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Adventures in poetry

Selected Poetry of John Clare by John Clare, edited by Jonathan Bate It’s been a perrennial ambition of mine to read more poetry. Unlike last year when I fulfilled an aim to read Tolstoy’s War & Peace, poetry is much…

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A narrative of the darkest season

A narrative of the darkest season

Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons by Melissa Harrison (Editor) Like it’s sister book, Autumn, this is not just a collection of poetry, prose, and non-fiction but a narrative of the darkest season. It takes us through the cold…

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A beautiful book of dragons and wizards

A beautiful book of dragons and wizards

White Mountain by Sophe E. Tallis Tolkein’s The Hobbit aside, I do not often read the sword and sorcery fantasy that involves dragons, but Sophie Tallis’ White Mountain is too beautiful a book not to read. Even in the Kindle…

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journal, reviews

Style over Story

Style over Story

So the season four finale of Sherlock was last night – don’t worry no spoilers here. As to what I made of it? Well, what can I say? On the whole, I enjoyed it, it was a good romp. But…

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Winter magic in book form

Winter magic in book form

Winter Magic curated by Abi Elphinstone Stories by Abi Elphinstone, Amy Alward, Emma Carroll, Berlie Doherty, Jamila Gavin, Michelle Harrison, Michelle Magorian, Geraldine McCaughrean, Lauren St John, Piers Torday, and Katherine Woodfine. By their very nature, collections of short stories…

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The autobiography of a meadow

The autobiography of a meadow

Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field by John Lewis-Stempel This is essentially an autobiography of a meadow. In some ways I would have liked this story (for it is the story of a year in life of…) to…

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A book to read with the changing seasons

A book to read with the changing seasons

Autumn: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons by Melissa Harrison (Editor) Autumn has always been my favourite season – even over and above that of Spring – the quality of the light, the temperature, and the smells of autumn make…

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Adventure on the high seas

Adventure on the high seas

Peter Duck by Arthur Ransome When I originally read the Swallows and Amazons series it was not in chronological order so I am uncertain as to when I read this book. Being a Lowestoft boy (bred not born), I think…

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Disturbing yet brilliant

Disturbing yet brilliant

The Map of Bones (The Fire Sermon, #2) by Francesca Haig This is the sequel to the outstanding (if disturbing) Fire Sermon. Unlike a lot of sequels which assume you to have intiminate knowledge of (or have only just read)…

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The adventure that has everything

The adventure that has everything

Swallowdale by Arthur Ransome I remember reading this as a child and loving it even more than the original Swallows and Amazons, maybe because it was even more Titty’s story than the first. When John’s recklassness leads to the sinking…

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My true desert island read

My true desert island read

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome This was the first full-length novel that I read on my own as a boy (much to the disappointment of my Mum) and I have read it periodically ever since. It is, to me,…

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Dark, twisted, and always uncomfortable

Dark, twisted, and always uncomfortable

The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon Mark Haddon writes honest, often uncomfortable, but faultlessly accurate portrayals of how human nature is. This collection of short stories is no different. However anthologies of short stories are by their very nature a…

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From city life to island ways

From city life to island ways

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book – the autobiography of a young woman struggling to overcome her alcholism. Within the first few pages I was proved wrong. This is a…

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