My Messy Bookshelf: Harrow Road sequel

Back in 2014, Gregory Rodriguez wrote an article on “How Genealogy Became Almost as Popular as Porn”. In it he traced the current obsession – or fascination, if obsession is a little too creepy – with tracing our family history to Alex Haley’s best-selling book Roots. As Rodriguez pointed out, some of us were always [...]

By |2022-07-03T22:29:44+00:00July 3rd, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

For Such is the Kingdom: Chapter 1

1. They cut everybody’s hair excepting mine. Matron said they weren’t to cut my hair not touch a lock of it because of it being so pretty. She didn’t say that to my face she wouldn’t would she as it would likely make me swellheaded and boastful. “The Good Lord doesn’t care what you look [...]

By |2022-07-03T22:25:46+00:00July 3rd, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: 10 Great Literary Anecdotes

Now that the stress of moving is behind me, and boxes have been unpacked, flattened, and recycled, one of my books that was previously buried under a pile of paperbacks has reappeared:  Robert Hendrickson's Book of Literary Anecdotes. When it came out in 1990, it claimed to be "one of the most extensive collections of [...]

By |2022-06-20T15:21:50+00:00June 20th, 2022|Uncategorized|5 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: 7 Tips to Reduce the Stress of Moving

Moving is stressful. A recent survey found that forty-five percent of us find it more stressful than divorce, more stressful than having children, and more stressful than sending those children off to college. The packing, the sorting, finding a mover, figuring out how you're going to pay that mover - it's all just right up [...]

By |2022-05-23T16:37:15+00:00May 23rd, 2022|Uncategorized|2 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: Redhead by the Side of the Road

Anne Tyler has been my favourite novelist for years now, ever since I saw The Accidental Tourist in 1988 and decided to read the book. It's one of the few times a movie actually led me to a book, although it did happen again with Remains of the Day in 1993 and Trainspotting in 1996. [...]

By |2022-05-09T17:04:42+00:00May 9th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: The Invention of Murder

At the risk of sounding like I have ice-water running through my veins, I have to say there are few things more delicious than a really good murder. Reading about it, that is. Or watching a program about it. A re-enactment, say, or a really good investigative documentary. After a hard day slogging through my [...]

By |2022-04-27T15:30:46+00:00April 27th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: The Victorian House

Thirteen years ago when I began writing Harrow Road, the novelized version of my great-grandmother's life, I realized this was one book I wasn't going to be able to pull out of my head. I needed help. My g-grandmother, Annie Elizabeth Morgan, was born in a poor neighbourhood of London, England, in 1851. She married [...]

By |2022-04-19T15:39:24+00:00April 19th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: Mapp and Lucia

It occurs to me that the superior minds who compile lists of the great books of the world lack a certain sense of humour. Otherwise, why would P. G. Wodehouse rate only a single entry in my edition of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die? Why would Stephen Leacock not be included? James [...]

By |2022-04-07T17:45:22+00:00April 7th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: Run Towards the Danger

In an attempt to update my bookshelf I've started adding some new ones. There are two reasons why I hesitated, at first, to add Sarah Polley's collection of essays to that shelf. The first reason is that I generally avoid memoirs written by celebrities. They tend, for the most part, to be poorly written, or [...]

By |2022-03-31T23:47:53+00:00March 31st, 2022|Uncategorized|2 Comments

My Messy Bookshelf: Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life

When I was young and naïve - well, younger than I am now - and working on my first novel, I used to imagine myself walking down the street and being stopped at regular intervals by people who'd read it. I imagined them doing a double-take as they recognized me, whispering to their companions, "Is [...]

By |2022-03-24T23:23:01+00:00March 23rd, 2022|Uncategorized|2 Comments
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