Academic writing, disciplines and difference

I am privileged to work on some very international and interdisciplinary journals. This has brought me into correspondence with a wide range of authors from different academic and geographic backgrounds. Every academic discipline has its own language, even when it is all conducted in English (or any other language). There are specialised vocabularies such that a … Continue reading

Gardening (and reading about gardening)

Moving into my first house last year brought lots of new lessons in home ownership but also in gardening. I had insisted that my next home had to be a house, with a garden, but probably underestimated both the care and reward involved, in that order. On moving in, the small front and back gardens … Continue reading

Book review: Wolf Hall

I finished reading Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall on the day the UK’s Public Lending Right revealed figures to show that its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, was the 8th most borrowed library book in the country in 2013. Apparently this is the first Man Booker Prize-winning book to feature in the top ten and shows … Continue reading

Book review: Mrs. Hemingway

Photograph of Mrs. Hemingway book with chocolates in background

I was lucky enough to go along to the book launch for Naomi Wood’s (@NaomiWoodBooks) second book, Mrs. Hemingway. The British Library venue was buzzing with happy authors, publishing folk, family and friends. In her speech, Wood’s editor, Francesca Main (@FrancescaMain, Picador), introduced the author as ‘Hemingway’s fifth wife’. Wood then read movingly not from … Continue reading

Mini-returns and unfamiliar ‘homes’

Photograph of Gardens by the Bay

Towards the end of last year I went on a wonderful three-week holiday to Australia. It is one of my favourite places, if it is fair to think of it as one place – in three weeks I saw just a tiny fraction of it on this visit. My parents lived in Melbourne for a … Continue reading

Book review: The Rosie Project

The worldwide release of The Rosie Project caught my eye a long time before I saw it advertised on posters at tube stations. The title on its own conjured an English-country garden image of spring flowers in muted purples and yellows, so the bright, abstract cover in red, white, black and green caught my eye … Continue reading

Proofreading and gendered language

Chinese wedding figures

I have been happily tapping away on Pages for a while now but only used the proofreading function recently. I already had the spell checker turned on so my pages are decorated by red dotted lines where I resist the opportunity to correct/’Americanize’ my spelling (note to self: change dictionary language). Running the proofreader on … Continue reading

There and back again: a hobbit returns home

Source=http://flickr.com/photos/96147639@N00/338143312/ |Author= Rob Chandler

I have just finished re-reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit, inspired to return to a childhood book by the forthcoming film. This reminded me that Bilbo’s journey and subsequent memoir are a perfect depiction of what it means to return home after living abroad or, as in The Hobbit, after an extended trip away. Since this is … Continue reading