The Hollow Crown

Michael Wade, at Execupundit, reminds me I have this – The Hollow Crown – on DVD … and have only watched Ben Whishaw’s excellently foppish Richard II. Three more to go. And then, of course, there’s the second series. I need to block out some time and get my Shakespeare head on. You can, of […]

The Sense of Style – Steven Pinker

    I’m a huge fan of Steven Pinker’s 2014 book, The Sense of Style. It’s essential reading if you’re a writer as it makes sense of all those nonsensical “rules” you encounter in style guides. As a taster, check out this video which I guess dates from the book’s launch. I’ve only just found […]

Napoleon’s Kindle #Writing

From Cork County Library and Open Culture, via the wonderful Cramped blog: “Many of Napoleon’s biographers have incidentally mentioned that he […] used to carry about a certain number of favorite books wherever he went, whether traveling or camping,” says an 1885 Sacramento Daily Union article posted by Austin Kleon, “but it is not generally known that he […]

Faster Reading with Nicholas Bate #Writing

What’s not to like? Seven tips for more effective reading from Nicholas Bate: “4. Whether screen based or paper based, get comfortable. Decent lighting, chair…. 5. Set a period of time with a clear timer. Start with 45 minute periods and build.  6. Start and simply read a little more quickly. …” Read the full list, here. Because, […]

A bookly object of desire – @FolioSociety @NeilHimself

The Folio Society’s new and lavish edition of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, illustrated by Dave McKean, has glistened its way onto my Wish List. Sadly, my over-large Wish List is preceded by a still groaning Must Read Shelf. Although, as I’ve already read the novel, maybe this doesn’t count. Does it? Does it, does it, […]

Why rare books are thriving – @Spectator_Life

The Spectator has an interesting piece on collecting rare books in the digital age, here. The article centres on one of London’s oldest antiquarian booksellers, Maggs Bros (Maggs.com), which I feel must be worth a visit.

Something for the weekend? How stories last – Neil Gaiman #Writing

Here’s a delicious use for 100 minutes of your weekend. In June 2015, Neil Gaiman gave a talk at the Long Now Foundation on the nature, power and evolution of stories. Are stories alive? He talks about our symbiotic relationship with stories and how animals live for, perhaps 30 years at most; trees can live for a […]

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science by Diane Stanley

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science – @brainpicker

The BrainPickings blog highlights this engaging children’s book about mathematician, computing pioneer (and much more), Ada Lovelace: Sounds like it should be required reading to small children everywhere. By the way, reading this I learn that Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron; something I feel I should have known already.

Animal Farm

Execupundit prescribes Animal Farm, to be taken annually. I re-read it a few months ago, for the first time since school. Required reading for our post-truth times.

The post-Christmas reading shelf

(plus a little, stray listening too large for the music shelves) It groans in weight and eager anticipation. There is no particular order, but I’ve already started The Word Detective and Dear Mr M.    

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