Monthly Archives: July 2012

How to kill a book and how to promote one

“My enemy’s much-praised effort sits in piles In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.” Clive James, The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered Our resident expert, Horace Tweed-Bottomley, shares his tips for literary life. “Human nature is perverse. Armed with that knowledge, here are my suggestions for making people want to read your book.” Get it banned by

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Joy, not just consolation

Reading is a great source of consolation, it’s true. It’s far more than a refuge, though. When you find books you love, reading is a source of joy. Books don’t just console me; they entertain, stimulate, challenge and thrill me. Although I can read to escape this time and place, when I choose to, sometimes books urge me to observe and

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Modern spin

I’m reading Hilary Mantel’s brilliant Bring Up the Bodies, the sequel to her historical novel, Wolf Hall. One of the reasons why Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies feel alive, relevant and real is because Hilary Mantel uses contemporary language and allows her characters to think and speak in a modern idiom. They don’t speak as though they’re auditioning

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Stony heart

Staircase sign on a stone wall within an Oxford University college

I am infatuated. He doesn’t even know I exist. He’s older, learned, cultured, patrician, creative, pious and something of a snob. His intimates come from the very best circles; knowing him confers power. He’s fluent in Latin and Ancient Greek. He knows British prime ministers, Nobel Prize winners, critics, writers, historians and artists. I’m in love with Oxford— the city

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Quotations about Oxford

A recent visit to Oxford has left me totally besotted. While I await the arrival of my next set of books about or set in Oxford, here are some of the quotes I’ve collected. “I wonder anybody does anything at Oxford but dream and remember, the place is so beautiful. One almost expects the people to sing instead of speaking.

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