When my mother took a nervous breakdown (her fourth in a week), she was prescribed a book by her GP. “Fuck reading the book,” she snarled. “I want Valium.” In theory, the NHS scheme of giving patients a list of books to make them feel better is a worthy thing to do. In practice, most… Continue reading Banana Yoshimoto Is Good For You
I look back at the heroes of my distant past: The Three Investigators!
2018 has been a odd year for pop culture. I feel like we’re stuck in stasis, waiting for something exciting to happen. But can the underground really throw up anything truly transgressive when there are a thousand blogs (like this one) waiting to find The Next Big Thing and hurl it upwards long before it… Continue reading The Best Of 2018
Tracks was a British teen fiction imprint from the 80s/90s. An entire generation grew up with these books. So what happened to them?
Book Week Scotland is to authors what Christmas is to Santa Claus. We love it. If we're lucky, we get work during this week in November. For Book Week Scotland 2018 I ended up in Grangemouth Library, which isn't too far away from me - except the bus made it feel like a far-flung world.… Continue reading Book Week Scotland 2018
Some books fade fast, their effect fleeting. Other books remain, powerful and potent. Shirley Jackson wrote those sorts of books. They haunt the reader for a long time after the last page. I've long been a fan of Shirley Jackson; well, that's not quite accurate. I was a fan of The Haunting of Hill House,… Continue reading The Shirley Jackson Fan Club (Sign Me Up!)
Some writers defy categorisation. They cannot be filed, stamped, or absorbed. Yes, you may find their books in certain areas of the book shop or the library, but essentially these writers remain difficult to anticipate, their work always surprising and interesting. I'd place Francesca Lia Block, Cory Doctorow, Sam Pink, Kathy Acker, Jason Starr, Jeff… Continue reading I Wanted To Write About Robert Cormier