As Tears Go By #Writing

Steve Layman has a great excerpt from Keith Richards’ Life: “We had two lines and an interesting chord sequence, and then something else took over somewhere in this process.  I don’t want to say mystical, but you can’t put your finger on it.  Once you’ve got that idea, the rest will come.  It’s like you’ve […]

Faster Reading with Nicholas Bate #Writing

What’s not to like? Seven tips for more effective reading from Nicholas Bate: “4. Whether screen based or paper based, get comfortable. Decent lighting, chair…. 5. Set a period of time with a clear timer. Start with 45 minute periods and build.  6. Start and simply read a little more quickly. …” Read the full list, here. Because, […]

In praise of poetry #Writing

The Art of Manliness blog lists “20 classic poems every man should read“, stating: “However, we do ourselves a great disservice when we neglect the reading of poetry. John Adams, one of the founding fathers of the United States, commended poetry to his son John Quincy. Both Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt committed their favorite […]

A bookly object of desire – @FolioSociety @NeilHimself

The Folio Society’s new and lavish edition of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, illustrated by Dave McKean, has glistened its way onto my Wish List. Sadly, my over-large Wish List is preceded by a still groaning Must Read Shelf. Although, as I’ve already read the novel, maybe this doesn’t count. Does it? Does it, does it, […]

Why rare books are thriving – @Spectator_Life

The Spectator has an interesting piece on collecting rare books in the digital age, here. The article centres on one of London’s oldest antiquarian booksellers, Maggs Bros (Maggs.com), which I feel must be worth a visit.

The Economist on translators – #writing

Having touched on translations the other day, I’ve just read a piece in this week’s Economist; Why Translators Have The Blues. It discusses the challenges facing the profession from machine-learning and globalisation. Lessons here for writers, too.  

Something for the weekend? How stories last – Neil Gaiman #Writing

Here’s a delicious use for 100 minutes of your weekend. In June 2015, Neil Gaiman gave a talk at the Long Now Foundation on the nature, power and evolution of stories. Are stories alive? He talks about our symbiotic relationship with stories and how animals live for, perhaps 30 years at most; trees can live for a […]

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science by Diane Stanley

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science – @brainpicker

The BrainPickings blog highlights this engaging children’s book about mathematician, computing pioneer (and much more), Ada Lovelace: Sounds like it should be required reading to small children everywhere. By the way, reading this I learn that Ada Lovelace was the daughter of the poet Lord Byron; something I feel I should have known already.

Animal Farm

Execupundit prescribes Animal Farm, to be taken annually. I re-read it a few months ago, for the first time since school. Required reading for our post-truth times.

We are not numerate …

Steve Layman reminds us that, in general, we are not numerate: “ most people just don’t understand how [compounding] works. For instance, 10% growth for 25 years is not 250%, it’s 985%!” Douglas Adams understood, of course, and illustrated its power – especially if combined with time travel – in paying your bill at Milliways, the Restaurant […]

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