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…

To re-read or not to re-read

“The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from re-reading the old ones.” Joseph Joubert I keep getting notifications online about the best new releases in fiction, and there are millions of them. I’ve had to stop looking – the TBR pile is already far too long. There are so many books…

Bad challenge?

You may have seen some of my posts about my reading challenge – something I do every year. Normally it’s simply a number of books I would like to have read by the end of the year, or perhaps a list of top titles I’m keen to read over the following 12 months. This year…

The Book of Dust

I’ve read the His Dark Materials trilogy three times, due to the fact they’re nothing short of brilliant. Every time I have read them, I have discovered something new, and I don’t doubt that were I to read them for a fourth time, I’d discover more still. And the time for re reading them is…

The journey of an idea

If I were to spend every waking moment for the rest of my life writing, I would probably still be left with a pile of undeveloped ideas. I called this blog A Writers Notebook because I think a notebook is one of the most important tools a writer has. Whether paper or electronic, it needs…

What if?

The end of 2016 marked the end of another year in which I failed to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I must admit I’m more of a reader than a writer these days, plus I’ve always found the concept of writing a novel in a month quite scary, even though I previously worked on a…

There is always more

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” Frank Herbert, author of the Dune series. The concept of the end of a story is a strange one. As Herbert says, there can never really be an ending. As writers, we just choose to stop telling a story at a…