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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 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
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
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
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 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
In Search of Identity
I rarely read autobiographies; they tend to be showcases for the subject, with little concern for the truth. However, this one is different. Partly be ...more
Jun 30, 2013
Oct 22, 2011
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
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
Secrets and Lies in El Salvador
This novel reads like a personal account; it is presented in a way that takes the reader straight into the life of the protagonist as she finds hersel ...more
Apr 22, 2015
Apr 13, 2015
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 Light Keepers (ShadowLight Saga, #0.5)
Described as a prequel to ‘ShadowLight’, this short introduction to a fantasy world came to me as a free download for my iPad via Kindle. A prequel is ...more
Aug 16, 2013
Aug 02, 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 A Z Guide To Thassos (A Z Guides)
If you want to know about the place you’re visiting for a holiday, the A-Z guides are very useful. Although in print form, they include links to onlin ...more
May 27, 2015
May 17, 2015
Diamond Rain: Adventure Science Fiction Techno Thriller (The Spy Stories and Tales of Intrigue Series Book 2)
This is science fiction by an author who knows how to tell a story. It’s a complex thriller with elements of the spy genre coupled with a background r ...more
May 15, 2015
Apr 23, 2015
The Paintings
Linda Acaster’s, The Paintings, is not a book to read before bed, unless, of course, you prefer nightmares to sweet dreams. This short chiller is subt ...more
Mar 22, 2015
Mar 02, 2015
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
Never Let Me Go
Discovered in the small hotel library whilst holidaying on the Greek island of Thassos, this book was one I'd always intended to read. I'm glad I did. ...more
Jul 06, 2015
Jun 22, 2014
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
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)
This is the first book of the Kingkiller Chronicle and is so well written that readers will undoubtedly wish to read the next. Questions remain unansw ...more
Apr 06, 2014
Aug 02, 2013
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
Fox Evil
**spoiler alert** • FOX EVIL by Minette Walters, Macmillan
415 pps. 32 chaps. 135,000 words.
Written from multi-viewpoint (Some God’s Eye view) using na
not set
Oct 29, 2010
I Am Legend and Other Stories
First published in 1956, the Corgi edition I read was published in 1971, when it cost 0.25p in the UK and 80 cents in Australia, New Zealand and South ...more
Oct 15, 2010
Sep 10, 2010
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
The Count of Monte Cristo
I read this classic on my Kindle whilst holidaying in Paris and the South of France, which proved serendipitous, as the bulk of the action takes place ...more
Sep 30, 2012
Sep 19, 2012
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
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
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