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U.S. paperback cover of One Day in the Life of...

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I’m reading Faulks on Fiction, or at least, I started to before discovering that I was blind to much of the journey leading to his theories and conclusions as I hadn’t read the chosen books for at least thirty years.  Books I hadn’t revisited because I’d already read them: been there, done that…. 

There are few books I regularly revisit and my husband will tell you that the one that gets picked up the most is A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – an unassuming little pack of pages filled with words wrung from the despair of prisoners of the gulag.  Teeth grittingly harsh yet glowing with the wonder of human resilience.  I digress – as I always do with that chunk of pain – from the main point and that is that if you wish to peruse Mr Faulks’ criticisms with any hope of serious mental debate then it is imperative that you jump into and devour every single one of the books he has picked out.  I can believe that having once read Faulks on Fiction you will either wish to revisit the books or keep them nearby for reference.  If the latter then an e-reader will probably be best if only so you aren’t in danger of toppling the stack.

While I’m on the subject of rereading books I have to admit to emotional indulgence in my choice of bookshelf keepies.  There are well-known and expected classics, such as Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Dumas, Flaubert, Wilde and Shakespeare (I’ll leave poetry aside as that is pure nectar for the psyche and in a class of its own) to name but a few, but I admit to more recent sugary additions such as the Twilight saga (which, incidentally, sits on my daughter’s bookshelf).  That is the wonderful thing about books, they are tangible dreams that you can slip into and out of as the mood, and time, allows.

Happy reading.  Long live the written word.

About Bea Turvey apprentice author and witch

I am a wild-haired author who cannot stop writing. The writing process is not a task for me. It is an extension of myself. When I write, I lose myself as easily as if I slipped into the story for a swim. Writing became a serious part of my life in Decmber of 2009. Unless you're reading this in 2017 it wasn't that long ago, and the bug hit me hard and fast. My first novel, Banished, was published in March 2010 and is available at If you read it, or anything else I've written, I hope you'll post a review and let me know why you liked it - or even why not!
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