Win Picador books in Bookgroup quiz is running a Christmas book quiz, open to all, deadline for entries end of December. It is worth doing, because the prize is a set of eight Picador books from 2008:BREATH by Tim Winton; WHEN WE WERE ROMANS by Matthew Kneale; THE PESTHOUSE by Jim Crace; SCOTTSBORO by Ellen Feldman; TOMORROW by Graham Swift; THE SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ by Dalia Sofer; THE HAKAWATI by Rabih Alameddine; and THE LITTLE HUT OF LEAPING FISHES by Chiew-Siah Tei.

Elsewhere at, the book of the month for December is Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, described as an Indian Dickens bythe Bookgroup review. The guest review this month is of Songs of Blue and Gold by Deborah Lawrence, set in Corfu and "an intelligent and perceptive study of the unreliability of biography as well as a moving story about love and loss…. gorgeous, but thoughtful, escapism." If neither of these appeals, reviews of more recommended books can be found here.