Book articles

Various articles about books, stories and reading.

Reading the Chunksters – 10 Great Long Books

I’ve got so many books that I want to read that one of my top criteria for reading a book is length. I tend to favour shorter books – that way I don’t get bogged down in a book for a long time, and I can get quicker onto the next book which I can’t wait to read. Reading challenges help keep me reading shorter books too – my target is fifty books read in 2020, and I’m more or less on target but can’t afford to spend several weeks on one book. This sort of thinking isn’t necessarily a …

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A New Online Bookshop!

I’ve always have a thing about bookshops, particularly independent bookshops – as a child one of my biggest ambitions was one day to have my own bookshop. I used to love the local bookshop in my own hometown, the Corner Bookshop in Garstang, and before that, Gladstone’s Bookshop in Cleveleys. Sadly, they are both no more, and neither of the towns of my childhood have their own bookshop anymore as far as I’m aware. In the days of the internet, and especially Amazon, it is extremely difficult to make a living with a bookshop, which is why so many have …

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Crime Fiction Tour of Britain – Part One: South of England & Wales

What do you think of when you think of British crime fiction? For many people it might be Agatha Christie and her clever sleuths Poirot or Marple, investigating murder in cosy country houses full of people with secrets to hide. There’s a lot more to British crime fiction than that though, and one of the really interesting things is that a great many of them are attached to a particular place. In the way that many other novelists might rove around from place to place, crime fiction writers more often than not centre multiple books around a particular character and …

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Hugo & Nebula Award 2020 Nominees – Reading Update

If you’ve not yet seen my posts on the Hugo Award Nominees 2020 and the Nebula Award Nominees 2020, then check them out now for a list of all the nominees in the novel, novella, novelette and short story categories. This year, I’ve challenged myself to read all of the nominated novels and short stories, and at least some of the novellas, before the award winners are announced later in the year. I’ve been promising an update for a while, so finally here it is! I’ve not read any of the novellas or novelettes, but have made progress in reading …

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SF Awards 2020 Part Two – Hugo Award Nominees

Last month I wrote about the Nebula Award nominees, and also my reading challenge to read all of the nominees (well, novels and short stories at least, plus some of the novellas/novelettes). I promised an update, which hasn’t materialised yet, but I’ll get to that soon, promise. In the meantime, here’s the Hugo Award nominees which came out this week, which I’m adding to my challenge. It’s worth noting that there’s *a lot* of categories for the Hugos. I know this because I watched the live stream of the nominees being announced and it went on, like, half an hour. I’m not …

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SF Awards 2020 Part One – Nebula Award Nominees

Nebula Award Nominees 2020   It’s that time of the year when nominations come out for the major SF & Fantasy awards. Last year, I read all of the nominees for Best Short Story for both the Hugo & Nebula Awards. It was a great challenge to do, and introduced me to several new authors. This year I’m planning to go (at least) one better. I’m aiming to read the nominees for Best Short Story and Best Novel, and at least dip into the novella and novelette categories. The Hugo Award nominees will be coming out in early April, but …

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Top 10 Books About Books

For a bookworm like me, there’s nothing quite like reading a book about books. It provides fuel to sate the reading appetite, more piles of books for your To Be Read List, and it’s fun and interesting to hear the opinions of fellow bookworms past and present. Here’s a 10 books about books to keep you reading. 1. Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount – This wonderful book had to be my first book. It has all sorts of Bookish miscellany in and is beautifully illustrated. There’s illustrations of famous bookshops, quizzes and book facts. The main part of …

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My Reading Year 2019

As is usual at the end of December, I’m looking back on my year of reading during 2019. This is made much easier than it used to be, thanks to Goodreads and its handy ‘your year in books page’. According to it – I have read 35 books this year, and 9,460 pages. This is actually underestimating my reading, as I don’t tend to read short stories – which I’ve read a lot of this year. But for novels, it should mostly cover it (I may have missed logging one or two, but not more). I’ve not quite made my …

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Top 10 Political Novels to Read

I’ve always enjoyed a good political thriller, but I think my love of this particular genre increased massively after becoming a major fan of the TV series The West Wing in the early 2000s. Even to this day it is probably my favourite TV series. I was gutted when it ended, and so whenever I get the chance to relive some of that political buzz in my reading I jump at the chance. To be clear, these books I’ve chosen are books about actual politicians and political events, not just political ideas. I were to widen the scope to include …

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10 Reasons Why You Should Read Short Stories

There is a lot said these days about how the internet, mobile phones and other technology is shortening people’s attention spans. You would think therefore that more people would be reading short stories rather than novels, however while there is something of a resurgence in – mostly online – short story outlets, if you ask the vast majority of readers they will tell you flatly that they don’t like short stories. Is that actually true, or might they actually like short stories but just not know it yet? Until a couple of years ago I was one of that majority …

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