On Men Writing Women

CW: sexual assault.

This is a very different flavour to what I usually write and it includes a personal story that I don’t want to discuss, with anyone, no exceptions. But recent conversations around the ways many male writers describe women has had me thinking.

When I was a teenager I was assaulted and stalked by a 46 year old man. He was my boss, he had all the power, he was relentless and dangerously delusional. He rationalised his obsession by telling me the ways in which I made him unable to control himself; my big eyes, the way I didn’t make eye contact, the fact I laughed nervously at his jokes, the fact I listened to people’s problems. In context, all signs that I was a young girl terrified of losing her job who didn’t know how to get out of a scary situation. In his mind? Fear was romanticised, a look of fear morphed in to wide-eyed adoration for this middle aged alcoholic. I try not to acknowledge it anymore, and it took me a long time to accept that nothing about my physical appearance, my desire to be nice to people and do my job well, meant that I was asking to become the obsession of a man older than my mum. Some of what I’ve written above I’ve never said aloud.

How does this relate to the topic of men writing women?

There’s been a viral tweet going round asking women to describe themselves as a male writer would. It doesn’t need a #notallmen disclaimer, it’s a fun take on a trend of men failing to write well rounded female characters without focussing on how fuckable they are. I opened a reply to make my own take, then realised I couldn’t. Because in my head the only way a man would describe me is still the ways in which I’ve been described by men who haven’t seen me as a person.

And for me that’s where the root of the problem lies. In all the excerpts I’ve seen of poorly written women by male writers have been the undercurrents of not seeing us as fully rounded people. We’re breasts, big lips, sashaying hips; or fat, unfuckable, too skinny to be real women, or butch. Even in a first person introduction, I read a narrator talk more about how her jeans were so tight men could read her credit card number through her pocket. Show me a woman whose internal monologue works that way?

This may seem like a petty point to some. But the dehumanisation of women in fiction by ‘classic’ or ‘literary’ writers (the treatment and classification of women, non binary writers and writers of colour by the publishing industry is a whole other kettle of fish) has a social effect. If our media feeds the idea that the male view of women is accurate, by heralding these superficial descriptions and framing women as things to lust over, then how can we begin to undo those dangerous perceptions in real life. In a world where James Bond’s suave misogyny is the pinnacle of manliness, and women are merely moving, suggestible art draped over his arm, then how can our real life abusers possibly be wrong in the way they perceive us? When men write us that way, they tell the portion of men in the real world that want the excuse to see us as things purely for their pleasure that they’re exactly right.

I am not overreacting. I am not making false equivalencies. We need to demand better representation for ourselves, for women who look like us and those who don’t. Male writers have a duty to examine the ways they present their female characters. Do they read like something you want to fuck? Something you want your reader to want to fuck? Is her anger sexy to you? Her fear? Is she there because you need your male characters to angst over? Then you need to rethink your ability as a writer. Women belong in fiction like they belong in the real world; with their own rounded narrative, not for the development of a man but because we exist as complex individuals and we deserve to be portrayed that way in fiction.

I wanted to include some positive examples of male writers writing women and I originally skimmed through some books on my shelf looking for a paragraph that would say to me yes, this guy knows how to describe women. I soon gave up. Not because it’s impossible for men to write women well, but because the ones that do focus so much on making them rounded characters it leaves little room for whole paragraphs where their internal monologue waxes philosophical about their looks. Men don’t get written that way, well written women shouldn’t either.

Take the man who is, in my eyes, the god of good characterisation, Terry Pratchett. In his books about The Witches a picture of their looks builds up gradually, but well before that you’ve got an idea that Nanny Ogg is a genial menace with the double entendres.

In Paul Trembley’s Head Full of Ghosts Merry, the narrator, immediately describes another female character, ‘best-selling author Rachel Neville’, as wearing ‘a perfect fall ensemble: dark blue hat to match her sensible knee length skirt’. It does two things; shows Merry as a narrator who observes in the way women do in real life, without thinking constantly about their own looks, and introduces a second female character by her achievements over her fuckability.

We need more of this. A lot of the books I read nowadays aren’t written by the ‘literary’ stereotype of the allo cishet white man, and in my experience writers approaching their characterisation from an intersectional perspective tend to be better at writing characters in general. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t hold the established darlings of literary fiction to the same high standards.

Christmas Book Haul!

This is a tad delayed, but here’s a Christmas book haul!

Every Christmas I do the usual bookworm thing of asking almost exclusively for books. This year the vibe I got was that they’d rather get me other things too so I was a little more conservative with my Christmas list (I put four non-book items on it).

So I still did pretty well for books…

It helps that my brother also almost exclusively asks for books, which is how I ended up with The Buddha Of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi after my mum accidentally ordered two copies for him.

I’ve wanted Inua Ellams’ poetry collection, Six of The Fairy Negro Tales after I saw him speak at Bare Lit festival earlier in 2017. I have another anthology of his, #Afterhours, but never got round to buying this one off my wish list!

I also got One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, which has been on my list of planned reads for my Read the World project for Colombia for a while now!

These hardbacks of What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah, Mirror In The Sky by Aditi Khorana and The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso are gorgeous and I can’t wait to read them! I’ve had my eye on What It Means… for ages and couldn’t find it in any of my local bookshops so I’m so glad I finally own a copy!

Finally, I saw a friend talk about Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis on Instagram and you know how I can’t resist a good dystopian!

Did you get any books this Christmas?

2018 Reading and Blogging Goals

Every so often I decide that I’m going to reflect on the kinds of things I’m reading throughout the year. Looking back I didn’t do any ‘reading resolutions’ as such this time last year, at least not publicly, but the do this I did better with reading thoughtfully, critically and with a view to experiencing more diverse books and writers.

That being said I’m always looking to improve so I’ve been thinking about my reading and blogging goals for 2018.

Get my Netgalley feedback ratio above 80%. I’ve submitted about 60 reviews on Netgalley but my ration still isn’t as high as I’d like it to be. My aim is to go through some backlist ARCs and submit feedback, as well as be more conscious about the books I request.

Cross post reviews to Goodreads. This is something I’m really awful at. I mainly use Goodreads to keep track of what I’m reading and post ratings, but I figure those ratings aren’t helpful without explanation and it’s still the easiest way for a potential reader to find out about a book.

Read at least 30 books for Read the World Project. I haven’t been as enthusiastic about blogging in the early part of this year, and by extension my drive to talk about this project kind of went away too. I definitely want to get back on the bandwagon this year and I have plans to start up an online book club with a different country per month, maybe even with a readathon sometime towards the end of the year!

Diversify the speculative fiction I’m reading. I got back in to SFF towards the end of the year and, as a poor result, the ratio of white male writers I was reading went up. I have books by POC SFF writers, and queer writers and female writers and a-combination-of-all-three writers so there’s no excuse.

Link to more Ownvoices reviews and posts in my own reviews. I’ve been trying to do this more regularly, so really I want to continue!

More women and marginalised writers. This is always a goal of mine. More queer authors, more diaspora authors, more black authors, more authors from outside of the UK and US, more mental health rep, just to read more than just the status quo.

Read three short stories a week. I have so many anthologies and this seems like a good way of getting through them rather than sitting there staring at them on my bookcase thinking ‘I’ll get to those’.

… and a bonus goal.

I’ve been thinking for a while about how I’d love to get back in to writing. I’m not cut out for a novel, I don’t have the attention span, but iv always loved short stories and I’d love to write some in the coming year.

So, that’s it! A mismatch of reading, blogging and writing goals for the coming year!

My Favourite Online SFF Literary Magazines

What a specific title! Some time in the last few months I became obsessed with digital SFF literary magazines. I’ve made absolutely no secret of my love of science fiction as a genre or my preference for short stories (and my firm belief that they are a greatly under appreciated form of literary genius) and it suddenly clicked for me that there is a wealth of short form fiction that I could subscribe to. Some time ago I backed a kickstarter for a special edition of Uncanny showcasing the work of disabled writers and as part of my reward I received the most recent issue as well. I already regularly buy FIYAH and I started investigating the other options on twitter, gumroad and patreon! Here are six of my favourites!

A note about patreon fee changes: I support many of these magazines on patreon but I understand that the fee changes might put people off [Update! They’ve retracted and aren’t introducing the fees!] Most of the patreon based magazines have, or will be, working on alternatives for supporters who wish to contribute on alternative websites. Please don’t be put off if I have mentioned patreon!


Quarterly. Edited by Justina Ireland and Troy L. Wiggins.

FIYAH is one I’ve been with since the beginning. Every quarter they publish a packed edition with submissions based around a theme exclusively from black writers. I personally love the themed issues (I love a curated themed anthology) and it’s great to see individual interpretations of a themed prompt. The cover artwork is also beautiful (enough that they sell prints of each cover online!)

Buy it or subscribe from their website.

Strange Horizons

Weekly, monthly ebook. Edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde.

Strange Horizons is a lit mag that I’ve subscribed to recently via patreon, every Monday they publish a short story, poem and a review of a speculative book recently published. Monthly, they produce an ebook collating the weekly editions for subscribers in a variety of formats.

Subscribe via their Patreon.


Monthly. Edited by Julia Rios.

Fireside publishes stories on their website that lean towards the speculative side but are occasionally ‘off genre’. They’re keen on fair pay for their workers and so pledges on their Patreon go towards paying above standard per word. They also provide content notes for all of their stories- where applicable- on their website.

You can read on their website and support/subscribe via patreon.


Monthly. Edited by Jason Sizemore.

Apex offers short fiction from a diverse range of SFF writers as well as essays and interviews. Essays revolve around the world of publishing and being a reader, and interviews often link to people featured within the issue. I think Apex has my favourite layout of all of the ‘mixed medium’ magazines I’ve read so far. Rather than having all the fiction, poetry and non fiction together and separate from one another it feels like a more natural flow: an interview with a writer after their story, for example, rather than it being later on in the issue. It’s cleverly done. And the writing is top-notch!

Subscribe via their Patreon.

Luna Station

Quarterly. Edited by Jennifer Lyn Parsons.

Luna Station exists to showcase the talents of speculative writers who identify as female. They’ve recently doubled down on this definition to explicitly include anyone who identifies as a woman in any way. The stories are beautiful, often painful, and their covers are stunning.

You can purchase their quarterly edition on gumroad.


Bimonthly. Edited by Lynne M Thomas, Michael Damien Thomas and Michi Trota.

Uncanny were the first SFF magazine I subscribed to this year, after having had ten brought to my attention by their recent Kickstarter. I subscribe via Amazon, but back issues can be read or purchased on their website through a variety of channels. Each bimonthly issue is jam packed with original stories, reprints, poetry and essays and has accompanying podcasts online.

Read, listen, buy or subscribe on their website.

If anyone has any recommendations then let me know!

Best Book Subscriptions for Adults!*


*Or anyone who doesn’t want a YA box, or anyone in the UK!

Sometime in 2015 I got very jealous of all of the book subscription boxes that seemed to be in the US. I loved the idea of getting surprise book post, but didn’t like the idea of paying ridiculous postage costs only to get a YA fantasy book I probably wouldn’t read (it’s the one genre I just can’t abide, with very limited exceptions.) Those boxes are great, but they aren’t designed for my kind of reading, which is fine, but I wanted a similar experience too! So I went on the hunt for UK based subscriptions that would be geared towards adult readers. Here are some of my favourites from along the way, and a couple that I am desperate to try!

Book and A Brew


This was the first subscription I ever signed up for, back in October 2015. Since then I’ve had every box (Including their one-off Halloween special!) and I absolutely love them. I’ve blogged about them a few times already but the premise is quite simple; every month they’ll send you a hardback book and a box of tea to complement it. As someone who drinks tea like it”s going out of fashion it’s perfect! The price is well worth it too; most of the tea they’ve sent I’ve later seen in the supermarket for upwards of £5 a box, so £12.99 for that and a hardback is a bargain!

Subscribe here.

Book Voyage UK.


Please note that I no longer recommend BookVoyageUK as they have not sent out any boxes from October or November despite taking payment and are not responding to customer messages. I will update this page if the situation changes.

As part of my ongoing Read the World Project I’m constantly on the look out for recommendations for books from different countries so when I found out about this subscription I was so excited! I think I ended up getting the very first box and again I’ve subscribed ever since. Similar to Book and A Brew, there is tea (or often coffee) involved, but with a twist. Each month they’ll send you a book from a country in the world (in translation), a snack from that country and a box of tea or coffee from the country too. Again, it’s well worth it price-wise, at £14.99 you get a monthly surprise and treats!

Subscribe here.

Ninja Book Box


This is another favourite that I’ve subscribed to since the beginning- when I joined the Kickstarter back last year. Bex puts together a fantastic box each quarter; each with an independently published book and gifts that fit around a theme. Gifts are handmade, specially made for the box or from small businesses so it’s truly a celebration of small-businesses and small press! The theme each time is unique and well thought-out so I’d thoroughly recommend subscribing!

Subscribe here.

Persephone Books


Now for something slightly different- publisher subscriptions! Persephone Books is a small, independent publisher in London that are always worth a visit. They publish mainly out of print female writers, but each book is produced so beautifully- with an endpaper based on a fabric produced at the time the book was originally published. They also offer a subscription service, either as a gift or for yourself, whereby they’ll send you a book from their catalogue a month for 6 or 12 months.

Subscribe here.

Tilted Axis Press


Another publisher-based subscription! I met some representatives of Tilted Axis at Bare-Lit festival this year and fell in love with the idea of a small press publishing books in translation. I purchased their 2017 print subscription when I got home and so far have received two of their 2017 releases on release day! The subscription includes all of their 2017 releases, straight to your door (as well as any that have been published already this year) and they’ve got a fantastic catalogue!

Subscribe here.

The next two are subscriptions that I haven’t tried out yet, but I am absolutely desperate to because they look so good!

Moth Box Books


Moth Box Books is another independent publisher inspired postal service that’s still very unique. On alternative months they’ll send out a box with two independently published novels or two independently published short story collections. They’re not technically a subscription service- you have to purchase one-off boxes that sell out very quickly- but I’ve got my thumb poised for 1st June when the next Short Story edition goes on sale!

Buy here from 1st of each month.

And Other Stories


And Other Stories is a publisher that I’ve actually read a few times (One of my- many -current reads was published by them) but I’ve had my eye on their subscription for ages. It’s more of a reciprocal agreement; being a small press they rely on support from readers to source, translate and publish a wide range of international titles so your subscription directly supports individual books. They’ll print subscriber names at the back of each book they publish and send copies to you too so you get a real sense of involvement!

Subscribe here.

Books in the cover photo of this post all came from subscriptions:
The Impossible Fairytale: 
Tilted Axis Press 2017 print subscription.
Dragon’s Green: Ninja Book Box ‘Magical Lands’ box.
Raised From the Ground: Book Voyage UK ‘Portugal’ box.
Songs of Willow Frost: Book and a Brew Feb ’17 box.
NOS-4R2: Book and a Brew Halloween ’16 special box.

Bare Lit 2017

Today I spent the day at Bare Lit festival 2017 with my friend Bex, of Ninja Book Box/London Bookshop Crawl fame, and it was the most incredible day! We decided a while ago that we would only be able to go to one day and I’m so glad we chose the Sunday!

Our first panel was From Real to Unreal and Back, a talk about the use of fantastic storytelling elements to reflect the real world. I was super excited to hear Ali Bader read one of his short stories from the Iraq + 100 anthology, which was incidentally my favourite in the whole collection! Also on the panel were Irfan Master, who read two excerpts from his new novel, and Inua Ellams who chaired and read a new poem.

It was an interesting mix of opinions! With such a diverse set of backgrounds it was great to hear debate rather than bland agreement and I found the incite of Ali Bader, whose prominence as an Iraqi writer gave him a different perspective to authors living in Britain.

The next panel, When Bad Things Happen, was my favourite and I was hooked every second. The five panelists discussed the responsibility involved in writing about trauma, as well as ways to protect yourself as a writer looking to put personal experience on the page and the important of writing about traumatic events without sensationalism. 

Guilaine Kinouani, a therapist and writer for The Independent, was a passionate but measured chair and I found her thoughts to be fascinating. Nasrin Parvaz spoke about her time being tortured in an Iranian prison and how writing her prison memoirs brought emotions back to the surface. Robyn Travis talked passionately about the process of writing his book Prisoner to the Streets and the responsibility he felt to young black readers not to glorify his past violence. Olumide Popoola provided a powerful incite in to writing as a queer author of colour and finally Stephen Thompson talked about writing his book, No More Heroes, and the process of drawing on other people’s experiences.

Honestly one of the most inspiring group of people I have ever had the privilege of listening to.

Next was How to Judge a Book Prize where Sunny Singh, Yvette Edwards and Catherine Johnson discussed the absence of writers of colour on larger prizes’ long lists and the systematic problems faced by authors of colour in the publishing industry. They also talked about judging the Jhalak Prize For Book Of The Year By A Writer Of Colour and some of the challenges (predominantly by one disgrace of an MP) that the prize has faced in its first year.

Finally, Kerry Young gave the keynote speech on the social, political and personal responsibility writers have. The speech was sponsored by The Royal Literary Fund and was the perfect close to the day.

I came away with a modest book haul of four books (pictured at the top) and a very long ‘to buy’ list! It was a surprisingly tiring day and I definitely needed the wind down time on the train home (in which I read a third of the two anthologies I got!).

If anyone if debating going next year then I would say it’s a definite must!

Diversity December Bingo TBR List!

There’s a great event going on, mainly on Twitter, at the moment called the Diversity December Bingo. One of the organisers is a mutual of mine from Twitter so I’ve seen a lot of posts about floating around the past few weeks.

The idea is to pick a line in the grid and read a book that fits each square. I’ve picked the first horizontal line for my TBR list (although I’m looking at other squares to see if I’ll have time to read more this month!)

Non-Western Cultural FantasyWho Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor.

Demisexual Main CharacterRadio Silence by Alice Oseman

Mental Health AwarenessUnder Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

POC On Book CoversWitness the Night by Kishwar Desai

Indigenous Main CharacterReservation Blues by Sherman Alexie.

A couple of these are on my list for my Read the World project too, so I’ll tick those off of the list. If anyone else fancies joining in then check out the #DiversityDecBingo hashtag on Twitter and Instagram!

Read the World Project

I’ve been thinking this week of a long term project to broaden my reading horizons. @NinjaBookBox introduced me to Book Voyage UK, a book subscription service that sends a book from a different country every month. I immediately signed up, of course, but it also got me thinking. Could I read a book from every country in the world? I mean, of course it’s possible, but could I do it within a certain time limit? Say, before I’m thirty?

So, this weekend I made a list of every country, dependent territory and annexed territory I could find online, with a few extra entries for Native people and people without states- my politics degree and a particular political interest in marginalised groups within nation states helped here. I’ve tried to think specifically rather than broadly- for example I’ve broke down the United Kingdom in to its deprecate four countries because otherwise it’s likely that ‘British’ would, by default, become’English’. Likewise, I’ve created a separate entry for Quebec and Catalonia from Canada and Spain for reasons of nationalism; the latter presumably don’t represent the former in culture and fiction. 

So far my list consists of about 250 entries, although I imagine it will grow naturally over time (for example, I’ve just now asked myself ‘should I create a separate entry on my list for Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot?‘). I turn thirty in May 2021, which gives me approximately four and a half years. Achievable? I think so.

I’ll be using the hashtag #readtheworldproject on Instagram and Twitter, should anyone feel inspired to join me, or be interested in simply keeping tabs. I’m going to be reading a variety of books, from fiction and memoirs to short stories and poetry, so if anyone has any recommendations then please get in touch!

Ninja Book Swap!

I got my Ninja Book Swap parcel today (it had been delivered to my neighbour, I don’t just have a really keen postman) and it was so perfect I almost can’t believe it.

I got this adorable mug to drink tea from when I’m reading (which bears more than a passing resemblance to my own elderly bunny, Bambi). 

I also got this cute Cat Lovers colouring book and some pencils and clearly I love cats. And colouring. 

And finally a copy of The Art of Being Normal which has been on my wishlist for ages. I’m very excited to read it!

Ninja Book Box: Blog Tour

I’ve been really excited for this one for ages now. My friend Bex (who also organises the London Bookshop Crawl and the Ninja Book Swap) has started up a UK based book box subscription and it’s so exciting to have a book and gift subscription box that isn’t subject to ridiculous shipping from the US and isn’t exclusively one theme.

Ninja Book Box is a new quarterly box shipping worldwide from the UK and featuring books published by independent publishers. We aim to introduce excellent books (both backlist and new releases) particularly those which our team & the publishers we work with feel haven’t received the recognition they deserve, and help you find favourites in genres you wouldn’t necessarily pick up for yourselves. Supporting primarily UK based small businesses, each box will contain a book (often signed by the author & with additional material) plus at least two gift items and lots of other fun extras and will take its theme from the book. We want to support excellence and promote exploration and discovery in all aspects of the box. Subscribers will also gain access to lots of additional community perks. For more information sign up to our newsletter, or check out our website for details of how to get the first box! 

Now that the Kickstarter has finished there is a mini box available to get the first book so check out the website for more information!

As part of the Ninja Book Box Blog Tour I was asked to get into the spirit of independent publishing and talk about my favourite indie titles. I’ve gone one step further to also talk about my favourite independent bookshops from around the world too!

My Top 5 Indie Titles

Humans by Matt Haig
One of my all time favourites. An alien takes the form of a disgruntled university mathematics professor in Cambridge and eventually writes a love letter to all humanity. It’s a wonderfully uplifting book that makes me glad to be human.
[Canongate Books Ltd, London]

On the Shores of Darkness There is Light by Cordelia Strube
I reviewed this one some time ago but I feel like it’s still worth coming back to. Harriet and her brother Irwin’s story is heartbreaking and raw, reflective of the kind of family that doesn’t make for happy endings but still deserve to have their story told.
[ECW Press, Toronto]

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
A horrifying anti-war novel about a soldier left with no limbs or face after a mine explodes on the last day of WW1, Dalton Trumbo’s raging novel was one of my absolute favourites as a teenager. It’s almost stream of consciousness in parts, a righteous rant on the hypocrisy of war in others.
[Kensington Books, New York]

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
I can’t stop thinking about this one since I read it recently. It’s a stunning imagining of a horrific logical extreme and a very important feminist novel. To me, it’s an instant classic and I want it to be in people’s minds.
[Allen & Unwin, New South Wales]

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Another novel that I loved because it was an uplifting love story about humanity. And not a romantic love story: AJ Fikry’s life is forever changed when a baby girl is left in his bookshop. Overnight he learns to love life again and his book recommendations to see his daughter through life both make and break my heart.
[Algonquin Books, New York]

My Top 5 Independent Bookshops

Baggins Bookshop, Rochester, England
The largest second hand bookshop in England is actually a five minuted walk from my flat. It reminds me of a setting in a Discworld novel in that I’m pretty sure it is bigger on the inside and that the layout changes with the power of books. They have thousands of second hand books ranging from fiction to military history, local music to philosophy. Their catalogue is probably the most extensive I’ve ever seen and they also have search service for out-of-print titles on their website.

BMV Books, Toronto, Canada
Technically a set of I think three or four shops in Toronto, but I’m still counting them as they’re still independent of the big names. I visited BMV Books over summer and loved their mix of second hand books, new titles and more obscure cheap books. I picked up a few in excellent condition for a fraction of the price but the range was unbelievable; I lost track of how many sections they had available. The staff were also very friendly!

The Book People, Austin, Texas
I spent a lot of time here during my brief stint in Texas; partly because my friend worked here, partly because the cafe was excellent, partly because the air conditioning was saving my life but overall because it was just a pleasant place to be. It’s huge, and like Baggins and BMV the sheer range of books is fantastic. Not just the obvious sections, there was also a cubby hole between bookcases of books based on television and film trivia, gifts, beautiful local publications and an extensive and well-thought-out young people’s section. It’s an absolute joy right in the heart of the city.

Persephone Books, London, England
One of our London Bookshop Crawl finds, Persephone books is both a bookshop and a publisher. They specialise in mainly out-of-print, mainly female-written books with their signature grey cover. It’s a beautiful store because every book features an endpaper based on a fabric created the year the book was first published. So the whole place is both quaint, simple and colourful all at once. Again the staff were wonderful but this time, being such a small shop, they treated us a full tour and talk about how they work so it really felt like joining a new book family.

The Bookmark, Rainham, England
This one is a deeply personal one for me because it’s mine and my Grandma’s favourite second hand bookshop. It used to be owned and run by a lovely old man who would play jazz all day and could tell you that he last sold the book you were looking for on a Tuesday (incidentally, Johnny Got His Gun). Sadly, he passed away many years ago but the bookshop and his spirit in it still remain. It doesn’t so much have shelves, more like tower of books and I think I bought probably 80% of my books here as a teenager. I have many, many second hand books dating back to the sixties or forties that have been lovingly passed on to me through The Bookmark.

So, join us in celebrating more things independently published by checking out the rest of the blog tour!