editor’s choice

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  I have, in recent times, realised I enjoy a good crush. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to the subject. I don’t discriminate on the grounds of sex, age, race, even species – I am an equal-opportunities bestower of my affections – something that has sadly led to ridicule by certain friends and … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE Irish dramatist and poet WB Yeats is amongst The Literary Shed’s favourite poets. One of the leading figures of 20th-century literature, Yeats has influenced many writers, poets, musicians and artists. An Irish nationalist, much of Yeats’ early work focuses on that subject and his love for fellow nationalist Maude Gonne. Yeats was close … Continue readings

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  EDITOR’S CHOICE Alistair Maclean. What can I say? Master of great plots, action-page turners, involving major complicated international operations full of spies, international intrigue and so much more. Like so many other people, I grew up reading him. He’s superb. Born in Glasgow, Maclean grew up speaking Gaellic, with English as his second language. … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE Brilliant writer Dame Penelope Lively was born in Cairo. As a teenager, she was sent to boarding school in England before going on to read Modern History at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Lively is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author of both adult and children’s fiction. Her books include Moon Tiger (1987), which won … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE San Francisco-based author Armistead Maupin was born in Washington, DC, but grew up in North Carolina. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in Vietnam. After moving to California, in the early 1970s, Maupin began working as a journalist. In 1976, he launched the daily fictional … Continue readings

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EDITOR’S CHOICE Award-winning, best-selling writer Nora Roberts is one of the most popular authors in the world, selling billions of copies of books in a multitude of languages. Roberts, who began her career writing romances for Silhouette, published her first book in 1981. She has since turned romance, romantic-suspense and paranormal romance writing into an … Continue readings

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  New Zealand-born Len Lye was an experimental animator and sculptor. He is known primarily for a series of innovative films produced in the 1930s and 40s, the earlier while working with John Grierson’s much acclaimed GPO Film Unit. A Colour Box (1935) was particularly influential – wonderful Norman McLaren took up animation full time … Continue readings

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  Night Mail, the GPO Film Unit’s 1936 documentary, seemingly had everything going for it from the start – from its directors Harry Watt and Basil Wright, narrators John Grierson and Stuart Legg to the poem that WH Auden wrote especially for it and the music score composed by a 23-year-old Benjamin Britten. The GPO … Continue readings

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  The Bodley Head found itself, at the beginning of the week, sold out of ‘Penguins’, 150,000 having been sold out in four days.… — The Bookseller, 8 August 1935, a week after Penguin’s launch   In the early 1930s, Allen Lane, then director of The Bodley Head publishers, was returning from a weekend stay … Continue readings

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  Believe it or not, ‘petrichor’ is a word for that gorgeous sweet smell that occurs as the first rains hit parched earth. How lovely is that?