12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



When Writers Move House

A few months ago our letting agency hiked up the rent on our Edinburgh flat, using some flimsy pretext of ‘current market conditions’ to justify themselves. Heartbroken, Mildly irritated, my poet husband and I set about looking for a cheaper garret to hang our moleskines. Continue reading “When Writers Move House”

Why I’m Taking The Goodreads’ Reading Challenge

Last week there was a piece in the Guardian by Richard Lea called The Bad Side of Goodreads’ Reading Challenge.  I clicked because I’ve actually signed up to said challenge.  For the most part, I disagreed with the piece – and I’ll tell you for why.

Continue reading “Why I’m Taking The Goodreads’ Reading Challenge”

Weekly Photo Challenge – One Shot, Two Ways

Before taking a picture, Jeff studies his scene – looking at a shot horizontally and vertically to decide what orientation works best for his photograph.’  ME TOO, JEFF.  Not only have I read some of this pile of books, I’ve also assessed them horizontally and vertically, from several angles, as they sat on my living room floor for this challenge.  So profesh.

Having said that, it turns out I slightly missed the point (i.e. to do the same shot both vertically and horizontally), but whatever, that’s the sort of maverick I am.  You should probably get used to it for when all my 12 books are available to download.

In the meantime, do you recognise any of these already published books?  Leave a comment saying which ones, and you will win a special prize!  The prize of my respect.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Curves

Haven’t done this for a while, but this week’s photo challenge is curves, which was simple to put a bookish twist on!


The book in question is Hell’s Bells by John Connolly, a sequel to his YA debute The Gates.  Both are very funny and worth a look – and if you enjoy them you’ll be pleased to hear the last in the trilogy, The Creeps, is due to be published in the autumn.

Disclaimer: I’ve never read Mr Connolly’s grown up thriller type books (although I have read The Book of Lost Things, which was fun) so you can’t hold me responsible if you love Charlie Parker and don’t like these!

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

My interpretation of this week’s photo prompt (from above) involved standing on the bed for an aerial view of some of my book collection – something I now regret, because it means having to put the books away again and in my enthusiasm for creating ART I forgot where I picked some of them up.  Also I am staggeringly lazy about tidying.


If you’re interested, the books are (starting at the top right and going clockwise, as per Sarah Rosso’s original cheese post) : Moranthology by Caitlin Moran, The Luminous Life of Lily Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin*, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, Return of the Last Gang in Town (a biography of The Clash) by Marcus Gray, Supergods by Grant Morrison*, Dawn of the Dumb by Charlie Brooker, The Digested Read by John Crace, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers*, The Infinite Plan by Isabel Allende, The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson*, The House on Falling Star Hill by Michael Molloy*, Labyrinth by Kate Mosse*, Science in the Twentieth Century and Beyond by Jon Agar*, The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, In Your Dreams by Tom Holt, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon*, The Blue Book by AL Kennedy, Game of Thrones by George R R Martin, Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce*, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Collected Folk Tales by Alan Garner*, Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murukami, The Penguin Edgar Allan Poe, and The Children’s Book by AS Byatt.  In the middle are Forest of the Pygmies by Isabel Allende, Postsecret by Frank Warren, and a box of Puffin postcards of children’s book covers I bought to decorate my spare room (which also occasionally masquerades as an office/home studio for the recordings of DanDanDan).

Titles with asterisks, by the way, are ones I haven’t read yet.  One of the many reasons I could do with an eccentric millionaire patron is so I can take a year or two off to catch up with all the books on my to read list – these are but the tiniest fraction of the collection.  I buy books like that Sex And The City woman bought shoes, if you need an outdated pop culture analogy.

On Terry Deary’s Sentimental Gush

ghostbusters_library1Yesterday there was an article about Horrible Histories author Terry Deary on the Guardian books page, in which he was quoted as saying that libraries are effectively past it. I disagree with that view, and wanted to address some of his points. You can read the article here if you haven’t seen it yet. His original comments are in the Sunderland Echo.

Continue reading “On Terry Deary’s Sentimental Gush”

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: