Posts filed under Writers' HQ

Read 100 Books in 2017 - AUGUST

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New Personal Best: 28 frickin' books in August! I'm now on on a grand total of 73... Helped enormously by a week away in France where I basically ate cheese, drank wine, sat in the sun and read. I'm also taking part in the Writers' HQ #sarahreads challenge in which I'm forcing my WHQ co-director Sarah conquer 10 classics she's never read. I'm only slightly better - I've only read 5 of 'em and a long time ago in my English Lit A-level days, so I'm reading along with her. We're currently 2 in and will be updating with (ever so slightly drunk) vlogs about our progress, like this somewhat scathing review of Gatsby - check out the list below if you wanna join in.

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Right, back to my August reads. 

Favourite: Gnnnaaaauughh don't make me choose. So many good ones this month. In non-fiction I absolutely LOVED Cleopatra by Stacey Schiff, closely followed by the puntastic Away With Words (Joe Berkowitz), the whistle stop tour of A Million years in a Day (Greg Jenner), and the dramatic philosophy of Impro (Keith Johnstone). In fiction, I'd highly recommend The History of Love (Nicole Krauss) and The Coward's Tale (Vanessa Gebbie) if you want to cry over beautiful words and uplifting-yet-tragic stories. It was also veerrrrry interesting (and also depressing and infuriating) to read The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas), The Color Purple (Alice Walker), and To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) back to back, which demonstrated that racial issues in America are still (obviously) very much fucking shit. 

Least Favourite: I gotta say I had very little time for The North Water, even though it was sort of a warm up for attempting yet again to read Moby Dick. I'm on a bit of a roll with not enjoying Man Booker longlisters and this did not buck the trend. See also The Many, on the nautical theme. Both books were very well written - amazing imagery and wonderful words, but I just couldn't ENGAGE and was left feeling kinda mehh. Oh, I also fucking hate The Great Gatsby (see video link above) but that's nothing new. 

Also Worth Mentioning: In desperate anticipation for Patrick Rothfuss' next instalment of the Kingkiller series, I ripped through The Slow Regard of Silent Things which made me uncommonly emotional about inanimate objects.

Next up: For the #sarahreads challenge, Frankenstein, and for my own pleasure, Brutus and Other Heroines by Harriet Walter.

Join the #Read100Booksin2017 Facebook group here, check out our Writers' HQ video updates here, and stalk me on Goodreads here.  

Posted on September 1, 2017 and filed under Projects, Reading, Writers' HQ.

Read 100 Books in 2017 - MARCH

I'm in the process of researching for my final Masters essay and about to get down and dirty with my dissertation so expect to see a fair amount of Shakespeare and theatre-related books on here from now until September. In the meantime, I'm trying to sneak in as many different genres and authors as I can to stop my brain from imploding. 

Here's this month's haul: 

  • The Paper Magician by Charlie M Holmberg
  • Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore
  • The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Shakespeare's Wordplay by M M Mahood

Favourite: THE POWER! I cannot express how amazing this book is. Read it. Read it now. Then buy another six copies and throw them at people in the street. 

Least Favourite: The Paper Magician - but only least fave out of a strong bunch. It's a clever little story and an interesting concept, but it felt a little too YA for me.

Next up: Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre - something I picked up on a whim yeeeeears ago after it won the Booker but never got round to reading.

Join the #Read100Booksin2017 Facebook group here, check out our Writers' HQ video updates here, and stalk me on Goodreads here.  

Posted on March 31, 2017 and filed under Projects, Reading, Writers' HQ.

Read 100 Books in 2017 - Toddler Edition!

So sometimes the most you get to read as a parent is The Gruffalo for the twenty-zillionth time. Here are Sarah's (and baby Indy's) favourite toddler-friendly books while I make block towers in the background: 

[No Sarahs were injured in the making of this video.]

Join the #Read100Booksin2017 Facebook group here, check out our Writers' HQ video updates here, and stalk me on Goodreads here.  

Posted on March 15, 2017 and filed under Projects, Reading, Writers' HQ.

Read 100 Books in 2017 - FEBRUARY

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Look, February is a short month, okay? And I got ahead of myself in January, so it balances up. My total this month is a slightly underwhelming 5, but that's 14 in total which is aaaaalmost on target. Here's what I read:

  • We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (alright, it's not technically a 'book' - more of an essay, but it's still worth reading)
  • Shakespeare and the Arts of Language by Russ McDonald
  • The Underground Railroad by Coleson Whitehead
  • Station Eleven by Emily St James Mandel
  • The Anti-Inauguration by Naomi Klein, Jeremy Scahill, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Anand Gopal, and Owen Jones

FavouriteShakespeare and the Arts of Language because SHAKESPEARE and LINGUISTICS and a whole chapter on PUNS!

Least favouriteStation Eleven because I like my dystopia less focused on Hollywood lifestyles and more on gritty realism.

Next upThe Power by Naomi Alderman, awwww yisssss.

Oh, and we also did another video update, check it:

Join the #Read100Booksin2017 Facebook group here, check out our Writers' HQ video updates here, and stalk me on Goodreads here

Posted on February 28, 2017 and filed under Projects, Random, Writers' HQ.