea and nicely packaged. I'll let you know more as I start reading!