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Posh Bingo

On October 16, 2018, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With Comments Off on Posh Bingo

The Booker was famously derided by Julian Barnes as “posh bingo”.  His beef (until he won it of course) was that the prize had become a lottery. The vagaries of the judging panel, the personality clashes, the cryptic comments made by the Chair, all these had made picking a logical…

Books of the Year

On December 22, 2017, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With Comments Off on Books of the Year

Books of the year is a fairly loose description of a talk I gave recently.  At the bottom of this piece is a list of the titles and as you can see they are a fairly idiosyncratic bunch. I start with some winners of the major prizes, although as this…

January resolutions

On January 26, 2017, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With Comments Off on January resolutions

It is coming to that time of year when the earnest declarations of New Year resolutions start to fade.  For most people it is the intention to eat and drink less and exercise more that hits the buffers but for the bookish it may be the desire to read more…

When an author dies..

On April 4, 2016, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With Comments Off on When an author dies..

When an author dies, publishers are quick to republish their backlist – with no one to promote their books this may be the last chance to get their writer to the attention of potential readers.  For the book buyer it is a reminder about that author you always meant to…

World Book Day 2016

On March 15, 2016, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With Comments Off on World Book Day 2016

Recent pictures in the press of World Book Day in schools have majored on pupils dressed up as book characters for obvious reasons – children wearing funny colourful outfits make for good photographs.  The reality in a lot of schools is quite different who see it as an opportunity to…

Off Work Pt.2

On December 4, 2015, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With No Comments

Historical fiction varies just as widely in quality as any other genre. It swings from the brilliance of Hilary Mantel or Patrick O’Brian to the most banal of romances. At their best they offer a view into another world but even the straightforward ones give a glimpse into the past….

Off Work Part 1..

On November 4, 2015, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With No Comments

Being off work is a great excuse to catch up with the reading.  Unfortunately hospital is not a brilliant place for concentrating on serious fiction but it is a good test for thrillers – can they distract and entertain? The new Lee Child, Make Me, is some way off his…

Trends

On August 5, 2015, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With No Comments

A journalist rang the other day to ask what everybody was reading this summer.  There are always trends going on in publishing but because of the time lag between writing and the finished copy arriving in bookshops, an avalanche of copycats arrive just too late to sell in the quantities…

Baileys

On June 8, 2015, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With No Comments

The Baileys Women’s prize for Fiction is one of those strange beasts – a competition open to only half the population. With good cause, it might be argued, as recent research has shown that the Booker prize – that pre-eminent and most prestigious of awards –  has produced an overwhelming…

Making Lists

On May 17, 2015, Posted by , In Tim's Blog, With No Comments

Making lists is always fun.  I recently gave myself the challenge of picking one book from each of the last twenty-one years for a special person’s birthday.  It meant a highly pleasurable trawl through bookshelves and a less entertaining search of endless websites.  I wanted to include some meaty non-fiction…