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Showing 1-16 of top 19 Results.

The Sense of an Ending
(Paperback)
Julian Barnes
I've never before experienced a writer so in command of character and its function. This deftly crafted treatise upon memory distortion and denial is the antithesis of a vanity piece, wherein not a single paragraph is wasted. The Sense of An Ending is tragic and oppressive in tone yet everything has its own space. - Benjamin
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Forward Book of Poetry: 2015
(Paperback)
Various Poets; Jeremy Paxman

Whether you're looking for an overview of the best contemporary UK poets, a selection of the year's finest poems, relief from the bewildering array of prizewinners, or even just a not-too-long anthology with a pretty yellow cover, this book is perfect. The voices in here are kaleidoscopic and diverse, unified only by their talent, skill, and freshness of approach. A must for all poetry lovers.

Marion, Fiction

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More Letters of Note: Correspondence...
(Hardback)
Shaun Usher
 

Call me a creep, but I love reading other people’s correspondence. This could be all shades of awkward (not to mention illegal) if books like this didn’t exist to distract me from the private letters of those rather nearer at hand. Full of eloquent, articulate and delightfully bizarre insights into the minds and thoughts of people from Jane Austen to Albus Dumbledore – reproduced in full colour and brilliant detail – this is a volume to browse and treasure for years to come.

Marion, Web Team

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On Writing
(Hardback)
Charles Bukowski; Abel Debritto
 

For someone who died nearly a quarter of a century ago, there’s an awful lot of Bukowski’s work still being discovered, largely because he was very prolific and very frequently drunk. On Writing features a selection of previously unpublished letters written to friends, editors and other writers. The correspondence may be new but the voice is comfortingly classic: tough yet melancholic, and studded with gems like 'Show me an old poet and I’ll show you... either a madman or a master.'

Marion, Web Team

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Into the Woods: How Stories Work and...
(Paperback)
John Yorke
 

Stories. By all accounts we’ve been telling them for as long as we’ve walked the earth. Being human, we fall into rhythms and patterns of storytelling, and whether you’re reading Homer or watching Ridley Scott, certain things will happen, unfailingly, at certain times. But why? Yorke’s exploration into the philosophy of storytelling is a fascinating and enlightening read. He has a talent for taking something we (sense we) know subconsciously and elucidating it on the page, offering writers, readers, actors and viewers some valuable insights into a craft millennia old.

Marion, Web Team

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A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected...
(Paperback)
Terry Pratchett; Neil Gaiman
 

I read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books over and over again when I was younger, and as well as being entertained and amused I always had the feeling that I was being guided through the complexities and absurdities of our own world by a wise, kind and witty teacher. Reading this book of his reflections felt just the same, and the hard-hitting closing sections in which he describes his illness and argues passionately for assisted dying reminded me of what a powerful polemicist Pratchett could be.

Ben, Web Team

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Labyrinths: Selected Stories and ...
(Paperback)
Jorge Luis Borges; Donald A. Yates;...
A planet that doesn't exist. A coin that can't be forgotten. A man who writes a book that already exists. This collection of Borges' magical, literary short stories is full of adventure. You'll meet Argentine rebels, detectives, wizards, theologians, spies, immortals, and more. But more than that, Labyrinthsis a cavalcade of wonders; its mind-expanding and metaphysical mysteries and paradoxes are quick and concise, and full of a sense of musing. Borges' tone throughout is playful, mythic, serious, faux-serious, poignant, elegiac - rendering each of these salacious intellectual tidbits with an incredible richness, rendering their simplicity giant. Yet Borges' greatest legacy, for me, comes of his seamless weaving of truth and tale. He invents long, feasibly deadpan histories for his factish fictions, weaving them back through our established past; he fabricates intellectuals in our history of ideas and embeds dusty new footnotes in our consensual bibliography. Just as, in one of the stories contained, the natural conclusion of a man who's dreamed another into being is to consider himself a dream, so Borges' work leaves us with the notion that what we've been calling reality is in fact the perfect, total fiction - and what we've been calling fiction, simply another shade of reality. This book is special. Vanquishing the unvanquishable, Labyrinths has reworked my scepticism and instilled in me a romance for mysticism, an unlikely optimism, and a faith, in the possibility of faith. Has it changed my life? Maybe not. But has it changed me? Certainly. - Gary
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The Earthsea Quartet:
(Paperback)
Ursula K. Le Guin
Every lover of fantasy should read the Earthsea Quartet! It is the kind of book that draws you hypnotically into its world. The Earthsea Archipelago is an ancient land of magic and mystique; wizards and dragons; darkness and light. Excellent plot, believable characters and intriguing twists, the four volumes of the Earthsea Saga follow the story of Ged from childhood as an apprentice wizard to adulthood, when he becomes the greatest wizard of his time. Touching, beautiful, the Earthsea Quartet is one of the masterpieces of fantasy literature. - Cindy.
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The Call of Cthulhu: And Other Weird...
(Paperback)
H. P. Lovecraft; S. T. Joshi; S. T....
Lovecraft's 'cosmic terror' displays an indifference to the concerns of humanity, sidestepping science, religion and the other mortal obsessions which horror often fixates upon. It is instead a tribute to that horrendous moment when your stomach falls through your toes as you learn that all of your life's convictions are a sham. Rich in fantastical possibility, filtered through the tales of weakened humans and ignorant voodoo cults that should know better, this is the horror of all things glimpsed, not pornographically dissected before you. - Benjamin
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Moby Dick
(Paperback)
Herman Melville; Hershel Parker;...
I was on that boat until the bitter end hunting down that white whale for the treasured gold doubloon fixed to that mast. My eyes were locked and there was no turning back until that last full-stop. Loved it. - Tomi.
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Wind, Sand and Stars
(Paperback)
Antoine de Saint-Exupery; William...

What makes a book a 'classic'? Brilliance and durability seem to be the key criteria: the way a text can ring true for reader after reader down the ages, ad infinitum. But no matter how virtuosic or breathtaking the writing, the designation of 'classic' tends to connote an air of settledness, in the way of a longterm lover, or a well-worn armchair. Quite the opposite of freshness, for example.

Well, this book is one of the freshest classics I know. I turn to it whenever I want a stiff breeze (and maybe a little sand) to blow the cobwebs out of my brain. It's about deserts, stars, solitude, courage, sandstorms, mountains, machines, and beauty. But more than that, it's a refresher course in being human.

Marion, Fiction

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Will You Please Be Quiet, Please
(Paperback)
Raymond Carver
Human nature laid bare, no gloss, no adornment, just simple language to describe those feelings that make us who we are. - Tomi.
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The Writer's Journey: Mythic ...
(Paperback)
Christopher Vogler
For those who worry about whether 'play-off' should be hyphenated or if 'machiavellian' should be capitalised (the answers are in the way I've just written them both), or the difference between Catch-22 and catch-22 - one is a novel, one is a turn of phrase, see? This is an indispensable guide for any fledgling copy writer or script editor, or anyone who just enjoys being pompously right! It’s also a handy grammar guide, so it'll speak to the personal pronoun in you. - Benjamin
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Now and at the Hour of Our Death
(Paperback)
Susana Moreira Marques; Julia Sanches
 

This is the first non-fiction title from indie press & Other Stories, and what a title it is. In 2011 Moreira Marques journeyed to remote parts of Portugal with a palliative care team. There she met people living with death as an everyday houseguest, in the midst of incredible poverty and the loneliness of towns half-abandoned by their younger generations. Moving and at times terribly sad, this book makes an eloquent case for talking more about death: to ensure not only that we die better, but live better as well.

Marion, Web Team

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Moby-Dick: or, the Whale: Or, the Whale
(Paperback)
Herman Melville; Tom Quirk; Andrew...
I was on that boat until the bitter end hunting down that white whale for the treasured gold doubloon fixed to that mast. My eyes were locked and there was no turning back until that last full-stop. Loved it. - Tomi.
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Selected Stories
(Paperback)
Katherine Mansfield; Angela Smith
 

I started reading this several weeks ago, and I still haven’t finished. My friends will verify that this is extremely unusual behaviour. It’s not that it’s dense, it’s just so good that I’ve been drawing it out as long as possible, like Charlie and his chocolate bar. It’s an excellent motivator: cleaned the house? Read one of these. Finished your vegetables? Read one of these. Despite her premature death at 34, Mansfield’s work had a huge influence on the evolution of the short story. Read these masterful examples and you’ll understand why. 

Marion, Fiction

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