Saturday, 7 December 2013

'Up here, we're fierce friends with the sea. / If it calls our name / we let it hollow us out.'

My poetry pamplet, 'The Hungry Ghost Festival' has been reviewed in the latest issue of The North.

Alison Prince links my collection with Chrissy Williams (a poet I really enjoy reading). She says:

'they are out-and-out modernists, and they both occupy alarmingly open territory.... Though very different poets, both of these young women write strong stuff.... Jen Campbell's prose poem ‘Like A Fish Out’ should be compulsory reading for anyone in contact with the young... [Its] cocky, desperately sad refusal to be arty or sentimental says more than tomes of sociology could... 
Jen Campbell is a tough read but a deeply necessary one.'

Poetry reviews don't happen very often, so I was really thrilled to see this. 

The Hungry Ghost Festival is available from The Rialto, or from me
You can read about the collection here

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend! x

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Gift Guide

I've had a lot of messages asking if I could do a Christmas Book Gift guide this year, so here we are! Below are the covers, with links to further details of the books, so you can go have a look and see if it's the kind of thing you'd like to purchase. You can take this list to a bookshop to have a look at the books in person, and don't forget your local bookseller will be able to give you recommendations, too :)

If you'd like me to help recommend books for a specific person in your life, you can drop me an email.

Picturebooks & Children's Books

 The Bear - Raymond Briggs. I couldn't resist getting this book for my nephew last month. It's about as big as he is.

Anything by Catherine Rayner. For lovers of animals, her illustrations are wonderful.

The Snow Leopard - Jackie Morris. Just beautiful.

Green Smoke- Rosemary Manning. I first read this when I was seven. It's about a girl called Susan who discovers a dragon in a cave in Cornwall. S'lovely. It was reprinted by Jane Nissen Books a few years ago.

The Fairytale Princess - Su Blackwell. Stunning photographs of intricate paper cut outs, illustrating well-known fairy tales.

The Fir Tree - Hans Christian Andersen illustrated by Sanna Annukka

Antigone - Ali Smith. I adore Ali Smith's novels for grown ups; this illustrated tale is just as fab.

Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. I adore the John Tenniel illustrations, but Helen's drawings are magical, too.

Anything by Robert Sabuda Amazing pop-up books. A little fragile, so not for very small children; they need to be handled with care.

'Girls, Goddesses and Giants: Tales of Heroines from Around The World' by Lari don
A selection of brilliant folk tales about heroines from all around the world. In these stories it's the girls who save the day through their courage, cunning or kindness - whether they are facing up to wolves, demons, dragons, enemy tribes, or the sun itself! Handsome princes need not apply - these girls are doing it for themselves.


Young Adult

The Book of Lost Things - John Connelly A very twisted fairy tale.

The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker. Dystopian, coming-of-age story. Recommended for adults, too.

Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell. It broke my heart a little bit.

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman. I will recommend this series for the rest of time.

What's Left of Me - Kat Zhang (the sequel 'Once We Were' is out now in the States, and will be released in the UK next summer). Recommended for fans of The Hunger Games, Never Let Me Go, Allegiant etc.

Books for Grown-Ups

Sweet Home by Carys Bray. A wonderful collection of short stories. Carys's debut novel 'A Song For Issy Bradley' will be published next summer.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. Hilarious.


St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves - Karen Russell. Just read it.

Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh. If you don't know of the blog, then you need to acquaint yourself.

Awake in the Dreamworld: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger. Such a beautiful book, showing the artwork of the writer who brought you The Time Traveller's Wife.

The Tiny Wife - Andrew Kaufman

When All Our Days Are Numbered Marching Bands Will Fill the Streets & We Will Not Hear Them Because We Will be Upstairs in the Clouds - Sasha Fletcher. For those who like experimental fiction, and poetry.


Fair Copy - Rebecca Hazelton  This book is just beautiful. It made me want to read it inside a cave, or under the sea; it has such magical qualities

Beautiful Girls - Melissa-Lee Houghton A wonderful new collection by her. I loved her last one, too.

The Horse Has Six Legs - ed. Charles Simic

& a few more here.

If you'd like to gift signed copies of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops,' 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' for Christmas then head over here (last posting date to Asia/NZ/Aus is 4th December, and last posting date to the USA is the 10th, Eastern Europe the 9th, Western Europe the 13th, and UK 20th.).

Signed copies of 'The Hungry Ghost Festival' are available over here, too.

Merry Christmas! x

Monday, 2 December 2013

“Stupid feathery little git!” Ron hissed, hurrying up the stairs and snatching up Pigwidgeon. “You bring letters to the addressee! You don’t hang around showing off!”

So, Amazon announced today that they plan to use drones in five years to deliver parcels within thirty minutes of you placing your order, in the air, to your door.

This lead to the picture below by QuantumPirate on Twitter:

Now I'm rather amused. S'cuse me while I go build a bookshop in the sky. BRB.