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Book Love

So, yesterday I broke my strict book buying rules and came home from work with two books. I just had to have them, simple as that. They are beauties.

First up I'd set my heart on reading the new book by Philip Hensher, The Missing Ink. It's getting a fair amount of attention at the moment, all positive that I've seen. It's a personal look at handwriting, and its role in the modern keyboard/touch screen society. I am still much more comfortable with pen and paper than with typing. I take all my notes longhand, and have folders and notebooks full of handwritten stuff. But, I also tweet, blog, text, and of course all my essays end up ultimately as clean Word documents. I read a little from the book last night, and enjoyed Hensher's direct style; he makes no bones about his contempt for idiotic school policies regarding handwriting as a skill to be learnt. I'm not so pessimistic about it. I have a small gang of nieces and nephews who are all school age, and for all of them learning to write has been an important part of their learning. I'm looking forward to reading more of the book, and will report back in due course!

My second purchase yesterday was a complete spur of the moment whim, but it is a thing of great beauty. I know it is too early to think about Christmas really, but look...

The endpapers are stunning.

And, there are lots of lovely illustrations all the way through. It's a little Christmas miracle!

I also received a very nice treat in the post, from Random House. It's called The Tale of Raw Head & Bloody Bones, by Jack Wolf, and is due for publication in January. The blurb has me totally hooked: it's 1750 and Tristan Hart is studying medicine under the brilliant Dr William Hunter. The pair are light and dark; Hunter wants to prevent pain, Hart is obsessed with causing it. They are the two sides of the eighteenth century, the rational Enlightenment spirit and the world of the supernatural. I am so looking forward to getting stuck into this. 

Finally, I have to mention a book I've just finished, and which is quite remarkable. It is teen fiction, by debut author C.J. Flood. Infinite Sky is published in February next year. I'll do a proper review nearer the time, but for now I just wanted to flag it up as one to watch out for. It is the best type of real-life fiction for young adults, full of messy old emotions and small conflicts that sometimes lead to unexpected and devastating consequences. It felt so genuine as I was reading it, and Iris is one of the most believable characters I can remember ever encountering; I almost recognise her.

The cover art is stunning too. My photo doesn't do the colour justice unfortunately, but hopefully you get the idea. I can't wait to see the finished copies.


  1. I threw something up about The Missing Ink the other day too. I recently came across another book which is about letter writing specifically called 'Kind Regards: The Lost Art of Letter Writing' - thought you might be interested!

    1. Oo, I am interested definitely, in the book and your post. I'm off to investigate now. Thank you!


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