Category Archives: Books

GOBLIN has arrived: Ever Dundas’ debut novel is here :)

I had the fortune to see an early draft of Goblin, and I can’t wait to get the book in my hands 🙂

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Covers – 1926-1947

From The New York Public Library Digital Collections: Despite the fact that dust jackets often include useful information about a book and its author, including biographical notes and often a portr…

Source: Covers – 1926-1947 | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer’s Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing

What a collection! To me, covers are as important as the content, a tiny living piece of the text bridging the story with the commercial world. A small voice that says: “Here, here, look at me! This is the hand which held the pen that wrote me, the fingers typing on the keyboard, this is why I was written, where, this bit here says who decided I was worthy of being printed, this other bit gives you an idea of what all the words inside are about…!”

 

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MA Creative Writing: Freight Books to publish major project novel GOBLIN by MA graduate Ever Dundas in 2017

Source: MA Creative Writing: Freight Books to publish major project novel GOBLIN by MA graduate Ever Dundas in 2017

 

And that’s what I like to see, a happy super-talented friend whose brilliant novel will be published soon 🙂 Keep an eye on this one 😉

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Now We Can Map Every Magical World into a Multiverse | Tor.com

I love maps and structure and this is intriguing 🙂

“Seanan McGuire’s new book Every Heart a Doorway explores how to deal with real life once the portal to your own personal magical world has closed. It also gives readers a rough guideline for …”

Source: Now We Can Map Every Magical World into a Multiverse | Tor.com

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David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books | Electric Literature

The world lost one of its greatest cultural figures today, as legendary musician David Bowie passed away at age 69. He died after a battle with cancer. Bowie

Source: David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books | Electric Literature

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Liverpool Artist Book Fair 2015

This weekend I’m going to take part in the Liverpool Artist Book Fair: I have new Artist Books to show and get feedback on and I’m excited!

Next week there will be a much needed update to the blog, with all my latest news, photos, and links to my brand new RedBubble and Etsy shops (shameless, I know 🙂

Book Art A5 leaflet front 30_04_15

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Review: Oryx and Crake

Oryx and Crake
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m utterly enamored of Margaret Atwood‘s writing and ideas.

That said…in a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the top, this books gets a +23 but also a -3.

The structure, pacing, crescendo of the narrative is close to perfect (imo): every little detail plays Hide and Seek in the pages and slowly but surely and effectively comes together to paint a full, vibrant picture.
The Narrator‘s voice doesn’t stray and it’s faithful to itself and the narrative premises – I don’t particularly like him, but I happily follow his voice as I learn more of this story.
The commentary about society and technology and science is scarily accurate and intriguing while presenting not-so-far-away-in-the-future scenarios.

However.

The love story/female character element is very much a fantasy (not literally speaking, no spoilers here) and even if I see and understand the reasons why, the filter through which we see her, the character’s function in the plot as a pivot of meaning and commentary on specific issues…it leaves me quite indifferent.

And yes, I know the next reread will show me more (good books always do 🙂 but it will be on an intellectual more than visceral level.
A writer’s choices might not always be a reader’s choices, obviously 🙂

Recommended? Absolutely.

View all my reviews

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How difficult is a difficult book?

I’m (obviously) enamoured of books. I learned to read quite early, and I’ve never stopped. I’m never bored: there’s always a book there ready to tell me something, teach me something, explain me something, show me something, scare me, amuse me, entertain me.

I’ve read some difficult books, and some light ones, and those in the middle: all can excel in content and form, a thriller is as good as a chick lit as a contemporary post-modern novel as a sci fi dystopia, and so on.

There’s a book for every moment 🙂

I came across a Top Ten of Difficult Books (of which I’ve read three): you can read it here. 

Now I’ll have more to add to my To Read list on Goodreads: ops 🙂  Up to now, one of the most difficult books I’ve been reading, stopped reading, started reading again and again is Michio Kaku’s Hyperspace. 

Now I have more to face. And yet, isn’t it exciting, now and then, to read something that challenges you? That’s the beauty of books, you can move from world to world, according to your mood, your inclination.

What’s the most difficult book you’ve read?

 

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The focus should be on the text, even if you’re J.K. Rowlings

Back in the swing of things, more or less 🙂

Procrastination is an art, as they say (they as in, well, me). In order to provide you with yet another way to procrastinate – whatever your reasons – here’s a link to something I stumble upon: Bublish.

I haven’t used it yet, but it looks like a good way to pass some time, if you’re a reader and/or writer. I like its focus on text (‘bublished’ by the writer, read by the reader), which is how it should always be: it’s the story, the words that count, for me. I like the author’s option of choosing and uploading a passage, and commenting on her work. And I like the chance for readers to read the excerpts, find that gem, that new author to follow.

Something of a social media, I suppose, but with a lot less personal details and less futile distractions: the front page says Social Book Discovery. Again, the focus is on the text. If you decide to try it, let me know! I don’t have a full book to upload yet, but as a reader, I’ll be there. The simple, clean look is attractive as well 😀

It may seem a lateral jump, but this brings me to mention J.K. Rowlings new book: The Casual Vacancy. I haven’t read the book yet, I will at some point. I read some reviews, some mildly positive, some mildly negative, some clearly written just to fill space and show the Potter ‘verse knowledge and wittiness of the writer.

Someone asked if her book would have ended up in the slush pile, without her name on it. Most books do nowadays, so I think yes, it would have. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good book, or necessarily a bad one. What it does say, it’s that name branding counts for a lot, these days, and I don’t think it should.

What do you think? If you were J.K., do you want to test your writing skills all over, once again? Would you change your name, so reviewers wouldn’t have anything else to comment on but the text? Would you care at all? 😀

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Insights into Cormac McCarthy’s writing process

Following from yesterday’s foray into Austen’s territory, today I came across a fascinating and juicy article on McCarthy’s writing process, in the Slate Book Review.

I haven’t read all of McCarthy’s books (on my list, though), but what I read, I loved. With that love that makes you shake the book and slam it down and then pick it up again, in one furious movement, smoothing the pages and rereading that last paragraph, that last page, once again.

In general, however, as a writer, the process of writing is always fascinating: early drafts, in this case. It’s somewhat like peeking from over McCarthy’s shoulder as he writes. He probably wouldn’t have appreciated it – I know I wouldn’t!

I’m thankful that McCarthy’s notes and drafts have been preserved.

Is there any author whose personal notes and early drafts you’d love to see?

And if you’re a writer (or poet, or…), would you want your notes to be preserved?

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