All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews

All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews My rating: 3 of 5 stars I found All My Puny Sorrows a difficult one to rate. On Amazon, I’ve gone for 4 stars, to give credit to the exquisite writing. I can’t remember the last time I read a book where every page was a masterpiece. On the other hand, I found the pace a bit…glacial in its slowness. Don’t let that put you off giving All My Puny Sorrows a try. Most reviews are glowing, which is why I feel OK about going for a 3 star rating here. It would have been a three and a half, if I’d had the option. View all my reviews Share:TweetEmailMoreShare on...

Happy Birthday to me (and Rosemary Higgs)

Happy Birthday to me (and Rosemary Higgs)

This week, it’s all been about covers and copy edits, which have both been exciting, if in different ways. They mark a real staging point on the publication journey: it’s not about a pile of manuscript pages any more. Before long, now, I’ll have a proper book… Talking about the edits led to one of my favourite threads ever on Facebook, with writer friends sharing the overused words they’d had to cut out pre-publication. We all had our own: my characters are always ‘looking’, and spend a lot of time pushing themselves up on to their elbows. (nb. see how I now know that it’s ‘on to’ and not ‘onto’…). Everyone’s pet words were different: some that came up were ‘only’ and...

Listening to War and Peace on New Year’s Day

Listening to War and Peace on New Year’s Day

I woke up this New Year’s Day morning and didn’t really feel like getting up. The night before had been a late one, natch, and the outside world was both cold and wet. My phone was out of power, so Facebook and Twitter were out. I had a book handy, but that was too much effort. So I put on the radio and reached for the headphones. I didn’t want to disturb the sleeping dogs on the bed, after all. Or the sleeping Graeme, come to that. But the radio was strange. None of the normal programmes were on. The radio world had become War and Peace. Funny how these things work out. A bare three weeks ago, I read War and Peace for the first time since I was a teenager. (*Disclaimer: I didn’t actually read all of it in the run up to Christmas. I caught...

Blog Tour Monday

Just a little something for a Monday where otherwise I’m supposed to be writing a better ending for my novel. More on that in a moment. I was asked onto the Blog Bus by David Hartley, and you can go here to catch up on his answers from last week. He has a jolly good blog, as well, which is what the Blog Tour is all about. Finding new blogs. Meeting new writers. It’s great! Dan Carpenter has got to it first. Read his answers here. And now read mine:   What am I working on? My debut novel, The Summer of Secrets, which will be out next, well, summer. I was lucky enough to have this picked up at an early stage by both an agent and a publisher, and I finished the first lot of major edits in a concentrated and self-imposed week of isolation over New...