This evening, on returning home from a gig and after watching some 'Always Sunny In Philadelphia', somewhere around midnight maybe, I decided it was time for bed. I didn't feel like reading though, or watching any TV, or going straight to sleep.
In much the same way as a book by a male author about relationships or 'the domestic' (whatever that means) would never be given a pink cover, neither would it be described as anything other than 'contemporary fiction'. Why can't the same be true for books by women?
Tamarind Mem, a Canadian bestseller novel from 1997, written by Indian-born is an infectious and unforgettable story of an extensively engaged childhood, family, identity, culture and its inherent oppression of women, narrated through genius storytelling.
I made Limoges my base for the trip, with its long and rich history there is enough to hold any visitor's attention and there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy the most avid gourmet. Also, despite the fact that our own Black Prince massacred the city's population in 1370, I got a warm and friendly welcome.
Joanne Harris is perhaps best-known for her Whitbread-shortlisted novel Chocolat (which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp in 2000). While any author would envy the book's success, the title has overshadowed her other work - namely her forays into the fantasy genre.
Think about it. Social communication is affecting a lot more than just your ability to get anything done because you want to tweet just one more time... this is the social society.
Margot Fonteyn was the most famous ballet dancer England ever produced. And she was brought up in Waldeck Road in Ealing, and later in Elm Grove Road by the Common.
Playing the notoriously uncool music critic Lester Bangs in Cameron Crowe's 2000 film Almost Famous, Philip Seymour Hoffman remarks, 'great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing'. Found dead, alone, and with a needle of heroin in his arm in his New York apartment this month, the conflict and pain that linked so many of Hoffman's characters began to resonate with the final image of the man himself.
In London work carries on as semi-normal. Certainly the profound and crucial ritual of lunch continues unabated.
I arrived just after the official unveiling of the great novelist last Friday. A flutter of local dignitaries lingered around him. Sun shone on their municipal chains of office. They wore the meek smiles of people who do not know quite what to think. Dickens, the great satirist, would have loved and mocked these awkward burghers in equal measure.
I had high hopes of The Mistress Contract being an illuminating and entertaining read - not least because I'd been a mistress myself. For sixteen years I'd had a rollercoaster affair with a married man who encouraged me to transform from a dowdy housewife to a sexy professional Dominatrix with my own dungeon in London.
Those who have read any of my previous mental health blogs will know that I like to go on, and on, and on. In fact, I bore myself just writing the pieces. I decided to take a different approach to this blog, with a poem...
A Country Too Far, co-edited by Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally, is a timely attempt to set the record straight about asylum seekers in Australia, to counter the negative media propaganda and to protest at the government's treatment of them.
Bahador Kharazmi, a music producer and singer/songwriter, formerly based in the capital Tehran, and now in the US, has become Prince of the underground. Since the release of his first album Too In Zamoone in 2003, his popularity has grown exponentially at home and abroad.
If ever there was a sign of the changing nature of British enterprise, it was the recent publication of the CBI's new 'Creative Nation' report. Here was the UK's premier business organisation, traditionally associated with manufacturing industry, throwing its considerable weight behind the far less tangible businesses of computer games, rock bands, books and movies.
One of my reasons for setting my latest romantic comedy within the publishing industry was to highlight some of its failings, both to readers and fellow authors (independent or otherwise). HarperCollins and Random House need not completely despair though.