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This category contains 7 posts

Six things I learnt from my blog

Improbable as it may seem, ‘What Are You Reading For?’ is one year old – cue streamers, balloons and champagne all round. It’s certainly been busy – I’ve written 61 posts (including this one), welcomed visitors from 68 different countries, and gathered 694 followers. All this would be reward enough, but I’ve also learnt a … Continue reading

Book-drunk in Hay-on-Wye

Just to mark the occasion of what may (or may not…) be a significant birthday this week, I took a trip to Hay-on-Wye, somewhere I’ve wanted to visit ever since I first heard about its reputation for secondhand bookshops. It’s not as replete as it once was – there’s now around twenty, from a high … Continue reading

Iain Banks: Two Beautiful Days in June

I’m deeply saddened by the news of Iain Banks’ death, partly because his novels have been part of my life for the last 20 years – I read many of them during my late teens and early twenties, when I was leaving school and trying to piece together an adult identity for myself. It was a … Continue reading

‘A certain disciplined exoticism’: Ian Fleming and the art of writing a thriller

I was delighted (via a fellow blogger) to be pointed in the direction of a wonderful essay by Ian Fleming entitled ‘How to Write a Thriller’, first published in August 1962 in American magazine Show (I’ve not been able to source an original copy, but would love to see one, even in digital format). Now, I don’t consider … Continue reading

Panning for gold: ‘GBH’ by Ted Lewis

One of the great things about working in a library is the ready access to books – not only those you can borrow, but also the ones being discarded and sold. It’s the normal day-to-day work of any large library, and it’s also been happening to prepare for our move to the new building. Over the past few months, we have had an area of … Continue reading

‘Death is but a horizon’

I went to a funeral yesterday, for a family friend, who cruelly lost his fight with cancer. Not surprisingly, it was a very emotional experience – Dave was a lifelong Liverpool supporter, and the playing of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and The Beatles’ ‘In My Life’ were enough in themselves to bring a lump to … Continue reading

Some unpleasant, but necessary, throat clearing

Hurruurggghhhhhh. Hurrrugh. Huuugh. Excuse me. This is my second attempt at a blog. I’m hoping it will be more successful than the last, which coughed and died after less than two weeks. One of the reasons for that was that my scope was too narrow, too restricted. Having said that, writing those few posts was … Continue reading