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Becoming a Writer
On 13 September, I posted a piece on the difficulties that often beset writers on my blog. In that post I mentioned Dorothea Brande’s excellent book, ...more
not set
Nov 09, 2011
They F*** You Up: How To Survive Family Life
Using as examples of various personality traits and problems, Oliver James cites the lives of Prince Charles, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Paula Yates, se ...more
Oct 19, 2010
Sep 10, 2010
Sing the Midnight Stars (Rift, #1)
This fantasy is full of imagination and introduced me to a thread of magic I hadn’t come across before. Whether that type of magic is entirely the inv ...more
Jan 31, 2014
Jan 19, 2014
Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Digital, #1)
A book I bought as part of a package for indie authors. I’m glad I did. So far, and this is the second in the pack of three, it has been a thoroughly ...more
Dec 11, 2014
Nov 25, 2014
The Call of the Wild
I come late to this classic, which I gather is intended as a children’s story. Mind you, I suspect a few of the modern generation might have difficult ...more
May 05, 2013
May 01, 2013
The Ipcress File (Secret File, #1)
As Deighton admits in the preface to the Silver jubilee Edition that I read, ‘Like many inexperienced writers I expected far too much from my readers. ...more
Mar 19, 2013
Dec 26, 2011
The Doll Makers
I met the wonderfully idiosyncratic heroine, Annie Raymond, in Penny’s first detective novel, Like False Money, and enjoyed her doubts, courage and in ...more
Oct 12, 2010
Oct 11, 2010
The Witch's Cradle
Some novels are not created to be enjoyed but to inspire, educate, shock, grip or horrify. Gillian White manages to do all these things in The Witch’s ...more
Feb 20, 2013
Nov 24, 2011
Miss Julie
The modern mind rebels instantly against the extreme misogyny expressed in the preface to this play. Strindberg may be typical of his time (the play w ...more
Feb 2014
Oct 22, 2011
Under Milk Wood
Many years ago, I bought the vinyl LP of the BBC radio production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. It’s subtitled, ‘A Play for Voices’, and that’s ab ...more
Sep 19, 2013
Sep 16, 2013
Taste of Treason (The Tudor Enigma, #2)
Taste of Treason is the second book in the Tudor Enigma series. The books are a mix of alternative history and fantasy, but that description fails to ...more
Nov 08, 2014
Nov 02, 2014
The God of Small Things
A prose poem of a novel, with bite. This Indian tale of love, loss, class and betrayal starts, against all the literary school advice, with the weathe ...more
Jan 18, 2014
Oct 22, 2011
The Jawbone Gang
The Jawbone Gang, the third crime novel by Penny Grubb to feature her P.I, Annie, brings more insight into the complex character of this Scot, working ...more
Jul 15, 2011
Aug 03, 2011
The Last Frontier
What can you say about Alistair MacLean? He's a great storyteller, but not such a good writer? Does that chime with you? I enjoy his books but sometim ...more
Feb 18, 2014
Mar 25, 2012
First published in 1994, Disclosure by Michael Crichton, is one of those novels based on actual events, though this is not made clear until the end of ...more
May 25, 2013
Dec 28, 2011
Like False Money
Some crime novels are intriguing puzzles begging for solution, some are sensitive character studies describing the relationship of investigator to cri ...more
not set
Aug 28, 2010
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression
I promised my wonderful and long-suffering wife that I wouldn’t buy any more book until I’d read everything on our shelves. Now, here I am buying a ne ...more
Aug 22, 2012
Aug 22, 2012
Wake Up and Live!
I came to this remarkable piece of work via an offer from another author who’d ‘rewritten’ it. When I saw the original was by Dorothea Brande, I looke ...more
Feb 14, 2014
Feb 09, 2014
The Alchemist
This parable, and best-selling inspirational novel, is written in a deceptively simple style.
Santiago, the hero of the piece, takes a journey of self-
Mar 15, 2011
Aug 20, 2010
Mind Tryst
Compelling: it must be, because I read Robyn Carr’s ‘Mind Tryst’ under rather trying circumstances. In a nutshell, I was doing a read-aloud edit of th ...more
Jun 02, 2014
Jan 01, 2012
The Black Angel (Charlie Parker, #5)
I suspect that this is a very good book of its type, but I’ll never know. Sometimes, as a reader, I pick up a book and begin to read and know, very qu ...more
Aug 19, 2012
Dec 14, 2011
The Last Word: Tales from the Tip of the Mother Tongue
The Last Word, subtitled ‘Tales from the Tip of the Mother Tongue’, is a collection from the writings of Ben MacIntyre, a columnist writing about book ...more
Apr 26, 2013
Oct 27, 2011
Mageborn (Tales of Tellest)
Michael DeAngelo’s Mageborn is a slim volume from his Tellest series. The fantasy tale introduces readers to new characters and gives a taste of the i ...more
Jun 19, 2014
Jun 18, 2014
Star Maker
Is this the precursor of much of today’s science fiction? The themes, ideas, stories he covers in this long work are multitude. I’ve read developments ...more
Sep 29, 2014
Sep 27, 2014
As just one of the seventy-two poets featured in this remarkable volume, I clearly have to declare my interest. Amongst those bards you’ll find univer ...more
Sep 30, 2014
Sep 30, 2014
The Bull At The Gate (Torc of Moonlight 2)
The Bull at the Gate, by Linda Acaster, is the second in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy of occult romantic thrillers. I read the first and have been wa ...more
Mar 16, 2014
Mar 08, 2014
Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success)
I downloaded this book as part of a package of 3, offered for a very silly price, by which I mean, cheap, very cheap!

It’s the best few pence I’ve ever
Dec 03, 2014
Nov 25, 2014
Ghost in the Gold
Looking for fantasy, I came across this book via a recommendation, and I’m glad I did. Lilleyn Kaye is a new author to me and I’ll certainly look out ...more
Mar 02, 2014
Feb 22, 2014
The Cunning Man: A Hippo Yeoman anthology
This ‘fictorial’ as the author calls it, should start a trend amongst authors with a desire to help other writers improve their craft. That is precise ...more
Dec 31, 2014
Dec 21, 2014
Court of Conspiracy (The Tudor Enigma, #1)
April Taylor’s Court of Conspiracy is the first in her series, The Tudor Enigma. This fascinating alternative history fantasy is crime novel set in a ...more
Jun 17, 2014
May 29, 2014
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