2018 was not the best year for me. I was on a very difficult contract, I had slipped into a lot of bad habits and I turned 30, which - for reasons beyond me - had become a massive issue for me. To cap it all, I was diagnosed with GAD or Generalised Anxiety Disorder.… Continue reading New Year, New Start! Goals for 2019
Did you know it's Agatha Christie's birthday today? A while ago, I decided that I was going to read all of Agatha Christie's works. I knew I already had a vast majority of them done already - how hard could it be? It turned out to be a far more difficult task than I thought!… Continue reading My quest to read all of Agatha Christie
I've spoken before on my peculiar relationship with books. My need to buy and buy books I won't ever have time to read. The only thing that stops me is the fact I have no money. But if I did, I would have a collection the Libary of Congress would be jealous of. Thanks to… Continue reading Are you engaging in Tsundoku?
Once a year, a list like this gets published. 100 books to read before you die. 100 books you should read. 100 books that changed the world. You know the sort. Last Monday, the BBC published their latest version of this on the culture website. 100 Stories that Shaped the World. And every time I see one… Continue reading Should we care about the top 100 books?
Now we are in the fifteen-week of the year, I wanted to do a brief update on where I am on the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge. Have I read the target of fifteen books? Ha! I'm only four books behind. So far this year, I've read: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde… Continue reading Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge Update!
They are not idiots. They're hacks. I've written on this blog before about my quiet love for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It's a book I studied and one, as a teenager, I felt a lot of kinship with. Because what else is Frankenstein about but a Creature attempting to find its place in a cold and… Continue reading The Monster, The Sun and A Tale of Hack Journalism
This week, the Guardian ran a quote from Arnaud Nourry, chief executive of Hachette Livre, saying that ebooks are “a stupid product” which have "no creativity" and have so far only had "one or two successes among a hundred failures." If you haven't heard of them, Hachette is currently the world's third largest trade publisher so we… Continue reading Are eBooks Stupid?
After I posted my Writing Resolutions a couple of weeks ago, Robin sent me a link to her blog where she's hosting the Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge. It looks like an amazing way to commit to more reading, though I'm sceptical... will I really manage the 52 books this year? Hum... I mean,… Continue reading Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge
This is technically part two of my Frankenstein post which I published here on Friday in honour of the 200th anniversary of this book. But there was so much to talk about with this particular character, I thought he deserved a Never Underestimate post! Something I’ve always found fascinating about Frankenstein’s many and various adaptations… Continue reading Never Underestimate… the Igor
Monday marked the 200th year anniversary of the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, was published anonymously on 1st January 1818. It was famously born from a dream and written for a ‘ghost story challenge’ at the Villa Diodati in the summer of 1816 in the company of Lord Byron, Percy… Continue reading It’s the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein
I recently finished reading The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. If you don't know, this is Sophie Hannah taking on the continuation novels of Agatha Christie's beloved Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Approved by the Christie Estate and written by a very talent crime novelist who I had the chance to meet at Swanwick Summer Writing School.… Continue reading Never underestimate… the Watsons
As I am ever behind the times, this is a book I've wanted to read since it came out in 2016. Finally! The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells written by Virginia MacGregor revolves around a family and the turmoil that is kicked up when the titular character, mother Norah, returns after six years of absence. Father… Continue reading Review: The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells by Virginia MacGregor
What is past is prologue. The Tempest, William Shakespeare Everyone seems to have a strong opinion on prologues. Do a quick search online and you'll find plenty of articles advising you to ditch the prologue. As I've been frequently told, editors don't like them. They’re seen as the equivalent of clearing your throat before getting… Continue reading Prologues: Love ’em or Hate ’em
Elizabeth Bennet by Jane Austen (as depicted here by Jennifer Ehle) One of my favourite heroines. Elizabeth Bennet is a character who has echoed down the ages purely because of how human she is. She's not at all perfect, laden with pride (and prejudice, surprisingly...), refuses to be stereotyped or dedicated to, but remains a woman… Continue reading Top 10# Female Heroes of Literature
Let me explain to you my relationship with books. I want books. All the books. I haven't got time to read them, but I want them. I'm going to buy them and worry about reading them later. They're wonderful, they make me smile. I want to be surrounded by books I don't have time to… Continue reading I can’t stop buying books. Is there a book for that?
This is a post I'd been working on for about two weeks before the new Doctor was announced, which I wrote about last week. I bumped up this post today as I think it ties in well about our changing view of female characters. Strong female characters, or the lack thereof, has been a hot… Continue reading STRONG female characters? How about we just write better.
Does anyone find that they the story, but not necessarily the book? Those occasions where a story transcends its source material to take on a life of its own. Perhaps you like West Side Story, but you’d never read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps you love Bridget Jones’s Diary, but would never read Jane Austen's… Continue reading Not all Classics are created equal
The Kingfisher Book of Myths and Legends by Anthony Horowitz You know those treasured books which have been with you forever? This is one of my earliest and most beloved books. Back in Primary school, I was a bit of a mystery to my teachers. My reading age was significantly higher than my spelling age, which made… Continue reading 5 books which have influenced me
Around the beginning of 2016, something awful happened. I stopped reading. I wasn't sure why, but I couldn't pick up a book anymore. I've been an avid reader my whole life and it was pretty startling to realise that three months, four months, six months had gone by without me opening a new book. In retrospect, there were… Continue reading When you forget how to read
Flashbacks and flashforwards. Why, what did you think I meant? Flashbacks and flashforwards have become a significant part of the language of modern fiction. I hadn't thought too much about until this weekend when I saw the Guardian article Bad memories: Colm Tóibín urges authors to lose the flashbacks. At the Hay Festival last weekend, Colm Tóibín,… Continue reading Is there too much flashing in modern literature?
The Guardian published the article How real books have trumped ebooks celebrating the recent and hopefully continued uptick in sales of physical books over ebooks. In this article, James Daunt, the chief executive of Waterstones makes a wonderful point about selling books: A very large part of the way I sell books has been about how you… Continue reading Forget the idiom, we DO judge a book by its cover