All Posts By

Rowan Jones

Amazon Deletes Hundreds of Reviews of Clinton Memoirs

By | Literature, Political | No Comments
Within hours of its publication, Hillary Clinton’s memoirs had received over one thousand reviews on the Amazon site.

Much like the presidential campaign itself the reviews were either 5-star rave reviews or 1-star damning criticisms.

A spokesman at the publishing company Simon & Schuster, Jonathan Karp, commented:

“It seems highly unlikely that approximately 1,500 people read Hillary Clinton’s book overnight and came to the stark conclusion that it is either brilliant or awful.”

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Idris Elba Supports International Literacy Day 2017

By | Children's Literature, News | No Comments
Recently, British actor Idris Elba read us a bedtime story in his role as Project Literacy Ambassador for International Literacy Day 2017. The story he read was another take on the classic children’s tale, Chicken Little.

‘Pong-Pong The Brave’ was written by a dedicated mother, Wanda Steward, from Philadelphia, USA, for her children.

The story behind how and why Wanda rewrote Chicken Little will touch your heart, and hopefully spark your interest in supporting any local literacy projects near you.

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Stephen King Bans Donald Trump from Seeing IT

By | News, Political | No Comments
As you may well know by now, the movie version of Stephen King’s IT has had a remake, and Mr. Mercedes is set for its televisual debut.

King is prevalent on Twitter and has made no secret of his dislike of President Donald Trump, much to the annoyance of Trump fans America-wide.

The latest spat ended with the POTUS blocking King on Twitter for his negative comments, and King responded with a block of his own…

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7 Collections of Short Stories Selected For You

By | Literature, New Releases | No Comments
Short stories are generally considered to be short enough to be read in one sitting. They are longer than 1,000 words, or else they are considered ‘flash fiction’, but shorter than 10,000 words. They encompass all that is involved in your regular novel- from exposition to resolution- carried through in one swift story and far less complex than a full fiction novel.

The short story dates back to the traditional form of oral storytelling which, for obvious reasons, could not take hours to resolve. Long tales (such as Homer’s Odyssey) would be recited in sections- often with rhyme and rhythm to aid remembering each verse. Often separate short tales would be told but would be linked in some way (such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).

2017 has seen this traditional form flourish still, and remain ever more popular. Perhaps modern life calls for shorter, snappier tales to fit in with our busy lives?

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Introducing 5 of the Best New Authors of 2017

By | Authors, New Releases | No Comments
Many readers go back to their favourite authors time and time again but it is always worth giving new authors a chance.

Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was a debut novel, as was Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. New authors can find it incredibly difficult to get noticed when there is so much talent out there so it is up to us as readers to take heed of these new gifted writers.

Here are a handful of our favourite new authors and their debut novels freshly released this year. See if any pique your interest…

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Has The Legendary Sword of King Arthur Been Discovered?

By | Literary Places, News | No Comments

All hail Queen Matilda, true heir to the throne, as deemed by the gracious Lady Of The Lake and the sword Excalibur!

 

According to the Sheffield Star newspaper, a young South Yorkshire girl discovered the legendary sword of King Arthur at the bottom of Dozmary Pool in Cornwall.

According to folklore, Sir Bedivere threw Excalibur into Dozy Pool following the death of King Arthur, and the Battle of Camlann. The sword was caught by The Lady Of The Lake and reclaimed by the pool… Until now.

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Terry Pratchett’s Final Wishes Will Break A Reader’s Heart…

By | Authors, News | One Comment
Terry Pratchett died in March 2015 after battling with Alzheimer’s for 8 years previously. His humour and joie de vivre is still sorely missed, although we still have his vast back catalogue of novels to keep us going.

Two of his books, the final Discworld novel The Shepherd’s Crown and The Long Utopia, written with by Stephen Baxter, were published posthumously.

Many of his fans held out hope that his unfinished manuscripts may one day be completed by an author close to him but- alas- it is not to be!

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Australian Kids Impress With Their 2017 Book Week Costumes

By | Children's Literature, Inspired by Literature | No Comments
The best thing about Book Week and World Book Day is the creativity and passion that goes into the costumes. This month it was Australia’s turn to don their costumes and show off their favourite books. From Frida Kahlo to Mary Poppins, the range of stunning costumes is so impressive- the rest of the Book Week participants have a lot to live up to!

Take a peek at some of our favourite costumes we have found while scouring the ‘net…

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6 Must-Read Books About British History

By | Literature | No Comments
As with our previous article focussed on the history of America, this list of historical non-fiction offers a no-holds-barred look at what made the UK what it is today.

Contrary to what many of us were taught in school, British history was not all glory and pride… Much of what made us ‘great’ was built upon the backs of oppressed and disenfranchised innocents. From well before the ‘Great Roman Empire’ to the ‘Great British Empire’ and beyond, British history is both fascinating and horrifying in equal measure.

Let us not forget what this country was built upon, and let us always remember why threads of racial and class prejudice still run through our societies today.

The following list would be a great start for any budding historian intent on having a honest and true account of how Great Britain became the mixing pot of cultures and communities it is today.

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5 Books For The American History Fanatic

By | Culture, Literature | One Comment
For many people history is compelling and fascinating, as well as utterly horrifying. In the UK and the US in particular we are not always told the whole truth of our history, often for shameful reasons, and for fear of losing patriotism.

It is important to understand what our nations did, and how we became the powerful countries we are today. The sacrifices made by our ancestors, as well as the now-abhorrent action taken in the name of progress cannot and should not be ignored.

To truly understand why certain people feel certain ways, and why others are treated the way they are to this day is related directly to our past. We start with American history- land of the free and home of the brave- But how did they get to that point?

These American history books are a fascinating look into how America became the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual powerhouse she is today.

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