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The Sunday Times/ University of Warwick Young Writer Award 2019 Shortlist

Last year I was lucky enough to be asked to shadow judge the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award along with Amanda, Lizzi, Paul and Lucy. It was such an enjoyable experience, both reading the shortlisted titles – all very different, all more than worthy of the award – and meeting other bloggers …

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All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay: Families and how to survive them

I was initially attracted to Elizabeth Hay’s memoir for the same reason I read Ann Patchett’s This is the Story of a Happy Marriage: I’d enjoyed several of her novels very much, in particular Late Nights on Air. Truth be told, though, aren’t we all fascinated by other people’s families, perhaps looking for similarities with …

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Books of the Year 2015: Part 1

Last year I was off the blocks at the very beginning of December with my books of the year posts, barely waiting for the starter’s pistol. This year I’ve managed to restrain myself but I’m still incapable of cutting the number of favourites back to a sensible figure. Consequently I’ll be spreading my choices over …

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British Writing is not all Grey

Last month, in response to the brouhaha about E L James’ sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, Sophie Rochester, Director of the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, came up with a neat riposte: the Twitter hashtag #BritishwritingisnotallGrey. I’d missed it but Naomi at The Writes of Women wrote a post celebrating it with an excellent list …

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From thenReading Agency's website

Books on Prescription for Dementia: A very fine initiative

Around this time last year I mentioned the Reading Agency’s Reading Well initiative in a post on Vintage’s Shelf Help promotion. They’d just launched their second list of books aimed at people suffering from depression. Since then I’ve been keeping an eye open hoping for the chance to vote for titles on a third list, …

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Quicksand by Nell Larsen: All too relevant today

Recently published in a single volume, Quicksand and Passing are the only two novels – well novellas, really – written by Harlem Renaissance writer Nella Larsen. They each deserve to be treated separately so I’ll start with Quicksand and save Passing for later. Written in 1928, it’s widely considered to be an autobiographical novel – …

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