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Wednesday Cover Story: BOOKS!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

If you had a late one last night or you think there’s a headache creeping up on you, perhaps it would be best to view the rest of this blog post behind the safety of a pair of sunglasses. For it seems right to use the word ‘unleash’ for the cover and book I recently […]

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One Hit Wonders

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

One thing which always impresses me is the ability of some authors to produce book after book at a formidable rate. How strongly must they believe in and desire to share their characters, to be able to return to them again and again, always with fresh ideas and heaps of enthusiasm? Covering an entire decade, […]

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The Pentonville Protest

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Some news stories do nothing but frustrate. And this is one of them: Justice minister Chris Grayling has imposed a ban on books in prisons. I can’t think of anything more idiotic. I understand the need to prevent illegal materials from entering the prison but surely there must be another way instead of banning books. […]

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Letters Live – WBN 2014

Friday, April 25th, 2014

On Wednesday night I was lucky enough to go to Letters Live, one of the many World Book Night events held up and down the UK. The event, inspired by Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note and Simon Garfield’s To the Letter, celebrated the power of correspondence and fitted perfectly The Reading Agency‘s desire to promote […]

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Predictions for the Future

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

While literature can teach us about the world and ourselves, it can always make predictions for the future. Cue the father of science fiction, Isaac Asimov, writer of the classic Foundation and Robot series – one of which became with film I, Robot with Will Smith. In 1964, Asimov published an essay Visit to the […]

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April 23rd: A Great Night for Books

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

What do Cervantes, Shakespeare and Catalonian lovers have in common? It’s all to do with today’s date- the 23rd April. The Shakespeare lovers amongst you might have already spotted that it is both the Bard’s birth and his death day today (and the 450th anniversary of his birth!)- but did you know that it’s also […]

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Google Doodles

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

You know you’ve made it when you’ve been Google Doodled. On Bank Holiday Monday, Google tipped their hat in the direction of Charlotte Brontë by dedicating that day’s (her birthday) Google Doodle to the author. For a website with the clout of Google, these potentially frivolous celebrations have acquired a certain level of depth. A […]

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Whilst I didn’t compete in the London’s greatest running event last weekend, I must admit it’s been a bit of a marathon to get to the Easter holiday this year. It does make a difference when it falls to the end of April, doesn’t it?! Nevertheless, it’s been a great couple of weeks, full of […]

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Sunday Papers Live

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

I don’t often read the weekend papers, though when I do, proper time is devoted to it and easily assembled food must be on tap. In my mind it’s a treat similar to wallowing in a bath for a hour or more. Which is why the approach of Sunday Papers Live appeals to me on […]

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What could have been . . .

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Sometimes I wonder how writers decide which chapters to keep and which to omit as a single changed chapter can drastically change a book. More often than not, an editor casts a critical eye over the manuscript and decides what needs to be cut. At other times, the author will choose to delete certain sections […]

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“Please look after this book…”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

If you’re stuck for present ideas for the altruistic bibliophile in your life, then I’ve stumbled upon the perfect suggestion: adopting a book in need of conservation and expertise at the British Library. For £25 you can help with the British Library”s ongoing conservation work and, most importantly, keeping a vast array of titles on […]

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Down the rabbit/cake hole

Friday, April 11th, 2014

‘Pop-up’ has become a buzz word lately, though it still makes me think of jack-in-the-boxes making me jump rather than trendy temporary boutiques and events. But the term’s connotations seem appropriate to two upcoming nights of Alice and Wonderland-themed fun later this month. Fancy following the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party? Note, […]

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Mo’s Marathon

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Of all the great things happening in April, I think I’m most excited about the London Marathon. 35, 000 runners will descend upon the capital and complete a 26.2 mile course alongside some of Britain’s greatest landmarks. My favourite runner, Mo Farah, is making his full marathon debut, not only aiming to complete the race […]

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Literary sequels

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

By the time of his death in 1959, Raymond Chandler had completed seven novels featuring his most famous creation, Philip Marlowe. But as with many other great literary heroes, the detective’s appeal has endured far beyond the lifetime of his creator. This year, Marlowe appears again in Benjamin Black’s The Black Eyed Blonde. The book […]

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Cityread 2014

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Have you spotted the Cityread events popping up around London this month? Supported and funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Cityread London is an annual celebration of literature that aims to bring reading to life for the whole capital. Each April, Cityread asks London’s citizens, workers and visitors to pick up a […]

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The Wild Girl competitions – WINNERS!

Monday, April 7th, 2014

During March we were celebrating all things fairy tale following the publication of The Wild Girl in paperback. There were competitions with fantastic prizes and, in true fairy tale tradition, there were a magical three winners. In our main competition we were offering the chance for one lucky winner and a friend to enjoy a […]

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Chocolate Connections

Friday, April 4th, 2014

While reading Stylist magazine last week I struck (Terry’s Chocolate) gold: Saturday past saw the launch of this year’s Chocolate Festivals. Kicking off first in Brighton, the rest of the UK will get their chance of a Wonka-like experience as it moves on to Bristol, London and Oxford through April. I think it’s no coincidence […]

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Literary Ballets

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

After seeing the Shanghai Ballet’s production of Jane Eyre, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more dance adaptations of literary works. And I didn’t have to wait long. A ballet based on the life and works of Virginia Woolf, titled Woolf Works will premiere next year, forming a central part of The Royal Opera House’s […]

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Wednesday Cover Story: The Eyes have it

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Have you ever felt like you’re being watched? Not me. I’m the kind of oblivious person who usually has her nose in a book or her mind merrily in the clouds and has to be shouted at repeatedly before I realise someone wants my attention. But even I have noticed a proliferation of creepy eyes […]

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An Austentatious Night Out

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Anyone who reads our blog posts or tweets for any length of time will come to realise that I’m a bit of a Jane Austen fan. But, I hasten to add, I’d like to think I’m not the scary, militant type that would take it as a personal insult if you happened to say you […]

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