Friday, 7 May 2010

Books on The Writing Game

(Stop Press - Was invited by Norman Geras be profiled on his great weblog You might like to check it out Wx - )         Now back to books…

One feature of my radio programme will be a focus on the delights of reading, and how writers can use their reading to inform their writing. In the May programme we featured:  Books of The Month - chosen by Gillian Wales (Chartered Librarian & Ex Arts Centre manager) and Glyn Wales (Historian, ex Head teacher & University Lecture ).Their criteria are – Plot, Place, Character & StyleBishop FM etc 001

Their choices this month choice were   Chris Mullin: A View From the Foothills. (Profile Books) ‘A political diary of a Labour MP from 1919 to May 2005. Reading it restores some of my (Glyn) faith in MPs for it shows a humanity, selflessness and humanity notably lacking in the present parliament. The book’s also witty and entertaining and throws light on the roles of a back bench MP, a home affairs committee member and Junior Foreign Office minister. Uniquely Mullin remained a minister despite his opposition to the Iraq war… A man of principle.’(Timely in this week where we are left with a hung parliament. W)
David Lodge Deaf Sentence (Penguin) Good on style and character. ‘Retired professor coping in a good humoured was with the vagaries of the post professional and eccentric family life Touches on themes of a recession his and an increasingly electronic world of 2009 2010 Britain, Recommended.’

William Boyd: Ordinary Thunderstorms. Chatto and Windus
Better in plot and place, we think, though perhaps not so good in style. A conspiracy novel – a sort of 39 Steps for the Naughties It is about a man’s loss of identity and flight from pursuers. The Thames from London to the sea mirrors the hero’s own journey into the depths. A good read.’
Margaret Forster Isa and May – Deals with the relevance of the grandmother in today’s society and the controversial question of nurture versus nature. Novel will keep you guessing right to the end, despite, we think, an occasional overload of information
Philip Pullman The Good Servant Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. Pullman’s retelling of the gospels. Here Jesus and Christ are a pair of twins. Pullman destroys the gospel story and articulate his own disbelief in the myth of Jesus Christ Pullman believes in the democracy of reading and doesn’t think it’s the task of the author to tell the reader what the book means. He says he is in the “Once Upon A time business” not the “Message” business.’

And Some Books Mentioned during the Programme Avril Joy:     The Sweet Track: Flambard Publishing In her interviAvrilBookHomeew Avril talks about the significance of place in her writing – in this book, the Somerset Levels

Wendy’s Novels    I used my novel The Lavender House (Headline Book Publishing) to demonstrate the slender and exciting starting points when setting about writing a novel.


  1. Good luck with the broadcast Wendy - I'm only sorry that I'm not able to get it here - would be great to listen to what seems a really good, well thought out programme.

  2. Thank you Kathy. Would you talk about writing biography on the programme? That would be a treat...w

  3. Would be happy to Wendy - I'm away in August and the first week of SEptember doing a book promotion tour down-under, but otherwise just hanging about!



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