Some song lyrics are just irresistible, and this one always jumps out at me as being so dramatically macabre. The gloriously unexpected combination of cake and the death of enemies is strangely quirky and satisfying.
Books, stories and other creative writing and fiction
Mrs Holloway’s Annual Parade of the Brightest and Best
“The brightest and best of you,” says Mrs Holloway, clapping her hands with palms flat and fingers pointing upwards, so that each clap is a prayer of thanks. And so begins the Annual Parade…
The best modern fairy tales to make you believe in magic again
I was invited to create a shepherd.com book list, and chose magical, modern fairy tales. If you read that kind of thing, check out my page, and see if you agree with my picks. What would you have chosen instead? I was impressed with the cover versions they picked for each of my choices – my own copies are quite plain in comparison!
The Long and the Short of It
In which we look at old novels with much longer original titles than the short title they are usually known by, often extending to several sentences, that effectively give the plot away and even, on occasion, the ending, so you are left wondering if you should even read the book in the first place…
As it’s Groundhog Day, here’s the story-behind-the-story of my book ’11:42′ – not because of the cute little woodchuck in Pennsylvania. But because of the awesome time-loop film that Bill Murray was in, which famously made the term ‘Groundhog Day’ synonymous with recurring situations…
Satisfying Sentence: Never Let Me Go
‘Never Let Me Go’ takes you completely inside the head of a young woman as she navigates an unimaginable life without knowing she is living one. As a result, her thoughts are remarkably uncluttered with baggage, her sentences simple and mostly unemotional, yet the story she tells carries significant emotional undercurrents and unanswered questions, drawing the reader into her troubled existence. So cleverly done by Kazuo Ishiguro.
The First Published Novel in English?
I was recently wondering which book is classed as the First Novel of any kind in the English language? How easy is it to pinpoint such a milestone from so long ago? Turns out it depends on what you class as a novel, and there is a lot of argument about it…
Satisfying Sentence: The North Water
‘The North Water’ is not a ‘nice’ book, and I can’t stress this enough. It is crammed with cruelty, violence and death. So when you come across a sentence like this one, it stands out – a beautiful sentence in the middle of all the horror.
The Wish That Started Everything
In which impetuous Mab Thatcher ignores everyone’s advice about being the new priest’s first confession in Blackwood, and lands the village in a whole heap of trouble…
Appleheart. Day One
There would be nobody I knew. None of my friends were going. Not even an enemy. In a pocket on the side of my rucksack was a tiny amber bottle of Rescue Remedy my brother had bought for me last week. I wondered if I could get it out and take a few drops without anyone on the bus seeing me but didn’t have the nerve. It made me smile a little; I didn’t have the nerve to take the potion to reduce my nervousness. Stupid.