Words of Mouth Blog Interview


I hope to get some reviews or reading summaries up in the next few days but in the meantime the lovely Claire King, author of The Night Rainbow, has asked me a few questions which I answered in typically rambling fashion. It’s been a few weeks of scary thesis work, so I apologise if it looks like my various trains of thought had a bit of a leaves on the line moment here and there. 

Is there wine? Reader Appreciation Awards


Well, my goodness, would you look at that? The estimable Eve Proofreads has been kind enough to send me a Reader Appreciation Award.

I don’t expect the people I nominate to do the following, but I should be working, so I’m going to do this instead.

The Rules:

1. Provide a link and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award.

2. Answer 10 questions.

3. Choose 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read.

4. Provide links to these blogs and kindly let the recipients know that they have been chosen.

5. Include the award logo within your blog post.

The Questions

 Your favourite colour? International Klein Blue.


© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

Your favourite animal? I’m afraid that I’m a cat person. I suspect that, much like myself, they are really quite fond of you, but simply refuse to be quite so gauche as to show it unless there is food involved.

Your favourite non-alcoholic drink? Coffee. Always coffee.

Facebook® or Twitter®? Twitter is what lured me into book reviewing and helped me ‘meet’ lots of other writers of various stripes; so despite its terrible effect on my productivity at times, I should say I owe Twitter rather a lot.

Your favourite pattern? I really like blind arcading. It’s odd, I know.

Getting or giving presents? I like giving a good book. I also like receiving one, so, you know…

Your favourite number? Really?

Your favourite day of the week? Saturday. I got married on a Saturday. I really have no other criteria.

Your favourite flower? Oh blimey, you had to highlight my lamentable ignorance of horticulture, didn’t you? What with that and trees I haven’t got a hope of being a nature writer. Those pinky-purples ones are nice. Yes, I’ll go with those.

What is your passion? For a philosopher this is a very loaded question. (See this, for example). I’m afraid it’s as dull as my really enjoying reading — and writing when I give myself the space to do it. I do really, really enjoy the tracing of ideas and images through artworks, architecture, language, and literature as I think my reviews probably make clear.

My Favourites

This list is in no particular order at all. (In fact, ignore the numbers completely). I’ve only been reading blogs for about six months, so  this is a shorter list than it might be in a year or so. In general, these are blogs I feel I always learn from. A lot of them have made me realise how much more translated literature I should read.

1. On the Literary Sofa ranges across book reviews, literary discussion, and writing tips from novelist Isabel Costello.

2. Tony’s Reading List covers a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, but is particularly and refreshingly strong on translated works. Join him for January in Japan.

3. The Mookse and Gripes is a great blog increasingly focusing on modernism and literature in translation.

4. Asylum never fails to capture something I’d missed — or would have missed — in a novel and makes me think again. I’ve learnt a lot about how to review from this blog. (John also pushed me — and many others — towards the excellent Hawthorn and Child by Keith Ridgway).

5. Just William’s Luck and I have crossed over on a few books this year and, like Asylum, he always brings something new to my reading.

6. Reading Matters is the site of the only blogger whom I have actually met. The site contains reviews of literary fiction and bookish events, as well as previews and suggestions for bookish presents.

7. Pechorin’s Journal is a sophisticated literary review blog with a slipped disc. I enjoy these reviews immensely.

8. Winstonsdad’s Blog is another committed and voracious reviewer of translated fiction. The range is astonishing. Another blog where I feel I am always learning something new.

9. Follow the Thread covers a lot of speculative and science fiction as well as literary fare and short stories. Always an interesting read.

Do comment if you have any other suggestions or just to say hello.