Book Review: ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard

This is a very intense, exquisitely observed book of nature observation, which took place over the course of one year at Tinker Creek in South Carolina in the USA. The author wrote ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek‘ back in 1972, at the age of 27. I was captivated by the way she relates her nature observationsContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ by Annie Dillard”

Thoughts on ‘Witch Child’ by Celia Rees

Today I share my review of ‘Witch Child‘ by Celia Rees, now out in a special 20th Anniversary edition. This is a compelling historical novel of the arrival of a group of Puritans in New England in 1650, of their encounters with the Native Indians, and a tale not only of religious intolerance but ofContinue reading “Thoughts on ‘Witch Child’ by Celia Rees”

Book Review: Spirited by Julie Cohen

Today I share with you my review of Spirited by Julie Cohen, published by Orion July 2020. I loved this book; I found it enchanting, and it gripped me throughout. Set in the mid nineteenth century in England and India, the story covers spiritualism, so-called “spirit photography”, the oppression of women in Victorian times, andContinue reading “Book Review: Spirited by Julie Cohen”

Book Review: ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell

I waited quite a long time for Waterstones to send me this book; and having received it, I spent the next few hours devouring this story of William Shakespeare’s family and the tragic death of his 11 year old son Hamnet. Living as I do near Stratford-upon-Avon I have visited all the Shakespeare properties aContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell”

A Walk in Jephson Gardens Leamington Spa to Lift the Spirits

We are lucky to have many beautiful places to walk, in Leamington Spa Warwick and Kenilworth, with gardens, rivers, castles, historical houses and parklands. Each time I walk in Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, I see new delights. Throughout this pandemic, the natural world has upheld the spirits of so many – and the imagination, hardContinue reading “A Walk in Jephson Gardens Leamington Spa to Lift the Spirits”

Favourite Feel Good Action Heroes in Books and Cinema: TinTin and his Universal Appeal

During the Covid-19 Pandemic and throughout the three lockdowns in the UK, many have sought the consolation of escape – into books or films.  Every so often I return to one of my top favourites – The Adventures of TinTin: the Secret of the Unicorn. To my mind this film exemplifies classic story structure; butContinue reading “Favourite Feel Good Action Heroes in Books and Cinema: TinTin and his Universal Appeal”

Revisiting the Christmas List

We’ve reached the time of year for the Christmas List. I’m revisiting my subject of the Christmas List for several reasons. Amongst these are the sheer poignancy of the subject, and the fact that since then I have published a revised version of the piece in a Christmas Anthology – available here to buy onContinue reading “Revisiting the Christmas List”

Paranormal Warwickshire Extracts Part 6: Kenilworth Castle

This is the sixth in a series of ten posts which will take us up to the date of publication of my new book Paranormal Warwickshire, out from Amberley Publishing on 15th November. This richly illustrated compilation of strange tales from Shakespeare’s county can be pre-ordered now from all online bookstores, and from Warwick BooksContinue reading “Paranormal Warwickshire Extracts Part 6: Kenilworth Castle”

Paranormal Warwickshire Extracts Part 5: Stoneleigh Abbey, Kenilworth

This is the fifth in a series of ten posts which will take us up to the date of publication of my new book Paranormal Warwickshire, out from Amberley Publishing on 15th November. This richly illustrated compilation of strange tales from Shakespeare’s county can be pre-ordered now from all online bookstores, and from Warwick BooksContinue reading “Paranormal Warwickshire Extracts Part 5: Stoneleigh Abbey, Kenilworth”

Glimpses of Paranormal Warwickshire Part 13: Nuneaton

This is the thirteenth in a series of glimpses into my new book Paranormal Warwickshire which will be published by Amberley Publishing on 15th November 2020. My visits to Nuneaton have uncovered some truly astonishing stories. Nuneaton is strongly associated with the great novelist George Eliot, who lived there during the first part of herContinue reading “Glimpses of Paranormal Warwickshire Part 13: Nuneaton”