Music, books and lyrics

Browsing Twitter earlier today, I stumbled across a recent promo campaign from a top UK band that’s using classic ghost stories to get people excited about their new music.

Coldplay are going all out to promote their upcoming album, the aptly named ‘Ghost Stories’, and their new songs are being unveiled in a way that should excite all the readers out there! Chris Martin’s handwritten lyric sheets for each song on the album are being hidden within the pages of books in libraries all over the globe. One lucky lyric hunter will also find two tickets and a free trip to London to see Coldplay perform at the Royal Albert Hall.

So far, five envelopes have been found – in copies of ‘Hounds of the Baskervilles’ in Barcelona, ‘Mister B. Gone’ in Helsinki, ‘Ghost Stories’ in Singapore, ‘A Christmas Carol’ in Mexico City and, most recently, in Dartford Library, Kent. If you fancy combining a trip to your local library with the chance of seeing the band perform live, keep checking the Coldplay twitter feed for clues to the next book.

Even if you don’t find anything, it’s a great way to get people visiting public libraries, especially at a time when so many of them are facing closure from lack of funding.

A modern gothic ghost story

‘Bellman and Black’ is the latest offering from Diane Setterfield, whose bestselling novel ‘The Thirteenth Tale’ was recently adapted as a TV drama.

Bellman and BlackAt the age of ten, William Bellman makes a perfect shot with a catapult. His target, a rook, falls to the ground. As an adult, William Bellman seems to live a charmed life. His drive, determination and willingness to learn have helped him to make his fortunes and build a happy, healthy family around him. It seems as though nothing can go wrong. But then one horrific, unstoppable incident has a devastating effect on the world that William has created. A chance encounter with Mr Black, and a promise of a business deal made in darkness, casts a shadow over his future that he can never shake off or outrun.

Business wise it seems that he can’t fail. From the mill, where he started his career, to the Bellman and Black emporium of mourning that he creates, William has an unerring sense of how to succeed. He fills every minute of his day in a frenzy of activity, trying to block out the darkness by sheer force of will. But as his life goes on, we end up longing for him to turn the same attentions and intuitions to his personal life. Continue reading