Fantasy and reality

Fantasy, sci fi, dystopian, magical realism… Any story  set in a place that is fundamentally different from the world we live in (or a version of our world in which some magical element exists) will most often have a large amount of work done on building that world before the writing of the actual story…

Recommended Reads: Never Let Me Go

“The problem, as I see it, is that you’ve been told and not told. You’ve been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way.”  I included this as one of my Wildcards in my A-Z Reading Challenge. There were five letters for…

Book journal

The simplest ideas are often the best. So why has it taken me so long to start a reading journal? It couldn’t be simpler. And of course, I didn’t need a fancy journal like this one in which to write, but it is lovely. Since the beginning of the year I have been keeping a…

Daunting

DISCLAIMER: Before I begin this post, I have to say for the record that I hate the cover of this copy of Drums of Autumn. It looks like a bad Mills and Boon, and had I not known what it was I would never in a million years have picked it up in a book…

Is winter ever coming?

“And yes, before someone asks, I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it’s done. I will confess, I do wish I could clone myself, or find a way to squeeze more hours into the day, or a way to go without sleep. But this is what it…

The sense of an ending

I can’t say I’ve ever done this – skipping forward and reading the end when halfway through a book. My eyes may slide down to the bottom of the page to the end of a chapter occasionally… but I don’t make a habit of it. This article by Danuta Kean, blogger and Guardian columnist, details…

The right book for the right person

I’ve just finished the second book of two in a series and gave it an immediate 5 stars, as I did for the first in the series, which I read last year. That is incredibly rare for me – most books that I rate 5 stars start out as 4’s, and then, over time, after…

The beauty of books

And so it continues – the question of which sells more, e book or real book. Long gone are the days when it was believed/feared that the invention of the e reader would slowly but surely wipe out the existence of the printed book. The two seem to co exist quite happily. But latest sales…

Embracing audio

Audio books obviously aren’t a new thing, but they’re new to me. After getting a new job, which meant more driving, I realised I had become pretty sick of the radio, and in a light bulb moment I realised I could actually be listening to books instead. I had previously dismissed audio books – I…

Branded bookshops and brilliant Barter

In the world of book buying there is a definite divide between the big chains – Amazon, Waterstones, etc – and the small independent or second hand bookshops. One on side of the divide, readers can buy books at low cost, but hand their money over to a large corporation. On the other, books are…

Beating the reading slump

I’ve been asked a couple of times recently about how I manage to fit so much reading into my schedule, which admittedly is quite busy. I probably average around 25 books a year, and though I know plenty of people who read a lot more than that, I know that to some people 25 is…

Writers write

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” Thomas Mann This quote seems ridiculous, but I think it’s true. If you’re a writer, it’s much more likely that you will over think what you’re doing, which leads to nothing but difficulty. …Too much time planning … Not…