Over- and under-rated

Each week the Guardian Review asks an author a similar set of questions, collectively called “The Books That Made Me.” Some of the authors I’ve even heard of. Two of the categories are: The book I think is most overrated, and The book I think is...

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Rather miscellaneous

So - I was planning to give you a lengthy rant in the form of an anecdote. Yesterday was the Day. The day when some person or algorithm decided it was my turn to be told that my National Insurance number was about to be frozen...

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Answers and miscellaneous

I might have posted this week on how pleasant (albeit chilly) it is to eat breakfast at newly-reopened cafés along Beeston High St, but this blog has spent a year trying to keep off the subject of coronavirus, so I won’t. Instead, here is a...

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Quiz for the holidays

It's Good Friday, and perhaps I should give you something spiritual - but you have many other sources for that. So - I love literary quizzes. They come in many topics, but I haven’t seen this one done before. We all know that Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy...

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Books 2020

You know when you’ve read a book, and you really want to tell people about it? This blog does claim to be “booky,” and so as the year staggers to its end, I thought I’d ponder and discuss what I’ve been reading in 2020 (not necessarily...

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How to write Dark Age poetry (yes, you can)

It annoys me when authors invent an olde-worlde society in which all the characters seem basically to be modern people with a greater tolerance for violence and a capacity for magic. But then I am reminded, when writing pseudo-medieval stories or reading those written by others,...

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Deprivation in various authors

Please read the PS, but in the meantime: Some of you may remember that my favourite Diana Wynne Jones quote is: "All power corrupts, but we need electricity." It's very true. Some months ago, I wrote the following, intending to use it in a blog: Recently our central...

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JL on Children’s Books

My friend Judith Leader has been a guest on this blog before. Here she widens the debate on children’s literature. I have read with interest the posts by people about the books they read as children. I have been impressed by their knowledgeable writing, the books...

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