Ten of the Best Love Stories
Amanda Read
by Amanda
1y ago
For Valentine’s Day, a list of the best books about love. Call me by your name (2017) André Aciman. Passionate first love set on the Italian Riviera. Many years later, Oliver and Elio meet again. While Oliver has moved on with his life, Elio can’t let go. Jane Eyre (1847) Charlotte Brontë. Says Jane to Rochester, ‘Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?’ A meeting of minds becomes an enduring love. Brokeback Mountain (1997) Annie Proulx. Two summer-hire ranch-hands form an intense attachment. At the ..read more
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Best Books of 2022
Amanda Read
by Amanda
1y ago
Ten of the best of my reading in fiction and five of non-fiction. Ten of the best in fictionFiction The Trees (2022) Percival Everett. A detective novel that is harrowing and hilarious. Inspired by the real-life 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi. Literary fiction. Maps of our Spectacular Bodies (2022) Maggie Mortimer. A woman’s life told in part through the voice of the cancer which kills her. Lyrical literary fiction. Demon Copperhead (2022) Barbara Kingsolver. Coming-of-age during the opioid crisis: David Copperfield relocated to the 199 ..read more
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Best Books of 2021
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
A year of skewed views and unreliable narrators; cli-fi and post-apocalyptic lands; and journeys of discovery. Ten of the Best in Fiction In no particular order: Best small town American hypocrisy novel: Pew – Catherine Lacey Best unworldly young woman takes a false identity to resolve a mystery novel: Case Study – Graeme Macrae Burnet Best unworldly young woman takes a false identity to resolve her yearnings novel: The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark Best affair with a sea creature novel: Mrs Caliban – Rachel Ingalls Best mythical beast in a novel: The Rain Heron – Robbie Arno ..read more
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15 Top Tips for Moderating a Panel
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
The prospect of moderating a panel may seem daunting, but with preparation you can deliver an informative and entertaining discussion. Below are some top tips on getting the best from your panel. Most of this advice applies just as well when interviewing one guest, as three or four. Research the subject and the panellists. Pick out an interesting or relevant fact about each panel member that you can bring into the discussion. If you’re not sure what the panel description is about, contact the organisers for more information. Contact the panellists in advance (ideally 2-3 weeks). Ask ..read more
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Ten Dark Tales for Halloween
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
Spine-tingling atmosphere, mounting dread and unhinged characters equal great Halloween reading. Ten of the best modern classics in Gothic horror. The Other, Thomas Tryon. In 1930s Connecticut, twins Niles and Holland are yin and yang. Witty psychological thriller. We have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson. The last remaining members of the Blackwood family don’t quite come to terms with their recent past. Black comedy. Fever Dream, Samanta Schweblin. Reality and nightmare collide in this feverish Argentine hospital horror. Starve Acre, Andrew Michael Hurley. A couple d ..read more
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Archetypes and the Writer
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
An archetype is an innate, universal model of personality traits which influences human behaviour. Over the course of his career, psychologist Carl Jung developed his theory on certain archetypes which occur time and again across different cultures. These include archetypal events, such as birth, death, separation from parents, initiation, marriage, the union of opposites; archetypal motifs: the apocalypse, the deluge, the creation; and archetypal figures, we hold in our collective unconscious and are contained within the self. Jung’s archetypes tend to combine with each other and in ..read more
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Archetypes: the Sage
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
The Sage archetype is a seeker of truth, wisdom and knowledge. In Jungian theory, the archetype represents the spiritual aspect of the personality and may take different forms of enlightenment and wisdom. The Sage engages in meaningful introspection and self-reflection. The sage is a perfectionist whose weakness is caution and lack of action. At worst, the Sage is critical of self and others, and can be fixed in their ideas. The archetype is also known as the expert, detective, advisor, philosopher, academic, researcher, teacher, thinker, or mentor. In literature, the Sage plays a crucial role ..read more
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Archetypes: the Outlaw
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
In Jungian theory, the Outlaw lives for revolution. A rule breaker, this archetype challenges convention and questions the status quo. They are outrageous, shocking, outspoken, radical, reckless, counter-cultural, independent and innovative, and are most fulfilled when they change something to better the world.  At times, the Outlaw may be motivated by the desire for revenge, and can be disruptive, dangerous, misguided, or even unhinged. The archetype who gives way to the dark side may develop a warped morality, turn to crime, or succumb to addictions and engage i ..read more
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9 Books on Labyrinths or Crumb Trails
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – a family move into a house to discover it is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint – a modern retelling of she who gave Theseus the secret of how to slay the minotaur and escape the labyrinth. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – a building of infinite corridors, with statue-lined walls and its own weather system. Red Thread: On Mazes and Labyrinths by Charlotte Higgins – a labyrinthine exploration of the labyrinth. The Archive of Alternate Endings by Lindsey Drager – tracks the evolution of Hansel and Gretel at ..read more
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Reading your Work in Public
Amanda Read
by Amanda
2y ago
A good way to get you and your writing known is to read aloud at festivals and other literary events. Here are some tips to guide you through selecting the right piece, to the performance itself. Preparation Choose a piece that stands alone. Action is more appealing than introspection. Give plenty of mental pictures. Dialogue can be difficult for an audience to follow, so if you include dialogue, make sure the audience knows who is talking. If you are skilled in adopting different voices, this could be your time to shine. Be respectful of other performers by keeping within the word/time ..read more
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