Date Archives March 2013

The book launch

Thanks to everyone who came to my book launch on Wednesday night! It was a wonderful evening, by which I mean that lots of people turned up and I didn’t botch my speech or reading 🙂 For those of you who couldn’t make it, due to minor inconveniences like living on different continents, here are the edited highlights: As you can see from the final photo, while some people just mingled and chatted, others couldn’t wait to start reading 🙂 If you were there and have any photos of your… Read More

The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills

This book is unlike any other I’ve read. That, in itself, is a reason I’m glad I read it. In a world in which too many books are reminiscent of other books, this one is truly unique. It may sound a little odd to praise the book’s uniqueness, when it has another writer’s name and face on the cover. And it’s even more odd when you read it, because the prose itself mimics Will Self’s style in places, and there are references to Self’s life, books or characters on almost… Read More

Giveaway: Crow by Ted Hughes

Happy Friday! Today I’m giving away a free copy of Crow, a beautiful collection of poems by Ted Hughes. How to enter Just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be drawn randomly, with tweets and other social media mentions counting as extra entries. So hit the Tweet button to the left of the screen if you want to increase your chances. I’ll let it run over the weekend, and announce the winner on Monday. Why the giveaway? Well, I’m trying to simplify my life and get rid… Read More

What is History?

I used to treat books like sacred relics. I would read them carefully, never making notes in the margin or dog-earing the pages. These days, I’m more tolerant. The physical condition of a book means something else to me: well-preserved books tend to be the ones I haven’t read much, whereas battered ones show me the importance they’ve held in my life. Perhaps my most battered book of all is What is History? by E.H. Carr. This is not entirely my doing – I acquired the book from my school… Read More

Ten years ago: Why I Protest

This post is part of a series of stories and articles I wrote exactly ten years ago, on this day in 2003. Here I talk about my reasons for protesting against the Iraq war, which had just started at that point. For more stories in the series, click here. The dust storm came blasting down Wall Street. Luckily I saw it coming and managed to duck inside before it engulfed our building, blocking out the sun. For several minutes, crouching nervously in the darkened lobby, I tried not to think about… Read More

First unsolicited review

With the official launch of A Virtual Love still a couple of weeks away, it was nice to go on Amazon the other day and see the first ‘surprise’ review, by which I mean one written by someone who just bought the book and decided to write about it, rather than being sent a review copy. The ebook was released a month early, with the idea of garnering a few advance reviews like this one before the paperback comes out on 1st April and I start doing publicity events, etc…. Read More

A Very British Blog Tour 2013

I was tagged recently by Maria Savva as part of ‘A Very British Blog Tour’. The idea is to introduce readers to more British writers. I don’t really define myself by nationality that much, but I like Maria and some of the questions are interesting, so I thought I’d take part. Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment? A. I was born in London and I’m back in London again now, although I’ve been away for a while in-between. Q. Have you always lived… Read More

Recovering Bookchin

I read Murray Bookchin’s Social Ecology and Communalism a year or so ago, and in my review I asked for recommendations of more things to read by him. This was a pretty good recommendation. It’s not by Bookchin, but about him. Andy Price gives a good introduction to the essence of what Bookchin meant by social ecology, and to his programme for political change along anarchist and ecological lines. The book is not a simple primer, though. Quite a large chunk of the book is given over to a vicious… Read More