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Negotiating with the Dead

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 Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret AtwoodHaving read and been so impressed by several of Margaret Atwoods works of fiction, I imagined that a book written by her about the art or activity of writing would prove to be an interesting read. As explained in the introduction and prologue to the book, the chapters here are based on the Empson Lectures given by the writer at the University of Cambridge in the year 2000.

Chapter 1, entitled Who do you think you are? is mainly autobiographical, tracing Atwood’s early years from her birth in Ottawa in 1939 up until her undergraduate student days at Victoria College, the University of Toronto.


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Burtybookworm’s Top 10 Books

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I am a bookworm. It’s a name I’ve had (amongst many!!) since school as I forever had my nose stuck in a book. I haven’t changed much since then, although I don’t read as much as I used to. I do love the power of words and the escapism that it provides and I’m forever asking people/reading reviews and generally seeking out the next book which will take me away from my little life for five minutes or so. So Its only right that I contribute my thoughts and hope that some of you may agree with my choices or find my choices interesting enough to add to your own book lists to read.
In no particular order :

1.The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (1985)

The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret AtwoodI have to start with my favourite author of all time, this is a classic that some of you may have read during you English classes at school/college/University. I was introduced to it by my lecturer at University who has written articles and critiques on Atwood’s work and was also a big fan. At the time I was stumped for a dissertation choice and she suggested I read a few Atwood and see if I liked – I loved! This one has to be my favourite.

This is a story of life in America when a group of Religious extremists take over the government.

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Writing Down the Bones

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Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer within By Natalie Naimark-GoldbergThe very fact that Natalie Goldberg’s book ‘Writing Down the Bones‘ is easy to read is testament to her skill as a writer. This should be encouragement enough for any writer to follow her advice. Her ideas so clearly expressed that they are absorbed without effort. The variety of them keeps the momentum of the book going.

Goldberg began teaching writing workshops in 1975 to nuns, hippies and juvenile delinquents amongst others. In 1974 she began practising sitting meditation. She studied Zen formally from 1978 to 1984 and this deeply influenced her approach to writing.

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My Favourite Children’s Authors

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If a love of books is instilled in our children by reading aloud to them at an early age and then sharing books and listening to them read as they begin to learn, let’s hope that books will still be a pleasurable source of entertainment for them alongside television, computers and games consoles as they grow older. The authors I’ve chosen here each write for a certain age group, ranging from three-to four-year-olds through to early teenagers. Let’s start with the youngest group.

Babette Cole

Young children will love the humour and colorful, lively illustrations of Babette Cole’s ‘The Trouble with Grandad‘. Grandad gets into a pickle because of the enormous vegetables he grows: he wins all the prizes at the Vegetable Show and makes other competitors jealous.

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The Librarian’s Daughter and her Favourite Books

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I have always been a big, if not a fast, reader if that isn’t a contradiction in terms. Books play an important role in my life, and not just because I was a student for a full 7.5 years (and therefore theoretically read them from time to time), but also because they are also a hobby. My mum was a librarian for most of her working life, so I grew up with books around me all the time; not only is my parent’s house permanently overflowing with books, but also there are always two large of library offerings (one to be read and one to go back). My own place is scarily similar – between me and the Other Half, three large and two small bookcases have been filled beyond capacity, and there are various piles and deposits of books dotted around the place. And guess what I did during my fundraising gap year before starting my MA?


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Mary Bor’s favourite books

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Let me introduce a keen traveler and a very curious book fan Mary Bor through her five favourite books. I hope you’ll find interest in all of them…

“Portrait of a Turkish Family” – Irfan Orga

“Portrait of a Turkish Family” – Irfan OrgaAn autobiographical work that tells the story of one Ottoman family from the turn of the twentieth century through the First World War and the establishment of Turkey as a republic. The book was recommended to me by an assistant in a bookshop in Istanbul as I embarked on a three month trip around the Black Sea. When I got home I found a scrap of paper with the name of the book and the author and ordered it. It’s a charming story, beautifully told, that excels in recounting the trials and tribulations of a well to do family at a great time of upheaval.


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Creative goes live!

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What would be the better way of getting to know the authors of book reviews on Curious Book Fans site but to ask them to write an article about their favourite books.

That’s just an opening of our Creative section but watch this space for various articles related to books we love and some real creative writing…

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