The Illustrated Pepys, Edited by Robert Latham: #BookReview.

Subtitled, Extracts from the Diary, this is a selection of Pepys’s diary entries over the years from 1660 to 1669, when his eyesight deteriorated to such an extent that he could no longer spend the time needed to write in secret by candlelight. There is a useful introduction by the editor, explaining the way he …

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Short Stories; Do You Read Them?

I suppose we should first decide what constitutes a short story. Roughly, because these things tend to be a matter of opinion rather than fact, a short story is a work of fiction with a word count somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000. So, do you read them? It’s clear lots of readers do. I belong …

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Self, by Yann Martel: #BookReview.

252 pagesContemporary/Literary Fiction The blurb asks, ‘Fiction or autobiography?’ and sort of replies, ‘both, neither?’. The whole point of this extraordinary created work is to ask, and attempt to answer, some basic questions relating to literature, storytelling, identity, and life itself. It’s an ambitious aim and one I suspect many readers will find difficult, demanding, …

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Time and the Conways, by J.B. Priestley: #BookReview.

Stage Play script. This exploration of family unity, loyalty and dishonesty is structured through three acts to use time as a clever ingredient of viewing, and attempting to predict, the future. It depicts a typical upper middle-class family of the era, showing the inherent snobbery, their patchy understanding of the world they occupy, and how …

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The Playboy of the Western World, by J. M. Synge: #BookReview.

First published in 1907, the text of the stage play I read is introduced by a preface from the author. Here, he talks about the language he has used, how and where he encountered it, and why he has employed such colloquial idioms in the work. I can best serve the author’s intent by quoting …

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Grenade Rain Dance, by Calibna J. Kerr (Junk Talk Poet): #BookReview.

Poetry is such a varied medium that a reader approaches any work with cautious curiosity. What will this piece say, will it be formal, contemporary, or simply chopped prose? The very fact that Calibna prefers his Junk Talk Poet handle may well put off a number of potential readers due to the propensity to pre-judge. …

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The Fisherman and His Soul, by Oscar Wilde: #BookReview.

I read this short story by the famous playwright in the hope it would prove a better read than his ‘The Birthday of the Infanta’. My hope was based on ‘The Sphinx Without a Secret’ and ‘The Selfish Giant’, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, this moral tale is similar to the ‘Infanta’, in …

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The Birthday of the Infanta, by Oscar Wilde: #BookReview.

Very definitely a story of its time. It’s intended for children, but I seriously doubt many modern kids would read this. There are moral lessons buried here, but they are largely lost in the unnecessarily detailed descriptions of the riches of the royal family featured. Some of these are effectively lists of luxury items and …

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Finding the #Write #Words? No. 31: The Little Red Writing Book

Continuing the description of books on words and language listed in the introductory post, which you’ll find here. Book 31: The Little Red Writing Book Paperback, 160 pages. Published in 2007 by Writer’s Digest Books. This is the edition I own and I can’t recall what I paid for it. You can buy it new …

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Finding the #Write #Words? No. 23: Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English.

Continuing the description of books on words and language listed in the introductory post, which you’ll find here. Book 23: Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English. subtitled Volume 1: Verbs with Prepositions and Particles: Hardback, 396 pages, including 2 indices. First published in 1975 by Oxford University Press. Mine is the 1984 sixth impression. I …

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Somebody Else’s Troubles, by J.A. English: #BookReview.

389 Pages Literary Fiction. All serious works of fiction should carry at least one underlying message. Some manage this with such subtlety it barely makes a conscious impression on those not seeking it, others blare it out loudly, covering their story with a condescending layer of preaching. Many lie somewhere in between; a reasonable balance …

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Bridport Prize Anthology 2019, by: The Bridport Prize #BookReview.

164 pages Literary/Contemporary Fiction/Poetry Anthologies This anthology contains the prize-winning entries into the 2019 contest run by this prestigious organisation. There are judge’s reports on the entries for Poetry, Short Story and Flash Fiction. The book showcases those pieces of work that won the major prizes or were highly commended. So, there are thirteen poems, …

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84K, by Claire North: #BookReview.

480 pages Political Fiction/Dystopian/Literary Fiction Not for the faint-hearted. And, definitely not for the perennially depressed. But this is a book that should be read by everyone (I’m conscious of the contradiction). Set in a future UK too close for comfort, it examines the inevitable consequences of unfettered capitalism. The writing style is clever, sometimes …

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The #Write #Words? Post 28

Word cloud ceated through Wordart.com Examining Onomatopoeia and Metaphor, Simile, Collective Nouns, and my Delusional Dictionary. For definitions, click here for the introductory post to the series. This week’s words: Xanadu, Xeric, X-ray. Onomatopoeia: Xanadu: Xanadu is a place of dreamlike magnificence and luxury as described by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his well-known poem, Kubla …

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As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner: #BookReview.

400 pages Literary Classics When a book is as well-known as this classic, it’s difficult to know whether anything new can be said about it. But a review is a personal opinion and may help other readers yet to try the work, so here goes. The edition I bought (as part of a package bought …

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