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How To Change Your Life

We live in a world filled with many amazing technologies. They let us travel with incredible swiftness. They let us talk to people at a distance, find out information or look at cat pictures. They let us limit the effects of a deadly virus. What if there were other technologies in our world that enabled…

Still Life, by Sarah Winman

If I could choose one other city in the world to live in, it would be Florence. The art, the architecture, the food, the wine. It’s a beautiful city, passionately loved by many, many people. Such as the characters in Sarah Winman’s new novel, Still Life. A quick spoiler-free summary of the plot before I…

This Book Is Hard To Read!

Let’s own up. After all, it happens to everyone. Sometimes you start reading a book and it just feels like hard work. And when there’s a million really good books in the world (at last count) it seems like the best idea is to toss (gently!) that hard book aside and pick up something that’s…

In Praise of Community Book Sales

There are so many things that have been put on hold because of Covid and the national and international responses to it. Travel, obviously – including a special trip my wife and I had booked. There were gatherings that had to be called off or postponed – from religious services to sports games, not to…

How To Write A Book

Last month I launched my first novel, Buy me Love. I’ve had lots of wonderful feedback, with many people telling me (unprompted!) how much they’ve enjoyed it. But I keep getting one question that I wasn’t expecting: “How long did it take you to write it?” I bet there’s many different reasons for asking this…

My Summer Reading

Apologies to people reading this in the northern hemisphere, but we’re still basking in summer down in our half of the planet. And amongst the festivities and family gatherings, the sunshine, the holidays and the barbecues, there’s been plenty of time for reading. Here’s a look at some of the books I’ve been reading this…

Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen

I’m a fan of Carl Hiaasen’s books. He’s the world expert on the crime comedy genre: fast, energetic stories filled with sharp humour, engaging characters and good guys triumphing, always set in his beloved Florida. His latest book, Squeeze Me, has all the above ingredients, and it rips along in his regular fashion, as a…

My 5 favourite thrillers

I love thrillers. Exciting storylines, packed with action, the good guys seeking to defeat the bad guys against impossible odds. I wouldn’t want to read them all the time, but there are certainly moments when thrillers are perfect – on holiday perhaps, or when you have limited time but want to immediately lose yourself in…

Can A Plan Also Be A Pleasure?

Reading plan (ˈriːdɪŋ plæn): A system of methodically working one’s way through a self-selected list of books; formerly derided, but now heartily endorsed by Greg Brook of brookandthebook.com Before I give you my 3 tips for creating a pleasure-filled reading plan, I need to make a confession: doing an English literature degree destroyed for many years…

Which Edition of Wuthering Heights?

The familiar friend, or the classic? I’ve been given a new edition of Wuthering Heights. Well, when I say ‘new edition’ I mean new to me, not actually new. It’s a leather-bound hardback from the 1930’s with an embossed cover, gold lettering and trim, heavy, thick pages and the good, dry smell of a well-made…

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