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The Doll’s Alphabet

There are writers who have an unrelenting and at times elemental relationship to storytelling; writers whose entire worlds are contained within a single sentence. Camilla Grudova’s debut collection of stories, The Doll’s Alphabet, captures this definitive way of storytelling in conjuring up an immediate, uncanny world. One that is gothic, […]

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The Quality Of Silence

How far would you go for those you love? Arriving at an airport halfway across the globe – a last way station in a remote part of the world – Yasmin finds she would give, do or say anything to convince the authorities to go out looking for her husband Matt. He has gone missing after […]

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First Wheel In Town: A Victorian Cycling Club Romance

In an age where we use fast modes of transport like cars and trains, it’s hard to imagine that the United States were experiencing a very different kind of “wheel fever” in the 1880s. The invention of the bicycle and its rise in popularity (after the somewhat failed ‘velocipede’) changed […]

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The Pricklebottoms

Mary Ann Wood’s debut book The Pricklebottoms is comprised of four short (and I mean short!) stories centred on a family of five anthropomorphic hedgehogs, parents with three children, living in a forest community made up of a variety of traditional woodland creatures. A classic, well-established setting for a children’s tale. […]

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The Million Dollar Blog

When asked as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I usually answered that I wanted to be a writer. This response was usually met with some surprise, because answers like ‘teacher’ or ‘police officer’ obviously were far more common. Nowadays, lots of young people want […]

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Victoria: A Life

Over the years, A.N. Wilson has become renowned for his studied portraits of Victorian history. Now he has finally come around to attempt the impressive endeavour of chronicling the long and full life of Queen Victoria. The resultant biography succeeds in making an excellent first impression. To the book’s strength, […]

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The Storyteller

Behind every great book is a good editor. This statement is not meant to dis any authors, but to illustrate that writers – especially those at the beginning of their writing career – greatly benefit from the help of a professional who not only checks for typos and grammar, but is […]

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Mad or Bad: Crime and Insanity in Victorian Britain

In the 19th century there was a growing awareness and scientific interest in the human mind. These first steps into what later would be called ‘psychology’ also changed the way people – judges, politicians and the general public – viewed criminal cases involving madness. This is what David J. Vaughan’s book Mad […]

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The Wander Society

Do you ever get the feeling that there should be more to life? That what’s expected of you is in no way connected with who you are? That our connectivity – as we increasingly relate to each other’s lives through television, social media and video chat – tends to leave […]

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Why The Dutch Are Different

Any tourist who has spent any time at all in Amsterdam, perusing one of the mandatory souvenir shops, will undoubtedly have stumbled upon many a T-shirt with the tagline “And as finishing touch, God created the Dutch.” I’ve always been undecided on whether this statement should be taken as delightfully […]