I learned less but felt more than I expected in Gaiman’s Norse Mythology

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended, Uncategorized, Writing Thoughts


The Gods of Asgard live a strange existence; seeking knowledge, battling enemies, trying to contain the nefarious Loki and restrain the hot-headed Thor. Gods, giants, trolls and more plot, scheme, fight and invent in this series of myths spanning from creation through to Ragnarok; the end…

I was really excited to read Gaiman’s retelling of Norse myth. For several reasons: I love Gaiman, I love Norse mythology, and I wanted to know more about it. The book wasn’t quite what I expected. I was looking for more depth, more information and a more cohesive plot. But that’s not what myths are, and soon I found myself bewitched by the simple storytelling and strange world that I was encountering.

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The Case for Libraries by two of my top authors

author interviews, book shops, Book Thoughts, literary london, London, Uncategorized

  
The battle for libraries is on! Obviously, I think they’re magical, excellent, exciting and necessary places (see my joy when I registered to my local library) and I really hope that they don’t disappear.

Two of my very favourite authors (unsurprisingly) agree, and have written wonderful pieces in their defence in The Guardian. They’re really interesting referring to reading in general, the imagination and the writing process as well. Read them below:

I’ve been desperate to read this one – Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, children's books, Recommended

Our middle-aged narrator returns to a farm at the end of the lane he grew up on, and memories awaken inside him as he looks at the pond, of strange happenings when he was seven. His new friend Lettie, who had led him on a magical adventure where he had allowed a terrifying creature into the world, which attacked him and his family in ways he could hardly understand. Terrifying, dangerous, magical experiences and encounters that he has forgotten – and that he will forget again. But what happened to Lettie?

I love the mixture of the mundane and the magical. And you get a sense just from the title here that there isn’t just an ordinary sea at the end of the lane. Here Gaiman masterfully pulls magic into everyday life, and creates complex characters with fairytale encounters. Of his books like this (The Graveyard Book, Coraline, I would say) this was my favourite!

A rather good radio play – as they go. Gaiman and Pratchett’s Good Omens on BBC radio.

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing

Due to human error, both the angels and demons responsible lose track of the anti-Christ, meaning he grows up in ignorance of his destiny. As the time for the apocalypse draws near and the horsemen gather, angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley search for him in an attempt to save the world they have grown fond of, Adam becomes aware of his destiny and witch hunters, mediums and more are drawn to a remote village in the countryside – all according to the nice prophecies of Agnes Nutter.

I read Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett a long while ago, and really enjoyed it. Sadly I’d borrowed the copy from someone and so my inclination to re-read was curbed, UNTIL I found that it was being produced as a radio play over Christmas!

Five of this year’s top reads to get your book-loving pals for Christmas

Book Thoughts, Writing

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Picking books for someone else is difficult! Usually I don’t give someone a book I’ve not read myself unless it’s my Mum and I really want to read it after her. But these are some of the books that look great that came out this year that I want to read, and that I don’t think you could go far wrong with. You’ll at least look like you know what’s going on with books.

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Recommended

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When a mysterious stranger kills a one-year-old boy’s family he wants to finish the job, but the adventurous boy wanders into the graveyard, where he is protected by ghosts. They decide to adopt him, name him Nobody or Bod for short, and bring him up. Through encounters with ghosts and ghouls, mysterious beings and even the real human world he learns everything he needs to know for when the killer comes back to finish the job.

This is a kids book – and it was great! It’s well put together, thought through, intriguing and satisfying from start to finish. A very well formed growing-up story, with interesting characters and events and the safe-spooky feel of Tim Burton.